Common Mistakes Made by Reloading Beginners

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Here at Powder Valley, we’re happy to welcome newcomers to the reloading community. At the same time, we want to stress that reloading ammo requires patience, focus, and, above all,a willingness to learn.

To get you started on the right foot, we’d like to share five of the most common reloading mistakes made by beginners. Avoiding these mistakes will set you well on your way to being a successful reloader.

Mistake Number One: Relying on the Internet for Unofficial Reloading Data

The internet is a great source for all kinds of information, but when it comes to data about reloading, a lot of information on the web comes from anonymous sources and may not be totally accurate. Similarly, asking strangers for their “homebrewed recipes” can quickly become a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid this mistake: stick with the data listed in the official reloading manuals. That’s the best way to enjoy consistent results, round after reloaded round.

Mistake Number Two: Trying to Clone Factory Ammo

Some reloaders try to re-create factory loaded ammo in their basements, down to the exact amount of powder used by the manufacturer. While this may seem like a reasonable approach, it can actually work against you.

That’s because ammunition companies use their own proprietary blends of powder in the manufacturing process. Unless you know exactly how their products are formulated, your reloaded rounds will be underpowered or, worse yet, dangerously unstable.

Again, the best way to avoid this mistake is to follow the data in the official manual. It was created specifically for reloaders like yourself.

Mistake Number Three: Incorrectly Seating Primers

This mistake typically takes one of two forms:

  1. Seating the primer too deeply in the cartridge – this can cause the round to misfire or even damage the firearm itself.
  2. Not seating the primer deep enough – this can also lead to misfires or damage to the weapon.

The best way to avoid this problem is to inspect every cartridge after inserting the primer. It should sit just beneath the back of the case, as described in your reloading manual.

Mistake Number Four: Improper Crimping

Crimping a cartridge is one of those steps in the ammo reloading process that obeys the Goldilocks principle: not too much and not too little. Here are some tips for getting this step just right:

  • Inspect the crimped cartridge closely – the crimping should be slightly visible, not overly obvious.
  • Check the length of the cartridge – it should conform to the specifications in your manual.
  • Refer to the directions included with your reloading press – there you will find the exact procedure for achieving a proper crimp. Follow it to the letter.

Mistake Number Five: Using a Damaged Casing

Watch out for dents, cracks, or other signs of damage to your cases. A defective case can cause gas to escape past the projectile or, even worse, prevent it from escaping at all, which can increase the risk of the cartridge exploding.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to err on the side of caution. In other words, dispose of used cartridges unless you’re absolutely sure of their integrity.

When it Comes to Reloading, Great Results Start by Having the Right Equipment

Getting the best possible results from your reloaded ammo starts by having the proper equipment and supplies. That’s where Powder Valley comes in. We have everything you need to start reloading, including the finest reloading primers and related products on the market, backed up by legendary customer service and fast shipping. Shop online today and see why we are your one-stop superstore for world-class reloading supplies at the lowest prices.