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Old April 20, 2017, 02:08 PM   #1
Gemmer
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Federal primers-Lee auto primer (off press)

The two Lee Brand (off press) hand held auto primers come with a warning that states "all types of Federal Brand large rifle primers frequently caused the entire tray to explode with sufficient force to cause serious and painful injuries."
Is this an issue with all other brands of off press primers or is this exclusive to Lee products?
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Old April 20, 2017, 04:16 PM   #2
DaleA
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Well, if anyone doubts Gemmer, go here:
http://leeprecision.com/new-auto-prime.html
and then download the pdf instructions for the device.

Gemmer has quoted the warning in the instructions correctly.

Sheesh!
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Old April 20, 2017, 04:33 PM   #3
F. Guffey
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Quote:
Is this an issue with all other brands of off press primers or is this exclusive to Lee products?
Quote:
Well, if anyone doubts Gemmer
I do not doubt Gemmer, I disagree with Lee. Again: I have R. Lee's book on modern reloading, in his book Lee wrote he did not test Federal Primers because Federal did not donate primers to be tested.

I have 5 Lee auto primers with the round tray, I also have the primer installers that were not so auto because they came without a tray. And; I have enough spare parts to keep all of them running forever. When I heard reloaders claim Lee said Federal primers were the most powerful I said to myself; "Self, that is for me because I want the most powerful primers in the world".

If not for Federal primers I would be out of primers; I know, the big box is most difficult to handle when loading the small round tray for most reloaders, that small stuff has never drove me into the curb. And complain, I believe Federal went to the big box to give Lee something to complain about.

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Old April 20, 2017, 04:35 PM   #4
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^^^^^ I Agree ^^^^^
(Mark your calendar guys)
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Old April 20, 2017, 04:45 PM   #5
F. Guffey
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Barbers like to make their customers think they are busy by opening and closing their scissors 300 times a minute, sounds good but double clutching the operating handle on the Lee auto hand primer is a bad habit and can cause primers to stack. My opinion; double clutching the handle is more dangerous to your health than Federal primers.

I have never found a warning about fanning the handle between installing primers. Problem, the case can not be removed from the shell holder and the reloader can not get enough leverage to seat a primers, so? They use two hands (thumbs)

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Old April 20, 2017, 04:52 PM   #6
higgite
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Quote:
The two Lee Brand (off press) hand held auto primers come with a warning that states "all types of Federal Brand large rifle primers ......"
Quote:
Gemmer has quoted the warning in the instructions correctly.
Actually, he didn't. The Lee instructions say "all types of Federal Brand large primers....". Not limited to rifle only.
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Old April 20, 2017, 04:55 PM   #7
Reloadron
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The Lee New Auto-Prime second page of the destructions err rather instructions:
Quote:
We have tested the tool by intentionally setting off a variety of brands
and types of primers. Our testing has demonstrated that wearing safety
glasses and hearing protection will prevent serious injury.
However, all types of federal brand
large primers frequently caused the entire tray to explode
with sufficient force to cause serious and painful injuries.
For as long as I can recall Federal Primers have had a reputation of being more sensitive than other manufacturers primers. Started hand loading in '72 and I still hear that over and over again. Personally I have never had a bad experience with Federal or any other primer and have not really found Federal to be any different. I really don't know, never having tested Federal Primers to any standards if the Lee claim is true or if years ago there was some bad blood between Lee and Federal?

Anytime we are handling or seating primers I would assume we apply good hand loading practices and procedures.

Ron
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Old April 20, 2017, 05:21 PM   #8
DaleA
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Color me embarrassed, you got me higgite.
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Old April 20, 2017, 06:13 PM   #9
res45
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I've primed many a pistol and rifle case using Federal primers and two Lee round head hand priming tools that I've had for over 20+years.

I've also crimped non cannelure bullets with the Lee FCD that Speer said would be damaged by the die which it will if you crank down on it enough but you can do that with any bullet seater die.

Seems I read some years ago all this don't use Federal primer in Lee hand primers or Lee FCD with Speer non cannelure bullets all started at about the same time. Couldn't be any connection between the two could they
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Old April 20, 2017, 06:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Seems I read some years ago all this don't use Federal primer in Lee hand primers or Lee FCD with Speer non cannelure bullets all started at about the same time. Couldn't be any connection between the two could they
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Yeah, but then why Federal and not CCI? Didn't Speer own CCI at hat point in time? Actually Blount Sporting Goods Division owned CCI and Speer. So if Lee had a problem with Speer's claim that their FCD would deform their bullets why did they focus on Federal Primers and not CCI?

Not that any of this matters.

Ron
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Old April 20, 2017, 07:16 PM   #11
Gemmer
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Just to be clear, the "off press" is a term Lee uses when referring to the two "New Auto primers" that are hand operated and not connected to a press. The quote I used is verbatim from their instructions and specifically states Federal Brand Rifle Primers. Apparently this warning does not apply to any of their auto primers meant to be attached to a press. Since these two products are relatively new, any references in the Lee Reloaders Manual do not cover these products.
So my question remains, to the best of anyone's knowledge, is/are there any other hand operated primers that I can buy that do not have any limitation as to the type and brand of primers being used?
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Old April 20, 2017, 08:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
So my question remains, to the best of anyone's knowledge, is/are there any other hand operated primers that I can buy that do not have any limitation as to the type and brand of primers being used?
RCBS Hand Priming Tool. Read the manual. Actually as far as I know, Lee is the only hand priming tools which call out a primer by name.

Ron
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Old April 20, 2017, 08:31 PM   #13
higgite
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Sorry if I caused you any embarrassment, Dale. Didn’t mean to. I just thought it was worth correcting, considering the subject. I’ve never misread anything myself. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

But, back to the subject at hand, I do have to wonder what it is about Lee’s priming tools that “frequently” caused trays to explode with Federal primers while other brands of priming tools don’t seem to have such a problem.
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Old April 20, 2017, 08:32 PM   #14
res45
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Did a little searching and found what I had read before,I don't know if any of the time lines are correct as far as who owned who at the time so take it for what it's worth.

Quote:
"a few years to when Speer and Richard Lee got into a ****ing match about the Lee Factory Crimp die. "

Yep. Actually, that was in the late 70s, early 80s if I remember correctly. Fred Hundington had sold RCBS, Vernon Speer sold and CCI sold out to the Blount Group so the original owners were gone and a bunch of destructive "professional" management MBAs were running things, wrongly. Pretty much damaged Blount in the same process.

Richard Lee had just gotten into making presses, dies, etc. His tools were designed from the ground up to be made on largely automated and CNC tooling by unskilled labor forces so they could be high grade tools sold at low prices. It worked. Soon, Lee was cutting deeply into the "big boys'" markets. Speer and RCBS struck back by publishing badly misleading magazine adds showing how badly Lee's tools worked, especially the (excellent) rifle Factory Crimp Dies. (They massively over-crimped some rifle bullets and put the photos in their adds to "prove" their point.)

Federal got caught up at the same time with a big suit claiming injury from some idiot misusing Federal primers, not a part of Blount, and it cost Lee a bundle to defend against Federal pointing a finger at Lee. Lee wanted no more of that so they started posting the warnings against the use of Federal caps we still see.

I don't believe Federal primers pose any more, or at least not much more, of a hazard than any other. I really haven't been able to see how Federal caps are "softer" than others, in fact my past experiments indicated they were a tad harder, but they do use a bit more sensitive priming compound. That sensitivity does make them more prone to chain firing if one does go off in a box, tube or tray. THAT'S why they are packed in individual holes in the packages. But they also have a LOW incidence of failure to fire and I like that!

I've run a lot of Federals though my Lee auto primer tools for over two decades with no problems. But, I don't use the Tim Taylor "More Power" method of dealing with anything that doesn't feel right either. If a primer won't go easily, I stop, find out why not and fix it before continuing . So far, so good....
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Old April 20, 2017, 09:02 PM   #15
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Awwww heck, I havent seen a federal primer in so long that I forgot what one looks like
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Old April 20, 2017, 09:53 PM   #16
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Federal primers are the most sensitive(softest) of all the primers, many of competition handguns won't reliably fire anything but Federal primers. This being said, I use Fed. in the Lee primer tools and in a Dillon RL550b. The dillon has a steel inner tube in the primer tool so that if the primers ignite, it'll shoot straight up instead of blowing the aluminum tube. I did have a primer pop in the dillon but it didn't fire the ones in the tube. Also note, CCI pistol primers aren't as soft as Federal even tho the same company. The newer CCI seem softer than then old ones but I don't think they are as soft as Fed. I have a hundred .45 ACP loaded for a 625 revolver to test. I had one or 2 fail to fire out of 50 that I tried, one or 2 could have been high primers, they fired the second time around. They 625 won't fire Rem or Win. primers. I have hope for the CCIs. Fed large primers are hard to find around here. I hate to detune the 625 to fire hard primers, makes the trigger hard to pull. I did that very thing a few years ago because of a shortage of Fed primers.
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Old April 21, 2017, 07:53 AM   #17
Don P
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Quote:
For as long as I can recall Federal Primers have had a reputation of being more sensitive than other manufacturers primers.
Shooting competition with revolvers. Triggers are massaged, springs replaced lightening up trigger pulls to the 5-5 1/2 lb double action. So yes Federal primers are a must and to date have not had any issues with large or small Federal primers
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Old April 21, 2017, 07:59 AM   #18
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I use Federal LRP's in my Winchester 94AE 30-30, it will not consistently fire Winchester or CCI primers. Whereas the Federal ALWAYS does its job in the rifle.

I prime both on press (Lee Classic Turret) and off press (Frankford Arsenal hand primer).

I'm careful but as we all do, I have crushed a primer or three in my day, and no ignites.

I have seated them hard, still, no bang!

Sideways, nope, nothing!

I do wear eye and ear protection while priming. I don't see where the Federal primer is any less stable than any other primer.
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Old April 21, 2017, 09:15 AM   #19
F. Guffey
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And then there is the claims department: many reloaders claim they have R. Lee's book on modern reloading, in his book R. Lee claims he did not test Federal primers because Federal did not donate primers to be tested.

Test primers: One day I started out to bust primers in the Lee auto hand primer. After 2 hours I gave up and then moved to the RCBS auto hand primer, after more than an hour I finally set one off, it was not easy and the only success I had came after I mangled the primer into a wad. I should have warned my wife, she was out of harms way but could have hurt herself getting to the shop after she heard the bang.

And then there was that claim a UPS driver blew off his thing (tail gate) when he threw/dropped a box of primers. After that there were claims about the large primer box used by Federal. I like the ideal of stacking primers on their side with lots of space between them.

If a primer is dangerous I like the ideal of containing them.

F. Guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; April 21, 2017 at 01:28 PM.
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Old April 21, 2017, 11:29 AM   #20
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Yes, we have all herd that and red that story a dozen times. Now if we assume that to be true why is this verbatim from the Lee manual?

Quote:
The New Auto-Prime (patented) is designed to reduce the likelihood of
a mass detonation when priming cases. This is accomplished by remotely
locating the mass of primers during the priming operation. A separate
elevator raises a single primer from the tray and presents it for priming.
We have tested the tool by intentionally setting off a variety of brands
and types of primers. Our testing has demonstrated that wearing safety
glasses and hearing protection will prevent serious injury.
However, all types of federal brand
large primers frequently caused the entire tray to explode
with sufficient force to cause serious and painful injuries.
So if the claims about Federal never submitting primers for testing is true why does the referenced manual, published by Lee for a Lee hand priming tool make the statement above in quotes?

The New Auto-Prime

So does Lee make one claim in his book and counter that claim in his manual for his new auto-prime? Something isn't quite right here.

Ron
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Old April 21, 2017, 01:25 PM   #21
F. Guffey
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reloaders in the claims department

Quote:
Now if we assume that to be true why is this verbatim from the Lee manual?
Quote:
Now if we assume
There is nothing I can do to motivate reloaders to read, as I have said; "it's in the book", I have started to doubt many reloaders in the claims department that claim they have R. Lee's book on modern reloading. I have never accused the Lee company of covering up for R. Lee. I doubt my R. Lees book on modern reloading is full of mistakes and all the reloaders in the claims department have corrected copies, anyhow, I read the book from front to back; what! From front to back? Is it possible R. Lee hid and or spread out some important information to confuse reloaders. meaning the part where he claims he did not test Federal primers because Federal did not donate primers to be tested is not in the same section a reloader would assume it should be.

And then I could have the only copy of the first printing, a printing of one.

and there is a remote chance there are pages that are missing from all of the books with the exception of one.

And then there was a reloader that hurt his hand when a tube of primers went off. I suggested he dropped the tube and then reached for it. The tube folded and the primers in the pinched section blew, I suggested any reloader could duplicate the event by putting a ki-rack chop on a tube loaded with primers. I also suggested the reloader learn to suck air in through their teeth when something like that happens. Something like; when an animal runs out in front of you and you are traveling 100mph. The worst thing a driver can do is swerve to avoid the animal, yes, just learn to make that sound.

F. Guffey
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Old April 21, 2017, 02:08 PM   #22
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So why does one Lee published document say one thing and a Lee published book clearly state something else? I don't doubt what his book says and you have mentioned it before, So I ask why the difference? One of the two is lying would be my guess unless following his first edition where he says one thing he actually tried some Federal Primers and had really bad results. The point here is without any assumptions it can't go both ways so which is the truth?

Ron
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Old April 21, 2017, 02:38 PM   #23
F. Guffey
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this stuff does not lock me up, and I understand there are a few that can not handle the truth. I have never found a reloader that has read lee's book and that is OK.

I do not assume anyone at Lee has read R. Lee's book. I do not believe they were aware of his claim about Federal primers, the first claim confused all reloaders except me, and then he added the second part that corrected the first part, problem; reloaders could not put the two claims together. After Lee the company put their effort into bad mouthing Federal primers they could not claim a re-due, upsie or a kings-X or time out. So they had to continue with "It is there story and they are sticking with it".

F. Guffey
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Old April 21, 2017, 02:51 PM   #24
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It is interesting to note, perhaps, that Federal is still using the old standard basic mix for primer compound. The cups are not softer but the basic mix is a great deal more sensitive than the modern compound used by all the other American primer companies.

I pay little attention to the squabbles of different manufacturers. It is a lot like the "reality shows" in that most of it is staged for one reason or another.
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Old April 21, 2017, 03:32 PM   #25
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I got it. We can just have Lee A and Lee B or Lee in the first part and Lee in the second part. Actually when all is said and done I doubt it matters. I have used my trusty old Lee hand priming tool and I confess that Federal Primers may have been used or loaded using it. I doubt I can face imprisonment for doing that and I never managed any "bang".

My suggestion to those who hand prime is do whatever you are comfortable doing. If the Lee warning makes you a little squeamish then do not load Federal Primers using a Lee hand priming tool. If on the other hand you are not fearful of an explosion then have at it. I can't think of much else to say about it?

Ron
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