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Old March 22, 2000, 10:33 PM   #1
Big Bunny
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Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
My Lee Auto Prime hand-tool has apparent cracking/linear metal fatigue (in the chromed alloy body) of the shellholder's top groove, leading to patchy performance in seating primers.It is now unserviceable.

I have heard the con-rod [in alum alloy] breaks and the factory has now shifted to steel to cure this.

Has anyone heard of the alloy body shell-holder slot on this tool failing before ?

The guarentee is for 2 years only...yes, it is over that - of course....

The cost new here is $35AUD for a replacement and spares are unobtainable/very expensive with long delays of up to 6 months.

It is a really great little tool and it is clean and quick to use, but expensive if this happens every 3 years, or is my problem un-usual ?


The con-rod (alloy) and the all the rest is in excellent condition, so I have not abused it - obviously.

I have contacted the Lee Precision factory by email, but have no reply as yet.

Comments (please) from FL reloading cognocenti....




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Old March 23, 2000, 12:51 AM   #2
Grayfox
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Join Date: December 17, 1998
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I have an Auto Prime tool that I've been using for 15 years. It has broken twice in that time. Both times it was my own fault for not keeping it properly lubed. Parts are cheap and Lee is excellent to deal with. In both cases, they sent me the part ASAP and billed me for them. Now thats trust!
Fear not, I'm sure Lee will be in contact. If not, e-mail them again and request them to send the parts and bill you for it.

BTW: proper lubing of the Auto Prime is to apply a small amount of grease at both ends of the connecting rod and the lever pivot. Do this and it will last pretty near forever.

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Old March 23, 2000, 07:47 AM   #3
WESHOOT2
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,123
STOP buying Lee and buy some quality tools, like the superb RCBS hand-priming tool(s) I bought after blowing out two properly-lubed Lees (same failure - cracked pot metal body).

Own two RCBS tools now (redundancy - taught by Lee) and extremely satisfied. No trouble.


Lee makes good dies, though.


Oh, RCBS is lifetime guarantee.........

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Old March 23, 2000, 05:12 PM   #4
Big Bunny
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Join Date: August 9, 1999
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Posts: 605
Thanks fellas, still havn't heard from LEE, but feel that the alloy body is to blame.

"POTMETAL" is a good description !

As I keep my piston assy well lubed, the only thing I can think of is that some of my cases are a bit tight in the pocket and might have been seated too firmly?

But I [sadly] take the point that quality is paramount, trouble is, with the super strong USDollar you can effectively treble any of your US prices in OZ. Just try that for a moment and see it from my angle...OK now A LEE Auto Prime is $35.00 not $12.00 !!

And what do I do with the special short shellholders at $6AUD each...as they fit nothing else ? So I am stuck, my friends, with any help I may [or may not] get from the US factory.

I can only advise anyone NOT to buy a soft alloy bodied prime-tool.

Will keep you posted.....- I am a "bunny" arn't I.....first it was our Aussie Government confiscating my Ruger 10/22 and 44Mag as well as my Winchester 120 as I couldn't be trusted to have a pump or a semi-auto, now this and UK's Smith and Wesson's capitulation to Slick(Sick?) Willie....I'm depressed, I think I'll go hunting crows to-morrow !

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Old March 23, 2000, 05:49 PM   #5
Big Bunny
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Posts: 605
STOP PRESS !!!


Aus distributors now say "they can get the parts to my dealer by Wednesday 29/03/00 for $10.95AUD".


Well - we will see..........

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Old March 23, 2000, 06:59 PM   #6
Big Bunny
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Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605


LATE EDITION.

Lee Precision have now replied (Patrick) and while a bit terse, say they will send parts to home address, Phew.....I will load the rest of the 80+ 30\30W in the press and await the spares.

Thanks for all FL correspondent's advise, a truly great medium the internet, it can only get better as long as censorship is kept to a reasonable level !

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