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Lee Auto Prime

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 2popfire, May 21, 2010.

  1. 2popfire

    2popfire Active Member

    I just recieved a Lee auto prime and found that the shell holders from my Lee deluxe pistol die sets don't seem to fit the auto prime. Is there a different shell holder for the auto prime? I have shell holders for .40 S&W and .45 Colt neither fit. :fire:
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Yep, they use a different holder. Good news is a whole set is pretty cheap.
  3. 2popfire

    2popfire Active Member

    Thanks, Walkalong, got em' on order.

  4. dc.fireman

    dc.fireman Well-Known Member

    I made this very same mistake ( as I'm sure other novice reloaders have) when I bought mine a few months ago. I struggled with getting the regular press shell holder in place for about 15 minutes, before getting on the Lee website to find out the what for. And thats when I see that the shell holders for the auto prime, are in fact different from a regular shell holder! The reasoning from Lee is, that they don't want you using the small collar from the press die, to give added leverage when seating primers. After thinking about it, I was fairly certain I didn't want that added leverage, either.

    Once you obtain the correct shell holder (and I'd buy the whole set Walkalong mentioned), you'll find that using the Lee Auto Prime is a joy. Good Luck!


    p.s. - that was a rather long-winded way of saying what Walkalong just said. Sorry.
  5. Tilos

    Tilos Well-Known Member

    I love my Lee Auto Prime

    The best thing about a Lee Auto Prime is: the trays can be used to quickly fill RCBS primer tubes:what:

    A piece of cardboard shim to center the tube under the tray hole and a Sonic toothbrush to vibrate the tray, loads 100 primers into the tube in about 5 seconds :D

    PS: no shell holders needed;)
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  6. Dodge DeBoulet

    Dodge DeBoulet Well-Known Member

    The best thing about the Lee Auto Prime is that it's only $15.

    And the reason that's so good is that you'll only be out $15 when you break the handle 2 weeks after you buy it.
  7. 2popfire

    2popfire Active Member

    This seems like B.S. to me, I've done a little measuring and can't see why the auto prime should not be modified (by Lee) to accept the same shell holder as the press. Looks to me like a designed in money maker, I'll bet those new shell holders I just ordered will measure about .030 thou. smaller in diameter and about the same amount less in height and shazamm!! in they go.

    Also those new holders which were $12.99 got to be $24.65 after the $3.00 "special handling charge" plus $8.33 postage handling and insurance. Yup thats almost DOUBLE.

    So is reloading any less expensive than buying factory ammo?

    Sorry if I'm whining but my equiptment has started to arrive and in looking it over some of this stuff seems toy like, this auto prime and powder scale (balance beam) for example. The carbide dies look stout enough and I'm hoping the turret press is up to the job.

  8. UpTheIrons

    UpTheIrons Well-Known Member

    No. The Auto Prime shellholders are not .030 thou smaller. The entire base that clips into the ram on the turret press is not on the Auto Prime shellholders. I am lucky enough to live close to Cabela's, so my set - after I, too, tried to get the regular holder in there - was only $15 OTD.

    Yes. Reloading IS cheaper than factory ammo - once you have your setup all figured out. My first run of .45 ACP was $4/box cheaper than factory ammo, and that was with expensive FMJ (I didn't buy in bulk). Moving to bulk, or even bulk lead bullets can save you 60-75% (or even more) per box over factory ammo prices.

    Which turret did you get? I have the Deluxe Turret Kit, and have had zero problems with it, the Auto Prime, or the scale. The Classic Turret is supposedly even better.

    Welcome to the wild, wild, world of reloading. Be safe and have fun!
  9. jmortimer

    jmortimer Well-Known Member

    I have two Lee Precision Auto Primes - what a fantastic invention. Worth every penny. Apply grease as recommended and it will last. To answer your question - yes - I can load
    .45 Colt with a hard cast premium LBT bullet for a fraction of the cost of Buffalo Bore, Double Tap etc. I can load a Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frame for a fraction of the cost of factory ammunition. Even if you are just loading plinking rounds you will save $$$ - The "military calibers" are closer as you can get surplus ammunition cheaper than top of the line ammunition.
  10. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, so my Lee Auto Prime gathers dust. But it works great until the pain shuts me down.
  11. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Should've bought the Lee Auto Prime II instead...Your die shell holders fit it too. Don't have to buy different shell holders...
  12. Bad Hammer

    Bad Hammer Well-Known Member

    Dodge DeBoulet...."The best thing about the Lee Auto Prime is that it's only $15.
    And the reason that's so good is that you'll only be out $15 when you break the handle 2 weeks after you buy it."

    I wish you'd told me that before I bought mine.
    I've had it since 1997, but apparently I forgot to break it at the two week interval.:rolleyes:
    I guess it's true what they say....you really do learn something new every day.:scrutiny:
    Thanks for the tip.
  13. drgoose

    drgoose Member

    Is reloading cheaper than factory ammo?
    Yes it its, I started recently. Your 2 boxes of 50 rds will cost you about 4 dollars per round (400$ in equpiment) but after that it gets a lot cheaper. You will end up spending more money than before because you will shoot a lot more than before and will have a harder time explaining to your wife how come if it is cheaper to reload you are spending more money, but it is also a nice little hobbie.

    Just my 0.02$
  14. 2popfire

    2popfire Active Member

    Now I understand.... I get to go shooting more, so it must cost less. :evil:
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    That's right, you can save so much money that you can shoot your self right into the poor house.
  16. 2popfire

    2popfire Active Member

    I have to try this theory out on the wife.

    Maybe if I start shooting more I can save enough to get that new Ruger GP100 I've been lusting over.

    Of course that means another caliber to reload for...

  17. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    I've actually never heard of that one before, looks very interesting! Thanks!

    My wife actually suggested to me that I should start reloading. She said her ex did it and saved himself a lot of dough.

    "Um, OK honey!, That's a good idea!" Little did she realize the monster she was letting loose.....She also suggested I buy the grandkid his own .22 rifle. She won't go with us, I think she was just scheming to get us outta the house.
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  18. dc.fireman

    dc.fireman Well-Known Member

  19. Mr_Rich

    Mr_Rich Member

    Thanks for the jinx. I read this message last night and the first thing I do today is break the handle after using it for a year.

  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Whatever works. :)

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