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Old January 31, 2008, 21:13   #1
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Ammunition headspace comparison

Ammunition “headspace” comparison










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Old January 31, 2008, 21:13   #2
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Old January 31, 2008, 21:14   #3
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Old January 31, 2008, 21:29   #4
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Great info! Thanks, Gary
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Old February 01, 2008, 05:25   #5
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Old February 01, 2008, 08:42   #6
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I wish you had some of that Syrian 7.62x51mm ammo to check! It will not chamber in a lot of bolt guns...must run longer than the Malaysian by a bunch.
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Old February 01, 2008, 10:32   #7
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Thanks for posting that, G. That might explain why FGMM chambered so easily in an FAL that I thought I headspaced on the tight side.
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Old February 02, 2008, 10:01   #8
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This demonstrates why you NEED a real, true, live headspace gauge to check headspace! With a .006" difference in just the relatively small sample of ammo measured here, I hope it's now quite apparent why the old 'cartridge-with-masking-tape' on the case head is NOT an accurate method of checking (or setting) headspace.
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Old February 03, 2008, 12:20   #9
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Well Done.

You got nice tools.


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Old February 03, 2008, 16:57   #10
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Would you like more "samples" to add to this documentation?
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Old February 06, 2008, 16:46   #11
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The Malaysian is 4 thousandths long? Wow.

Anyone got any Indian to try?
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Old February 07, 2008, 00:25   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by wolfsburgbob
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Would you like more "samples" to add to this documentation?
Sure, PM me if you have additional subjects worthy of a photo shoot.
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Old February 07, 2008, 12:57   #13
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to add a few using the rcbs mic...

Aussie: AFF 89 -0.004" (i.e. 1.626")
Miwall reload (147fmj) -0.004"
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Old February 07, 2008, 13:47   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by westcoastr
to add a few using the rcbs mic...

Aussie: AFF 89 -0.004" (i.e. 1.626")
Miwall reload (147fmj) -0.004"
Hold on a second.

How are you extrapolating the 1.626" number?

I hope you do understand that you FIRST have to calibrate your precision mic using a headspace gage of known dimension before you can quote that kind of number.

I think you skipped a step.

If you will take a moment, and study my original post, you will see that my RCBS Precision Mic tool for .308 ammo does not stop on "zero" when I put a 1.630 headspace gage in it.
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Old February 07, 2008, 17:25   #15
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Gary,

Did you try a number of rounds of each type/vintage? If so, was there much variance between rounds?

Thanks for the info!
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Old February 08, 2008, 05:50   #16
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Some more info, from a few years ago.

http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showt...hlight=yovinny
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Old February 11, 2008, 14:12   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by W.E.G.


Hold on a second.

How are you extrapolating the 1.626" number?

I hope you do understand that you FIRST have to calibrate your precision mic using a headspace gage of known dimension before you can quote that kind of number.

I think you skipped a step.

If you will take a moment, and study my original post, you will see that my RCBS Precision Mic tool for .308 ammo does not stop on "zero" when I put a 1.630 headspace gage in it.
fair enough, ASSUMING RCBS made it to spec's (in your case i looks to be about 0.004 off) a -0.004 on mine is 1.624". if not then i have no idea the absolute length. but in my case it is not the absolute value (i.e. 1.624") i care about but the relative difference (e.g. -0.004" versus +0.002) so I personally don't need to calibrate mine. but feel free to send me your forster's so i can check if 1.6300 is really 1.6300

so everyone can retract my readings until someone borrows me a gage to calibrate my mic
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Old February 20, 2008, 10:01   #18
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rwwje, Great info! Thanks, Gary


Plus 1 on that.
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Old February 20, 2008, 12:19   #19
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I had discovered this fact about 6 years ago when a M1A/M14 of mine would not chamber certain types of milsurp and had no problems with others.
It was headspaced on the tight side.

Thanks for bringing these facts into the light of day W.E.G.
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Old February 20, 2008, 13:22   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arby
Gary,

Did you try a number of rounds of each type/vintage? If so, was there much variance between rounds?

Thanks for the info!
I did try a number of rounds of each subject.

I found the subjects to be very consistent from one round to another, except for the occasional round that seemed a bit damaged. The most variation was in the Malaysian stuff. The Malaysian stuff had been handled quite a bit before I got it, as the vendor had "harvested" all the tracer rounds from the belts. Ammo that came out of un-molested crates was boringly consistent.
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Old December 09, 2010, 10:21   #21
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Re: Ammunition headspace comparison

Quote:
Originally posted by W.E.G.
Ammunition “headspace” comparison










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Old December 10, 2010, 10:26   #22
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This thread obviously puts the measurement of a particular hs gage set, with a particular Presicion mic, into perspective.

My set of Forster .308 hs gages are either longer than WEG's, or my mic is calibrated differently--likely a quite common problem--the chicken or the egg?

In relation to measuring ammo, it becomes necessary as WEG did, to check your ammo in relation to your hs gage-- as plus or minus to your hs gage, to get a clear picture of where your ammo is at.

I have and found most of my ammo equal to or longer than my go gage, and shorter than my "no go" gage.
WEG found similar results.

Not exactly where we want to be, kind of cave man, but understandable with what we have to work with.
I read somewhere that Gus Fischer used to send out the shop's hs gages for calibration once a year and so such a service does exist. I may look it up.

So... in the meantime,
Ammo that is measured in relation to your go and no go gages---- AND rests in between those precision mic measurements, WILL in all liklihood, be good to go; gun too.
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Old December 10, 2010, 22:41   #23
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If the gauge is anything like a micrometer the calibrated ring will turn to zero it . A micrometer ring turns very hard but can be adjusted. If you do find it turns I would set it to zero on the go gauge.
Dave

Last edited by falcom; December 10, 2010 at 22:47.
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Old December 14, 2010, 20:31   #24
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I noticed that your micrometer measurement agrees with the no-go gauge, while the mic reading is -.004 on the go gauge. This indicates that one of your gauges is not to spec. It is more likely that the go gauge is .004 too short as otherwise both the micrometer and the no-go would both have to be bad.

If the go gauge is .004 short, then you would have to subtract .004 from the cartridge measurements.
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Old December 14, 2010, 23:51   #25
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When I got my RCBS "precision mic", I was expecting a.....well, a precision mic. When seeing the word micrometer, or mic, I thought about my Starrett, or Brown&Sharp micrometers. When the RCBS product came I eagerly opened the box and screwed the pieces together, WTF, over. The unit had at least .005"- .009" or more slop in the threads. With that much slop, I don't expect perfectly linear threads either. Having said that, I don't discount the usefulness of the tool once you realize it's limitations. As pointed out by W.E.G., it is important to have standards, ie. headspace gages.

It's like using an old Bridgeport mill with slop in the X, Y, or Z axis. There are usually ways to work around that.
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Old December 15, 2010, 15:42   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by longhair51
When I got my RCBS "precision mic", I was expecting a.....well, a precision mic. When seeing the word micrometer, or mic, I thought about my Starrett, or Brown&Sharp micrometers. When the RCBS product came I eagerly opened the box and screwed the pieces together, WTF, over. The unit had at least .005"- .009" or more slop in the threads. With that much slop, I don't expect perfectly linear threads either. Having said that, I don't discount the usefulness of the tool once you realize it's limitations. As pointed out by W.E.G., it is important to have standards, ie. headspace gages.

It's like using an old Bridgeport mill with slop in the X, Y, or Z axis. There are usually ways to work around that.
Wow, either their quality went out the window or you just got a bad one.

I have 4 I use all the time, 223-6.5x55-308 & 30-06 and 4 others I've use once or a few times.
None of them have any slop like you discribe and all measure perfectly as marked.

Cheers, YV
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Old December 15, 2010, 16:04   #27
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The RCBS precision mic should not have that kind of slop in the threads.
You should be able to hear it rattle if you shake it, if it has that kind of slop.
That is FUBAR.

You need to talk to RCBS about your device.
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Old December 15, 2010, 17:31   #28
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Like Gary, I use a go gauge to calibrate my 308 RCBS mic. My one measures -.002 when closed on a 308 go gauge. I just factor that into my calculations as I measure resized brass.

>If the gauge is anything like a micrometer the calibrated ring will
>turn to zero it . A micrometer ring turns very hard but can be
>adjusted. If you do find it turns I would set it to zero on the go gauge.

I don't think my calibrated ring that indicates zero will turn, but I havent tried Really, Really, Really hard.. Has this worked for anyone ?

What I found really hard to use was the other calibrated cap that comes with the mic for measuring length to the major bullet diameter.

I had to seat a bullet in a resized case and use a Pacific Gauge and Tool comparator :
( http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=746974 )

and a pair of calipers to get an initial reading. Then put the round in the RCBS mic and look at what it read. From that I could calibrate the reading and it's very accurate, but I had to jot all the numbers down on a piece of paper and keep it in the box or I had to do it all over again next time.

The silly plastic bullet thing that comes with it is a sheer waste of time and space..

S.
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Old December 15, 2010, 17:43   #29
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The RCBS device does not have a calibration ring.
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Old December 15, 2010, 19:56   #30
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The RCBS case mic's are made in 2 pieces and glued together for calibration when assembled.
Solvent or a heavy hand will brake that bond and require re-calibration, which RCBS offers as a service for them.
This info should be in the instruction booklet that comes with them, but you could probably also find it on the RCBS web site.

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Old December 16, 2010, 01:20   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by yovinny
info should be in the instruction booklet that comes with them, but you could probably also find it on the RCBS web site.
Correct.

See http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/instru...ecisionMic.pdf

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Old December 16, 2010, 18:16   #32
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I think that means that without a chamber headspace gauge to calibrate it, it may be several thou 'out'.

Good to know for those thinking of buying one..
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Old December 16, 2010, 20:02   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveW
I think that means that without a chamber headspace gauge to calibrate it, it may be several thou 'out'.

Good to know for those thinking of buying one..
Agree on the several thousands out. Unless you have headspace gages to check your RCBS precision Mic it really is only good for 'differences' not absolute measurements. I had one of those for 30-06 once upon a time and I didn't have headspace gages to check but I am pretty sure it was more than just a couple thousandths out of zero. I believe it was more like several thousandths out of zero. I don't reload anymore. I gave it away a long while back.
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Old December 17, 2010, 11:35   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by riffraff2


Unless you have headspace gages to check your RCBS precision Mic it really is only good for 'differences' not absolute measurements.
If the micrometer and head space gauge do not agree on the same measurement, you don't really know which one is lying and it is unwise to assume one or the other unless one has been calibrated on a standard traceable to the national bureau of standards.

The other way to tell which one was lying would be to compare multiple different gauges and micrometers to see which one is the outlier.

In this case, the micrometer agrees with the no-go gauge, suggesting that it is the go gauge that is out of spec. Obviously one of the two headspace gauges is out of spec. You would need to do more comparisons to be statistically sure, but so far, the evidence suggests that Gary's go gauge is short by about .004.
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Old December 17, 2010, 11:57   #35
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My Forster set shows "no go" as 1.632, and "go" as 1.628---both RCBS Mic readings are short by .002, if that is the Forster set you are referring to.

1.634 is actually the official Nato "go" spec and 1.638 the Nato "no go" spec, while 1.630 and 1.634 are the .308 specs.

I agree that the best thing to do is to get my gages certified, as they now just indicate a net .004 difference. It would be nice to have a "standard" for sure to check things against to be dead nuts on and to set the RCBS mic to--- as any normal mic can be adjusted to a proper standard.

At least my "go" gage correlates well to NATO ammo--about equal and that is good--meaning that with a firearm headspaced midway between the go and no go gages, things will be ok; I hope.
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Old December 17, 2010, 20:53   #36
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I'm not sure there is a "NATO" headspace spec for chambers. That usually goes with the firearm design. There are NATO specs for the 7.62 cartridge. When the US first came out with the M-14 and M-60 they used the same headspace. The FAL headspace is shorter. More recently, the current versions of M-14's have shorter than original headspace as the original headspace was determined to be too long and a shorter headspace preferred. The FN MAG-58 / M-240 has it's own headspace specs. The US military buys headspace gauges for the M-240 from FN and they are the same specs as the Belgian designed headspace for the MAG-58. I don't have cartridge drawings for the official 7.62 NATO cartridge and I also have US military drawings for the same cartridge. The NATO specs are "looser" or "wider" in range than the US military specs with the US military specs being within the wider NATO limits. The special versions of the cartridge such as M-852, M-118 and M-118 LR, do not have NATO specs or standards but the M-80 cartridge and a few other AP and tracer cartridges are made within NATO specs.

There is more to chamber dimensions than headspace. The pressure standards for military cartridges are set in military chambers, not tight commercial chambers, so even the pressure standards can't be directly compared with commercial standards.
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Old December 10, 2013, 16:12   #37
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Old December 10, 2013, 19:57   #38
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Nice!

What is the optimum exit velocity of a projectile leaving an FAL?

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Old December 10, 2013, 21:36   #39
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Wow! Never thought about checking the go/nogo with the Precision Mic.

So... using the (Forster) "go" (1.626) to headspace the rifle applying the +2 -1 "rule", a reloader can get in trouble using the Mic (1.630) to setup a resizing die.
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Old December 10, 2013, 21:53   #40
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Nice!

What is the optimum exit velocity of a projectile leaving an FAL?

About 1800 mph.
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Old December 10, 2013, 21:55   #41
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Wow! Never thought about checking the go/nogo with the Precision Mic.

So... using the (Forster) "go" (1.626) to headspace the rifle applying the +2 -1 "rule", a reloader can get in trouble using the Mic (1.630) to setup a resizing die.

?????? ??????

I try to set the shoulder of the case to give me 0.002" headspace in a semi-auto.
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Old December 10, 2013, 21:56   #42
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Old December 10, 2013, 22:18   #43
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About 1800 mph.

Looks right and is close to my 147 Gr laden load but my Stg prefers to Swallow a 125 Gr bullet at 1875 MPH.

Best!

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Old December 10, 2013, 22:29   #44
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?????? ??????

I try to set the shoulder of the case to give me 0.002" headspace in a semi-auto.
Sorry, I meant +0.002;, the minus 0.001 would account for setback.

If one is to assume the Forster "go" is truly 1.630 and add the 0.002 to get the right locking shoulder, setting up the sizing die using the Precision Mic "zero" will cause your rounds to be too long for your chamber, right?

Btw.... My Forster go also measures -0.004 in the Mic.
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Old December 10, 2013, 22:35   #45
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right

but the FAL slams so hard on the round that it will easily crush a round 0.004 to "make it fit."
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Old December 10, 2013, 23:22   #46
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This is why exit velocity matters more than the subject matter when your headspace is close enough . . .

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Old December 11, 2013, 21:57   #47
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Very interesting.

W.E.G. you still looking for ammo samples to add to the list? I've got some M118LR I could send to you if you want. Send me you address in a PM and I'll send a sample to you.
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Old December 13, 2013, 16:36   #48
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Awesome thread! I learned a lot
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Old December 13, 2013, 18:02   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy1 View Post
Very interesting.

W.E.G. you still looking for ammo samples to add to the list? I've got some M118LR I could send to you if you want. Send me you address in a PM and I'll send a sample to you.

I'll be happy to spin whatever you send me in my gage.

I won't send it back to you though.

Shipping ammo is on my fukc-that-shit list these days.

Your M118 I can pretty well guarantee you will be within 0.001" of the number I got for the M852.

PM me if you're still interested, and you need a shipping address.
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Old December 13, 2013, 18:39   #50
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Gary, how do you clean your mics, ammo and gauges before you use them to measure?
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