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Thread: Broke my good ol' Lee hand priming tool.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    Broke my good ol' Lee hand priming tool.

    I have a single stage press and only do 100 rounds at a time and don't mind the slow process, so I have been using an old style Lee hand priming tool for about ten years. Worked great until today when the handle snapped off.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have a couple of the new style hand priming tools and they are garbage; barely function with large pistol primers and not at all with small pistol primers. I tried using it to finish up my current load and I ended up having to hand place primers in the cup to seat them; it's not feeding primers at all.

    What's a good hand priming tool that isn't too expensive, or is there a fix for the crappy new Lee versions?
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy sparkyv's Avatar
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    I pistol prime on the press Idaho45guy, but use the Lyman E-ZEE hand prime tool for rifle loads. It is a very solid tool, but I do have to keep a close eye on the primer as it's fed from the tray as they will flip from time to time when using small primers. No issues at all with large primers. Lyman sent me a replacement small primer tray that performed better, but they continue to flip from time to time. Still, it is a very good tool.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Murphy's Avatar
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    Priming.

    Man o' man, there seem to be plenty of ways to get that done, some are just a lot easier than others. My first was using a Lee Kit, some interesting lessons there on just how hard not to try and seat a primer. I've seated on the press, Lee handheld (like yours) and recently picked up one I've wanted for a long time, the RCBS bench mounted version. I've yet to use the RCBS bench mounted but will get around to it eventually.

    My Dillon 550 has seen the vast majority of my priming over the past decades, but my Lee handheld was always a favorite for small lots or making up test loads.

    Your best bet if you want to stay with the Lee, is shop around on the online auctions. I have 2 like new in the box Lee's out in the shop. If economics is a factor, I'd look at LEE's Ram Prime.

    Just my two cents worth....


    Murphy
    If I should depart this life while defending those who cannot defend themselves, then I have died the most honorable of deaths. Marc R. Murphy '2006'.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy mattw's Avatar
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    Oh, I feel your pain. I have not broken mine yet, but will find a way to fix it when I do. I have a spare unit as well. How about JB Weld the part back on? The online auctions have them as well.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    RCBS 90200 Hand Priming Tool has worked a long time for me BUT you have to buy RCBS shell plates. +1 on the auctions.
    Many people buy a new "better tool" and get rid of an old reliable tool for cheap/

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    This a what I use and love it. And this is a great clearance deal.
    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/45...kaAqZsEALw_wcB

  7. #7
    I have a square tray Lee hand priming tool and it works fine once you get the angle down to get the primers feeding properly. When the Lee bench prime first came out I bought one of those and it works fine as well but some times you need to give the tray a love tap to get the primers feeding again.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    DougGuy's Avatar
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    I just bought a NIB RCBS universal hand primer off fleabay, 49bux free shipping..
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattw View Post
    Oh, I feel your pain. I have not broken mine yet, but will find a way to fix it when I do. I have a spare unit as well. How about JB Weld the part back on? The online auctions have them as well.
    I'm not big on Lee Tools but i do like my old lee round tray hand primer have 2 and have a 3rd as new in box just in case but that RCBS bench top one is looking good
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Try swapping the broken handle with a good one from the new hand prime.
    With a little file work, it will work.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    mold maker's Avatar
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    I've used two of the round tray LEEs since they came out. When LEE discontinued them I bought three more just in case. Make sure to lube them and they last almost forever.
    I'll bet you couldn't make them fast enough if the price was right.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    This a what I use and love it. And this is a great clearance deal.
    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/45...kaAqZsEALw_wcB
    ran across one of these on sale (not as great as this one) and really like it. All my rifle rounds get primed on it also the brass shotgun shells.

    Dillon SDB does all the pistol ones.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    Moonie's Avatar
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    I've used almost all of the lee priming tools, I now use either the bench prime or the franklin arsenal hand priming tool which I like much better than all the lee hand tools.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    The current black Lyman fit best in my hand when I gropped them all at Cabbalas a few years back.

    The Lee Ergo Prime was not out then. Lee also did not have their ergo grip for their base unit.

    The Lee Bench Prime looks nice if you have arthritis or a weak hand.

    The Lee Ram Prime is like $12 and you just use your press to seat primers.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man Time Killer's Avatar
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    I use the same primer. I use it for all my small batch and rifle priming. I am gonna hate it when it breaks on me.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy


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    I have been using the Lee Auto Prime XR all along, a side latch broke on one of the primer tray covers at one point and Lee replaced it for free. So I then bought another and stored it, but I haven't had any other problems so far. If the time comes I need another I'll get the new Lee Auto Prime, I've heard good things.

  17. #17
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    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    Too funny...

    I looked at a bunch of reviews of the Lee Ram Prime and watched a video and decided I may try it.

    Then I went to my reloading room to get the extra hand priming tool to see if it worked any better and discovered that I actually had a Lee Ram Prime in my stuff. My dad gave me a bunch of extra stuff he had and it was in there.

    Set it up and I really like it. Worked great so I cranked out 100 rounds of match ammo and am pleased with the results.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  18. #18
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Best hand held priming tool out there. Die cast zinc, heavy, just.Plain.Works.
    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/58...d-priming-tool
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    Best hand held priming tool out there. Die cast zinc, heavy, just.Plain.Works.
    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/58...d-priming-tool
    That looks awesome!
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawlerbrook View Post
    This a what I use and love it. And this is a great clearance deal.
    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/45...kaAqZsEALw_wcB
    This is what I use & that is a good deal at Midway! I gave up on hand tools a year or two back....
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check