Hand primers and arthritis

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jesse Heywood, May 14, 2018.

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  1. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I just finished priming 50 cases with my RCBS hand primer. I was using both hands to seat the primers. Now both hands are sore due to advancing arthritis. I have huge hands and was once known for my killer handshake. But after only 50 rounds, both thumbs are sore. Is there a hand primer that is easier on the hands?

    I used to look forward to getting old. Now I am awaiting my move to my second childhood. :oops:
     
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  2. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Been there done that. It's called a bench primer.....Lee and RCBS makes em. I have the APS RCBS one, but a lot of people like the tube-fed one too.

    Lee has a relatively new and inexpensive tray-fed one....don't know how it compares to the RCBS one, except that the RCBS has a lifetime guarantee.
     
  3. clearcut

    clearcut Member

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    I like the Lee ram prime sure it's slow but it don't hurt .

    CC
     
  4. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    No
     
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  5. Bolson

    Bolson Member

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    I found the Hornady hand primer to be easier, but prefer the lee bench prime to that and my rcbs hand primer.
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    RCBS Ram Prime is what I use.
     
  7. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    +1.

    I got mine from Titan Reloading for $25 - https://www.titanreloading.com/lee-auto-bench-prime



     
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  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    No, You can go with a bench priming setup or use your press. I prime on the press, easier on the hands.
     
  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I use both the Lyman and RCBS Ram Prime units. Very precise and easy on the old hands.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
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  10. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    If you're gonna use a bench primer or some sort of apparatus that attaches to the bench, why not just prime with your press?
     
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  11. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Two reasons I can think of: Many who use feel only, consider the lighter action of bench primers provide better feel than the ram and handle of a press.......but it's all relative....what's great feel to me may not be to you. Feel ... meaning whether you can easily tell when the primer cap bottoms in the pocket, compressing the anvil but not crushing the primer cap.

    The other reason: With my APS bench primer, there is a seating depth adjustment. Such works well only if one uses a primer pocket uniformer to first insure case pocket depth is the same so seating depth is repeatable.

    Doing that also allows more speed using a progressive priming system with a depth setting....you don't have to "feel". I use that press option, when I use my Pro 2000....and will probably do the same with my new Pro Chucker 7 when I start using it vs testing/getting to know it...... as it also has a primer depth stop.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  12. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Some on the press solutions are horrible, that's why. Clunky and incredibly slow. I can't think of any single stage types that are reasonable except maybe the Lee Safety prime set up. I've seen most of the on the press priming videos, almost anything else is better.
     
  13. fotheringill

    fotheringill Member

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    I use a hand press (Lyman) because I am lazy and want to do it while watching TV.
    I have a ram RCBS primer seater which involves handling each shell. Once set up and locked down, it will give absolute repeatable seating depth each time without feel. Any ram primer seater will do the same.
     
  14. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I was looking at the RCBS non-APS bench primer. It does not have a seating depth adjustment, which is what I don't like about the ram primer on my turret. For now, I will use the ram. I'm trying to come up with a way to have a depth adjustment for it. The wheels of my mind are spinning out of control. :uhoh:
     
  15. murf

    murf Member

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    turn the tool around and squeeze with your fingers instead of your thumbs.

    luck,

    murf
     
  16. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I tried hand priming tools made by Lee, RCBS and Hornady and wasn’t happy with any of them.
    I’m now using an RCBS bench mount priming tool that is tube fed and I like it much better.
     
  17. santacruzdave

    santacruzdave Member

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    Another vote for the RCBS bench priming tool. Arthritic thumbs make squeezing things hard or impossible. Pushing the lever is easy. Plenty of feel as the tool seats the primer. I seat primers all the way so the edge of the cup presses against the bottom of the primer pocket. I prime off the press in large batches and keep ready to load brass on hand. I use a classic turret press and size, flare, seat and crimp in separate operations. I have developed a workflow that is, for me, consistent and repeatable. I like it.
     
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  18. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    Another satisfied RCBS bench primer user here.
     
  19. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    I like the one that is on top of my CoAx. For rifle but when my old round Lee hand primer gives up the Ghost I'll get there bench primer for pistol
     
  20. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

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    Been using my RCBS bench primer since the mid '70s and intend on using it for at least a couple more decades.
     
  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    As I have aged, hand priming has become more of a chore. I broke my wrist at age 50 or so and that has affected my ability to long session hand priming. Great for predicting the weather though.:)

    For short priming runs, 100 or so cases, I still hand prime but for longer runs in excess of a couple hundred cases or more, I've gone to a bench priming tool.

    My hand priming tools are RCBS universal shell holder tools, my bench priming tool is the RCBS APS tool. I have a Lee bench priming tool but it is still in the box. One of these days, I'll give it a try.
     
  22. BinRat

    BinRat Member

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    I also have the RCBS tube fed bench primer and have been using it since the late 70s. It has plenty of leverage so you can avoid tiring your hands, but it also gives you a fantastic feel for seating primers. I've never ram primed, leery of using too much pressure. I load in batches and because of the good feel I get, I can get a nice rhythm going and it doesn't take long to finish a batch. I just clamp it to my bench with a C-clamp and it works well, so you can use it wherever you want. It's a little pricey, but once you use it, I believe you'll love it.
     
  23. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    O.P. Just noticed that right now is a good time to spring for such a tool.:evil:

    Midway has them all on sale. :)

    The RCBS tube-fed is $74 down from $87. plus shellholders $6.80 a piece on sale.
    The venerable RCBS APS is $85 down from $99.
    The new Lee is $26 down from $29. Plus shellholders. package of 11 for $14.

    Besides the depth stop on the APS unit, APS also has the universal shell holder....so you don't have to buy RCBS shellholders.

    However you'd need to buy an APS Strip Loader......also on sale for $28.....which is way faster than pecking tubes full......and way safer too. No tube bombs to handle. Speaking of a TV activity, I load strips during CIS.....I store them safely in plastic Walmart trays. The strips are color coded so you don't get the wrong primers.
    158306.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  24. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Priming feel, control, and consistency. I run a Bald Eagle adjustable bench primer, I can feel my pocket tension incredibly well, and it allows me to pick my seating depth to two thou.

    I do a lot of priming on my presses - always on my progressives, and often on my turrets, but for precision ammo, especially when I’m seating with chamber dies on an arbor press, I use the bench primer. I often use old round tray Lee Hand primers as well, but as has been mentioned above, there’s no free lunch - Hand primers are hard on the hands.
     
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  25. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    For those who have or are interested in the tube fed RCBS Bench Primer, but are wishing it had a primer depth control.....Check this out From Holland Gunsmithing:
    P-Seat_Ins.jpg

    P-Seat_rite.jpg
    $120.......or you can make your own if you're that handy. Pretty simple idea.

    Check out this video that improves the handle action:

    I think I'd combine the two....add a stop screw underneath surrounded by a compression spring and do both. (The APS tool already has both.)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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