Reloading – More Bang for the Buck

Rifle_cartridge_comparisonWith the advent of warmer weather many of us have cleaned, lubed and put away our guns until the next hunting season. Warm weather seems to call us to the rivers, ponds and oceans to wet a line fishing. Warm weather is also a good time to go about the business of developing the perfect hand load, and once having done that, loading enough for the next hunting season. If you haven’t tried hand loading (also known as reloading) you might enjoy giving this fun, interesting hobby a try.

Reloading, as the name implies, is taking the spent cartridge casing and replacing it’s components (primer, powder and bullet) so that it can be used again. At first the idea of reloading might seem a little daunting, but it is not the complicated task some might think. It does, however, require that you reload where you are free from distractions.

The first step (after cleaning the cases) is to resize the case and remove the spent primer, this is usually done with a reloading press. A press is a mechanical device used to reload ammunition. First a resizing die is screwed into the press. The case is given a light coating of lubricant and placed in the press. When the press handle is pulled; the case is resized to it’s original dimensions. At the same time the old primer is pushed out and the case neck is expanded slightly for easy insertion of the new bullet. Next you insert a new primer into the priming arm of thee press, push the arm into position and raise the press handle. This pushes the new primer into the case. After doing this to a number of cases you will want to clean off the lube, which can be done by wiping with a rag that has been wetted with a little lighter fluid or something similar.

Now you will weigh or measure the powder charge and pour the powder into the case. Then comes the last step. Take out the resizing die and replace it with the bullet seating die. Place the cartridge case back in the press, put the new bullet into the case mouth and lower the press handle. As the handle is lowered, the case with the bullet will be forced into the die and the bullet will be pushed into the case neck. At this time the case neck will tighten around the bullet in order to hold it securely in place.
You now have a new round ready to be fired.

This is meant to be a quick overview of the reloading process for bottleneck cartridges, the procedure for reloading straight walled cases differs slightly. All details of reloading were not included in this short article. Full instructions come with the dies and press you purchase. You should also pick up a good reloading manual and read it thoroughly. As you can see the process is fairly simple, and taking game with your own handloads is much more satisfying.

Ted Snow is the owner of, an online store featuring gun accessories and shooting supplies of every kind. He is also an avid hunter and shooter, being proficient with rifle, pistol, and shotgun. For more useful information as well as special savings sign up for our newsletter at our website:

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