If you’ve been precision hand loading long enough, then you’ve invariably asked the question, “to sort bullets, or not to sort bullets?” This product review doesn’t attempt to answer this question for you, but for people who are committed to the practice, this article introduces an indispensable bench tool that will help ease the pain of this laborious process.
You may be asking, why do I need to spend $135 on a bullet comparator when I can buy an insert style comparator with inserts for around $25?
There are two important reasons not to buy insert style comparators:
- they are incredibly slow and tedious to use
- they are wildly inaccurate
The slow and tedious part should be self explanatory, but for the benefit of those who haven’t had the pleasure, the problem is you have to hold calipers the entire time you’re using the tool. The second claim of inaccuracy requires a bit of explanation. You’ll notice that the inserts for the Hornady and Sinclair insert style tools only capture the bullet at the ogive. This creates the opportunity for the bullet to not seat squarely which, if you’re not careful, can cause the measurement from ogive to base to vary. Another issue you may encounter is that unless you’re skilled with calipers, different readings can be made depending on the amount of force used when closing the jaw of the reference edge. Some people will take several measurements and average them to reduce errors making the process even slower and more tedious.
To solve these problems high end bullets comparators, such as the Holland “Gold Standard” and the Sinclair Bullet Sorting Stand use dial indicators and caliber specific bullet holders. A dial indicator is more accurate than calipers for this application because it contains a spring that actuates the spindle so the contact point engages the bullet base with consistent pressure from measurement to measurement. Bullet holders are vastly superior to the inserts because they capture the entire bullet shaft guaranteeing the bullet is square during measurement.
This, however, is where similarities between the Sinclair and Holland tools end. Unlike any other product available, the Holland “Gold Standard” Bullet Comparator has a patented horizontal design which incorporates a cradle that holds the bullet holder in place which aligns the center of the bullet base with the dial indicator contact point. Each measurement is made on the same point on the bullet base with no room for user error. With other tools, you have to manually position the contact point creating room for error, inconsistency, and further slowing the process. Because of its unique design, its virtually impossible to screw up measurements with the “Gold Standard” Comparator!
Finally, another benefit of the horizontal design is that allows the tool to be used equally well while standing over the tool or sitting in front of the tool. I personally stand at my reloading bench over my tools which makes using the Sinclair Bullet Sorting Stand difficult because the dial indicator faces directly forward.
From a cost-benefit perspective, when you compare prices of the available high-end bullet comparators, the Holland “Gold Standard” Comparator is actually the least expensive because it comes standard with 5 common bullet holders – 6mm, 6.5mm, .308, 7mm, and .338 – whereas the other tools sell the bullet holders separately.
And if that wasn’t enough, Sierra Bullets was so impressed with the “Gold Standard” Comparator that they purchased enough to equip their production facility for quality controlling the entire Match King line of bullets.
For more information about the Holland “Gold Standard” Bullet Comparator, visit Holland Guns