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How to Check AR15 Headspace Without Gauges – Things Expert Do

Hey shooters, how is your training going on? I hope you have learned many tricks and still excited to learn a lot more. Till today, you might be using the gauge for measuring your AR15 gun. But, what if it is not available? Then, how to check Headspace without a gauge? Let’s discuss it in this article. From now onwards, you don’t need to worry even if you don’t have any gauges. Here I am going to give you a step by step procedure to measure headspaces without using the gauge. Let’s first learn what Headspace is! 

What is Headspace? 

What is Headspace

Headspace is the measurement of the cartridge chamber in your gun. It is measured as the distance of your cartridge from the bolt face to the datum line. The ‘bolt face’ is the bottom end of your cartridge. The ‘datum line’ is a place in the shoulder from where you can observe the difference in the diameter of a cartridge. 

In other words, Headspace is the measurement of the minimum chamber size that a round sits in before firing. It is okay even when there are gunk and grime in it. 

There is an error precision of the chamber size. If that chamber size is not within the error percentage, then you can say that the calibrated rounds are either too large or too small to fit in the chamber. If the cartridges are not of proper size according to the chamber may cause issues like pressure failures and uneven firing. It may cause decreased precision, reduced case lifetime, and even no firing. Also, there are chances that the gunpowder may also get discarded into the face of the user. 

Each gun is designed to have specific types of chambers and shapes of ammo. It’s because the precision of spacing in the gun from the cartridge to the shoulder must be 99.99% correct. Always remember to keep the tolerance level between the chamber and the round minimum. It means they must not touch each other’s headings. 

How to Check AR15 Headspace Without Gauges? 

Now, I have given a step by step explanation on how to check Headspace without a gauge in your AR15 gun. So sit back and read the steps carefully. 

Step 1 
Insert the Go gauge into the chamber carefully. Once it’s done, then close the bolt. If the bolt doesn’t close correctly, then there might be a tight barrel screw. Actually, You don’t have the correct fit for a bullet to sit in a chamber. So correct it first. 

Step 2
Insert the ‘No-Go gauge into the chamber and close the chamber. The chamber must not be closed completely. If the chamber is closing entirely, then you need to repeat the above steps again carefully. 

Step 3 
If you are using this gun for military purposes, then insert the field gauge and close the chamber. You need a large chamber size, so the chamber has to be closed completely. For military use, a large chamber size is perfect because they are not bent on the brass life. 

Step 4
Put a piece of brass and flush timer without ammo and gunpowder into the chamber and then insert the bolt on it. 

Step 5
Slide a firing pin back from the bolt and let it align with the brass strip. 

Step 6 
Try and see the difference between the firing pin flush with the bolt face along with the brass. If the gap is minimal, then you can say that the Headspace you have is substantial. 

Concluding Lines
So, these are also some ways to measure Headspace without a gauge of your AR15 gun. These steps mentioned above are the easiest according to the professional users for checking headspace. According to the current standard for variation, you can have a little difference between the chamber and the shoulder. It shouldn’t vary more than six-thousandths of an inch i.e., 0.1524 mm. 

I hope you have now know the best way to check AR15 Headspace without gauges. One more important thing to remember is that the risks involved while dealing with these weapons are very high. Especially if you are not a seasoned rifleman. So please, take good care of yourself and people or animals around you while shooting. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more exciting content. 🙂

Caitlin Holland

I am interested in Gunsmith tool since my childhood. I am interested to trigger some tool kits related to the gun. As per profession I am Gunsmith Professional and want to share my knowledge with every woodworker, engineer, magician, mechanic, chemist etc.

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