First Time Reloader here


January 6, 2008, 10:12 PM
Hi all

I just bought a Lee Classic Loader in 357 magnum size. This is my first attempt at reloading. I also at the gunshow a week and a half ago, bought Accurate Arms No. 9 powder, 500 rounds of Zero 38 158gr JHPs and 1000 Winchester small pistol primers, not magnum kind.

The question I have is about MIN OAL for less then NEVER EXCEED loads, as for greater loads and my powder, it says Min is 1.590 as this stated on the Lee info that came with the Loader. The Max is 1.590 inches but how important is it for MIN OAL?

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January 6, 2008, 10:57 PM
welcome to the world of reloading !!!!!
manuals will have this info but sites wont, theyll just have specs & weights to go by.
generally the bullets have a crimp grove or cannalure& this will fall within the numbers usually, but seating deeper will drive up pressures qwik even lite loads can go up qwik!!
for example i load a swc backwards so i can cut down the space in a 357 case , leading to 2 grs. liter powder charge than seating it the rite way to get the same speed!!!
wanted to add thats the reason that wadcutter loads seem to be lite the whole bullet is seated in the case.


January 6, 2008, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the info GP100man. I have some utility calipers which are only accurate to about 1/16" and roughly I am getting an OAL of about 1.5625 or slightly longer and was wondering if this would be ok for the grains I am using, one .7cc scoop is 10.7 grains of AAN9 gunpowder. I did see the crimp marking you mention and it is between those. Also how can I tell if i have crimped it enough? When I first made this bullet is was too long but I had crimped or thought I had crimped it but the seated the bullet in deeper where it is now. I heard that crimped bullets cant be seated deeper.

January 7, 2008, 07:21 PM
some times it vcan be seated deeper if the crimps not to tite,most of the time itll play havoc on the noses if itll go into the cyl. with out sticking past itll work.
my speer #12 starts at12.3gr.AA#9 or are you using alcan powder ,if so disregard,i have no data on alcan or suppliers for that matter !
the crimp is important to revolvers as well as any other firearm it keeps the bullet where its supposed to be,i crimp just enuff to do the job,i make a few & shoot them but stop & measure the last one.
i crimp a little then inspest under a lite you can see the crimp better by holding the bullet pointed away from you then slowly raising it up ,youll see the lite make the turn on the radius of the crimp!!
to much crimp & youll bulge the case & actually loosen up the grip on the bullet & the round may not chamber!!!!
the crimp also helps hold the bullet until some hard to lite powders build a little pressure so theyll burn rite!!


January 7, 2008, 07:40 PM
Thanks for the info GP100man. I am using Accurate Arms Number 9 gunpowder. I bought a pound of it at the gunshow here. I am just waiting for some digital calipers to arrive in the mail later this week then I will finish off the 49 brass I have deprimed already. This one I have done seems to fit in the cylinder ok, but is a shorter then some Remmington rounds I bought.

January 10, 2008, 05:19 AM
Well I finished off those 49 rounds, had two primers go off though, kinda loud. Will shoot them today see how they work.

January 10, 2008, 05:28 AM
Welcome to relaoding--as others have stated, this hobby is a fun money pit.

I'm sure I don't have to remind you then to always wear safety glasses when reloading!!

January 10, 2008, 07:55 AM
Tip for priming with classic loader : Use metallic hammer. You can hear the
tone changing better when the primer is home.
I loaded about 5000 rounds with classic loader and never popped a primer.

About crimping...that is just what classic loader cant do properly. Better not to bell case mouth but just chamfer it a little bit (or not at all) and use a little more force with bullet seating. with lead bullets belling is necessary though.

Thing about OAL....When using light loads for max25yrd target shooting even a 0.5 mm variation means nothing, besides with classic loader it is almost impossible to keep the bullet seaters stopping ring not moving while working and there will be variations. Mostly it varies to +, so there will be no threat of pressure rising.

January 10, 2008, 08:34 AM
Hi Sgt Dusk

I started using a metal hammer but was advised against it when somebody saw it in a pic I took of my work area. I went out and got a hard plastic/hard rubber hammer, though I noticed on the handle it says this is NOT a non sparking hammer.

You mention a 5mm variance, I use inches and have gotten between 1.579 to 1.590 inches so hope that is ok.

The crimmping also I seem to have a problem with on the classic lee loader but I was unable to push the bullet in once done. The primers that went off on me happened when I was putting in the new primer in the shell. I might have hit it too hard or maybe a speck of gunpowder. Far as I can figure.

Thanks for the tips.


January 10, 2008, 09:01 AM
You mention a 5mm variance, I use inches and have gotten between 1.579 to 1.590 inches so hope that is ok.

A little correction for your safety
0.5 mm = 0.019685 inches
But do NOT accept that big a variance with hotter loads.

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