Forster Headspace Gauges
We offer headspace gauges for use in fitting replacement barrels to bolt action rifles.
- The "Go" Gauge
is used to make sure that standard factory loaded ammunition will fit reliably. Insert the Go gauge in the chamber and close the bolt. If the bolt won't close or closes with resistance, you may have the barrel screwed in too tight. Your headspace is too tight and won't fit factory loaded ammo reliably.
- The "No-Go" Gauge
is used to make sure you haven't left Too Much
headspace. Insert the No-Go gauge in the chamber and close the bolt. If the bolt closes easily, your barrel isn't screwed in tight enough. You have too much headspace. If the bolt closes fine, but with some resistance, your headspace is just barely acceptable*
- Ideal Headspace
is when the bolt will
close on the GO gauge but will not
close on the NO-GO gauge. You might as well get it perfect if you're installing the barrel yourself.
- Special Circumstance #1
- When headspace gauges are not available, full length sized, not yet loaded cartridge brass is sometimes used to custom fit the headspace by trial and error. Re-barrels done this way may fit your handloads fine but may not fit factory loaded ammo.
- Special Circumstance #2
- A rifle with *barely acceptable
headspace may be perfectly manageable by reloading ammunition with brass that is custom fit by partial full length resizing or neck sizing. For example, if you're using headspace gauges to check a factory barreled rifle, and the bolt closes with slight resistance on the No-Go gauge, it is not necessarily excessive headspace... Just more headspace than would be considered ideal. (There's actually a third "Field" headspace gauge that's the definitive No-Go headspace indicator. We hold to a higher standard and don't presently sell the Field gauge).
- Special Circumstance #3
- TC Encore and Contender barrels can give a false reading with Go and No-Go gauges if you don't understand the locking mechanism that draws the barrel down into full battery. The spring loaded locking bolt engages the frame and can latch the action closed well before it extends completely... Giving the impression it closed on a headspace gauge when in fact it didn't. Multiple Chamber Compatibility...
- 223 Remington gauges work on .223 Rem and 6x45.
- 243 - 308 Family gauges work on .243 Win, 260 Rem, 7-08 Rem, 308 Win, and 358 Win.
- 6.5 Creedmoor Gauges work on 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor
- 6.5x55 Swede gauges work on the 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser.
- 280 Remington gauges work on the 280 Remington.
- 284 Family gauges work on 284 Winchester, 22-284, 6-284, 25-284, 6.5-284 Norma, 270-284, 30-284, and 35-284.
- 30-06 Family gauges work on 25-06, 6.5-06, 270 Win, 30-06, 8-06, 338-06, and 35 Whelen.
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