Hornady Headspace Comparator

Martin Barnes
12 min readMar 24, 2024


Welcome to our detailed roundup of the Hornady Headspace Comparator! As avid enthusiasts of firearm equipment, we know the importance of accuracy and reliability. If you’re in the market for a precision tool to perfect your shooting skills, look no further than this comprehensive guide. Let’s dive into the features, benefits, and everything you need to know about the Hornady Headspace Comparator. Get ready to improve your shooting game with our informative product analysis.

The Top 7 Best Hornady Headspace Comparator

  1. Precision Measuring for Reloading: Hornady Digital Caliper — Unleash unparalleled accuracy and precision with the Hornady Digital Caliper — the ultimate tool for serious gunsmiths and reloaders!
  2. Hornady Headspace Comparator Bushing — Unlock your chamber’s potential with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Bushing .420, offering top-notch accuracy and seamless compatibility with the Headspace Comparator.
  3. Hornady Lock-N-Load Anvil Base Kit for Caliper Measurement — The Hornady AB1 Lock-N-Load Anvil Base Kit streamlines reloading with a durable aluminum and brass construction to ensure precise bullet ogive and headspace measurements for greater accuracy and reliability.
  4. Starrett 653G Granite Base Comparator for Precision Measurements — The Starrett 653G Comparator W/granite base offers precision, safety, and versatility in bench-type inspection and is suitable for both in-process and final comparisons.
  5. Pocket Optical Comparator with 8 Reticles — The Hhip 8902–0041 Pocket Optical Comparator offers a versatile solution for machinists, toolmakers, and inspectors, featuring 8 interchangeable reticles, convenient photo-etched scales, and a 21mm lens diameter for precise measurements.
  6. Hornady Headspace Comparator for Easy Bullet Seating Depth Assessment — The Redding Instant Indicator Comparator with Dial offers precise headspace and bullet seating depth measurements in a versatile and easy-to-use tool, making it an invaluable addition to any reloader’s workshop.
  7. Hornady Lock-N-Load .350 Headspace Bushing — US Made — Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Bushing — 350 is a versatile and accurate tool, designed specifically for use with the Lock-N-Load Headspace Gauge, providing reloaders with dependable and fitting cases for various firearms.

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Precision Measuring for Reloading: Hornady Digital Caliper


Imagine you’ve just opened your new package from Hornady — this top-of-the-line Hornady Digital Caliper. As a gun collector, you’re always striving for the perfect accuracy in your reloads. This piece of equipment is designed to ensure that your rounds fit snugly and securely in the chamber.

The moment I held the caliper, I appreciated the precision materials it’s made with, just adding to the overall aesthetic appeal. The large, easy-to-read LCD display was another feature that immediately stood out to me. Its resolution of. 0005 inches and accuracy of. 001 inches make it an ideal tool to measure a reloading component’s internal and external dimensions.

As someone who’s particular about things, I found the smooth slide and thumb wheel operation appealing. However, there was a minor drawback. Although durable, I found myself being careful in handling it, given how easily it could get misaligned or dent.

One user shared a small glitch — they mentioned that while working with brass prep, the caliper kept gaining some value, but a quick call and follow-up to the supplier rectified this. I noticed this user had returned a previous pair as well.

I also discovered that the caliper doesn’t maintain its zero state even after a brand new pair, a feature that other digital calipers usually have. As a result, every time I finish a brass prep, I had to re-zero it.

Despite this minor concern, I found the digital caliper quite easy to use, providing quick and easy measurements. Additionally, the auto-off feature is a handy addition as I would sometimes forget to turn it off.

The customer service provided by Hornady, as well as Natchez who shipped it to my door, was top-notch. They made sure I’m satisfied with the product, and my package arrived quickly, much appreciated in this fast-paced world.

Overall, the Hornady Digital Caliper stands as a reliable, high-quality tool that gun enthusiasts should keep handy. Despite a few setbacks, its accuracy and precision make it an excellent addition to the reloading process.

Hornady Headspace Comparator Bushing


In my quest for accuracy with my firearms, I’ve had the pleasure to use Midsouth’s Hornady Headspace Comparator. This tiny piece of machinery has revolutionized the way I measure bullet dimensions, ensuring a secure shoulder bump. It’s remarkably simple to use, and I’ve noticed it delivers consistently reliable results, each and every time.

What I particularly like about this piece is its design, which seems to be built to exacting standards. It’s as if the folks at Midsouth have put their heart and soul into crafting the perfect shape for this bushing, allowing it to precisely fit and function within my gauge. The fact that it is interchangeable with the Comparator only adds to its charm and versatility.

One might find it nit-picky, but being the perfectionist that I am, I’d like to mention a point of improvement. While the bushing works like a charm in the Gauge, I’ve noticed that it’s a bit tricky to attach and remove. It would be nice if there was a more intuitive way to secure this piece to the comparator.

In conclusion, despite the minor hiccups, I’d wholeheartedly recommend the Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Bushing to anyone seeking to boost their firearm accuracy. This little guy has made all the difference in my shooting, and I’m sure it will do the same for others.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Anvil Base Kit for Caliper Measurement


When I first came across the Hornady ANVIL Base Kit for my caliper, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. A bit fussy, you might say. I mean, a simple caliper would do the trick, right? However, after using it for a while, I’ve come to appreciate just how much this little anvil adds to my reloading and measurement process.

The aluminum and brass construction gives an air of solidity and durability; a nice reassuring weight in your hand. It’s a simple design, really, just an anvil with an extended arm to lock onto the caliper and provide a steady, flat base for the bullet. But when it’s time to measure a long cartridge or an especially tight case, you’ll be grateful for that additional surface. No more sliding bullets or misaligned measurements; with the ANVIL Base Kit, you’ll have a precise, consistent reading every time.

However, as with any tool, it’s not without its drawbacks. Attaching the anvil to the caliper can be a bit tricky if you’re new to the process. It requires a steady hand and a bit of patience, but once you’ve got it down, it’s a breeze. And, being so small, it might get lost in your reloading kit if you’re not careful.

But overall, the Hornady ANVIL Base Kit has made a significant difference in my measurement process. It adds a level of precision to my work that I never anticipated, and I find myself reaching for it more and more as I continue to reload and explore the world of handloading. So, if you’re serious about reloading, I’d highly recommend adding one of these anvils to your kit. Just don’t lose it!

Starrett 653G Granite Base Comparator for Precision Measurements


As a long-time user of Starrett’s 653G Comparator W/ Granite Base, I can confidently say that this bench-type gage is a reliable tool for in-process and final inspections. The 8-inch base width and 2-inch base height offer ample room for accurate readings, and the granite base ensures durability even in the toughest environments.

One feature that I particularly appreciate is the vertical adjustment and locking mechanism on the dial indicator. It allows for precise positioning and provides a level of stability that is unparalleled among comparator gages. Additionally, the sliding ring with locking screw serves as a safety device, preventing any accidental beam drops.

However, it’s not all perfect with this gage. I’ve found that the maximum vertical capacity of 9–1/4 inches can be quite limiting at times, especially when working with larger workpieces. While the base’s overall tolerance of. 0001 inches is impressive, it does make the gage somewhat heavy and cumbersome to move around at times.

Overall, the Starrett 653G Comparator W/ Granite Base is a trusty tool for anyone in the inspection and measurement industry. While it does come with its quirks, such as the limited vertical capacity, the robust build and precision adjustment mechanisms make it a worthy investment.

Pocket Optical Comparator with 8 Reticles


The Hhip 8902–0041 Pocket Optical Comparator is a handy tool for machinists, toolmakers, and inspectors who need to check angles, diameters, radii, thread pitches, hole sizes, and other precise measurements. One of the standout features is its photo-etched glass reticles, which make for easy reading and accurate measurements.

However, there are a couple of downsides to this product. Firstly, it has a noticeable spherical aberration due to the single spherical objective lens used for magnification. Additionally, the small containers for the reticles aren’t marked, making the selection process less efficient.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the Hhip Pocket Optical Comparator is a great investment for anyone who requires high precision and accuracy in their work. With its 8 interchangeable reticles and a lens diameter of 21mm, you can be sure you’re getting a versatile tool that will help you achieve your desired results.

Hornady Headspace Comparator for Easy Bullet Seating Depth Assessment


I’ve been using the Redding Instant Indicator Comparator with Dial for a while now, and it’s a game-changer when it comes to accurately setting my sizing die. The headspace measurement it provides allows me to achieve the perfect shoulder bump, ensuring precise and efficient ammunition creation.

The user-friendly design of this tool makes it easy to use, even for beginners. The included Range Adapter makes it versatile, allowing me to measure case lengths and bullet base-to-ogive distances quickly and accurately. The Redding Neck Bushings that come with the product make it even more convenient, as they can be easily installed or removed.

However, one thing to note is that this tool is specific to the 280 ACKLEY caliber. While it can be used for cartridges with the same shoulder angle, it’s essential to check the compatibility before using it with other calibers. Overall, the Redding Instant Indicator Comparator with Dial is a must-have for anyone looking to refine their reloading process.

Hornady Lock-N-Load .350 Headspace Bushing — US Made


As a fellow firearm enthusiast, the Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Bushing has become a crucial tool in my reloading process. It’s a precise and user-friendly piece, specifically designed to complement the Lock-N-Load Headspace Gauge for effortless, reliable measurements.

One of the first things that stood out to me was its compatibility with a wide range of cartridges, from. 17REM to 30–40 KRAG. This vast selection makes it a go-to product for reloaders who deal with different firearms and require customization for specific cases.

Another significant aspect is its sturdy construction, which ensures durability and precise measurements. Each bushing is machined to tight tolerances, guaranteeing accurate results every time you use them.

However, I did find it a bit challenging to drill and ream holes for sizes not listed in the product specs. This might require an extra step that some users might not be prepared for. Still, the overall experience was quite positive, and I’m confident in the performance of this tool in my reloading operations.

Buyer’s Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive buyer’s guide for the Hornady Headspace Comparator. This guide will help you understand what to look for when purchasing this precise measuring tool. We have broken down this guide into smaller sections to make it easy for you to navigate and find the information you need.

What is a Hornady Headspace Comparator?

The Hornady Headspace Comparator is a tool designed to measure the distance between the top of the brass casing and the bottom of the bullet of your ammunition. Knowing this distance, also known as “headspace, “ is crucial when reloading ammunition to ensure safe and accurate operations. The device helps you keep the headspace measured between individual rounds consistent, preventing issues such as malfunctions or accidents during shooting.


Important Features to Consider


One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a headspace comparator is its accuracy. Look for models with a high level of accuracy, like the Hornady Headspace Comparator, to ensure consistent and reliable headspace measurements.


Since you will be making countless measurements during reloading, durability is a crucial factor to consider. Choose a device made from resilient materials that can withstand frequent use and remain operational for years to come.



Consider the ergonomics of the device to make sure it is comfortable to use for extended periods. Look for comparators with intuitive controls and light and easy-to-read displays to streamline your reloading process.


Proper calibration is vital to obtaining accurate readings. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for calibration and take the time for initial calibration of the instrument.

Considerations and Advice


Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and humidity can affect the accuracy of your headspace measurements. Keep your device in a temperature-controlled environment, and ideally, store it in a dry container to prevent condensation.

Regular Maintenance

Perform regular maintenance on your headspace comparator to ensure its accuracy and longevity. Keep it clean and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for periodic calibration and cleaning.


Always practice proper technique when using the headspace comparator. Consistency in positioning and process will help you obtain accurate measurements for each shot.


Summing Up

The Hornady Headspace Comparator is an essential tool for serious reloaders looking to achieve consistency in their ammunition. By considering important features such as accuracy, durability, and ergonomics, and following essential guidelines, you will make the most of this valuable piece of equipment in your reloading process.


What is the Hornady Headspace Comparator?

The Hornady Headspace Comparator is an innovative device designed to accurately measure the headspace of pistol cartridges. This device is essential for firearm enthusiasts, reloaders, and professionals who require precision in their ammunition.


How does the Hornady Headspace Comparator work?

  • First, you need to place the rim of the cartridge on the surface of the Hornady Headspace Comparator
  • The comparator reads the headspace by measuring the distance between the rim and the base of the cartridge
  • The measurement is then displayed on an LCD screen, providing an accurate reading of the headspace

What is the accuracy of the Hornady Headspace Comparator?

The Hornady Headspace Comparator offers high accuracy, with a tolerance of +/- 0.001 inches. This ensures precise readings and consistent results for all users.

Is the Hornady Headspace Comparator suitable for all types of pistol cartridges?

Yes, the Hornady Headspace Comparator is designed to measure the headspace of various pistol cartridges, including 9mm, . 40 S&W, . 45 ACP, . 380 ACP, and more.

How can I store and maintain the Hornady Headspace Comparator?

The Hornady Headspace Comparator should be stored in a dry, clean environment when not in use. It is also recommended to periodically clean the device with a soft cloth and a mild cleaning solution to ensure proper functioning.

Is the Hornady Headspace Comparator easy to use?

Yes, the Hornady Headspace Comparator is designed to be user-friendly. The device features an easy-to-read LCD screen, and the measuring process is straightforward, making it accessible for beginners as well as experienced users.