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View Full Version : Good Hand Primers???



ETG
03-13-2010, 08:06 PM
I have broke the lever on two Lee auto primes. Is there a better more durable hand primer out there?

fishhawk
03-13-2010, 08:08 PM
after the same problem i went to the RCBS primer. no problem with it. steve k

Mk42gunner
03-13-2010, 08:17 PM
When I was looking for a hand primer, I had a couple of friends that reloaded. One had the Lee version, one had the RCBS. After using both, I bought the RCBS hand priming tool -- it feels better in my hand, and uses regular shellholders, not the flat ones that the Lee unit requires.

RCBS has a newer unit with a universal shellholder out now, I have never used it.

Robert

Firebricker
03-13-2010, 08:46 PM
I like the RCBS I have two one for SP and one for LP the work great. I want to try there new version when I can no shell holder's needed. FB

dudel
03-13-2010, 08:48 PM
I have broke the lever on two Lee auto primes. Is there a better more durable hand primer out there?

I have two Lee's and they've worked fine for over 20 years. Why two? One for small and one for large. You do know that the instructions (such as they are), call for lubing the pivot points?

Keep it lightly greased in those three areas, and it will last a long time. BTW, Lee sells the handles pretty cheaply.

kevin45acp
03-13-2010, 08:50 PM
Another vote for the RCBS, wore out to many Lee's. Never wore out an RCBS.

1hole
03-13-2010, 08:51 PM
"I have broke the lever on two Lee auto primes. Is there a better more durable hand primer out there? "

Sinclair International has one that's machined stainless steel. Maybe it will stand up for you.

I've had two Lee Auto Primes, for large/small, for something like 20 years. Never broke, never wore out but I lube the lleaver knuckles once a year, if they need it or not.

mike in co
03-13-2010, 09:50 PM
I have broke the lever on two Lee auto primes. Is there a better more durable hand primer out there?

operator error....priming is a feel...if you are breaking hadlles....ease up.....

i have had my lee auto primes and several single prime tools and have not broken a handle yet...



mike in co

ETG
03-13-2010, 09:57 PM
I used it on a bunch of 45 auto with no problems. Was priming 223 cases when I broke the first one and new 44 mag brass on the second break. Primers were hard to seat and I had to twist the cartrige a little and press hard many times to get the primer seated properly.

Shiloh
03-13-2010, 10:19 PM
Been using the LEE primer for about 20 years. I keep spare levers on hand.

Shiloh

Hip's Ax
03-13-2010, 10:25 PM
I have and like my Hornady. If I lost it I would buy another.

RayinNH
03-13-2010, 10:28 PM
I broke one, but it wasn't the lever. I noticed my primers weren't seating deep enough. After examining the tool I noticed a crack in the head where the shell holder goes. I picked up a used body in a junk bin at the local gun shop as a replacement. I use two as well, one small and one large primer. A little grease occasionally does wonders...Ray

MtGun44
03-13-2010, 10:51 PM
I have broken two in 35 years like Ray's - cracked the shell holder housing.
Still like and use them - two - one set up for small and one for large.

Bill

c3d4b2
03-13-2010, 11:34 PM
I have and like my Hornady. If I lost it I would buy another.

I have a Hornady and it works well with large primers, but I have had some troubles with the small primers jamming. I have an early model and the issues may have been resolved now. I sent a letter and they responded that I needed to remove some plastic, but I have not figured out where to remove it. I also talked to the reps at Camp Perry a couple of times and they were more interested in selling me a new one than fixing the old one.

My brother has an RCBS and has had no issues. I would suggest the RCBS.

HeavyMetal
03-14-2010, 12:08 AM
I have two Lee auto prime tools one bought 30 years ago the other in the last two months.

Basically I had lost the small primer tray and used it as justifacation to buy a second one so I could have one dedicated to small primer and the other to large.

Sure enough as soon as I walked in the garage the small primer tray was laying on the bench!

Darn Cat!

Set up the new auto Prime a week or so ago and primed 300 Winchester 40S&W rounds with wolf primers. Everything felt good but the lever snapped clean off at about 200 rounds.

I was only using one thumb.

Swapped levers from the old tool and finished up my 300 case's. Lee is sending a new one no charge.

When it gets here I think I'll Acra Glass a bit of steel reinforcement to the lever of both tools.

That's what I'm going to suggest for new owners, and lube them of course!

spqrzilla
03-14-2010, 12:27 AM
I broke a lot of Lee's myself. And I found a way to break the RCBS too. I've settled on the Hornady.

462
03-14-2010, 01:07 AM
My Lee has served my well, for many years.

All this talk about having one for small primers and another for large has got me to thinking about getting another. Darn it, guys! I have only so much money in the casting/reloading fund.

JIMinPHX
03-14-2010, 01:18 AM
A guy in a local shop was pushing me to get the universal gizmo from RCBS a few months ago. It looked real nice & seemed to work well, but it was kind of pricey. I think it was like $70. I can buy a few Lee hand primers for that price.

I've been using the same Lee hand primer for over 20 years now with no problem. A little grease & a gentle touch go a long way towards making those things last a lifetime.

Are you using x-military brass that doesn't have the primer crimp chamfered out or something? If that's the case, then you may either need a primer pocket swager or a chamfer tool.

Tim357
03-14-2010, 03:09 AM
I peeled the top off an RCBS hand priming tool several years ago. The shellholder just pushed a ring of the potmetal up off the tool. RCBS was kind enough to replace it, but I find the Lee easier to use. And I lubed the contact points, just like the instructions say to do. Not one problem.

RayinNH
03-14-2010, 10:52 AM
Darn it, guys! I have only so much money in the casting/reloading fund.

And we're mighty glad to help you spend it :-). You'll like having two, because if you follow Lee's directions and grease the bearing surfaces, now you don't have to touch those greasy parts while dismantling the thing...Ray

anachronism
03-14-2010, 11:25 AM
I wore out the links on 2 Lees, one in just a couple of months. My RCBS primer is one of the first ones made. and still works perfectly.

462
03-14-2010, 11:34 AM
RayinNH,
See, what I mean? One more reason to buy another.

Because I do lube those contact points, and because the grease gets on my fingers and bench-top, and because I don't want grease to get on the primers, and because it's more convenient, and because...

mtgrs737
03-14-2010, 12:05 PM
I have both the Lee and the RCBS. I like the RCBS because I don't have to have a spl. shellholder but I use the Lee's more. I have broken the Lee units at least four times in 30 years of use but I don't fault Lee because I over stress them by not cleaning the primmer pockets like I should and using two thumbs to press in the new primmer. I have broken at least two levers and two bodies where the shell holder slips in. I noticed that Lee has redesigned the lever to add more metal where mine were breaking. I keep one new complete unit and a few of the levers and bodies as spares but have not needed them yet. I use M1 rifle grease on the pivot points and that seems to work well.

That'll Do
03-14-2010, 12:10 PM
After breaking the handle on two Lee hand primers (even after lubing the pivot point on the handle), I purchased the RCBS hand primer with the Universal shell holder. It was the best $50 or so bucks I've spent.

The RCBS unit is much more comfortable in my hand, has a larger primer tray, and the universal shell holder is a plus. I'm going to pick up another so I don't have to switch out parts to go between large and small primers.

I will say though, that Lee replaced the broken handles free of charge, including postage.

sdelam
03-14-2010, 12:19 PM
I have 2 lee's as well. I had to open the top of one of them up to fit my 300WSM rounds. I bought the second one for SP after years of changing them out, A few weeks later i bought a LNL and havent used the second lee yet. I have never broken any though.

405
03-14-2010, 01:11 PM
Bought a used Wilson?/Sinclair about 20 years ago. Built like a tank. Others not in same league. I never looked back.

crowbuster
03-14-2010, 01:58 PM
I as well used and broke a lee after several yrs of faithful service. Bought a new lee as was ramping up for South Dakota p.d. s. called Mary at lee told her what I did and she promptly sent me 2 new handles at no charge even after i told her i had neglected the grease for to long. Keep em greased and that helps, I'll stick with the lee, they have done thousands of rounds a year. I am sure the rcbc is good as well though I have not used one myself.

C.B.

Echo
03-14-2010, 02:33 PM
I have three of the old model Lee's - have had them for thirty+ years, and haven't broken anything. One for .45/-06 &cetera, one for .38/.357, and one for anything else I have a shell holder for.

358wcf
03-14-2010, 02:50 PM
Like so many others, I've used the Lee priming tools over the years, broken the handle on two of them- Replaced them with a RCBS Bench-mounted primer tool about 25 years ago-- used it with standard shellholders- last year, I noted it was not seating LR primers quite deep enough- even though I've lubed it annually, I've worn the cam a bit, and it doesn't quite lift the ram far enough to seat properly... Yes, I know RCBS stands behind their products like nobody else-- the old one still works well on small primers (why is that?)- I've taken to using the press-mounted ram for my LR primers, with no problems-- After searching for almost a year, I finally scored a very slightly used RCBS benchmounted tool like the old one to keep as a backup. I don't like the newfangled bench tools that use the strips of primers. Us old guys still do it one at a time, slowly and carefully, checking each and every step.
Long live RCBS!!!

358wcf [smilie=1:[smilie=1:[smilie=1:

1hole
03-14-2010, 03:14 PM
"All this talk about having one for small primers and another for large has got me to thinking about getting another. Darn it, guys! I have only so much money in the casting/reloading fund. "

Stop yer whinning and get another one, they don't cost all that much! :)

winelover
03-14-2010, 05:12 PM
I have both the Lee and the RCBS hand priming tools. I like them both. I use the Lee for my hand gun calibers and the RCBS for rifles. Never broke or wore out either one of them. Would recommend either equally.

Winelover

Green Frog
03-22-2010, 12:08 PM
For simply recapping, the Sinclair capper for bench rest shooters works well. I prefer to recap and decap at the same time, so I use a Jerry Simmons schuetzen style re- and decapper. The price on either of these units is in the $100-175 range, but they don't break. Buy good stuff once, it only hurts once, buy cheap stuff and it hurts every time you have to replace it!!

Froggie

skeet1
03-22-2010, 10:53 PM
I own both a Lee and a RCBS. Both are good tools but I find that I usually grab the Lee and the RCBS just sits there. I guess I just like the feel of the Lee better. The Lee was purchased used and was obviously used a lot and I have also used it a lot. If it ever should break I know that I will either repair it if possible or buy another one. I don't think I could be without it. For the money it's the best.

Skeet1

giz189
03-22-2010, 11:06 PM
+1 on the Wilson/sinclair.

jcwit
03-22-2010, 11:19 PM
How bout the K & M Priming Tool, high quality and a reasonable price. Machined from steel. See it here.

http://www.precisionreloading.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=PRE&Category_Code=PRIME_TOOL_KM

Jon K
03-23-2010, 12:08 AM
I own both a Lee and a RCBS. Both are good tools but I find that I usually grab the Lee and the RCBS just sits there. I guess I just like the feel of the Lee better. The Lee was purchased used and was obviously used a lot and I have also used it a lot. If it ever should break I know that I will either repair it if possible or buy another one. I don't think I could be without it. For the money it's the best.

Skeet1

I do just the opposite....Lee is now only used for small primers...I use mostly large primers, and the New RCBS Universal does not take shell holders which makes it easy, and I like the big square primer tray...easy to load from the big Federal box.

I have used the Lee Auto Prime since 1983 and have worn out more parts than I can count. I have also tried the earlier RCBS and Hornady.

Just my $.02.....like Ford & Chevy,

Jon

Char-Gar
03-23-2010, 11:41 AM
I have been using the same RCBS hand primer for over 25 years with zero problems.

StarMetal
03-23-2010, 11:46 AM
I have been using the same RCBS hand primer for over 25 years with zero problems.


Ditto

cwskirmisher
03-23-2010, 05:28 PM
Ive used a Lee for many years, all calibers and never broke one yet (knock on wood) - but if I do, I'll just send it back to Lee and get a new one for half price. Can't beat that.

Southern Son
03-24-2010, 05:26 AM
I used Lee for years. I bought an RCBS and really like it. The ergonomics on the RCBS are so far in front of the Lee it just isn't funny. However, I still use the Lee on occasion and would not be upset if I had to use it alone. The thing that I don't like most about the Lee is the dedicated shell holders. They can be difficult to find for odd calibres in Australia.

Dan Cash
03-24-2010, 07:30 AM
I started out using Lee back in the 70s. It worked very well but wore out. The replacement unit was pure junk and gave up after 500 or so rounds. I sprang for a Forster/Bonanza tool and rejoice. It really works; no shell holder, easy to change primer size so I only need one tool and it really works and seems as though it will continue for my liffetime. True, it sits on a bench but I find it faster than the Lee and by mounting it to a short board, can use the tool in my lap.

jeff423
03-24-2010, 08:01 AM
My $.02: RCBS with universal shellholder. Lee's have always seemed to me to have been "reverse engineered" from a good hand primer. It's not that Lee is bad, it's that the RCBS is so much better.
FWIW: I have two RCBS and one Lee hand primer. I'm going to PIF the Lee this weekend.

Jeff

340six
03-24-2010, 04:01 PM
Ditto

Same here liked it so much i got another and have 2:-)

Casting Timmy
03-24-2010, 06:31 PM
I had a Lee and being left handed it was killing me. The RCBS fit me a lot better and I really like the universal shell holder to it.