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Thoughts on the RCBS Automatic Priming tool?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Wildyams, Apr 29, 2009.

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  1. Wildyams

    Wildyams Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    Spokane, WA
  2. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    Lynden, WA
    I can't give personal reference to this actual tool, but looking at it, bench mounted with that long handle, I can't possibly figure that you would get the feel you do with a hand primer. It does use standard shell holders, that is good. But I've been using a Lee Auto-Prime for years, and have used the RCBS hand primer a couple times. I do prefer the Lee, (buy the whole Auto-Prime shell holder set, that's it's drawback -that it doesn't use standerd shell holders).

    I have a semi progressive press with a pretty good priming feature that I don't use all the time if I want to inspect my brass as I prime. -That's why I use a hand primer. Plus, I can prime thousands of rounds with a towel draped across my lap watching TV, and going more by feel than visual inspection.

    This 'oil on primer' thing is a myth. I've never had a dud primer by running my thumb/finger across my inserted primers in cases to be sure that every one is seated deep enough. -And you can feel when they hit bottom with a hand primer. More than 20 years of reloading...

    Hand primers are cheaper too...

  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Valley Forge, Pa
    It's a handy gadget to have and works well. If you can prime on your press as well, this gadget will no nothing more then what your press will do. It's faster, but you still have to take the time to load the primer tubes one primer at a time. I would still like one though! :)
  4. edelbrock

    edelbrock Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    If you are going to use that you may as well use the press. Get the hand primer and you can prime on the couch while watching TV. :)
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Just get the RCBS hand primer tool, or the newer "Universal" hand primer tool that doesn't require shell holders.

    Filling primer tubes is a PITA!

    With the hand primer tools, you just dump 100 in the tray, shake it around to flip them all right-side-up, and gofer it!

    Probably can prime 50 - 75 cases while you are filling the tubes on the one you linked.

  6. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Having used one for 30 years, I couldn't disagree with you more. Feedback to the operator is excellent, in my opinion. It is my go to priming tool when I'm not on the progressive press. It is much easier than using the primer tool on a single stage press, at least it is compared to my old Rock Chucker.

    Granted, you can't sit on the couch and watch TV when using the RCBS tool....like you can with a Lee tool. Personally, I don't appreciate nor believe in being distracted while performing reloading functions. There is a place and time for watching TV and it is not when I am reloading. YMMV :)
  7. ants

    ants Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    Those are excellent tools. Don't dismiss them outright.

    I have the Forster Bonanza bench mounted priming tool, it's the same design as the RCBS.
    The Forster has fully cast frame and handle, where the RCBS has cast and forged. Otherwise the same.

    The 'feel' is absolutely excellent. Make no mistake about that.

    Fatigue is reduced to zero. I have primed 3000 rifle cases in a sitting.
    My hand would fall off my wrist if I did that with the Lee hand tool.

    Filling the Forster primer tubes takes the same length of time as filling the round Lee tray and putting the clear plastic top on it. The drawback is that the Forster tubes only handle about half as many primers as the Lee/RCBS tools.
  8. rg1

    rg1 Member

    May 26, 2006
    Best reloading gadget I've ever bought. I wouldn't ever prime cases again with anything else. It has great "feel" either for a loose primer pocket or feeling that the primer has seated to the bottom. You can load the tube or place primers in the punch singly. It transfers primers automatically from the tube to the punch and I haven't had any problems with misfeeds. It uses standard shellholders and I'd get extras if you want to prime then transfer the case to the press. I heard of one problem from a guy that the primers wouldn't transfer to the punch and his problem was his shellholder had a hole thru the center that was too large and the punch was not held in the center. It does not have leverage that will crush primers as can happen in a press and I don't like the idea of a hand primer but I haven't tried one.


    Sep 19, 2006
    Adirondacks of NYS
    I started with the press provided spring arm that came with my RCBS Junior press. Soon went to the model you stated (auto bench mount).

    I've tried the Lee and RCBS hand primer, quickly returned to the bench mounted primer and prefer it.

    Having tried three others I'm sticking with the auto bench mounted RCBS.
  10. otblue

    otblue Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Have had one for decades. It is quite sensitive and unlikely to crush primers like a press mounted setup. Must use RCBS shellholders or brands with similar sized primer holes. No they are not standardised. Must be mounted to a heavy bench to work effectively and I hate filling the tubes. Same as progressive presses, probably the worst chore.

    Ends up as the least used priming tool I own.

    For small quantities of precision loads, I much prefer an old Lachmiller/RCBS cam operated tool or any of a number of hand tools,RCBS/Hornady etc, the ones without trays attached. Most are now discontinued.

    When not loading on a progressive, like previous posters I like to sit at the table in front of the TV when priming hundreds or thousands of cases. It is not rocket science and can be done safely with minimum concentration as long as nothing is ever forced or done out of "rhythm". Safety glasses are mandatory.

    The best tool for this is the RCBS Universal, good sensitivity, reasonably ergonomic, not perfect but much more comfortable to use over the long haul than the Lee.
  11. sig2009

    sig2009 Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    I emailed Frankford Arsenal and told them they should start making the Vibra Prime again. Stupid move to discontinue this in the first place!
  12. lgbloader

    lgbloader Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    I prime on the press with my Blue presses for pistol and .223.

    For all else, I use the RCBS Universal hand prime tool.

  13. the_right_reverend

    the_right_reverend Member

    Mar 14, 2008
    Sneads Ferry, Nc
    I will 2nd that "they are a excellent tool". [​IMG] I have used one for over 25 years and had zero problems, great feel on the seating stroke very accurate. sure beats the primer gadget on the press and my very short lived experience the Lee hand primer. the best $29 I ever spent one the reloading bench:D
  14. the foot

    the foot Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    I have bench primed used the RCBS universal primer arm on my Rock Chucker since the device was introduced. I have never crushed a primer.

    So for me, I don't see an advantage for the Priming Tool.

    However I understand the logic behind the hand primer; sitting on the couch, watching the game, and hand priming my brass at the same time. Maybe you should acquire a hand primer.
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
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