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What is Gun Reloading? 

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Gun reloading is the process of individuals assembling firearm cartridges or shotgun shells from their own components (case/hull, primer, powder and bullet) rather than purchasing completely assembled factory-loaded ammunition. Reloaders typically save one-third to half the cost of new factory ammunition.

To begin reloading you will need a few pieces of equipment. Starter kits are available from most major reloading equipment manufacturers.

Basic Reload

Getting started with handloading is relatively easy. There are only four parts to a standard cartridge: the brass case, gun powder, bullet and primer. When fired, the primer ignites the gunpowder, propelling the bullet down the barrel. Using the correct type and amount of gunpowder is critical. For safety and optimal performance, consult a reloading manual for your caliber and use only what the author recommends.

The first step is sizing the casings. The firing process pushes the brass against the chamber wall and causes it to expand, which means it needs resizing so that future rounds will properly fit. Next is adding the powder. Consult the reloading manual to determine the type and amount of powder needed for the specific caliber. The incorrect variety or amount of gunpowder could create a chamber pressure that exceeds those the rifle was designed for, which may cause injury or death. Also, keep all reloading components in their original containers to avoid mixing powder types or bullet calibers.

Emergency Reload

Handloading is the process of assembling firearm cartridges from their components (primer, powder and bullet/shot). Once fired, only the spent brass case and the primer remain. This is why handloaders save so much money over purchasing fully assembled, factory rifle ammunition.

Performing an emergency reload and magazine exchange in high stress situations can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Investing in these essential skills will increase your shooting efficiency and ensure that your gun is ready when you need it most.

The tactical reload is designed for when there is a break or pause in the action where you can duck behind cover. This reload will allow you to top off your mag with a full magazine for the next round when you resume firing at targets. This reload should be done quickly and efficiently, as you can’t afford to lose even a second in the midst of a gun fight. The key is to be able to recognize the slide lock back signal and then grab a fresh mag, eject the empty one and insert the new magazine all while keeping your eyes on the threat.

Retained Magazine Reload

Reloading enables the shooter to choose the best bullet for specific situations.

Factory ammunition is powerful, dependable and accurate, but the handloader can add different grain bullets that may not be available in factory ammo. This provides more options to shooters in both hunting and tactical situations.

The retained magazine reload is performed during a lull in the gunfight where the shooter can retain the partially-empty mag while quickly inserting a new, fully loaded magazine. This reload is quicker than a slide lock reload and can be performed without taking the gun out of action.

Reloading requires investment in a basic reloading kit, equipment and expendable supplies (primers, powder and bullets). The process can be time-consuming and challenging to learn but will pay off in the end. The shooter will also save money by avoiding ammunition shortages and can customize the load to suit his or her needs. The goal is to develop a load that is close to the target’s average pressure and velocity, which results in tighter bullet groups.

Tac Reload

There are a few different tactical reloading methods. They all have the same goal: to quickly recharge a gun without compromising your ability to defend yourself in the event of an emergency.

This first stage resizes the empty brass (once-fired cartridge cases) to reduce its outer diameter, so it will chamber properly when loaded with new bullets and powder. This step also removes the spent primer by decapping, or knocking out, the pin that is inserted into the primer pocket when fired.

Reloading allows shooters to experiment with a huge variety of bullets, powders and charge weights to arrive at the best combination that performs well in their firearms. It can be very time consuming to work up a load that is both safe and effective, but the rewards can be great. With the difficulty in finding factory ammunition today, and its high prices, handloading is a smart investment. Reloaders have a significant advantage over non-reloaders when it comes to self defense and target shooting.