First time reloader


December 31, 2007, 05:19 PM

This past weekend I went to a gunshow here in knoxville and bought some supplies for reloading, my first attempt. I want to reload 357 magnums and so far I have primer, bullets and powder. Also I am waiting on my Lee Classic Loader which is scheduled to arrive on the 3rd. I have a few 38 shells but from what I have read, that is not a wise move to fill those with 357 magnum rounds. The primers that I was sold and was told would do fine are for small pistol Winchester box of 1000. They are not the small pistol magnums so are they ok to use when reloading 357? Also the box of 500 38 158gr JHP bullets I was told would do fine also. The powder is Number 9 Accurate. I have 100 rounds of Remington and Sellier & Ballot 357 magnums bullets that after I shoot will be my brass for this. I am not sure what all comes with the Lee Classic Loader but hopefully everything. Did I miss anything I should have?

If you enjoyed reading about "First time reloader" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 31, 2007, 06:15 PM
Accurate #9 is my favorite powder for the .357 magnum. AA#9 is not a powder you want to load .38 Special. It's too slow and not compatible with the .38 Special. Also you CAN'T load .38 Special cases with .357mag data.
.38 Special cases are thinner plus have less case volume. Use .38 data ONLY!
I'd recommend AA#2, Win231, Unique, or a similiar speed powder for the .38 Special. You can load the same .38 caliber bullets in .357 mag or .38. Bullets measure .357" for both. 158gr bullets are heavy for the .38 and some prefer 110, 125, or 140 grain bullets while the 158 gr is ok.
Your Winchester Small Pistol primers are ok for use with AA#9 powder and all your .38 loads. I use CCI 500 and Accurate Arms recommends a standard small pistol primer, not a magnum with AA#9. If you were shooting Win 296 or 2400 or H110 then a magnum primer would be needed.
I recommend you seat all the bullets in one step then adjust your seat die to put a good roll crimp on your .357 and .38 bullets in a separate step. To roll crimp as the final step back out the seater stem and adjust your size die down a little at a time till you have a roll crimp that looks like the roll crimp on your factory rounds.

December 31, 2007, 06:44 PM
+1 to everything rg1 said!

You will do well in invest in a pound of fast-burning powder for your .38 loads. Winchester 231 is popular. So are Bullseye and Red Dot. You will get 1500+ rounds from a pound of these powders.

You may want to consider lead bullets after you go through your 500 JHPs. Lead bullets are usually half the price of jacketed and are commonly used for .38 Spl. loads.

If you don't yet own a bullet puller - one of those hammer-shaped tools - you should buy one. Very useful.

December 31, 2007, 09:36 PM
are the dies included with the loader? they usually are not is why I ask.
Loading .38's requires readjusting the dies,so unless you really need to reload them,just stick with .357's.
OH,and a powder measure,unless yo're gonna get the Lee dies that come with a scoop and do it that way.Works fine,just slow.Do NOT EVER doubel load a case.EVER.

could you give us a full list of what you have and what is coming?There are other things you'll want/need along the way.

don't forget to wear safety glasses when loading.

December 31, 2007, 09:51 PM
other best thing to get is a powder funnel. when i first started to load on a lee loader the powder would stick to the inside of the die. So at first i made up a crude looking funnel from paper. Then when i got wise i bought a funnel from lee precision. its only like 4.00 but its well worth it. Your going to need a caliper to measure the overall length. Its easy to do. When you start to load if you have any questions ask by all means.

practice on a dummy round to make sure it goes ok. i did it was just i took a case sized it. then i pressed in a bullet then crimped it. Later on i did the same thing except i installed a primer then added powder.

January 1, 2008, 02:17 AM

And thanks all for the responses. I do not plan on reloading any 38s, only 357 magnums. This Lee Loader Classic is from what I read only good for this one caliber, which is 357 magnum. This was bought the Lee Classic because I wanted to keep inital cost down for reloading. Bought from Wideners and was their last they had. I paid $49.95 for the 500 JHPs but maybe lead would be less.

My gun is a K Frame model 19-3 S & W and I have been told to stick with 158gr bullets if I shoot mags as they have less chance of cracking the forcing cone.

Here is a link to the loader,

A friend of mine who has been reloading for a little bit said he uses Accurate 2 powder which is another reason I was asking about number 9. From what I read the 9 seems to be right.

rg1 you mentioned the primers I had are ok with 38s but can they be used with 357s? Just checking.

I have some type of calipers in the workroom maybe they will be big enough. Will look for the bullet puller and funnel.

January 1, 2008, 02:37 AM
yes,you can use the same primers for both rounds as well as some others.

Oh,I get it.DOH!!
You bought the hammer-driven Loader.I guess i'd forgotten that they still make those.I started on on years and years ago.Mine was a shotshell loader.

They will certainly do the job.We did all operations in 'batch mode'...sized all cases at once,deprimed all cases at same time,etc.
I believe I used a plastic mallet with mine,but not positive.

the one scoop will limit the powders you can use,so buy the whole set,it's about 12 bucks thereabouts.That could be done later,btw.

have fun! and wear those safety glasses.

If you enjoyed reading about "First time reloader" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!