Guide to reloading - this is an outline

First - reloading should only be done by competent persons

Best Plan is to be shown the process!

Lots of club members will do this for you!

You can use a single stage press or a Progressive press (look it up)

Essential stages

1. Clean the used cases a tumble polisher is best option

2. Decap or remove dead primers

3. Size cases - they stretch when fired

4. press in new primer

5. gently flare case mouth (not needed with boat-tail bullets)

6. add accurate single measure of propellant powder

7. Seat or insert bullet

8. Crimp case to hold bullet (mandatory for pistol only)


1. Cleaning is not absolutely necessary but makes handling and checking for cracks in case easier - Recommended

2 & 3 Usually done together in one process by use of a die, adjustment to the die is required    - lubrication before this stage will be required if you don't use carbide dies - but not using carbide dies is daft if they are available for your ammunition type

4 do this manually or in the press but seat primer so that it is below the cartridge surface - for obvious reasons! Do take care, do wear protective specs, face the cartridge away from you

5 & 6 are usually done at one die on a progressive press - flaring is important, adjustment to the die is required to ensure the bullet is introduced into the mouth of the case before seating otherwise seating is difficult and leads to the bullet having lumps shaved off it and you get ammo that doesn't work! With rifle bullets that have a boat tail flaring is not required

7 bullet seated to correct depth to give proper OAL or Over All Length so that the bullet fits in the gun and does not develop too much pressure when fired (or indeed not enough!). Pressure rises if the powder space is reduced - always check for signs of over pressure (like difficulty in opening a bolt or the fired primer being flattened rather than dimpled)

8 crimping is needed with straight walled pistol rounds to make the bullet firmly held adjustment to the die is required  for this. It is not needed in bottle nose rifle ammo unless you're going fully automatic - naughty!


Many members of Sidcup RC will be happy and able to take you through the process - it does not take very long!

The Internet will provide a good many answers to queries you may have please use it intelligently and/or you could get this book which is easy to follow and relatively cheap