A fully illustrated beginner’s guide to handloading
By Jason Wimbiscus
The art of handloading doesn’t need a reason. It only needs desire…
Traditionally, hunters and firearms enthusiasts take up the craft of handloading in order to mitigate the inherent costs of high volume shooting. Yet in recent years the price of cartridge components has risen drastically, making it debatable as to whether or not handloading is still a money saver. I say regardless of this diminishing ability to alleviate your shooting cost, assembling one’s own ammunition is still a rewarding and relaxing activity that offers a shooter the opportunity to craft custom ammunition tailored specifically to his or her own firearms.
The following is a photographic, beginner’s guide to handloading. While there will be some variation in the process depending on the make and model of the equipment you are using, the basics will remain the same. The guide covers loading metallic cartridges on a Lee single stage press using Lee dies. Manuals provided by manufacturers should be consulted prior to using any reloading tool.
Not covered in this how-to is shotshell loading or the use of turret presses or automated systems. The cartridge loaded in this guide is a .357 magnum with a 158 grain Hornady XTP bullet and charged with 17.0