ADvertise hereRotoMetals2Reloading UKLee Precision
Titan ReloadingRepackboxMidSouth Shooters SupplyInline Fabrication

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: LEE Ergo Prime

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644

    LEE Ergo Prime

    I've had a Lee Ergo Prime I've had for about a year and keep having trouble with small primers. Looked for fixes, watched videos to see if I was doing something wrong. Hated to send it back since I'd be without a priming tool while it was repaired but I finally broke down and contacted Lee. Apparently I wasn't the only one and got a response saying they'd redesigned the small primer feed and they'd send a new one in the mail. Probably still won't work as good as the old ones, but you gotta love Lee for their customer service.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Moapa, Nevada or Kalispell, Montana
    Posts
    1,797
    It always amazes me how a business can have a GREAT PRODUCT such as the old Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool - then totally redesign it because the old unit would "Wear Out" and fail after much use. Instead; they redesign and build a new set of units such as the Lee Ergo Primer or the Lee Auto Bench Priming Tool that are problematic out of the box.

    I have two of the old Lee Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool units; I keep one set up for Small primers and the other set up for Large Primers. I have had to replace the pot metal handles for each; and had to replace the "Spoon Lever" on each 2 to three times over the last 40 years. They have each had many hundreds of thousands of primers through them. I currently need new pot metal handles for each but they are no longer available. Yet; the Ergo Hand Primer and the Lee Auto Bench Priming Tool's have been less than desirable fresh out of the box and have been deep boxed under the bench.

    I have reverted to single priming on my RCBS Rock Chucker - but I no longer use the Rock Chucker priming arm (got tired of primers falling out or being thrown across the room if my thumb slipped off the primer arm). I now use the Lee Ram Prime for all my priming operations (Even use similar unit for my 50BMG repriming). I would prefer to use the old Lee Hand Auto Primers; but I guess I am not representative of the Lee Customer base.

    Name:  31dOpZtSs9L._AC_.jpg
Views: 359
Size:  7.9 KB
    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.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644
    I think it's probably a lawsuit issue that took the old autoprime off the market. If I ever find another old one (at non premium prices) I'm going to take the primer arm to every machine shop until one will make me a steel lever.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    928
    Quote Originally Posted by 0verkill View Post
    I think it's probably a lawsuit issue that took the old autoprime off the market. If I ever find another old one (at non premium prices) I'm going to take the primer arm to every machine shop until one will make me a steel lever.
    The lawsuit angle may have been a real possibility, but the lawyer/lawsuit response is often used when the real answer isn't easily found. The problem with the original round tray Auto Prime was well-documented. I guess this was thirty years ago, maybe longer. Newcomers may be unaware of any of this. At least one write-up was published in a gun magazine and Lee may also mention it in their loading manual.

    There were reports of primer detonations by customers using the original Auto Prime. Lee duplicated the blowups in their shop. I don't remember the fine points, but they recommended using only Winchester or CCI primers. I think they may have also recommended only partial filling of the tray. The "improved, non-dangerous" Auto Prime kept primers singly isolated just prior to and during the seating step. Safer, but the new tool didn't work as well as the old one.

    Like so many here, I used the old models for a long time. They eventually wore out. I lubed them when I thought about it. However, lubing them regularly would probably extend their useful life, but not by very much. These tools were made of something pretty soft. Claims of using them for forty or more years have been made and I have no doubt the claims are true, but if you're priming a lot of cases annually, say ten or twenty thousand or more, they won't last long. Regardless, for the price, the dangerous model was hard to beat and it functioned well.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Shamokin/Coal twp Pa.
    Posts
    1,507
    I like my RCBS bench prime. If im loading only a few rounds. I'll prime on the press.
    One round at a time.
    Member of Valley Gun & Country Club. Elysburg Pa. And Zerby rod and gun club.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Central IL
    Posts
    3,119
    I'm on my third Lee Auto-Prime - one round tray and two square - and have just about worn out the one I'm currently using. Dunno what I'm going to replace it with but it won't be an Ergo Prime. Pretty much, I only use mine for Large Rifle primers...handgun rounds all get primed on whichever of the Dillons I'm using and I only load two calibers that take Small Rifle: 32-20 and .22 Hornet. I keep thinking 'bench primer' but haven't been able to find a Forster in stock anywhere.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644
    Got my replacement piece in yesterday and just by looking, it appears exactly the same. I'm almost afraid to try it because I'm afraid it's going to do the exact same thing.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    784
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	E4C5C4FC-C0D5-4D59-B325-8402ED5FA847.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	35.6 KB 
ID:	284061
    I also use a couple lee auto primes, one set up for LRP for Ď06 and 30-40 krag and another set up for SRP for 300 blkout. I jbwelded some 1/8 inch thick x1 inch wide aluminum handles on the pot metal handle bottoms that broke. Just flattened them out and roughed them up before jbwelding them. Havenít broken yet.
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 06-06-2021 at 09:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644
    Hopefully it won't, but I epoxied and even drilled and tapped one and put a steel handle on it. They all ended up breaking eventually.
    Used the ergo prime with the new arm the other day, so far so good. Fed smooth and no jams or sideways primers.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Jim22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Eastern Washington
    Posts
    280
    I tried Lee's Bench primer for a while. It has a problem in that the covers come loose and the primers jam up by getting sideways. I have one of their earlier square tray auto primers but it does the same thing - but to a lesser extent. I was happy with the original Auto Prime tools but had the same problem with disintegrating thumb levers. I tried buying replacement levers three at a time but, alas, I finally gave up.

    Are the hand primers from RCBS or others better? I like the feel of the primers bottoming.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644
    The RCBS is sideways and the Lyman is backwards. I liked the Hornady bit reviews seemed pretty bad. May still try the Hornady later.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub namsag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    north Mississippi
    Posts
    58
    I had an Ergo Prime. Mine wouldn't work with large or small primers. They would jam up, get stuck, and sometimes they would even somehow jump right out of the thing. Taking the feed mechanism apart with live primers in it was a real joy. It"s the only piece of reloading equipment I ever threw in the trash.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    928
    I bought a 21st Century hand priming tool several years ago. Much cheaper in cost over a long period and there is no frustration in comparison with buying a pile of various priming tools that don't work well.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Garyshome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    South of the Mason Dixon line
    Posts
    2,156
    Sold mine on e bay for a ridiculous amount of $$$$$. I prime on my Dillon!

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
    zarrinvz24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Heart of the Lowcountry, SC
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by lotech View Post
    I bought a 21st Century hand priming tool several years ago. Much cheaper in cost over a long period and there is no frustration in comparison with buying a pile of various priming tools that don't work well.
    I appreciate that you posted this. I've come very close to ordering the Sinclair one several times. This one appears vastly superior! I'll be ordering one today.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    928
    Quote Originally Posted by zarrinvz24 View Post
    I appreciate that you posted this. I've come very close to ordering the Sinclair one several times. This one appears vastly superior! I'll be ordering one today.
    I've also had a Sinclair. It's a good tool as well, but I prefer the 21st Century. If you prime a lot, like I do, the cost amortized over several years is minimal and you don't have to deal with the headaches and makeshift solutions that go with a lesser priming tool. I use the original one-at-time version but I think they also have one with a tray.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644
    Quote Originally Posted by lotech View Post
    I bought a 21st Century hand priming tool several years ago. Much cheaper in cost over a long period and there is no frustration in comparison with buying a pile of various priming tools that don't work well.
    I don't know what that is but I'm going to look it up.

    EDIT: Found them, I think if I wanted one of those I'd just take the tray off the one I got. I like the ram prime too If I'm not worried about speed. I just want the old LEE auto prime made out of steel with a square tray, appearantly I'm asking too much though.

    A correction about the Lyman, the tray is on the right side on them. I don't know what made me decide against it, may still try on of those in the future.

  18. #18
    I’ve been through most of the Lee hand primers but finally have settled on the Frankford Arsenal hand primer. It comes with a full set of shell holders, is depth adjustable, has good feel, is built like a tank, and just plain works.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644
    I've had bad luck with FA products and even worse luck with their customer service. I hope both have changed.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by 0verkill View Post
    I've had bad luck with FA products and even worse luck with their customer service. I hope both have changed.
    The plastic bowl on my FA vibrating tumbler broke, so I called them about a replacement. They cost $10.00 including shipping so I ordered two of them. If it had been less than five years old and I had a receipt to prove it they would have been covered at least for the first one. But as long as the original one lasted, two more for twenty bucks is a pretty darn fair deal. In the years I used it I would say I cleaned at least 250,000-300,000 cases, so I’m plenty satisfied.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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