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Lee Auto Prime Problem

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bl4ckd0g, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. bl4ckd0g

    bl4ckd0g Well-Known Member

    Damn thing won't take a shellholder- either RCBS nor Lee. I am right to assume that this thing is a total POS, or am I missing something here.

    I insert the shellholder per the instructions, but the retaining lip on the bottom of the shellholder is too large to fit inside of the priming tool.
  2. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Well-Known Member

    Press shellholders and autoprime shellholders are different. They share the same numbers but the ones for the auto prime don't have a lug on the bottom so that the throw is shorter and you can easily feel the primer bottom in the pocket.

    The bad news is you obviously don't have an autoprime shellholder - the good news is that you can get a full set of them for well under $20.00. Once you have them, you'll like it I think.

  3. bl4ckd0g

    bl4ckd0g Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I'll go order a set.
  4. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    HUH!??! Now I'm confused...I have a Lee Auto Prim II and the shell holders that I use in my Lee single stage and Lee 3 hole turret also work in my Lee Auto Prime II and vice-versa. Howcome I'm confused here...???
  5. baz

    baz Well-Known Member

    You're talking about the model that attaches to your press. He's talking about the hand operated model. The latter uses special shell holders.

    Now my question -- I was thinking of starting a thread with the question, but will ask here and see if anyone knows.

    The hand primer is said to work only with CCI or Winchester primers. Why is that? Has anyone tried other brands in it?
  6. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    That is because you will grenade your hand with soft Federal primers...
  7. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Well-Known Member

    In addition to CCI and Win, Remington primers are deemed acceptable.
  8. Citroen

    Citroen Well-Known Member

    Gosh, I didn't know!

    When I began shooting IPSC with my 25-2 revolver, the gunsmith that did the action work told me to use only a handheld Lee Auto Prime and use only Federal primers. This was around 1982 or so.

    That is exactly what I did. In fact, I wore out one auto prime and bought a couple more (deal for two or more). One is set up with the shell holder for 45 ACP (the only caliber I reload). The other has the shell plate for .38 so that I can prime (with large Federal primers) the Speer plastic practice ammo that my wife shoots in our garage.

    Never in over 25 years have I had a primer ignite while loading. I am not saying it could not/does not ever happen, but it has not with me.

    Recently I could not buy Federal Large Pistol Primers so I bought some Wolf and they too load just fine.

    Charlotte, NC
  9. jr81452

    jr81452 Well-Known Member

    i honestly think LEE has a cooperative agreement with CCI/Speer and Winchester. i have loaded thousands upon thousands of federal primers through all (auto prime, auto primeII, loadmaster, etc) of my lee priming tools and never seen so much as a crushed primer with exception of my loadmaster. and even with the 100 or so completely smashed and mangled primers from the loadmaster not one ever went off, let alone set off the whole tray.
  10. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Well-Known Member

    As I understand it, the compound in Federal primers is more condusive to a chain reaction. I'm sure that thousands upon thousands would be loaded without a problem, but if one pops, the danger of it igniting the others is greater with Federal. I doubt Lee has a agreement as they are a seperate company. I could see it with RCBS as they are the same corporation that makes CCI and Speer (I think).
  11. Wedge

    Wedge Well-Known Member

    I just follow the instructions and do what the manual tells me...
  12. JA

    JA Well-Known Member

    Well I thought like some of ya'll about a Winchester and a CCI marketing rep handing Lee fat unmarked envelopes late at night in a dark alley.
    As the instructions that came with my Lee Pro 1000 press saying only Winchester or CCI primers should be used. That is until some time between the 300-400 round of 9mm loaded with Remington primers when a primer went off. With my ears ringing I looked up at the pock marked cealing that had that shot with a shotgun look. Then finding the primers and primer feeder parts scattered all over the room. I then realized that Lee might be onto something with the instructions saying to use Winchester and CCI primers only.
  13. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Well-Known Member

    I think I read somewhere that you can use Federals, but they recommend with only 20 or so in the pan. A pain, I know.
  14. baz

    baz Well-Known Member

    Says who?

    What about Wolf?
  15. bl4ckd0g

    bl4ckd0g Well-Known Member

    I felt that the auto prime was a piece of crap and I purchased a RCBS hand primer this afternoon.
  16. P-32

    P-32 Well-Known Member

    I guess I forgot you couldn't use Federal primers in the Lee auto prime (the hand held one) because I sure primed enough 308 with one using Federal gold match primers. If a guy can't figure out not to continue to add pressure if things are not working and sets a primer off he should maybe not be reloading any ways.
  17. baz

    baz Well-Known Member

    In my experience -- somewhat limited, but I am actually using the Lee Auto Primer -- it isn't a piece of crap.
    So Lee just doesn't want to accept responsibility from users loading softer primers, but there's no mechanical reason why primers other than CCI or Winchester shouldn't work. That's what I was wondering about, because I couldn't imagine why any brand of standard primer wouldn't be the same size as another brand.

    Thanks for the replies.
  18. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Thanks Baz...I thought that might be the answer. I have never had the Lee Auto prime hand held...Learn something new every day...
  19. presspuller

    presspuller Well-Known Member

    I really think the entire primer thing is a pissing match that goes back many years.
    IIRC Lee says in his book that the federals (or whatever brand it is he says not to use) had simply not been "tested" in the auto prime. I would think after all these years they could have tested them and found them safe by now or tested them and put out a VERY stern warning not to do it or you will lose a hand.
  20. Citroen

    Citroen Well-Known Member

    Hand Held Auto Prime

    For me the advantages of using the hand held Lee Auto Prime outweigh the possible disadvantages. Using the hand held, you can fully seat the primer every time - lessens the number of FTF in any given batch.

    Truthfully, I felt there was a greater danger of igniting a primer using the loading press to prime. The "feel" is not as controlled and the pressure is much greater.

    Years ago I stopped using that feature of my Dillon and decap only in the first stage. It may not be as fast but I like it still - and that is after somewhere upwards of 20,000 reloads.

    Charlotte, NC

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