Can I reload ammunition?
Yes you can, if you can follow directions and have a reasonable amount of attention to detail you will do just fine.
What do I need to reload?
The equipment will depend on what you are reloading. Are you reloading shot shells or center fire ammunition? Some equipment such as scales can be used for both. An easy way to start is to purchase a kit from a reloading equipment manufacturer. Basic equipment includes a reloading press, dies for the caliber to be reloaded and a scale.
How do I know what components to use?
Most kits come with a reloading manual that has the details of what is safe to use. If your kit does not have one, there are many different manuals available for sale. Additionally, there is information on the Internet at sites such as the Hodgdon Powder Company Reloading Data Center complete with explicit information on what to use. Or call the Reloading Data Center help line (913-362-9455) for more information.
I don’t know how to use the calipers to tell how long my cases are.
The caliper can be replaced with a case trim die. Additionally some calipers have a digital readout that will help you with reading the measurement. In either case be sure to read the instructions to see how to best use the equipment.
Case Preparation FAQ
Do I need to tumble my cases?
No, but it is better that the cases be cleaned before you lube and resize them. This removes the burnt powder and grit and helps prevent scratches in your dies and on your cases.
Why do I need to lube my cases?
The lube makes it easier for the case to move into the die and allows it to form evenly. Some pistol cases may not need to be lubed if a carbide sizing die is utilized. Failing to lube a rifle case may cause the case to stick in the die.
How do I remove a stuck case?
Purchase a stuck case removal tool and follow the directions. It is by far easier to get the case out with a proper tool and you will not damage your die.
Can I lube the case too much and how do I tell?
Yes, you can lube too much. Generally you will see a crease or indentation in the shoulder. By reading and following the directions on the lube packaging, you should have no trouble using the correct amount.
Do I need to trim every time I reload a case and how do I know how long the case needs to be?
No, you do not need to trim every time. In the reloading manual is the "trim to" length specifications which will indicate how short the case can be and still support the bullet.
Do I need to clean out the primer pocket?
No, it is not absolutely necessary. Cleaning does allow the primer to seat completely and helps to prevent misfires caused by the primer not seating fully.
Bullet, Primer and Powder Combinations FAQ
Can I interchange a rifle primer with a pistol primer if I run out?
No. Always read the data for the cartridge that you are going to use and only use the components that are indicated. The components that are listed are tested extensively to insure that the data is safe for use. For safety, follow the data exactly and you will have no problems.
How far out do I set the bullet in the case?
Your manual will give you the correct length.
I seated the bullet in too far, do I have to throw it away?
No, all you will need to do is to purchase a kinetic bullet pulling hammer and follow the directions listed by the manufacturer.
As I was checking my finished rounds, I noticed that some of them had the primer protruding slightly. Can I set it in further by using my priming tool?
NO! You could cause the round to discharge. You can use a bullet puller to remove the bullet and powder and then reseat the primer. It should be said that this is something that should be checked immediately after the primer is seated.
I left powder in my measure and I am unsure of what it is. What should I do?
Do not take any chances – discard it and use fresh powder which you know is correct.
Can I use “pulled” or old surplus military bullets?
Yes you can. The bullet must have the correct diameter and the correct weight for the cartridge and the powder that you are going to use.
I dropped my bullet on the tip and now it is deformed, can I still use it?
Yes. Although, a deformed bullet may impact accuracy.
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