Priming tools


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mnhntr
December 1, 2012, 10:52 PM
What is your favorite way to prime? I currently use the arm and tubes for my rock chucker but I do not like the process. It frequently is not aligned or spits out two primers. I was thinking about buying a sinclair handheld primer tool.

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TurtlePhish
December 1, 2012, 10:59 PM
I've got the Lee Safety-prime on my press that came with it as a kit and it works flawlessly for me. It looks and feels kinda cheap, but it has no issues.

scotty
December 1, 2012, 11:01 PM
I have a Lee hand primer that works very well. I've used the priming arm on my Rock Chucker and it works just fine but is a lot more cumbersome than the Lee.

My only issue with the Lee is that has a round primer tray that is difficult to dump a normal 100 rd tray of primers into. I usually do 50 at a time. I have since seen other hand priming tools that have a square tray that look like they would be easier in this regard.

jcwit
December 1, 2012, 11:09 PM
I have a Lee Auto Prime and a Hornady Hand Primer, both seldom used. I normally use either my K & M Hand Primer or any of my older Lee Hand Primers with the screw in shell holders. Just the way I like to do it. Its relaxing.

stiffdogg06
December 1, 2012, 11:12 PM
Depends on what I am reloading. I reload .40 S&W on my Lee Pro 1000 and prime on the press.

When I reload .223, I prime with the Lee Auto Prime. A lot of people hate reloading .223 but I really do enjoy it because it's a lot more hands on. I do it all on a Lee Single Stage.

mbopp
December 1, 2012, 11:14 PM
Depending on the caliber, how many cases I'm doing, and if it's large or small primer I'll use the primer arm on my Rockchucker or Lyman turret presses or the Lee handheld priming tool.

ArchAngelCD
December 1, 2012, 11:25 PM
I was using a Lee hand primer but when I tried an RCBS hand primer I was hooked. I use the RCBS for all my rifle ammo and I prime on a Lee turret press for all my handgun ammo.

BYJO4
December 1, 2012, 11:36 PM
Since getting my progressive press almost 2 years ago, I prime all my handgun cases on the press. When I use my single stage press, I only use the RCBS bench mounted priming tool. I've used this for over 30 years and there is nothing better. Primers seat perfectly with no exertion needed on your part plus it is very fast.

Andrew Leigh
December 1, 2012, 11:49 PM
The Lee tool has to be one of the most innovative reloading tools. It offeres the following;

- ease of use
- seats primers easily and effortlessly. The priming attachment on my RCBS is useless.
- priming can be done in the comfort of your armchair
- priming is incredibly quick

For the price you will be overjoyed with your purchase, trust me on this one.

cfullgraf
December 1, 2012, 11:57 PM
I have been using a hand primer for 32 years. First was an original Lee Auto-Prime, now I use an RCBS Universal, both standard and APS versions. (The current Lee Auto-Prime II does not float my boat)

I hand prime even when loading on a progressive. I prefer to clean my cases between resizing and reloading which affords me the option of hand priming. I can hand prime 100 cases as fast as filling a primer tube.

Ken70
December 1, 2012, 11:58 PM
I do it on the Loadmaster; quickest and easiest thing I got. I can prime with the Lee handprimer, Challenger single stage press, Lee Cast Turret Press, Lee Reloader Press, or the Smartreloader hand primer. The Loadmaster is the go to piece.

Zekest Crowe
December 2, 2012, 12:30 AM
I have everything LEE ... except the hand primer, I really like the RCBS Universal Hand Primer ... Sorry LEE.

Etkini
December 2, 2012, 12:45 AM
I used the Lee Auto-Prime XR heavily for the past two years reloading. It's worked well, but I always had to use both thumbs at the same time to seat the primer as it got tiring after a few cases, or was difficult. It's worked well, but the plastic clips that hold the clear plastic top on broke off a year ago so it's been held on with electrical tape\rubber bands. I hated the safety prime on my Lee Challenger press - I used it once then took it off.

Now that I have a Hornady progressive, everything gets primed right there on the press. Although I don't have a 100% study bench (using a portable Skil workbench for now), it has a great seating feel.

medalguy
December 2, 2012, 01:03 AM
I use the RCBS bench mounted Auto Prime. I wore out the handle on the first one I had, probably primed 75,000 cases with it over 30 years. The handle finally wore down right at the hump, so I called RCBS and they sent me a whole new tool. :D:D:D

Ken70
December 2, 2012, 01:05 AM
Etkini, If you've read the first edition of the Lee Reloading Manual, you'll recognize the passage about some gorilla coming into Lee's office and complaining about how hard it was to seat the primers. Took both thumbs;plus. Crushed the primer every time. That's not what you want to do.

It doesn't take both thumbs, I've been doing it for 16 years with one. You don't have to collapse the linkage in the priming tool, it's just press until you feel some resistance. It's seated.

GLOOB
December 2, 2012, 01:20 AM
I threw my Lee Autoprime handprimer into the trash. I prime on my press, a Breechlock Challenger. The priming system and spent primer system are well thought out on it. I find press priming on a Breechlock to be faster, easier, and better than handpriming with the Autoprime in every way but the portability. And swapping in/out 2 little priming arms versus a box full of parts is a plus, in itself.

Even when I primed rifle in its own step, I used the ram. Now I'm flaring/priming at the same time with the M die, and I have always sized and primed in one step for pistol. So handpriming is now way, way too slow for me.

rg1
December 2, 2012, 01:41 AM
RCBS Bench Mounted Automatic priming tool is the best system I've tried. It has just the right amount of leverage and feel. It's primed many thousands of cases and if it ever breaks and I don't think it will, I'll immediately buy another. It's probably over 20 years old and the only disadvantage I would say is that I've bought extra shellholders just for the priming tool. Mine uses standard shellholders.

Mike 27
December 2, 2012, 03:17 AM
I have the Lee press mounted, Hornady LNL, and the hand held RCBS. Guess it kinda depends on what I feel like using as they all work fine.

Ehtereon11B
December 2, 2012, 06:04 AM
My press came with a single primer arm on the downstroke operation. I tried it a few times but couldn't feel the primer sitting well as the primers were never seated properly. So I went back to the Lee hand primer and haven't gone back since.

beatledog7
December 2, 2012, 06:46 AM
Hornady hand primers, one set up for small, another for large. It was what I started with, and other than doing a few on the LNL SS and a few with a Lee hand press, just to try them, it's all I've ever used. I like it, and it's fast enough (I don't load high volume).

EddieNFL
December 2, 2012, 08:34 AM
Ammo loaded on the Dillons are primed on the presses. Certain rounds are primed on the RCBS tool and I use a K&M tool for a few specific loads.

918v
December 2, 2012, 09:43 AM
Hornady.

It has the quality of the Sinclair, but has a tray.

kingmt
December 2, 2012, 10:04 AM
If I'm using the Load Master or Pro1000 I prime on the press. If SS I have liked The Lee Classic Cast but I sometimes use a ram prime.

minnesota
December 2, 2012, 10:39 AM
I have 2 Lee auto prime's ( set up for .223 rem and 30-06) and a hornady hand held for everything else. I actually prefer the feel of the hornady, but the convenience of having 2 set up for most of my loading needs is nice. If I am loading pistol it gets primed on the progressive.

918v
December 2, 2012, 01:02 PM
I like the sensitivity of a hand priming tool. It lets me feel the primer bottom out in the primer pocket. You don't get that feature with priming on your press.

GLOOB
December 2, 2012, 04:56 PM
I like the sensitivity of a hand priming tool. It lets me feel the primer bottom out in the primer pocket. You don't get that feature with priming on your press.
This is not true in all cases. To increase the sensitivity on your press, try adjusting the handle shorter. On my press, I squeeze the primer in with my fingers, not my arm (and not my thumb... or two thumbs). I grip the front of the O-frame with my fingertips, ball of the lever in my palm. This gives me good feel and just the right amount of leverage. Way better feel than the Autoprime. I can feel the primers bottoming out, just fine. With my press, I know exactly where to expect the primer to bottom out, I can feel it bottoming out, and I have the leverage to push the primer in even the tightest of pockets with ease, nice and gently, until it bottoms out. I can also predict when a primer pocket is just a little too loose and the primer is going to come out with an easy manual push with a decapping pin, versus just tight enough to be ok, with pretty close to 100% accuracy.

I also like the fact that priming on a press, you can take these easily pushed out primers and easily reuse them on the next case after scrapping the loose case. Instead of setting them aside for the next time you reload your handpriming tool, or backing up the primers and trying to get it back in rightside up. And that if a primer gets stuck halfway in a crimped pocket, you can back it out with your press - or if you don't have a decapping die installed, easily crush it in to remove it from the shellplate and set it aside for later (although this never happens to me, anymore. I can easily feel when a primer doesn't start right and remove/chamfer the case before the primer starts in). And that you can keep a decapping pin for testing loose pockets and a chamfer tool for removing crimps for when needed, since you're at your bench, anyway... All these things that can go wrong while priming make priming on your couch while watching TV better in theory than in practice, IMO. Just as soon as you get comfortable, Murphy shows up.

918v
December 2, 2012, 05:10 PM
With a high quality tool like the Hornady or the Sinclair, you don't have these issues. The Hornady tool has the additional benefit of speed.

cfullgraf
December 2, 2012, 05:55 PM
I also like the fact that priming on a press, you can take these easily pushed out primers and easily reuse them on the next case after scrapping the loose case. Instead of setting them aside for the next time you reload your handpriming tool, or backing up the primers and trying to get it back in rightside up.

I do not have to wait for an emty hand primer tray to re-insert a primer, just tip the primer tray down to prevent feeding the next primer and put the loose primer back into the seating station by hand. Or, don't fully retract the handle so the seating stem continues to block the primer seating station.

This works at least with the original Lee Auto prime and the RCBS Universal.


I can easily feel when a primer doesn't start right and remove/chamfer the case before the primer starts in).

The effort required to seat a primer with a hand primer is learned pretty quickly. But, then, I have some friends that will wring off a 1/2" bolt every time they pick up a wrench.

If a primer starts "hard", I find the cause before smashing the primer. Sometimes there is a missed crimp and sometimes the case needs to be aligned a smidge for the primer to start properly.

It is similar with loose primer pockets although primer seats too easily.

garrysks
January 21, 2013, 06:49 AM
I have been using the original Lee Auto Prime for about 25 years. I bought 2 of them so I can leave one set up for large and one for small primers. I have never had a single problem with them. I have primed all kinds of handgun and rifle cases with them.

kelbro
January 21, 2013, 07:04 AM
I have two of the older RCBS tools. One set up for small, one set up for large primers. Tried the new one that has the square primer tray and doesn't use sheellholders. That was a big disappointment for me as brass was always popping out of the universal holder and I had to constantly 'fiddle' with the brass to get it to line up properly.

Wylie1
January 21, 2013, 08:48 AM
I don't like the Lee hand primer. I only load for rifles and use my press one at a time by hand. If I were to reload for hand guns and shot more I'd get the Lee Auto Primer and go full auto with my press for reloading them.

Cleftwynd
January 21, 2013, 03:51 PM
The thing about priming tools is there are many that work very well. It's more to do with preference over quality. I personally like the RCBS universal over the other 5 methods I have, however sometimes just to change things up I will prime on a press using a method already described here. If you use your fingers and grip the frame of the press the feel is actually quite good.

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