How to measure headspace without a gauge? In Depth Guide for 2022

If you’re anything like me, the first time you heard the term “headspace” in relation to brewing was when you were reading about beer brewing online or in a book. You may have even googled it to figure out what on earth people were talking about.

Sadly, much of the information available on the internet about headspace is geared towards those who already have a basic understanding of what it means. In this post, I will provide an introduction to headspace for brewers who are just starting out. I’ll explain what it is, why it’s important, and how to measure it without a gauge. Let’s get started!

What is a headspace gauge?

What is a headspace gauge

A headspace gauge is a tool that measures the distance between the breech face of a firearm and the base of a cartridge. This is important because it ensures that the cartridge is seated correctly in the chamber and that there is enough space for the bullet to travel when fired. Headspace gauges are used by gunsmiths and reloaders to ensure that ammunition is safe and will function properly in a firearm. Make sure you also check our guide for Headspace Gauge.

Types of headspace gauge?

Types of headspace gauge

There are two types of headspace gauges: rimfire and centerfire. Rimfire gauges are used to measure the distance between the breech face and the rim of a cartridge, while centerfire gauges are used to measure the distance between the breech face and the base of a cartridge. Both types of gauges are essential for ensuring that ammunition is safe and will function properly in a firearm.

Headspace is measured in thousandths of an inch (0.001″) or in millimeters (mm). The most common headspace gauges are available in both metric and English units. Gunsmiths and reloaders will often have both types of gauges on hand, as some firearms are designed to use one type of ammunition or the other.

Headspace gauges are an essential tool for any gunsmith or reloader. They help ensure that ammunition is safe and will function properly in a firearm. When purchasing headspace gauges, be sure to select the correct type for the firearm you will be using them on. Rimfire and centerfire gauges are not interchangeable and cannot be used on the same type of firearm. Besides, you can choose some Shotgun Side Saddle.

How to measure headspace without a gauge?

measure headspace without a gauge

If you don’t have a headspace gauge, there are still ways that you can measure the headspace in your firearm. One way is to use a dowel rod. First, remove the bolt from your firearm. Then, take a dowel rod that is slightly smaller in diameter than the bore of your firearm and insert it into the chamber. The amount that the dowel rod protrudes from the chamber is the headspace.

Another way to measure headspace is with a case gauge. A case gauge is a tool that is specifically designed to check the dimensions of brass cases. To use a case gauge, first resize a brass case so that it is slightly larger than normal.

Then, insert the case into the chamber of your firearm. If the case fits flush with the chamber, then the headspace is within specification. However, if the case does not fit flush with the chamber, then the headspace is too large.

Headspace is an important dimension to check because it can affect the accuracy and safety of your firearm. If the headspace is too large, the brass case may not be fully supported by the chamber and could rupture upon firing. This could cause serious injury or even death.

Conversely, if the headspace is too small, the brass case may not allow the bullet to seat properly in the barrel and could result in a dangerous misfire. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the headspace in your firearm is within specification before firing it. For more suggestions, you can read about Single Point Bungee Sling.

How to Check AR-15 Headspace Without Gauges?

How to Check AR-15 Headspace Without Gauges

If you don’t have headspace gauges, there are a few ways you can still check the headspace on your AR-15 rifle.

One way is to use dummy rounds. Dummy rounds are simply empty cartridge cases that have been resized to fit your chamber. To check headspace with dummy rounds, simply chamber a dummy round in your rifle and see if it will close on a go/no-go gauge. If the round closes on the gauge, then your headspace is within tolerance.

Another way to check headspace is to use live ammunition. This method is not recommended, as it could potentially be dangerous. To check headspace with live rounds, chamber a round in your rifle and see if it will close on a field gauge. If the round closes on the gauge, then your headspace is within tolerance.

If you don’t have either gauges or dummy rounds, you can also measure the case length of a fired cartridge and compare it to the minimum and maximum case length specifications for your caliber. If the fired case is within the specified tolerances, then your headspace is most likely within tolerance as well.

Checking headspace is a important part of maintaining your AR-15 rifle. By regularly checking the headspace, you can help ensure that your rifle is safe to shoot.

Ways to Measure Headspace?

Ways to Measure Headspace

There are a few ways to measure headspace. The most common method is to use a ruler or tape measure. You can also use a digital caliper. If you don’t have access to any of these tools, you can also use a piece of string or yarn.

To measure headspace with a ruler or tape measure, simply place the tool at the top of your head and mark the spot where it meets the top of your head. then, measure the distance from the top of your head to the mark. This will give you an accurate measurement of your headspace.

To measure headspace with a digital caliper, place the caliper at the top of your head and record the reading. This will give you an accurate measurement of your headspace.

If you don’t have access to any of these tools, you can also use a piece of string or yarn. Simply place the string or yarn at the top of your head and mark the spot where it meets the top of your head. then, measure the distance from the top of your head to the mark. This will give you an accurate measurement of your headspace.

No matter which method you use, make sure to take multiple measurements to ensure accuracy. And, if possible, ask someone else to take the measurements for you. This will help to eliminate any potential errors.

When measuring headspace, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s head is different. So, what may be a comfortable amount of headspace for one person, may not be comfortable for another. Therefore, it’s best to err on the side of caution and leave a little extra space. This way, you can avoid any potential discomfort or issues.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. How do you measure headspace without a gauge?

There are a few ways to measure headspace without a gauge. One way is to use a micrometer. Another way is to use a ruler or caliper. Finally, you can also use a tape measure.

2. How accurate are these methods?

All of these methods are reasonably accurate, but the micrometer will be the most accurate. The other methods will have some error, but it should not be significant.

3. How do I convert from inches to millimeters?

To convert from inches to millimeters, you can use a conversion chart or calculator. There are many online tools that can perform this conversion for you.

4. How do I convert from millimeters to inches?

To convert from millimeters to inches, you can use a conversion chart or calculator. There are many online tools that can perform this conversion for you.

5. How do I know if my headspace is within the acceptable range?

There is no definitive answer to this question since it can vary depending on the gun and the ammunition being used. However, a general rule of thumb is that the headspace should be within 0.003-0.005 inches of the chamber dimension. This can be checked with a headspace gauge.

6. What happens if my headspace is too large or too small?

If the headspace is too large, it can cause the cartridge to slip out of the chamber and jam the gun. If the headspace is too small, it can cause excessive pressure build-up in the chamber and potentially damage or destroy the gun.

7. How do I fix incorrect headspace?

If the headspace is too large, you can try to adjust the dimensions of the chamber. If the headspace is too small, you may need to replace the barrel or have a gunsmith adjust it.

8. How often should I check my headspace?

It is generally recommended to check your headspace every time you clean your gun. However, if you are using factory ammunition, you may not need to check it as often.

9. What are the consequences of incorrect headspace?

Incorrect headspace can cause a number of problems. It can cause the gun to jam, misfire, or even burst. In extreme cases, it can cause serious injury or death.

10. How can I prevent incorrect headspace?

The best way to prevent incorrect headspace is to use a headspace gauge and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular gun.

Conclusion

So, how do you measure your headspace if you don’t have a gauge? The answer is actually pretty simple. You just need to know the volume of your cylinder and the density of the gas you’re using.

Once you have those numbers, it’s easy to calculate the pressure in your tank by using this formula: P= (V*R*T)/(G*D), where V is volume, R is gas constant, T is temperature in Kelvin, G is density of gas, and D is distance between molecules.

We hope this information was helpful! If you still have questions or would like more information on any of our products or services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.