Handling Precautions

To make reloading safe, all it takes is common sense and the ability to read and follow the directions of the various component manufacturers.

When you purchase your powder, get a copy of the "SAAMI" (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) pamphlet on the properties and storage of smokeless powder. Read this literature and abide by it. Generally speaking, powder is safer than gasoline, because unlike gasoline, it does not give off explosive fumes. If ignited, powder will burn until it consumes itself. Modern smokeless powders must be confined to cause an explosion. The containers that powder is purchased in are designed to burst without causing an explosion if the powder is accidentally ignited. Your powder should be kept in these containers until it is used up. It is unsafe to put powder in a glass jar or bottle or any other container which could cause pressure buildup. Store your powder where there is no chance of sparks, fire or flame, where it is cool and dry, and where children cannot reach it.

Primers also require care in handling. Never take primers from the container that they come in until ready for use. Storage of primers in anything but the container that they were purchased in is unsafe. Exposing a primer to excessive heat, fire, flame, or rough handling will cause it to explode. Do not store primers near your powder or where children can get at them.

Lead, a substance known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm, and other serious physical injury, must be handled with extreme care. Handle lead shot only in a well-ventilated area and ALWAYS wash your hands after handling lead and before eating. Discharging firearms in poorly ventilated areas, cleaning firearms, or handling ammunition also may result in exposure to lead. Have adequate ventilation at all times.

When a manufacturer tells you to use a particular set of components in a shell, it means precisely that. You cannot indiscriminately experiment with or substitute components without experiencing problems. At best, you will get a shell which fails to give the performance you expect. At worst, you may inflict serious injury upon yourself or someone else who fires your reloaded shells. The

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