Re: dial calipers
Actually, once you begin to rely on the caliper, you will find many uses for it and be quite lost without it. I would still advise you to think about getting a 1" micrometer to go with it. The wider anvil of the mic will speed up measuring certain things, and if you rely on the friction thimble (better for case and gun part measurement in some respects) or ratchet, your readings will be very uniform.
A man who does not learn the lessons of history is condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.