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RCBS hand priming tool - sucks for .223

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JohnnyGrey, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. JohnnyGrey

    JohnnyGrey Well-Known Member

    I got one of these in my rockchucker kit. I learned quickly that you have to watch the primers to make sure they don't come out upside down, but for the most part it works ok when I do 9mm. .223 is another story though. Every other round, and I have to tear the thing down to get the shell out. Either the primer goes in crooked, or it gets shredded on the way in and I can't pull the brass off the shell holder. It takes an inconsistent amount of force and I end up with a bunch of wasted primers and brass that I have to decap.

    I see there is an attachment available for the rockchucker to do priming. Is it much better than the hand tool? Is the loaded primer isolated from the rest of them to prevent a chain explosion like on the hand tool? If, so how much should I expect to pay for one of these? Thanks.
  2. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Well-Known Member

    Is that the one with the "universal" shellholder, or the one that uses an RCBS shellholder particular to the caliber? I've had really good luck with my RCBS "Universal" but the one I had before it was a complete POS.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I have used the RCBS standard hand primer for years and have never had a problem like that.

    I would check carefully for mold flash on any of the plastic parts. Something almost has to be held apart too far for a primer to flip over like that.

    BTW: I always use a big strong rubberband on the primer tray lid to keep it tightly down against the primers in the tray.

    If all that fails to cure it, call RCBS and whine.

    1-800-533-5000 (Monday - Thursday from 6:30am - 3:00pm Pacific Time).

    They will get to the bottom of it & take care of you, one way or the other.

  4. JohnnyGrey

    JohnnyGrey Well-Known Member

    It's the one that uses the specific shellholder.

    They don't flip over in the tray, sometimes they go up the tunnel sideways.

    Is it possible I'm doing something wrong? You're supposed to use the white plastic part and the small metal shaft for .223, right?
  5. amlevin

    amlevin Well-Known Member

    When you said there was a problem with .223 and priming the first thing that comes to my mind is the military crimp has not been swaged or reamed out of the primer pocket. It will cause primers to go in sideways or tear off the sides of the primer cup.

    If you are using once-fired brass it is highly likely that there is a mil-crimp on the primer. You will need to get a swaging tool or reamer. I load thousands of .223 brass at a time and use a Dillon Superswage 600 to make the primer pocket the right size and radius the edge that was left sharp when the old primer was punched out. Just part of the processing of the brass. Size/deprime, trim (if necessary), swage (if necessary), then reload.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Look for mold flash holding the parts open.

    If they are fitting like they should a primer can't flip until it comes out into the hole the seater rod is in.

    It is possible to cause them to flip at that point by rough handling I guess.

    I have had it happen to me occasionally when I give the tool an extra shake or something.

    The GI case crimp will also give you fits like amlevin said if you don't ream or swage it out of the case first.

  7. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    +1 what amlevin said
  8. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    I agree with others that you may be having a problem with 223 brass that formerly had the primers crimped in place.

    FYI, RCBS sells an upgrade kit with the new square tray from the universal hand primer, replacing the round tray on the older hand primer that uses cartridge specific shell holders.

    Note the upgrade does NOT give the older model the new universal shell holder.

    The square tray is large enough to lay a whole factory package down flat while you slide the cardboard sleeve off. It also feeds from the corner, which I found works more smoothly than from the edge of the circular tray on the Lee, but I have no experience with the circular RCBS tray.

    I wish they would include the newer universal hand primer, and the new quick change uniflow PM in their kits. Both would make for a very nice kit.

  9. benchgrinder

    benchgrinder Member

    Once the mil crimp is reamed away, I have used the RCBS hand priming tool (the one with the specific shell holder, not universal) on many thousands of 223 shells without any problems. However, on the topic of flipped primers, I find that it is necessary to squeeze a bit at the point at which the primer tray goes into the tool. Even the slightest extra tolerance at this point seems to allow a primer to flip.
  10. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    I had to file the tray down in size so it would fit into the white 2 piece plastic portion of the primer toool.
    It was too thick in both width and height and would spread it apart and bind. But i did not have trouble with the primers flipping over!
  11. ftierson

    ftierson Member.

    I use a Lee Auto-Prime and have never had any of these kinds of problems...


  12. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    My RCBS tool with the universal shell holder and square tray has worked great so far.

    My first guess would also be that you are using mil brass and not doing something about the crimp.

    If that is not it, I'd have to assume that you've got something badly wrong with either the parts you are using on the tool, or the way you have assembled them... I don't see how it would be dimensionally possible for a primer to just randomly flip over during the feed cycle.

    Make sure you are not using the large primer feeding neck piece... though I think you mentioned you were not.
  13. benchgrinder

    benchgrinder Member

    The way that I have seen a primer flip occur is if the lid on the primer tray isn't completely shut down tight. A small primer (not a large primer) will be able to flip at the point that it is in the slot about slide into the tool from the tray. If the lid is not tight, there is just enough room for a small primer to flip. I've seen it happen on my own tool, but it only happened twice and the second time I was able to catch the problem before I primed it into the case. I just squeeze down the lid harder now, and haven't had a problem since.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  14. Khornet

    Khornet Well-Known Member

    I have similar problems

    small primers flip or tilt easily if you aren't very watchful. The tray lid loosens easily. I load lots of military brass, and it doesn't matter whether it's de-crimped GI brass or civilian brass. I have to watch it like a hawk. It also requires more pressure to seat primers than does my Lee.

    With my Lee hand prime there are no problems like that. RCBS works OK but is less convenient than Lee.
  15. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Well-Known Member

    Try lee autoprime, cheap and is nearly idiot proof..... I am a living example.
  16. fineredmist

    fineredmist Well-Known Member

    I gave up on my RCBS hand primer a long time ago and now use a Lee Auto Prime 2. I have it mounted on a cheap Lee "C" type press and it is dedicated to primeing only and it works just fime.
  17. Flash!

    Flash! Well-Known Member

    I have used the RCBS standard hand primer for years and have never had a problem like that. I think you are seeing a problem from military crimped primers....you gotta remove that crimp before reloading.....

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