LAST UPDATED: May 4th, 2020
Anyone who’s been shooting bullets for a good amount of time will tell you that concentricity matters. How accurate your bullet is will depend greatly on how concentric it is. But we all know how nerve-wracking this whole idea of measuring concentricity can get, especially to anyone new to the shooting hobby.
While most people will tell you that you must use a concentricity gauge, they probably won’t tell you which one you need. So, we’re here to do just that.
With our list of the 5 best concentricity gauges, finding the perfect one to suit your style and expertise level is going to be a no-brainer. Go on and check it out.
Best Concentricity Gauge Comparison
Last update on 2020-08-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
5 Best Concentricity Gauge Reviews 2020
There are so many things to consider when choosing one of these gauges. Does it have a sturdy frame? Is it good for hand loaders? Can it align cartridges easily and function well? In our reviews, we’ve tried to answer all of these and some more. So, let’s get to it!
Hornady 050076 Lock-N-Load Ammo Concentricity Tool Gauge
With such a stark history of innovating world-class bullets, ammunition, and manufacturing some of the best reloading tools out there, it’s only fair we start off with a product from this company.
The founder had an ambitious philosophy of “Ten bullets through one hole.” But does their product live up to that ambition? Let’s find out.
This concentricity tool is the perfect machine for serious re-loader. It’s super easy to use, and the design is something you’ll love. There’s a nice big knob on the side that allows the user to easily dial it lose or tight.
You can mount it on the bench and unmount it easily. So, there’s less worry about it sliding off when you’re trying to measure.
With this, you can reduce your load runout to 0.001 or even less. As there are a dial indicator and thumbscrew, you can just place your bullet into the tapered holes of the metal parts and adjust accordingly. This can be used to true up factory ammo as well.
You’ll notice that the scale for this is so good and well made that any bottleneck cartridge from 22 to 45 cal can be set to a precise alignment easily. And if you’re a competitive shooter who needs to occasionally straighten up some quality bullets, this will get you perfect (or close) results.
Related Guide: Silencerco Hybrid vs. Omega 300
Hornady 095150 Lock-N-Load Precision Reloaders Accessory Kit
Starting from the right powder and brass to the perfect bullet and concentricity indicator, getting everything you need as a beginner shooter might be daunting. That’s why we’ve included this particular accessory kit on our list. Be it quality or quantity, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds with this purchase.
So, what exactly will you get in this package? Apart from the concentricity tool, this kit will include 7 other items. Those include – a cam lock trimmer, power adapter, an OAL gauge curved, case prep trio, load comparator headspace kit, comparator set, and a dial caliper made of steel.
Considering how much these would cost you to buy separately, this kit seems like a definite money saver.
Another reason why we recommend this for beginners is because of how easy it is to use.
All you need to do is insert the die bushing into the press bushing and lock it in place by twisting. It’ll be secured in place thanks to the six locking lugs on the bushings.
The standard die size that you can insert into this bushing is from the range 7/8 inches to 14 inches thread. There’s also a unique Sure-Loc lock ring system that makes sure that the die is set in the right position. To remove the die, you just have to twist it counter-clockwise and voila – it’s ready for your next preset.
Hornady 041224 Lock-N-Load Neck Turn Tool, Red
Looking for something inexpensive that’s going to last you a lifetime? Then this one’s for you. Coming from the same brand as the other two, this product is perfect for sizing up the necks of those bullets in no time.
It’ll work even better if you use an automotive feeler gauge to make the precise measurement when setting the mandrel to the tool.
You’ll be getting four mandrels and two cutters along with the main tool. The mandrels are for the most commonly used calibers, i.e., the ones of sizes 22 Cal, 6 mm, 6.5 mm, and 30 Cal. Two of the cutters are for 30 degrees and 40-degree shoulder angles.
So, while you’re paying the price of one concentricity tool, you’re actually getting 5/6 other things. This is why we’ve deemed this item to be “inexpensive.”
Just as too much trimming can be dangerous for the cartridge use, too little will make it miss the mark. Maintaining a constant trim length of the necks of cases helps prevent damage to its shoulders.
With this tool, you’ll be able to get your desired thickness set easily by turning. Remember that each turn is half a thousand.
Cartridge case necks aren’t entirely concentric from the factory. So, you might notice the tool starting off by cutting some parts of the neck and not others.
Don’t worry because it’s quite normal. Just make sure the shell holder is lubricated. There’s a hole on top of the fringe that you can use for putting oil. You can also put case lube directly to the spindle.
Related Review: Top 22LR Pistols Review
Hornady 041223 Neck Wall Thickness Gauge
If you’ve already got a concentricity tool or want to get a new one, this might be the cherry on top that’ll make things perfect. There’s no such thing as too much when it comes to reloading tools, especially for the serious hobbyists or competitors. Accessories like this one are hence, a big welcome.
While you can’t use this product on its own, its real utility shines through when you want to convert your concentricity machine into a thickness gauge. You’ll be getting an assortment of trimmer pilots, a new spindle, and a dial indicator with this kit.
So, when you want to replace that old bullet spindle, you don’t have to look elsewhere. If you’ve used a cam lock trimmer, you’ll easily notice that the same kind of trimmers is included here.
Since the dial indicator for this has higher graduation than most others, it’s well worth your money. It’s twice as sensitive as the dial that comes with the concentricity tool.
And don’t go assuming you can only use this for a tool of the same brand. Any other brand’s machine can be paired up with this without a problem. The instructions included with the kit are a bit vague.
However, you can get tutorials and clear instructions online. In fact, with this product, you’ll be increasing your normal concentricity tool’s versatility and making the best of what you already have.
Redding Reloading Case Neck Concentricity Gauge
Last but definitely not least on our list is this special product from Redding. This is quite possibly one of the most important tools you’ll ever use. If sorting cases seem like a hassle, wait till you start using this.
As it can measure the neck wall thickness and determine uniformity for anything with flash holes as small as zero (0.60), sorting will be a breeze afterward.
There’s a feature in this to let you mount it on your reloading bench easily. So, once you have it set up, you can start measuring cases of sizes ranging from .17 Cal to .338 Cal. right away.
Two mandrels have been included in this package to help you do this. Moreover, you’ll be getting tow pilot stops along with this tool. One is for a 0.22 Cal (#06121), and another is for a 0.33 Cal (#06130).
Most professionals and expert shooters agree that uniformity matters. It doesn’t matter how well you turn the necks and how tightly it fits; the quality of the cases will be the game-changer.
And the thickness of the necks is a big indicator of how good your cartridge is. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to details with the help of devices like this.
Any large variation in the bullet’s neck will end up affecting the body and shoulder. Ultimately, you’ll end up with bullet runout problems and wobbles. That’s where this comes in. With this, you’ll be pretty much set to make sure your cartridge necks are just what you want, and you haven’t turned too much or too little.
Features to Look for Before Buying
Just as not every finger on your hand is equal, not all the tools for measuring concentricity are the same. So, you better be careful not to fall for a gimmick.
The best thing to do before spending your coins on something is to get your criteria set. And that’s exactly what we’re going to help you do.
The first thing you need to note down is how accurate the spindle and trimmer is. Can it make precise cuts? What’s the graduation of its dial indicator?
In fact, it’s best to get one that has a side knob for setting the measurements as well as a dial indicator.
The common scenario with these tools is that they include mandrels with the set. Check whether you have suitable calibers for the mandrels it comes with.
Turning Tool Composition
Another feature that’ll be of advantage is the material of the turning tool. While carbide is mostly preferred, nowadays there are steel-made ones that work just as well.
Can the gauge be set on a workbench? Is there an option to screw/bolt it down directly so that it doesn’t move while you’re trimming away? If so, then hold it in a greater preference than others. We all know how hard it is to work with a machine that does not stay in place.
Money well made should be money well spent. Hence, the price point of the tool matters a lot too. Go look for something of quality that has multiple components. Spindles, extra calibers, replaceable trimmers, and a few mandrels – you’ll need those along with the tool.
And finally, check out the brand. A good brand name with a proper history in the business is sure to have quality products. You can even get one from one of the brands we’ve mentioned on our list.
Frequently Asked Questions
The full form of this is Total Runout Indicator or Total Indicator Reading. It simply means how much runout your cartridge has when shot from the rifle.
The word concentric means having the same center. Concentricity, hence, means how straight a cartridge is along its center axis. The more concentric, the lesser straight it is. So, it’s good to have low concentricity.
Your bullet/ cartridge has run out because you’re either not using the proper shell holder, or the case is not indexed properly while sizing. Other reasons may include– improper seating of the bullet on the case or
flexing of the head (if it’s a turret press).
The best and desired concentricity is 0 T.I.R., which has been properly measured with a dial indicator of a tool that shows it to be about 1/16th above the case of the mouth.
These two are different based on their use. You can use an indicator to measure how many thousandths of an inch a cartridge is off its center, whereas a gauge is used to roll the bullet and measure the T.I.R.
You only get one chance at a shot in the arena. And there’s no better way to make sure you make it than sizing your bullets with the best concentricity gauge out there. We’ve suggested the ones that’ll make sure your shot never misses the mark.