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Old December 27, 2012, 08:56 PM   #1
bhcarl
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Lee hand prime??

I have one of the old type lee hand prime tools, it has a 38/357 shell holder. My queswtion is, can I get a 44 cal. shell holder for it or was it only made for a certain caliber? thanks
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Old December 27, 2012, 09:18 PM   #2
jcwit
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This should answer your question.

http://leeprecision.com/shell-holders/
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Old December 27, 2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Yes you can get a whole set of shell holders for that hand prime tool, I have the set but wore my hand prime tool out and ended up buying the RCBS bench mount priming tool so may never use the lee hand prime shell holders again
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Old December 27, 2012, 09:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
I have one of the old type lee hand prime tools, it has a 38/357 shell holder. My queswtion is, can I get a 44 cal. shell holder for it or was it only made for a certain caliber? thanks
When you say "old type" how far back does yours go? I have the early Lee hand prime tools (late 60's or early 70's) where the shell holder was threaded and screwed into the body. The next version I have the shell holder was the thin shell holder that slid in and out. My current version Lee uses the same shell holders that slide in and out.
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:01 PM   #5
solocam72
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The shell holders I have for the lee hand prime tool I use to have are the thin type that slide in and out, I wasn't aware of an older version that threaded and screwed? Not trying to butt in here just curious
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
I wasn't aware of an older version that threaded and screwed?
I don't know if that was the very first version but it is the first I have. I would be glad to post pictures if anyone is interested.

I read lots of posts where folks break the lever on all versions. I can understand that since they are not forged steel, but I have primed many 10's of thousands and never broken any of the parts. But I always make sure the contact points well lubed and never abused them by trying to prime an pocket that was crimped without swaging first.
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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I guess mine is the oldest type, the shell holder screws onto the body, I dont know if this type is available from lee.
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:46 PM   #8
solocam72
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My lee hand prime tool lasted many years and primed several thousand cases, mine didn't actually break, it wore from lack of care and it wouldn't seat the primer below flush anymore (I didn't keep it lubed) I could have bought the replacement parts to fix it but chose to retire it and ended up buying the RCBS bench mount priming tool, like I said I stil have the shell holder set for it (little red flat slip top box) and a few extras that don't come with the kit. I really liked the tool and got several years of use out of it, you can't wear the shell holders out
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Old December 27, 2012, 11:05 PM   #9
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My experience combines jepp2 and solocam 72. Mine wore out to the point it would not fully seat the primer. I epoxied on a thin washer to the plunger and was back in business until I got to 10,001 and the handle broke. I just bought a new/used one on ebay. There are usually several for sale, some brand new and some gently used. I liked the tool and really didn't want to switch to something else.
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Old December 28, 2012, 05:36 AM   #10
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I have to admit I miss my little lee hand prime tool, maybe I will find another one like I had somewhere down the road and put my shell holders back to use, it was simple and worked very well. Mine was given to me by a friend that bought it new and ended up not liking it, I don't think he primed over 50 cases with it.
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Old December 28, 2012, 07:12 AM   #11
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Once in a conversation when ordering some items from Lee the rep told me that you can send in your lee hand primer and they would send you another one.
Not sure of the reason why they would do this as i was not really paying attention, just wanted to order my other parts.
If anybody has issues with their's might be worth a phone call to Lee.
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Old December 28, 2012, 08:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
I guess mine is the oldest type, the shell holder screws onto the body, I dont know if this type is available from lee.
The best way I know of to get shell holder for the screw in older type is through E-Bay. Check out post #3 on this link, it will give you the letter conversions

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...l-holder-sizes
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Old December 28, 2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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Shell Holders

I have and use the same old Lee Priming tool that uses screw in shell holders.I was able to find screw in shell holders on E_Bay.I bought two but had to pay 10 bucks each.I've also seen them from time to time at gun shows.Good luck ,biker
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Old December 28, 2012, 12:26 PM   #14
bhcarl
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this type of shell holder is no longer available from Lee, (per e-mail I just received from them)
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:23 PM   #15
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Well the New Auto Prime XR is not that expensive, and the shell holder set is about $15 or less from most places. The handle on the new one will not break. A friend of mine tried to break one pushing too hard on a crimped primer pocket. He managed to ruin a primer, and had a hard time getting the brass out of the shell holder. The tool still worked fine after that. I have one myself. I will say be gentle sliding the lid on, and off. The plastic tabs get brittle, and break if you do not. I still use mine it has primed many thousands of rounds, and is still going strong.
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Old December 28, 2012, 05:03 PM   #16
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For the young-uns here that have never even heard of the early lee hand primers.

They worked quite well, you varied the depth of the primer seating by how far the shell holder was screwed into the body. The ultra fine threads were easy to get cross-threaded, so you wore that out before the cam on the handle wore out. What I did was buy a body along with a shell holder, then leave them assembled. Since this was very early in my reloading career, I only had 3 calibers that I reloaded, two took the same shell holder. (308 and .243).
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Old December 28, 2012, 05:13 PM   #17
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Over the last few years I've been able to pick up a few of these older hand primers for my most reloaded calibers except for one, and for that I use a K & M hand primer.

I had one that came with the threads in very bad shape. Being as I wanted it for a specific caliber I used JB Weld and glued the shell holder in place. Its held for thousands of rounds so far.
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Old December 28, 2012, 06:20 PM   #18
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Snuffy, thanks for the picture, I have never seen one like that in my travels.
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Old December 28, 2012, 06:31 PM   #19
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Looks like a Ram Prime with a handle. I'd much prefer that over that POS XR I foolishly bought.
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Old December 28, 2012, 07:29 PM   #20
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That was my first priming tool in the late 60's. Still have it and it still works very well. I think I have 38/357, 45 Colt, and 45ACP shellholders. I think the 45ACP works for all the 30-06 based brass also.
IIRC they cost about $3.50.
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