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I was going to put this in Aladins thread but ...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by greybeard57, Jan 21, 2013.

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  1. greybeard57

    greybeard57 Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    NE Iowaaah, in a cornfield
    decided I'd just start my own. This is my first experience at hand priming. I think it went well.

    Since I'm so new at reloading, my first diaper hasn't even gotten wet. With that said, my priming tool is the Lee XR. My only complaint about it is the ergonomics. I have meaty hands and it was, at first, pretty awkward to hold. At first I wasn't thrilled with it's apparent quality either after having handled, but not used, several different brands at the last gun show I attended. But I bought this one anyway and gave it a try the other night with new Starline 9mm brass and Federal SPP.
    At first I was wary because I've never even seen hand priming done before much less ever done it myself and I really didn't want a lot of primers exploding in my face so I only put ten primers in the tray to start.
    As a buckskinner from way back I'm familiar with the primer caps exploding in front of my face because I shoot BP and I shoot a right-handed gun off-side. So if one did go off because I applied to much pressure or some other noob goof due to inexperience then I felt the backlash would be acceptable with only ten in the tray. However, the Lee has a built in shield between the priming process and the waiting primers which is supposed to prevent a chain reaction.
    I'm happy to say that the priming went without too much indecent. Getting the primers flipped was a learning experience as was the entire process. I spent a while on the concrete floor picking up those ten spilled primers (twice) before I simply flipped them all with my finger. :banghead:
    The pressure to start the primers varied considerably at first. Then as I got comfortable with it at that stage I started going a bit faster and the XR had a very good feel, at least to my untrained hand, as to the exact point the primers seated fully.
    The feel went through three distinct phases; from stiff as the primer entered the pocket, then it lightened up a noticeable amount, then it got suddenly harder as the primer seated. I doubt if any primer took more than a pound of thumb pressure to start into the primer pocket, and if they did it was an immediate indicator that the primer wasn't right. I caught two primers that were sideways on the pin by feel, got them the right way and inserted them. Smooth and gentle but firm worked just fine.

    All this to say that inexperience, going slow, learning the feel of the tool, and patience got me through my first self taught priming session with eyes, ears, hand and priming tool intact. I guess that makes me a happy camper...;)

    Any other do's or don'ts I may have overlooked?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  2. RugerBob

    RugerBob Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    southern maine
    Sounds like you did well. I have the XR also,but prefer the older Lee hand prime. I put 100 inane since mostly use win primers, theqay they package them I Don t have to flip to many.. I usually sit watching TV and prime 500+ at a sitting. $ry if typos - cell phone has small pad. Good luck.
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