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Hand Priming Tools

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 9mmepiphany, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    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
  2. Steve2md

    Steve2md Well-Known Member

    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
  3. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Well-Known Member

    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 >
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2014
  4. Havok7416

    Havok7416 Well-Known Member

    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!
  5. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    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.

  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    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)

    I didn't realize that
  7. horseman1

    horseman1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Havok7416

    Havok7416 Well-Known Member

    You can get the whole set of special shellholders for $17: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/56...hellholder-package-of-11?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    And here is the Ergo Prime: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/96...-prime-hand-priming-tool?cm_vc=ProductFinding
  10. geim druth

    geim druth Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. ksimons

    ksimons Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. clutch

    clutch Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Trailduster79

    Trailduster79 Well-Known Member

    I am using the RCBS and I haven't had any problems with it. I am happy with it.
  16. witchhunter

    witchhunter Well-Known Member

    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 Active Member

    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.
  18. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    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.
  20. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    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!

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