How to Reload Ammo

Learn how to reload ammo with Phil Massaro. Learning how to reload ammunition at home is a great way to save money, build new skills and add another dimension to firearms appreciation. Massaro’s reloading blog explores ballistics, handloading, reloading tools and more.

The great thing about reloading is the ability to build a round to meet the situation. A .45 Colt can become a perfect plinking revolver with a light load. The same gun can halt a rouge bear if the powder and bullet weight are pumped up. Photo courtesy Massaro Media Group and JNJphotographics.

The Essence of Reloading – Flexibility

Of course, saving money is one of reloading's great attractions, but it's not the only one. Perhaps more appealing is the flexibility the discipline gives shooters, allowing them to tailor ammo to their needs.

Nickel brass cases are visually appealing, since the coating resists tarnishing after being handled.

The Nickel Brass Case, Reloading the Shiny Sibling

Nickel brass cases are the shining gems of ammunition, resistant to tarnishing, no matter whose sweaty hands have been on them. But to use the component for reloading takes some understanding of the material's characteristics.

Many tend to think the belt on belted magnums is to help the cartridges handle high pressure. In reality, the belt creates proper headspace in a rifle's chamber.

Belted Magnum Cases: A Myth Dispelled

The dominant feature of the belted magnum is, obviously, its belt. But, the unique facet of the cartridge's design does not function the way most believe it does.

Neck sizing is a snap, all that is required is a specialized neck-sizing die such as this one made by Redding.

Neck Sizing, A Bolt-Action Specialty

For those aiming to milk the most accuracy from their bolt-action rifles there is a reloading technique right up your ally – neck sizing. By only resizing the neck of the cartridge shooters can tighten up their groups in a jiff.

Classic expansion of a bonded core bullet, a 400-grain .416 Swift A-Frame recovered from a Cape Buffalo.

Bonded Core Beauties, Not Your Grandad’s Bullets

It's hard to deny the bonded core bullet has been a game changer when it comes to ammunition. Offering incredible penetration, expansion and ballistic performance, the bullets have become the go-to option for big game hunters.

40 Smith & Wesson ammo needs to be taper cripmed.

Cartridge Crimp Styles and Uses

Crimping a cartridge is the final step in producing ammunition and it must be done. But the type of crimp used to hold a bullet in place all depends on the type of ammo you're reloading.

A .458 (left) and a .500 Nitro Express (right), each tipped with a 500-grain round nose bullet.

Round Nose Bullets, Too Often Overlooked

Round nose bullets should definitely have a place on a reloader's bench. They are a superior close-range option, remaining as accurate as a spitzer, while delivering more energy on target.