Beginner’s Walkthrough: Progressive Loading Pistol Ammo Showcasing 45ACP

I’ve been reloading ammunition for a long time now, but a lot of my readers and viewers haven’t loaded a single round of ammunition. Many of you all are contemplating getting into the sport, or considering upgrading to a progressive reloading press. I thought I would do something a bit different this time- and take a “hands-off” approach to teaching someone to load ammunition – on camera, and in realtime. Making no assumptions, and with no coaching or prior experience, teaching this “new reloader” the basics of running a progressive reloading press should help to answer a lot of questions that prospective reloaders will have! And I knew just who to put on camera- my Canadian friend Todd Landstad. In this video, we’ll celebrate the “fun irony” of a Canadian loading and shooting pistol ammo. (I love Canada, but the gun laws are pretty strict!)

Note: You can get the 45 ACP brass shown in the video from Capital Cartridge!

What I Learned

I have a TON of reloading-related blog posts that go into the deep details of the reloading process, so I won’t go into any of that here (see “Additional Resources” below). Instead, I want to focus on what I learned by teaching my friend Todd how to load on the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP.

My biggest take-aways from this experiences were:

  1. The Ammunition reloading process is best taught in-person. Reading a book or watching videos to learn on your own is fine (that’s what I did at first), but it’s really helpful to have live demonstration, Q&A, etc. It’s easy to “make assumptions” or miss critical steps.
  2. A progressive press is more complicated compared to a single-stage or turret press, but with some help it’s not too difficult to learn cold (with no prior ammunition reloading experience). Again, this is what I did at first.
  3. All progressive reloading presses have a “mechanical rhythm” – some more pronounced than others. This is one of the important things to learn in order to avoid malfunctions and trouble!
  4. You can cover most of the pistol loading basics in about 1/2 hour – the main part of this video was in realtime (only transitions were edited, nothing was edited out) – so it took about 20 minutes to cover the basics with Todd. Press setup would add more time for sure, but it’s a natural extension of what we were doing.
  5. It’s fun and rewarding to expose people to ammunition reloading for the first time. If you know someone that’s curious, invite them over for a reloading session!

Additional Resources

Here are some of my most popular resources for new reloaders in case you want to do more reading/watching:

I would be curious to hear all of your experiences teaching “NEWBS” the reloading process. What went well? What was difficult? What did your “student” think about the experience? Please leave a comment!

Finally, teaching others to reload will help promote our sport, and ensure that people are informed and well equipped. (think about the next ammo shortage). Please help spread the knowledge if you can!


One thought on “Beginner’s Walkthrough: Progressive Loading Pistol Ammo Showcasing 45ACP”

  1. Hi Gavin,
    First of all, just want to say how much I love your UR site. I just watched your latest on the Mark 7 and now I want a progressive press for my 45 ACP and 9mm Para. But, I’m not quite sure I can pull off 3 grand+ for a Mark 7 and all the fixins. I’d be interested to hear your take on the best progressive press for the money especially considering that it would be my first one. Thanks and please keep up the fantastic work. BTW, I’m totally envious of your shop, as well. I’m a garage reloader/woodworker/everything else that can be done in the garage (and is), so a dedicated shop is total nirvana for me.
    Thanks again

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