Reloading Articles

Reloading Articles to Continue Learning

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HEAD SPACE - What the heck is it, and what does it mean?

In reloading, most of the time, you won't really have to deal with "head spacing". But, what is it? And, how does it affect me? Here's head spacing in a nut shell: In order for a cartridge to properly fit in the chamber, it has to be sized to a s[...]
Reduced loads - Maybe you shouldn't!

Reduced loads - Maybe you shouldn't!

I have been blessed to have a pretty good assortment of knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful gun people in my life. Virtually all of them are more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences with anyone who will listen.  And, Lord knows, m[...]
Choosing Bullets - Casting your own can save a LOT! The projectiles are always the most expensive component in reloading.

Choosing Bullets - Casting your own can save a LOT! The projectiles are always the most expensive component in reloading.

Components used in reloading: Brass cases - Cost = ZERO, presuming that you acquired them for free, and are reusing the cases Primers - Cost = $.03 each, presuming that you are shopping carefully, to keep cost low Powder - Cost = $.02 - $.[...]
Cleaning brass, the good, the bad, and the ugly - my tips for great reloadable brass

Cleaning brass, the good, the bad, and the ugly - my tips for great reloadable brass

One of the most common questions I get during my reloading classes relates to the need for cleaning brass prior to the reloading. "Do I really need to clean the brass?" The answer is always YES! And, here's why. When you fire cartridges at the [...]
Mistakes Happen - How to avoid them, and what to do when they happen

Mistakes Happen - How to avoid them, and what to do when they happen

Mistakes happen! There are some basic safety rules for reloading. And, all of them are RULES for a reason. It's worth going over them for the sake of this discussion. It's also worth going over the basic GUN HANDLING rules first: ALWAYS keep[...]
The BEST pistol bullet weights, your tax dollars at work

The BEST pistol bullet weights, your tax dollars at work

Law enforcement and military personnel have obvious needs for pistol cartridge performance. One of the driving factors has been, and continues to be, the "FBI Penetration Test." The official name of this set of criteria is the: "FBI Ballistic Protoco[...]
Neck Sizing Only Dies - How to use them and When

Neck Sizing Only Dies - How to use them and When

Rifle Cartridge Neck Sizing By design, when a bottle neck case is fired, it briefly expands to fill the entire chamber, then contracts slightly when the pressure generated by the burning powder dissipates, allowing the case to be extracted from [...]
Does my rifle barrel really flex?

Does my rifle barrel really flex?

The path to greatness when it comes to precision rifle reloading is to tune the ammo to your barrel. It's a well documented fact that when a bullet enters your barrel from the chamber, it sets the barrel into motion. It creates a force wave, in the f[...]
Which crimp do I use?

Which crimp do I use?

The first answer is that the TYPE of crimp is always built into the bullet seating/crimp die or the separate crimp die if it's different from the seating die. So, for a 357 Magnum three die set (full length sizing die, bell mouthing die, seating/crim[...]
Proper Full Length Sizing for bottleneck RIFLE cases

Proper Full Length Sizing for bottleneck RIFLE cases

Full Length Sizing for Bottleneck Cases This article describes the process of resizing bottleneck cartridge cases.   Setting up the sizing die for a bottleneck case requires a higher level of precision than for straight-walled cases, and the quality[...]
Forming 300 Blackout brass

Forming 300 Blackout brass

Forming .300 Blackout Brass 300 AAC Blackout, SAAMI short name 300 BLK, also known as 7.62×35mm is a rifle cartridge developed in the United States by Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC) for use in the M4 carbine. Its purpose is to achieve ballistic[...]
My rounds won't chamber

My rounds won't chamber

My Rounds Won't Chamber I recently received the following question from a former reloading student: I've been reloading .45 ACP with 200gr lead semi-wadcutter bullets.  I've worked up a very accurate load, but 4 or 5 rounds out of 100 will not ch[...]
Reloading for S&W 500 Magnum - Ouch or Ahhhhh

Reloading for S&W 500 Magnum - Ouch or Ahhhhh

Reloading for S&W 500 Magnum Since it’s introduction at the Shot Show in 2003, this Cor-bon/S&W chambering has pretty much followed a similar path to the way the 44 Magnum was handled in the 70’s, with the 1971, “Dirty Harry” movie. Back[...]
Are hand loads more accurate than factory ammo?

Are hand loads more accurate than factory ammo?

Are Handloads More Accurate Than Factory Ammo? The question above is very simple, and it has a very simple answer. "Yes. Handloads are more accurate than factory ammo." To prove this assertion, I decided to pit some of my handloads against some[...]
Cartridge Case Longevity

Cartridge Case Longevity

Cartridge Case Longevity As an instructor, there is one experience in particular that I find truly frustrating: When I have to reward a really good question with a very bad answer. For example, when a participant in a reloading class asks, "[...]
What do I need to start reloading?

What do I need to start reloading?

I want to reload.   What equipment do I need to get started? This is - by far - the most frequently asked question by people that are thinking about getting into reloading. Ask this on any web forum or discussion board and you will get widely var[...]
How many times can I reload 45 ACP brass?

How many times can I reload 45 ACP brass?

How many times can you reload a .45 ACP case? The .45 ACP has a reputation for case longevity that borders on mythical. "You can load it until you lose it" is just one phrase commonly used to describe the durability of this caliber. To find out,[...]
10 Reasons to Reload

10 Reasons to Reload

Save lots of money Even if you shoot small quantities of common (inexpensive) calibers, reloading will save you half compared to buying factory ammo.   If you shoot more exotic calibers like .460 S&W Magnum, 10mm, or .38 Super, you can save [...]
Rifle Cartridge Overall Length

Rifle Cartridge Overall Length

An important part of fine-tuning a rifle load is finding the bullet seating depth that results in the best accuracy. Much like determining the optimum charge weight, finding the best seating depth is done through trial and error testing. Unlike the o[...]
Reading Pressure Signs

Reading Pressure Signs

Most reloaders know that cartridges should never be loaded with powder charges above the maximum or below the minimum charge weight specified in the reloading manual.   However, some reloaders do not understand that excessive pressure can result even[...]
Loading the .357 Sig

Loading the .357 Sig

The .357 Sig has a reputation for being difficult to reload because inexperienced reloaders have problems with it.   The two most common problems are poor headspacing (where the rounds either won't chamber, or have inconsistent ignition) and bullet[...]
How Much Can I Save by Reloading?

How Much Can I Save by Reloading?

The short answer is, "a lot".   Exactly how much you will save depends on the caliber(s) you will reload.   The table below shows the typical savings that you can realize on some common (and not-so-common) handgun calibers by buying good quality jack[...]
Brass Sorting Tips

Brass Sorting Tips

The only reusable part of a fired cartridge is the case.   This is fortunate for the reloader because the case is the single most expensive component.   Also fortunate is the fact that there is plenty of brass lying around for the taking at just abou[...]
How to Make Better Rifle Ammo

How to Make Better Rifle Ammo

The following recommendations will help you to make more accurate ammo for your rifles. The best part is, they will add little or no cost to your ammo. 1. Use high quality bullets. Nothing you do in terms of case prep, charge weight measurement, [...]