Re: Tool for bullet run-out & neck thickness?
Roll your loaded ammo across a glass topped table. If you can't find discernible run-out, you don't need a gauge.
Variation in wall thickness is best cured by purchasing better brass, or simply culling lesser brass. The ball micrometer is the proper tool. Both Lyman and Graf have an inexpensive one, probably out of the same Chinese factory.
If the sizing stem in your die is crooked, it will bend the brass necks. Straighten the stem or use a Lee collet die (possibly fraught with its own ills). If the bullets aren't seating straight, seat in steps while rotating the cartridge.
Your wisest purchase at the moment would be Glen Zediker's Handloading for Competition. Get it before you build a custom gun. A factory rifle is not going to respond very much to tweaks. Making sure you have straight ammo is probably the most important. Variation in wall thickness influences neck tension. Centering the cartridge in a factory chamber won't gain anything. The necks are turned to fit brass to a custom chamber, and with good brass no-turn chambers are gaining favor.
After you've moved to a custom barrel, more involved techniques will prove their worth.
Last edited by Winchester 69; 07-29-2009 at 03:19 PM.