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Old October 25, 2001, 10:47 AM   #1
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Type of priming tool?

I have a lee auto-prime,,,it's wore-out,,,lack of maintainance on my part,,but I noticed the metal is soft on the fulcrum,and before I buy another one I was wondering if there is any of better quality that works as easy.
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Old October 25, 2001, 11:49 AM   #2
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I have a Sinclair International one but it is pricier than your Lee. K&M also makes a nice one with dial indicator readout.
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Old October 25, 2001, 11:53 AM   #3
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I bought an RCBS hand priming tool and have been very disappointed in it.
It will not seat large primers deeply enough. My bolt will actually score the primer when I chamber a round.
I've called RCBS several times and each time they send me a new rod for seating large primers which is identical to the one I have. Sometimes they'll send other parts as well.
Problem is, the large seating rod is shorter than the rod which seats the small primers. They need to be the same length. I cannot make the people who answer the phone at RCBS understand this.
They have sent me enough new parts to build another priming tool, but they will not listen to my analysis of the problem. They tell me that the problem is very technical in nature and I might not understand if they tried to explain it to me.
Well, could be they're right since I've only worked as a mechanical engineer for the last 30+ years.

I finally gave up on them and bought a Lee priming tool which mounts on top of a press. It works well.
I may make a new seating rod for the RCBS from some drill rod when I get some spare time, but if I don't it will most likely end up in the trash where it belongs.

I certainly wouldn't buy another.

My two cents.
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Old October 25, 2001, 05:33 PM   #4
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I prefer the RCBS tool (have two, often used for production) and I use RCBS shellholders -only- with them.

I wore out two LEE's the same day (during production).
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old October 25, 2001, 06:46 PM   #5
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Another vote for the RCBS hand tool with RCBS shellholders. I use it to prime for my Hornady progressive press.
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Old October 26, 2001, 12:41 AM   #6
Join Date: September 19, 2001
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Been reloading for 25+ years.
Rockchucker with the priming attachment.
Never could understand why it took so much time/effort/manipulation to shove one piece of metal into another.
Coupla years ago got really po'd and bought a RCBS hand tool (only brand they had at the local shop).
Can you spell 'priceless'?
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Old October 26, 2001, 04:06 AM   #7
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I have a sinclair and a lee hand primer and no problems with either yet. primed over 7000 cases on the lee and at least 4000 on the sinclair.
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Old October 28, 2001, 08:31 AM   #8
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Which priming tool?

Over the last 30 years I discovered that most on press priming leaves a lot to be desired. I use the:
RCBS Auto Priming Tool
[Bench Mounted]
Part # 09460

I have upgraded it only one. If the priming rod doesn't go down/drop properly, simply RUN A 357 cleaning brush through it.
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Old October 28, 2001, 11:47 AM   #9
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The bench mounted RCBS automatic priming tool, just like Madison's.

After priming a few cases with it you'll never go back.
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Old October 28, 2001, 04:05 PM   #10
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After years of using the Lee, I had a series of failure to seat primers to the correct depth -with only one rifle -
that I still cannot explain, as I switched priming tools around... Maybe the shell holder, but hownhell could it change dimensionally?

So I went to the Forester bench tool. Great, you really can adjust all the slop out! I have one for large primers, and one for small.
And the Dillon, good enough for handguns...

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Old October 28, 2001, 08:29 PM   #11
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After reading all the comments, I'm glad I have a Dillon RL550B press.
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Old October 29, 2001, 02:10 PM   #12
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On a budget, you'll get the best feel (and speed) with the Lee... I wish that Ken Markle would make a priming tool that you could use the Lee trays with...

If you have the Lee tool, you MUST keep the innards lubed - bolt grease works fine. You can also buy new innards for under $3.

Let's see... I've got a couple of press-mounted dealies, a regular K&M tool, an antique that is sorta like the Sinclair, and several Lee handheld autoprimes. They're nice. I use the K&M for my PPC stuff, the antique for my 6BR stuff, and everything else gets the Lees...

At benchrest matches, I see the Sinclairs, the K&Ms, and Lees, with very few others...
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Old October 30, 2001, 03:37 PM   #13
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I've had a Rockchucker for about 3 years. During the first year and a half, I loaded and shot probably 1500 rounds of .38/.357 using the press mounted priming tool. Can't remember one single problem using it. But since I'm a gadget freak, I bought a RCBS hand priming tool and have probably loaded and shot another 1500 rounds using it. That being said, I would have no problem either going back to the press mounted priming tool or using the hand primer.
"I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left"
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Old November 1, 2001, 11:57 AM   #14
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Hornady anyone?

I haven't heard anyone mention the Hornady hand priming tool so I will give my brief review. I have used the Lee and find it to be somewhat of a pain to sit and prime hundreds of cases at a time primarily using the muscles in my thumb. The Hornady tool is more like a pair of pliers yet it retains the depth sensitivity of the Lee tool. I have primed about 8,000 rounds with it in the last two years and it has never failed. The fit and finish of the product are much better than the Lee and isn't that expensive.

Here's the link to their products page; the hand priming tool is in the far right column:

My $.02
"The great German poet, Goethe, who also lived through a crisis of freedom, said to his generation: 'What you have inherited from your fathers, earn over again for yourselves or it will not be yours'. We inherited freedom. We seem unaware that freedom has to be remade and re-earned in each generation of man."

--Adlai Stevenson, "Politics and Morality", Saturday Review, February 7, 1959.
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