Reloading safety

  1. These instructions on Reloading Safety should be read in conjunction with the Warnings section.
  2. Take care at all times – items and equipment used for reloading can all be dangerous if mishandled or abused.
  3. Keep reloading components out of the reach of children – in particular powder, primers and lead projectiles.
  4. Keep powder away from other combustible material and from possible sources of ignition.
  5. Do not keep old powders, salvaged powders or powders of uncertain origins.
  6. Do not smoke in areas where powder is stored or while handling powder or primers.
  7. Only store powder in its original container to avoid the risk of the powder being mislabelled.
  8. Do not leave any powder or primers in reloading presses or in powder/primer dispensers after handloading is completed.
  9. Clean up spilled powder promptly. Use a brush and dustpan – do not use a vacuum cleaner. Keep the waste powder under water in a suitable container until it can be disposed of safely. Do not accumulate large amounts of waste powder.
  10. Each ADI Powder has specific burning rate and bulking characteristics determined by its composition, geometry and manufacturing process. The factors are carefully controlled during manufacture to ensure consistent ballistic performance. Do not attempt to mix or blend different powders as such mixtures may produce dangerous and erratic velocities and pressures.
  11. Develop a strict routine for reloading operations and avoid distraction such as television, visitors etc.
  12. Recheck each operation for safety and uniformity.
  13. Double check critical points like powder type, projectile weight and diameter before starting.
  14. Only have one powder type and one projectile type in the actual working area while reloading.
  15. Do not trim cases below the minimum design length for any calibre.
  16. Ensure that cases are not deformed and are free of body splits, mouth cracks, enlarged primer pockets, enlarged flash holes and any foreign matter.
  17. Only use cases which are dry (but do not dry cases by direct heating or in an oven above 150 ºC.
  18. Check Projectiles for damage and ensure that lead projectiles are free from casting defects.
  19. Always wear safety glasses or goggles while reloading and wear gloves while handling lead projectiles.
  20. Owing to the effect of variations within allowable manufacturing tolerances for cartridge components made by different manufacturers, weapon variations and conditions, operating temperatures etc, pressures developed by any given rifle or pistol load can vary significantly from those that apply to our recommended loads. It is therefore essential that loads be worked up from a charge weight lower than the recommended maximum, watching for any signs of excessive pressure (difficult extraction, gas leaks, flattened or blown primers, unusual recoil or expanded case heads). Loads can then be worked up to safe comfortable levels providing signs of excessive pressure are not observed. If signs of excessive pressure are noticed then loads must be reduced until they are at least 5% lower than the load at which the excessive pressure signs were first noted.
  21. Take special care when working up trial loads with slow burning powders in large calibre cartridges. Light loads in some calibres may produce occasional dangerously high pressures. It is suggested that minimum loads in large calibre cartridges should not be reduced below about 75% case capacity.
  22. Keep detailed records of your safe loads for your weapons and consult them before reloading. However, be prepared to work them up again whenever you change the lot of powder or alter the weapon. Normally a starting reduction of 5% in charge weight is all that should be necessary when you change lots of powder.
  23. Never exceed maximum recommended loads.
  24. Carry out frequent check weighing of powder charges thrown either by a hand operated powder measure or reloading press to ensure the setting has not changed. At least five charges should be used for each check using a good set of powder scales.
  25. Because many recommended loads (especially for pistols) do not fill the cartridge case it is essential that, prior to bullet seating, each filled case is individually inspected to ensure that it contains only a single charge. Never load a cartridge with a double charge as excessively dangerous pressures are certain to occur. After bullet seating, the cartridge overall length must be individually checked to ensure that it has not fallen below the minimum design value where excessive dangerous pressures may be experienced.
  26. Ensure that all reloaded cartridges are free from oil, grease, excess lead bullet lubricant and any other foreign matter prior to firing.
  27. Never attempt to decap live primers from a cartridge case. Primed cases or cartridges should always be fired in a firearm to destroy the primer.

Note: Whenever practicable, avoid loading to maximum possible velocity. Experienced shooters know that velocities which are somewhat slower than maximum will usually give the best accuracy while helping to prolong weapon and barrel life and making shooting more comfortable.