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Old October 17, 2012, 05:06 PM   #1
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Hand held primer

Just getting into rifle and pistol bullet reloading, been doing shotshells for 40 years. Quick question.

What have you found to be the best, and most reliable hand held primer. Will mainly be doing .30 cal rifle rounds but also some .45ACP and .40S&W.

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Old October 17, 2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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If you go with the Hornady you can use Hornady or RCBS shellholders. If you go with the Lee you need their special holders. RCBS uses a cam shellholder.
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Old October 17, 2012, 05:51 PM   #3
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RCBS Universal gets my vote. Works great and no shellholders required.
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Old October 17, 2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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I have had excellent service with the Lee hand primers. The Lee tool and the shellholders will cost you much less than any of the other options listed. I didn't select Lee for cost reasons, but have been very satisfied with the performance of their hand primers.
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Old October 17, 2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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I've been using the RCBS hand primer for 9, 357 and 45. It works great.

There is some finesse involved with small pistol primers though. Every once in a while one will get turned around, go sideways or get stuck. Not a big deal, but it throws off my rhythm. If it happens, I take a breath and disassemble it. Only happens with small pistol primers.

Mine has the round tray, I'd like to try the diamond shaped one because I think they'd funnel the primers a little bit easier.
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Old October 17, 2012, 08:54 PM   #6
William T. Watts
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RCBS model 90200 (round tray), I have never experienced any kind of problem with it. I use it for pistol and rifle, quality tool! William
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Old October 17, 2012, 09:14 PM   #7
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Lee Precision Ergo Prime. They all work well enough. I will always prime off the press. Fast, comfortable and easy. Here is link to Midway USA with customer/user ratings and comments.
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Old October 17, 2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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I have the hornady and the rcbs. I really dont like hand primers at all. both of them flip primers occasionally and they both wear my hand out after awhile. Plus you really cant feel what youre doing with them. Im looking into a good bench primer like the rcbs or forster

Last edited by droptrd; October 17, 2012 at 09:25 PM.
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Old October 17, 2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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When I loaded everything on a single stage I used most of the popular brands, at one time or another, and they all worked fine for me. Now I mostly use a progressive and it get the job done. But I inspect more because not being hands on, like I was for years, leaves some doubt in my mind if everything is primed properly.
Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

No spelun and grammar is not my specialty. So please don't hurt my sensitive little feelings by teasing me about it.
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:36 AM   #10
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RCBS Universal gets my vote. Works great and no shellholders required.
Works great, I have an old Lee hand primer that was really hard on my now somewhat arthritic hands.

The RCBS Universal has much better ergonomic (it may be sold under other names a well

I prefer to hand seat for the better feel comfort of getting it right (just can't feel it on a progressive or a single press).

I got one each for small base and large base. Easy enough to switch but even better not to have to think about it (true a bit of a luxury but well worth it)

I load large rifle with it and huge improvement.
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Old October 18, 2012, 07:02 AM   #11
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I picked up an rcbs 90200 used at a gun show for 15.00 and like it a lot. The plastic primer guides were worn a bit so I called rcbs and they sent me new ones for free. Now I like it even more.
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Old October 18, 2012, 09:12 AM   #12
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They all work excellant. All depends what you wish to buy.

Myself? I prefer the older one at a time Lee's with the screw in shell holders or a Sinclair primer or the K & M hand primer.
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Old October 18, 2012, 02:10 PM   #13
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Judging by all the reviews on Midway I must have been lucky to get a working Lee Auto-Prime XR. I did drop it and break one of the tabs off on the lid, but that was totally my fault. It works flawlessly for me.
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Old October 18, 2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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I use a Hornady hand primer for small primers & a Lee auto prime on a press for large .

Been turnin wrenches too long & felling & control of my hands is slowly deteirating, very little feeling in my rt. since shoulder reconstruction.

I`ve used all the hand primers at some point & settled on the Hornady .

They all have different feel though.
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Old October 18, 2012, 09:28 PM   #15
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RCBS has worked good for me
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
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