Getting Started

Reloading requires removing the spent primer, resizing the case and putting a slight bell in the mouth of the case so a bullet can be inserted. Seat a new primer, add powder, and the bullet is pushed into the correct depth and crimped in place.

The biggest variables are powder and bullet selection; what powder you use and how much varies from load to load. Charges can either be weighed out individually, or measured by volume, which is how most powder measures work. The Lee die set I bought came with a yellow scoop and a helpful chart showing how much of each powder that scoop would, well, scoop up, and what bullet it could safely be loaded under.

As I started to experiment with more unusual calibers for which there was no handy “scoop chart” I needed some means to weigh charges, so I purchased a balance beam scale and powder measure. With the scale, I could adjust the measure until it produced the correct charge: once set, rotate the handle and it dumped out the correct charge. It was faster and more precise, but loading still took time.