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I have gauges for my Garand and I'm trying to get the "feel" of them. My bolt will close on the no-go with what seems to be similar pressure to my go gauge. Has anyone acquired the feel for this?
 

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To answer the question in your topic title: unless you have the ordnance style gauges that have relief cuts for the extractor and ejector, YES, you do have to field strip the bolt. To find out how to do it easily, using an M10 combo tool, see THIS THREAD. The fired case trick won't work, since the M1 is chambered for the .30-'06, but the rest of the instructions will work fine.
Now, what do the gauges mean? It depends on the gauges. Your bolt MUST close with no resistance on the "GO" gauge. This indicates minimum headspace. The "NO-GO" gauge is used when building a new rifle or re-barrelling or re-chambering a used one. The bolt should NOT close on the "NO-GO" gauge in this case. If you're checking the headspace on a used rifle, it may be perfectly safe to close on the "NO-GO" gauge. You may not achieve maximum accuracy. If your used rifle closes on the "NO-GO" you next use the "FIELD" gauge. It must NOT close on the "FIELD" gauge. This is the max safe headspace.
Fulton Armory has a pretty good article on headspace HERE.
 
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