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Commercial carbines occasionally develop headspace problems. It is rare for that to happen with GI carbines unless they have been fired a LOT!. Still a gauge is cheap insurance. All you need is a field gauge. If it doesn't close on that, you are good to go. Besides, most of us end up with more than one and it doesn't hurt to have the gauge for when that next carbine comes around! They are an addiction. *LOL*
 

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What causes headspace change? Wear is the usual answer, but on rare occasion or with commercial carbines, you can get stretching of the receiver if it is improperly hardened.
Most headspace issues with GI carbines are caused by wear on the bolt lugs and can often be corrected simply by swapping out bolts for a less worn one.
 

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With commercial carbines some soft receivers exhibit wear in the locking groove, so it does happen. But GI receivers were hardened to spec or not accepted. And they were all tested. Most bolts were too. If a headspace problem crops up it is usually either wear on the blot face or chamber wear. IF the carbine was once an M2 conversion, I might be suspicious of chamber wear, but those receivers were normally marked as M2s. When headspace issues do occur in semis, it is usually just an accumulate of minor wear on all parts combined. Pressures are low so those issues are rare.
 
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