Everyday someone new takes up the task of reloading their
ammunition. In fact, with the concerns over gun and ammo sales of the last few
years, many have taken up the craft simply to ensure their inventory of ammo is
stocked. With that, however, often comes the same questions being asked amongst
newcomers. Because of that, we felt it necessary to answer a few questions that
often find their way into online forums.
Are rifle and pistol
No. Each cartridge as a specific primer that should be used
and you should only use those primers meant for the cartridge and caliber you
are reloading. Interchanging them could prove to be unsafe, especially to a
Rifle primers tend to take more force to ignite, therefore
pistol firing pins often do not have enough force. However, some experienced
reloaders have been able to safely use small rifle primers in round meant for
handguns. You should never, however, use pistol primers for rifle rounds. This
could cause an extremely unsafe shooting scenario.
Primer is protruding
after cartridge is loaded. Can I use the primer tool to set it further?
No! This will more than likely cause the primer to ignite
and the round to fire. This should never be done. Instead, if you notice the
primer is protruding from the seat after reloading is complete, use a bullet
puller to remove the bullet and empty the powder. Then and only then can you
reseat the primer.
You should also never assume the round is safe to fire with
the primer protruding. This could cause a premature firing when the round is
chambered in the gun. As a rule, always check the seating of the primer before
continuing to load powder and bullet.
Are “pulled” or
surplus military bullets safe to use?
Yes. Always to check the bullet size and ensure it is the
correct length and diameter for the cartridge and powder you are intending to
use. Also, you will want to individually inspect each bullet completely to
ensure it is solid and without damage.
Can I use a bullet
that was dropped on the ground?
If you drop a bullet, most likely it will become damaged and
unusable. Some reloaders will go ahead and use it. This can, however, lead to
an inaccurate shot, as well as the bullet fragmenting in the barrel, depending
on how damaged it is.
If you do drop a bullet on the ground and still intend to
use it, only do so after carefully examining the round for any cracks or
damaged tips. Doing so under a magnifying glass is recommended as even the
smallest of cracks can cause substantial issues when firing.
What does “air space”
mean and how does it affect the round?
The term “air space,” when used in reloading, describes the
space inside the cartridge between the powder and the bottom of the bullet.
Many newcomers to the craft will see empty space and assume something is wrong.
In fact, having empty space between the powder and bullet is completely normal.
This air space will not affect your load whatsoever. You’ll
see, as you begin to use different powders and reload different calibers, that
this space can range from nothing (a compressed load) to almost the entire
length of the cartridge, (if you are using a light load and fast-burning