How To Reload Pistol Brass
Many shooters choose which gun to purchase based on many
factors, one of which is the ease at which to reload brass for that caliber.
That’s why we wanted to take some time and look at the cartridges that offer
the most ease with reloading brass.
Since most rifle and pistol cartridges are easy and
straightforward to reload, future reload ability is not usually a major concern
when selecting a new gun. Still, some cartridges are a little better than most
from the reloader's standpoint, and a few are more difficult than average. I
will try to touch briefly on the reasons for this.
In this first part, we will look at handgun cartridges and
which style works best for the reloader. If you’re interested in rifle
cartridges, read part two of this series.
cartridges suitable for reloading must use standard diameter large (.210")
or small (.175") Boxer type primers. It is not worth attempting to reload
Berdan primed cases or cases using odd diameter primers.
most important thing to understand is that, in general, most common smokeless
powder cartridges are pretty easy to reload. Problems such as thin (weak) brass
and unusual cartridge designs do exist, but they are rare.
easiest and most straightforward handgun cartridges for the reloader are the
rimmed, straight wall, revolver cartridges. Examples of such cartridges include
the .32 H&R Magnum, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, and
the magnum revolver cartridges are fairly modern creations and are based on
fairly thick-walled cases that offer long brass life. These are excellent
handgun cartridges for the reloader as they offer an excellent return on
investment as they allow you to reload the brass multiple times. Also,
revolvers have the added advantage of retaining fired cases in the cylinder for
other hand, auto pistol cartridges and very small cartridges are the least
desirable for the reloader. For one thing, the guns eject the brass
automatically, scattering it everywhere. For another, most headspace on the
case mouth, preventing the use of a straightforward roll crimp. Small cases are
always more hassle to handle and reload than larger cases. Combine an
autoloading pistol with a small case, such as the .25 ACP, and you have the
worst of all possible worlds for the handgun reloader.
reason why many reloaders tend to prefer revolvers over semi-auto pistols is
the need in semi-autos to auto-cycle. There’s a very fine line between a round
that will auto-cycle and a round that won’t. This line usually hovers over the
powder charge and condition of the reloading brass.
problem is that many semi-autos will leave an abrasion on the brass when it is
ejected. This can cause serious issues with the reloadability of that casing,
especially if it is reloaded multiple times. That’s not to say that every
semi-auto pistol will do this. And, if your specific gun is doing this, there
may be a way to resolve the issue. Still, this doesn’t become an issue with a
end, any handgun round can be reloaded, as long as you have the experience and
the right reloading manuals. However, if it’s an easy road you’re looking for
in reloading handgun brass, follow these guidelines.