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Thread: Can't do the hand priming much anymore

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Can't do the hand priming much anymore

    Posted on other sites to cast a wider net.
    This is my first thread here but been loading since '92
    Arthritis is taking away my grip, having trouble using my Lee Auto Prime tools on massive over winter reloads(have both the old round for years and the square based on the same design)
    I prep all my brass in stages and store them primed ready to load as needed.
    Was looking at a bench mount that won't break the bank under a hundo complete.
    Feedback on the Lee bench mount since it has been out for about 3 yrs is mixed, seen the Forster but most don't like the multi-chuck.
    Any feedback by someone who had to make the same decision would be appreciated.
    thanks
    Last edited by justonemorear; 05-21-2019 at 10:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have the Lee single stage reloading press. It has the attachment? for installing new primers and that is what I use. I also have the Lee auto prime tool. I used it for less than 50 rounds and put it back in the box. I don't need that kind of punishment.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Best of luck in finding what you need. You might also look into the Lee Safety Prime that mounts on the reloading press. Little finicky to get set right but once you do it works very well. I haven't needed to adjust mine in a couple of years.

    This short video shows one in action. I don't use my hand as much as the guy in the video. I just have my thumb sticking out along the side of my fist, like I'm going to goose someone. Then push the primer drop in with that thumb. Also worth noting on a Lee Turret press the Safety Prime is mounted on the front and pushed toward the press rather than on the side.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSDJKuU6ySY

    Titan Reloading a site sponsor (links at the top of every page) has them for $21 right now. One of the reviews specifically mentions arthritis as an issue they are coping with.

    https://www.titanreloading.com/lee-p...ed-large-small

    Again good luck finding what you need.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Froogal View Post
    I have the Lee single stage reloading press. It has the attachment? for installing new primers and that is what I use. I also have the Lee auto prime tool. I used it for less than 50 rounds and put it back in the box. I don't need that kind of punishment.
    Now it is punishment, before did it while watching TV. I started w/ a Challenger kit and 8 yrs ago traded it toward a cast breechlock version. Just wish they still had the old Auto-prime 2 not the new all plastic model.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    Love the Auto Prime, use the **** out of it and will until it breaks. I also use the Ram Prime(?) on top of an RCBS Partner Press. This is the one that holds a hundred and they slide down the chute.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy poppy42's Avatar
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    Plus one for the Lee safety prime that goes on the press . When you first set it up and start using it you’re probably going to drop a few primers I like to put a clean bucket on the my press but once you get a rhythm it works quite well. I had the same problem with the hand primer I tend to do a couple hundred 9mm rounds at a time and after about 40 or 50 I got all I can do to close my hand. Good luck with your search
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



    retread's Avatar
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    I am having the same problem as the OP. Has anyone used the RCBS bench prime? I have been looking at that as an option. I have a Lee bench prime but the plastic fails if you have any sort of jam.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    I didn't like any of the hand priming tools I tried (3 different). I discovered a ram prime (it came with a Lee Hand press I bought in '90). I used a ram prime almost exclusively since and occasionally used the stock priming system on my presses. I even put a couple on Lee turrets and primed on my old style Lee turret press. I bought a Lee Bench Prime about 6 months after they came out and once I read the directions, looked at the tool to see how it was designed to work, I have primed well over 3,000 cases with no problems. I can dump a sleeve of primers in the tray and prime 100 cases non stop. (but I'm a life long machinist/mechanic and don't have trouble with hand tools.). I occasionally prime on my Co-Ax as it's the same principle as a ram prime and works very well...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by justonemorear View Post
    Now it is punishment, before did it while watching TV. I started w/ a Challenger kit and 8 yrs ago traded it toward a cast breechlock version. Just wish they still had the old Auto-prime 2 not the new all plastic model.
    Arthritis in the hands.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have the single RCBS bench primer and its a good solid tool its similar to the lee hand prime in mechanics. A cam drives a floating seating stem very good feel and power. uses standard shell holders also. I did add a file handle to the handle for more surface. A paddle type might be better. They make a model that uses primer tubes and feeder also. I believe mounted on a camp table that you could prime in front of the TV still. Woth the paddle style handle it would be a straight down push with the palm of the hand then pick up to remove case and insert next primer

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Retread, I recently bought the RCBS unit after wearing out one of the hand held units. I like it very much but don’t yet have the muscle memory to be as efficient with is as the hand held unit. It is much more trouble free than the handheld system. I think I will order more primer tubes and this will become my primary priming system.
    Tony

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    I am having the same problem as the OP. Has anyone used the RCBS bench prime? I have been looking at that as an option.
    I have one and absolutely love it. I've got nerve damage affecting one hand and rotator cuff issues in both shoulders. Hand priming tools just don't work for me anymore. Only thing I can find fault with on the bench prime is that the green plastic condom on the handle doesn't cushion the sharp corners on the cold rolled bar stock the handle is made from. I took care of that by taking the condom off and putting a short piece of "foam grip tubing" (use those words as a search string on Amazon or probably anywhere else) , the red fits with a little bit of effort and takes most of the bite outa the handle.

    I'm gonna be using it this afternoon to stuff primers in several hundred 45 ACP cases.

    (On Edit) I just finished priming 250-300 pcs. small primer pocket 45 ACP brass. Plan was to swap priming punches and do an additional 5-600 large primer 45 brass. That kinda fell by the wayside when I discovered that I am flat out of large pistol primers. OOPS!, I forgot that I found a part box of federal LP primers, 98 of 'em,, WOW!
    Last edited by Alan in Vermont; 05-21-2019 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Literacy should not be considered optional in computer based communication.

  13. #13
    DOR RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I had trouble with lee bench primer until lee sent me a new small primer unit then it worked great.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    The RCBS bench primer is great, I would buy it again if mine was stolen.

    The only irritation, and it is very minor, is that the primer tube bounces around, but that’s just the way that it works.

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Froogal View Post
    Arthritis in the hands.
    Yes in both, glad it does not effect trigger pull and slide racking yet.
    Just the repeated squeezing ( about 1-2K at a time )when I finally get to it.
    RCBS seems good but the tube loading looks tedious, are they like the Dillon and you just push them in?

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    I was looking at a press mounted but I modified my handle and made one similar to a Dillon Roller arm and that limits me to the up stroke only since I can not bottom out the stroke or I could use my primer arms that came w/ the press.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by justonemorear View Post
    Posted on other sites to cast a wider net.
    This is my first thread here but been loading since '92
    Arthritis is taking away my grip, having trouble using my Lee Auto Prime tools on massive over winter reloads(have both the old round for years and the square based on the same design)
    I prep all my brass in stages and store them primed ready to load as needed.
    Was looking at a bench mount that won't break the bank under a hundo complete.
    Feedback on the Lee bench mount since it has been out for about 3 yrs is mixed, seen the Forster but most don't like the multi-chuck.
    Any feedback by someone who had to make the same decision would be appreciated.
    thanks
    I went through the same issues. I first went with the lee. After making a stop to limit arm movement it stopped bending the safety. Schield. I used it for two years with good results although I did start using a glove when doing large quantities of brass. I used it so much the shell holder head fatigued and broke off. I next got an RCBS bench which uses regular shell holders and it is great. The only mod I have made is to put a larger diameter ball on the handle. Wish I had went that route initially. The lee worked well but the force required is more than the RCBS unit. Don’t let seating primers slow you down reloading, keep active. Us old guys got to keep moving, if you stop it’s a sharp downhill trip.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    JBinMN's Avatar
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    Before I got the Lee hand primer ( both old style & new style) and the LCT press with the primer lever I used an RCBS Ram Priming unit I got in the mid 80s. It is a setup like a die that sits in your press & you would be using the lever of your press to do it, rather than your hand/grip strength.
    It looks like this:

    Source & more info: http://rcbs.com/Products/Priming/Too...ming-Unit.aspx

    You have to put the primers in one at a time with the RCBS Ram Prime unit, but you have to do the same to fill the tubes, if ya use the Bench-type RCBS one to load it up, so it is still something you are going to have to do with your hands either way.

    The only way I can see doing anything that doesn't involve much fine motor skills with the hands & fingers is the Lee on-the-press units, like the Lee Safety Prime, & Lee Auto Bench Prime, where ya simply place the Lee Safety/Auto Bench Prime primer tray over the primer tray with the primers in it & flip it over to load up the Lee Safety/Auto Bench Prime Units, close the cover & latch it & then prime either on the press or on the bench.

    Those are my thought & suggestions anyway. I have neurapathy in both my elbows, forearms & hands, as well as inflammatory and gouty arthritis & although I still use the hand primes on occasion, to keep up the strength in my hands & forearms, I still have the RCBS Ram Prime set & the Lee Safety primes to fall back on when I reach the point where I cannot use the hand prime, just like the situation you are in/approaching.

    G'Luck! whatever ya decide to do & I hope it works out well for ya!
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  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bama View Post
    I went through the same issues. I first went with the lee. After making a stop to limit arm movement it stopped bending the safety. Schield. I used it for two years with good results although I did start using a glove when doing large quantities of brass. I used it so much the shell holder head fatigued and broke off. I next got an RCBS bench which uses regular shell holders and it is great. The only mod I have made is to put a larger diameter ball on the handle. Wish I had went that route initially. The lee worked well but the force required is more than the RCBS unit. Don’t let seating primers slow you down reloading, keep active. Us old guys got to keep moving, if you stop it’s a sharp downhill trip.
    Modifying the handle made it a pleasure to load. I can use the hand primers but use both to squeeze and in the past have crushed primers that were a little too tight.
    I reamed the pockets on most of my rifles not the handguns. A little tricky in AR's and other semi's, worry about primers blowing out.
    Yes I will keep moving, don't want the downhill.

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    Before I got the Lee hand primer ( both old style & new style) and the LCT press with the primer lever I used an RCBS Ram Priming unit I got in the mid 80s. It is a setup like a die that sits in your press & you would be using the lever of your press to do it, rather than your hand/grip strength.
    It looks like this:

    Source & more info: http://rcbs.com/Products/Priming/Too...ming-Unit.aspx

    You have to put the primers in one at a time with the RCBS Ram Prime unit, but you have to do the same to fill the tubes, if ya use the Bench-type RCBS one to load it up, so it is still something you are going to have to do with your hands either way.

    The only way I can see doing anything that doesn't involve much fine motor skills with the hands & fingers is the Lee on-the-press units, like the Lee Safety Prime, & Lee Auto Bench Prime, where ya simply place the Lee Safety/Auto Bench Prime primer tray over the primer tray with the primers in it & flip it over to load up the Lee Safety/Auto Bench Prime Units, close the cover & latch it & then prime either on the press or on the bench.

    Those are my thought & suggestions anyway. I have neurapathy in both my elbows, forearms & hands, as well as inflammatory and gouty arthritis & although I still use the hand primes on occasion, to keep up the strength in my hands & forearms, I still have the RCBS Ram Prime set & the Lee Safety primes to fall back on when I reach the point where I cannot use the hand prime, just like the situation you are in/approaching.

    G'Luck! whatever ya decide to do & I hope it works out well for ya!
    Would be good for a small run but not on the volume I normally do, would make for a long day tweezering each one.

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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