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Discussion Starter #1
what are the rest of you using for priming?when not using a progressive loader i have always used the lee priming tool,i have a bunch and leave them set up with different primers.i recently acquired a bunch of misc. primers,like thousands,i shoot allot of pistol and cast bullet loads,so i am not fussy about what brand primers,although the priming tool seems to be.i am a contractor and work everyday with my hands,i have found myself using both hands to seat primers,and have even broke the handles on a set.what way to go,i am looking at the hornady i don't always do my priming at the bench so i like something portable.is the hornady going to work any better?thanks,adker
 

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Ad, a primer is VERY important to the consistency of the ammo. It can change pressure,and velocity which will affect accuracy. Are you using MILITARY brass? I got a couple 100 '06 cases once that I thought had been reloaded before. They still had the tiny ring in the primer pocket though. I didn't notice that till I broke my Lee primer. I have 2 Lee Auto primers ,one set up for large and the other for small primers. I also have an RCBS table mounted primer tool, the one with the tubes. Occasionally I use the press to prime cases. If you are breaking the tool trying to seat a primer ,SOMETHING is wrong. Check the pockets to be sure they are not to small .Also check the primers to be sure they are not to big. I had a box of WW primers that were a bit large and hard to seat. After 2 or 3 of those ,I put them in the RCBS tube and they went in smoothly even though a bit more pressure WAS required. That was in August so there might be more of them out there. The Lee does seem to make my hands tired lately. It needs a groove or stop for the index finger to rest on. I've thought of modifing mine with a ring, but don't know how to affix it.The Hornady LOOKS to be well designed. If you try one let us know how well it works. I do not trust a progressive press.
 

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I use the LEE Auto-Prime exclusively. It works great, is extremely consistent, and allows a very good feel when priming.

It's the only thing LEE makes other than dies that I'd give a dime for.
 

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I have been using the Lee primers for years and have broken some handles, (usually at the pivot point ) Lee has replaced them. I still use them on occasion but have been using the Hornady and RCBS more. IMO the RCBS is a much better tool, with the Hornady I get some flipped or sideways primers, with the RCBS that has never happend. One + for the Hornady is it comes with bushings that fit other shellholders than Hornady's but I have had to modify some shellholders to make them work on the Hornady. Both the RCBS and Hornady Have very comfortable large handles and when priming a couple of hundred cases You get less hand fatigue. I think they are all pretty good tools.
 

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I like the RCBS hand primer best. It's a great unit, especially if you're priming a lot of cases. The Lee hand primer is a great design, but it's not very durable. I've broken a few so I gave up on them.
 

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I bought 2 lee Auto prime tools in the early 80s one setup for small and one for large primers.Only thing I did was before using them lubed the leaver up with vasiline.I know they both have loaded several thousand rounds with no problems and may outlast me?One tip for new or once fired brass,I have a #2 pencil on loading bench and I run it around primer pocket a couple times.Sure makes primer easier to seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yeah i am aware of differences in primers/pressure size etc.i am not a novice i have been loading for over 20 yrs and load for at least 20 calibers from 22 hornet to 50 alaskan.all my primer pockets are cleaned and prepped before piming,i use a media tumbler and follow that up with my pocket cleaning to inspect for media in the flash hole.my whole point is the inconsistency of the primers,one may be harder or larger or both than the next. i have found that to be true even with two packs of primers from the same carton.i have been using the lee's for ever,i have 6 or so,i am sure a couple are 20 yr old.have probably primed tens of thousands of brass on them.i usually load pistol ammo 1000 at a time.in almost all intances they work fine,at least if the cover doesn't pop off,was just looking for something better,thats all.
how does the rcbs with the one size fits all shell holder work?thanks for the replies,adker
 

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I used a Lee Loader for years, but as I've gotten older (and a little arthritic), I was finding using it to be more of a chore, and I wasn't sure I was getting consistent seating. I also became a little more safety conscious, holding 50 or so loose primers in a handheld tool.

I now use the RCBS Bench primer that uses the plastic strips, and I also have the RCBS hand primer that uses the same strips. Since I don't always use CCI primers, I also had to buy the tool to load the strips.

It took me some getting used to, and a little bit of swearing, until I figured it all out. The condition of the plastic strips is important - if the strip is warped or twisted, you'll have problems. I've learned to check them and work them straight before loading.

I would now say I like the system, but I can't unconditionally recommend it.
 

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I used a Lee AutoPrime hand tool for a bunch of years. It is ok, but has a few things about it that I don't like: The lid on the primer tray isn't secure. I have to use two or three rubber bands stretched over it to keep it on. The tray is too small. I would like to be able to open a tray of primers, turn the AutoPrime tool upside down over the tray, then invert the whole thing, and have a hundred primers sitting in the tray. It won't work. Instead, I have to dump the tray of primers into a small dish and then pour them onto the AutoPrime tray. This involves a lot of messing around to get all the primers oriented with the open side up.

I recently bought one of the new RCBS hand seaters, the one with the square primer tray and the universal shell holder. Problem solved.

It is a bit spendy, around $40, but IMHO well worth it.
 

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A big +1 for the RCBS Universal hand primer (square tray). If you have the older model with the round tray that uses regular shell holders, they sell a kit to upgrade to the larger square tray, but keep the regular shell holders. I still keep my Lee auto prime around, set up for small primers since I don't do too many of them. I will probably end up getting another RCBS universal so I can keep them set up for both primer sizes all the time. It is not that hard to switch it over, but I've spent lots more money to save less effort before...

Andy
 

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i cast my vote for the rcbs table primer with the separate tubes for the small and large primers. its not the fastest or most convenient to use, although ive not had any prob with it once i got used to it. the thing i like about it is the excellent "feel" and the fact that unlike the other faster primer tools ive had, it doesn't seem prone to breakage. feels more like a family heirloom than a pot metal cast pos.not even sure if they still make them, i got mine off ebay used for about what yull pay for the other junkers.admitted ive not loaded any mil style crimped primer type type cases with it, ive bout give up on them, seems like they cause probs no matter how good yu ream out the crimp with your deburr tool.but if yu choose to use those cases it would prob just crush the primer and not break like the lee or not have enough power like the other cheap primer tools.
 

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I use the Lee Auto Primes. I have bought replacement parts when the lever and arm began to wear badly. Now I try to keep them lubed with RIG stainless lube. About 10 years ago I tried a Cabela's hand prime tool that l think was the same as the Hornady - it was junk and didn't work well at all - but was more comfortable. If Hornady still has the same design, I'd avoid it - they may have a new design I just don't know.

A longer time ago I tried the first RCBS hand prime tool and didn't like it at all either - though it too was more comfortable. I do a lot of small lot loading and switching primer size on the RCBS was a hassle. I liked the idea of kind of a safety block between the supply and the primer being seated but I remember the primer tray was on the side and I did not like the unnatural motion I had to make to get a fresh primer into the loading position - I sent the whole thing back very disappointed. But I have friends who like the RCBS. The newest version with the universal shell holder looks interesting but I haven't tried it.

One other note, I was just reading the Lee Handloading Manual 2 tonight and they have very specific comments as to the number of primers by brand that they recommend for their prime tool. They said you should NOT use Federal primers at all, and for some Winchester (& Rem?) primers only a few at a time. I had never noticed this before though I had been aware they only recommended CCI primers. I use mostly CCI and Winchester but I have put a few trays of Remington and Federal primers through with no trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
dand,thats funny it was cci i had the most problems with.the winchesters seem to work the best/easiest.
anyway i think i am going to order at least one of the universal rcbs to try,the more i looked at the hornady and with the help of everyones comments i think i'll try the rcbs first.thanks all,adker
 

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I haven't primed a case anyway other than the Lee tool in over 15 years, how much over 15 I don't recall but I started using it soon after it came out and fell in love with it and will never prime a case any other way again. I've owned four of them and three are still operational. One of the first two I bought finally broke but after how many tens of thousands of primers I have no clue. Pretty good for a tool I paid perhaps $8 for back then.
 
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