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 set your headspace when installing a new barrel. Forster gauges allow for a very close .004" headspace setting with the Forster NO-GO gauge. SAAMI spec allows up to .010". So if your action closes on this gauge it doesn't mean you have excess heads space... Only that its more than the gauge allows. We recommend NO-GO gauge for setting the headspace on a bolt action barrel installation.
- The "Field" Gauge is used make sure that headspace on a factory installed barrel is not too long to support factory loaded ammo. SAAMI spec for maximum allowable headspace is .010". If your action will close on the Field gauge, it probably has excess head space. Actually anything between the "GO" and the "Field" dimension is within SAAMI specs. We recommend using the FIELD gauge for checking headspace on guns where the headspace is pre-set or fixed. For example, an AR-15 barrel and BCG combination is fixed.
- Ideal Headspace
is when the bolt will
close on the GO gauge but will not
close on the NO-GO or FIELD 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 recommend the closer fitting NO-GO gauge for installing a new barrel on a bolt gun).
- 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.
- 300 Mag gauges work on 257STW, 257 Wby, 264 Win, 6.5 Rem Mag, 6.5 STW, 270 Wby, 275 H&H, 7mm Rem Mag, 7mm Wby Mag, 308 Norma Mag, 30-338 Win Mag, 300 H&H, 300 Win Mag, 300 Wby, 8mm Rem Mag, 338 Win Mag, 340 Wby, 350 Rem Mag, 358 STA, 375 H&H, 416 Rem, 458 Win Mag
E. Arthur Brown Company, Inc
4088 County Road 40 NW, Garfield, MN 56332