Reloading Press Basics
The reloading press is one of those inventions that is almost always found among older reloading implements. While ammunition is in incredibly short supply around the country, the tools to create ammunition from scratch are also in abundance supply both online and in gun shops. With a reloading press you can easily make your own ammunition at home without ever taking that long drive to the gun shop. Most of these types of presses can be purchased for less than $100. If you have the room and the tools, this can be a very fun project that the whole family can get involved in.
The reloading press plate is the part that actually does all the work. There are four major parts to the press plate. They are the body of the press itself, which has a cylindrical shape; a locking plate which holds the powder in place for the priming or loading process, there is a hopper that feeds the primers through the press tube, a magazine which holds the spent brass shell until it is ready to be loaded again, and finally there is the load function which the user activates by pulling down on the handle. If you want to load more shells into the magazine, you simply move the handle to the "load" position. These types of presses can work with any type of cartridge, so even if you are not an experienced shooter you can still get this machine to fire off several rounds.
The body of the press is made out of two pieces. The front is the cylindrical shaped material on the top, and the rear is a cylindrical material on the bottom. Both pieces have plates that lock into place, and when the lock is engaged, the bottom piece fits between the two pieces. This creates a seal, which makes the material very sturdy and durable. Press plates can be used in a variety of ways, depending on what the particular application needs.
To load a case, the primer tube is fed from the left side of the press to the case. Once the primer is inside, the case is placed on top of the primer tube and turned on its side so that the case is loaded on top of it. Once the case is loaded, the case rim is fed down into the primer tube until it hits the bottom of the primer tube and is sealed. Then the case is tilted back towards the shooter and the drum is loaded, which is done by tilting the gun until the primer tube is against the bottom of the primer tube.
After the primer tube is loaded, it is turned on its end so that the primer tip is against the bottom of the primer tube. A rubber band or an anchor is used to ensure that the primers stick to the primer tube. Then the primers are forced through the primer tube on their way to the bullet. As the primers travel through the tube, they make tiny cracks that are the places where the primer meets the bullet. These cracks are called primer bites.
As the primer makes these small cracks the tension on the primer pulls the primer up against the bullet. This causes a force called "amine" to be applied to the primer. When the primer is released, this process repeats itself, until the primer tube is empty again. This is a very important part of the reloading process, because with no primer tube, the primers would simply fly out the open end of the tube and the case wouldn't fire.
When a primer is forced through a pistol primer, the primer acts as a trap to hold the bullet. This keeps the primer and bullet separate, causing them to meet at a precise angle and force. This is one reason why manufacturers recommend using steel cases for your ammunition. Using a soft case allows the primer to be shot smoothly and there is less chance of damaging the primer due to impacts with objects outside of the pistol's path. The lack of primer trapping also makes it easier to load primer into the firearm.
After the primer tube is empty, the next step is to load the gun. Again, proper procedure is best achieved with practice, but this is an easy way to load a pistol cartridge. Simply place the loaded gun in the reloading press and manually load the primers in one at a time. Then place the primer tube back into place and snap the excess primer out of the tube. There are two methods available to load the primers into the firearm. The two methods are described below.