April 9th, 2009

Hornady (aka Stoney Point) OAL Gauge on Sale at MidwayUSA

Now through April 30, 2009, MidwayUSA has the Hornady (formerly Stoney Point) Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (item 570611) on sale for $25.99. That’s $4.50 off the regular price. Note, in addition to the Gauge itself, you’ll need a threaded modified case for each caliber you shoot, and we recommend having a comparator body with caliber-specific insert. The comparator allows you to measure from base of case to bullet ogive (rather than bullet tip).

OAL Gauge shown with Comparator to allow measurement from bullet ogive.

This Editor personally uses the Hornady Overall Length Gauge to find the distance to the lands for all his centerfire rifles. With practice, using the right technique, you can achieve measurements that are very repeatable. Here’s my method:

1. After screwing the modified case securely to the gauge, insert the case (with a bullet in neck) into the chamber. Make sure the modified (threaded) case goes ALL the way into the chamber. (Note: a heavily-fouled chamber can interfere with the seating of the modified case.)

2. Slide the gray pusher rod gently forward until you feel the first, slight resistance, then stop.

3. Now with the tip of your finger, tap the gray rod gently two or three times. This should give you a good, repeatable bullet contact with the lands, without going into the rifling.

4. You do NOT want to push hard on the gray rod. This will cause the bullet to engage the rifling. That will cause the bullet to stick, and you will end up with inconsistent length-to-lands measurements.

Some folks complain that this tool is not particularly repeatable. Well, if you use and practice the technique above, I think you’ll find the opposite is true. Using the Hornady OAL Gauge with a Berger bullet in a 6PPC, I recently measured length to lands five times in a row, with a couple witnesses to the procedure. Each of the measurements was consistent within .0007″ as recorded with a set of Mitutoyo Digital calipers. The key is using the same technique and pressure every time. CLICK HERE for a complete review of the Hornady OAL Gauge, with many photos

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