5 Tips For Using Reloaded Brass In Firearms

Many firearm enthusiasts use reloaded brass ammo to save money and to be able to shoot more often. As you develop a routine, reloading will not seem to take so long. Although reloaded rounds offer a good value proposition, improper use can lead to injuries or firearm damages that are costlier than buying factory ammo. These tips will help you avoid major problems.

1. Only Use Your Own Reloads.
This is the cardinal rule of using reloaded ammo in any firearm. You have no way of knowing if someone else is knowledgeable or careful enough to consistently produce safe high-quality reloads. Even companies that are otherwise considered reputable have sold unsafe batches of reloaded ammo that destroy bolt carriers, cause polymer magazines to break into pieces and injure customers. Once you have learned every step and safety precaution involved in reloading brass, be sure that you understand proper techniques. Avoid using any of your own reloaded rounds that you do not feel confident about.

2. Always Discard Rounds With Cracked Casings.
When you are looking at brass casings before reloading, inspect them for tiny cracks. You should also inspect your rounds after they are reloaded before putting them into a magazine. Small cracks allow dangerous gases to leak out toward your face while you shoot. In a worst-case scenario, the casings can rupture badly enough to leave brass in the chamber.

3. Check The Primers Before Loading.
When you are ready to put your reloaded rounds into a magazine, look at the primers to see if they are properly seated. If any rounds have primers that are not fully seated, do not use them. Primers that are not fully seated can cause the action to lock up. When reloading your rounds, always check for any buildup around the primer pockets. If you do not use hand tools to seat primers, start using them. That is one of the best ways to avoid this problem. Also, be sure to keep any dirt or debris away from the top of the primer as you are reloading.

4. Inspect Casings For Uniform Length.
Although you should check all reloaded ammo twice, you must be especially careful to ensure that your bottleneck casings are prepared and loaded correctly. Bottleneck casings often stretch when they are fired. If they are not trimmed properly before reloading, they become constricted during firing. Your ammo will be inaccurate and inconsistent. If you fail to trim the bottleneck casings and proceed to fill them, overfilling is an increased risk. An overfilled round can damage your rifle and injure you badly. Non-bottleneck casings can also stretch and should be checked for uniform length. You must never skip this step.

5. Inspect Entire Bullets For Uniform Appearance.
Get an empty ammo box or a plastic reusable one that allows you to place your rounds upright and separate them. Load them in the box one row at a time after you have seated the bullet on the casing. If you see a round that looks shorter or longer than the others, first compare the casing length to see if the mistake lies there. If not, the bullet was seated incorrectly. Be sure that bullets are seated straight and at the right depth. Discard any imperfect or suspicious rounds for your own safety.

If you have a new firearm and you want to test reloaded rounds with different types of powders to see which one works best, fire at least 20 rounds of each test batch to allow for proper grouping. Since the firearm is new, it can be tricky to determine which batch is working better without cleaning between different variants. Be sure to clean your barrel between each testing batch to ensure that your conclusion is as accurate as possible. Also, look at your targets to make notes. The ammo that works best with your gun and produces the most accurate results on your target will be your goal for future reloading. Develop a meticulous routine for precision in reloading techniques in the beginning, and you can shoot with confidence in the future.

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