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PrecisionReloading.net: Reloading Dictionary
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  • Reloading Dictionary

    “Ackley wildcats” : Common name for wildcat cartridges carrying the ‘improved’ name. Typically, cartridge shoulder angle is increased and body taper decreased. This increases internal capacity, often improving performance. In addition, improved cases demonstrate more positive headspacing, as well as increased brass life due to a reduction of brass flow (due to the sharp shoulder angle).

    “balloonhead case” : Early metalic cartridge case design notorious for having thin case walls in the case head area. Generally, these cases are not recommended for reloading due to the high risk of rupture.

    “battered cartridge” : A round of ammunition that has been so damaged that it cannot fit into the chamber.

    “bell mouth” : 1. Term used to describe barrels or metallic cartridge mouths that have been enlarged, often for the same purpose; admission of powder and/or projectile; 2. Term used to describe the flared muzzle of a blunderbuss. Originally thought to provide better shot distribution, it was greatly helpful in loading under adverse conditions, such as on a moving coach or horse.

    “belted cartridge case” : A case with a distinct raised ring around the head just forward of the extractor groove, used to headspace the cartridge. Found on many high velocity rifle cartridges.

    “benchrest dies” : Precision reloading dies that differ from standard dies by the addition of built-in micrometer stops, adjustable neck sizing rings, and in-line bullet seating mechanisims designed to produce the most accurate ammunition possible.

    “Berdan decapping tool” : A specialty device for depriming berdan cases. The case holder supports the case while decapping unit pries out the primer.

    “blackpowder measure” : Powder measurer designed to be used with black powder, typically featuring an aluminum powder hopper. The intent of this design is to reduce or eliminate possible static electricity discharges, which black powder is very sensitive to.

    “body” : 1. That portion of a case between the head and the point where the shoulder begins to taper; 2. English term for ‘receiver’.

    “bottleneck cartridge case” : A cartridge case having abrupt reduction in its diameter toward its open or mouth end, often called the ‘shoulder’ of the cartridge. This permits large case capacity without making the case overly long.

    “brass” : 1. A metallic compound composed of copper and zinc used in the manufacture of cartridge cases; 2. General term used to describe the case of a cartridge without implying the actual composition of the case. Thus, a pile of steel, aluminum, and brass cartridge cases could be called a pile of ‘brass’.

    “brass polish” : Chemical or abrasive compound used to produce a bright shine when applied to brass cartridge cases.

    “cap chamber” : English expression for an integrally-primed case’s primer pocket.

    “carbide die” : Sizing die that utilizes a hardened carbide ring or lining to minimize wear associated with reloading. Straight wall cartridges that utilize carbide do not normally need to be lubricated prior to reloading.

    “cartridge case” : The main body of a single round into which other components are inserted to form a cartridge. Usually refers to centerfire and rimfire cartridges. Serves as a gas seal during firing of the cartridge. Usually made of brass, steel, copper, aluminum or plastic Also referred to as a shellcase.

    “cartridge headspace gage” : Cylinder-type gauge for checking fired and resized cartridge cases for cone-to-head and overall length. Used to compare cartridges against the minimum SAAMI chamber dimensions.

    “cartridge spinner” : Case preparation tool used in conjunction with a rotary device. Can be used for case cleaning, trimming, deburring or chamfering.

    “case” : Refers to the body of a round of ammunition; the metallic body of a centerfire/rimfire round, or the plastic/brass body of a shotgun shell

    “case extraction groove” : An annular groove cut in rimless, semi-rimmed cartridge or belted cases, forward of the head, for the purpose of providing a surface that the gun extractor may grip to remove the case from the chamber. Also called Cannelure.

    “case feeder tubes” : Tube used to support a column of cartridge case which supplies a case feeder as used on a progressive reloading press

    “case forming” : Changing a cartridge case to another shape by forming in a different sizing die.

    “case head” : The area of a case just above and below the extraction groove. Includes the primer pocket and flash hole.

    “case head forms” : Case manufacturing die used to shape the head and primer pocket to the cartridge specifications.

    “case head rupture” : A separation of the cartridge case in the area of the case head. This is often caused by improper headspacing, worn brass, or excessive pressure.

    “case neck reaming” : Process of reaming the inside of the cartridge case mouth to ensure concentricity and remove excess material.

    “case neck turning” : Process of shaving metal off the outside diameter of the case neck to reduce case neck thickness and create uniformity, a trait desired by competition shooters. Also called “outside neck turning.”

    “case overall length” : The maximum length established for a case of a certain cartridge designation.

    “case rupture” : A circumferential separation in the side wall of a cartridge case caused by extreme pressure, a worn cartridge case, or the use of the wrong cartridge. May be a complete or partial tear in the case wall separating the head and body. Also known as ‘case separation’.

    “case shoulder” : The angled or tapered section of a bottleneck cartridge case connecting the main body of the case to the smaller diameter neck

    “case trimming” : Shortening an overly long case by removing metal at the case mouth. This is used to create uniform brass for proper ammunition manufacture.

    “chamfer” : The process of reaming or beveling a slight taper on the inside of a case mouth to remove nicks and scratches left by the case trimming operation; facilitate the seating of a bullet in the cartridge case.

    “chamfering-deburring tool” : A device to chamfer (bevel) the inside of a cartridge case mouth which facilitates bullet seating, the tool also removes metal burrs from the mouths of newly trimmed cases.

    “complete round” : A finished piece of ammunition containing a primer, case, powder, and bullet/shot.

    “copper wash” : A thin plate of copper finish applied to various reloading components such as brass and bullets.

    “crimp die” : A reloading die that performs the final step of securing the case mouth against the bullet. May or may not include a sizer function. Shotgun cartridges normally utilize a ‘star’ crimp for plastic hulls, while rifle and handgun ammunition traditionally uses either a roll or taper crimp.

    “crimp remover” : A tool used in reloading during case preparation to remove the primer crimp from the primer pockets of military cases.

    “cannelure” : 1. A circumferential groove generally of corrugated appearance cut or impressed into a bullet or cartridge case. The purpose of the cannelure is to hold the bullet in the case and is used when a roll crimp is applied to the bullet; 2. Sometimes used in reference to an extractor groove.

    “datum line” : The midpoint of a bottleneck case shoulder, which is the point at which a non-belted, non-rimmed bottleneck case is headspaced.

    “deburr” : To remove notches, burrs, dings, or other rough spots occasionally found on case mouth edges after being trimmed.  See also:

    “decapping die” : Reloading die that utilizes an integral decapping pin for primer removal.

    “Everlasting case” : A cartridge case that can be safely reloaded and fired many more times than cases of regular thickness brass. This type of case was often used for target rifles using fixed or semi-fixed ammunition. Also called a ‘reusable case’.

    “expander die” : A reloading die designed to widen the case neck/mouth in order to allow proper seating of a bullet.

    “factory crimp” : The crimp placed on the case mouth against the bullet that comes standard on a specific type of ammunition, such as a taper crimp on rimless autoloading pistol ammunition or a roll crimp on rimmed revolver ammunition.

    “factory crimp die” : A reloading die that places a factory crimp on a cartridge.

    “fireform” : To reform a cartridge case by firing it in a chamber of different dimension, such as body width or shoulder angle. Often used to increase the case capacity of standard cartridges.

    “flash hole” : The hole or holes from the primer pocket through the web of a centerfire case through which the primer flame passes to ignite powder.

    “form die” : 1. A reloading die used to reform the dimensions of a case; 2. A bullet making die used to form specific nose, ogive, and base characteristics.

    “full length resizing” : The reloading process of using a metallic die to shape a cartridge case back to its original outside diameter dimensions from the extractor groove to the mouth.

    “full length resizing die” : A reloading die that sizes the cartridge case to its original dimensions

    “primer leak” : Expanding gases that have managed to exit through the firing pin hole of the breechface due to either a pierced primer or a loose fit between the primer and the primer pocket wall.

    “head separation” : The disconnection of the case head from the case body. Normally a sign of weak brass and/or high chamber pressures.

    “hull” : Though generally used as a reference to any cartridge case, it is most commonly used to denote a plastic shotgun shell.

    “hydraulic dent” : In reloading, the use of excess lube on the outside of a case when sizing. The liquid lubricant is forced against the sides of the dies until the weaker case body collapses, creating a single or set of grooves in the body running from the web to the neck.

    “incipient rupture” : The partial separation of the cartridge case in a circumferential direction above the head. Also called incipient separation.

    “knockout die” : A type of hand held reloading die in which a hammer is used to force the case in and out of the die chamber for sizing, seating and crimping.

    “lacquer” : A resin compound used as a finishing agent for gunstocks and cartridge cases. It produces a hard, glossy, clear finish

    “lacquered case” : A cartridge case coated in a film of lubricating or waterproofing compound.

    “reloading dies” : The metal cylinders used in a reloading press to perform the shaping, charging and seating functions of the reloading process.

    “lock rings” : Circular, threaded rings on the outside of reloading dies used to mark the height position of a die. The ring prevents the die from changing the reloading characteristics from case to case, and allows the die to be removed and put back into the same position.

    “military crimp” : A feature found on many cartridges manufactured for military use. It is designed to secure the primer in one of two ways. The first is by means of one or more small indentations in the face of the cartridge case around the edge of the primer pocket recess, this type of military crimp is known as a stab crimp. The second type of military crimp is by means of a small ring around the edge of the primer pocket recess which presses a small ring of brass around the primer in order to keep it from backing out.

    “neck die” : A reloading die used in a press to resize the neck of a case to SAAMI specifications.

    “neck reaming” : The process of removing metal from the inside of the neck of the case.

    “neck down” : To decrease the diameter of the cartridge neck in order to use a smaller caliber bullet than standard for the case.

    “neck expanding” : The practice of adding a bell flare to the mouth of a case. This assists with proper bullet seating.

    “neck sizing” : The reloading process of forcing a cartridge case into a ‘neck die’ in order to resize just the upper portion of the case to SAAMI dimensional specifications. On bottleneck cases, neck sizing consists of reshaping the area from the mouth to just below the shoulder.

    “case neck turning” : Process of shaving metal off the outside diameter of the case neck to reduce case neck thickness and create uniformity, a trait desired by competition shooters. Also called “outside neck turning.”

    “neck up” : To increase the diameter of the cartridge neck in order to use a larger caliber bullet than standard for the case.

    “once-fired brass” : Brass collected at police, military and public ranges that is collected and resold. Such brass comes in three states: Grade 1 is brass that has been decrimped, deprimed, cleaned and possibly sorted; Grade 2 is brass that has been cleaned and possibly sorted; Grade 3 is brass that comes ‘as-is’ from the pickup point.

    “over bore capacity” : Applied in describing a cartridge case that has a capacity that exceeds the amount of powder that can be most efficiently used in it. Though a negative characteristic due to increase barrel wear, muzzle blast and felt recoil, the increase in muzzle energy and reduction in trajectory curve is sometimes highly valued.

    “powder thru expander die” : A reloading die used in press. The die contains an expander for belling the case mouth, and an orifice in the top for dropping powder from an integral powder measure.

    “prime” : To position a small charge of explosive in a cartridge or firearm in such as way as to make its ignition virtually synonymous with the ignition of the larger powder charge, such as in a flash pan primer charge, a percussion cap or primer

    “power trimmer” : A motorized method for trimming cartridge cases.

    “rebated rim cartridge case” : A cartridge case that has a rim diameter smaller than the diameter of the case body. The case can be either bottleneck or straight wall

    “reprime” : To add a new primer to a cartridge case that has already been fired once.

    “resizing die” : The reloading die made of metal that reshapes a cartridge case or cast lead bullet to its proper dimensions.

    “rifle case” : A protective device for the storage and/or transportation of a long gun. Such devices can be either soft or hard on the outside, and are the best method for storage when traveling for both aesthetic and legal reasons.

    “powder die” : A reloading die used to drop a measured charge of gunpowder into a cartridge case prior to bullet seating.

    “rim” : The portion of a cartridge case head gripped by the extractor in order to pull a case from the chamber. May be formed by the inclusion of an extractor groove, or may be wider than the case body.

    “rimless cartridge case” : A metallic cartridge case that has a rim diameter that is the same size as the outside

    “rimless cartridge case” : A metallic cartridge case that has a rim diameter that is the same size as the outside diameter of the case body. diameter of the case body.

    “rimmed cartridge case” : A cartridge case without an extractor ring that has instead a lip that extends outwards from the base. The lip is of a slightly larger diameter than the case body diameter.

    “rotary tumbler” : A type of cartridge case cleaning device that is loaded with cleaning media and dirty cartridges and spun on a central, horizontal axis. The rotary motion rubs the media against the cartridges and removes the dirt and grime from them.

    “season cracking” : A type of metallic case defect generally found in older cartridge cases. The neck of the case will split or separate in a lengthwise direction at the point where the bullet is seated. This is often due to improper heat treating of the cartridge case. This defect is seldom encountered in modern cartridge cases.

    “seat” : 1. In reloading, the act of placing a bullet into a case mouth and pushing it into the case body or neck; 2. The placement of a cartridge case fully into the chamber of a firearm; 3. A term occasionally used to denote the movement of a part or assembly into a specific position; 4. The placement of a long gun’s buttstock firmly into the shoulder pocket.

    “seating die” : A reloading die that inserts the bullet in the neck of the cartridge case.

    “solid drawn case” : A cartridge case manufactured from a solid tube of brass.

    “split body” : A fracture in the body wall of a metallic cartridge case. Such cases should not be used as they pose a serious safety risk.

    “split neck” : A fracture in the neck of metallic cartridge case. Such cases should not be used as they pose a serious safety risk.

    “straight taper case” : A metallic cartridge case without a shoulder whose case walls slightly taper as towards the case mouth.

    “straight wall case” : A cartridge case that has little to no change in outside diameter of the body from the extractor groove to the case mouth.

    “stuck case remover” : A device to remove stuck cases in reloading dies or the chamber of a firearm.

    “taper crimp” : A taper crimp has the mouth of the case pressed into the bullet body without bending the case mouth. Most c

    “taper crimp die” : A reloading die used in a press to create a taper crimp. ommonly used on cartridges intended for use in auto-loading firearms.

    “trim die” : A reloading die that allows a cartridge case to extend just above the die, to be filed down to its correct overall length dimension using the top edge of the die as a guide.

    “tumble” : A cartridge case cleaning method that utilizes organic materials rotated or vibrated against the cases.

    “tumble lube” : The lubricating of bullet or metallic cartridges via a tumbler device with lube added to the tumbler bowl.

    “tumbling media” : Any type of material placed inside a tumbler so as to scrape dirt and grime from the surfaces of a metallic cartridge case.

    “universal shellholder” : A reloading press shellholder of common design that can fit in a number of mainstream presses.

    “Venturi shoulder” : A bottleneck cartridge case shoulder radius that increase the internal case capacity. The Venturi shoulder is most often seen in the line of Weatherby belted magnums released in the last 50 years.

    “Vickerman seater die” : A bullet seating die used in reloading presses. This type of die is popular for its inline seating style, and its ability to accurately seat bullets into the case mouth.

    “walnut media” : Cartridge cleaning material made from chopped walnut hulls. Used in a tumbler to scrape dirt and grime from metallic cartridges.

    “web” : On a metalllic cartridge case, the thick, solid area between the powder chamber and the primer pocket. This is the strongest portion of the cartridge.

    “die” : A precisely machined tool which is used to shape, form, or mold any type of material.

    “+P” : A symbol indicating a cartridge that has been loaded to a higher pressure than a standard factory cartridge loaded to SAAMI specifications. This symbol is often stamped on the head of the case. Manufacturers recommend that this ammunition only be fired in well-maintained firearms specifically designed for the higher pressure load.

    “+P+” : A symbol indicating a cartridge that has been loaded to an extremely high pressure above that of a standard factory cartridge loaded to SAAMI specifications. This symbol is often stamped on the head of the case. Manufacturers recommend that this ammunition only be fired in well-maintained firearms specifically designed for the higher pressure load

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