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Lee Auto Prime

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

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  1. 2popfire

    2popfire Member

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    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

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

    2popfire Member

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    Thanks, Walkalong, got em' on order.

    Joe
     
  4. dc.fireman

    dc.fireman Member

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    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!

    -tc

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

    Tilos Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.

    Joe
     
  8. UpTheIrons

    UpTheIrons Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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

    Walkalong Moderator

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

    2popfire Member

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    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...

    Joe
     
  17. rondog

    rondog Member

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    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 Member

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  19. Mr_Rich

    Mr_Rich Member

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    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.

    Rich
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Whatever works. :)
     
  21. Dodge DeBoulet

    Dodge DeBoulet Member

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    Sounds like you have girly thumbs, my friend ;)

    The fact that yours didn't break really doesn't have any bearing on the fact that mine did, and I was warned ahead of time that I'd be replacing it regularly . . . with the explanation that one RCBS hand primer cost 4 times as much as the auto prime and in the end I'd be happier with the auto prime's ergonomics.

    The handle is made of chrome plated pot metal, for cryin' out loud. Of course it's going to break. Maybe Lee wasn't so focused on cost cutting back in '97 . . .

    I'm just going to turn mine into a vibra-prime for my progressive press, so the investment won't be a total waste.
     
  22. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Have never broken mine in thousands and thousands of priming cases. Have yet to break a handle. Also have an old Lee Primer that only holds one primer at a time, so old and so used all the paint or plating is worn off, have yet to break a handle on that either.

    If one stops and actually thinks about how many things we trust working made out of "pot" metal AKA Alu. alloy casting, like the pistons in your vehicle as only one example, it wouldn't be looked down on so much.

    Don't accuse me of having "girly thumbs" what I have is common sense when using my equipment.
     
  23. Eagle-101

    Eagle-101 Member

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    I have used a Lee Auto Prime for over 20 years. I have broken one handle. I went to my gun dealer to buy a new one and told him what happened. He told me to return it and he would replace it. He said that Lee would reimburse him. I am not sure if this is the case or he was just trying to keep me happy (I am a GOOD customer), but I got a replacement for nothing. Someone should contact Lee to find out what their replacement policy is.
     
  24. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    I have used mine for 10 years and never broken anything. If you grease it as indicated in the instructions it takes so little effort I don't see how it could ever break. Richard Lee discusses this issues in his fine book "Modern Reloading" - the "ham- handed" user with no commom sense. Used properly, it will last for thousands of rounds - just read the many user reviews/comments on Midway USA or Cabelas. For every one of the "cheap pot metal" and "I broke my handle" comments there are twenty users like me who are completely satisfied with this fine tool from Lee Precision.
     
  25. dodge

    dodge Member

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    They're cheap enough that you should have two like I do. I have one set up for large primers and one set up for small primers. Saves a little time when I'm reloading as I don't have to change it out everytime that I switch from large to small. I've used mine for 20+ years and never broken a handle on it yet. Now that I've said it I'll probably break one.
     
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