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Some where on here there is a thread about reloading .45’s with small vs large primers. When you do so do you have to have a shell holder specific to use for each size or will the one with a hole for the larger safely seat the small primer?
 

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Shell is a shotgun term. Do you mean the brass that holds the bullet, powder and primer?
If so then the primer cavity in the brass is made to take a certain size primer. A small primer is ... smaller, so would just fall out of a large primer cavity. It's a press fit.

My 45 acp and 45 Colt brass both take large primers. 38 special and 9mm take small.

There are small RIFLE primers and magnum primers as well, and some of people play with rifle primers in larger pistol brass. That may be what you read.

Before reloading it's best to take a class, read up, and work with someone experienced.
 

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I reload .45 ACP with small primers. Same shell holder for Lee presses. Primer feed systems will be different, though.

Hector
 
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The case holder (shell holder) is the same since it engages the rim of the cartridge case. The hole in the case holder is the same for either primer. You must change the primer feed mechanism of presses to accommodate the small or large primer, as well as be sure you've sorted the cases to avoid trying to insert a large primer in a .45acp case designed for the small primer. The reverse won't work either, but you won't damage the primer when trying - just leave an empty hole.

The case holder doesn't insert the primer into the case. You do that with either a hand operated priming tool like the one sold by Lee, or an apparatus on your multi-stage press that feeds primers and lets you press them into the case. Single stage presses have a small cup you manually place the primer into prior to seating. The cup and primer must be the correct size for the case you're loading.

The NRA Metallic Cartridge Reloading class is well worth the cost and time. You'll learn safety, technique and in some classes like ours get to load cartridges in our lab,
 
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some of people play with rifle primers in larger pistol brass.

Large rifle and large pistol brass have different primer pocket depths, Rifle primers seated in pistol brass may not be able to be seated flush or below flush which can lead to rounds seizing up in revolver or slam fires in a semi auto.
 

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There is a very good reason manufacturers make and sell separate rifle and pistol primers.

They are different. They are intended for loads of different characteristics. They have different flame spark characteristics. If they were interchangeable they would simply manufacture one kind of primer. They should never be interchanged in loads, even if the cup in the cartridge base will approximately fit the primer.

Any variation from the instrumented and tested loads published by manufacturers in the reloading guides is an experiment. There are some experiments that are more dangerous than others - especially when you are working with 50,000 PSI pressures and without instrumentation at home.
 

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For the OP, short answer is YES you use the same shell holder,

Wow this got side tracked fast!


Yes they call them "shell" holders not brass holders or cartridge holders.

 

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...and just to muddy the water, I use large rifle primers in my 460 cases and small rifle primers in my 308 match cases... Seat depth on any primes needs to be a couple thousands recessed to the case base.

...to further the confusion, you can buy reduced height shell holders for setting necks on bottleneck cases further into a die but I prefer to grind the base of my dies on my surface grinder to achieve deeper seating (in the die) depth.

Of course I NEVER do any on press priming ever. Either use my Bald Eagle primer or a RCBS hand held primer too.
 
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