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Old September 28, 2017, 23:09   #1
FriendBesto
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Checking for excessive headspace

What gauge(s) do I need to check for excessive headspace in my FAL?
Clymer? Forster? NO GO or Field?
Rifle is a DSA built gun with an Imbel barrel with an "0" on the flat.
I load the same ammo for five different .308's and they all work fine with the exception of an occasional case head separation in the FAL.
The brass is mixed NATO most likely MG fired but again I have never had a problem with the other rifles.
Thanks
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Old September 29, 2017, 00:01   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendBesto View Post
What gauge(s) do I need to check for excessive headspace in my FAL?
Clymer? Forster? NO GO or Field?
Rifle is a DSA built gun with an Imbel barrel with an "0" on the flat.
I load the same ammo for five different .308's and they all work fine with the exception of an occasional case head separation in the FAL.
The brass is mixed NATO most likely MG fired but again I have never had a problem with the other rifles.
Thanks
I have the three gauge set. If the bolt won't close on a NO-GO gauge, but will close on a GO gauge, it's good to go. If the bolt closes on the NO-GO, but not the FIELD, it's still good, but should be checked again every few hundred rounds. If it closes on the FIELD, time for a new locking shoulder or bolt.
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Old September 29, 2017, 08:27   #3
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Clymer then since they are closer to FAL specs?
From what I researched they are +.002 on all three over the Forster.
Thanks
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Old September 29, 2017, 18:11   #4
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Lots of the once fired NATO brass is junk,,even seen it with a bunch of different dates with the once fired LC brass before...2012 was last I saw with issues personally, but there are others... Older stuff is better in my book..

Anyway, gauges are nice to have, especially for a standard caliber that you use in a bunch of different rifles.
But,,head space is nothing more than the fit relationship between your ammo and the chamber your using them in.
So I have to wonder,,are you checking your reloads with a case mic or anything ?

And if you are,,it's pretty simple and cheap to check the HS of a single rifle with said cartridge and a bucks worth of shim stock...

I have probably a dozen different caliber gauges, but I couldent count the obscure calibered rifles I've checked HS on with a cartridge and shim stock..
Because if it fits the ammo, it's good to go,,gauges not needed.
But if youve got an extra C note to burn, by all means, get yourself a full set of 308 gauges..

And before all the eggspurts jump my chit,,,just remember most any bench rest or accuracy gunsmith worth his salt head spaces a new barrel to samples of a customers loaded round,,,not some HS gauge....
Because as long as you know what your doing, it's more accurate done that way....

Just my .02
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Old September 30, 2017, 10:48   #5
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Clymer 7.62X51 NATO gauges would likely be the closest to your DSA's chamber. At least I think that DSA chambers to NATO specs, not positive about that.

Clymer;
Go = 1.632"
No/Go = 1.636"
Field or max = 1.640"

Forstner; (.308 Win.)
Go = 1.630"
No/Go = 1.634"
Field = 1.638"

If you are only concerned about your rifle being safe, I would use a Clymer No/Go and re-headspace a rifle that accepted that gauge.
I have fired over 200 rounds thru an FAL with a 1.638" HS and suffered nothing except very short case life from partial head separations, but I wouldn't recommend the practice.

In my rifles, I headspace to .308 Win. specs and reload my ammo to the same specs. I've had very few problems with loaded milsurp ammo by doing this as yet.
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Old October 01, 2017, 09:36   #6
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Reloading with USGI range pick up brass, I have the occasional case head separation while shooting in my military semi auto rifles. That includes my M1A that has a tight chamber and 1.630" headspace. This occurs even when I check the inside of each case with a wire pick to feel for the deformation that causes this condition. I believe it is the nature of the beast when it comes to using mil-surp 7.72 brass for reloading. Funny, I don't recall anything like this when using my .556 USGI brass reloads.
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Old October 01, 2017, 09:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tac-40 View Post
Reloading with USGI range pick up brass, I have the occasional case head separation while shooting in my military semi auto rifles. That includes my M1A that has a tight chamber and 1.630" headspace. This occurs even when I check the inside of each case with a wire pick to feel for the deformation that causes this condition. I believe it is the nature of the beast when it comes to using mil-surp 7.72 brass for reloading. Funny, I don't recall anything like this when using my .556 USGI brass reloads.
I haven't had any separation on LC. Did have a CBC reload pull apart on a para shooting suppressed and way over gassed. It was about 1/2 way up the case.
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Old October 01, 2017, 17:27   #8
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Thanks everybody. I have a set of Forster's on the way. Midway had a sale on the NO GO so I figured why not.
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Old October 06, 2017, 22:53   #9
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I received my gauges today.
Closes on GO
Closes with very light pressure on NO GO (Forster 1.634)
Not even close to closing on FIELD (Forster 1.638)

I guess everything is alright?

If I shot for something less than 1.634 would it really make a difference on brass life? As in less or no case head separations?

I have found partial separations on ejected brass that I never knew happened while firing and those don't really bother me too much as long as the rifle is safe to fire. What does bother me is when they cause a malfunction. The last separation I had, the case head got between the bolt and something on the receiver, keeping the bolt in the rearward position until I relieved the pressure and picked it out. A rather nasty jam.
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Old October 06, 2017, 23:34   #10
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I've witnessed FALs run like a track star, even closing on a Field gauge. I suspect your issue is with the brass, but it's easy enough to change the locking shoulder to tighten it up if you'd like.
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Old October 15, 2017, 23:36   #11
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You described "Occasional" case head separations in your FAL with ammo that works fine in other rifles...

You bought gauges and found your FAL will close with "very light pressure" on the NG gauge....

If it we're mine, I'd go up .001 on the current LS size installed so the ammo I have loaded (and works in everything else) will function in the problem rifle as well.
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Old Yesterday, 11:12   #12
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I plan on it. Why just .001? Why not .003 so I'm closer to the minimum?
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Old Yesterday, 11:19   #13
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What kind of brass are you using and how many loads are you seeing before failure? I have an FAL that is about like yours on the HS and haven't worried about it and no problems.
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Old Yesterday, 23:57   #14
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Most of it is head stamped TA08 and I bought it once fired. I had some separations on my first firing and I'm now on the second and it's happening too but I wouldn't say the rate is increasing.
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Old Today, 07:02   #15
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I'd try some other brass. Your HS is within NATO spec.
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