How to Fix Headspace on a Rifle

If the headspace on your rifle is too large, the round will not chamber correctly and may become stuck. To fix this, you will need to file down the receiver until the round chambers correctly. Be careful not to remove too much material, as this could cause other problems.

Once you have fixed the headspace, test fire the rifle to make sure it is safe to use.

  • Check the firearm’s owner’s manual to determine the minimum and maximum headspace dimensions for your rifle
  • Use a micrometer or caliper to measure the distance from the breech face of the barrel to the shoulder where the cartridge seats
  • If this measurement is greater than maximum headspace, you will need to shorten the length of the barrel until it meets specifications
  • This can be done with a lathe or by hand-filing
  • If this measurement is less than minimum headspace, you will need to lengthen the length of the chamber until it meets specifications
  • This can be done by machining out material from inside the chamber with a reamer, or by hand-filing if you are careful not to remove too much material at once

Repairing Excessive Head Space

What Happens If Headspace is Off?

If headspace is off, it means that the distance between the cartridge and the breech face of the firearm is not correct. This can cause a number of problems, including: -The round may not chamber correctly, or at all.

-The round may fire but not have enough force to cycle the action, resulting in a jammed gun. -The round may fire with too much force and damage the gun or injure the shooter.

What Causes Excessive Headspace in a Rifle?

One of the main causes of excessive headspace in a rifle is when the cartridge is not properly seated in the chamber. This can happen if the round is not properly aligned with the chamber, or if it is not pushed all the way into the chamber. Additionally, headspace can be created by a number of different things including; dirt, debris or oil buildup inside the chamber and/or on thebolt face or lugs, an incorrect or damaged extractor, an oversized chamber, or even just wear and tear on the rifle itself.

Another cause of excessive headspace could be due to firing pin protrusion. If your firing pin protrudes too far fromthe bolt face, it can cause problems with primer ignition and potentially create excessheadspace. Firing pin protrusion can be caused by a variety of things including; an incorrectly sized firing pin, dirt or debris build-up inside the bolt carrier assembly (BCA), wear and tear on parts within the BCA, or even just using ammunition that has particularly hard primers.

Excessive headspace can also occur when you are using reloaded ammunition. If you are not careful when you are reloading your own ammo, you can easily create rounds that have less than optimal neck tension which can lead to increased headspace and potential problems down range. Additionally, if you are using brass that has been fired multiple times without being properly annealed, it can also lead to increased headspace as well as other potential issues.

As you can see, there are a number of different things that can cause excessive headspace in a rifle. It is important to be aware of these potential issues so that you can avoid them whenever possible. If you do find yourself with a rifle that has excessive headspace, make sure to have it checked out by a qualified gunsmith before continuing to use it.

What Causes Headspace Problems?

Headspace is the distance between the top of a container of liquid and the surface of the liquid. If this distance is too small, it can cause problems with opening or closing the container, as well as with dispensing the contents. In some cases, headspace can also affect how well a product retains its freshness or flavor.

There are several factors that can contribute to headspace problems. One is simply the design of the container. Some containers, such as bottles, have a small neck that doesn’t allow much room for air above the liquid.

Others, like jars, have a wide mouth that allows more air to enter. Another factor is how full the container is. A bottle that’s only half-full will have more headspace than one that’s completely full.

And finally, temperature can also play a role. As liquids expand when heated and contract when cooled, temperature changes can create more or less headspace in a container.

How Much Head Space Should a Rifle Have?

When it comes to rifles, the amount of head space can be a critical factor in accuracy and safety. The ideal amount of head space for a particular rifle will vary depending on the design of the firearm, as well as the specific ammunition being used. However, there are some general guidelines that can be followed in order to ensure that your rifle is properly outfitted with the correct amount of head space.

In general, bolt-action rifles should have between 0.004 inches and 0.010 inches of head space, while lever-action rifles should have between 0.022 inches and 0.026 inches. These numbers may seem small, but even a slight variation can impact how well your rifle functions. For instance, if a bolt-action rifle has too little head space, it may not chamber rounds correctly or may experience frequent misfires.

On the other hand, if a lever-action rifle has too much head space, it could allow dangerous levels of gas and pressure to build up within the chamber, potentially leading to an explosion. It’s important to note that these guidelines are just that – guidelines. Every rifle is different, so it’s always best to consult with a qualified gunsmith or firearms expert before making any changes to your gun’s configuration.

How to Fix Headspace on a Rifle



If you’re a shooter, then you know that headspace is important. Headspace is the distance between the breech face of the barrel and the bolt face. If there’s too much space, then your rounds won’t fire properly.

Too little space, and your rounds will rupture on firing. So how do you fix headspace on a rifle? There are two ways to fix headspace on a rifle: shimming and chambering.

Shimming is where you add or remove material from the back of the barrel until it has the correct amount of space. Chambering is where you ream out the chamber so that it’s a tight fit for your round. Either way, you’ll need to have a gunsmith do it for you.

They have the tools and experience to make sure that your headspace is fixed correctly.

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