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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does one do this? I want to check surplus ammo before firing it. I do not reload, I just want to be safe.
 

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Measuring the cases only tells you half of what you need to know. You also need to know what the chamber headspace is and that gets a little more involved (expensive). If you just want to know if the bullets you have will work in your rifle then strip the bolt and insert the bullets in the chamber and close the bolt on them. If it closes freely then your good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Measuring the cases only tells you half of what you need to know. You also need to know what the chamber headspace is and that gets a little more involved (expensive). If you just want to know if the bullets you have will work in your rifle then strip the bolt and insert the bullets in the chamber and close the bolt on them. If it closes freely then your good to go.
I have 3 M14 type rifles and a set of match guages from 1.630-1.638 and I will be getting a case guage soon. I may even try reloading next year after Chrismas. I have 2 girls that are 6 and 9. My friend has tried to get me to reload for a while but I don't really have the time for it. I may just have to start to learn and make time this winter.

I know the exact headspace on all 3.
1.631
1.632
1.636
 

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Compare (calibrate) your case gauge to your chamber gauges for each rifle and set loaded round headspace a little shorter. I 1/2 thou. for target loads 3 thou. hunting/defense loads.
 

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Your 1.631 and 1.632 are the only ones you have to be concerned with. The 1.632 is tight for surplus but should work, as shoot4score said just strip the bolt and chamber the rounds you want to shoot. If the bolt closes all the way then you are good to go. The 1.631 is going to be the critical issue. This is very tight for surplus if you want to maintain a large margin for safety. I shoot surplus in a 1.631 headspace and I'm here to tell ya that it is possible to come across surplus rounds that are just to long for that headspace. I am also very safety minded and I strip the bolt and chamber every surplus round I fire. Better safe than sorry.
 
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