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Old March 4, 2007, 12:55 PM   #1
Q.C.
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Lee Auto-Prime & Federal primers

I just purchased a Lee Auto-Prime and was disapointed that the instructions state "Do not use" Federal primers. I was just wondering why.
Thanks Deadeye
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Old March 4, 2007, 01:06 PM   #2
rwilson452
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Because Lee and federal had a falling out. Federal primers are more sensitive and more prone to going off while loading. You can get a counter detonation effect. Lee makes a shield for their progressive presses. I have seen the effect in dillon presses. It looks like someone shotguned the ceiling over the press. I wasn't there when it happened. I was told it is quite loud.
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Old March 4, 2007, 01:14 PM   #3
Q.C.
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Thanks for the fast reply. So does this mean that the federal primers are more likely to go off in any type of primer system?
Thanks Deadeye
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Old March 4, 2007, 06:02 PM   #4
The Real Wyatt
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Yep. Voice of experience here.

That's why I switched to Winchester primers.
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Old March 4, 2007, 10:05 PM   #5
rwilson452
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Another vote for winchester primers. I use them in all my reloads except for my AR For that I use CCI as they are harder and less inclined to slam fire.
I have had difficulty getting the CCI 41 milspec primers locally so I tried the CCI 400 primers. so far so good. I would not recommend Federals for use in an AR
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Old March 5, 2007, 07:19 PM   #6
Q.C.
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Thanks for the info guy's. I still have some federals left. I guess I'll go back to the old way and load them one at a time untill they are gone.
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Old March 6, 2007, 07:38 AM   #7
Tim R
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I have a couple of those Lee hand primers with the plastic cover. I also use Federal match primers when loading 308 for my tuned M-1. (firing pin was sprung by the gun plummer) I also use Federal primers when loading 38 Spl for a slicked up Smith I have. I have never had a problem. I don't care for the way the Federal primers are packaged. I also only put 50 at a time in the tray. (loose fewer that way) Just be careful and don't get ham fisted.
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Old March 6, 2007, 03:23 PM   #8
snuffy
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BS! All of it! Show me one documented case of a primer detonationg while being PRESSED into a pocket! With the qualification that the press, or seperate priming tool, was being used according to instructions. Not some irate fool that thinks he knows it all, didn't read the instructions, getting mad and jerking the handle.

The ONLY exception to that is the old lee hand tool that required the primer to be seated with a hammer. I detonated several with that tool, until I learned NOT to hit it in with one sharp whack, but to ease it in with several softer taps.

I have crushed many primers when a feeder malfunctioned, sideways and upside down. Never a detonation. A primer takes a SHOCK to set off the priming compound, it also requires the priming pellet be crushed between the bottom of the cup and the anvil by a sharp blow.

If primers were as sensitive as some have said, we wouldn't be able to keep them around our houses. Or for that matter, handeling of loaded ammo. We couldn't carry them in our pockets, toss them in glove boxes, or ammo cans.
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Old March 7, 2007, 10:29 AM   #9
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I have the same priming tool and use Federal almost all the time and have never had a problem.
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Old March 7, 2007, 09:25 PM   #10
Q.C.
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'm going to give it a try. I've been thinking it over and dont think I'll have any problem as long as I'm careful.

Thanks again Deadeye
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Old March 7, 2007, 10:05 PM   #11
swmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuffy
BS! All of it! Show me one documented case of a primer detonationg while being PRESSED into a pocket! With the qualification that the press, or seperate priming tool, was being used according to instructions. Not some irate fool that thinks he knows it all, didn't read the instructions, getting mad and jerking the handle.
Would a copy of the ER Bill satisfy you? I was operating my Lee 1000 press exactly like the instructions indicated with the exception of using Federal Primers. I am not a "slammer" but I experienced a chain-fire and the entire primer feed assembly exploded, making the back of my left hand suddenly looked like I had been clawed by one really PO'd cat and black from the flash burn and primer residue. End result, 6 stitches.

I still use the same press 22 years later with either Winchester or CCI primers and never a repeat.

Your description of what it takes to set off a primer is correct if everything happens the way it is supposed to. Sometimes it doesn't work that way.

Richard Lee in his Modern Reloading Second Edition advises that Federal Primers are the easiest to set off if an error occurs.

Anyone is free to disagree but whenever I buy primers, I look at my left hand and buy Winchester or CCI's.

BTW, I also use an RCBS press as well as my old Lee.
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Old March 7, 2007, 10:15 PM   #12
Striker1
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So let me get this straight. Your instructions say no Fed Primers, but you are going to do it anyway?

The question I would ask is why would Lee Precision print that in the instructions if it wasn't true? At the least I would call Lee and talk to them first.
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Old March 7, 2007, 11:00 PM   #13
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While I agree that the chances of something happening are slim to none, I think that erring on the side of caution is best. This is not some internet hoax, this is the maker of a product telling you not to do something specific because of a potential danger.

Life is too short to play with fire, especially when there are so many other options. You could choose different primers, or you could buy a different type of primer seater. You are going to need another one eventually anyways, so why not do the safe thing.
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Old March 9, 2007, 06:49 PM   #14
Q.C.
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Well to add fuel to the fire. I primed 100rds. last w/o a hitch. I was careful to check that the primers were feeding properly before I pressed them. My issue with this is, I dont see the differance between the different brands of hand primer tools. It seems to me that if federal primers are as dangerous as Lee claims, then they would be just as dangerous no matter which system you use. Just my 2 cents worth.
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