Reloading for Beginners

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cpt dan blodgett:
Semi Automatics and Lever action rifles do not have strong closing mechanisms like a bolt action to force a shell in to the chamber (somewhat over stated by me).  In anycase shells may be difficult to chamber.  Normal dies do not resize a shell completely and could be a problem. 

Some manufacures make small base dies that resize brass smaller that a normal die basically back to factory ammo size or very close to it.  These dies were made for lever and semi auto ammo to facilitate chambering.

Having said that I shot NRA high power for many years reloaded M-1, M-1A and M-15 Ammo with regular dies and did not have any difficulty chambering.  I have reloaded some for the 1894 Win 32 Spec I inherited from dad, again using regular dies without a problem.

Others may have had serious problems with "Normal" dies and swear by small base.

Small base dies work brass harder and potential reduce the number of reloads a case is good for. 


--- Quote from: Octagonal Barrel on June 18, 2013, 04:34:37 AM ---I saw someone above make reference to using a Lee Classic handloader for what looked like lever gun rounds.  I've seen a warning on some websites that sell the Lee Classic, to the effect that they aren't for lever gun loads.  Something about the die not resizing the entire brass?  Can someone explain exactly what that limitation means, since I don't have the experience yet to understand it?  Is it possible to buy dies that will allow the Lee Classic to be used with lever gun rounds?  I've been trying to figure out to to get started with reloading, and was considering the classic.

Maybe this could be its own separate thread, but since use of the Lee Classic was mentioned above, and since this is a thread on beginning reloading, I thought I'd go ahead and ask here.

--- End quote ---

I believe you are referring to the 2007 post from Cyrille above where he says he uses the Classic Handloader to reload 30-30 for a Marlin.  You might send him a PM asking about this.  Lee's website does state that the handloaders necksize only, so not for lever actions, pumps, or semi-autos.  Possibly by reloading only brass that was shot in your gun will allow the neck-sized reloads to work okay, I don't know.  I don't think you can use any other dies with the Lee Handloader.  Without a bench-mounted press you just don't have the leverage to full-length resize brass.

I think it may be that the Lee Classic Handloader does not put a tight crimp on the bullet. This maybe why Lee does not recommend it in a lever rifle.
O.B. a Lee Classic Handloader does not have interchangeable dies. It is all in one unit made for one caliber only. If you want to start reloading and dont want to invest a lot of money take a look at the Lee Anniversary Kit. Plus get a good reloading how to manual. With good step by step instructions on how to reload a cartridge. Bad thing about starting out reloading now is the shortage of all the components to put a cartridge together with.

I used to have a couple of Lee PRO1000's

After one of them had a primer feeder explosion in my face I ditched them and switched to a pair of RL550s and never looked back.

I do still use my old 3 holed fully manual  LEE turret press quite a bit, and I love it for calibers that I don't need to crank out a bajillion rounds of in short notice.  I have maybe 15-20 different caliber die sets for it. It is really cheap and fast to swap calibers on it.

Now that you are reloading and saving a fortune, you can spend some of your massive pile of saved money on some quality bullet casting equipment and save even more money.

That saved money can of course be used to buy some other cool things ;-)


Lee Pro 1000 is a reliable and affordable machine. Find the configuration for your round and leave it alone. Problems? Yes but they all have problems. One piece of not buy the Lee Loadmaster.



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