Reloading metallic cartridges is only safe when it's, well, SAFE! That frustrated Joel Guerin no end. After years of reloading, he still had problems getting answers to some of the more difficult questions. Whether you are brand new to reloading or have years of experience, you've probably had similar frustrations. You can't find everything you need in one place. And advice you get casually is all over the board. Some advice sounds good, some sounds crazy. What you're afraid of is you may mistake one for the other, potentially with dangerous or worse, disastrous results. Joel wanted to address that shortcoming in available reference materials. So he set out to "write the book." Not the definitive end-all-and-be-all book about reloading. That would be an encyclopedic effort. But Joel wanted to answer the basic questions, in complete detail. He wanted to cover all of the real-world questions that make the difference, not between shooting a quarter-inch group and a half-inch group, but between loading safely and having fun doing it (and shooting the fruits of your labors!) and risking damaging firearms or worse, body parts. Joel believed every reloader, whether brand new to the hobby or a 45-year veteran, deserved the best information possible in the interests of safety.
Joel challenged many of the old wives' tales. He contacted practically every manufacturer in the industry, in many cases questioning their published reloading advice especially where it conflicted with advice on the identical topic by other manufacturers. Where there were differences of opinion, he differentiated between what was simply personal preference and what was truly safety related. He researched reloading accidents, including the equipment used as well as what and why something went wrong. He challenged equipment claims, such as the "tenth of a grain accuracy" published with many balance beam and digital scales. He consulted with expert reloading shooters to see what equipment and processes they used.
The end result was a book like no other. How many reloading manuals have you ever seen with entire chapters on "mistakes", with photographs of everything you can do wrong, as well as how to do it right? Or photos of someone who nearly lost several digits in a rare primer accident (and most importantly, how you can avoid a similar experience?) Complete chapters on every individual component? Even a complete chapter just on crimping? In short, this is the first COMPLETE reloading instruction manual that goes into great detail of EVERY step, from how to use manuals to develop the correct starting load, how to source and prepare brass, all of the various ways of priming cases, powders and how to measure them correctly, bullet seating to correct depths, crimping, and even a chapter on how to best test new loads at the range! A complete discussion of what is necessary and what is optional, both in terms of the selection of equipment and the processes themselves, is perhaps the section most people find helpful.
Best of all, Joel is not subsidized by any reloading manufacturing company, be it equipment or bullet, powder, or primer manufacturer. So he is beholden to no one. You get his true, honest opinions. He reviews what equipment is necessary and what is optional. Where there are multiple ways of accomplishing something, he presents you with the options and assistance deciding which method is best for you. There are entire chapters that no one else seems to even address, such as how to test new loads safely for bullet creep.
The most rewarding part of this journey was to find that people with 5 to 50 years of reloading experience have found the book useful and a valuable addition to their reloading book collection, not just those new to reloading! Many of the 5-star reviews are from people with years - and in some cases decades - of experience reloading metallic cartridges.
In the process of this multi-year investigation, Joel became an expert at the basics in reloading. He also became an NRA certified metallic cartridge reloading instructor. And, in addition to live NRA reloading classes at local venues, for the very first time he is offering live, online reloading classes either in distinct modules that can be taken individually as needed or wanted, or as a complete course. While the online courses are not affiliated in any way with the NRA (they do not offer online metallic cartridge reloading training live or otherwise), the processes, equipment, and safety-related issues obviously do not change.
To publish and offer this book in addition to the reloading classes, Joel formed Reloading Basics, LLC and has developed two websites (https://ReloadingAtoZ.com and https://ReloadingBasics.com). We hope you enjoy the sites, and most of all the content of this wonderful book and these courses!