2. You Need Components That Make Up Ammunition
The components (or parts) of a round of ammunition
consist of a primer, case, smokeless powder and bullet.
The only re-usable item is the brass case which must be
cleaned, de-primed and resized for each use.
Hover & Click Items Of
3. You Need To Clean Your Brass
Cleaning & Polishing Your
Brass. Reloading involves using new or pre-fired
brass cases which become dirty and stretched to
"out-of-spec" conditions. The brass case is the most
expensive component and it can typically be reused many
times. The first step in reuse is cleaning (polishing)
the brass. Polishing brass typically involves use of a
tumbler, polish and cleaning media.
Enlarge Image Hover & Click
Items Of Interest
4. You Need To Learn How To Reload
Reloading is a science. You don't need to be a
genius, but you do need to have discipline and concentration
and know what you are doing. It can be dangerous. At a
minimum, you should buy a few
and study up
on how it's done. You will also need the books for
determining reloading recipes.
In general, the reloading process
Inspecting and cleaning your brass cases
(if previously used).
Removing the old primer from the case and
resizing the case to factory specs.
Measuring, de-burring & chamfering the
case (for rifle brass).
Adding gun powder to the case.
Placing a bullet on the mouth of the case
and pushing it down to the correct depth (seating the bullet).
Crimping the case against the bullet to
hold the bullet in place and to smooth out case ridge.
Inspecting the newly assembled round for
To reload one round of 9mm Luger ammo on my turret press
I have to place one brass case in the shell holder and pull
the press handle down and up 4 times. Each time I pull the handle,
the turret (holding the brass case) rotates and performs one (or two)
functions on the case.
For each pull of the handle:
The case is resized, the spent primer is
removed and a new primer installed.
Powder is added to the case, after which I
manually place a bullet on top.
The bullet is pushed down into the case to the
The case mouth is crimped (or in the case of
9mm Luger) flattened against the bullet.
Overview Of The Reloading Process
Place case into shell holder.
Resize and de-prime the case.
Load a primer.
Add the bullet.
Set the bullet depth.
Crimp the case.
Click here for all reloading
5. You Need A Quality Control Program
Image Hover & Click Items Of
Ensuring Quality Of Reloads
Reloading and shooting reloads is
not without it's dangers. Primers have been known to go
off during the seating process (though it has never
happened to me) and handling of gunpowder is inherently
dangerous. Shooting reloads that have insufficient
powder may result in dangerous squibs. Reloads with too
much powder may damage the firearm or cause injury.
That's why it is critical to follow exacting quality
control procedures. You have to know what you are doing
when you reload.
Quality Control & Inspection Procedures For
Common Reloading Questions
Reloading your own ammunition is a great
hobby, can save you money and make your shots more accurate.
You can also customize your ammunition to make reduced power
rounds to provide less kick (recoil), use specialized
bullets, achieve greater accuracy and consistency of shots,
or make ammunition that is hard to get or is no longer
The amount you save depends upon the
caliber and type of ammunition that you are loading and the
current market value of factory ammunition. In general,
reloading your own brass cases can save you half the cost of
new factory ammo. The brass case is the most expensive
component of a round of ammunition and it can typically be
reused many times. Note - If you only shoot occasionally,
you may be better off buying new ammunition. Reloading
requires an initial outlay of several hundred dollars for equipment and supplies. It takes time to recoup
the cost of the equipment, so the more you shoot the more
Are Reloading And Hand Loading
the Same Thing?
Many people use the terms
interchangeably but in general, hand loading use all new
components, is made in lesser quantities and is considered
higher quality, while reloading provides mass produced,
functional and economic ammunition and is often used for
What is involved with Reloading Ammunition?
The reloading process varies slightly with each type and
caliber of ammo being reloaded. In general the reloading process consists of
- Inspect and Clean Brass, De-prime & Resize Cases, Measure & Trim, De-burr
& Chamfer (for rifle brass), Prime The Cases, Charge the Cases, Seat the
Bullet, Crimp the Bullet
Do 9mm Cases Need to be Trimmed?
No. Straight wall pistol cases do not need to be
trimmed. Trimming cases is primarily done on rifle cases. Repeated shooting
and sizing of bottleneck cases will cause the brass to stretch. Straight
walled pistol cases don't stretch in length or if they do, isn't enough to
worry about trimming them. See Trimming 9mm Cases at bottom of page.
Are 9x19 Cases the Same as 9mm Luger Cases?
Yes. 9X19 = 9mm Luger = 9mm Parabellum = 9x19mm
Parabellum (abbreviated 9mm, 9x19mm or 9x19) cartridge. Cases identified
with the markings, 9x19, is also called the 9mm Luger or the 9mm Parabellum
and is the world's most popular pistol cartridge.
- 9X19 describes the cartridge by its diameter and length in millimeters
- 9mm Luger describes the cartridge by the name of it's inventor Georg Luger
- 9mm Parabellum describes the cartridge by its purpose 9mm for war (The
name Parabellum is derived from the Latin: Si vis pacem, para bellum ("If
you seek peace, prepare for war")
Can you safely "pop" a primer by shooting it
(primer and empty case) in a gun?
Yes, but use care and under supervision. I shot one in a
Glock 19 and it caused a jam because it did not have enough force to cycle
Have you ever removed a live primer using the press? Any danger involved?
Using a press is the proper way to remove a live primer for reuse or
discard. When doing so, wear eye/face protection and try to keep your face
and body as far away as possible from the primer when operating the press.
Is it OK to stack primer boxes on one another?
It is not recommended. In theory if one box of primes
somehow ignited it may ignite the primers below it.