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Which hand primer?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by orygun, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've decided to take the priming step out of my reloading.

    Who has an opinion on hand held primers and why?
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I've always loved the Lee but haven't used the "new" one so can't say about that. I always liked the speed and "feel".
     
  3. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Orygun, I've been using an RCBS Posi-Prime hand priming tool for nearly 40 years now. Hasn't worn out and I can feel each primer and how much pressure is being applied. It's been quite an amazing tool and I've never had a failed primer or one that was set too shallow. I use cartridge trays when I'm reloading so I can see all of the completed primed casings at once. I like the visual inspection of each step and for me it's prevented any faulty loads from making it to my ammo case.
     
  4. Brindleloader12

    Brindleloader12 South Tacompton New Member

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    I second the RCBS hand primer. They're well built and work great. Much faster than priming on the press and you can feel what you are doing.
     
  5. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    You guys recommend the universal or the one that takes shell holders?
     
  6. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Mine is the RCBS hand primer that takes the shell holders and I can speak highly of it. The other might be fine but I have no experience with it.
     
  7. Brindleloader12

    Brindleloader12 South Tacompton New Member

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    I use the RCBS one that takes the shell holders.
     
  8. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have used one of the old Lee Hand helds for 25+ years I have just gotten a couple of the newer ones with the large trays. They work well. I had to polish the sides of the channel the primers move up on the LARGE version but it works quite well now. (I think I had a primer get crossed up in it and the edge of the primer may have cut into the channel a little)
     
  9. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    I have a few different requirements I insist on when using a hand held primer seater. To begin with I would not use one at all since the seaters on my presses do the job just fine. When I say fine I mean that I can "feel" the bottom of the primer pocket being reached by the primer just as accurately using my Forster Co-ax press and so load all my match rifle cases, as I can with any hand held seater tool, with one exception. But, my arthritis and injuries to my shoulders and hands force me to use a hand held seater if I want to seat more than 5 primers on a bad day or more than 10 on a good day. The exception is the K&M primer seater which incorporates a dial indicator which allows you to measure the depth of the primer pocket and the height of the primer cup, therefore allowing you to seat the primer EXACTLY to your preferred crush when loading rifle match cases for BR shooting or other applications requiring very close control of tolerances. Unfortunately the the K&M hurts my joints so I use it ONLY for BR cases.

    For plinking/handgun loads I thought I would try something else. Friends had a couple of different RCBS seaters that I tried and did not like. This was 4 to 5 years ago. I bought a Lee seater at the same time and found it to be unsuitable for me as well, mainly because the Lees were still feuding with Federal and I could not easily load their primer seater with my FAV (federal) primers. Also the leverage was not sufficient for me and using it still hurt my hands. Their "improved seater was no improvement as far as I was concerned as it still would not accept primers from Federal boxes, the primer flipper was a joke and the leverage was still the same. I bought an "ergonomic" model shortly after and saw no improvement.

    Enter the Lyman EEEEZZZZEEEE prime. This is the first hand held primer seater I have used which had enough leverage that allows me to seat 100 primers in a single sitting (since I got old and creaky) the primer flipper works..........ok..... I can load 100 Federal primers easily--and also all other brands I may use--Remington, Tulammo, Winchester, and because I could get nothing else at the time---CCI---another subject.......... unfortunately it seems that Lyman did not throughly test this device before putting it on the market. It has a few bugs that I endure because of the leverage and the other good features like the primer flipper that actually works and the fact that it accepts the same shellholders that your press uses. I would add here that Lee shellholders do not work well with MY lyman EEEZZEEE seater, but Redding and Lyman holders do. The Lees are just not made to the same tolerances, I guess, and are sloppy when installed on the seater, which allows the primers to catch on the edge of the hole in the middle of the shellholder and half or even completely flip the primer over. As far as the other faults I have found that can be laid at Lyman's door, I have to report that I have contacted Lyman and they were already aware of the problems and were working on a cure with the idea of replacing my faulty parts with good ones at no charge. I would think that the fix should be in shortly as it was over a month age when I TT them. So-- I give this seater my qualified endorsement for what it might be worth.
     
  10. coyoteman5

    coyoteman5 North south east west Active Member

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    I have tried rcbs and lee I like lee. I like hand priming over press I feel it faster less hassle and and I think you can set the primer more consistently from shell to shell by hand then by press but thats just my opinion
     
  11. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    I've used the RCBS hand priming tool that takes the shellholders for about 26 years now? I have tried some of my friends Lee and Lyman and recently a Hornady hand priming tool. The RCBS one with the universal "jaws" is kinda "iffy" on positive case holding when I tried it. In short the original RCBS posi prime hand priming tool works the best, and feels the best for me. It has not been problematic or flimsy feeling like others I have tried.
     
  12. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I started with the RCBS "one round at a time" tool moved-up to the RCBS auto primer w/ the round primer tray until the pot metal cam shaft wore out many years later. I now have the RCBS square tray auto primer thingy for 3 years, none were perfect, just a lot better/faster than the one that came on my (now 45 YO) RCBS JR. press
     
  13. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I use the RCBS that came with my kit for when I have quite a few cases to prime. Some claim you can't feel the seating of the primer but I disagree. I think the RCBS has pretty good feel. I've used it for years with no complaints or failures.

    For benchrest shooting I use a Sinclair primer tool. It is adjustable with shims to achieve perfect seating depth, but it take about twice as long because you have to load one primer at a time.
     
  14. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    I guess I should mention that the K&M seater also loads one primer at a time............
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  15. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Let me clarify why I want to do this. I have an old Lyman turret press (Spar-T) and a Dillon RL550B that I use. Both of these give me a good feel to seating primers but I've noticed that the Dillon is a little "dirty" with powder flakes and they always seem to wind up on the primer seater causing dented primers. The Lyman doesn't have this problem and for what I use it for (hunting ammo made one at a time with each charge weighed individually), I'll probably continue to the primer tube and seater that goes with the press. While I've never had a problem with the primers seated on the Dillon that show the little dents, it's something that bugs the heck out of me. Then there's the occasional primer that gets turned on edge and ties the whole machine up and slows the loading process terribly. I figgered that if I took the primer seating step out of the Dillon it would make life easier.

    Since no one has any glaring reason telling me to stay away from the RCBS, I think that's the one I'll go shopping for.

    Thanks to all that took the time to post their experiences on this subject. I appreciate it.:thumbup:
     
  16. Horses are delicious

    Horses are delicious Willamette Valley Active Member

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    One of a few things that Lee got right. I can't say how many thousands of primers have gone through mine, but it is a lot. Great feel, just run some de-burred military or some loosey-goosey Federal brass through, you'll feel the full range of resistance. RCBS hads primers are very similar and are well liked by their users. I like the Lee square-tray and their grip as well.
     
  17. Marine Airedale

    Marine Airedale Central Oregon Coast Member

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    I have used the RCBS automatic priming tool for decades ... the one that bolts to a bench. It is a bunch faster than using a press, has a good feel on seating the primers.
     
  18. sterzenbach

    sterzenbach Bend Oregon Active Member

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    +++ on the RCBS hand primer, Quick and easy. REALLY hard to over do it, I prime while watching a movie with my lady. Helps keep me out of my den for a little while.
     
  19. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    I ordered a RCBS "universal". Will report.
     
  20. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well,this'll change Orygun's mind for sure. I use the RCBS hand primer (#90200). He'll now look for anything else.

    Yes, I could "feel" a primer bottoming out in the pocket on my Dinosaur A2 press, and with enough sensitivity to know and stop. The hand primer increases that sensitivity about tenfold. Uses standard shell-holders (always keep a spare Number Three in the box with the priming tool).

    Thought about going with the "rapid-fire" magazine style one (where the primers are loaded into a belt much like feeding machine gun), but the hopper tray on the RCBS hand primer is just as quick as any primer tray to tip 'em over, and make 'em face up. Probably the best (unexpected) benefit is being able to cart the whole mess of prepped cases and your little hand tool into the room in the house with the best TV (away from the A2 where that is not the case).

    Helpful hint: when changing shell-holders, primer plungers (small and large, and plastic holder corresponding), depress the handle slightly in your hand, and DO NOT move from this positioning through the changeover process: Re-assembly of the tool is not too hard, but you will know you were a fool when you realize complete re-assembly was not necessary for the changeover.
     
    orygun and (deleted member) like this.