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'Handloading' or 'Ammunition reloading' is the process of loading ammunition cartridges using individual components. Most often among beginners this is called reloading, but among gun enthusiasts it goes by the name of handloading. Reloading is typically done by individuals who shoot firearms often to reduce per-round costs or who wish to develop customized loads for accuracy in a particularly firearm model.

Safety First

Strict attention must be used during handloading since certain ammunition components are either flammable or explosive. Also wrongly developed handloaded ammunition can damage a firearm and even cause serious bodily harm.

Summary of handloading process

The handloading process includes the following major procedures:

  • Case preparation - preparing a cartridge case for a load. This step includes, but is not necessarily limited to, cleaning the case, removing a spent primer if present, resizing the case, trimming the case, cleaning the primer pocket, preparing the case mouth for a bullet,
  • Primer insertion - pressing a new primer into the primer pocket,
  • Charging - dispensing powder into the case. Smokeless power, used in modern cartridges, is the propellant for the bullet.
  • Bullet seating - inserting a bullet to the appropriate depth for the cartridge. This step includes crimping the bullet when necessary for a given cartridge.

See also

Bibliography - further reading