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!
7 thoughts on “Hands-on with the new L.E. Wilson Case Gage Depth Micrometer”
Neat and thanks. First email I open is always UR. I like the new item but needed a solution a long time ago. I got a couple of these stands off Ebay a long time ago to hold a dial indicator. I zero the indicator on the gauge then check the ground slot depth, in this case -.005″. Pop in a case and measure. One is -.0035″ other is -.002″. I adjust dies with arbor shims. Cost little and go from .001″ through .125″ in 19 piece sets for a few dollars. Works great and for all your case gauges. Also use it for primer pocket depth. Keep the case in the gauge and drop the point into the pocket.
I have been using L.E. Wilson gages for over 25 years. I will be purchasing the L.E. Wilslon Case Gage Depth Micrometer. As soon as finish the writing.
I’ve been using L.E Wilson gauges for a while as well. This is a step up on an already great product. Definitely going to be checking this out.
If I understand this correctly, this micrometer gives you an exact measurement of how much the base of the case extends from or is recessed into the case Gage, so you can adjust your seating dies for a) correct sizing and b) optimal sizing for accuracy. I could find a use for this in my tool box.
how about a review of the L.E. Wilson case trimmer upgrades?
One thing that could really improve this product is a RATCHET THIMBLE like you find on better Micrometers. It takes the end users desire to push or go light out of the equation. I would pay for that option…
Just ordered a L.E. Wilson Case Gage Depth Micrometer from Graf as they had them in stock.