Buying caliper

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by jericho76, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. jericho76

    jericho76 New Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    So I see calipers range from $6-$ hundreds. What would you suggest in the $20-$30 range? What makes a good caliper? Just using it for reloading and some general gun maintenance and the likes.Digital or analogue?
  2. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    You can get a professional grade Mitutoyo on sale a lot of times from places like MSC and ENCO for about $60.00. Don't skimp on the calipers, especially if you don't have or are not going to buy calibration blocks. Just my two pennies, but then I do use them all day most every day.

  3. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    I'm sure not disagreeing or arguing with Joe, just giving another point of view.
    I use the cheapies. As in less than $20, from Enco or MSC. Accurate to .001".
    If they get knocked off the bench, no biggie.
    They usually last me a year or so.
    If more precise accuracy is needed, I use gage pins, micrometers etc.
  4. jericho76

    jericho76 New Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Would you suggest going digital or analogue/dial?
  5. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
  6. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    No Chuck I know you aren't. And that is perfectly reasonable. I use mics and gp's as well. I just decided I didn't want to have to replace them that often so I went with the mit's.
  7. jericho76

    jericho76 New Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    Thanks for the info gents. So I looked at MCS. So many options. What sort of parameters/accuracy do I need in a caliper? Don't want to buy more than I need.
  8. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    By $25 cheapies and check them every now and again. For us non-smiths that just want to check oal, sight height, etc.. a cheapie ($25) is better than a machine rule or the kids plastic school ruler.. JMO Ron
  9. CMG

    CMG Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    I have two... a cheapie analog and a pricey digital.

    The cheapie gets used a bunch, but the digital comes out when I want to be 99% sure.
  10. 230gr

    230gr Active Member

    Aug 23, 2011
    i grabbed one off Amazon and just looked for what had multiple user reviews of 4-5 stars and what was said in those reviews, im sure it was ~$30
  11. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    To me they're like torque wrenches.. I have three for my truck/jeep tinkering and have a total of about $50 in them. Any torque wrench is better then no torque wrench, for the non-professional.. JMO.. Ron

    DRYHUMOR Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    I've got several calipers and micrometers. They range from free to a over $100. Starrett calipers are good, Brown and Sharp, Mitutoyo, and usually priced right on ebay. Digital are good for ease of use- as long as the battery isn't dead when you go to use it. Many have a "zero" function.

    Good idea every now and then to check the accuracy. I usually use feeler gauges or shim stock
  13. Metaloy

    Metaloy Active Member

    Sep 8, 2011
    I have a set of 6" Mitutoyo and a 6" set of Brown & Sharps. DON'T skimp on calipers. You can fix the Mit's yourself if you backlash them...B&S have to be sent in. Seriously digitals not as accurate as dials.
  14. Kazan

    Kazan FUBAR

    Sep 2, 2011
    I have a some calipers I inherited from my dad, not sure the make but I believe he got them when he was in the army
  15. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    I just use mine for reloading, but I use the cheap Harbor Freight ones. $25, digital.
  16. Mechanized

    Mechanized He's a large "member" Supporting Addict

    Sep 24, 2011
    If you go digital watch the battery life. I had a MATCO Re-branded digital that would get thrown off when the battery began to go. I crushed it after improperly shimming sights.
  17. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed Member

    Aug 22, 2011
  18. Combat Commander

    Combat Commander Custom Kydex

    Sep 19, 2011
    Mitutoyo it will last a life time.
  19. jst1tym

    jst1tym What No Delete Button? Supporting Addict

    Aug 23, 2011
    I bought mine when I was working with Florida Power & Light Co. Though they supplied mostly everything needed, I bought the same from Grainger to use at home. I forgot the price but it's a good one. A Mitutoyo digital model CD-6" CS and it's held up quite well. Battery life is pretty good also. I used it for several years at the power company and don't remember changing the battery too often, if at all. It seems to be pretty accurate and we used it for troubleshooting high voltage mech's where measurements were critical. They come in handy for quite a few projects and is very useful for accurate measurements used in reloading.

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