Understanding Reloading Dies: What They Are and How to Use Them

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Modern reloading dies fall into two categories:

  1. Resizing dies.
  2. Re-seating dies.

A resizing die removes the used primer and changes the size of the casing to accommodate a new bullet. A re-seating die helps to insert that bullet tightly into the brass opening.

In this post, we’ll discuss both types of dies and how to use them safely. Trust Powder Valley for all of your reloading supply needs.

The ABCs of Resizing Dies

Here’s a step-by-step look at how to use a resizing die:

  1. Clean the fired brass: this is accomplished using a tumbler and the proper cleaning medium. The result is a shiny, new-looking case that’s ready for resizing.
  2. Insert the proper die in the reloading press: refer to your manual for information on making this choice.
  3. Cover the casing in lubricant: available in both liquid and paste forms.
  4. Insert the casing into the shell holder and press it up into the resizing die: this accomplishes two things at once. First, it removes the spent primer. Second, it restores the casing to its factory dimensions.
  5. Measure the case and trim it if necessary.

Now let’s look at re-seating dies.

The ABCs of Re-Seating Dies

After resizing the case, the next step is to seat the new bullet. Here’s how this is done:

  1. Fill the empty casing with the proper amount of powder: it’s essential to get this step right. Otherwise, you may suffer damage to your firearm or even personal injury.
  2. Insert the proper resizing die: your manual will tell you which one to use.
  3. Top off the case with the correct bullet, insert it into the shell holder, and press upward: you’ll know the bullet is properly seated when you hear a distinct clicking sound.

At this point, the round is reloaded and ready to be fired.

Why You Should Keep Your Can of Reloading Powder Visible at All Times

Safety is everything when it comes to using supplies for reloading ammo. One important tip is to keep your container of powder handy and highly visible throughout the reloading process.

That’s because different types of powder vary widely in terms of performance. For example, flake powder can burn faster or more aggressively than stick powder, even when equivalent amounts are used. Mixing them up can lead to catastrophic results.

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