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Old December 28, 2012, 07:49 PM   #1
Tinner666
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Lee Progressive and Primer Hazard Question

Lee says NOT to use Federal primers in their progressive loaders due to an explosion hazard. OK, I'm fine with that.

What I want to know is who has had an explosion and how severe is the hazard? Does running only 50 primers at a time make it safer?

I'm wondering due to a dearth of CCI primers.
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Old December 28, 2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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Got me but know to what you are asking.Mine came with a little yellow piece of papper that said to us win or cci only.So I'll keep an eye on this for the same answer your looking for.Sorry I couldn't help out
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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Tinner666,

If you want to use Fed primers on a Lee progressive press, pull the sizer/deprimer die from your progressive and process all your brass on a single stage press.

Then hand prime all your brass using a hand prime or bench prime tool if you didn't prime the brass on the single stage press.

Then, run your primed brass through your progressive with the sizing die absent.

It doesn't matter "how bad" someone else's explosion was, you can't repeat accidents and expect the same result.

Jimro
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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Thanks Jim. I did find out they offer a blast shield for use when using Federal.
I have single stage presses and want to avoid all that entails.
I may get a classic turret and another set of dies to use when reloading with Federal components.

I haven't decided what I'll do yet.
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:23 AM   #5
aumuddy
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Primer danger

I have a Dillon 550 and have never been concerned about primers. It has an excellent primer feed system. I watch each primer as it is fed into the press.
I used to have a Lee press, I gave it up because the primer feed system was problemmatic. I feel it was a bad design.
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:26 AM   #6
TMD
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Lee and Federal got into a pee pee contest a few years back about his primer trays and this is Lee's way of getting retirbution, by publishing this disclamor.
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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There is a reason Fed primers are in larger packaging, to place those little dudes farther apart because they are more sensitive. Pretty dumb to think they wouldn't package theirs the same as most primer manufacturers if it they felt it was okay, because it would save them many thousands in material cost over all this time.

Regardless of what anyone says on the net, ignore any warnings at your own peril.
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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For what it is worth, I've mangled enough Wolf primers on my Lee Pro1000 to be very thankful that they haven't detonated. I definitely won't be using Federal primers with any Lee progressive press.

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Old December 29, 2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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I use them all the time close to 4k now. To me it is like you car saying it only wants gas for X store and I put gas from Y store in.
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Old December 29, 2012, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimro View Post
Tinner666,

If you want to use Fed primers on a Lee progressive press, pull the sizer/deprimer die from your progressive and process all your brass on a single stage press.

Then hand prime all your brass using a hand prime or bench prime tool if you didn't prime the brass on the single stage press.

Then, run your primed brass through your progressive with the sizing die absent.

It doesn't matter "how bad" someone else's explosion was, you can't repeat accidents and expect the same result.

Jimro
That's exactly what I do. I've had too many problems with the loadmaster on press priming system.


Ike

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Old December 29, 2012, 05:16 PM   #11
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It isn't just Lee's progressive presses. Lee has the same warning about primers (and it applies to more than just Federal) for on-press priming with their turret presses and for their hand priming gizmo. In fact, about a year ago they redesigned the hand priming tool to address the issue of a popped primer setting off a chain fire explosion.

This is not just a "tit-for-tat" disclaimer that Lee printed to thumb their nose at Federal. It's a real and potentially serious problem.
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Old December 29, 2012, 05:49 PM   #12
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Federals may or may not be more sensitive but I have wondered why they use those huge packing trays and put their primers in there on edge. Only thing I have used Federal primers on on is rifle rounds and all of that is hand primed using a RCBS hand priming tool. Over the years I have found Winchesters for my rifle and CCI for my pistols are the best combination anyway so it is not an issue for me but yeah to be on the safe side I would switch primers brands and heed the warnings.

Now to play devils advocate

I have to wonder about this since all all priming systems insert the primer by using a rod slightly less in diameter than the primer to push it up into the primer pocket. Other than the chance of a chain reaction might be greater on the feed design of one machine or the other seems to me a chance of a primer exploding is just as likely on a Dillon as it is a Lee.

Now with my hand primers and the Lee priming system the primers are stored in a plastic keeper and follow a plastic chute down to the insertion pin/rod. On my Hornady LnL the primers are all in a tube an inch and a quarter from the insertion rod.

I have seen that pic of the Hornady tube all blew out and stuck into the ceiling and it has always made me scratch my head. The sides were blown out yet it was propelled upwards is the first thing that caught my eye. Then you have to remember the primer shuttle is carried forward a good inch and a quarter from the rest of the primers by a little spring not near strong enough to ""mangle" a primer. A pound at mot Another thing that is curious about that pic is that the part sticking into the ceiling is the outer cover of the priming tube which is threaded onto the primer system and held there by about 1/2 of threads. The actual primers are inside a separate tube which is free floating and simply held by gravity. It would have taken a heck of a explosion to rip a tube from 1/2 inch of threads from a explosion that occurred inside a second tube inside it when most of the blast force was directed horizontally from the picture. The only way I can imagine such a accident occuring is if somehow a primer got sideways, the operator pulling the inner tube out spilling primers all inside the outer tube, then unscrewing the outer tube and then hitting the primer shuttle with a hammer.

Not saying it is impossible but after looking at the one on my bench I would have to say it would take a lot of effort and a large dose of stupidity to duplicate it
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Old December 29, 2012, 07:36 PM   #13
leadchucker
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Quote:
It isn't just Lee's progressive presses. Lee has the same warning about primers (and it applies to more than just Federal) for on-press priming with their turret presses and for their hand priming gizmo. In fact, about a year ago they redesigned the hand priming tool to address the issue of a popped primer setting off a chain fire explosion.
This is not just a "tit-for-tat" disclaimer that Lee printed to thumb their nose at Federal. It's a real and potentially serious problem.
Dang! You just caused me to go dig out all the paperwork on my Lee turret press and safety primer feed. (about a year old.) I didn't find any warnings about Federal primers, or any others either for that matter, in it. Just the usual CYA precautions.

This thread is the first I've heard of any of this.
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:39 PM   #14
hounddawg
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Quote:
Dang! You just caused me to go dig out all the paperwork on my Lee turret press and safety primer feed. (about a year old.) I didn't find any warnings about Federal primers, or any others either for that matter, in it. Just the usual CYA precautions.

This thread is the first I've heard of any of this
just pulled up a pdf of the manual for the Lee turret and did a search using primer and then Federal and you are right

http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi-data...uct/TP2131.pdf

however on the 1000 manual there is a warning

http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi-data...uct/TR2441.pdf

Quote:
ALL PRIMERS ARE DANGEROUS and it should be
anticipated that the primers in the tray could explode
through accident, misuse or spontaneously.
Should an explosion occur, our tests have demonstrated
that safety glasses will normally prevent serious
injury to the user if CCI or Remington primers are used,
because the explosion is minimal. Other primers, however,
can explode with sufficient force to seriously
injure the user, or persons nearby.
We do not take any position with respect to the quality
of performance of primers available on the market.
However, ONLY those primers manufactured by CCI
or Remington are recommended for use in the Lee
Pro ‹000—and when loading those primers—safety
glasses must be used. NO OTHER PRIMERS should be
used with the Lee Pro ‹000.
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:02 PM   #15
Jimro
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I read that warning, then used Wolf 556 primers. My reasoning was that the Wolf was a milspec primer, same as the CCI 41 primer, then it should be as safe to use as the CCI 41.

So far no unexpected booms. However, there have been a number of mangled primers, and I definitely would not want to use a "sensitive" primer in a Lee progressive press.

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Old December 29, 2012, 09:30 PM   #16
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I've been using Federal primers in a hand press. With my Lee turret press, I have only tried Tul Ammo primers. I like priming off press. Just feels more comfortable.

My only primer explosion was using the Lee Classic Hand Loader system and it came when tapping the case back out of the die, not inserting the primer. Loud and scared the crap out of me!! Luckily though no real harm except for ringing ears and a few specs of primmer residue in my thumb.
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
The only way I can imagine such a accident occuring is if somehow a primer got sideways, the operator pulling the inner tube out spilling primers all inside the outer tube, then unscrewing the outer tube and then hitting the primer shuttle with a hammer.
Read through this thread and see jepp2's experience with some Winchester primers.

Primers sometimes go off without anything obviously stupid initiating it.
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Old December 29, 2012, 10:49 PM   #18
Tinner666
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I've popped one or two over the years, but never blown a bunch of them. I'm sure that at some point, even a load of CCI's will blow on somebody some day.
I'm just researching becasue all the dealer shelves are loaded with Federal primers. I've only got CCI and a few hundred Rem. or Winchester. I'd have to check on that.
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Old December 31, 2012, 05:20 AM   #19
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I woke up early and was bored and decided to work up a few .204 cases and while priming them I started thinking about this thread. After I finished I did a google search using the term "primer explosion" and found dozens of threads. Most had to do with Lee's, with Dillon's a close second. I am not bashing either brand here, I think it is becasue there are more Dillons and Lees are out there than other brands.

Anyway made a believer out of me real fast and from now on I will be using those safety goggles when reloading. I will also be cleaning those primer tubes every few uses since one theory had to do with primer dust, better safe than sorry on that, If you are a doubter of this and want some convincing do a search, there are a lot more incidents than I would have thought.
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Old December 31, 2012, 11:34 AM   #20
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I've always wondered if static electricity could play a part in this. I always shoot a small squirt of static guard on the plastic parts of my Lee Safety prime, and the powder hopper too, before I start loading.
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Old December 31, 2012, 12:59 PM   #21
hounddawg
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could be leadchucker here is a scary post where the guy was simply loading the tube from the pickup tube

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/inde...c=139159&st=0\

I think I shall ground my press and make sure I touch it when doing any loading from now on, cant hurt and it is a simple task.After reading so many of these primer kaboom threads today I am going to go to a full face shield instead of just goggles. Over the past 6 decades I have grown rather fond of all the parts I was born with
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