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Old October 18, 2008, 06:43 PM   #1
rwt101
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Question about primer safety when loading?

It looks like primers are a good subject right now. Since I am a newbie I am sure this question has been asked before but I will ask again. I just bought a Lee turret press and also ordered the safety prime system for it. On the lee site they state that they have had some reports of primers going off with that system. They suggested to use CCI and I believe winchester primers only. It has me concerned. Any thoughts on the safety of this?
Thanks
Bob T
E. TN
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Old October 18, 2008, 07:28 PM   #2
Unclenick
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Wear safety glasses. You should do that anyway. Otherwise, I wouldn't be too concerned. CCI primers have always had slightly harder cups than most others, so they don't go off as easily, but I've never had any issues loading Federals, which are considered by most to be the most sensitive. I remember a friend of mine used to use the old style Lee loaders which had you seat the primers by tapping the case onto them. During a session he'd be sitting there, going tap-tap-tap-BANG! That would happen two or three times for every couple boxes of rounds he loaded. I never saw the appeal, but he seemed pleased enough to be able to make the ammo so cheap.
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Old October 18, 2008, 07:31 PM   #3
QBall45
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Yes I have some thoughts on this... I'm one of those that have had primers blow up with the safty prime system. I crushed 1 that set off the half dozen or so left in the feed shoot. Talk about loud! Made my ears ring for several weeks. I have since changed to using a LEE's hand primer. You may think this unsafe... Ihave found that using the hand primer very easy and I am able to feel the primers seat better than on the press. do not fear the primer. They are neccessary for the past time that we all love so much. Go slow and take your time. If I were you I would skip the Safty prime in favor of a hand primer of one brand or another.

I forgot to mention that the primers that exploded on me were the Federal primers. I have since changed to CCI and Winchester.
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Old October 18, 2008, 07:35 PM   #4
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I guess I should add wearing hearing protection. QBall45, would you mind sharing what brand of primer gave you the sympathetic detonation? Ooops. You did. Sorry. I was reading too fast. That's my favorite brand, but Lee keeps warning against it.

If you go to hand tool, the Lee is the least expensive, but, IMHO K%M's Markel tool gives the best feel. Unfortunately it is a one-at-a-timer, but that doesn't really bother me. Besides, having no primer tray or feed chute it has no chance of causing sympathetic detonation.
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Old October 18, 2008, 07:51 PM   #5
benzuncle
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I've loaded well over 3000 rounds since purchasing my Lee Classic Turret Press in January of this year. I upgraded to the Safety Prime system for both the small and large pistol primers when I bought the kit and have zero regrets. I've used CCI primers from the git go. I have had no primers pop. (I will give you my mailing address if you want to "get shed" of yours.) As I seat a primer on the upstroke, if I detect some stuborness, I stop and visually check to make sure that the casing is set correctly in the shellholder. I've set one primer upside down and punched a new primer out after seating it (brain fart) and haven't had any go bang. But, I'm with Unclenick about the safety glasses. Those should be standard equipment when loading. Whatever you decide, good luck to you and let us know.
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Old October 18, 2008, 08:04 PM   #6
rwt101
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If you use the hand method on the turret press do you put your primers in a try and pick them up from there? And I don't have the press yet but I thought it seated on the down stroke.
Bob T
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Old October 18, 2008, 08:18 PM   #7
QBall45
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I have the Pro 100 progressive and a Breech Lock Challanger. either way on the progressive or a turret if you hand prime you would just skip that hole on your turret. I do all decapping and resixing on the Challanger and when I use the 1000 I have an empty hole on my die plate.

If you have not bought your press yet may I suggest that you start with one like the Breech Lock Challanger before you go to a turret or progressive. I wish that I had. I may not have bought the progressive as I seem to be able to load almost as fast on the single stage. You will find that having a single stage press very nice as it can be used to do just one thing or to do it all. Today I started reloading 45 on the 1000 and then for my AR on the Challanger. then decided to load more 45 on the Challoanger. been reloading all day and have done about 250 or so 5.56 and am thinking that I will hit 500 45 in a little over an hour. best get back to work at the bench. I started reloading today with all of my brass decapped resized and reprimed. this makes things easier.
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Old October 18, 2008, 10:22 PM   #8
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I've always been skeptical / hesitant to try the progressives... but I understand thier value for shooting auto hand guns & rifles... I shoot mostly bolt actions & revolvers, so I've been able to get by with 2 single stage presses... I used to reload several years ago, then took a break, & am beginning again now... I use the Lee Auto Prime... & always "point it in a safe direction" & check each round I prime... I have never detonated one yet, in several 1000 rounds loaded...

I just added a nice size fire extingusher to my loading bench as a precaution... BTW... if I were to detonate one primer ( the Auto prime seems like it would be tougher to get a sympethetic detonation ) as they are in a tray... but I do remember getting 2 into the piston, when I 1st started loading, by short stroking the piston... how far to sparks, fire etc, get propelled from a primer ???
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Old October 19, 2008, 04:43 AM   #9
44Magnum
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Sparks can get propelled pretty far by a primer (I've seen it in action with a Lee "Hammer Kit"). In fact, whenever I prime with my hand prime tool (Lee Autoprime) I make absolutely sure I have no powder on the bench. I have yet to set off a primer when using a system that does not involve a hammer.
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Old October 19, 2008, 09:41 AM   #10
ilbob
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I have loaded many of thousands of rounds in the last almost 30 years. never had a primer go off. have use several different progressive presses, single stage presses, and hand priming tools.

I have mangled a few primers over the years (maybe ten or twenty) but never had a detonation. Maybe just luck.

I did briefly use the Lee loader but never liked the idea of tapping the primer in with a hammer so used a hand primer for that.
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Old October 19, 2008, 05:32 PM   #11
Hawg
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Federal primers are notorious for that. They're the softest primers you can get. A lot of CAS shooters like them because they use lightened springs that won't set off a CCI or Winchester but they do report the occasional popped primer with Lee presses and other brands too. I use an RCBS hand primer and CCI or Winchester.
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Old October 19, 2008, 05:38 PM   #12
rwt101
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I think I will be useing CCI or Winchester primers. It is really great that you can get so much information on a forum. You get years of experience from all the people. There are things that you might never know.
Bob T
E. Tn
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Old October 20, 2008, 02:14 AM   #13
Inspector3711
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I use mostly federal primers and my dad has used them more than any other for 30 years. Neither of us have had any mishaps. I use the Hornady hand priming tool and love it by the way. Easy on the hands.
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Old October 20, 2008, 03:48 AM   #14
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I just started reloading with the turret press and Safety Prime dispenser today. I am seating primers much more evenly than I did with my RCBS hand primer. With the hand primer I had crushed a few primers and put a couple in upside down. I prefer the Safety Prime on the press as being faster and for me at least, safer and more consistent.

Just to clarify the sequence on the Lee turret press.
- Handle is raised (which lowers the ram and case). Place a empty case on the ram.

- Lower the handle (raise the ram) to push the case into the sizing/decapping die.

- Raise the handle (lower the ram) just a smidgen and swing the Safety Prime over aove the primer arm. Push the dispenser lid forward and then down to place a primer into the primer arm cup.

- Finish raising the handle (lower the ram and case). I find I need to put my finger on the press base just below the primer arm to swing it into the ram earlier than it would if I let it hit the base itself. Otherwise it swings in too late and jams against the shell holder.

- As the ram hits bottom the primer arm swings below the case and the primer is inserted and with a firm push on the press handle it is seated. As the ram hits bottom it also turns the indexing rod and the next die moves into place above the ram.

- Lower the arm (raise the ram and case) into the case mouth expander die with the attached powder measure and get a charge dumped in.

- Raise the arm (lower the ram) all the way down to index the next die. Place a bullet on the case mouth.

- Lower the arm (raising the ram) and push the case with bullet into the seating die.

- Raise the arm to lower the ram and index the next die overhead.

- Lower the arm and raise the ram and push the case into the factory crimp die for final outside case sizing and crimp.

- Raise the arm all the way to lower the ram and index the next die overhead (decapper). Lower the arm just a bit so that primer arm swings out of the way so you can easily remove the finished cartridge and place another empty case on the shell holder.

- Repeat until dinner is ready. Wash your hands after handling all that lead.
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Old October 20, 2008, 06:47 AM   #15
Mike Irwin
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Primers can go off in any system, possibly with catastrophic results.

I never load more than 20 primers in the trays of my Lee priming mechanism at one time. Yes, a bit of a pain in the butt.

Wearing safety glasses is a must.

After a loading session I wash the primer tray and chute in warm, soapy water to remove any primer dust that might be on the assembly.
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Old October 20, 2008, 12:27 PM   #16
TEDDY
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priming

I use the lee hand primer and never had a bang.and before lee I used other priming tools[Bonanza]I wonder if it is due to forcing the primer or banging the handle in strokeing.
I would get a turret press regardless,single stage are obsolete for reloading.the turret carries the dies and no futher adjustment is needed.the turret is nothing but a single stage with multiple dies.I remove the rod on Lee press.I batch load as I decap and clean,then hand prime.then into the press whether its a turret or the Lee 1000 I have.all the other press dont make any better cart. than the Lee and a lot more money.the progressives are best for those making 1000s of rds.
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