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Capital Cartridge

It’s that time of the year again. The time where colored leaves soon begin to give over to bitter cold temperatures. For most of the country, winters can be cold, with the northern portions experiencing snow, ice, and every other bad weather phenomenon old man winter can toss out. However, the cold weather doesn’t mean a halt in reloading. Seeing as though the majority of reloaders do so in a garage or other building outside of their home, there are some safety concerns you should think about when reloading in cold temperatures.

Is the cold too distracting?

The top safety priority when it comes to reloading is always to avoid any and all distractions. If the temperature is so cold as to cause your mind to wander off of your task and to focus on the cold, you shouldn’t be reloading. One reloader spoke of such an instance when loading a 10mm round. Since he was distracted by the cold, he double charged the round, causing a substantial amount of boom when the round went off.

He got lucky; not giving the task your full, undivided, attention can mean disaster if you aren’t careful.


When a cold metal is exposed to warmer temperatures, condensation often occurs and the colder metal attracts the moisture from the air. But wait, aren’t we talking about cold weather? So how would this affect you? Ask yourself this question; where do you store your supplies, mainly your casings.

If your answer follows the same course as the majority of reloaders, you keep your supplies in the same building where you actually reload. Now answer this; does your garage or outdoor shed have heat around the clock. No. So, what happens is that when you turn the heat on in your building/shed, you heat up the air around the supplies, in turn causing condensation to form.

The remedy? Thoroughly dry the casings and inspect each one for moisture before reloading.


Heaters can cause a very dangerous situation when it comes to reloading, for the obvious reasons. If you are not careful with your placement of the heater in relation to your powder and primers, you could have the makings of a bad day. That’s why most reloaders will forego the heater when reloading or, at the very least, place the heater on the opposite side of their powder.

Effects on digital scales

It’s a proven fact that digital scales do not like the cold. Even the more expensive, professional scales are often only made to work in 40 °F. To ensure the powder you are placing in the casing is exact, it’s best to avoid digital scales when reloading in the cold. It may add a little extra time to the process, but will save you from having problems with the load.

Rust on Equipment

Just like the casings will attract moisture, so will the metal on your equipment; mainly your press and dies. In most cases, it’s not possible to take this equipment indoors when not in use. Therefore, putting a little oil on the metal surfaces during the cold temps will help to avoid any issues with rust.

Just because it gets cold doesn’t mean you have to cease all reloading operations until springtime. If you take these few simple precautions, you will find reloading to be just as fun in the cold. After all, what better way is there to beat the cold than to fire your gun at the range!