The reloading of ammunition is not a complicated process but it does take knowledge and experience to reload safely. The following are common reloading questions and answers for the firearm beginner.
What is involved with Reloading Ammunition? How do you Reload?
The reloading process varies slightly with each type and caliber of ammo being reloaded. In general, the reloading process consists of the following:
- Inspect and Clean Brass,
- De-prime & Resize Cases,
- Measure & Trim,
- De-burr & Chamfer (for rifle brass),
- Prime The Cases,
- Charge the Cases,
- Seat the Bullet,
- Crimp the Bullet.
Do 9mm Cases Need to be Trimmed?
No. Straight wall pistol cases do not need to be trimmed. Trimming cases is primarily done on rifle cases. Repeated shooting and sizing of bottleneck cases will cause the brass to stretch.
Straight walled pistol cases don’t stretch in length or if they do, isn’t enough to worry about trimming them. See Trimming 9mm Cases at bottom of page.
Are 9×19 Cases the Same as 9mm Luger Cases?
Yes. 9X19 = 9mm Luger = 9mm Parabellum = 9x19mm Parabellum (abbreviated 9mm, 9x19mm or 9×19) cartridge. Cases identified with the markings, 9×19, is also called the 9mm Luger or the 9mm Parabellum and is the world’s most popular pistol cartridge.
- 9X19 describes the cartridge by its diameter and length in millimeters.
- 9mm Luger describes the cartridge by the name of its inventor Georg Luger.
- 9mm Parabellum describes the cartridge by its purpose for war (the name Parabellum is derived from the Latin Si vis pacem, para bellum, meaning “If you seek peace, prepare for war”).
Can you safely “pop” a primer by shooting it (primer and empty case) in a gun?
Yes, but use care and under supervision. I shot one in a Glock 19 and it caused a jam because it did not have enough force to cycle the slide.
Have you ever removed a live primer using the press? Any danger involved?
Using a press is the proper way to remove a live primer for reuse or discard. When doing so, wear eye/face protection and try to keep your face and body as far away as possible from the primer when operating the press.
Is it OK to stack primer boxes on one another?
It is not recommended. In theory if one box of primes somehow ignited it may ignite the primers below it.
How to Clean Your Gun Without Bore Snakes
Don’t want to spend the money on a bore snake (which basically is a glorified shoe lace) to clean the barrel of your gun or the cylinders of your revolver? Here as some cheap alternatives.
Bore Snakes Using Shoe Laces
Use an old shoe lace to clean the barrel and cylinders of your .22 caliber revolver or the barrel of your .22 pistol. Pick a “fluffy” one with a diameter that closely approximates the diameter of your barrel and cylinders. Use as you would a bore snake. If it’s too thin, try tying a few knots (the more the better) in the shoe lace to make it thicker (at points) and provide better cleaning.
Make Your Own Bore Snake
Get an old cotton t-shirt or cotton cloth and cut into thin strips about an inch wide and 4 feet long. Trim one end to remove enough material such that it will fit through the barrel or cylinder of your gun and push it through with a cleaning rod.
Pull the remainder through to clean the barrel/cylinder. Experiment with different dimensions to provide the best cleaning. The best thing about these is that they are free and washable. Include them in your gun cleaning kit.
Rope or String
Go to the hardware store and find some cotton rope or string that closely approximates the diameter of your barrel and cylinders. Use as you would a bore snake.
Pipe Cleaners to Clean Your Pistol
You have to buy them and they may be hard to find in the right size but many people use pipe cleaners to clean the barrel and cylinders of their guns.
Bore Snakes made from rolled up paper towels
When there is nothing else around try using wads of paper towel as cleaning patches for your gun. Tear off a small piece of paper towel, wad it up and shove it through the barrel of your gun with the end of your cleaning rod. It works (sort of).