Reloading Supplies: The Basic Components of Handloading

Free guide to reloading supplies and cartridge compontent basics.

 

Get Your FREE Reloading Components Download!

This 12-page download covers the basic components that make up metallic cartridges—cases, primers, powder and bullets. You’ll learn the differences in brass cases and other case materials, case markings, primer types and sizes. Smokeless powder is discussed along with how to find the best reloading manual for your shooting goals. And all types of bullets for reloading are explained, along with nomenclature like Semi-Wadcutter (SWC) and Boat-Tail Hollowpoint (BTHP). Whether you’re looking for information for handgun, rifle, or shotgun reloading, you’ll find the right place to start with this free download.

In this free download on reloading tools and basics, you’ll learn:

• The components that make up cartridges
• Reloading brass basics from new to once-fired
• How to choose the best reloading primers
• The characteristics of modern reloading powder
• Special safety considerations for handloading

Don’t start shopping for reloading supplies until you’ve read this download!


Reloading primer image.

The primer is the component contained and held in the center of the base of the metallic cartridge case. It contains an explosive compound. When struck on its metal side by the firing pin in your gun, it will ignite the powder sitting in front of it within the case, building up pressure to send the bullet out of the case, down the barrel, and out to your target.

Here’s a Sneak Peek Inside:

Sometimes you’ll see some of this nomenclature used together. Thus, a boat-tail jacketed hollowpoint is expressed BTJHP. Now, again, these are the basics of bullet shapes and general design.

Every bullet maker has its own propriety bullets beyond that, something that offers the reloader dozens of options for even a single caliber. For instance, in 9mm, Sierra offers six varieties, Hornady 14—that’s 20 different toppers for your 9mm Browning Hi-Power, and that’s just from two component makers! Add in Barnes, Winchester, Remington, and bullets from easily enough other makers to make you take off your mittens to count, and you can see how much variety you can experience with reloading.

Reloading brass image.

The markings on the bottom of your metallic cartridge case are known as the “headstamp.” They generally (emphasis on “generally”) tell you the cartridge name and, occasionally, the manufacturer of the original cartridge.

But back to the question of how do you choose. First consider what it is you want to reload for? Are you punching holes in paper at 50 or a 100 yards, or do you need to knock over steel at 500 yards? Are you loading for self-defense or for taking down a big-game animal?

Once you’ve narrowed the available field of bullet choices by purpose, the easiest way to choose from that group is to pick one reloading manual from one of those bullet makers (Barnes, Sierra, and Hornady manuals are terrifically composed), and study the recipes for the caliber you want to reload. In each of those books you’ll see the powder and primer recommendation and other crucial information to make it all go together correctly; and, because the powder is matched to a particular load with a particular bullet weight and shape, this is where you’ll make your powder and primer selections, too.

 


This guide provides the basics of cartridge components to get you ready for everything from rifle reloading to handgun reloading. Be sure you’re informed before you shop for ammo supplies, download your free download today:

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