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Thread: Best priming tool?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Best priming tool?

    I have had it with the Lee bench primer. I have purchased three and do not have a single one that works. I am sick of loose tolerances and cheap materials.

    What primer tools do you use and like?

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    I like the lee ram prime tool for bench priming. Simple, and keeps everything aligned and concentric. As the name suggests, it's handy for seating primers that are a bit oversized (ginex primers) into primer pockets, or seating primers in tight primer pockets in general.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Jim22's Avatar
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    I, too, have given up on the bernch primer from Lee. For now I have gone back to the Lee Auto prime with the square tray. I guess I have owned every priming tool Lee has made, starting with the one without any tray. They all have the same weak poit - the cast zinc thumb lever. Are the RCBS or other thumb primers any better?

    Jim

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    RedlegEd's Avatar
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    RCBS Bench Priming Tool

    Quote Originally Posted by jaysouth View Post
    I have had it with the Lee bench primer. I have purchased three and do not have a single one that works. I am sick of loose tolerances and cheap materials.

    What primer tools do you use and like?
    Hi jaysouth,
    Since you mentioned the Lee Bench Primer, I'll assume it's a bench mounted tool you seek. I use the RCBS bench mounted tool. Yes, it's a little pricey, but it works very well, especially if you use the Frankford Arsenal Vibra-prime to fill the tubes. Now, if you are speaking of the hand priming tools, I like the older Lee Auto Prime (with round trays,) and the original Lee with the screw in shell holders. I've tried the newer models from Lee, RCBS, and others but could not get them to work consistently well.
    Ed
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    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is totally optional!

  5. #5
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    BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
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    I like the RCBS bench tool. If im only loading a few rounds. I use the primer bult into the press.
    One round at a time.
    Member of the NRA,GOA and FAOC. Gun clubs Zerby rod and gun club. Keystone Fish and Game Association.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    I have 3, a RCBS Hand Prime, a RCBS Bench Prime and a Lachmiller single feed bench primer. I like all 3 for various reasons. I started out with a single hand feed on the press arm, after about the 4th or 5th loading session figured this was not fun at all.

    My first was the RCBS hand prime, works well but can get tiring on the hand, definitely the fastest to prime with as the feed tray is the flip tray and its way more portable, the downside is that you have to disassemble it to change calibers and getting the parts aligned correctly can be a bit tricky. It became the back up when the Bench Prime arrived.

    The workhorse is currently a RCBS bench primer works exceptionally well and seats about anything you want, a bit slower to set up for as you have to flip the primers in a separate flip tray and feed the primer tubes, once the primers are loaded its pretty fast and simple after that. The shell holders quick change like the press. The downside (sort of) is the feeding tubes, once filled and installed it is a pain to get the tube off the tool once the tube feed stop pin is removed which will result in primers spilling out onto the bench, A few if the pin can be re-inserted the entire contents if the pin is out,

    My single feed Lachmiller Post type is definitely the slowest as i have to feed each primer by hand one at a time but the seating "feel" is much better and it has a positive adjustable "stop" for the handle, it is mostly relegated to low volume loading (30-06 rifle) and changing shell holders takes a bit of time and requires tools.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by metricmonkeywrench; 12-28-2021 at 01:50 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The best working priming tool is a ram prime. Lyman manual recommends ram primers as "The preferred method for obtaining correct and uniform primer seating depths...". Slower than auto feed bench primers, but I got my first one in about 1990 and have had no FTF from poorly seated primers since. I am now using an RCBS bench prime, but for me it's just so-so and a topic for another thread...

    FWIW. I had a Lee Bench prime for a few years and only primed roughly 3000 cases, large and small primed, foreign and domestic primers and brass, no problems, until I dropped it on a concrete floor and broke the casting...
    Last edited by mdi; 12-28-2021 at 01:42 PM.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I got the stainless one from 21st century reloading. Its amazing.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    RCBS bench priming tool for me. Uses regular shellholders and it works.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Another vote for the RCBS Bench Priming Tool.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    A tip for those who don't like how the RCBS bench prime handle sticks out over the bench. Put it on a 2x4 block of wood. Then you can mount it where you like.
    One round at a time.
    Member of the NRA,GOA and FAOC. Gun clubs Zerby rod and gun club. Keystone Fish and Game Association.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I like the RCBS bench prime(why RCBS calls it Auto Prime is beyond me.) I also have the RCBS hand primer but never use it anymore.

    I have never used a press mounted priming tool.
    John
    W.TN

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Another satisfied user of the RCBS bench prime. I only do rifle cases as I load pistol calibers on progressive presses that work. You know...those bule colored ones...
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Don’t know about best tool as I prime pistol brass on my Dillon 550b and a Lyman T-2 presses but I do use an old round Lee Auto Prime for my rifle priming. Have a rcbs Hand priming tool that I don’t particularly like. Ergonomics are off imo. Priming on my machines is the easiest.
    Last edited by Baltimoreed; 12-29-2021 at 11:10 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegEd View Post
    Hi jaysouth,
    Since you mentioned the Lee Bench Primer, I'll assume it's a bench mounted tool you seek. I use the RCBS bench mounted tool. Yes, it's a little pricey, but it works very well, especially if you use the Frankford Arsenal Vibra-prime to fill the tubes. Now, if you are speaking of the hand priming tools, I like the older Lee Auto Prime (with round trays,) and the original Lee with the screw in shell holders. I've tried the newer models from Lee, RCBS, and others but could not get them to work consistently well.
    Ed

    Thanks, I ordered from Amazon, $100.99 plus free shipping. Anyone have a need for a box full of broken Lee junk?

    I assume that the primer tubes fill from a flip tray like Dillon.

    Thanks for all the responses.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaysouth View Post
    Thanks, I ordered from Amazon, $100.99 plus free shipping. Anyone have a need for a box full of broken Lee junk?

    I assume that the primer tubes fill from a flip tray like Dillon.

    Thanks for all the responses.
    Hi,
    Yes sir, the tubes load up the same way from the flip tray, and I think you'll be pretty happy with it. One thing I do is to use a rubber band to keep forward tension on the tube so it doesn't "bounce." If you don't, it's not a big deal and doesn't really affect the operation, it just makes it run a little smoother IMHO.
    Ed
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    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is totally optional!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have used the RCBS Bench Priming Tool for around 40 years and also prime on my Dillon 550, which ever fits my project.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaysouth View Post
    I have had it with the Lee bench primer. I have purchased three and do not have a single one that works. I am sick of loose tolerances and cheap materials.

    What primer tools do you use and like?
    "BEST" is imho a real subjective term... kind of like trying to answer, "What's the best beer?" That said...imho there is but one contendor for the best -- based on consistency, quality of tool, and -- perhaps most important -- quality of results -- e.g., the seated primers.
    I suggest the Holland Primer Seater, which I have and have used... An "improvement" using the RCBS tool as its base, I could fathom perhaps no better. You can check it out at Holland's site: https://www.hollandguns.com/32m7/par...cessories.html Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I went to this tool https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012932670?pid=457599 four years ago and haven't looked back. I've tried everything on the market at one time or another, Lee, RCBS, Franklin Arsenal handpriming tools, the Lee Auto Prime II (one of the better tools, they don't make it anymore, prolly because it worked ) and an assortment of press priming arms and other asinine ideas. This RCBS tool flat out works. No special strips or other gimmicky crap to deal with. Fill the tray, load a tube and prime away. I have mine mounted on a piece of 2x4 with a screw hook in front of the tool I put a rubber band around the priming tube arm to that hook to eliminate slap and three rubber bands around the unused priming punch and priming arm so that the return of the priming arm is automatic making the operation push down and release (get one, it'll become more clear) I clamp it with a c clamp to a table edge and prime away. If I need it out of the way, unclamp it, set it aside and go about my business. This is the best money I ever spent on a priming tool. The only thing I wish it had was a case feeder, but I won't hold that against it.

    Edit, lousy spelling

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting that no one has mentioned the top of the line hand held priming tools that have developed over the years based on the so called Pope style. The most readily available is the one from Sinclair, but there are several others currently or recently available. I started nearly 30 years ago with the Jerry Simmons version that was a fairly close copy of the original. Some of these both decap and recap (as did Pope’s and Simmons’) while others, like the Sinclair, just reprime. The “re- and de-“ as we called them were useful for Schuetzen events where the same case could be reloaded over and over, with the whole process accomplished right there at the shooting bench.

    BTW, if I’m just priming a batch of cases, I’ll be most likely to be using one of the original Lee priming tools with screw-in shell holders. “Works for me!” Which priming tool is best? The one that does what you want done with the least problem… and this depends totally on you and what kind of loading you’re doing!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

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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