|Handgun / Pistol Cartridge Reloading:
Reloading your own pistol / handgun ammunition can be fun, very rewarding, and most of all cost effecient. With the growing costs of ammunition, reloading ammo for pistols / handguns is growing as well.
To start reloading:
You will need a reloading press, powder scales or powder measures, shell holder, reloading dies, case lube and powder funnel, you can buy these items online from one of our sponsors, they also have the RCBS reloading kits which will have everything you need to reload pistol ammo with in the kit, very convenient for beginners.
(Note: I highly recommend the rockchucker master reloader press kit.)
The reloading process:
1. Clean and Check cases before reloading
Using a soft cloth, wipe each case clean to prevent dirt from scratching the case. Inspect the case for split case mouths, case head separations, excessive bulges and other case defects.
Any case found defective should be thrown away and not reloaded.
2. Lubricate the Cases
(a.) Spread some lube on a lube pad and lubricate the body of the case.
(b.) Clean dirt and powder residue from inside case necks and simultaneously add a light coating of case lube with a case neck brush. Roll the brush across the lube pad after every three or four cases for just the right amount.
3. Insert the Case
With the press handle in the uppermost position slide the case into the shell holder.
4. Resize and deprime the Case
Gently but firmly lower the press handle all the way to the bottom and run the case all the way into the sizer die. This will resize the case to the proper dimension and push the fired primer out of the case. Then, raise the press handle.
5. Check the Case Length and Trim if Necessary
After several firings, cases stretch and become longer than the specified maximum length. These cases must be trimmed to allow for proper chambering.
6. Chamfer and Deburr
Cases that have been trimmed need to also be chamfered and deburred.
7. Expand the Case Mouth
Because of their design, straight-wall cases need to be expanded in a separate expander die. Place a sized case in the shell holder and run it into the die. The expander should be adjusted so the case mouth is belled outward just enough to accept the new bullet.
8. Priming the Case
(a.) Place a fresh primer, anvil side up, into the cup of the primer arm and insert a case into the shell holder.
(b.) Lower the handle and push the primer arm all the way into the slot in the shell holder ram.
(c.) Now, gently and slowly raise the press handle. As the case is drawn out of the die it will be lowered onto the fresh primer which will be seated into the primer pocket. Slightly lower the press handle to release the primer arm; then push the handle all the way up. Inspect the primer to make sure it is properly seated.
9. Charging the casing with powder
(a.) Consult a Reloading Manual to learn what kind of powder, and exactly how much is recommended to reload your cartridge. Then weigh the recommended charge on your scale.
(b.) After accurately weighing the powder charge, put it into the case using a powder funnel.
10. Bullet Seating
(a.) Thread the seater die a few turns into the press. Put a case in the shell holder and lower the press handle, running the ram with the case to the top of the press stroke. Turn the die body down until it stops. The crimp shoulder in the die is now pressing against the top of the case mouth. Back the die out one turn, raising the crimp shoulder above the case mouth. Secure the die in position with the die lock ring.
(b.) Next, unscrew the seater plug enough to keep the bullet from being seated too deeply.
(c.) With the handle in the uppermost position insert a properly primed and charged case into the shell holder.
(d.) Take a bullet and hold it over the case mouth with one hand while you lower the press handle with the other, easing the case and the bullet up into the die. After raising the handle, note the seating depth of the loaded round. If the bullet needs to be seated deeper into the case, turn the seater plug down.
(e.) Run the loaded round back up into the die, raise the press handle and check the seating depth again. A few more adjustments may be needed for the proper bullet seating depth; then, you simply tighten the small seater plug lock ring.
10. That's it!
Your first reloaded cartridge is ready to be fired.