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Hi guys,

I'm doing some research on optics for the 556 and I'm curious what type of micrometer would you recommend for measuring the heights above rail, diameters, and other things on firearms?

There are lots of considerations with iron sights, so I want all the facts before selecting the optic and mounts.

I don't have a micrometer yet and I have always seen the types with dials and such and wondered what would be the best choice for measuring gun parts. I figured I may as well tap a bit of the expertise here, as it's such a great resource.

Thanks, MeridianNW~
 

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you probably want dial or digital calipers, not micrometers. mics are usually only meant to measure a length to within a 1" interveral. You can buy 0 to 1",1 to 2", 5 to 6" etc. My QC department has em up to over one foot in length. Highly accurate usually to within a tenth of two.

Decent calipers run $100 to $200. Mitatuyo, Stearret, Lufkin, are usually good brands. In my daily work in QC I use a digital 8" Mitatuyo calipers.

Ask other machinists what they use. While exspensive, a good set if taken care of, can be given to your grandkids.
 

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See there, that's pretty helpful already. I figured I wouldn't really be able to use those C-clamp thingys! :p

Of course, no search for tools would be complete without checking the local Harbor Freight Tools store! I don't know what it is about that store, but my normal, stiff demeanor about paying for quality goes right out the window when I walk into those stores... sigh.


EDIT: Here is a nice, short intro to caliper tools. I'm an old surveyor so I'm fine with reading verniers. On the other hand, it's easy to mess up your reading with them, so I'll probably go digital.

http://www.galttech.com/research/household-DIY-tools/best-calipers.php

Comments appreciated...
 

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+1 for Mitutoyo. Get 6" that is the standard size that is about $ 120. 8" are nice, but you pay a premium ($ +50 = 170) for those extra 2".

Do not waste your money with NIST calibrated. The cost premium is the paperwork to have a traceable calibration - I don't think the caliper is any different.

Also, take a look on ebay, but if you do, make sure you get an ABSOLUTE model, which remembers where zero is, even if you turn it off.

Mechanical dial calipers are cheaper, but I like digital better, especially since the push of a button allows you to work in either metric or inches.
 
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