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Old May 18, 2005, 09:14 AM   #1
tjhands
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Grrrrr.....Lee Auto Prime

I love my Lee Anniversary Kit - it has done most every aspect of reloading well. I bought an RCBS powder measure, though, for the bigger flake powders. But now I'm sounding off on my biggest bitch concerning the Lee Auto Prime. I spill primers all the TIME! The clear plastic cover has the most retarded little twist-latch on it, and it comes loose every time I use it. I have finally gotten in the habit of using masking tape on it to hold the thing down while I prime. Do you guys have this problem with yours? Seems they could have thought of a better way to hold the cover on securely.
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Old May 18, 2005, 09:37 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Well, I never load more than 20 primers in my Auto Prime tray at any one time, so it doesn't have much of a chance to work loose.

But I agree, the method of attachment could be more secure.
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Old May 18, 2005, 10:07 AM   #3
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Didja hear the one about - - -

tj, not to make light of your concern, but . . .

Q: Do you know what THE FORCE and duct tape have in common?

A: They each have a Light Side and a Dark Side.
It takes a Jedi Master to manipulate them properly.
They hold the universe together.

(A little topical stuff, what with the current release of the latest Star Wars episode.)

Really though - - Duct tape is better than masking tpe for this particular task, in that the same strip may be stuck and unstuck many times before losing adhesive properties. In fact, it may be TOO sticky right at first - - Stick it to a cloth towel or your blue jeans to lessen the "tackiness" when you first take it off the roll. Be sure to turn a half-inch or so at either end to assist in removal.

Best of luck
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Old May 18, 2005, 01:23 PM   #4
tjhands
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Thanks, Johnny. I'll switch to duct tape.
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Old May 18, 2005, 02:44 PM   #5
MADISON
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Lee Auto Prime

The onlu NO NONSENSE priming tool I have found [I have used mine[2] for 30 years, is:
RCBS
Auto.Priming Tool
Bench Mounted
Part # 09460

It uses the tubes.
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Old May 18, 2005, 03:59 PM   #6
Russ5924
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How I do it I put in 50 primers at a time.Slide open the box so just 50 are showing holding the box turn auto prime up sidedown on the box make sure box is all the way in covering the primers and turn over.You might get one now an then that falls out.And if you have to flip some a GENTLE shake works best.As far as that #@$$#@ cover goes live with it Don't turn box untill auto prime is on top
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Old May 18, 2005, 05:59 PM   #7
CaptainRazor
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Yep, the crappy lid comes off of mine too.
Duct tape works pretty good, mainly I just "be gentle" with it while priming up cases.
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Old May 18, 2005, 06:09 PM   #8
.45 Vet
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Same problem with the priming tray on Lee progressives, I use a small piece of the plastic coated, wire type twist ties from the old bread wrappers.
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Old May 18, 2005, 06:21 PM   #9
EchoFiveMike
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I use fairly heavy rubber bands to secure the lid. I have no problems. S/F...Ken M
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Old May 19, 2005, 10:59 AM   #10
Smokey Joe
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Lee Auto Prime

Seems the Lee Auto Prime is like Harry Truman--if you have an opinion, you either love him or hate him; nobody is lukewarm. This seems to be true of much of Lee's line of products.

I now have 2 of the little dears, leave one set up for small pistol primers, the other for lg. rifle. Got my 2nd from Lee as a refurb--bit of a break on the price.

Have never had a problem w/the covers coming off. Use up to 50 primers at a time. I LIKE Russ5924's method of getting the primers into the tray--will have to try that.
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Old May 19, 2005, 11:34 AM   #11
tjhands
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Let me also say that I love the thing. It's just that one aspect of it that I think could use a little more thought.
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Old May 19, 2005, 12:25 PM   #12
Zekewolf
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Get rid of that pot metal p.o.s. and buy yourself an RCBS hand priming tool.
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Old May 19, 2005, 05:56 PM   #13
CaptainRazor
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Quote:
Get rid of that pot metal p.o.s. and buy yourself an RCBS hand priming tool.
When it breaks....I will!


Mine is at least 15 years old, and I couldn't even begin to count how many rounds it's primed. So, I wouldn't really call it a P.O.S, it has done it's job, just like it's supposed to, and still works just fine (other than the lid thing).
15 Years for a $10 tool with a lot of use, how can I complain?
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Old May 19, 2005, 06:06 PM   #14
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The cap comes off easy so if there is a primer set off, it won't explode all of them, hopefully just one. I typically load 100 at a time. Slide cover so 60 primers are exposed, flip Auto-Prime on top and dump, then slide the cover the rest of the way off the primers. Shake & shimmy till all of them are happy.

Yep, I've spilled the little buggers before, but I don't cry over it since they're the tiniest part of the reloading process.
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Old May 19, 2005, 09:41 PM   #15
willsjeep
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Mine has primed everything I have reloaded since starting almost a year ago. Not as much as most folks on here I am sure, but I have not yet had a problem with it.
If I do though, now I know what to do about it!
Will
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Old May 19, 2005, 10:05 PM   #16
drinks
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Lee primer

I have no idea how old mine is, I strip it down . clean , and relube 2 times a year, the only sign of wear is where my thumb has worn off the plating on the lever, I think I bought it in '81 or '82, but not sure.
Has done the job just fine for a long time.
Don
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Old May 20, 2005, 12:22 AM   #17
hivel37
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Other than a few sets of dies, their priming tool is the only Lee stuff I have. Occasionaly I think a new priming system would be nice. Then I think "Why?"
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Old May 20, 2005, 08:58 AM   #18
Unclenick
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T.J.,

You'll hate this, but my 20+ years old Lee Automprime's badly yellowed lid exhibits a gentle and perfect friction-fit onto the little studs of the flipper/feeder platform and never, ever comes loose. Assuming the design hasn't changed, I would think the molds have worn at the factory. Knowing a slight friction fit was intended, my solution would be this:

With the lid off, hold the unit upright and take a soldering iron and just lightly touch the left ends of the little studs to smear a slight upset flashing on the bottom. Like so:

Original:
·______
|______|

Upset:
··_____
·\ ·___|
··\/

(Please pretend the dots are blank spaces. The system won't let me apply a hard space — at least, not that I can figure out how to do?)


Trim the raised tab with an Exacto knife until turning the lid on feels like a very slight detent snap, as mine does.

Remember to periodically disassemble and clean all the Autoprime metal parts with denatured alcohol, then lubricate. I've had good luck with a Boron Nitride grease designed for model car racing and sold at hobby shops as Tamura Ceramic Grease. It is totally safe for plastics. Another good choice would be Mil-comm's TW25B, available from Sinclair International. This is gattling gun-approved by the military. Very effective and nearly permanent in something like the Autoprime. For best effect, you would pre-warm the metal parts just short of being uncomfortable to hold, and work it in by sliding the parts together by hand. Let it cool before re-assembling to the plastic parts.

The only limitation I observe in the Autoprime is the slight marking it leaves on the bottom of my primers. Ignorable for pistol and general shooting accuracy, but I like something more pristine for match rifle ammunition. I think the best priming tool is the one made by K&M Services, of Dover, PA (717-292-3175). It has a spring-loaded collar and primer bushing surrounding the primer ram. This collar bears on the case base to force it truly perpendicular to the entering primer. Absolutely no primer canting. It's compound lever is designed to lose leverage at the very end of the stroke so you very accurately feel the primer bottom out. This is so you know to stop pressing and avoid loosening the primer mix in the cup or cracking it against the anvil. This is to avoid affecting ignition characteristics. It is one-at-a-time technology, however, so for high volume it would be too slow. Definitely a bench rest-fussy toy.

Nick

Last edited by Unclenick; May 20, 2005 at 08:32 PM.
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Old May 20, 2005, 10:32 AM   #19
tjhands
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Wow, visuals even!!!

If I get industrious this weekend, I may just have to get out the iron and give that a try. Thanks for the MacGyver lesson.

Then again........duct tape and I have a loving relationship. LOL
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Old May 20, 2005, 11:39 AM   #20
Smokey Joe
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Lee Auto Prime, love it or hate it

I just checked--On my new Auto-prime, the refurb one, the cover fits nice & snug, just like my 25-yr old one.

For lube I use Wilson Combat Ultima-Lube grease, bought through Dillon. Use it because it is packaged in a syringe, which makes it a snap to put just a tiny dab of grease exactly where it is wanted. Man, that makes it so much nicer than getting grease or oil all over everything trying to lube the one little spot!! Use the same stuff on all my reloading equipment that needs lubing, for the same reason. This lube doesn't seem to affect plastics especially, except of course to lubricate them as moving parts. Never thought of that until it was mentioned above, but have never had a problem with it.

Also included in the above are the Lee Collet Dies. Discovered the hard way that the cam area of the collet DOES want to be lubed. Since starting with the grease, have had no problems. I disassemble the sizing die and re-lube it every few hundred rounds.
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Old May 20, 2005, 08:59 PM   #21
Unclenick
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Joe,

The Mil-comm product is also in a syringe that rotates closed at the tip. It is surprisingly good on Garand op-rod bolt slots and the like.

Nick
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Old May 22, 2005, 11:21 PM   #22
Smokey Joe
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Grease syringe

Unclenick--I'm sure the Mil-Com product works nice. Bet it's in the same syringe as the one used for the Wilson Combat grease--I did not say so, but that one rotates closed @ the top also, thus preventing grease leakage. There is an O-ring between the rotating part containing the pointy tip, and the non-rotating cylinder in which the grease and the plunger are contained. Works great, applies just that little dab of grease exactly where I want it, doesn't leak (knock wood) in the mean time!
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Old May 23, 2005, 10:37 AM   #23
Unclenick
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Joe,

Yuppers. Must be the same syringe maker!

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Old May 24, 2005, 02:21 PM   #24
Full Auto
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Lee Auto Prime

Bought one of these Lee hand primers many years back.
It took me about 30 minutes to figure this POS out.
Why would anyone in there right mind want to do this extra step.
Every press I have ever owned had a primer arm on it to install primers.
The press gives the leverage to fully seat the primer and compress the anvil
of the primer against the primer pocket.
You can't get this much leverage with the hand job.
Oh yea, when they tell you you can crush the primer using a press, don't believe it.
A good solid pull on the press assures the primer is fully seated and not just
bottoming on a piece of grit in the primer pocket.
I don't clean primer pockets because I use a RCBS 4x4 progressive now.
Never had a bad primer or squib load due to primer not fully seated. But I
know people that do get them using that Hand Job.

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Old May 24, 2005, 08:12 PM   #25
Unclenick
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The reason for feeling the primer bottom out is to be sure you haven't altered the primer ignition characteristics even slightly by compressing or cracking it. You'd probably never see it in anything but a bench rest gun, and I don't know if there is any real data to prove you see it even then? Some shooter's beliefs border on superstition. Just the same, the K&M tool is a nice one and you can't cock the primer or get one upside down with it, as I've occasionally seen happen in progressive primer fed ammo. So if you can do it more precisely and want to spend the time, why not?

Another reason some prefer a hand tool is they are loading on a single-stage press and want to be able to watch TV while priming rather than have to put a priming tool in the die and stand in front of the press for the priming operation alone.

Presses that prime on the downstroke, Dillon in particular, cut the leverage at the end of the stroke to avoid primer damage. About 25 years ago I saw heavily flattened primers seated using a conventional O-press on the up stroke. They had been loaded by a novice reloader who was shooting from the range bench next to mine. He was getting a dud every tenth round or so. I don't recall whose press or priming tool he was using?

Nick
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