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Yankee Engineering Headspace Gauge

I have long been a believer in the need for Mosin Nagant shooters to check headspace on their surplus rifles. In the years that I have run various Mosin Nagant sites this is one point that I have stressed time and time again, as I look at headspace gauges as a safety feature just like hearing protection or shooting glasses. Stating that I have never been a fan of the headspace gauges available to shooters. In fact I have always been quite disappointed in these and have never felt confident in recommending a brand or type to site users. This has changed recently as the Yankee Engineering gauge has solved all my problems.

When I contacted the company I was informed that the owner was a shooter and felt much as I did, that the headspace gauges on the market were hard to use and sub par. The owner’s goal was to make an effective gauge that not only worked but was also simple to use. As such he developed a “coin” type gauge as opposed to the more commonly seen “cylinder” gauges shooters were forced to use in the past. There are a number of advantages to these gauges but the main benefit of this gauge is one does NOT have to remove the extractor to check headspace.

Two of the principal problems with the more common gauges is that one has to take apart the bolt and remove the extractor to check headspace. This can be problematic to a new owner who is not familiar with the Mosin Nagant bolt and I feel “scares” many new collectors from using such gauges. It is also critical that one exercises great care in removing the extractor as they are very easy to bend or to break. Over the years I have heard numerous reports of bent or damaged extractors - this damage happening when the headspace was being checked. This again “scares” of the new shooter-collector as they become worried they will do more harm than good when checking headspace. Since the Mosin Nagant is not designed like the Mauser line of rifles, poor headspace can mean gas blowback which is the main reason that I stress the importance of checking headspace. A face-full of gas or debris from a fired round is NOT something to joke about. Since this is a concern it has always been important in my mind to have headspace checked, and now I can feel confident in recommending a gauge to collectors-shooters old and new.

I was sent a no-no gauge as I feel this is the best gauge for the collector-shooter. This can be debated but in my mind the no-no gauge is the gauge that is the most useful and needed for the general shooter or collector. The product was sent to me in a timely manner, included full instruction sheets on how to use the gauge, was well packed, and overall I was impressed with how the company handled the dealing.

Without going into all the details the basic function - use of the gauge is very easy. The gauge looks like a small coin and has a slot cut in the side, which allows the gauge to fit inside the bolt head - the rifle’s extractor fitting in the small slot. Once the gauge is in place the user pushes the bolt forward - as they would if chambering a round - and if the gauge stops before the bolt can close the headspace is in specs - if the bolt fully closes the headspace is excessive. I was amazed at how simple this was to use. I made sure to test this on two rifles that I knew had excessive headspace and the gauges did indeed work - showing both rifles to be out of specs. I also tested the gauge on rifles that I knew had good headspace and once again the gauges passed this standard test.
In short I feel this is the best headspace gauge for the collector-shooter and I have no problems recommending it to all site users. In fact I fully recommend their use as one will not find a better - safer way to inspect the headspace specs of their rifles. One great appeal to these gauges is that since one does not have to dissemble the bolt and remove the extractor, the Yankee Engineering gauges can be used at shows to check out potential purchases. As one does not have to take the bolt down, few sellers would have an issue with the use of this quick testing gauge. There are few products that I 100% recommend or am impressed with but the Yankee Engineering gauges are one of those few that I feel confident in standing behind. Headspace is important and these gauges are a must have.

Yankee Engineering Headspace Gauge
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