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Old June 22, 2011, 10:17 AM   #6
Smokey Joe
Senior Member
Join Date: July 14, 2001
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 2,106
Lee Auto-Prime XR

Gosh, I feel out of place! I like my new XR very much. Mine works slick.

Had used the original Auto-Prime for years & years. Broke a couple or three handles (which Lee promptly replaced!) I do wish that Lee would make their hand priming tools out of a stronger quality of pot metal, but as long as they replace the parts that break it's not a major issue. (I note that the lever on the XR is reinforced--Mebbe Lee has solved the lever-breakage problem. Time will tell.)

The XR feeds primers into itself better than the original. With a square tray, as pointed out, it is easier to dump primers onto than the original. The two-stage feed from tray to primer ram seems to be an answer to the RCBS hand primer, which is advertised as isolating the primer being installed from all the others. Never had this sort of problem with the original Auto-Prime, but the new one feeds the primers just fine so who cares about the difference.

Something else about the XR I like, is that Lee changed the surface of the primer tray so that the primers get turned right-side-up more effectively, compared to the original.

Agree with the complaint that the lever doesn't spring back on its own, but a little practice seems to be making it automatic for me, to pull the lever back past dead center so the next primer can be cycled. You have to get used to the peculiarities of any new gadget you use, and until you do, it will compare poorly to what you're used to.

I can't comprehend having "nothing but trouble" with an XR. What's to have trouble with?

If Lee made a steel Auto-Prime I'd probably buy it, and expect it to last absolutely forever, but it'd cost as much as the RCBS unit (which is steel) and there goes one of Lee's major advantages in the marketplace.

One thing I DO NOT like is that Lee has stopped supplying parts for all the original Auto-Primes out there--there must be multiple thousands--and instead requires you to put money (granted, a deeply discounted price) into a new XR to replace your original that you already paid for. But that's a business decision, and this is America, and I voted with my wallet, and so can you.
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe
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