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  #1  
Old 03-26-2017, 09:35 AM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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Default Lee hand primers

I need to get a new one. The one that came with the Challenger single stage kit has suffered a few failures. I have been repairing it with plastic epoxy. This one has the triangular shaped hopper. Is the one with the circular hopper any good? Any other brands available?
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2017, 09:54 AM
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I have two Lee Auto Primes, the ones that are 35/40 years old. They work like a charm, never broke one, never had a primer go boom. If the new ones work like their powder measures....... waste of money. I gave away one of the Lee Safety Primes.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:01 AM
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I have the new ones, and I use the plural because I had issues. Good news is they promptly send replacement parts each time without charge and I now have one that works (so far) and a bunch of spare parts. My old one always worked but I gave it to one of my boys.

I ended up with the RCBS Universal and it is reliable but I still use the Lee Auto Prime as well because I personally like the feel it gives me when seating a primer. But I don't expect it to last too long.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Ole Joe Clark View Post
I have two Lee Auto Primes, the ones that are 35/40 years old. They work like a charm, never broke one, never had a primer go boom. If the new ones work like their powder measures....... waste of money. I gave away one of the Lee Safety Primes.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
I have only used 5 different powders. Trail Boss, Titegroup, H110, IMR 4227, & A1680. All but H110 functioned well in the Lee Perfect powder measure. All drop within 0.1 grain. H110 dropped accurately but the small grain gums it up pretty quick. That said though, I've only loaded something around 4000 rounds so far. I keep all my spent primers. Need to weigh them and calculate how many I have.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:16 AM
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Look around, the second Auto Prime I have, I bought about 6 months ago, new in the box, delivered for 20 bucks. I deburred it, greased it per the instructions used it one time and put it up.
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:56 PM
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I have two of the older, round tray style primers. I bought them at a show and both are set up for large primers. When I contacted Lee for parts to enable small primer setup, they wouldn't sell me parts. I get that.

If anyone has the doodads that I need to setup my Lee hand units for small primer size, I'd appreciate buying parts from you. Thank you.

BZimm
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:09 PM
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I had the old (old) Lee model with no tray, just hand feed a new primer for each case. It worked well but I eventually wore it out.

When I went to get a replacement, the deal breaker for me was that Lee keeps changing the shell holders with each new model and refuses to adapt to "standard" shell holders. I did not want to buy a whole new set of shell holders, so I switched to the RCBS hand primer and never looked back. I try to avoid "proprietary" items whenever possible.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:09 PM
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I have the Lee Hand Prime with the square tray that works perfectly.

The newer style with the triangular fold out tray I tried and then gave it away.

I've got the Lee Safety Prime working well on a Lee Classic Turret Press with only 1 primer in a few hundred going on the floor so the hand primer is getting used less and less as is the Hand Press.
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:41 PM
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The old models (the "dangerous" ones with the round trays) that were recommended for use only with CCI and Winchester primers were certainly the best ones Lee made. I don't know how many versions they have come out with since, if more than one. I bought a couple of the first square tray model - pure junk. Corners broke off the clear plastic tray covers very easily.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:50 PM
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I have and use three of the "old style" hand primers with the screw in shell holders. Got my first one about 40 years ago and picked up two more on eBay over the years. I really like the amount of "feel" my thumb picks up and have never had a problem with any of them. They're out there on eBay now, but shell holders are getting hard to find.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:57 PM
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I like the old ones with the screw in shell holders too.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:14 PM
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I planed to get one of those new fancy type "Multy Primer" do hickies but....................

My old single feed hand primer is like a timex..............
One day or year ?
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:27 PM
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I've never used a hand priming tool that didn't stress out my hand in short order. The only exception is the Lyman 310 tool that I use for .38 Spl. and ACP. The problem there is that each shell holder amounts to a separate die, and they're becoming hard to find. I have both the Lee and RCBS Ram-Prime tools that work equally well, using the standard shell holders. Never tried a bench-mounted unit, but they look pretty good, too.

Larry

Last edited by lebomm; 03-28-2017 at 12:32 PM. Reason: add'l text
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2017, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebomm View Post
I've never used a hand priming tool that didn't stress out my hand in short order. I have both the Lee and RCBS Ram-Prime tools that work equally well, using the standard shell holders. Never tried a bench-mounted unit, but they look pretty good, too.

Larry
You should try the RCBS bench mounted priming tools. I have one of those that I use for large primers. It is a good tool.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:33 PM
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Default DON'T get one....

Don't get the new ones that have baffles and stuff to keep the primers away from each other. All they do is get plugged up. Use the plain old Autoprimer with the right technique of tilting it to keep primers apart.
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:01 PM
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I have two, an old round tray I've been using for maybe 35 years, and a newer square one, maybe 15-20 years old. Work great. I like the "feel" when seating the primers. Especially my Varmint loads. Most of my handgun loads are primed on my Dillon as during the loading cycle.
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2017, 10:55 PM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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That one of mine has a sliding and flexible piece that keeps breaking and I keep gluing it back together with plastic epoxy. I can not see any reason it needs to be flexible. A solid piece of plastic would be much better.
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:10 PM
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I've used press prime, ram prime and hand priming tools and wasn't happy until I switched to the RCBS bench primer. Easy on my hands, good feel and uses standard shell holders.
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:07 AM
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I too have an old round tray version. I use it for rare Rifle Cartridges that get leaded by hand on an RCBS "Chucker". The amount of them that I load is low and so I have no problem priming them by hand. It still works well and I never did like the Chucker's priming system.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
The old models (the "dangerous" ones with the round trays) that were recommended for use only with CCI and Winchester primers were certainly the best ones Lee made.
I used two of these (one for small and one for large primers) for decades with Federal primers - 20 at a time (2 rows out of the box). Never a problem. Had primers get caught crossed ways, crushed, whatever you can image over all those years and never a problem. Then one night about 18 months ago; one LPP was loaded with ease, the second primer denoted the next 18. Besides almost blowing out my ear drums the plastic housings acted like shrapnel lacerating my arms, chest and face. Primer cups were buried in hand which had second degree burns and I was lucky not to lose my thumb.

So do not believe for one second those warnings are just cover my b_tt make believe. I'll never again use a primer tool that I hold in my hand.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:57 PM
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I wore a hole in the hand grip of my old model and went to the new "square" model. Grease the new one periodically and so far no issues with wear. Occasionally have an upside down primer with it, somehow the primer gets inverted in the "cage". No major issues.
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Old 03-31-2017, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemer-mark View Post
I used two of these (one for small and one for large primers) for decades with Federal primers - 20 at a time (2 rows out of the box). Never a problem. Had primers get caught crossed ways, crushed, whatever you can image over all those years and never a problem. Then one night about 18 months ago; one LPP was loaded with ease, the second primer denoted the next 18. Besides almost blowing out my ear drums the plastic housings acted like shrapnel lacerating my arms, chest and face. Primer cups were buried in hand which had second degree burns and I was lucky not to lose my thumb.

So do not believe for one second those warnings are just cover my b_tt make believe. I'll never again use a primer tool that I hold in my hand.
Wow.

I've been using two of these older 'round tray' Lee primer tools since the late 1980's. I've used every brand of primers extant in that time.
Usually I just dump into the tray however many primers I need, up to 100.

Perhaps it's time to review my process.

I just acquired a Lee turret press. I think I'll get the primer system working on it.
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  #23  
Old 03-31-2017, 08:57 AM
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If you really want to continue to use a hand priming tool, might I suggest checking into the RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool. It's built very well and makes hand priming a breeze.
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:07 AM
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I have 2 round tray primers and have put thousands of rounds
through them with no problems. They were given to me
I guess they are from the 70's. every year I take them apart clean and lube
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJM15 View Post
I have 2 round tray primers and have put thousands of rounds
through them with no problems. They were given to me
I guess they are from the 70's. every year I take them apart clean and lube
Forgot I use the Lee ram prime for my .308's and long Colts
don't have a large primer tray for the hand held
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  #26  
Old 03-31-2017, 09:41 AM
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I have six (6) of the round tray case primers. I label for one type of primer and use it where I need that primer. An example; there is one that says Rem. 7 1/2. It has a 223 or 308 or PPC shell holder in it for Br work! The one that says Federal 215 M is for 300, 375, or 338 mag! You get the idea.

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Old 03-31-2017, 10:00 AM
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I've been using two, one large, one small, of the older 'round tray' Lee primer tools since the late Seventies. I also have a couple of the earlier single primer tools. Mostly they have been used with CCi or Winchester primers as Federals don't seem to be commonly stocked locally. I've had no problems, but have read about them. My Dad was a machinist and he convinced me it would be prudent to wear safety glasses a long time ago.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:48 AM
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I use the old style round ones. Must have about 10. The newer square ones don't seem to work as well though. Have a couple of the RCBS bench mounts one I've never used. Going to keep on using the older one for large rifle primers. I use the large old Lee hand held for serious loads in pistol. (bear loads etc) The majority get seated on my Dillon machines. As for the bear loads..I'm gonna stay away from Bear country I think.
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishoot View Post
If you really want to continue to use a hand priming tool, might I suggest checking into the RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool. It's built very well and makes hand priming a breeze.
This X100. I have had two of the Lee "pot metal specials" break on me. Never again.

For quality and ergonomics, the RCBS tool puts Lee in the shade.
(This from someone who has numerous Lee dies, so I'm not a Lee hater.)

Just a note on the RCBS "universal" aspect: .32 ACP and .32 Long seem to be at the low end of what the collet will securely handle. I have had a couple of each flip out when priming them, so I now use a Lyman Ram Prime for those. Otherwise, I have been well pleased with it.

Buy once, cry once; I only wish I hadn't fooled with the Lee hand priming tools for so long.
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  #30  
Old 05-15-2017, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
When I went to get a replacement, the deal breaker for me was that Lee keeps changing the shell holders with each new model and refuses to adapt to "standard" shell holders. I did not want to buy a whole new set of shell holders, so I switched to the RCBS hand primer and never looked back. I try to avoid "proprietary" items whenever possible.
I just got off the phone with RCBS concerning their Hand Priming Tool.
I finally decided to replace my old Lee Hand tool and the RCBS one looked sturdier. Suprise when I first tried to use it.... The Lee shell holders won't fit. Neither will older RCBS shell holders. (They changed the base of the shell holder sometime back and made it proprietary to the hand tool.)
RCBS said they would happily replace any old RCBS holders I might have, so I can't fault them for that.
The problem is that the majority of my holders aren't RCBS (and I have a lot of shell holders.) My choices seem to be buy new RCBS holders, stay with Lee, go to a ram primer, go back to tube feed (which I don't like), sell the new RCBS tool, or try to modify the tool so it will use other companies holders.

The thing that tees me off is I can think of no reason to change the base of the shell holder other than greed......
(I've always thought better of RCBS.)
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:08 PM
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I bought two of the RCBS models with the universal shell holder from Brownells a couple of months ago. Returned both of them. Neither would fully seat a primer without undue force, far more than should be necessary. Years ago, I had the RCBS model that used a shellholder. While it was inconvenient to change shellholders, it was a better tool.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:57 PM
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IMHO the RCBS Universal Hand Primer is far, far superior to any other hand priming system I have ever used. Absolutely seats every size primer (every size, in Winchester, Federal & CCI brands) I have ever attempted to seat, albeit in properly cleaned and sized cases. Kept clean and very lightly lubricated (jaws only) the primers are seated with very little effort. Easy (at least in my experience) to "feel" the primer being properly set.

I'd be checking out the primer pockets before I'd blame the RCBS unit. Only thing I can imagine is staked or crimped mil-surplus brass, perhaps steel, brass-plated or aluminum (non-reloadable?) cases...

Just my personal experience: I would no more prime on the press than use an empty shell case to measure powder without a scale.

Cheers!
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:20 PM
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Cases weren't the problem. I tried an assortment of rifle and pistol cases; I have no steel or aluminum cases and no cases with crimped primers that had not had the crimp removed. The tools just didn't work well.

The best priming tool I had was foolishly sold several years ago when I got rid of some benchrest stuff: a Sinclair.

In the interim, while searching for a good priming tool, I've been priming rifle cases on my Co-Ax and it works very well with a "feel" for seating. Handgun cases are primed on my '60s-model Texan turret. It also works very well. I had forgotten just how well. I began priming cases in this manner in 1965.
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  #34  
Old 05-19-2017, 08:37 PM
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I have one of the old round type.I've had it since the early '80s.No,it's not working anymore but I can't blame it for retiring;it served me so well for these 10s K rds I've primed with it(mostly .45ACP).
I didn't buy a new triangular shaped one because I've heard reports that they weren't as good as the old ones.I went to a green color one...and had problems with it since day 1.

Nope,they don't make'em like they used to!
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  #35  
Old 05-20-2017, 05:28 PM
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I have one of the older ones with the circular tray. While it works fantastic and I have never had any trouble with it The trays need to be the same shape and slightly larger than the trays the primers come in. Filling them reminds me of trying to put a square peg into a round hole...
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:19 PM
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If you have the room to put a Lee Classic Turret Press I recommend buying it and doing all operations on it.

Lee Classic Turret Press
Lee 4 die sets
Lee Pro Auto Drum Powder Measure
Lee Riser
Lee Safety Prime

While living in an apartment I loaded my ammo with 4 Die Sets,Lee Hand Press,Lee Classic Powder Measure and Lee Hand Priming Tool w/square tray

The Classic Turret Press is not expensive and easy to use with or without indexing.

My Lee hand loading tools now just gather dust.

Just for priming invest in an RCBS Bench Primer.
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  #37  
Old 05-22-2017, 10:54 PM
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you left out the phrase "and I haven't looked back".
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