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Thread: Hand priming tool recommendation (easy to change shell holders)

  1. #1
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    Default Hand priming tool recommendation (easy to change shell holders)

    I am currently using a RCBS hand priming tool, which I like. The problem is it is slow to change between shell holders. This was okay when I was mainly loading 30-06 but now with loading 223, 44, 06, 380, and 30-30 the time it takes to change shell holders is getting to be annoying, especially when needing to use the same shell holder in the press.

    I know I could pickup a few more holders for the press, and another priming tool or two to reduce the changes but that could get into really money quick, not to mention a lot of parts needing to be changed and a risk of loosing them.

    Can anyone recommend a hand priming tool, (preferably reasonably cheap) that has a simple and fast shell holder change?

    Thanks,
    Wilhelm

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    Quote Originally Posted by bandhmo View Post
    I am currently using a RCBS hand priming tool, which I like. The problem is it is slow to change between shell holders. This was okay when I was mainly loading 30-06 but now with loading 223, 44, 06, 380, and 30-30 the time it takes to change shell holders is getting to be annoying, especially when needing to use the same shell holder in the press.

    I know I could pickup a few more holders for the press, and another priming tool or two to reduce the changes but that could get into really money quick, not to mention a lot of parts needing to be changed and a risk of loosing them.

    Can anyone recommend a hand priming tool, (preferably reasonably cheap) that has a simple and fast shell holder change?

    Thanks,
    Wilhelm
    the LEE priming tool is dirt cheap and I've primed literally 10's of thousands of 223, 243 and 308 with them

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    yup, lee auto prime the simplest way to go.

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    I use the RCBS universal hand priming tool. It misses sometimes and you have to kind of jiggle the shell around to get it just right. When it misses, the primer won't go into the pocket and you can tell easily because you can't squeeze the handle.. It primes perfect when it does not miss. If I do 50 shells I usually miss 1 or 2 and have to fiddle with it a little. Again, there is never a missed prime when you can squeeze the handle all the way. You get used to it and it goes fast. I was using the priming tube on the Hornady press, but the hand tool was more consistent and actually faster for 20 or so loads. I have done 10mm, 44 rem mag, 223, 308, 30-06, 375 Ruger with the same priming tool. I bet there is something a little easier to use, and I bet you have it already. Just saying, that is usually how it goes. Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    the LEE priming tool is dirt cheap and I've primed literally 10's of thousands of 223, 243 and 308 with them
    I too have done literally 10's of thousands of rounds with mine (though mostly handgun) & am very satisfied. Lee makes a small kit that includes all the popular shellholders for it for a very reasonable price. I handprime everything with it. Shellholder change takes about 10 seconds. Changing from large to small primer takes less than a minute.
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    I just prime on the press. 10's of thousands of rounds. No problems. That eliminates the "need" for a separate tool. With most pistol rounds, I can size, deprime and reprime all in one operation.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    I'm with Gunbugs. I have a Lee hand primer that works well enough but I find is simpler and faster to just use the press. I rarely use the hand primer.

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    I have a Lee ErgoPrime and can't imagine not having it.

    Buy the little box of shellholders specific to it and you can cover the vast majority of current factory cartridges.
    Now what ?

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    I enjoy using the RCBS primer while sitting in my easy chair having a conversation or watching TV. Yeah a press is faster, but if you want to multi-task in comfort, a hand primer is a good way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I enjoy using the RCBS primer while sitting in my easy chair having a conversation or watching TV. Yeah a press is faster, but if you want to multi-task in comfort, a hand primer is a good way to go.
    Agreed. I far and away prefer the RCBS primer vs. priming on the press. I've completely cut the priming arm off my press to get the silly thing out of the way, and I think it's a vast improvement.
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    RCBS...one for small, one for large...rifle only...pistols are done on the Dillon 550B unless load devepment stuff. 10's of thousands done in front of the TV with a little tap once in awhile to keep the primers in the chute.

    Have a a Lee but still use the RCBS...nothing wrong with it but I like the feel of the RCBS...but then I'm an old dog in this case.
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    I don't multi task, listen to the radio, watch tv or do anything else when reloading. My primary press is a Lyman AA and the primer shaft is not in the way of anything ever like the swing type primer arms. The only time I use the hand primer is when loading away from the bench mounted press using a Lee hand press which isn't often. The Lee hand primer does work well and the shell holders are very quick to change but I normally load one complete round at a time so removing it from the press to prime is a real pita.

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    I used the RCBS hand primer for years. Wore out/broke two of them. Now I use the present RCBS hand primer. I don't like it, but it gets the job done. I dream of finding the first original hand primer to see if I can combine parts to get one working unit from the two broken ones. The new units just don't work for me as well as the old ones. I always check out the hand primer when Sinclair sends me a new catalog, but haven't felt like breaking out the $$ for one.

    I leave the primer arm on my RCBS press, just a pin holding it in place. It's there for back-up. I don't think I "feel" the primer as well with the press as I do when I prime by hand.

    I don't multi task when loading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post

    ...I don't multi task when loading.
    I think you are eluding to my comment. I don't multi-task at the press. I give it my full attention, since I have suffered the consequences of carelessness before. But I do multi-task when popping in primers with a hand primer... push it in, look at it, put it in the primed bin and grab another sized/trimmed shell and do it again. I do this while engaging in other activity, because it doesn't require a whole lot of vigilance.
    I may be one of the rare individuals that doesn't enjoy reloading. To me it is a drudge, but I feel accomplished when I have finished a big batch of rounds.

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    New this year I have a Hornady hand priming tool, I don't think it has anything over the LEE except it's maybe a bit more robust - I used to use an RCBS benchrest seater (one at a time) that beat all of them for feel but I can do one heck of a lot of priming while seated comfortably in a chair, that's the "way to go" IMO

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    It wasn't meant as a swipe towards anyone that can/does multi-task. The older I get the less well I do at it.

    I load for several service rifles and the primer height is critical for my safety. I focus 100% on the task at hand when putting the primers in.

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    Priming is such a SIMPLE operation, why complicate it with a Special Tool just for that?

    Besides, I like extry leverage I get with the on my press.

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    Smitty has a very good point - before I changed to the hand primers I used to use RCBS's benchrest primer seater, works like a little short die that is adjustable for depth - you have to handle each primer so I used to just use a rubber medical disposable glove but there is never any question whether or not the primer is seated correctly for sure - even with the Lee and Hornady seaters I still run my finger over the seated primer to feel for that slight depth, force of habit - I'm never tried it but RCBS "aps" system seems to be a neat invention

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