Take measurements accurately with a caliper!
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Calipers are handy for checking the diameter of your cases. While not included in most starter kits, most veteran reloaders agree it is a must-have item. Available in the analog dial or digital, a caliper accurately measures things precisely.
The most important measurement you’ll need to worry about is the overall cartridge length. It’s critical to make sure that your bullets are seated deep enough to feed reliably, but not so much that you reduce interior case volume and risk dangerous overpressure. A reloading manual will tell you exactly how deep to seat each caliber and specific bullet type. But generally, your dies will ensure that cases are sized to the right width.
If you are going to reload bottleneck rifle cartridges, you’ll also need calipers to make sure that your resized cases are the proper length before you start to seat bullets. They tend to stretch a bit when you fire and resize them. You can get either digital or analog (dial readout) calipers in an affordable price range, and the quality of those is plenty good enough to get you going safely. Don’t worry too much about the price because, in the long run, you will be saving money by not buying ammo at retail prices.
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