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Looking for a recommendation for a hand primer

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TomJ, Feb 1, 2020.

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  1. TomJ
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    TomJ Contributing Member

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    I use a Hornady progressive and single stage press and am looking for a hand primer. I tried Hoarnady's a couple of years back and it didn't work well for me. I see Lee, RCBS and 21st Century make them. I'm looking for something simple. Any recommendations?
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Always used lee, one day I hope to try there bench priming tool.
     
  3. mrawesome22-250

    mrawesome22-250 Member

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    RCBS Universal.
     
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  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    The Lee Bench Priming Tool is excellent. Great feel, leverage, and speed of operation
     
  5. santacruzdave
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    santacruzdave Contributing Member

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    I've been using the RCBS bench prime tool for around 3 years now. I like how the long lever gives my hands a break. Lots of leverage means less stress on my ageing infrastructure. Feel is great, with the long lever providing plenty of power for those tight primer pockets. Here is a review:

    http://panhandleprecision.com/rcbs-automatic-priming-tool-review/
     
  6. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    I have a pair of the RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool. One is set up for large primers, the other for small. They have worked perfectly. I always prime by hand for the positive feel. I used the Lee version years ago but don't care for the current version.

    Jeff
     
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  7. TomJ
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    TomJ Contributing Member

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    I looked at the bench primer. I have a bulging disk in my neck and any pushing motion makes it flare up, even if it’s minimal. That doesn’t allow me to use the Hornady presses I have for priming.
     
  8. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I have always like Lee products and priming tools. Except. The bench priming tool has a plastic 'action' that is changed for large or small primers. In my experience, the 'action' will allow more than one primer in the mechanism resulting in a jam that cannot be cleared easily. The folding plastic primer magazine (tray) is far more flimsy than the old style of hard plastic and subject to breakage. I was enthusiastic about it when I first got it and am now so disgusted...

    I have a Hornady hand held, repeating primer device. I see you were not impressed in the past. This one works well for me, but does require more ceremony to get it running.
     
  9. frankmako

    frankmako Member

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    been using a lee hand primer since the early 80's. just works.
     
  10. markr6754

    markr6754 Member

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    I don’t see how one can go wrong with the Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat hand primer. Large and small rams, shell holder included, no tools to change calibers, and total control over primer seating depth. This is a tool I can use in my recliner watching tv for bulk priming sessions. I’ve loaded up to 600 9mm in a session. Need to catch it on sale for about $60.
     
  11. rskent

    rskent Member

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  12. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    I use the Lee hand primers. I have two, one for small primers and one for large primers. I have never tried other brands.
     
  13. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I use the RCBS with shell holders. It's very nice, and has their no-attitude warranty.
     
  14. rwilky78

    rwilky78 Member

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  15. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    K&M
    Is about as good as I’ve come across, built like a tank with good leverage and adjustable depth.
    Hard to go wrong especially for the $
    J
     

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  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The extinct RCBS & Lee hand primers were the best out there for speed and ease of use. I haven't tried the new Lee ones. The new RCBS takes a lot more hand pressure and it hurts my hands after awhile. Same for the RCBS Universal jaw primer strip one.

    I have been bandaging my old RCBS, man I wish they made a better one now.

    I have been tempted to try a Lee or RCBS bench primer, that might be the ticket.

    I have one primer at a time priming covered, but I need a better one for volume, it needs to be easy on the hand and fast. I tried the Frankford Arsenal, and it dented primers with the rod just like my old RCBS does with small primers, so I sent it back, and I rarely send things back that aren't broken.
     
  17. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    Another K&M fan here. It's what I use when not priming on the press.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    While that looks the same, they changed a couple of internal things and it doesn't have the leverage of the old one. I bought one and I can't do more than a couple of hundred at a time. With the old one 6 or 7 hundred is no trouble.

    But for all you young dudes with strong hands (Like I used to be), it would be great.
     
  19. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Before progressive I used, and still do on occasion, a Lee Auto Prime. It’s been replaced with the XR now.
    I’d batch load a few hundred rounds in rifle and the priming step was usually done in the evening while watching the news report on tv
     
  20. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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    Old Lee hand prime here - when it gets used, still works great.
     
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  21. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    I use an RCBS universal but I’m sure they all work great, not like it’s all that complicated. Probably more a function of what fatigues one less.
     
  22. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Same here. I love the smooth "feel" of primer seating. I only broke one handle during my lifetime of reloading and bought extra handles before Lee discontinued the Auto Prime.

    I also have the Auto Prime XR and while it lacks the "feel" of the old Auto Prime, with the new "unbreakable" handle, I can really apply force to seat primers to .004", and even to .008" below flush.

    The new Lee Auto Prime is quite simple to use but you need to buy a set of Auto Prime shell holders



    I already bought the Lee bench primer for mounting on a piece of plywood for when my hand strength gives out. ;)
    If you haven't, consider using a piece of wood to mount the Lee bench primer for portable use as it is effortless to prime brass compared to hand primer.

     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  23. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I had both the shell holder rcbs and universal at the same time. They feel exactly the same and are both very nice. The shell holder was set up for 45 Acp and my universal was used for everything else. I sold my shell holder version to a friend last week. I will never let go of my rcbs universal.
     
  24. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    I'm still using my old Lee hand priming tool with the screw in shell holders ( early 70's) .I have shell holders for all my rifles and handguns, and see them at gun shows from time to time. hdbiker
     
  25. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    I use the Lee hand primer for most stuff, but the Lyman when there is no shell holder for the Lee. I tried the RCBS unit, but the design is junk and threw it away.

    If you go w/ the Lee, buy extra parts for it as it is made of pot metal.
     
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