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On-press vs off-press priming

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tcoz, Dec 10, 2018.

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  1. tcoz

    tcoz Member

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    It's always seemed that so many reloaders say that they prime off press because of the “feel” that they’ve developed that I wonder whether I’m just an outlier or whether there are a lot of others who feel the opposite like I do. I used to hand prime until, due to arthritis, I lost a lot of strength in my fingers and hands and reluctantly started priming on the press about five years ago.
    I use a Redding T-7 for rifle and a Lee Classic Turret for pistol and I find both of their priming systems extremely easy to use and very reliable. In both cases the “feel” is as good as any I had with my old hand priming systems. In fairness I'll definitely admit that past generations of the Lee Safety Prime left something to be desired as far as ease of use, setup etc but the newest one that recently came out is perfect. I’ve loaded at least 5000 rounds of 9mm on it without dropping a single primer and it loads the priming cup first time every time. The Redding has always worked flawlessly.

    I’d be interested to hear from some other people who might have tried off press priming and either stuck with it or went back for various reasons.

    As always, thanks for your responses.
     
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  2. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    I too use and LOVE the Lee Classic 4-hole Turret. I have always primed on press - and still use the black circular Safety prime system though that newest one looks terrific - I upgraded from a single stage 10 years ago to the LCT so that I could quickly perform all operations to a case and end up with a finished round. At my geezer super relaxed pace, after the addition of the great Inline Fabrication case kicker system, 175+ rounds per hour is a breeze. Off press priming kinda defeats the purpose of the auto-advancing turret.

    I do not see any sort of advantage to the process by having to perform the priming operation off press. Seems like un-necessary double handling to me and not very efficient. The Lee deprime/size/prime first die station operation works well for me.

    All in MY humble and honest opinion, using MY press, to suit MY reloading needs. If off press priming makes sense for someone else? Good on ya' mates. YOU only gotta keep YOU happy, the heck with what anyone else thinks.
     
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  3. drband

    drband Member

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    On press with the LCT and original round safety-prime system. I can "feel" the primers seat and it seems to be easy so I'm satisfied.
     
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  4. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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    Another LCT owner here. I've always primed on the press with no issues. I like that I can feel the primer seating so that when I have S&B primers (for example) I know I need more pressure to seat deep enough.

    Recently got the newest version of the Safety Prime. It's so smooth I had to keep checking that a primer was in the priming arm. No clicking.
    Newest on the left.
    i8TSOkA.jpg

    Dave
     
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  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I do 'on press' with my progressives, but really it's a matter of personal process. Your personal process will be stable, but not static. It will change over the years as your equipment evolves, your volumes dictate, your time allows, and your strength requires.

    I don't consider hand priming any better or worse, it's simply what someone likes to use.
     
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  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I've always press primed. It just a matter of developing the feel for your press. The Redding (Big Boss II) is one of the best I've used. As long as you set the anvil at the right height it works flawless. The only thing you don't want to do is let the feed bar come crashing back into the feed station. This some time will cause the primer to get turned and or flipped. The LNL-AP as always feed primers flawlessly. The hardest thing on it is getting the feel of what fully seats the primer into the pocket. I've developed a technique that works for all presses that I've loaded on. I learned if you do a rapid push once your in alignment it goes all the ways in and stops suddenly. When it does that your done. In most cases I hold onto the press when I seat primers.
     
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  7. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Prime with single stage press then inspect each case. Just easy for me and no problems.
     
  8. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    I have moved all priming to the RCBS bench top primer. My hornady LNL where I load pistol sucks for priming! Constantly had problems with it. I also use a redding T7 I just found it slower than using the RCBS. Here is an old video I shot on the Lee benchtop vs. the RCBS. While I initially liked the Lee it sucks for large primers and the RCBS has just proven the best option for me over time!

     
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    From progressive users I think it’s because of problems getting the priming system on the press to work as it should.

    For the other presses I use a hand primer because I don’t have to handle each and every primer so it’s faster than one at a time press setups.
     
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  10. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    I load on a Lee SS press, dropping each primer by hand into the priming arm. Handloaders cursed the old Safety Prime. With the (admittedly few) better reviews in this thread for the newer model, I will have to order one.
     
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  11. Kaldor

    Kaldor Member

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    For ammo on my LnL, its always on press. For ammo on my Hornady single stage, on press as well. However, I plan on buying a MEC next, and will probably end up using the RCBS bench primer as that press doesnt do on press.
     
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  12. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I use a variety of methods when priming, depending on what I'm doing.
    If I'm loading 100 rifle rounds, most of the time I hand prime.
    If I'm loading plinking rounds for pistol, I use the Lee turret press and prime on the press.
    If I'm loading up a box or two of hunting ammo for rifle or pistol, I just prime on the single stage. I'm measuring every charge anyway for this application, it doesn't take much more time to just prime there as well.

    It all works fine. We all have our own preferences. It's not necessarily about the right way to do it, but rather the right way for each individual.
     
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  13. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    For me, priming off the press is handling the brass an unnecessary number of times. The exception is for trimming brass, when they might as well come to the progressive already sized and primed, allowing a station for a powder check.
     
  14. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I have the T-7 and the on press priming system is OK, but I get much better feel with the RCBS Ram prime on top of the press.

    Bought the Ram prime when I had some ignition issues with Russian SP primers not seating fully in my Win 357 brass using the press's priming arm. Switching to the Ram prime cured that. Far better leverage and feel. Can be set to seat a primer to a predetermined depth, or set to bottom out the primer by feel, that's how I do it.

    I still use the press's priming arm for most bulk loading, but if it's important ammo, I like the Ram prime.
     
  15. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I don't have any trouble feeling the primer seat on either my LCT nor even on my Dillon 650. Nothing else is happening on the handle-up stroke with either press, so there's nothing else to feel. People should and will do as they think best, but I have zero interest in priming off the press.
     
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  16. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I load single stage, I deprime everything and sit in the living room to trim, chamfer, and prime. This is done when I have "free" time.
     
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  17. glc24
    • Contributing Member

    glc24 Contributing Member

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    I've loaded thousands of pistol rounds with my 550B with a case feeder. Works the way it's supposed to. No issues! I do my 5.56/223 on a Lee 4 hole, but I hand prime these. I use the RCBS universal hand primer and lately the Lee bench top Auto Prime! Love 'em both! I don't use the tray that comes with the Lee Auto Prime. I fitted it with the RCBS universal tray! IMO, it works much better. As I posted in other threads, I'm in no hurry to rack up reloaded round counts. I really enjoy hand priming, and do all this way now!:)
     
  18. tcoz

    tcoz Member

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    I appreciate the responses from everyone. I posed the question because it’s been so seldom across all of the forums that I read anybody ever mentions, even in passing, that they prime on press. Sometimes I’ve even had the feeling that many people don’t consider you to be a true handloader unless you prime off press. From the post counts of everybody who responded, that obviously isn’t the case.

    BTW, for those who are considering changing over to the new Lee Safety Prime, just do it. You aren’t risking a whole lot of money and you'll be amazed how well it works.
     
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  19. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Your impression must have come from hanging out mostly on threads about rifle reloading. Handgun reloading tends to be about productivity, which means you prime on the progressive press to take advantage of its capabilities.
     
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  20. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    I bought that primer on the left. Worst one that I ever tried out of about six or seven. There's whole threads on the problems it has, not the least of which is dropping primers all over the place. Terrible piece of junk for me. Don't get me wrong though, I'm glad it's working great for you, but my experience was opposite. And yes, I went through the many troubleshooting procedures written for it. It turned out to be a big waste of time.

    I do find the shell feeder on my Lee ABLP works very well indeed, and because of that I'd like to prime on the press as a separate operation. The shell feeder (and ejector) would allow me to speed through priming faster than loading shells in a hand tool and removing them. But I find everything about Lee's on-press priming to be very poorly designed, both on the ABLP and the LCT (had both).
     
  21. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    For progressive presses...
    It seems most who prime OFF the press explain their reason as priming ON the press being finicky and sucks.
    I have a different take on this, and use a different approach.

    For me, it is/was the smooge left-over from DE-priming that led to the usual problems I had priming ON the press.
    I have found that DE-priming off the press and tumbling, means there's no DE-priming smooge on the press, and reduces problems I have had in the past priming on the press.
    jmo
    :D
    Note: check out my sig line, it's relative here
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  22. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Do you have the updated primer mechanism parts? I understand how mine works, and it performs very well.
     
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    That's just from folks that think anything good has to take forever and require more effort.
     
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  24. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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    Sorry the Safety Prime didn't work out for you.

    I got the new one after seeing a youtube video by TreeTopFlier


    I started with the round reservoir black Safety Prime, went to the triangular and now the newest triangular one. Honestly, with the exception of adding a washer to the base of the original round one, I've never had an issue with priming or anything else on the LCT. Glad I'm one of the lucky ones.

    Dave
     
  25. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    For the Hornady LNL?
     
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