Am I the only one who breaks these?


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X-Rap
September 30, 2011, 01:04 AM
I have three broken Auto prime levers on my bench, I love these tools so I am going to order a half dozen. Their performance doesnt bode well for me using any of their other pot metal products, I have some dies that are fine but these handles are junk.

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jcwit
September 30, 2011, 01:27 AM
Been reloading 50 years and have been using the Lee hand primer tool since it came out, have yet to break a lever. I even have some of the ones that you load one primer at a time and the only thing that ever went bad on those was the thread in the aluminum wore out that the shell holder screwed into. Solved the problem by making them a dedicated caliber spific tool by using JB Weld to hold the shell primer.

These priming tools have loaded literally 100's of thousands of shells.

grubbylabs
September 30, 2011, 01:34 AM
I broke mine a few months ago as well. I bought a new primer and it is vastly different. I am not sure I like it, but I did like the old one. This one was also much more expensive than my old one.

bds
September 30, 2011, 01:40 AM
I have some dies that are fine but these handles are junk.
Are you talking about the old Auto Prime with straight handle? They don't make them any more as the new Auto Prime XR replaced them (and no, Lee don't make replacement handle for the old units).

It uses the same body, but that's it - Everything else is beefed up for heavier use. The new handle on the XR is a bit shorter and much fatter (thickness and width) and you can really apply the "Ooommph" to seat the primer without worrying about breaking the handle.

Two handles side-by-side for comparison - notice the rib on the new handle and much wider contact surface on the connecting rod end (larger square trays are nice for dumping primers straight from the square primer trays they come in).

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=145318&stc=1&d=1310261412
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=145319&stc=1&d=1310261635
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=145320&stc=1&d=1310261635
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=145317&stc=1&d=1310261412

X-Rap
September 30, 2011, 02:26 AM
Oh Yea I got the old ones and I'm looking at the parts list that came with it, it shows lever #90087 for $2.00 but if they are discontinued I guess I'm out of luck because they don't look interchangeable.
jcwit you must be doing it right, I guess ill go back to my bench mount RCBS, it is made tough enough just a PITA not being hand held and mobile.

Uniquedot
September 30, 2011, 08:04 AM
Been using the same one since 1991 and have not broken the lever. If you are applying enough pressure to the lever to break them it can't be good for the primers. You should just feel the primer bottom out and then apply a tad more pressure to set the anvil.

FROGO207
September 30, 2011, 08:38 AM
When I bought mine I liked it so much in short order I got a second one. Now I have one dedicated for large primers and one for small primers. Never broke one either, cant imagine putting enough pressure on the primer to do it. Ouch.:eek: To the OP--You have never had any problems with primers?? I never seat them that hard. I also have a Ram Prime that I got as a backup and tried it just because. Don't like it because it does not allow me to "feel" the primer insertion as well IMHO. At least Lee did improve the design of the new ones, looks beefier and when I wear one out will probably get the improved model as mine work so well.

Kevin Rohrer
September 30, 2011, 09:01 AM
:cuss: I have the older style and broke mine, also. It works, so I bought a couple more pot metal levers for it. Guess I'll have to check to make sure they work w/ the old style pot metal or I need to buy new pot metal.

kshock
September 30, 2011, 10:53 AM
I have three with broken levers sitting in a drawer right now. The new style ones will not fit the older models and I have read the reviews and it seems the new style ones are not liked by alot of folks. I have primed thousands of cases with mine, broke three levers but have never popped a primer. I wish I had a RCBS bench mounted, but will probably buy the RCBS hand held. I think I am done with pot metal.

bds
September 30, 2011, 11:08 AM
Only the body will work with the new parts. I have really put the new thicker/heavier handle to the test and Lee definitely made the new handle to be heavy duty.

I have tested the new handle using different head stamp cases and primer brands with no breakage regardless of the pressure I used (I used two thumb pressure). :D

The old Auto Prime worked well with Winchester primers even with one thumb pressure. Since larger diameter Wolf/Tula primers take more effort to seat, I only use them in the new Auto Prime XR. I still have the old Auto Prime with extra handles (I never broke one) so I guess I will keep it for seating Winchester primers.

Rollis R. Karvellis
September 30, 2011, 11:19 AM
I, have broken a couple over the years, one of the reasons I, bought a ram prime set up. And when the latest Lee breaks, I'll buy another one. There cheap, break easily, and work well.

snuffy
September 30, 2011, 11:33 AM
I think I am done with pot metal.

It works, so I bought a couple more pot metal levers for it.

Their performance doesn't bode well for me using any of their other pot metal products,

So, just what is this "POT METAL?" Is that term used just because you fellas don't like typing ALUMINUM?:neener:

Lee is famous for using aluminum for many purposes because to make the same stuff out of steel would make it as expensive as the other reloading equipment companies. I bought a K & M priming tool,(it uses the auto prime shell holders), it cost as much as 3 lee auto primes. It's made of STEEL. It IS more precise than a lee, and it does not have a tray to feed primers to the seater. You have to place each primer manually.

Lee just did not figure people would be using both hands and one foot on those levers!:what::eek:

I too have been using the lee auto prime for most of my primer seating. I have never come close to breaking a lever. If you're using enough force to break a lever, you're crushing the primer pellet. It does not need to be seated that hard!

BTW, I just got the new XR. It's designed to eliminate the chance of a chain fire if the primer being seated should happen to pop. I have never had a primer fire while seating in a press or hand held primer. I did pop one with the old lee whack-a-mole classic loader, 8mm mauser. I learned real quick that 10 taps were better than one or two hard whacks for seating those primers! :banghead:

kk0g
September 30, 2011, 11:42 AM
I also broke mine years ago. Replacing it with another weak pot metal one didn't make much sense to me so I made a replacement out of steel keystock.

bds
September 30, 2011, 11:52 AM
Lee just did not figure people would be using both hands and one foot on those levers!

I too have been using the lee auto prime for most of my primer seating. I have never come close to breaking a lever. If you're using enough force to break a lever, you're crushing the primer pellet. It does not need to be seated that hard!

The new handle is SUBSTANTIALLY thicker and heavier constructed with larger ribbing. I think Lee addressed the weak design flaw for those with superhuman strengths who kept trying to seat the primer instead of checking to see if the primer pockets had military crimps. :neener:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=145318&stc=1&d=1310261412

Snowbandit
September 30, 2011, 11:52 AM
The auto-prime is the only piece of Lee equipment I have anymore. Broke the levers in the past and when this one goes I'm done with them and their crappy junk forever. Hornady makes a much better one that takes standard shell holders instead of those proprietary one needed for the Lee. I've had it with buying junk tools that don't last. Might as well just throw the money in the dumpster and save driving to the store.

X-Rap
September 30, 2011, 11:58 AM
It's clear that the new design attempts to fix the weekness in the original, I hope it works. It also looks like I am not the only one who has had this problem so I'll chalk it up to poor design and materials. If I can still get some of the old levers I will if not maybe I'll give the new ones a shot. If somebody made an all steel with the feed tray I would be all over it. If I was standing on it or using both hands it still shouldn't break IMO, I have seated many tens of thousands of primers though not all on the auto prime but never have I had a detonation or crushed primer so I guess I must be doing it right, if no others had broken I might feel different.

JohnM
September 30, 2011, 12:02 PM
I got one of the old original hand primers from the 60s.
Got no idea how many thousands of primers it's seated.
I can't imagine how anyone could break the handle off.

Rule3
September 30, 2011, 12:04 PM
The "destructions" on the old version state you must keep the handle lubed with silicone or Vaseline. There is no need to push so hard that it breaks. Granted it's not the most substantial tool but it works well.

The new version appears much better.

I bought the RCBS Universal and although better built it doesn't have the "feel" nor does it work any better,

X-Rap
September 30, 2011, 12:07 PM
If you are talking about the ones don't have feeder trays then you are correct, they are tougher than hell and made different than the crome plated junk on the auto prime. I have one of those but I can single set primers with ant of my presses. I like the feeder and not having to touch the primers. Compare your old sixties mod. to the ones in the pics and I'm sure you will see the difference.

JohnM
September 30, 2011, 12:12 PM
Guess I'll buy one of the new styles just to see if it breaks.
I mean, some people can break an anvil.

DC Plumber
September 30, 2011, 12:55 PM
No, you're not the only one. I broke mine after using it for 13 years. When I bought the new handle, I bought 2 of them. I should be good until 2030 at least.

cfullgraf
September 30, 2011, 01:18 PM
When I started using the Lee Auto Prime in the early eighties, I used to go through about one a year. They were so reasonably priced that I had two, one set up for small primer and one set up for large. That way I had spares on hand to keep me in business until I obtained a replacement.

I did break a couple handles but also wore out the various ram parts and at least one body. Over the years, as I replaced parts, the design of the parts got better.

I have not broken an Auto Prime in years, but my reloading volume is not what it used to be.

When Lee cautioned against using certain primes in the Auto Prime a number of years ago, I bought RCBS hand priming tools that did not have the restriction. I keep the Auto prime tools around because there are one or two cartridges (brass .410 shells for one) that I don't load often but don't work in the RCBS universal primer.

cfullgraf
September 30, 2011, 01:21 PM
So, just what is this "POT METAL?" Is that term used just because you fellas don't like typing ALUMINUM?:neener:



Not always aluminum, usually some low cost, low melting point metal, frequently zinc, but also other metals to make cheap castings.

See link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal

rcmodel
September 30, 2011, 01:26 PM
I have a cigar box full of broken & worn out Lee hand primer parts from the defunct Lee Engineering company.

I solved the problem by buying an RCBS hand primer tool in 1970 something.

Haven't broke it yet!
And it uses standard shell holders.

rc

snuffy
September 30, 2011, 04:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by snuffy View Post
So, just what is this "POT METAL?" Is that term used just because you fellas don't like typing ALUMINUM?
Not always aluminum, usually some low cost, low melting point metal, frequently zinc, but also other metals to make cheap castings.

See link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal

Yeah, I looked it up too, I just don't think it's pot metal, whatever that is. The wiki link isn't sure either!:uhoh::scrutiny:

I don't claim to be a metallurgist, I don't actually KNOW what the lee auto prime is made of. Perhaps a call to them would clear it up . The controversy does not really matter. The fact that the levers are being broken is what matters. If you're breaking them, then you're squeezing too hard, assuming of course, they're all made the same.

This has become a call for all lee bashers to unite, gripe about mythical lee junk. I'll stand up for them in most things they make. And they understand the shortcomings of their stuff, bringing out improved models of presses and hand tools.

Richard Lee is the leader of innovative design, look at the RCBS and Hornady hand primer, a copy of the FIRST, the lee auto prime. Do the others have a collet neck sizer, collet factory crimp die, simple yet effective case trimmers, and on and on--------.

W.E.G.
September 30, 2011, 04:57 PM
I've broken bunches of them.

I don't see what the big deal is.

If you are loading lots or ammo, and you know the part is going to break, just order up a bunch of spares, and replace them as they break.

...or buy a different brand of tool.

I like the Lee tool.
I still have a decent supply of spare lever parts for when it breaks now and then.

ranger335v
September 30, 2011, 06:40 PM
I aways get a chuckle reading how 'flimsy Lee chrome plated pot metal Autoprimes break". I got two, for large/small, and an Autoprime II for dedicated use on a Lee Reloader press, it sits beside another of the same presses with a universal decapper (love that system!) in the mid 80s; never have broken anything. But then I lube the link knuckles once a year or so and don't use the "Tim Taylor MORE POWER" method of seating primers either ... if it's taking more pressure than normal I stop to find out why and correct it. (There appears to be some link between being careful and low rates of reloading troubles)??

I love Lee's special shell holders. Their standard full set of holders doesn't cost much, they are much easier to swap out and I don't have to swap any shell holders with my press.

Everybody to his own choices, just different strokes I guess. But denigrating any of Lee's tools based on personal taste or inability/unwillingness to use them correctly seems somewhat unfair. Other brands do have all steel and cast iron stuff for those who need them but it costs a lot more and the end perfomance is no better.

bds
September 30, 2011, 07:55 PM
The fact that the levers are being broken is what matters. If you're breaking them, then you're squeezing too hard, assuming of course, they're all made the same.

This has become a call for all lee bashers to unite, gripe about mythical lee junk. I'll stand up for them in most things they make. And they understand the shortcomings of their stuff, bringing out improved models of presses and hand tools.
This is THR where I hope "fair and objective" posts are made based on "actual" experience by the members for the benefit of others.

Fair is fair. Although I have many Lee products and have been a happy customer for many years, many people have reported breaking the handle on the OLD hand priming tool - we could blame superhuman strengths and misuse of the tool, but the fact is handles broke. Well, I am happy to see that Lee has revised the hand priming tool (XR model) and made the new handle and other components thicker and stronger along with new safety primer feeding channel. I have been stress testing the handle on the XR model and so far, so good.

Those that are griping about the old handles breaking, I sympathize with you, but do point out that it is the old handle. :D

Those that have not used the new XR hand priming tool, time will tell. So far, I have not SEEN ANY POST of new XR handle breaking. None. :eek:

X-Rap
September 30, 2011, 09:19 PM
Those that have not used the new XR hand priming tool, time will tell. So far, I have not SEEN ANY POST of new XR handle breaking. None


Wait till we reckless no lubing knuckle draggers get ahold of them, it will be carnage.

bds
September 30, 2011, 09:46 PM
Actually, the new XR has been out for a while and the old Auto Prime is no longer being shipped from Lee.

For some reason, I really have not heard or seen any posting anywhere on the various forums that documents breakage of the new XR handle ...

Maybe Lee did fix the handle breakage issue? :D

Uniquedot
September 30, 2011, 10:12 PM
Maybe Lee did fix the handle breakage issue?

The only way to completely rectify the "problem" would be to fix the person seating the primer. One should be able to wear out the tool before ever breaking the lever unless there was a problem with the casting in the first place which is a possibility. I have heard people say they press the lever completely closed when seating primers! The lever should never bottom out with the old style auto prime (don't know about the new one) i honestly don't understand how the ammunition loaded by these individuals even ignite in the first place.

cfullgraf
September 30, 2011, 10:22 PM
This has become a call for all lee bashers to unite, gripe about mythical lee junk. I'll stand up for them in most things they make. And they understand the shortcomings of their stuff, bringing out improved models of presses and hand tools.

Richard Lee is the leader of innovative design, look at the RCBS and Hornady hand primer, a copy of the FIRST, the lee auto prime. Do the others have a collet neck sizer, collet factory crimp die, simple yet effective case trimmers, and on and on--------.

I, for one, primed many thousand of cases with my Auto Primes and flat wore them out--several of them. Things would wear out or fail from fatigue. The failures, about one a year, I considered acceptable because of the economical price of the excellent tool. Just stating my experience.

I kept two on hand, one for each size primer and for spare parts. Low cost allowed me to do that plus, it puts a crimp in the reloading session when one fails on Sunday in a state with Blue laws.

I would still be using the Auto Primes on a regular basis if Lee had not published a primer restriction on the Auto Prime. By the time the Auto Prime II hit the market, I had already bought new priming tools that were safe with all primers.

Lee does some innovative things with reloading tools. Some of them are great (Auto primes and trimming tools), some not so great (one die that does it all, I forget the Lee trade name).

To paraphrase Walter Brennan, no bashing, just fact.

X-Rap
October 1, 2011, 12:21 AM
A lot of either arrogant or ignorant people here making wild claims of misuse and faulty reloading practices. The things just aren't made well and Lee has redesigned them and by the pictures of the two they obviously knew there was a problem.
I somehow get all my loads to go off and most of the ones I used the Auto Prime on shoot MOA or better, to me it's not some race to save a nickle and I am disappointed with the quality but will try the new design and hope they got it fixed.

twofifty
October 1, 2011, 12:52 AM
From the pics of the new XR autoprime, I would maintain it just the same as the original - by lubing the two places where metal-on-metal friction occurs.

Those that have the XR, do Lee's instructions say to keep those pivot spots lubed?

jcwit
October 1, 2011, 12:59 AM
(There appears to be some link between being careful and low rates of reloading troubles)??

Excellent comment!

Uniquedot
October 1, 2011, 01:01 AM
A lot of either arrogant or ignorant people here making wild claims of misuse and faulty reloading practices. The things just aren't made well and Lee has redesigned them and by the pictures of the two they obviously knew there was a problem.

Richard Lee refused to change the design (and how many years was the original design made?) and stated that it was many times stronger than ever needed for it's purpose and stated on more than one occasion that ham handed people just needed to learn how to seat a primer properly or at the very least read the instructions and go from there. I think his son changed the design because of the booming reloading population and that brought about more and more "ignorant or arrogant" people that couldn't follow directions and it = even more broken levers.

Rule3
October 1, 2011, 01:15 AM
From the pics of the new XR autoprime, I would maintain it just the same as the original - by lubing the two places where metal-on-metal friction occurs.

Those that have the XR, do Lee's instructions say to keep those pivot spots lubed?
Yes

http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/PT1204.pdf

Aeton DaClam
October 1, 2011, 01:16 AM
BDS mentioned somthing about military crimps on the primers and thats my point.Getting a crimp remover for my 223, 308 and 50 solved any resistance issues, plus I put a slight bevel on the mouth of the primer pockets. I also use the Lee hand prime, lost the large priming pin for the old round model and just ordered 2 more of the new square ones. The clear yellow shield had "blast" marks on it so whoever owned it last popped at least a few!

X-Rap
October 1, 2011, 01:49 AM
Richard Lee refused to change the design (and how many years was the original design made?) and stated that it was many times stronger than ever needed for it's purpose and stated on more than one occasion that ham handed people just needed to learn how to seat a primer properly or at the very least read the instructions and go from there.
I would love to see that quote if it exists beyond your mind. It does explain a lot about the company and its success or lack there of. Sounds like the son might be getting it right.
It seems tales of pot metal in the gun world brings out the worst in people, I would have thought this was a HiPoint thread;):neener:

Sport45
October 1, 2011, 01:59 AM
I'm just curious why people keep so many broken parts on their workbench. Is the trash can full?

My Autoprime has been serving me well for quite some time. At least 15 years and I don't know how many thousands of cycles of operation. The only problem I have is needing to use a rubber band to keep the lid on the tray since it really doesn't lock into place anymore.

jcwit
October 1, 2011, 02:20 AM
I would love to see that quote if it exists beyond your mind. It does explain a lot about the company and its success or lack there of. Sounds like the son might be getting it right.


I suggest you get a copy of the Modern Reloading, Second Edition by the author Richard Lee and read all about Lee's Auto Priming tools expecially read chapter 5 regarding priming and Lees Priming Tools. This should give a full explanation. As I stated before I've been reloading for decades and have yet to break a Lee Priming Tool, and have reloaded 100,000's of thousands of rounds of ammo.

Uniquedot
October 1, 2011, 02:40 AM
I suggest you get a copy of the Modern Reloading, Second Edition by the author Richard Lee and read all about Lee's Auto Priming tools expecially read chapter 5 regarding priming and Lees Priming Tools. This should give a full explanation.

+ 1

I somehow get all my loads to go off and most of the ones I used the Auto Prime on shoot MOA or better

If you knew how to seat and set a primer that would be reasonable to expect, however....

JohnM
October 1, 2011, 08:58 AM
Quote:
I suggest you get a copy of the Modern Reloading, Second Edition by the author Richard Lee and read all about Lee's Auto Priming tools expecially read chapter 5 regarding priming and Lees Priming Tools. This should give a full explanation.
+ 1

Quote:
I somehow get all my loads to go off and most of the ones I used the Auto Prime on shoot MOA or better
If you knew how to seat and set a primer that would be reasonable to expect, however....

All exactly right, like I wrote in another of my replies, some people can break an anvil.
Oh gee yeah, maybe it would make it easier to seat a primer if you cut out the crimp and beveled the edges. :banghead:

X-Rap
October 1, 2011, 12:09 PM
I suggest you get a copy of the Modern Reloading, Second Edition by the author Richard Lee and read all about Lee's Auto Priming tools expecially read chapter 5 regarding priming and Lees Priming Tools. This should give a full explanation. As I stated before I've been reloading for decades and have yet to break a Lee Priming Tool, and have reloaded 100,000's of thousands of rounds of ammo.

Hey I've got a better idea, I'll just buy a tool that works and leave Lee to you Prima Donnas who can do it better.
35 yrs and now loading for over 40 calibers and one tool on my bench consistantly fails?? I think I'll trade that one for some inconvinience and just do it another way.
I do all my military crimped ammo on a better piece of equipment so that's not the problem.
It's obvious that I am not alone in these failures since others have replied with similar problems and the design has been changed, that was the initial purpose for posting and I am satisfied knowing it has happened to others and the problem seems remedied.
Maybe some of you experts can get together and do an instructional piece on You Tube and show us how to properly use this tool that is no longer made. (because it was a POS)

bds
October 1, 2011, 12:20 PM
POS? Well, fair is fair.

My 18V Lithium battery powered cordless drill can easily round Phillips head screw or the drive bit and even snap the heads off the screws if the wood is hard enough.

That doesn't make that tool a POS - When I am damaging screws/drive bits, it means I am improperly using the tool. ;)

Even though it came with clutch adjustment, I often simply pull my finger off the trigger once the screw head is seated to proper depth in the wood instead of maintaining a death grip on the trigger. :D

X-Rap
October 1, 2011, 12:49 PM
35 yrs and now loading for over 40 calibers and one tool on my bench consistantly fails??
I mean really I have almost broken more of these than decapping pins. I have no items in my reloading equipment that has broken, maybe worn out but I can't even think of what that would be.
I have equipment from
Lee
Redding
Dillon
RCBS
Bonanza
Forster
I can't think of another piece that has broken much less 3 times. I'll take that as a failure either of me, the part or both but a failure none the less. If I have a scope, bullet, trigger or any other item in my little shooting world fail 3 times it is two to many and so I am done with them.

JohnM
October 1, 2011, 12:57 PM
If I had a tool I kept breaking I think I'd probably give it up too.
I'm still going to pick up one of these newer Lee hand primers though just to see what the deal is.
We got one old shop here that might even have some of the first run not super duper improved yada yada models.

twofifty
October 1, 2011, 01:31 PM
Some folk are notorious for breaking things:

- snapping valve cover bolt heads.
- burning through clutches.
- running tires 10# below mfg's rec pressure.
- snapping the pull-cord on their chainsaw.
- breaking hammer handles.
- overtightening faucet handles, and
most telling of all:

- breaking auto-prime handles.

You know who you are!


;)

jcwit
October 1, 2011, 02:12 PM
First sentence from my post #2

Been reloading 50 years and have been using the Lee hand primer tool since it came out, have yet to break a lever. I even have some of the ones that you load one primer at a time and the only thing that ever went bad on those was the thread in the aluminum wore out that the shell holder screwed into.



X-Rap






Hey I've got a better idea, I'll just buy a tool that works and leave Lee to you Prima Donnas who can do it better.
35 yrs and now loading for over 40 calibers and one tool on my bench consistantly fails?? I think I'll trade that one for some inconvinience and just do it another way.
I do all my military crimped ammo on a better piece of equipment so that's not the problem.
It's obvious that I am not alone in these failures since others have replied with similar problems and the design has been changed, that was the initial purpose for posting and I am satisfied knowing it has happened to others and the problem seems remedied.
Maybe some of you experts can get together and do an instructional piece on You Tube and show us how to properly use this tool that is no longer made. (because it was a POS)



I realize I must lead a charmed life. In all my years of reloading I've only broken 5 or 6 decapping pins and one open frame Lee Press because I missed case lubing some 30/06 cases when resizing them. Up until a couple of years ago my reloading amounted to 20 to 30 thousand rounds a summer season. Nowhere near that now because of health reasons.

BTW Lee replaced the press No Charge even tho they knew it was my fault.

Prima Donna, haha thats a joke, thanks for the chuckle, needed that, todays my Birthday!

ranger335v
October 1, 2011, 04:35 PM
"I'll just buy a tool that works and leave Lee to you Prima Donnas who can do it better.
35 yrs and now loading for over 40 calibers and one tool on my bench consistantly fails??"

Well some folks get the Lee Auto priming tool to work for many years, others break them routinely. Slow learners or .... ? Anyway, same tool, same work, different users; there may be a message in that! (There ARE steel and cast iron tools for those who need them. ??)


Lee used to make a single die for handguns, the "Speed Die" (don't try to figger it out but it had screw-in parts that let one body do everything and do it well). It was a low cost tool and it worked great (I have two) but I suppose some people couldn't get it set up correctly or, more likely, they just wanted a conventional die set. Anyway, the Speed Die was dropped years ago.

wild willy
October 1, 2011, 06:24 PM
I operated heavy equitment for 35 years we had guys that ran the piss outta stuff breaking down all the time.Then we had guys knew how to run it kept it greased and quess what stuff still broke down but not as often.Then we had some guys that never broke anything.It was union hard to get rid of somebody even if they didn't do anything

1SOW
October 1, 2011, 11:04 PM
Snuffy, ask a welder. Pot metal is, as said, a cast of cheap and brittle alloys. It can be difficult to weld, while pure aluminum is usually easy.

1SOW
October 1, 2011, 11:14 PM
During and since the primer-bullet "crisis", one root cause of equipment problems and failures may attributed to the flood of "new" primers that have sprung up. Wolf, Tula etc. with slightly different sizing and metal composition.

bds
October 2, 2011, 12:38 AM
one root cause of equipment problems and failures may attributed to the flood of "new" primers that have sprung up. Wolf, Tula etc. with slightly different sizing and metal composition.
A man after my heart. :D My job involves investigating problems/concerns to identify cause and deficiencies.

I have been telling/posting that Tula/Wolf primers with a bit wider diameter cup body requires more effort to seat in the primer pockets. Very possible that more handles were broken due to this reason.

Most people I have talked to broke their old Auto Prime handles while trying to seat in military crimped primer pockets. :eek:

Uniquedot
October 2, 2011, 12:41 AM
Hey I've got a better idea, I'll just buy a tool that works and leave Lee to you Prima Donnas who can do it better.
35 yrs and now loading for over 40 calibers and one tool on my bench consistantly fails?

Doesn't matter how long you have been assembling ammunition. It's never too late to learn to do it right and until you do, the beefiest most overbuilt tools in the world is not going to correct the problem of you not doing it right in the first place. Feel the primer bottom out and then set the anvil and you're done. You are not supposed to attempt to swage the primer through the flash hole and if you are you're crushing the pellet in the process. Perhaps if after 3 + decades of putting together faulty ammunition you still can't understand the process you should seek a mentor.

X-Rap
October 2, 2011, 11:06 AM
Like I said before, this pot metal bunch is a rough crowd. If I had consistent issues with my reloads especially with ignition then I might say you have a valid point, If I broke a lot of equipment in my daily life I might also say you have a point.
In addition to reloading as a necessity to feed my shooting/hunting habit I work construction for a living and have made a living with my hands all my life, the dark Lee curse doesn't follow me there either. So I can operate and repair equipment without leaving a wake of broken parts there as well. As for those who make outright false claims and assumptions, well this is the highroad but in different company things might be a little more colorful and in person probably much more respectful. So keyboard commandos keep it up you wouldn't want to disappoint us.
Just please try to stick to something at least close to factual.

There seems to be a problem with breakage of a specific part of an otherwise popular useful tool
That tool has been discontinued and parts are no longer made or available but it has been replaced with a new tool that is heavily reinforced at the weak point in the other tool and the company offers a 1/2 price trade if you return the old one.

Simple as that gents, I asked a question and got an answer, thats what its about. I guess I should have check the Lee site first and could have saved a bunch of you getting your thongs in a wad.

bds
October 2, 2011, 11:37 AM
the company offers a 1/2 price trade if you return the old one.
Really? Darn, but I already have 2 old Auto Prime and 2 new Auto Prime XR ... all with no broken handles and 2 spares for the old units :uhoh:

But good to know. Thanks!

cfullgraf
October 2, 2011, 11:56 AM
X-rap, well said.

i think there is an expectations among reloaders that equipment never wears out or never fails. With much of the reloading equipment, that is essentially true in our lifetime. We just don't cycle the equipment enough to see appreciable wear or fatigue.

You see posts on forums all the time about folks returning their Dillon presses for rebuilding/repair. Using the Lee Auto Prime analogy, they should be trashing their Dillons and buying something else. I guess the difference is the Dillon No Nonsense warranty and the high investment in Dillon equipment.

For me, the infant mortality of the Auto Prime was non-existent and time between failures was more than acceptable.

Finally, I suspect Lee considered the failures of the handle or other parts as acceptable considering the cost to machine new molds for the parts. Over the years, I saw small improvements in some of the Auto Prime parts. This thread is not a scientific study of the number failures of the Auto Prime.

For a small company manufacturing relatively small quantities of parts, molds can be a significant cost. A complete redesign of the Auto Prime afforded Lee the opportunity to make major improvements at no additional cost.

I am not completely happy with the operation of my priming tool that replaced the Auto Prime, maybe after this thread, I'll give the Auto Prime XR a try.

bds
October 2, 2011, 01:13 PM
Those that have the XR, do Lee's instructions say to keep those pivot spots lubed?
I rechecked the XR documentation and no mention of lubrication.

Before each hand priming session, I have always cleaned and lubed the two metal contact surfaces lightly with BreakFree or motor oil. The new XR has much wider contact surface lobe and takes on more lube.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=150147&stc=1&d=1317571999

ranger335v
October 2, 2011, 04:51 PM
"Most people I have talked to broke their old Auto Prime handles while trying to seat in military crimped primer pockets."

I'm sure that many were broken by people trying to seat in pockets without correctly removing the crimps - who knows what percentage. Thing is, it's clear that many people NEVER break a Lee handle and quite a few more only break one before they learn how to use the tool properly. For the others, I dunno quite know what to say...??

What astonishes me is the number of people who admit to breaking or wearing out a string of Autoprimes, obviously never learning a thing! I really expected better insight from reloaders than that. Failing to lube the toggle link knuckles because there is no written instructions to do so sorta proves my point! (I've always used case lube but most any lube will work.)

Uniquedot
October 2, 2011, 06:07 PM
Failing to lube the toggle link knuckles because there is no written instructions to do so sorta proves my point!

I still have the instructions that came with mine in 91 and it specifically states that lubrication must be used.

bds
October 2, 2011, 06:13 PM
I still have the instructions that came with mine in 91 and it specifically states that lubrication must be used.
I initially read only the text parts of the directions. I reread the XR directions and found this under #4 photos:

"Lubricate metal parts at wear points with grease or Vaseline."

My apologies to all. I have been using BreakFree/motor oil that's always on my bench but may consider trying Vaseline/light grease.

X-Rap
October 2, 2011, 06:45 PM
I'm sure that many were broken by people trying to seat in pockets without correctly removing the crimps - who knows what percentage. Thing is, it's clear that many people NEVER break a Lee handle and quite a few more only break one before they learn how to use the tool properly. For the others, I dunno quite know what to say...??

What astonishes me is the number of people who admit to breaking or wearing out a string of Autoprimes, obviously never learning a thing! I really expected better insight from reloaders than that. Failing to lube the toggle link knuckles because there is no written instructions to do so sorta proves my point! (I've always used case lube but most any lube will work.)

Some guys get married 3 or 4 times and still don't figure it out, I guess I'm not unhappy with getting 3-4 yrs use out of a tool made of plastic and pot metal. Much cheaper than a wife. The pictures tell it all the new lever has a stiffener running well across the failure area of the old one which was right at the reduction of thickness to width, a perfect place for stress failure. The more I read the more I understand that the old mod. had quite a few shortcomings, can't say as I know of other priming systems with so many caveats both printed and implied by its manufacturer and other users.
Military primer pockets aside since you will crush or deform with stronger systems the recommended quantity of primers allowed ranging from 100,20,10 to none at all is a bit bizarre and clearly points to some design problems. I realize that primers are volatile in any system but to segregate that hazard by brand is unusual is it not?

cfullgraf
October 2, 2011, 06:48 PM
"Most people I have talked to broke their old Auto Prime handles while trying to seat in military crimped primer pockets."

I'm sure that many were broken by people trying to seat in pockets without correctly removing the crimps - who knows what percentage. Thing is, it's clear that many people NEVER break a Lee handle and quite a few more only break one before they learn how to use the tool properly. For the others, I dunno quite know what to say...??

What astonishes me is the number of people who admit to breaking or wearing out a string of Autoprimes, obviously never learning a thing! I really expected better insight from reloaders than that. Failing to lube the toggle link knuckles because there is no written instructions to do so sorta proves my point! (I've always used case lube but most any lube will work.)

I started using Auto Primes around 1980 when I started reloading.

I will admit to breaking one handle but the force I used to seat the primer was only sufficient to get the primer to seat flush are slightly below flush, 0.001-.002 inches or so, as recommended by most reloading manuals. The handle failed over time, several years of use.

And. no, these were not military cases of any kind.

I have had one body fail. Probably for a similar reason as above. The body cracked where the shell holder slid in.

I had one connecting rod wear at the point where it contacted the primer seating stem. The connecting rod was a softer material than the later connecting rods and the seating pin eventually dug into the connecting rod. Over time, it took more and more travel to seat the primer until the handle contacted the body. The later connecting rods where cast of a harder material and lasted much longer.

I had one connecting rod break at the pivot point. I forget if it was one of the soft or hard ones.

All my Auto primes were properly lubricated.

I would have two tools i service at any one time and I would have to buy a replacement about once a year after reloading many thousands of rounds.

Castings as use by Lee in the Auto Prime are inexpensive for a reason. I always considered the failure rate as acceptable, considering the price of the Auto Prime.

I probably have not had a failure of any kind with the Auto Prime in the last 20 years or more. In part, my reloading volumes were reduced, but I can see the parts were better made, the connecting rod for one.

I suspect that folks that have not broken an Auto Prime do not use their Auto Prime much.

jcwit
October 2, 2011, 06:53 PM
I realize that primers are volatile in any system but to segregate that hazard by brand is unusual is it not?

Not really as one brand of primer has a tendency to dust and the other brands do not. Sort of a simple problem of the primer manufacturer.

jcwit
October 2, 2011, 06:56 PM
I suspect that folks that have not broken an Auto Prime do not use their Auto Prime much.

That is a supposition and nothing more. Mine has primed thousand and thousands of rounds, way more than 100,000.

X-Rap
October 2, 2011, 07:06 PM
Not really as one brand of primer has a tendency to dust and the other brands do not. Sort of a simple problem of the primer manufacturer.

100,20,10 to none at all

Those figures come from Lee not me and vary from manufacture to different types made by the same, I know of no other manufacturer that makes that stipulation.

jcwit
October 2, 2011, 07:57 PM
Then Mr. Richard Lee must have a reason for that stipulation as he wrote the book.

cfullgraf
October 2, 2011, 10:25 PM
That is a supposition and nothing more. Mine has primed thousand and thousands of rounds, way more than 100,000.

Not much different than assuming everyone breaking an Auto Prime is crushing it to death and using it improperly.

twofifty
October 3, 2011, 12:24 AM
Ok, I'll admit that Mr. Lee's Auto-Prime design was not foolproof.

X-Rap
October 3, 2011, 11:16 AM
Then Mr. Richard Lee must have a reason for that stipulation as he wrote the book.

Wow looks like a little blind Idolatry for MR. Richard Lee :eek::rolleyes: did he send that book down from some mountaintop or was it otherwise divinely inspired? It's obviously chiseled in stone.:barf:

wild willy
October 3, 2011, 11:45 AM
I suspect that folks that have not broken an Auto Prime do not use their Auto Prime much.

I don't see how any one could load 100s of thousand with the old softer connecting links after thousands of rounds you can't seat the primer deep enough and mine were greased from day one.Must be another answer

jcwit
October 3, 2011, 11:48 AM
Are you claiming I Idolize Mr. Lee? That sir is an insult.

It is his more that entitled to his opinion as he owned the company producing the products he wrote about.

Being as you have trouble breaking things I don't know what to tell you being as I have not had this problem in all the years and thousands of rounds loaded with said product.

X-Rap
October 3, 2011, 12:40 PM
Call it what you want and I will jump on the band wagon of those who would call BS on that old tool being capable of 100,000's of thousands of cycles. You must have primers that are only half seated but the lever no doubt bottoms out against the body so you won't break it.

jcwit
October 3, 2011, 12:49 PM
You must have primers that are only half seated but the lever no doubt bottoms out against the body so you won't break it.

Nope, not even an issue!

JohnM
October 3, 2011, 01:16 PM
Xrap, we all know by now you have a deep seated dislike of Lee.
Why do you keep telling us?
Is this going to be the thread that never dies?

cfullgraf
October 3, 2011, 01:26 PM
Here is a worn early version connecting rod.

X-Rap
October 3, 2011, 02:02 PM
I actually have some lee dies that I just used the other day to load some 41 mag rounds. I have no problem in general with products that work. I have more problem with insults and innuendo from those who answered an unasked question to my OP.
There are many luminaries and genius's in the shooting sports but few of them are without fault of some kind and their touch and word was/is not divine so when some blindly retort their unquestioning belief it invokes an image of some dim lit reloading room with candles and incense surrounding an altar to the book of Lee (insert the man brand color here) with various icons that must be worshiped for your ammo ( insert gun, scope, or press here) to turn out proper.
Is this going to be the thread that never dies?

I have repeatedly said ok but there is always one last insult to hurl.
I'm having to much fun with this so you fan boys will have to be the ones to kill it. There are no doubt calls for moderation and thread lock coming so relax it won't be long.

bds
October 3, 2011, 03:05 PM
I thought this was the "high road":D

jcwit
October 3, 2011, 03:07 PM
One wonders!

wild willy
October 3, 2011, 03:43 PM
The high road thing works both ways.When someone posts they have have a problem with something Lee Within a couple posts somebody tells them they don't know what they are doing.Not just this thread but others.Why is you hardly ever see that with Dillon,RCBS,and Hornady questions.Are some of the Lee users tring to convince themselves that Lee is as good as the other brands.And before you start jumping up and pounding your head into the wall and call me a Lee basher.I have a good many Lee tools and most of the time they works fine but once in a while you get something defective or something breaks or wears out.And that happens with all brands

ranger335v
October 3, 2011, 04:49 PM
"Why is you hardly ever see that with Dillon,RCBS,and Hornady questions."

Seems to me that few people have the gall to suggest they have user problems with much more costly dies.


"Are some of the Lee users tring to convince themselves that Lee is as good as the other brands."

What at least some of us are attempting is to stop silly attacks on dies that actually work "as good as other brands". I have some 50+ plus sets of dies from something like 10-12 makers, including a few Lee, Redding, Forster, RCBS, Hornady, Lyman, etc. I find no marked difference in perfomance, they ALL work fine when used correctly and it seems to be that way for most people. There are only a few follks that appear unable to handle whatever they find to be more difficult with Lee's. ??

brickeyee
October 3, 2011, 04:53 PM
Get an RCBS bench primer.

It has a better feel than any of the little hand jobs.

You can feel the primer start in , hit the bottom, and then the anvil compress the primer pellet.

cfullgraf
October 3, 2011, 05:31 PM
What at least some of us are attempting is to stop silly attacks on dies that actually work "as good as other brands".

Lee has a history of being innovative in the reloading world. That is great. But some equipment works great, some of it doesn't.

There have been several designs that have come and gone. Lee stopped selling them for some reason.

The trouble with that, someone buys one of the new innovative designs that does not meet his own expectations and so he no longer buys Lee equipment and warns folks to do the same.

I like the Lee trimmer system.

I would still be using the Auto Prime if not for the primer brand restriction Lee placed on the tool. The Auto Prime XR cam out after I bought new hand primers that did not restrict primer use.

I don't buy Lee dies because I do not like their die lock nuts or the storage boxes. By the time I replace the nuts and and storage boxes, I have spent as much as the other guys dies with one stop shopping.

Lee dies work just fine and I have several in service with replacement lock nuts. Just one of my idiosyncrasies.

I don't buy Forrester micrometer seater dies because they are to big to fit the storage box of my choice. Yes, I have one. It works fine.

I bought a Dillon press in part to see what all the Dillon hub-bub was about. I like it, but it does not do some things as well as my Hornady progressive. In my opinion, the primer systems on both are weak.

As much as the Lee supporters do not like their favorite products being bashed, I feel it is irresponsible to claim that all folks breaking Lee equipment are using it improperly and without knowledge.

wild willy
October 3, 2011, 05:57 PM
Wow I never knew that people that used brands other than Lee were afraid to post if they had a problem but ranger since you posted it it has to be fact

ranger335v
October 3, 2011, 09:27 PM
"There have been several designs that have come and gone. Lee stopped selling them for some reason."

Cfull, is it your opinion that only Lee has produced several tool designs that have "come and gone for some reason"? Naw, you know better than that! :)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Me: "Seems to me that few people have the gall to suggest they have user problems with much more costly dies. "

Willy: "...ranger since you posted it it has to be fact"

Willy, attempting to make my stated personal opinion into a supposed point of 'fact' is immature - it's time to grow up. Distorting what others actually said is a common sort of response from those lacking valid knowledge of Lee's loading tools.

wild willy
October 3, 2011, 10:14 PM
ranger I didn't say anything about dies .And I'am not talking about people not having the gall to post about problems.I'am talking about how the people answer their questions. If somebody asked about Dillon,RCBS,Hornady or other brands posters will give suggestions and ideas what to do but not Lee within a few posts someboby will tell them they don't know what they are doing and not mechanically inclined enough to be using the tool.I was just wondering why some not all Lee lovers have to get mean and nasty right away

snuffy
October 3, 2011, 10:38 PM
I just bought 2 new die sets, .243 and 30-06, LEE. Both the deluxe models, with both a FL and collet neck sizer and bullet seater.

I wanted the collet neck sizers for both, the '06 will be used mainly with cast boolit loads, I want to neck size after the initial FL size of some old cases used for cast in another rifle. The .243 will be used for a SS rifle, (Rossi), I just bought.

The '06 is a nice 03-A3 that has a great bore. I plan on a lot of use for that rifle. I tried the collet neck sizer just for grins to see if it could be used instead of the FL. I couldn't get it to work! I screwed it in until it was nearly all the way tight to the turret of the classic. I leaned on it pretty hard, afraid of shearing the al. cap, it failed to size the neck, a 30 cal. bullet slipped in easily.

With 50 years of experience, I seldom look at destructions. This time I decided to read 'em. Said, screw die in til it touches the shell holder, then one turn more! Viola! It worked right off! Here's the catch, the press HAS to be near the top of it's stroke where the mechanical advantage is greatest. Then, 25 pounds of force on the handle is multiplied many times more than when it's at mid-stroke.

Moral of the the above book? Read the instructions. Don't think you know it all.

Oh, I used my new XR lee auto prime. It worked flawlessly. The square tray is much better, and the tray itself has been redesigned to flip the primers faster.

ranger335v
October 3, 2011, 10:42 PM
Willy: "...ranger since you posted it it has to be fact" and now.... "I was just wondering why some ..have to get mean and nasty..."

That was you, right?

Peter M. Eick
October 6, 2011, 09:27 PM
I can relate to the problem. I find they are good for about 10,000 rounds till this happens.

http://eickpm.com/picts/lee_primer.jpg

I just have three of them now and when a couple break (it takes a few years at the rate I load rifle) I send them back with a payment for a new one and get two new ones in exchange.

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