Reloading Your Ammo: Here is a Detailed Guide For Beginners

How to reload ammoYou are new to reloading & want to start reloading your own ammo.

So if you need:

Right direction.

Actionable advice.

Step by step guide.

This article will definitely help you.

In this article you will learn the basic process of reloading your own ammunition.

Let’s dive in.


What Is Cartridge?

parts of cartridge

People often get confused between a bullet and a cartridge. The cartridges are the cases which hold the bullet, whereas the bullet is what comes out of the rifle. Thus, we can say bullet is just a mere part of a cartridge.

There are mainly two types of cartridges which are commonly used nowadays. First, the rim fire cartridge, and second, the center fire cartridge.

Rim-fire cartridges cannot be reloaded as the primers are on the edges or rims, whereas center-fire cartridges can be reloaded.

Before we get to know about the reloading process, an important part which should be very clear is the parts of a cartridge. There are mainly fours parts of a common cartridge.

  • The Case:  This holds the primers, powders and the bullets together.
  • Primers:  This is what explodes after hit by the pin.
  • Gunpowder:  Creates gas after burning and that pushes out the main bullet.
  • The Bullet:  This hits the target.

All we have to do now is to put all these things together to reload our own ammunition. So let’s begin.


How To Reload Your Own Ammunition

#1. Preparing the Case

This is one of the easiest, but time taking steps of all. The reason behind the same is before preparing your case, you have to check each case carefully with respect to their shapes and the sizes.

This is because once a bullet is fired, the case often gets dented or it changes its shape due to the pressure.

  • Once you are ready with the cases, it is time for a clean-up. Each and every time a bullet is fired, residues of gunpowder and dirt settle in both inner and outer parts of a case. And this needs to be cleaned before reloading.
  • There are a number of techniques used to clean a case. However one of the most used methods is to utilize a case tumbler. These tumblers work in a very plain technology and all you have to do is to fix your cases in the tumbler and it will do the needful for you.
  • These tumblers use some substances like rice and walnut shells which polishes the case once it starts shaking. One can also use chemicals to clean the cases; however, tumblers are easier and suitable for the beginners.
  • Once you are done with cleaning the cases, it is time for resizing the same. As you already know that the cases change its shapes once those are fired. While reloading the same, it is very important to make the cases exactly in the same shape and size as they were before.

What we do here is we use sizing die in the conjunctions with the help of a loading press. These reloading presses not only resize the case but also it presses out the old primers from the brass.

  • Now it is time to measure the lengths of the cases. If the case is longer than your requirement, trimmers can be used to get the exact size. The next step would be cleaning the case mouth, the flash hole and finally the primer pocket.

Herein, the cleaning can cause a gentle tilt in the cases, but that will help while we seat the bullets.


We are done with the most time taking steps of all- the case prepping. Let’s jump to the next step- Priming.


#2. Priming

This is the second step for reloading your ammunition. Priming is very crucial while we reload ammo. The reason behind the same is if we mix the primer or contaminate the same with any oils or lubricants, the whole reloading process will just go in vein.

Thus using the primer and using the same is very important.

The main motive of this priming process is to get the primer place in the pockets exactly which should be at par with the flush head.

There are a number of priming tools available in the market. Some of those tools are automatic too. If you want to go traditional, you can use authentic hand primer tools which are available too.


#3. Adding the Powder

This is the most important part of all as gunpowder is the thing that fires your bullet. So, from measuring the exact amount of the powder needed to pour that into the cases’ needs precision. This is where experience will help you a lot.

And if you are a beginner, just go through a lot of manuals and you will get to know about the same.

Another important thing which should be kept in mind while doing this step is to choose your powder. There are different types of gunpowder available in the market.

However, choosing the right one which suits you the best is very important. The reason behind the same is different powders work on different calibers and cases. So the one which will go with your case and bullet is the one you should be looking for.

Now coming to the pouring part, there are a lot of different ways. However the most used and common way is standalone powder measures. Apart from this, presses are also available which can help you in this part.


#4. Seating the Bullet

This is the last and final stage of reloading ammo. All you need to do is fit the bullet into the case.

However, this is not that simple as it seems. As while doing the same, the most common problem is the case size as the bullet does not fit the same.

Well, in this case, all we need to do is flatten the top of the case with the press so that the bullet goes through and fix it. Sometimes, this process needs sizing die and a press.

Soon after the bullet fits the case perfectly, apply bullet seating die and press accordingly. Somebody loves to add crimp after this process. However, this is completely up to you. Adding a crimp will protect the bullet in its case.

And that is it. You are now all ready to fire or give shots with freshly reloaded ammunition.



In a word, it can be said that reloading ammunition is not that tough of a job. However, it needs practice and precision to come up with the best possible results.

Not only the precision will help but choosing the right equipment is also very important while you reload your own ammunition.

Go through some books and practice. This is what will provide you the best results while you load your ammunition by your own.

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