General Reloading FAQs

  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I’ve heard you aren’t supposed to bottom a carbide sizing die out on a shell holder. Why?

    Carbide is an extremely hard and very brittle metal. This is both an asset and a liability. The carbide’s incredible…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Why are cartridge OAL’s with hollow point and full metal jacket bullets of same weight different?

    Different nose profiles may require some adjustment to their over-all-length (OAL) for proper feeding and functioning. The correct OAL for…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How do I know when my barrel is clean?

    Visual inspection of the muzzle under direct light will reveal if there is any copper present. Careful attention to the…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How long will my handloads last, if stored in a cool dry place?

    When stored in such an environment, cartridges kept in sealed containers will last the best part of a lifetime.

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Can I use cast bullet loads for jacketed bullets?

    No. Load data should be as specific as possible to the bullet used.

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I have the same barrel length, use the same powder charge and bullet as you do in the manual, but my velocities are different.

    It’s not unusual for two barrels of the same manufacturer, using the same loads, to vary 100 fps or more.…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I have some military cases. I got the old primer out with some difficulty and I can’t get new primers to seat. Do military cases use different size primers than commercial brass?

    Military cases have crimped in primers. The crimp has to be removed before primers can be seated. The crimp can…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Can I interchange data from one manual to another?

    No. Each manufacturer uses a firearm that would be different from the other in chamber and barrel specs, making it…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Is load data interchangeable from my handgun to my rifle?

    No. You should stick with the data in your handgun manual while loading your pistols and use your rifle manual…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Are flattened primers always an indication of high pressure?

    Not necessarily. At the cartridge’s ignition, a light load won’t always fully expand the case within the chamber. It does,…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Why do loads vary from manual to manual?

    Good question. First of all, we need to understand that reloading manuals are not carved in stone. Think of a…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I don’t want to waste my time wiping all the sizing lube off my cases after the resizing operation, but I’ve been told not to tumble loaded ammunition. Won’t some lubrication help the cartridge chamber more easily? What happens if it is not removed before shooting?

    Upon ignition, the case expands in all directions, with the case walls tightly gripping the chamber. Almost instantly, the case…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Why isn’t my powder mentioned in your reloading manual?

    No comprehensive manual has the space to show every combination. As a result, there will always be some combinations that…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I don’t like having a bunch of different powders around. Is there any powder that will work well in both my .270 Winchester rifle and .357 Magnum pistol?

    No. Case capacities in these two cartridges are so drastically different, that any powder that might work well in both…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    What is the difference between single shot pistol and rifle bullets?

    Jackets of single shot pistol bullets are thinner to allow reliable expansion at lower velocities. All of our bullets are…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How deep should I seat my primers?

    The primer anvil should be in contact with the bottom of the pocket for uniform ignition. For safety, be sure…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    My reloading manual recommends a charge weight of 55.0 grains of a particular IMR propellant but this much powder won’t fit in my case. I took my wife’s rolling pin and crushed it into much smaller granules. I then weighed out the same charge and it fits fine. Why hadn’t someone thought of this before?

    Because when you broke the powder up, you exposed parts of the kernels without a deterrent coating and changed its…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I have some loaded ammo that is pretty badly tarnished. Can I just put it in my tumbler and clean it up?

    No. Aside from the possibility of a sharply pointed bullet striking a primer and causing a detonation, the deterrent coating…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How can I match that factory load?

    Without knowing what the propellant is and having it available, you can’t. Factories often use a propellant that is specially…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How do I know whether to taper or roll crimp?

    As a general rule, roll crimps are recommended for most revolvers, rifles using tubular magazines and situations that call for…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    How can I change my loads to reduce recoil?

    By using the lightest bullet weights shown, or by using the load showing the minimum listed velocity. Using the lightest…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    Is it necessary to size a new case?

    It may not be necessary if the mouths are not badly dented and have sufficient tension to hold a bullet…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    I’ve worked up to your maximum load in your manual with a standard primer. Can I switch to a magnum primer?

    Not without reducing your load by 5%. Magnum primers give a hotter and longer flame that causes the powder to…

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  • Sep042019
    faqs

    My case head has a shiny mark on it. Is this a sign of high pressure?

    Yes. High pressure will set the cartridge back into the bolt face, causing the brass to flow into the ejector…

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