Hand Priming Tools


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9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 01:22 AM
Just a question about hand priming handgun cases.

Has anyone found that any one is superior to any of the others. The ones I'm familiar with is the Lee Autoprime and one from RCBS...but my experience is 25+ years old.

Thanks for any input

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Steve2md
April 22, 2014, 05:07 AM
I like my lee auto prime, but my thumb gets sore after 300 or so rounds (or if I missed a few primer crimps) otherwise, I have no complaints, it has a good "feel" to it, and I can reliably seat to the same depth every time

tightgroup tiger
April 22, 2014, 06:10 AM
9mm,
I use the old Lee Auto Prime 2 which is long out of production. It's the press mounted priming system where you prime on the top of the press from the top of the ram stroke.

I've been using it for 25 years and hope it never wears out. Once it's set you get a perfect prime every time and it's really fast.

<edited >

Havok7416
April 22, 2014, 04:33 PM
I am currently using the (new?) Lee Ergo Auto Prime, although I have the regular square-tray Lee hand primer also. The ergo primer is way better (I think) because you use your fingers to squeeze the lever, not your thumb. It really reduced the fatigue in my thumb during long priming sessions. On top of that, it has fewer removable parts than my other hand primer!

Reloadron
April 22, 2014, 05:09 PM
I use an old Lee hand priming tool and also have a newer RCBS tool. Something to consider is the Lee tools did not use standard shell holders but shell holders designed for the tool. Not a big deal but worth noting.

Ron

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 05:24 PM
The ergo primer is way better (I think) because you use your fingers to squeeze the lever, not your thumb.
Interesting, it never occurred to me that there were priming tools which used the fingers rather than the thumb. It does seem a bit easier on the hand.

Has anyone tried one of the bench mounted priming tools like the ones from RCBS or Forster Co-Ax (doesn't use shell holders)

Something to consider is the Lee tools did not use standard shell holders but shell holders designed for the tool.
I didn't realize that

horseman1
April 22, 2014, 05:26 PM
I have the Hornady hand priming tool and I have used the RCBS as well. I like the RCBS one better. I'm looking to replace the Hornady since the tray broke, so I am interested in this thread.

jcwit
April 22, 2014, 05:30 PM
I have an Hornady hand priming tool altho it's branded as a Cabela's that I use for some calibers. Other than that I use a K & M hand primer or the old, old Lee primers with the screw in shell holders, these are dedicated per caliber.

The Hornady/Cabela's is by far the easiest to use as you use your fingers to squeeze.

Havok7416
April 22, 2014, 06:03 PM
I use an old Lee hand priming tool and also have a newer RCBS tool. Something to consider is the Lee tools did not use standard shell holders but shell holders designed for the tool. Not a big deal but worth noting.

Ron
You can get the whole set of special shellholders for $17: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/566058/lee-auto-prime-hand-priming-tool-shellholder-package-of-11?cm_vc=ProductFinding

And here is the Ergo Prime: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/962031/lee-auto-prime-ergo-prime-hand-priming-tool?cm_vc=ProductFinding

geim druth
April 22, 2014, 06:15 PM
I bought a RCBS Universal hand priming tool about a year ago. It is fast and reliable and easy on my hand. The universal shell holder works great for every caliber I reload, .380 to 30'06. I swear by it.

ksimons
April 22, 2014, 06:42 PM
I just received a Lyman ezload yesterday and all I can say is WOW I should have done it earlier . Fast easy and can do it anywhere. Should have done it years ago. 500 rounds in about 40 minutes. Old way 100 in about an hour.

clutch
April 22, 2014, 06:54 PM
I bought a RCBS Universal hand priming tool about a year ago. It is fast and reliable and easy on my hand. The universal shell holder works great for every caliber I reload, .380 to 30'06. I swear by it.

I've used the Lee priming tools since the time they didn't have a feeder tray and the shell holder screwed in. I got to the point where my thumbs could not work the later generations of the autoprime adn bought the RCBS Universal that was so much easier on my hand. The two things I don't like is the extra drag of the universal shell holder and always having to change from large primer to small primer.

I'm either going to buy a second RCBS universal or try out the Lee Ergo so I don't have to do change overs.

WestKentucky
April 22, 2014, 08:04 PM
Small primers get seated on a hand prime. Large primers in the rockchucker with a priming arm. I shoot a lot more small primer than large, and the hand prime is easy and fast.

BYJO4
April 22, 2014, 08:38 PM
I've used the RCBS Bench Mount Priming Tool for nearly 40 years and it does an excellent job. It requires virtually no effort on my part as it has great leverage and seats primers perfectly. While mine uses primer tubes, RCBS also makes a version that uses primer strips. It is also extremely fast. One of the best investments that I've made over the years.

Trailduster79
April 22, 2014, 08:57 PM
I am using the RCBS and I haven't had any problems with it. I am happy with it.

witchhunter
April 22, 2014, 09:11 PM
I have the old Lee hand primers and have since before electricity. I wouldn't know if there is a better one. They do use their own shellholders though. I have one set up for large primers and one for small. I do not have a complaint.

MILLERTIME
April 22, 2014, 09:24 PM
I also just got the Lyman hand primer and I really like it. Changing primer size is quick and simple. It uses any standard shell holder and is easy to operate. I suggest checking it out.

GW Staar
April 22, 2014, 09:35 PM
I used a Lee tray feed hand primer loader for 30 years.
Replaced it it the APS strip version of the Universal RCBS primer tool since I bought and use a Pro 2000 press (also APS). Did not even shed a tear for the Lee.....they work fine.....thumb feels terrible after an hour of priming.....no such problem with the RCBS.

Not having to worry about shell holders is a good thing.....the Universal works just as well strip version or tray version, but nothing is faster than priming with pre-loaded APS strips.

taliv
April 22, 2014, 09:55 PM
i've been using the forster one going on 15 years. i've primed tens of thousands of precision rifle rounds on it.

it works very well. you can feel the seating very well. you have a lot of control with the long lever. primers are stacked side by side instead of front to back so there is no danger of a chain kablooey.

you won't get tired doing hundreds at a time either. however, you need a bench with some elbow room. it sits on the bench, but i would not recommend mounting it permanently

adjustable jaws instead of shell holders work well and mean you can load dang near anything short of a 50bmg.

Potatohead
April 23, 2014, 01:59 PM
If you get the Lee, I bought a 9mm shellholder for the hand primer accidentally, your welcome to have it..was meaning to get a regular shellholder for my LCT...live and learn..

Ive been trying to give this thing away for a year!

Potatohead
April 23, 2014, 02:01 PM
I am using the RCBS and I haven't had any problems with it. I am happy with it.
Plus one. However, there's a trick or two that will help you out from time to time.

Onward Allusion
April 23, 2014, 02:06 PM
Being a newbie, I can't really compare my Lee hand primer to anything else, but I can tell you that I primed 250 38 Special cases in 2 hours or so while watching TV. Dunno if that is good or not, though. I can say that it was extremely easy.

Elkins45
April 23, 2014, 05:00 PM
I have the Lee (both old and new) and the RCBS that uses the regular press shell holder. I like and use all three if them. I'm still using the same Lee tool that I bought back in the mid-80's. Some folks have complained about the 'elevator' feature on the new square tray Lee but so far it hasn't given me any problems at all. Likewise, I see posts all the time about people breaking the Lee tools but it hasn't happened to me and I'm a guy who breaks stuff.

Peter M. Eick
April 26, 2014, 07:27 AM
I like the Lee's but they tend to break (for me) at around 10 to 20 thousand rounds. I now have two I rotate and then send both back for replacement for the price of one.

Ergo wise, I also have an RCBS universal APS primer that sits on the workbench 24/7. It is my go to hand primer press.

Thinking about it, I will probably never break a lee again, as I just don't like them as much as the RCBS Universal.

rskent
April 26, 2014, 07:41 AM
I haven't found anything better than the standard RCBS hand priming tool.

stubbicatt
April 26, 2014, 08:10 AM
I bought a Lee Autoprime in the 80's, and used it for many years without any explosions, it would occasionally cock a primer or seat one upside down. This causes intestinal distress as if one of those primers goes off...

I bought a RCBS APS hand priming tool. It took a little while to get used to it, and I experience fatigue a little sooner with that tool. Nonetheless, NO cocked primers or upside down primers, which, for me at least, cause more aggravation than the 3 cent pellet is worth.

I feel that the RCBS APS tool is a better tool than the Lee, but you pretty much have to buy a strip loader these days, so altogether it is not a cheap expenditure.

W.E.G.
April 26, 2014, 11:04 AM
My universal-chuck RCBS tool seats primers to only 0.001" below flush.

The new" version of the Lee tool does the same.

The "old" version of the Lee tool seats to 0.004" below flush.

I measured some factory-loaded Federal M193 with LC 01 brass, and all the primers are 0.004" below flush.

The old Lee tools are selling at significant premium on eBay.
That should tell you something.

sexybeast
April 26, 2014, 11:59 PM
I've never used the lee because i did not want to buy different shell holders. I bought the RCBS and use my shell holders. I prime 25k/year and love it, all different calibers too. Great feel and even crimped cases can be primed with it. A friend has the RCBS Universal but all he primes is 45. He's happy with it. RCBS will back it up too! Lyman makes one too and they usually make good stuff.
I prime in the evening while relaxing and watching tv. Gives you a chance to also take a glance of each case and cull out the 380's which drive me crazy mixed in with my 9mm.

germ
April 28, 2014, 10:57 AM
I have two RCBS Universal's - one for large and the other for small. I also have the APS strip model which I like a lot. If I ever have cash burning a hole in my pocket, I'll get a second one of them too. If I find myself in the market for another progressive, the APS system alone would have me taking a very serious look at a Pro 2000! Never cared for the Lee's, and I broke the thumb lever with nearly zero effort. My LCT is great at priming though!

GW Staar
April 28, 2014, 11:52 AM
My universal-chuck RCBS tool seats primers to only 0.001" below flush........

My Universal seats primers depending how deep my primer pockets are, usually .005, after being uniformed in my Trim Mate. Today I pressed one to where I felt it bottomed....in a clean uniformed pocket and it measured .005". I put it back in and pressed harder (probably crushing a tiny bit) and measured .007". (LR CCI's)

So I'd say yours either had shallow pockets, or you have a faulty tool. .001" max? That's not typical of RCBS Universals....I can crush them more if I want....010" easy....maybe more.

Besides pocket depth, another variable is primer brand ....they do vary in depth a little. So to hit a depth below flush target, you have to prep the brass taking in consideration primer depth.

fiftybmg
April 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
Used to have a Lee. It was a bit small for my hands, and uncomfortable over extended use. I also managed to break some part - can't remember which. Sold it and bought a Hornady hand prime.

Works great. It's not possible to break it during normal use.

horseman1
April 28, 2014, 01:11 PM
Used to have a Lee. It was a bit small for my hands, and uncomfortable over extended use. I also managed to break some part - can't remember which. Sold it and bought a Hornady hand prime.

Works great. It's not possible to break it during normal use.

That's true. But under abnormal abuse, the tray can break under the weight of a football players foot after it is knocked off the end table :). Don't ask how I know this... Maybe I will just buy a new tray from Hornady. I would not expect nor allow this to be covered under warranty.

jerkface11
April 28, 2014, 01:22 PM
I've used lee and rcbs and the rcbs requires far less force to use. Plus the offer a model that uses spring loaded jaws instead of shell holders.

keelbolts
April 28, 2014, 01:23 PM
I'm going to register my vote for the RCBS hand-priming tool. All of my handgun reloading gear is Lee, but I prefer the RCBS for priming. It's more comfortable to use than me old Lee with the flat paddle.

floydster
April 28, 2014, 03:56 PM
All this talk about 0.001"-0.005" below flush is all nonsense, seat the primers till they don't go any farther, period.
And I hand prime all my rounds, that's all I'm saying about that:)

inline4
April 28, 2014, 04:10 PM
there's a trick or two that will help you out from time to time.
such as?

GW Staar
April 29, 2014, 06:20 PM
Speaking of tricks, Tom McHale has a trick to using the Lee hand primer.:) (on outdoorhub.com) I think Lee is moving in a better direction with their "Ergo" version....where you use 4 fingers rather than 1 thumb to do all the work....more like RCBS's offerings.

http://cdn.net.outdoorhub.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/03/Reloading-Priming-Step-3-800x370.jpg

All this talk about 0.001"-0.005" below flush is all nonsense, seat the primers till they don't go any farther, period.
And I hand prime all my rounds, that's all I'm saying about that:)

Its pretty easy to crush a primer....even with a hand primer. I think you are saying seat until you feel it touch bottom ...right? As for nonsense....that's a matter of opinion. IMO knowing the relationship with the primers I choose to use, to the cases I choose to use (and the depth of both pockets and primers chosen), and to the tool I prime with, makes it worth it to me to measure. Especially since some Gas guns are sensitive to primer depth and have both minimum and maximum depths that either prevent slam fires, or no fires.

oldfortyfiveauto
April 29, 2014, 06:22 PM
The Forester is the one to beat. It's easiest on the hands and works great.

GW Staar
April 30, 2014, 11:54 AM
To each their own....to be sure.;) For me loading tubes is moving backwards...I love the speedy preloaded APS strips. After watching Forester's video I thought they needed a bench mount for the tool (not really a hand-held tool), and I wasn't real impressed with the tube loading method. "One to beat?" I guess you're not talking about speed. The leverage of the tool is effortless it appears, but then you have to weigh the argument, when does leverage cancel "feel". Well built tool to be sure.....one just has to decide what he needs/wants a hand primer or a bench primer. BTW you can also buy an APS bench primer....been tempted.

jsab9191
April 30, 2014, 02:00 PM
I've used the RCBS bench priming tool for the last few years . I've also used the Lee's hand primer and RCBS's hand priming tool and for ease of use , speed, and feel the RCBS bench mounted primer is hard to beat.

RainDodger
May 1, 2014, 07:04 PM
I have not seen Sinclair's hand primer mentioned yet. Anyone got one? It's expensive, but it looks very nice indeed. I'd love to hear a report on that one.

GW Staar
May 1, 2014, 08:02 PM
It's super duper if you get off on picking up a primer by hand and placing it one at a time into the tool, inserting a case, prime......repeat.

It's also the super ultimate status symbol among benchresters.

With my RCBS APS Universal, I never touch a primer and I like it like that. I do have a 35 year old Lee, that works exactly the same as the Sinclair....one at a time.....it's a collectors item....probably worth more than the Sinclair....not nearly as pretty though...definitely not stainless steel forged!:)

Ah, found a picture of the old Lee. (upper left hand corner)
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/IMG_0906.jpg

Elkins45
May 1, 2014, 08:50 PM
It's super duper if you get off on picking up a primer by hand and placing it one at a time into the tool, inserting a case, prime......repeat.

It's also the super ultimate status symbol among benchresters.

With my RCBS APS Universal, I never touch a primer and I like it like that. I do have a 35 year old Lee, that works exactly the same as the Sinclair....one at a time.....it's a collectors item....probably worth more than the Sinclair....not nearly as pretty though...definitely not stainless steel forged!:)

Ah, found a picture of the old Lee. (upper left hand corner)
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/IMG_0906.jpg

Ooohhh...that's the target model. Nice!

Is that a neck reamer?

murf
May 1, 2014, 09:01 PM
i use the lee autoprime. i have always used my fingers to press the lever. if i'm doing a large quantity i use a glove.

murf

GW Staar
May 2, 2014, 12:58 AM
Ooohhh...that's the target model. Nice!

Is that a neck reamer?
Yes. That Target Model Lee Loader gave me the first 1 hole 100 yard 4 shot group I ever did...out of a Remington Mohawk 600 no less in .243, using Winchester brass & primers, sierra 100 grain bullets and Winchester 760 powder.......40+ years ago.:) Then I bought a Rock Chucker and never used it again....why? Well, I didn't go the benchrest branch of the hobby. I should try it out again, huh?:o

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