Hand-held Priming Tool?


Ak Guy
January 29, 2010, 02:00 AM
I've never used one of the hand-held / auto-feed primer tools. I've got an older Rock Chucker w/ the priming arm, which seems to work just fine for me. Is there any advantage to the hand-held jobber ? ........Thanx.......

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January 29, 2010, 02:05 AM
I use a Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool and it is very fast (dump primer in tray, shake, cover) and I can prime while watching TV.

Also, you get a better feel as the primer is seated into the pocket.

Using sized and primed cases in your press allows you to focus on powder charge/bullet seating and effort needed to work the lever arm is much less (I can use 3 fingers on my Lee Pro 1000).

January 29, 2010, 08:00 AM
It's faster, and as BDS says, you have much better feel as you seat the primer.

With mine, I orient the shellholder with the opening pointing left, tilt the handprimer leftward, so that after the primer is seated the case simply drops out and into a container with the others.

If there's a downside, I suppose it's that my hand cramps up if I do too many in a row. That's never happened on a press. :)

Cramping aside, I can do 100 cases in under 3 minutes.

January 29, 2010, 08:26 AM
I have tried my rcbs with the priming arm and it is hard for my clumsy hands. The hand held gets me priming at a decent rate, Im no 100/3 min though.

January 29, 2010, 08:56 AM
+1 Lee Precision Auto Prime. For aournd $13.00 it can't be beat. Set up one for each size you shoot for less than one of the other brands. Put a little grease on it and it will last.

January 29, 2010, 09:00 AM
I have the RCBS model. It is MUCH faster and you get a better "feel" for the primer seating. I would definetely recommend one.

January 29, 2010, 09:02 AM
I also have a Rock Crusher too and from the beginning I started using a hand primer on a friends advice. I think you can feel it seat better and I like the fact I can resize and adn de-prime a bunch of cases and put like case together in cool whip type plastic bowl and I can sit away from reloading bench priming my cases at my leasure. I know some guys will probably chop me off at the knees fro this next statement but I can sit on my chair with a bunch of brass ready to be primed and do a couple hundred cases in no time while paying attention to what I'm doing. Just my 2c.

January 29, 2010, 09:58 AM
Another hand held user here. I really like getting the seating feedback. I load for semiautos only.

The main advantage of that feedback is being able to feel if a primer seats with almost no force at all. It's an easy way to weed out that particular case because having a primer fall out of a loaded round, while in a magazine or during the time it's being stripped out of the mag and in to the action, sucks a bunch.

I've been using the Lee priming tool, but I break levers all the time. After doing some research, a lot of folks really recommend the RCBS Universal tool. When I run out of my stock of levers, I'll be upgrading to the RCBS product.

January 29, 2010, 10:25 AM
I also like the hand primer. I have a Lee, for small primers, a Hornady for large primers, and old single Lee for .45 acp and 30/06 sized brass, and a K & M single for the special stuff.

Wonder why you're breaking levers HJ857? I know they break in time but I've reloaded thousands and thousands with mine and have yet to break the first lever. Are you cleaning the primer pockets? Or its possible you have crimped pockets that the crimp has not been totaly removed? Just some thoughts.

January 29, 2010, 11:47 AM
Speed mostly. I like my RCBS. It gives a good feel for seating the primer as well. Before I got it, I used the primer arm on my Partner press. It was OK, but the hand primer was much faster, and IMO gave a better feel.

January 29, 2010, 11:59 AM
I'm on my 3rd Lee, the pot metal handles just don't hold up. I need to order new ones then I will have some for my kids.
The Auto prime is the only Lee tool I have, due mainly to my impression of the pot metal material they use. The priming tools are cheap, easy and fast but I don't think I would like their presses or powder equipment.

January 29, 2010, 12:52 PM
Speed, Convenience, & Feel.

I can prime a 100 cases with my RCBS hand tool while I am fiddling with finding the right primer arm for the press and changing it.

Or prime 1,000 on the kitchen table in the evening while watching TV.

The feel parts really comes into it's own when priming GI brass that had crimped primer pockets.

The press has so much leverage you can force a primer to seat whether it really wants too or not.

That results in crushing the primer pellet & cup slightly, which results in slam-fire doubling in AR-15's.

Bottom line is that I can load closer to factory spec ammo when using the hand priming tool then I can with press priming.


January 29, 2010, 05:58 PM
I've got an older Hornady tool. For me, it's like another fellow mentioned... it's the "feel". Plus I just didn't care for the press mounted priming system on the Rockchucker with the tubes. Bleh.

Ak Guy
January 29, 2010, 08:15 PM
Thanx all......that's just the info I was looking for.....

January 30, 2010, 07:42 AM
I have been debating on buying lee autoprime. Since i haved read these few post i will be purchasing a hand held priming tool. Thanks for the info here.


January 30, 2010, 09:04 AM
Everything is a matter of choice. I prefer the RCBS bench mount type that looks like a little press. I have two, one each for large and small primers. They have great tactile feel. I also have both a Lee and an RCBS hand primer tool but still prefer the bench mount version.

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