Hunting > Reloading
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Anneal: The process of altering the structure
of metal so as to relieve it's working stresses and increase it's
Anvil: A metallic part of the primer. The blow from the firing
pin crushes the priming mixture against the anvil causing ignition.
Ball: In military nomenclature this term refers
to the bullet.
Ball Powder: This is a trade name for a double-base smokeless
powder developed by Olin Industries. The grains have a spherical, or
flattened spherical shape.
Ballistics: The science of projectiles in motion.
Ballistic Coefficient: Ratio of the sectional density of a
bullet to its coefficient form. Represents the projectiles ability to
overcome air resistance in flight.
Battery Cup: A type of primer used in shotshells which makes
use of an outside cup to support it in the case.
Bearing Surface: That portion of the bullet surface which bears
on, or touches, the bore.
Bell: To open the mouth of a case slightly in order to seat a
bullet more easily. Also used in reference to a rifle barrel which is
worn at the muzzle (belled muzzle).
Belted: A band which is formed into the head of some cases
(magnum type) to strengthen the case and headspace of the cartridge.
Berdan: A common European priming system which makes use of an
anvil formed in the case itself.
Boattail: A bullet design having a tapered base.
Bore: The inside diameter of a barrel before the rifling is
Boxer Primer: A type of primer used in all American rifle and
pistol ammunition and featuring a self contained anvil. It is fitted
in the primer pocket in the head of centerfire cartridge cases.
Bullet: That portion of the cartridge which becomes a
projectile when in flight.
Burning Rate: A term which is used to describe the rapidity
with which a given powder will burn. The term itself is a relative one
based on a comparison with other powders.
Caliber: The approximate diameter of a bullet
or bore, expressed in decimals of an inch in English. In Europe, where
the metric system is used, this measurement is expressed in
Cannelure: A groove (or grooves) cut around the circumference
of a bullet. These grooves, usually one to a bullet, provide the best
means of securely crimping the case mouth into the bullet.
Case: The metal, plastic or paper container which holds all of
the components of a round of ammunition.
Case Neck Brush: The metal or nylon brush and handle used to
clean the inside of case necks.
Case Trimmer: A device used to remove excess material from a
case mouth. Metallic cases stretch after extensive reloading and
firing because the brass flows forward. These cases must be trimmed
Case Trimmer Pilot: The pilot guides the cutting portion of the
case trimmer by fitting inside the neck of the case to be trimmed.
Cast Bullet: Bullets for centerfire rifle or pistol which are
cast from lead alloy. Muzzleloading projectiles and shotgun slugs are
cast in pure lead.
Centerfire: Refers to a cartridge having a centrally located
primer in it's base.
Chamber: The part of the bore at the breech which is formed to
accept and support the loaded cartridge.
Chamfer: To ream a taper on the inside of a case mouth.
Charge: The amount of powder used in the case at each loading.
Also refers to the amount of shot used in a shotshell.
Choke: A constriction at the muzzle of a shotgun barrel
designed to control the spreading of shot.
Chronograph: An instrument used to measure the velocity of a
COL: Cartridge Overall Length.
Compressed Charge: powder which so nearly fills the
case that it is compressed when the bullet is seated.
Components: Any of the various parts which go into the making
of a cartridge.
Corrosion: The eating away of the bore by rust or chemical
Crimp: The bending inward of the case mouth to grip the bullet.
With shotshells the term applies to the closure at the case mouth.
Crimped Primer: A forcing inward of the brass around the top of
the primer pocket. This is frequently found on military cartridges and
is done to prevent set-back of primers. The crimp must be removed
before repriming the case.
Deburring Tool: The deburring tool removes burs
from the inside and outside of any newly trimmed case mouths
Decap: To deprime a case by removing the spent primer from the
primer pocket, most often accomplished by the decapping pin in a die
during the resizing operation of reloading.
Die: A tool, in handloading, that reforms cartridge cases and
seats bullets; or, in bullet manufacture, a tool that swages bullets
or cores, extrudes lead wire or draws jackets.
Dram Equivalent: Term used to indicate the approximate velocity
of a shot charge by comparison.
Drift: Deviation of a projectile from the line of departure due
to its rotational spin or the force of wind.
Drop: The distance a projectile falls, calculated from the line
Double Base Powder: Smokeless powder made with nitroglycerine
and nitrocellulose base.
Duplex Load: The use of two different powders in loading the
Energy: A projectile's capacity for doing work
at a given range, expressed in foot-pounds.
Erosion: The wearing away of the bore due to friction and/or
Fireform: Reforming or changing the shape of a
cartridge case by firing it in a chamber of a desired shape.
Flash Hole: A hole leading from the primer pocket to the inside
of a case.
Foot-Pound: A unit of kinetic energy equal to the effort
required to raise one pound of weight; to put a height of one foot,
against the normal pull of gravity.
Freebore: The distance in the barrel, if any, which the bullet
travels before it contacts the rifling. Some barrels are purposely
relieved to allow the bullet considerable free movement before it
strikes the rifling.
Gas Checks: A gliding metal cup which is used
to protect the base of a cast lead alloy bullet from the effects of
burning powder gases.
Gliding Metal: A copper-zinc alloy used for bullet jackets and
Grain: A unit of weight measure. 437.5 grains equal one ounce;
7000 grains equal one pound.
Hangfire: Delayed ignition.
Headspace: The distance from the breech face to the part of the
chamber which acts as a stop and prevents the cartridge from moving
forward. Also applies to the cartridge case.
Heel: The outer edge of the bullet base.
Hollow Point: A bullet design which features an axial hole at
the point. The purpose of the hole is to aid expansion on impact.
Ignition: The action of setting the powder
charge on fire.
IMR: Abbreviation for "Improved Military Rifle".
Jacket: The covering or "skin" of a bullet.
Keyhole: The imprint of a bullet which struck
sideways on target rather than point first.
Lands: The raised portion of the rifling.
Line of Sight: An imaginary straight line from the eye, through
the sights, to the point of aim.
Loading Density: Ratio of the volume of the powder charge to
the volume of the case. The higher the better in terms of accuracy.
Lube Dent: A dent in the cartridge case caused by using too
much lubricant when resizing.
Lube Pad: A pad, impregnated with lubricant, on which cases are
rolled before resizing.
Lubricant: Case sizing lubricant is used to reduce friction
between the case and die during the resizing operation in reloading.
Mecuric Primer: A primer in which the priming
material contains mercury.
Metal Case (MC): A type of bullet which, except for a small
opening at the base, is completely encased in a jacket.
Mid-Range Trajectory: Refers to the distance the bullet rises
above the line of sight. Mid-range trajectory is calculated halfway
between the muzzle and the target.
Minute-of-Angle: A unit of angular deviation equal to 1/60th of
a degree. For practical purposes, it is usually approximated as equal
to one inch at 100 yards.
Misfire: The failure of a cartridge to fire after the primer
Muzzle: The front end of the barrel.
Muzzle Energy: See "Energy"
Neck: The upper portion of a cartridge case
that grips the bullet.
Neck-Size: To resize only the neck portion of a case.
Non-Corrosive: Usually refers to primers having a priming
mixture which is free of corrosive compounds. Modern primers are
Ogive: Refers to the nose shape of the bullet.
The radius of the curve of a bullet nose.
Powder: The propellant used in most firearms.
It produces a large volume of gas when ignited. There are two basic
types; smokeless and black powder.
Powder Funnel: A helpful accessory that facilitates transfer of
powder from a scale pan or measure to a cartridge case.
Powder Measure: An adjustable volumetric measure that meters
out uniform charges of powder.
Powder Scale: A device to weigh charges of powder. A beam scale
is a scale where markers, called "poise", are moved along a weight
graduated beam, as the pan is filled with powder, until the balance
point is reached. An electronic device used to measure the weight of
powder in grains or grams.
Pressure: The force exerted by a burning charge of a powder in
the chamber of a firearm. Expressed normally in pounds per square
Primer: A small metal cap containing the detonating mixture
which is used to ignite the propellant charge.
Primer Pocket: The cavity in the base of a cartridge which
receive and supports the primer.
Ram: The main shaft of a metallic cartridge
Resizing Die: The reloading die that resizes fired cartridge
cases and removes spent primers by means of a decapping pin.
Round: A military term meaning one single cartridge.
Round Nose (RN): A bullet design which features a rounded nose.
SAMMI: An abbreviation for "Sporting Arms and
Ammunition Manufacturers Institute".
Seating Depth: The depth to which a bullet is seated below the
Seating Die: The reloading die that presses the bullet into the
neck of the cartridge case, crimping the case if so desired.
Sectional Density: A bullets weight, in pounds, divided by the
square of it's diameter in inches.
Shell Holder: This is attached to the top of the ram and holds
the heads of the cartridge cases as they are moved up and down, into
and out of the die.
Swage: To pressure-form by forcing through or into a die.
Throat: That area of the bore immediately ahead
of the chamber.
Trajectory: The path of a projectile in flight.
Trim-to-Length: The length a cartridge case should be trimmed
to after it has stretched past it's maximum case length.
Turret Press: A reloading press with a rotatable multi station
turret top for positioning dies and powder measure in their
Velocity: The speed at which a projectile
travels. Usually measured in feet per second at a given range.
Vernier Caliper: A slide-type graduated instrument used to
measure overall cartridge and case lengths precisely.
Wad Cutter (WC): A bullet design which features
a sharp shoulder. Designed to cut a clean round hole in a paper
Web: That portion of a cartridge case between the bottom of the
primer pocket and the interior of the case.
Work-Harden: Brass becomes harder as it is worked. See
X-Ring: Center of a target. Bulls-eye.
Yaw: The action of a projectile spinning
erratically around it's own axis.
Zero: The ranges at which a firearm will hit
the point of aim.