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Bought Redding Auto Primer—Priming Tools & Primer Safety

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CQB45ACP, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Do you have any first hand information/experience with primer accidents or unsafe priming tools/systems?

    I have a strong bias towards the Lee on-press Safety Primer and haven’t heard of any accidents. It’s easy to use and I perceive it to be inherently safer than alternatives.

    I have read the sticky here about the priming accident—wow! It was in large part admitted user error but seems to me it’s another example of inherent flaws in the tube design. This reenforced my bias towards the Lee system.

    My bias began with unscientific research revealing references to tube-type system accidents, but none with the current Lee system. Reading Lee’s book reenforced that bias. Using the thing for a year has further reenforced it—it works easily and performs well.

    In another thread discussing a Lee turret press, the subject of the Safety Primer tool came up with a couple of guys saying they dumped it and instead use X or Y system. The Lee’s plastic seemed “cheesy” was one characterization. I can’t argue that point.

    After less than a year reloading, I switched from a Lee turret press to a Redding T-7, but continue to use the Lee Safety Primer on a separate Lee single stage. If I could mount the thing on the T-7 I would.

    So, this isn’t a poll, but a survey and discussion.
     
  2. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    No priming system I have used has seemed inherently unsafe. Not a huge fan of tube feed, but, have used them. They are not unsafe by nature. However they do require the operator to pay a bit more attention. Extra focus in reloading is not a bad thing.

    For the last 20 years I have used hand held primers. First a Rcbs and now a Hornady. Both work well and seem easy and safe in my hands. Have seen the Lee in action and it works very well. It does look cheesy, but, works very well.

    My brother uses a Rcbs bench primer. Works great and never had an issue.

    Any priming system that is inherently dangerous would quickly weed itself out. With the way things go around the internet it just wouldn’t sell. The lawsuits also would stop production in short order.

    Wow that went on a lot longer than I thought it would! Just me rambling
     
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  3. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Primers themselves are amazingly safe. I have smashed them in a pocket every direction from completely sideways to even sometimes correctly. I propose that the speed of installation has more to do with ignition than any other factor. I hand prime with the rcbs with universal holders and have not seen any issues with that tool ever. I believe the incident ratio for priming is extremely low, and you hear about most incidents because it scares the crap out of people.
     
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  4. Project355

    Project355 Member

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    When I started out, I think I primed a few cases on the Rockchucker priming gizmo. It was for the birds... so I ran out and got a Lee hand primer and a kit of shell holders. I literally wore it out after continual use over 15 years, and got another for "half price" thereafter. I'm on my third one, never had an issue except the occasional sideways primer if I really jostle the tool. Those pick out of the case easily (while it still in the shell holder) and I've never had one not go into a case correctly after that.

    Priming doesn't scare me too much. What scares the beejeebees offa me is decapping a live primer. Never had one go bang, don't decap all that many, but I use extra-extra precaution, because anvils fly fast and wicked, can puncture an eye, a neck artery... that sort of wicked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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  5. Project355

    Project355 Member

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    Probably should also add that I used the original Hornady Projector progressive press for years, never once had an issue with it's priming system. Only used it on .223, 38sp and 45acp tho. But still, its tube feed worked great.

    Primer packaging, primer tools... have all been lawyer'd infested these days. How we made it to old age using old methods that were tried and true is beyond me.

    The other month, I was putting a plug in a trailer tire that had gotten smooth nail stuck in it... was doing it for a neighbor having a roof put on his house. Well another neighbor came over to see what was what, admire the roof work so far, and oh boy "Don't you know those things are deadly?" I looked up and told him I planned to stick it in the tire, not up someone's ass, but I could be persuaded to change my mind. All about the hidden damage within tires, all the woe and beyond... I've had plenty of tires off rims that had more than one plug in 'em when they got changed. Never seen all that woe and danger. Then again, if the hole was made by glass or a piece of metal, sure... that needs to come off and get a look see for an inside patch. But a frikkin' nail (or screw which is 99 percent of all damage).... no way. Just fix it and move on.
     
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  6. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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    I'm a fan of the Lee Safety Prime. Started with the round primer reservoir model and have had all the generations up to the current one, which Lee modified to work better with the Auto Breach Lock Pro. They just work for me and that's all I can ask.

    CQB45ACP, there are enough talented people on this forum who could probably figure out a way to mount a Safety Prime on your T-7. I'd like to see that myself.

    Dave
     
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  7. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I've used a number of priming systems over the last dozen years.
    Never had any "accidents".

    I've reloaded about 10k-12k per year using on-press by Lee & Dillon.
    Even used a contraption that primered on top of a Lee single-stage.

    No issues, but this is a great learning question. :)
     
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  8. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    In reading here and other forums, it seems like primer accidents happen about 1 in every ~10 billion primers. A lot of the "home accidents" turned out to be people simply rolling over the primer with an office chair or sucking them into a vacuum cleaner. The photo of the smoked up ceiling tile you may be referring to has been around for more than a decade.

    The best part about the aluminum tube is that the blast IS pointed at the ceiling, away from the user. Any time you place dozens of primers in close proximity, no matter what the product name is, if one goes off, then they'll all go off. This because the nature of a primer is to ignite neighboring items, be it powder or more primers.
     
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  9. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    Well like everyone else posting I don't have firsthand experience with a severe mishap using primers so I'll post what firsthand experience I do have followed by what other information I've reviewed on such things. As a new reloader I purchased a Lee Classic Cast single stage press but I don't plan to use the priming system the press comes with that seats primers as the ram travels down. I purchased a Lee Auto Prime II (discontinued in 2010 but still pop up on auction sites and classifieds) which in most basic terms is a ram prime system with a tray and troughs for small & large primer sizes. For off press priming I purchased the Frankford Arsenal hand priming tool. I don't personally plan to use a system that uses primer tubes but to each his own, YMMV, etc. For one thing I doubt I'll ever purchase a progressive press but never say never . . .

    For links to information I've reviewed I posted a number of links in this recent thread including a link to the member mishap in the Reloading Library of Wisdom sticky here.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/primer-sensitivity.876820/
     
  10. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    No, I don't. Nevertheless, I point the cartridge cases away from my face when I pushing primers into them with my RCBS hand-priming tool. Which I guess means I'm sometimes pointing them at the TV; I do most of my priming in the living room sitting on the couch in front of the TV, with a cup of coffee sitting on the end table.;)
     
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  11. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    I have "Tested" mangling primers in my hand primer to see if they would go off.
    Never had an issue yet and I have tried putting a few in sideways. Once you start them sideways you either have to pry them out or crush them to get the case out of the shell holder.

    Yep, put on safety glasses, watch the tube and prime cases....
     
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  12. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Actually it’s not a ceiling tile to which I referred, it’s the photos of the gruesome injuries to the hand and description of what happened.
    My interest is on the apparatus we all use and not the primers themselves. There’s some reason blast shields and steel protection tubing are sold and used and I’m trying to figure out if it’s just because of lawyers or commonplace incidents (or even a combo).
     
  13. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I bit the bullet (pun intended) and bought the Redding slide bar auto primer for my T-7 despite stories of the dangers of primer tubes.

    I’ll continue to be respectful of primers as I already am with my Lee super duper plastic primer or whatever it’s named.

    Thanks for the input
     
  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    The gory picture of a member's hand bloodied by an exploding primer tube, needs to be put in perspective:

    He wasn't reloading when it went off.....it wasn't mounted on a press with the safety tube around it....it was being carried across a carpeted room.....boom.

    Lessons? Nylon carpet used to be especially bad to produce copious amounts of static electricity.....so don't carry a loaded tube over such a floor covering....and don't keep loaded tubes around the house more than what you plan on using at the bench.....load the tubes you use at the bench without "carrying" it anywhere, and immediately put it in the blast safety tube.
     
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  15. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Excellent advice.

    I’ve seen other photos too and some mfrs have blast shields for their presses. It’s the stacking of 100 primers and what happens to the whole stack should something bad happen to the first in the stack that’s the problema.

    But still, I’ve never “met” anyone here or elsewhere with actual experience of or first person knowledge about such an event.
     
  16. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    I've been around the hobby for 45 years or so. Way back in 1974, Handloader Magazine reported one that scared the hell out of me. It happened to a user using a Rock Chucker single station press, the same press I was using at the time. There WAS no blast shields for those. I can't remember if the victim died or what happened, but that's when I removed the priming setup from the R.C. and started using the single primer at a time Lee hand primer that came with my first Lee Target Loader.....and Lee in the next few months came out with the tray version, which I scooped up.

    That made such an impression on me that when I decided to get a progressive back in Obama 1, I chose and was not ever sorry, an APS primer system Press, the RCBS Pro 2000 over the Dillons.......for that reason....and because I could start with a manual station advance like the Dillon 4 holer, but with 5 holes......and then when comfortable move up to autoadvance without having to buy another press....(650). I found the APS system to be nearly flawless and extremely safe.

    But now I have my Pro Chucker 7 station press, which I love, but APS is gone, and I still feel less than safe with tubes....even with the machine's blast shield. After all, I reload in my garage directly under my master bedroom. The last thing I want is a tube of primers to go through the ceiling/floor to that room. My wife's support of my hobby would be over!;)

    These days I prefer to prime APS still on RCBS's APS bench primer.....flawless except for the little plastic primer rod guides, which I had to order replacements for. (they came free) Small price to pay for safety.

    What's the best part? I have a case of APS pre-loaded CCI primers of what I shoot most....10,000......and they are ready to load.....no tube filling necessary....no risk of detonations. Works for me....
     
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  17. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    That’s really good thanks

    I actually tried to buy an RCBS APS machine, but they’re not to be found (or weren’t anyway). I may still buy one if they ever surface.
     
  18. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    But you can still buy this.....the strips couple together too.

    713545.jpg

    and this (slightly modified for loading in front of the TV)

    IMG-1484.jpg

    And store them safely like this......

    IMG-2830.jpg
     
  19. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    It’s the tool that’s backlogged (or was) everywhere.
     
  20. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Along with just about everything else gun related.....covid and antigun politicians elected take your pick.
     
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