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Reloading ammunition is a fun and enjoyable activity that not only saves you money but also allows you to develop a loading that specifically suits your pistol, as every pistol has its own favourite combination of powder, bullet weight and seating that will increase the accuracy of that pistol than if you were using off-the-shelf, store purchased ammunition.
If you are interested in handloading your own ammunition, have a read of of this very good article on how to go about developing handloads from http://www.frfrogspad.com which explains why handloading actually works and how to go about developing a successful handload.
Two terms you must also be familiar with are COL / COAL (Cartridge Overall Length) and CBTO (Cartridge Base to Ogive) which affect the seating depth of the bullet and consequently the result pressure in the case. Over-pressure is extremely dangerous and can result in injury, damage to your firearm and others. Death has also be known to occur. Take the time to read Part 1 and Part 2 of the effects of seating depth before embarking on reloading yourself from http://www.bergerbullets.com.
Some Relevant Bullet Acronyms:
|FMJ||Full Metal Jacket|
|GDHP||Gold Dot Hollow Point|
|LCN||Lead Conical Nose|
|LRN||Lead Round Nose|
|XTP||Extreme Terminal Performance|
|COL||Cartridge Overall Length|
Every powder manufacturer has loading data available for a large range of different calibres using different weights of bullets. When embarking on reloading, start with the recommended minimum load of powder and very slowly increase to maximum loads. NEVER exceed the manufactures stated maximum load as you can injure yourself, destroy your handgun and possibly injure bystanders as well.
There is of course also a wealth of information out there on the internet in the form of forums and databases. One of the most popular sites is www.handloads.com which provides an easy way to access the accumulated knowledge of handloads developed by shooters from all over the world.