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  • Hand priming tools?

    I purchased a RCBS hand priming tool about this time last year and did not like it at all. I was as careful as my hands will allow but still had primers going in sideways about 1 out of 10 and had all kinds of feed issues. I was doing it just like the expert in the video only his were...uhm all perfect. I then bought a Lee hand priming tool and it seemed to feed better but I for the life of me can not squeeze the pipsqueek handle just the right amount without going in excess. I loaded 500 rounds of 243s with a mixture of brass. The primers were all just below flush...evidently too far below flush as only half of them were going bang. I had 20 or so rounds whose primers had firing pin dents that looked to me to be deep enough to set the primer off but didn't. I pulled the bullets on the ones with dents but didn't go bang, dumped the powder and knocked the primers out. Each and every one of those 20 dented primers went bang when laid on an anvil and were hit with a hammer so they weren't contaminated. I reloaded those 20 cases and seated the primers using the ram on my Rock Chucker.The primers that I reloaded with were out of the same lot, in fact it was a partial box left from the first reloading. I went to the range yesterday and they all fired fine. A couple years ago I finally dumped my bucket of spent primers from years gone by and it was a heaping 5 gallon bucket full. I have never in my life had an issue with seating primers or primers not igniting until I decided that it would be handy to be able to prime brass from my easy chair, hence my short go around with hand primer tools. This morning I was reading the instructions from the Lee hand priming tool and they commented on how easy it was to feel when the primers were seated to the exact depth....horse puckey! They both went out with the mornings trash!

  • #2
    Originally posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I purchased a RCBS hand priming tool about this time last year and did not like it at all. I was as careful as my hands will allow but still had primers going in sideways about 1 out of 10 and had all kinds of feed issues. I was doing it just like the expert in the video only his were...uhm all perfect. I then bought a Lee hand priming tool and it seemed to feed better but I for the life of me can not squeeze the pipsqueek handle just the right amount without going in excess. I loaded 500 rounds of 243s with a mixture of brass. The primers were all just below flush...evidently too far below flush as only half of them were going bang. I had 20 or so rounds whose primers had firing pin dents that looked to me to be deep enough to set the primer off but didn't. I pulled the bullets on the ones with dents but didn't go bang, dumped the powder and knocked the primers out. Each and every one of those 20 dented primers went bang when laid on an anvil and were hit with a hammer so they weren't contaminated. I reloaded those 20 cases and seated the primers using the ram on my Rock Chucker.The primers that I reloaded with were out of the same lot, in fact it was a partial box left from the first reloading. I went to the range yesterday and they all fired fine. A couple years ago I finally dumped my bucket of spent primers from years gone by and it was a heaping 5 gallon bucket full. I have never in my life had an issue with seating primers or primers not igniting until I decided that it would be handy to be able to prime brass from my easy chair, hence my short go around with hand primer tools. This morning I was reading the instructions from the Lee hand priming tool and they commented on how easy it was to feel when the primers were seated to the exact depth....horse puckey! They both went out with the mornings trash!
    That's curious EKC. Polar opposite experience here: When I learned to handload, priming was done with an original recipe RCBS hand prime tool (while in an easy chair, actually). I liked it and I've never used anything else. My current one is about 25 years old and has always worked flawlessly. The cam and push rod are starting to get pretty worn now, and I may need to rebuild it sometime soon, but even so, it still functions perfectly and cranks out extremely consistent primers. I wouldn't prime any other way. In fact, when I got my new Redding T-7 press, one of the first things I did was cut that obnoxious priming arm contraption clutter off the front of it, and I think it's a much better tool as a result.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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    • #3
      I been using the Lee one for 40 years without a hitch . . . well I busted the cast pot metal handle once or twice but no trouble with sideways or depth ever. I wonder if its a quality issue with the newer tools? I also use the priming tools on my progressive presses, those boogers can be problematic but do fine after I learned them.


      I have 4 of these Lee hand prime tools now (all 20+years old) because I had one for large and one for small and my Dad had the same. Well when Dad died I got his, now I have one for each LR, LP, SR, SP . . . I load 100 and never need to unload the tool, just band the hopper shut so lid don't come open. Very handy for me to pop in a shell holder and prime a couple cases at a time for testing guns and what not.
      Andy
      On the web= C-lazy-F.co
      Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
      Call/Text 602-315-2406
      Phoenix Arizona

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      • #4
        I started reloading with the RCBS press pushing in the primers. I didn't like the lack of feel and started using their hand primer. I loved it. Many years ago I broke some part of it, threw it into a box and bought another one. A couple of years ago I broke the second one. I tried to get parts from RCBS, but they sent me a new model instead. I don't care for the new model. I don't use the primer feed, I just single load the primers. I'm still looking for that box that has my broken original hand primer in it. I hope I can use the parts to fix the second one.

        I like the looks of the Sinclair tool, but have never had one in my hands.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LeonardC View Post
          . . . and started using their hand primer. I loved it. Many years ago I broke some part of it, threw it into a box and bought another one. A couple of years ago I broke the second one. I tried to get parts from RCBS, but they sent me a new model instead. I don't care for the new model. I don't use the primer feed, I just single load the primers. I'm still looking for that box that has my broken original hand primer in it. I hope I can use the parts to fix the second one.
          I pretty much had the exact same experience as you. The RCBS Posi-Prime was a awesome tool, but it had a fatal design flaw - the handle just wasn't stiff enough at the base where it pivots. I broke two, which they replaced at no charge. Then they gave me the new model which is a POS. I scored another Posi-Prime on eBay and have been babying it since (fingers crossed!)

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          • #6
            I love the little RCBS hand primer. Like IOTT, I enjoy it as a relaxing pastime in the recliner as I interact with family. I have had no issues with the unit, but I must admit that I am not a super, gung-ho reloader.

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            • #7
              Too many new models being referenced, and now I'm confused... Is this <LINK> the one you guys have had problems with?

              Edit: Ok, I did some self edumacatn'. I can see the flaw in the "Posi-prime" tool design... Do you have to handle/insert each primer individually with the Posi-prime? The one I use is the one linked above. IMHO, it rocks. Is that the one you thought was a POS, L.G.?
              ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
              I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
              The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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              • #8
                I also used the RCBS hand tool for several years before upgrading to the K&M hand prime with dial indicator. Using the dial indicator you can measure the exact same crush on each primer.

                If you were getting the primers in sideways, I'd think there was something wrong with the machine.
                Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

                Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

                You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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                • #9
                  iofthetaiga: the model you linked is what we're calling the new model POS. The old model, with a fatal flaw in the lever, didn't have a primer feed system; you loaded primers one at a time . My first one broke in the main housing somewhere, my second one the lever broke (looked like metal fatigue). Thousands and thousands of primers over 25 to 30 years (?) were installed with each tool. I don't remember having problems with the old units binding up when the lever was released; with the new model I have to be careful if I set it down that the lever doesn't open up too much and bind the unit.

                  Nitroman: you're on a whole lot higher level of reloading than I am at this time. Thanks for the idea.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LeonardC View Post
                    iofthetaiga: the model you linked is what we're calling the new model POS. The old model, with a fatal flaw in the lever, didn't have a primer feed system; you loaded primers one at a time . My first one broke in the main housing somewhere, my second one the lever broke (looked like metal fatigue). Thousands and thousands of primers over 25 to 30 years (?) were installed with each tool. I don't remember having problems with the old units binding up when the lever was released; with the new model I have to be careful if I set it down that the lever doesn't open up too much and bind the unit.

                    Nitroman: you're on a whole lot higher level of reloading than I am at this time. Thanks for the idea.
                    Understood, thanks. I can't imagine having to handle every primer individually. I think that would suck.

                    Anyway, if the ("POS") tool is opening beyond it's range and binding up the cam, there's something wrong; either assembled incorrectly, or defective. Mine in incapable of opening far enough to do that unless the steel strap "safety gate" is detached/removed.
                    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by iofthetaiga View Post
                      Is that the one you thought was a POS, L.G.?
                      Affirmative! The unit lacks the mechanical advantage at the end of the primer seating operation. I could not get primers seated below the case head. They protruded above/out. The other royal PITA was switching between small and large primers. Could they have made it any harder will all the crud you have to disassemble and reassemble?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by L. G. View Post
                        Affirmative! The unit lacks the mechanical advantage at the end of the primer seating operation. I could not get primers seated below the case head. They protruded above/out. The other royal PITA was switching between small and large primers. Could they have made it any harder will all the crud you have to disassemble and reassemble?
                        Huh. Don't know what to say. Maybe missing a part, or assembled incorrectly (?).

                        Changing from LP to SP, or changing shell holders only takes a few seconds; no longer than changing a die out of a press. Don't see how having to change tooling makes it a POS (?). But thanks for the clarification.
                        ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                        I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                        The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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                        • #13
                          I don't uses the primer feed part, so no I don't have the unit fully installed. I dump how ever many primers I'm going to use in a flipper tray and give them a shake. Wearing "rubber" gloves I pick them up one at a time and load them in the tool, then seat them. I then give them a look and run my calibrated thumb over each one to insure no high primers. Slow and methodical. I don't have distractions when I'm reloading.

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                          • #14
                            I use a lower end Lee press to seat primers. It is quick, easy and efficient. And as long as I am reloading brass that has the same headstamps and comes from the same batch, the seating depth is easy to regulate by feel. Sometimes when seating primers in previously crimped pockets or in wildly varying brass headstamps/ages, it can be tougher to be consistent since the pocket dimensions vary too much.

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                            • #15
                              I have the new RCBS and have only had trouble with it if I don't have the shell holder seated all the way, otherwise it's great!


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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