If you’re thinking about reloading your own ammunition, then our series is for you. Like learning to play the guitar, ordering sheet music isn’t the best first step. First, learn the basics and the process, then get sheet music.
It’s the same with reloading. You need a reloading manual for recipes, but this series will get you started. After you’ve completed our reloading series, the manuals will make a whole lot more sense.
If you are new to the game and want to get your feet wet in this exciting hobby or are an experienced reloader and want to simply learn more, then take a look at the GunsAmerica.com Reloading Guide. There is a lot of great information here, so dive right in.
Part 1: Want to Reload Your Own Ammo? Basic Questions to Consider
Should you consider reloading your own ammunition? Will you save money? For what types of calibers is reloading feasible and cost effective?
Part 2: The Reloading Process
Let’s get started by a walkthrough of the reloading process for the simplest reloading scenario – straight wall pistol cartridges. Once you understand the basic process, we’ll go into detail in the later articles and those steps will make a whole lot more sense.
Part 3: The Gear You’ll Need and What It’ll Cost You
What do you need to get started? Like most activities, there’s a minimum required set of equipment you need to safely reload ammunition. We’ll talk about what’s nice to have as opposed to what you need to have.
Part 4: Brass Cleaning and Preparation to Load
Brass cleaning and preparation is not just about appearance. While it’s nice to have shiny reloads to show off at the range, clean brass is a must for safe reloading. It doesn’t have to look pretty, but you have to get the dirt and grime off so your components will feed through reloading dies and eventually into your gun.
Part 5: Brass Resizing
When you shoot, the brass case expands. The first step in the actual reloading process is to mash your brass back into the proper dimensions. We’ll show you how.
Part 6: Trimming Cartridge Cases
When you resize rifle cartridge cases, they tend to stretch in length. You’ll need to trim them back to size to make sure your cartridges are consistent and feed properly.
Part 7: Repriming the Cartridge Case
The primer is what turns mechanical energy of the firing pin into the chemical energy of burning propellant. As it’s a one-time use item, you’ll need to remove the spent one and insert a fresh one in each cartridge.
Part 8: Powder, Propellants, and Pressure
Modern powder doesn’t really explode, but it burns really fast in order to create gas pressure to drive bullets out the fiery end. We’ll discuss the different types of powders for rifle and pistol cartridges and why you need to understand things like powder burn rates.
Part 9: All About Primers
What types of primers do you need? If they appear to be the same size, are they interchangeable? What’s a magnum primer and when do you use it?
Part 10: Projectiles: Materials, Weights, and Styles
Depending on the caliber you reload, you might have a wide variety of choice for bullet material (lead, jacketed, or plated), bullet weight, and even bullet shape. What differences do these things make and how do your choices impact load recipes?
Part 11: Seating and Crimping Bullets
Seating is easy. You simply stuff a bullet to the correct depth in the cartridge case. However, crimping is one of the most widely misunderstood topics in reloading. We’ll tell you why.
Part 12: To Crimp or not to Crimp
Since crimping is one of the most misunderstood steps in the reloading process, we’re devoting an extra segment just to that topic. Can crimping fix bullet seating problems resulting from “less than perfect” technique? In short, no. Here, we’ll discuss what crimping does, and more importantly, doesn’t do. We will also discuss why you should never rely on crimping alone to properly secure a bullet in the case.
Part 13: Inspection and Final Tips
Since you might be dealing with pressures above 50,000 pounds per square inch releasing inches from your face, care and inspection during the reloading process and at the end is critical. We’ll offer up some ideas on how you can double and triple check your work as you go, and what to look for at the end of the reloading process.