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Reloader's Language

Reloading has it's own “Language”. Here are some words to familiarize yourself with. See the Nosler reloading manual for more reloading information.

BELL

To flare a case mouth to receive a bullet easily.

BULLET

A piece of metal formed into a projectile. Available in a variety of shapes and weights.

BULLET SWAGING

The forming of a bullet using pressure in a die instead of casting molten lead in a mould.

CALIBER

The approximate diameter of a bullet or gun bore.

CANNELURE

One or more grooves cut around the circumference of a bullet where the crimped case can grip the bullet.

CARTRIDGE

A completely loaded, ready-to-fire round of ammunition.

CASE

A metal cylindrical container which holds the primer, powder and bullet. Also called brass.

CASE FORMING

To form cases of one caliber into a different caliber.

CHAMFER

To bevel the inside of a case mouth. The bevel allows rifle bullets to start into the case mouth without crushing the case.

CHRONOGRAPH

An instrument used to measure the velocity of a bullet.

COMPONENTS

The parts that make up a cartridge. The case, primer, powder and bullet.

CRIMP

To bend inward the mouth of a case to grip the bullet. Used only with bullets having a cannelure or crimping groove.

DEBURR

To remove the small metal burrs from inside and outside of a case mouth.

DECAPPING

Removal of the spent primer from a fired case.

DECAPPING PIN

The slim needle-like rod in the sizer die which pushes out the spent primer.

EXPANDER

The part of a die that expands the case mouth to receive the bullet.

FLASH HOLE

The hole through which the primer ignites the powder charge in a case.

HANDLOADING

Another term for reloading.

HANGFIRE

Slang term for any detectable delay in cartridge ignition.

IGNITION

The action of setting a powder charge on fire.

JACKET

The cover or “skin” of a bullet.

MISFIRE

The failure of a cartridge to fire after the firing pin strikes the primer.

NECK

That portion of a case which grips the bullet. In a bottlenecked case, that portion of the case in front of the shoulder.

NECK SIZER DIE

A die used to resize only the neck portion of the fired case back to approximately its original dimensions.

PRIMER POCKET SWAGING

The “smoothing out” of the crimped primer pocket found in military cases.

PRIMING

Installing a new primer into a case.

PROGRESSIVE PRESS

Allows the user to achieve multiple steps of the reloading process simultaneously. RCBS Progressive Presses are fully customizable and allow the user to reload up to 600 rounds per hour.

RAM

The steel rod running through the center of a press that holds the shell holder and drives the case into the die.

RELOADING PRESS

The tool which performs the major tasks of reloading.

RESIZE

To restore a fired case to approximately its original size.

ROUND

A military term for one complete cartridge.

SEATER DIE

The die that seats the bullet into the mouth of the powder charged and primed case.

SEATING DEPTH

The depth to which a bullet is seated in the case mouth.

SHELL HOLDER

The part that holds the case in proper alignment while the case is being run into the die.

SIZER DIE

A die used to resize a fired case back to approximately its original dimensions.

SPENT PRIMER

A primer that has been fired.

ULTRASONIC (CASE CLEANER)

Very high vibrations generated by an ultrasonic case cleaner that are used to clean brass cases. The ultrasonic case cleaner warms and vibrates ultrasonic case cleaning solution, removing buildup and restoring luster to brass cases.

Next: Step-By-Step Reloading