Pistol gauge or finger/eye gauge?

I was just wondering how many of you roofers (shingle roofers) use your gun’s gauge to set the height of the next shingle you are going to lay versus setting your gun down, moving the shingle into place with both hands and eye gauging before picking the gun back up to nail the shingle down? The reason I ask is that I am the only one on my crew who uses my pistol gauge. I never set my gun down. Would like to know if anyone thinks either method is faster/better… Thanks…

im faster setting the gun down.
if you runnin three tabs were you have to lift a tab
every over shingle, i dont think you can do it one handed.
ive seen people nail like your sayin, but only on demensionals, and not as fast as us settin the gun down.


I guess it’s cuz I learned that way, but I can’t get half speed from setting my gun down, and I am laying three tabs, by the way. I just push the shingle in while liftin the tab with my left (also run two shinlges up at the same time so I’m only lifting every third shingle I lay). We usually staircase our rows so we don’t have to lift tabs that often. I just want to know out of curiosity if many of you out there do pistol gauge. Thanks for the reply Gweedo


I set the shingle with one hand. The gun stays in the other.

I snap every line.

Staircase timberlines.

Soldier 3-tabs.

i drink beer…haha, just kidding (not really)…anyway…never tried it, but now i am curious.

LOL to the beer comment. I can’t see myself popping every line, that would take forever it seems, but to each his/her own. Thanks for the replies. I guess most of you don’t pistol gauge, then. hehe

My Estwing hatchet doesn’t have a gauge.

what does it mean to “soldier three tabs”?

I think he means racking the shingles.


When I worked in Virginia we popped lines for every course. When I moved to Alaska I had to relearn most of my shingling techniques. I Alaska we do not snap lines. We use a one knuckle overhang on the eave and the rake. We rack the shingles at a 5 5/8" offset and use the gauge on the nail gun(also 5 5/8") for the courses. Most of our shinglers can average 4 to 5 squares an hour.
I also shingle with the bundle on my knee. This makes grabbing and going pretty quick.