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Thread: Lee primer tool?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Lee primer tool?

    Which Lee hand primer tool do you guys think is the best and easy to use?
    Been looking at the Ergo Prime, but they make so many different ones.
    I've been using the old round tray model for years and have worn out 3
    different ones. I sure liked it, but there starting to show there age.
    Thanks for any information.
    leadhead

  2. #2
    That's the only one I have and use(the round one). I bought my oldest son the last one in the kit form(in case), but I don't know if he uses it or the challenger press to prime.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    I have several of the Lee "Round" hand primers. Almost all gone now due to wearing them out - have worn out several (6 or 7) of the metal handle/housings since the late 1970's/early 1980's when they first came on the market. Wish Lee would make a re-run of these tools.

    I bought a LEE PRECISION 90700, Auto Bench Priming Tool a few weeks ago. Not really pleased with it as the triangular feed tray is difficult to load from primer trays, difficult to orient all the primers "UP", and it fails to feed into the primer punch quite often.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I was looking at the Lee hand primer with the triangular tray. There was a big warning on Lee's site that said with certain brands of primers, the entire tray has been known to explode, so they recommend using those primers singly. That was enough to make me glad to keep my RCBS hand primer which has a barrier to prevent full tray ignition.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have a Lee "Ergo Prime" and it works just as well as any hand priming tool I've used, and better than a couple big name tools...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    mdi......... Does it have the triangle tray or the square one?
    I've seen both advertised.
    leadhead
    Last edited by leadhead; 11-15-2020 at 02:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a Lee Auto Bench primer with the triangle tray, got my procedure for filling tray down pat. Same w/ flipping primers right side up, usually 1-2 recalcitrants sometimes none. I did notice some brands of primers are easier to flip than others. Winchester is the easiest but I donít use then too often. If I notice primers arenít dropping from the tray into the feed chute a couple taps on the left top corner of tray get things moving. Once the tray is 1/2 empty dropping into the chute is pretty consistent. If I remember to bring the handle all the way up after each stroke it works very well.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Been checking out the Hornady primer seater and have decided it's as close to the old
    Lee seater as it gets. I may decide on it. Not real sure yet. The older I get, the harder
    it gets to make a decision.
    leadhead

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by leadhead View Post
    mdi......... Does it have the triangle tray or the square one?
    I've seen both advertised.
    leadhead
    Folding square i.e.; triangle.

    FWIW; I tried 4 different hand priming tools and the Hornady was the worse. I could not get more than 4 or 5 cases primed without a failure to feed or a primer backwards. I rarely use a hand primers as could not find one that I really liked. Most did not fit my hand as I had to re-adjust it in my hand after each squeeze and I found them to be inconsistent (life long machinist/mechanic so I do know how to use hand tools)...
    Last edited by mdi; 11-15-2020 at 04:58 PM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy gumbo333's Avatar
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    Look on eBay for the old round Lee hand primer. It was by far the best. Still is. The square tray model that came out next was complete junk. I have never used the latest Lee hand primers. I have a Lee bench primer I seldom use, its pretty fussy. When I got it new large primers wouldn't even flow thru it. Small primers worked fairly well. I sent the new large primer cartridge back to Lee, they sent me a new different designed cartridge, and a nasty letter. The new cartridge does work with a lot of hiccups. Guess I need to follow Bmi's routine. Look for more old round ones. Someone should laser print one.
    Never trade luck for skill.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I've seen the old lee tools on e-bay but there all used and probably worn out.
    The one's I have are still working, but are getting tired. I bought the Frankfort
    Arsenal one and it is a very well built tool, but is way to heavy for me to use.
    It should never wear out as everything in it is made of steel except the primer
    tray.
    leadhead

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadhead View Post
    I've seen the old lee tools on e-bay but there all used and probably worn out.
    The one's I have are still working, but are getting tired. I bought the Frankfort
    Arsenal one and it is a very well built tool, but is way to heavy for me to use.
    It should never wear out as everything in it is made of steel except the primer
    tray.
    leadhead
    I have this one also and have used it on about a 1000 cases and it works well for me but I normally prime on the press.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a old round lee........it’s getting worn and doesn’t feed all that well anymore. I bought a Lyman branded one that uses standard shell holders. It works very well so far. I don’t hand prime much, but it worked well for the 500 I tested it for. I needed an excuse to buy a complete shell holder set anyway. Most people probably have the ones they need already.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Which one of the Lee's is better, the ergo prime with the triangle tray, or
    the ergo prime with the black square tray? And why did they change in
    the first place?
    leadhead

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Several years ago, when Lee discontinued the old round tray Auto Prime, and I could no longer get replacement parts, they offered to replace with the new design square tray Auto Prime for, iirc, $10 and your old Auto Prime. I gathered up all the old broken ones and got three new ones in exchange. Like someone else has mentioned, that new one was junk, junk, and junk. Primers spill and double feed, the plastic tabs on the square trays break easily, etc. One is still sitting brand new in the box. After that experience, I didn't bother trying the latest iteration of the Lee tool. I now use a bench mounted RCBS auto priming tool and have never looked back.
    Last edited by fgd135; 11-17-2020 at 12:27 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by leadhead View Post
    Which one of the Lee's is better, the ergo prime with the triangle tray, or
    the ergo prime with the black square tray? And why did they change in
    the first place?
    leadhead
    I suspect that it is because of the potential for "Multi-Detonation" of primers. The triangular trays has the knob for the open/close/feed/ selector slightly above the feed trough. The square tray ( and the old round tray system that many of us remember and prefer) does not have these features. That knob seems to be highly problematic for me in the bench top model I bought as it keeps the primers from flowing reliably down to the seater stem.

    I understand why the "Lawyer Protection Designs"; but hate them. Back in the 1980's I did set a 100 pack tray of primers off in the old round style hand primer tool; but it was my "OWN FAULT". I had some tight primer pockets and did not run them through a primer swage die to normalize them, just pushed forward because they "Aren't That Tight" and I needed the .308's for a rifle match I was driving to the next morning. Any way; after that single time where I set a bunch of these primers off, I never load a primer into cases that have not been run through a primer swagger before loading (I always Keep range picks ups and surplus cases isolated until the primer pockets are swaged out now). I also never put more than 20 primers in the tray now. Makes for more primer tray reloading cycles; but I have never again set a primer off in a priming operation.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 11-17-2020 at 01:22 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man AABEN's Avatar
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    I also like the old round ones I have a square one that I do not very much to change the talk has any one here used the AdJ charge bar ? i have them set up on my auto-disk powder measure that works very good for hand guns one set for 9MM 40mm and 45ACP

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    i use the old round lee primer tools but have used a friends lee bench one ,it works very well.when my thumbs give out thats the one i will buy.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Well, mdi scared me off of the Hornady primer seater, so I ordered the Lee
    Ergo Primer Seater.... I'll see how it does when it arrives.
    leadhead

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I have 1 of the lee round tray, 2 of the square tray auto-prime (new in box), 1 lee ram prime which my wife likes and 3 RCBS 90200 hand priming tools . can't pass them up at yard sales or any reloading equipment at all. still go back to the round tray or an RCBS tool when I have to do priming.

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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