Can you reload your ammunition? Yes, and even though it will save you some money, you can end up with common mistakes such as over crimping, cracks on the case, and using the wrong charge powder. Here we look at the ten common reloading mistakes and how to avoid them. Let’s kick off the discussion.
10 Common Reloading Mistakes to Avoid
1. Cracks on cartridges
A crack on cartridges is the most common mistake re-loaders make, and the good news is that it is avoidable. The truth of the matter is that cartridges may have tiny cracks on the neck area, base, or the bottom. Unfortunately, many times, you may not be able to see them.
The danger of having a crack is, gasses can escape through when you start firing. In a worst-case scenario, the enclosure can get totally worn out.
When this happens, there will be reloading problems of brass inside the chamber. Raptures cases can blow the hot gasses backward or propel the particles by way of motion and can lead to a powerful explosion. It can be frightening and can lead to injuries.
To avoid this situation, you need to follow a few steps and inspect the case before you reload. It’s a simple process that doesn’t need the use of tools or hardware. Using your fingers, turn the cases gently to locate the cracks. Typically, rings at the base measuring up to 0.6 inches from its rim are a perfect indication of a crack.
Accordingly, you may want to recycle a case after shooting mostly due to economic reasons. Although it will save you money, there will be a danger if you fail to inspect them properly. Any case with cracks or dents endangers you and cause less accurate shots.
2. Dents on the cases
Although cracks are relatively common, even dents can occur because of big trouble if not adequately addressed. They can lead to inadequate ammo if the powder is not correctly placed in the cartridge. Such a situation may cause the rifle to fire or not to fire. Likewise, your shots may be inaccurate, and it can be dangerous.
Applying too much sizing lube on the cases can cause dents. This is inherent in rifles with a bottleneck design. Reloading dies normally have a small hole for releasing excess lube.
However, these holes may not release much lube. When you release a lot of lube, you’ll not have a problem with sizing; however, there will be a buildup on the neck area.
Eventually, the lube will cause a dent in the cases. The danger in firing such a case is that the pieces will be pushed out and strain the brass. Excess pressure will cause the case to crack or split.
To prevent dents, you need to inspect the cartridge thoroughly before you reload. If it has dents, then you can have it repaired or use a new one without dents.
3. Using the wrong amount of powder charge
Using the wrong powder charge is one of the most common mistakes re-loaders make. Unfortunately, it can be dangerous to the user. Powder charges can be either way, excess, or less, and it’s difficult estimating the right quantity.
Although the risk is lows on magnum rifle due to more space for burning the fuels, it can be severe in other scenarios. It can be tragic when you use the wrong powder. For instance, if you use a pistols powder to charge a rifle case, it can cause the rifle to be disassembled and cause injury.
It’s vital to use different containers for the powders to avoid such a situation when loading. It eliminates the risk of using the wrong powder.
For handguns, you van double charge, but a flashlight comes in handy to estimate the powder levels. Alternatively, you can install a powder measuring machine to help when measuring the powder levels.
Sometimes the bullet could be having the wrong quantities of the powder charge. It’s crucial to inspect the level of powder before you seat the bullet. Typically, some reloading packages have preset powder amounts more, so the superior options. It is ideal to avoid using more powder than required.
In your kit, you can check if there’s a reloading manual with instructions of the right quantity of powder depending on your riffle. Ensure to follow the rules as a way of enhancing safety as you fire the gun. Other than incurring more costs, failure to follow instructions can be dangerous and can make you miss your target.
4. Unreliable primers
A primer should be well seated to prevent locking up. Failure to seat a primer well can be dangerous since it will be sensitive upon impact. Ensure the primers are in their rightful positions to get an accurate shot.
Accordingly, any part of the primer that protrudes can react to any impact, more so in semi-automatic rifles that push new cartridges into its chamber.
It’s vital to ensure the primer sacks are clean and ensure the primer pockets are in the pockets. Failure to clean can lead to a buildup of fouling. At least they should be located further away from the case head plane.
You can sort this issue by use of small tools while paying attention to the entire priming structure. In the process, don’t lose the components. Particles can settle on the surface of the ram, and this can cause dents and interfere with the seat. You can also opt for a quality progressive reloading press to avoid the hassle.
5. Using too much pressure when you’re seating primers
Excess seating can also be a problem which you should avoid. For instance, pushing a primer too deep can be dangerous. Try to position the primer in its pocket without pressing too hard.
It’s important to avoid using too much pressure when you’re seating primers.
Preferably the primers should seat below the case head plane. Apply force or tightening can lead to a problem. The anvil feature can crush the prime before the shooting and lead to hypersensitivity. To avoid such a scenario, use little pressure to avoid dismantling the primer seating.
6. Untrimmed cartridge cases
Most people hate the idea of trimming cases, and you may make the mistake of using an untrimmed one. Trimming cases should be routine to ensure they perform well. Most people will make the mistake of shooting with the wrong case sizing, and this can make you miss your target.
Some rifles may not require trimming due to the size of the chambers. Bolt actions are classy and have long chambers cases. However, a more extended case may crash and reduce accuracy. Likewise, semi-autos will crash easily if the length is longer. The best thing is to trim the cartridge cases whenever they outgrow.
There are some details on case trimmers. Read it here.
7. Wrong positioning of the bullets
For accurate shots, the bullets must be well positions at the tip of the cartridge case. Reloading gone wrong can be due to loaders placing the bullet inside before reaching the die. It’s crucial to counter check. A quick solution is to have a ready to use bullets.
If the bullets seat further on the outside, this can be a problem. Some accurate shooters may prefer to seat the bullets too long so that they cut in on the rifling just before the chamber.
Without a doubt, a lot of rifles will shoot accurately when the bullets are well seated. There’s nothing wrong with this when it comes to accurate shooting. However, since it can engrave the rifling, it may not be desirable when hunting. When you try to detach the cartridge, the bullet may stick, and you lose your target.
8. When case mouths shave bullets
Quite often, when rifle bullets are seat in unfired cartridge cases, the bullet will be shaved by the case mouths, which can interfere with precision. Try to chamfer the interior of the cartridge mouth using a special hand tool.
9. Too much crimping
The process of crimping involves securing the bullets in such a way there are no movements whatsoever. One common mistake is to over crimp, and in effect, there is a protrusion in the cartridge case mouth below the crimping area. The cartridge might not chamber.
It’s vital not to seat or crimp simultaneously. Start with seating the bullets, then you can finally crimp, and when you crimp, don’t overdo it. It can distort your cartridge neck and lead to a deformed bullet.
Shotshell crimp problem is a major issue while reloading. Read the shotshell crimp issues and solution here.
10. Little crimping
Crimping is vital; however, you shouldn’t over crimp or under crimp. Under crimping can be an issue, especially on magnum and straight-walled cartridges. With Magnum riffles, the bullets will creep forward every time you shoot. When the creep further away, one may bulge from the mouth of the chamber and end up locking your gun.
If more cartridges are loaded into the chamber, it will be an increase in pressure. If by any chance, there’s insufficient crimping, the bullet can easily pop into the case and eventually cripple the rife.
Reloading can be satisfactory and will save you money on purchasing ready-made bullets. Nonetheless, it’s essential to take note of the common mistakes herein and how to avoid them. The bottom line is, follow these reloading tips and invest in good reloading tools to help in eliminating common errors during reloading.