Clean the casings. Check the brass cases for defects and discard any that are have cracks or excessive dents or bulges. Also, discard any that have deformed primers, indicating excessive pressure during firing.[1]

  • Rub the inside of the case with a soft cloth to remove powder residue and dirt. Reach into the case with a case neck brush.
  • Lubricate the casings to keep them from getting stuck in the sizing die. Spread a light coating of case lubricant on a lube pad and roll several casings across the pad at once. Reapply lubricant to the pad as needed.   

 Assemble your reloading supplies. Aside from a reloading press and a bunch of free time, you will need:

  • Cleaned and lubricated casings
  • Primers
  • Bullets the corresponding size of the shells you’ve collected
  • Powder appropriate to the size of the shells you’ve collected
Remove the spent primers. Insert each case into the loading press. The handle should be positioned up. Lower the handle to resize the case and push the fired primer out. Raise the handle back up, remove the case and place it in a reloading tray. Repeat this step for all the cases.
  • Some presses have a rotating tray that allows you to load several at once. You’ll still want to go through the process of de-capping all of the spent casings before you go loading any of them. It’ll be tedious, but worth it in the end.
Insert a new primer into the case. Raise the handle to its highest position and place a new primer into the cup of the primer arm. Insert a case into the shell holder. Push the primer arm into the ram slot and lower the case onto the primer.[2]
  • Remove the casing and inspect the primer. It should be flush or slightly lower than the case base.

Reload the casing with the correct powder. Each type of size of shell requires a different variety and weight of powder. It is recommended that you buy a respected loading handbook such as the Alliant Powder Reloader’s Guide that covers the calibers you intend to load. Follow their recommendations regarding powder and weight.[3]

  • Weigh out the correct amount of powder. You can weigh each charge individually or use a volumetric powder measure or calibrated dipper.
  • Add the powder using a funnel. Discard or return unused powder to the factory container. If it’s left on your measurement device or other equipment, the powder can damage it. Keep the reloading area clean and free of powder.
Seat the bullet. The seating die pushes a bullet to the proper depth in the neck of the case and crimps the shell. Put one of your casings in the shell holder, lowering the press handle to crimp the casing, securing it in place with the lock ring. Consult the owner’s manual for more guidance regarding crimping.[4]
  • Hold a bullet over the open casing with one hand while you lower the press handle with the other. If the bullet needs to be seated deeper into the case, adjust the seater.
Clean and apply a light coat of gun oil to your dies and ram after you reload ammo. You can also lubricate moving parts on the shell loader with gun oil.[5]
Place the ammo in cartridge boxes. Secure your reloaded ammunition in a lockbox separate from your firearms. Store the lockbox in a cool, dry location.

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