Hand priming or Press priming?


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silver2525
December 2, 2011, 10:07 AM
Good morning all.

I have heard about feel sensitivity while priming. this is the same as a chevy / ford debate im sure, but i am either getting a

lee auto prime / hand primmer

or


lee auto prime 2 / press primer

this is reloading 30/06 and 40s&w.

Give me your opinion?

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cfullgraf
December 2, 2011, 10:21 AM
For 30 years of loading on a single stage, I have always hand primed. First with a Lee Auto Prime and now with and RCBS Universal and RCBS Universal APS.

By batch processing the priming process, it goes faster than fooling with the press mounted system. I clean the cases after sizing but before priming so handling on the hand primer is more efficient for me.

On the progressives, the press mounted priming systems and I do not get along. Since I prefer to clean cases after sizing, I hand prime those cases as well.

I bought a bench mounted priming system 6 months ago and have put it back in the box. It was too cumbersome to use for my liking. But other folks like a bench mounted priming tool.

RandyP
December 2, 2011, 10:23 AM
I only prime on the press with my Lee Safety Prime (single stage or turret) - never a significant issue.

8mmman
December 2, 2011, 10:29 AM
For almost 40 years I have always hand prime with a Lee Auto Prime. Tried them all and go back to the Lee auto prime as I like to feel them seat.

jcwit
December 2, 2011, 10:32 AM
I like to hand prime, I even have acquired the old style one at a time hand primers that do not use a tray. Its how I like to do it and is relaxing to me.

Not even suggesting others to do it this way, just passing along what I like to answer your question.

Unless you're shooting Benchrest I doubt it makes much difference so do as you wish.

ColtPythonElite
December 2, 2011, 10:39 AM
I do it by hand with the Lee Autoprime. I usually do it in front of the tv.

TxBobS
December 2, 2011, 10:44 AM
I do it on my LnL press only. Just one less time I have to handle the brass.

bds
December 2, 2011, 10:48 AM
All of my match grade, SD/HD, and rifle cases get hand primed. The primer seating "feel" is much better to achieve the proper seating depth of .004" below flush and to quickly check afterwards with my finger tips.

For range practice/plinking pistol rounds, I press prime but all the finished rounds are loaded on bullet tray upside down for inspection of the primers. Any questionable/high primed cases get hand/press primed again.

capreppy
December 2, 2011, 10:56 AM
I hand prime my rifle brass with a Lee Safety Prime. I can do it while I watch TV and have basically primed all of my LC 5.56 NATO brass (3k worth). Now all I need to do is charge and tip.

USSR
December 2, 2011, 10:58 AM
I hand prime with the RCBS unit.

Don

JohnM
December 2, 2011, 11:12 AM
I hand prime, always have.
I recently moved up to an RCBS unit for the blistering speed I can get out of this new fangled machine!
If I live long enough I might even get past a single stage press and find out what it's like to put the primer in with the press.
Sounds pretty high tech to me :D

MrBorland
December 2, 2011, 11:13 AM
I mostly prime on my Lee turret.

Most of my shooting is directly or indirectly geared toward match shooting, and since I've tuned the actions of my match guns to be pretty light, I only use Federal primers. Reliability is fine when priming on the press, but for big matches, I'll hand prime (RCBS) for the extra insurance.

Kevin Rohrer
December 2, 2011, 11:25 AM
Either one will work well.

I tend to hand-prime large amounts of brass w/ my Lee hand primer, while small amounts get done with an old Lachmiller priming press or a press-mounted primer arm.

amlevin
December 2, 2011, 12:37 PM
If I were loading on a Lee progressive (like I used to) I would absolutely hand prime. Now that I have a Dillon 650 I don't even think of hand priming except for my .308 "accuracy loads" but those are loaded on a single stage anyway.

A good old Lee Autoprime, hand primer tool has served me well for well for going on 30 years. Over 2,000 primers through it in just the last year. If Lee would only make their progressive presses as reliable and trouble free as this tool;);)

bds
December 2, 2011, 01:50 PM
Lee's 2012 catalog pdf (http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/2012.pdf) is showing the new ERGO hand priming tool on page 16.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=153885&stc=1&d=1322851809

MARKMALL
December 2, 2011, 01:51 PM
I Primed on a Rockchucker press using the arm from 1981 till about 2 years ago , when I bought a Lee auto prime II.

Josh45
December 2, 2011, 02:20 PM
99% of the time, Hand prime. Just better IMO.
Tried it on the press and it was going great until about the last 5 of the primers wouldn't feed thru the system. Plus, I almost lost one or two.

Probably my fault, But I still rather do it by Hand Priming.

Miata Mike
December 2, 2011, 04:25 PM
I do it by hand with the Lee Autoprime also, even though I have 2 Lee Pro 1000 presses and a Lee Classic cast turret that are capable but not infallible.

amlevin
December 2, 2011, 05:44 PM
Was talking to one of our club's Bench Rest competitors about his new Lee hand pimer tool. He was less than impressed with the new design. Said he'd never had so many inverted or cocked primers with a hand tool as the "new design" that elevates the primer in two steps.

He keeps the old one around for when he gets too frustrated to use the New One.

Only useful feature in my mind is the square tray. No more need to add primers in two stages like the round tray required.

gamestalker
December 2, 2011, 06:28 PM
I've been using an RCBS single stage press and an RCBS priming die since I began relaoding 30+ years ago, and have yet to experience a single mis-fire from one of my reloads.

A priming die is as fast, if not slightly faster than using a press mounted priming arm, so speed isn't much to compare with. But the primary reason I use a die rather than any other method, is once the die is properely adjusted and the adjustment ring nut locked, I can be 100% confident every primer will be seated to the same exact depth case after case. And it's not all that slow of a process, at about 6-8 minutes to seat 100 primers.

BYJO4
December 2, 2011, 06:53 PM
Normally I prime on my LNL AP press. However, if I do hand prime, I use the RCBS bench mount priming unit which is extremely fast and consistent.

BinRat
December 2, 2011, 07:05 PM
I've never even attached the priming arm to my Rockchucker. I only use the RCBS bench mounted priming tool. I like it because it's fast once you get the rhythm and it has a good feel as to when the primer is properly seated.

Flash!
December 2, 2011, 08:39 PM
I hand prime so I can take the time to visually inspect all cases before loading..... sure it takes longer, but it gives me something to do while relaxing in front of the tv....

JimKirk
December 2, 2011, 08:40 PM
I have been priming on my CoAx since I got it way back when... it is not the fastest... but it seat them just as they are supposed to be seated .004/.005 below flush...

Quoted from the Forster web site....
The unique top priming device seats primers to factory specifications. The seater is always at right angles to the case head. Primers will not flip or tip. They will be seated straight, level and at a uniform distance below the case head. Primers cannot be crushed, nor will they protrude from the case head and cause premature firing.

Hondo 60
December 2, 2011, 09:09 PM
I do 99% of my reloading on a progressive.
Almost seems like cheating to hand prime. :rolleyes:

David Wile
December 2, 2011, 09:12 PM
Hey Silver,

Here is another opinion for what it's worth, but like the other folks' opinions, it is based on experience. And I do not think it is as simple as a Ford/Chev preference.

I started loading in the 1950s, and when I started using RCBS presses, I thought priming was just great with their priming arm/tube feed system. I used the RCBS priming system for at least 20 years, and then someone introduced me to the Lee hand held priming system. I did not like Lee products, but I did find I could better "feel" the seating of the primer, and I could do it faster than I could with my RCBS single stage presses.

I still had a problem with the idea of using a "cheap" Lee product, so I bought a much more expensive RCBS hand held primer tool. Compared to the Lee, the RCBS was built like a tank, but it was a big waste of money. The RCBS was more difficult to change primer sizes, and I finally gave up on it. After about a dozen years of use, the thumb lever on the cheap Lee tool did break, and I told myself I was right about it being cheap. I went back to the RCBS tool for about two weeks, and finally had to admit I really liked the Lee tool better. I bought another Lee tool, and it is still in use.

With the Lee tool, I had to buy a 12-pack of special shell holders - the RCBS tool uses regular shell holders - but I think the Lee tool and shell holder pack is still cheaper than the RCBS unit.

In 1997 I bought a Hornady L&L progressive press. I use it for both rifle and pistol cartridges, and whatever I load on it is also primed on it. I still load a lot of cartridges on single stage presses, however, and when I do, I still use the Lee hand primer tool.

I still consider the Lee tool a cheap tool, and I freely admit my prejudice for Lee stuff. Until something better comes along for single stage work, however, I will continue to use the Lee hand primer tool. It is the best "cheap" tool I have ever used.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

bds
December 2, 2011, 09:25 PM
I still consider the Lee tool a cheap tool ... Until something better comes along for single stage work, however, I will continue to use the Lee hand primer tool. It is the best "cheap" tool I have ever used.
Although I would agree with the "cheapness" of the Auto Prime and XR hand primers, the new ERGO hand primer looks much better than "cheap".

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=153919&stc=1&d=1322879115

jcwit
December 2, 2011, 09:47 PM
Hey Silver,

Here is another opinion for what it's worth, but like the other folks' opinions, it is based on experience. And I do not think it is as simple as a Ford/Chev preference.

I started loading in the 1950s, and when I started using RCBS presses, I thought priming was just great with their priming arm/tube feed system. I used the RCBS priming system for at least 20 years, and then someone introduced me to the Lee hand held priming system. I did not like Lee products, but I did find I could better "feel" the seating of the primer, and I could do it faster than I could with my RCBS single stage presses.

I still had a problem with the idea of using a "cheap" Lee product, so I bought a much more expensive RCBS hand held primer tool. Compared to the Lee, the RCBS was built like a tank, but it was a big waste of money. The RCBS was more difficult to change primer sizes, and I finally gave up on it. After about a dozen years of use, the thumb lever on the cheap Lee tool did break, and I told myself I was right about it being cheap. I went back to the RCBS tool for about two weeks, and finally had to admit I really liked the Lee tool better. I bought another Lee tool, and it is still in use.

With the Lee tool, I had to buy a 12-pack of special shell holders - the RCBS tool uses regular shell holders - but I think the Lee tool and shell holder pack is still cheaper than the RCBS unit.

In 1997 I bought a Hornady L&L progressive press. I use it for both rifle and pistol cartridges, and whatever I load on it is also primed on it. I still load a lot of cartridges on single stage presses, however, and when I do, I still use the Lee hand primer tool.

I still consider the Lee tool a cheap tool, and I freely admit my prejudice for Lee stuff. Until something better comes along for single stage work, however, I will continue to use the Lee hand primer tool. It is the best "cheap" tool I have ever used.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Maybe you should substitute the word 'cheap' for the word 'inexpensive' and consider the 'value' received.

The Bushmaster
December 2, 2011, 09:55 PM
Lee Auto Prime II for 25 years (same one)...Love it. And you CAN feel the primers seat. In fact there is less chance of a partially seated primer with it then with a hand primer.

David Wile
December 2, 2011, 10:03 PM
Hey JC,

Like I said earlier, I am prejudiced about Lee products. I still think their stuff is cheaply made, but I am truly happy with their old hand primer tool. I have never even seen, let alone tried their new hand primer tool. I ought to admit that I do use another Lee product and have used it for 50 years. That product is their set of plastic powder dippers. I have mostly used them for loading in the field with Lyman Nutcracker hand tools, but I have also found use for them at the bench.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

TexasShooter59
December 2, 2011, 10:39 PM
153924 I got this (https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/MainServlet?storeId=webconnect&catalogId=webconnect&langId=en_US&action=ProductDisplay&screenlabel=index&productId=2885&route=C06J030) based on comments on this forum. Have not regretted it. You can beat the retail price, too.

mgmorden
December 2, 2011, 11:03 PM
I hand prime, but keep a Lee Ram Prime die for press-priming as a backup in case the hand-tool breaks (I've used it a few times for kicks - it's slower for me by quite a bit).

No more need to add primers in two stages like the round tray required.

I never did that anyways. The middle of the tray is wide enough to catch them from a CCI or Winchester tray. Just start there and as you slip the cover off keep moving the tray in the opposite direction so that the row being uncovered stays in the middle. Once you get used to it it's just one quick motion and they all fall right in.

Deavis
December 2, 2011, 11:10 PM
If the press doesn't have a magazine to feed primers, then hand prime.

jcwit
December 2, 2011, 11:19 PM
Like I said earlier, I am prejudiced about Lee products. I still think their stuff is cheaply made,

Well that is your opinion which you are entitled to. But being as they are also priced lower The use of the word 'cheap' seems out of place and the word value comes into play. Now if they were priced the same as other products in this field the story would be different.

Example; Chev, Ford, Toyota, Honda Cheap? Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Land Rover, BMW more expensive and only one to own?

PO2Hammer
December 2, 2011, 11:30 PM
I prime on my turret press with the built in priming system. It's a good, smooth cast iron press so it has good feel.

FROGO207
December 3, 2011, 04:14 AM
I have 2 Lee Auto-primes and an old single handheld Lee primer tool. Also have a Ram Prime. RCBS and Spar-T presses with primer arms. I have tried all of them and keep going back to the Lee Auto-primes every time. I am however well covered if something breaks.:D

As a side thought the Lee primers that require the separate shell holders free up the standard shell holder for other uses on the press and thus do not require it to be swapped out all the time or buy a bunch more of the standard ones.

USSR
December 3, 2011, 07:52 AM
You guys are arguing over semantics regarding "cheap" and "inexpensive". Cheap is a word that can be used to mean anything from inexpensive and a bargain, to something shoddily built. Hard to tell the intent sometimes with the written word, as opposed to the spoken word.

Don

beatledog7
December 3, 2011, 08:08 AM
I hand prime exclusively, using the Hornady unit that comes with the LNL Classic kit. Had to modify it a bit to achieve reliable function (ram would stick in the sleeve of the small primer side of the platter, so I a reamed it out about .003). Works fine for me, fast and very tactile. I recently bought a Lee hand press with the priming ram, but have yet to try it out.

mongoose33
December 3, 2011, 08:58 AM
It depends on what I'm priming and why as to what I use.

If I'm loading handgun ammo on my LnL AP I let the press prime it. If I'm working up loads w/ different powder charges, I'll resize and prime a bunch of cases on my LnL and then load them by hand.

I've got the RCBS hand priming tool, and it works fine, but my hand gets tired using that.

As a treat, I bought the RCBS automatic bench priming tool, primarily to prime my .223 cases:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/457599/rcbs-automatic-bench-priming-tool

This thing is the nuts! It's fast, there's a great deal of feel and sensitivity with it, and my hand doesn't get tired using it.

Blue68f100
December 3, 2011, 09:12 AM
Depends on the press being used. With a Progressive, you bought it for speed so why in the world would you hand prime. I use the press primers exclusively. The only time I use a hand primer is when I'm using Plastic brass for shooting plastic bullets with primers only. Speers had these back in the 60-70's and was great for teaching my wife how to shoot a hand gun without wasting a lot of ammo. Most press mounted primers work if you take the time to set them up correctly and to get the feel. It's almost impossible to set off a primer if it's laying flat. I've crushed the hell out of some and they never go off while setting them and they still go bang when fired.

Now if your a bench shooter looking for that 0.0100 improvement go at. Not sure you will gain it using a hand primer. It whats done to the other end of the brass that makes all the difference.

jcwit
December 3, 2011, 09:42 AM
You guys are arguing over semantics regarding "cheap" and "inexpensive". Cheap is a word that can be used to mean anything from inexpensive and a bargain, to something shoddily built. Hard to tell the intent sometimes with the written word, as opposed to the spoken word.

Don


You are correct! My problem with the word cheap is that after most of my working career being a purchasing agent and a Director of Purchasing for a division of the "at that time" largest RV manufacturer, and constantly hammering pricing down, "value" is the term that comes to mind. Pricing only mattered when it became as low as possible.

RandyP
December 3, 2011, 10:46 AM
A question for the progressive press owners who hand prime.

I read a lot of accounts of rounds per hour capability - do you deduct output numbers to factor in all the time spent priming each case off the press?

Absolutely not trying to offend. I do all the work on the turret to get increased output over my single stage. If I ever needed the high output (and complexity and higher cost) of a progressive press I would want to use all its features? So I am just curious why one would not use the priming feature of their machine?

Hondo 60
December 3, 2011, 10:56 AM
Just for semantics, I prime on the press.

But I certainly don't "count" how many rounds or how long it takes.
So if I DID hand prime, I still wouldn't care how long it took.

mongoose33
December 3, 2011, 11:01 AM
A question for the progressive press owners who hand prime.

I read a lot of accounts of rounds per hour capability - do you deduct output numbers to factor in all the time spent priming each case off the press?

I have, on my LNL AP, generated throughput numbers of 600 rounds per hour--but that's simply doing 10 per minute, which I can sustain for a while. At least, until I need to reload primers, or add bullets to my bullet tray, or cases to my case tray.

I have the press priming the cases as part of the progressive feature, but the reality is that I can't, and I won't, just try to pump out ammo as fast as is humanly possible. Several reasons for that:

One is that physically, it's hard to do that for an hour or more straight. It's not fun!

Two is that speed kills. Well, not really, but trying to go as fast as I can is antithetical to producing the best ammo. It's not a race, there is no prize for fastest reloader. And frankly, the faster you go, the easier it is to miss something.

Three is that I find reloading to be relaxing. I like it! My goal is to produce good ammo in a reasonable time period and to enjoy the process.


There are lots of places where "throughput" is compromised. I have to pick up primers to load the tube; takes time. I have to calibrate the powder measure (usually gently tapping it with a wrench settles the powder enough that it only takes a few throws for it to settle down); takes time. I box up the rounds in 50-round boxes; takes time.

So, theoretical throughput is just that: theoretical. When you add all that other stuff in, I'm probably producing 300-350 rounds per hour, but I'm comfortable with that. It's still far faster than single-stage loading where Ihave to pull the handle 5 times instead of one time, and have to handle each cartridge 5 times instead of once.

cfullgraf
December 3, 2011, 02:04 PM
So, theoretical throughput is just that: theoretical. When you add all that other stuff in, I'm probably producing 300-350 rounds per hour, but I'm comfortable with that. It's still far faster than single-stage loading where Ihave to pull the handle 5 times instead of one time, and have to handle each cartridge 5 times instead of once.

mongoodse33, I am glad to see some one admit what their true production rate is taking into account the down time to resupply components.

My actual rates about match yours for similar process.

Of course, equipment like case and bullet feeders, primer tube fillers, and press drive motors all improve production rates as long as efficiencies remain good.

Instantaneous rates are useful but do not take into account the inefficiencies of production and the rates for a session's rates will be less than instantaneous.

joed
December 3, 2011, 02:04 PM
I used a Rock Chucker for priming until the arm broke. After that went out and bought a hand primer. I still use it for anything I load on the single stage.

Progressives, I let the press prime.

If there is a difference between hand priming and press priming I haven't seen it. Both have worked flawlessly for me.

Walkalong
December 3, 2011, 02:53 PM
I hand prime. Some folks like to press prime. As long as they get seated properly, and go bang 100% of the time, you'll be good to go.

Walkalong
December 3, 2011, 02:58 PM
The new Lee Ergo hand primer looks like a well thought out tool.

essayons21
December 3, 2011, 05:18 PM
Both. I use an old manual feed RCBS hand primer for very small batches. I use a lee auto primer for most accuracy oriented rifle reloading. I use the RCBS press mounted primer with primer tube for handgun reloading (while expanding), and sometimes for bulk rifle reloading.

I tumble range pistol brass before resizing, and I have 2 single stage presses so I will resize on one press, then expand and prime on the other press. While I would still like a progressive press, this setup makes bulk pistol loading pretty efficient.

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but the "feel" of a hand primer is overrated. I use them for convenience. I've found my primer seating is more consistent when using a press mounted primer.

cfullgraf
December 4, 2011, 12:14 PM
The new Lee Ergo hand primer looks like a well thought out tool.

The Ergo looks nice but I think prefer the thumb seating of the old Auto Prime versus the hand squeezing of my RSCB Universal or the Lee Ergo.

Nothing wrong or right with either, just different strokes for different folks (pun intended).

I have not used my Auto Primes in a while, maybe I need to dust them off to see if I really feel that way.

Walkalong
December 4, 2011, 01:46 PM
I use the RCBS primer, so the action would be similar, something I am used to. I had an old Lee primer, and I liked it. I am not sure what happened to it. My Sinclair uses the thumb to seat, but it is slow. Worked great for Benchrest loading 15 or so cases at a time.

GLOOB
December 4, 2011, 02:04 PM
I have an Auto Prime hand primer. I threw it away. The press gives me more leverage, feel, and it's way faster.

The feel may vary with the particular press and method. With my Breechlock, I'm able to adjust the handle length to where I can squeeze the primer in by reaching my fingertips around the front of the O-frame with my hand still on the ball. The primer slips and seat in right at that point. So I'm seating with my fingers/grip, not my arm and/or body weight. Same as with a hand primer, but with more leverage. I can say I have more feel, even, because I actually use both hands. My left thumb goes on the stick, and my left fingers also wrap around the O frame. Not that I need any more leverage, but it does give me more feel.

I'm sure on many presses, you wouldn't have quite this much feel. I have no idea what the feel would be like on a system that primes on the upstroke.

With the Lee Breechlock, sizing/decapping/priming all happens at once. And even when priming previously sized/decapped brass, it's nice to prime on a press because it clears the flash holes. Another nice thing is when a primer gets in sideways or stuck in a crimped pocket, all you have to do is raise the ram and decap it. On a hand tool, you jam up the whole thing, and you have to crush the primer in just to get the case out of the holder. That's not fun when you're holding a tray full of primers.

After seeing a lot of other presses in action, I think the Breechlock might be the ultimate press for sizing and priming. Even if you use a progressive press, you might want to pick up a Breechlock if you like to size and/or prime separately from the rest of the stages.

USSR
December 4, 2011, 03:45 PM
On a hand tool, you jam up the whole thing, and you have to crush the primer in just to get the case out of the holder.

Not really. I simply place my Universal Decapping Die over the case, hit it with my hand, and the primer comes out and I can remove the case from the case holder. Takes a matter of seconds.

Don

cfullgraf
December 4, 2011, 09:15 PM
Not really. I simply place my Universal Decapping Die over the case, hit it with my hand, and the primer comes out and I can remove the case from the case holder. Takes a matter of seconds.

Don

Hmmm. Interesting idea. i will have to give it a try. For various reasons I am planning to dust off my Lee Auto Primes to make some comparisons with. This may come in handy, thanks Don.

I rarely have a turned primer as I check the primer before inserting the case into the shell holder. I do not insert a case into the shell holder unless a primer is present.

I do miss a crimp once in a while though.

One of the advantages of the RCBS universal shell holder is the errant case can be removed from the tool even though something is extended past the base.

ddub13
December 5, 2011, 02:14 PM
All pistol and plinking 223 gets primed and loaded on the Hornady LnL AP. I've never had a problem with it. In fact, I like it so much that I will probably start using it to batch process and prime (still measure load and seat individually) the bigger rifle loads.

The LnL AP priming systems works much better than my RCBS hand primer.

silver2525
December 6, 2011, 01:44 AM
Thank you all for taking the time to share your opinion. it was good to read....

dickttx
December 7, 2011, 11:39 AM
I presume all you who only hand prime also drive a three speed manual transmission auto.:D

cfullgraf
December 7, 2011, 12:06 PM
I presume all you who only hand prime also drive a three speed manual transmission auto.:D

It is not worth driving if it does not have a clutch!

jcwit
December 7, 2011, 05:20 PM
I presume all you who only hand prime also drive a three speed manual transmission auto.
__________________


Yup three on a tree, was the way to go till my knees gave out.

JohnM
December 7, 2011, 05:25 PM
Naw, four on the floor with a six banger under the hood.
Only people who drive slush boxes don't like hand primers

Walkalong
December 7, 2011, 11:15 PM
three on a treeDid that for 10+ years. Four on the floor before that. Auto now. :)

Grayrock
January 30, 2012, 08:37 PM
Just this evening I snapped the lever off my Lee Auto-Prime. I have been using it about 6 years. Went to the Lee website to order a new lever and found out it is obsolete now. Their new XR replaced it and the levers do not interchange:( They will offer me 1/2 off a new one if I send in the old one. I may spring for a new Ergo-prime - IF they have it. Website says "out of stock". I'll call them tomorrow.

hang fire
January 31, 2012, 01:40 AM
If using a SS press I use the Lee hand primer, on the Dillons I use the press primer.

JohnGault
January 31, 2012, 05:55 AM
I presume all you who only hand prime also drive a three speed manual transmission auto.:D
I cant drive an automatic.

blarby
January 31, 2012, 06:25 AM
Press for me.

Arkansas Paul
January 31, 2012, 11:01 AM
Depends. If I'm doing load development and only loading 10 rounds or so of each, I just prime on the press. If I'm loading something like handgun batches of 100, I use the Hornady hand priming tool.

Grayrock
March 17, 2012, 09:48 PM
I sent off my broken Lee Auto-Prime to exchange (+ $20) for the new Ergo-Prime yesterday. Hope it gets here soon- I have cases to prime and don't like using the one on my press.

cfullgraf
March 17, 2012, 10:01 PM
Grayrock,

Get a second Ergo-Prime. Set one up for large primers and one for small. No change required normally.

Then, when on fails or breaks, you have a spare on hand and can keep loading until you get a replacement.

Lee hand primers are inexpensive enough to do that.

helotaxi
March 18, 2012, 07:46 AM
I bought one of the Auto Prime XRs after breaking the handle on a second old style Auto Prime. I primed 100 cases with it and it was more of an exercise in patience than teaching my 2 year old to do something. The old Auto Prime had one design flaw and that was the weak handle. The newer design fixed the handle issue (yeah!) but dorked up all the rest of it. The square tray is nice if you use Fed primers but wasn't "needed". The extra little maze that the primers have to negotiate to get from the tray to the "elevator" means that you're constantly shaking the thing to make sure that primers are going where they need to and the angles involved mean that gravity isn't helping you. Then there's their *patented* (by Rube Goldberg probably) safety mechanism that lifts a primer into the "on deck" position from the maze. Great in theory except it isn't covered and the primers have a tendency to hang up halfway in, get flipped and/or ejected from the device into your lap or onto the floor. Assuming the stars align sufficiently to allow you to get a primer past that point, they also hang up or get flipped sideways going into the seating position. The end results of my experience with the new (now intermediate since the Ergo Prime is out) model is that what took me 10-15 minutes before took me more than 30 and added to my stress level.

The Ergo Prime "fixed" the one strong point of the previous design, the improved handle, and left all the frustrating bits intact. Way to go Lee! You took one of the gems in your product line and totally FUBAR'd it. The good news it that the only concern you will have with breakage on the two newer designs is you venting your frustration on them with a hammer. At that point I don't think that having a spare or spare parts will matter...

Grayrock
March 18, 2012, 09:00 AM
Once I get my new Ergo-Prime, I'll take a look and maybe I can dremel it a bit to "fix" it- dunno. We'll see.

helotaxi
March 18, 2012, 09:06 AM
You could probably take care of it with an X-acto but I was too fed up to deal with it. The previous version worked so well other than the weak handle...

cfullgraf
March 18, 2012, 09:30 AM
The Ergo Prime "fixed" the one strong point of the previous design, the improved handle, and left all the frustrating bits intact. Way to go Lee! You took one of the gems in your product line and totally FUBAR'd it. The good news it that the only concern you will have with breakage on the two newer designs is you venting your frustration on them with a hammer. At that point I don't think that having a spare or spare parts will matter...

I suppose there are two schools of thought on hand primers. Seat with the thumb or squeeze with the hand.

I used the original Auto-Prime for about 30 years and I am probably used to the thumb method. Around 1980, the Auto-Prime was it when it came to hand priming. I would wear out or break about one a year, usually on a Sunday when everything was closed in the then Blue Laws state of South Caroline. So, the units were cheap enough that I kept two on hand, one for large and the other for small primers. Except the handle, Lee did correct over time some of the 1980 reliability issues.

I bought an RCBS Universal when Lee put out their warning to only use certain brands of primers in their Auto-Prime and to do away with using shell holders. The RCBS units prime by squeezing with the hand.

Probably due to decades of Auto-Prime use, I prefer to seat primers with my thumb. Recently I bought the Auto-Prime XR to try and I agree the primer maze and elevator is a bit Rube Goldberg. I do not like that the primer in the elevator is not captured at all times. I can see myself groveling on the floor looking for a dropped primer. I do that enough without the priming tool helping me.

So, I will stick with the RCBS unit for now.

There are a few instances where the RCBS Universal will not prime a case, brass 410 shot shells is the main one, so I keep an Auto-Primes around for those.

There is alot of personal preference when it comes to which priming tool to use. But, if you are budget minded, the Lee tools are reasonably priced so that having two is not a big hardship.

Final note, I do have two RCBS Universal priming tools, one set up for large and the other for small primers. I dislike changing the primer tools over and I have spares on hand in an emergency.

sniper5
March 19, 2012, 02:50 AM
Using a Lee Classic Turret, I use the press to prime pistol ammo. When loading rifle, I disconnect the auto advance and use as a single stage and handprime the rifle casings. For no real quantifiable reason. I just feel better about it that way. Realistically, both probably work equally well.

Nevmavrick
March 19, 2012, 10:43 AM
When I started reloading, I was using a Pacific C-press, and learned with the press-mounted primer tool. It was alright for the .30/30s I was loading.
When I got my .222, I bought my Lee with the screw-in shell holder(I still have it!)
About the time I bought my RCBS Super Rockchuker, I got a Lee single tool(no tray) It has more leverage than the older one. I was happy! Then...I got an Auto-Prime...I was as happy as ..(pick your favorite expression) Over the years, I got a couple more..broke a few, and got more. Currently I have two, one Large, one Small. Through time I picked up an RCBS bench-mounted.
I like my Lee(with the round tray), but decided to get a new, square-tray model, so I can use the accursed Federal boxes. Ya STILL have to remove the little lock-tabs from the box before dumping them.
Yup...I got a Lee XR... This is ME. P...ed to the max!!!
I've never had so much trouble with something so simple in my life! Inverted primers...jams...over spills. This NOT relaxing. I've got enough stress in my job, without more being added by my hobbies!! WHY.. do we need an elevator??? A flat floor works just great.
It's back to my bench-mount. I did shorten the handle so I'd have less leverage, tho'. I stand over the bench when I use it, so my weight is easy to put too much pressure against the tool. It works better with the shorter handle.
So... for the last about 50 years, I've mostly used hand prime tools. I always use single-stage presses, eventhough I shoot quite a bit of competition, my favorite being Steel Challenge with an auto-pistol "(.40 S&W)
I have a steel plate bolted to my bench so I can change tools quickly, and only have one tool at a time, press...primer tool...powder measure...bullet swage press(Corbin) or lubrisizer, whatever.
I'm looking forward to the Lee Ergo. I prefer thumb pressure, but Oh, Well!!
The only progressive I've used is for the shotgun when I'm shooting trap.
Have fun,
Gene

I used to reload so I can shoot more...now I shoot so I can reload more

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