One of the most critical aspects of reloading rifle ammunition is proper sizing. First, you need to have a good sizing die for the cartridge you are reloading. Second, you need to setup your sizing die for optimal functioning (Ex: feeding in an autoloader) and accuracy/precision. While it may sound simple to setup a sizing die, it does take attention to detail and involves precise measurements. I consider a good case gage to be a mandatory tool for *each* cartridge you reload. It’s a very quick and reliable way to check for case trim length, sizing validation, and proper bullet seating.
L.E. Wilson just released a new product which enables you to use your existing L.E. Wilson case gages to validate and measure your sizing die setup. It’s called the L.E. Wilson Case Gage Depth Micrometer. With this tool, you can take precision readings of the depth of the back of the case rim relative to the back surface of the case gage.
Here’s a video where I show you what’s included with the gage, and demonstrate how it’s used to setup a sizing die:
As you can see, this tool is quick and easy to use. There are many ways to setup sizing dies, including using headspace gages (a technique I’ve used and have shown here on Ultimate Reloader). What I like about this setup is the ability to use the case gages I already have on the bench, and the way measurements are taken with this tool.
Here you can see the ring which contacts the back of the case rim, that’s the reference for measurements taken:
When you take this micrometer out of the bubble wrap bag it comes packed in, you’ll see a VERY nicely machined and finished tool. Fabricated from stainless steel, this micrometer is a lifetime investment. It’s also quite ergonomic with it sloped surface you press down on with your fingers to perform a measurement:
With this tool, the following is included:
- Micrometer unit
- Gage block
- Allen key
All you need is a set of L.E. Wilson case gages for the cartridges you reload: you can use one L.E. Wilson Case Gage Depth Micrometer with all of them! Stay tuned here on Ultimate Reloader, because I’ll be following up with an overview of the new L.E. Wilson stainless steel Full-Length sizing die, and then we’ll load 243 Winchester for the Ruger Precision Rifle on the Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron. All coming up soon!