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Discussion Starter #1
Loved the old Lee Autoprime, but wore out two. Had to settle for the new one and it's a piece of ****. Anyone care to offer opinions on a better priming tool ?
 

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I have had issues with the new Auto prime. Even sent it back. The key is to center the shellholder to the plastic adapter (with the plunger) not the handle. There are raised parts of the small snd large primer adapters that hold shellholder in position.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You must have a different priming tool. The POS I have doesn't have issues with the shell holders, it's the crappy primer blocker and the plastic primer tray cover popping loose nearly everytime you seat a primer
 

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Loved the old Lee Autoprime, but wore out two. Had to settle for the new one and it's a piece of ****. Anyone care to offer opinions on a better priming tool ?
I've owned a old Lee Autoprimer going on 25 years and it has always served me well. I like the fact that one can "feel" the seating of the primer inorder to seat primers uniformly.
 

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I got their benchprime a while back. Works great with large primers, not so much with small. I've pretty much gone back to my old style auto prime for small primers that I've had to about 40 years.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I have two original Autoprimes, one set up for large, the other for small. A dab of grease on the toggle link once in a while does wonders.

Granted mine weren't perfect out of the box but Lee sent me 2 new steel links and for 30 years neither have failed.

One of them the lid is "loose" but a bit of masking tape holds it locked.

Like with anything in reloading they take a bit of patience.

RJ
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Have the lee priming tool and previously a RCBS handheld tool. Never really liked either one as the tray cover on both would loosen and my delicate thumbs would require both to seat primers. The Foster-Appelete Co-Ax press has the primer seater built into it and works great. Have to single feed the primers and change out the primer seater plug when switching from large to small primers, but that's no big deal. It is a positive primer seater with adjustable jaws to fit case heads of any size (except .50 Cal).
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Yep, the CoAx has by far the best primer seating arrangement IF you gave nimble fingers, which I do not anymore. I still use that setup regularly though. I like it when teaching new reloaders about primer aeating,.

RJ
 

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I still often use the priming arm on my Lee turret press which I use single stage. Only I always drop at least one primer per session on the floor or into the body of the press
 

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the darn thing has gotten expensive but through the years this one has proven to be unbeatable.
the RCBS Bench Tool.

my tablet will not upload the picture but it is easy to find.
 

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Shoot them an e-mail with a description of the problem and the Model Number or a photo of the unit. There are several versions of the autoprime. I have always found them to be helpful and very cooperative.
 

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Like RJ I have two old Lee auto-primes, one for each size primer. No issues with either. To keep the tray from coming loose, I use a hitch pin clip in the slot. Of course masking tape works too!
The better mouse trap can be found at Sinclair. Was going that way if the old Lees let me down.
 

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I've used an RCBS universal tool for 15 years. Pretty much perfect. It has jaws that self center the case (regardless of caliber, no setup required) much like a Forster press. If I lost it, I would buy another one just like it. Note it's the $60-$70 one model 90201, not the cheaper one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Shoot them an e-mail with a description of the problem and the Model Number or a photo of the unit. There are several versions of the autoprime. I have always found them to be helpful and very cooperative.
They no longer make parts for the original Autoprime. Been there last year. Not an option here. Wish it were. I might have someone make me two new toggle links.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've used an RCBS universal tool for 15 years. Pretty much perfect. It has jaws that self center the case (regardless of caliber, no setup required) much like a Forster press. If I lost it, I would buy another one just like it. Note it's the $60-$70 one model 90201, not the cheaper one.
I may try that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have two original Autoprimes, one set up for large, the other for small. A dab of grease on the toggle link once in a while does wonders.

Granted mine weren't perfect out of the box but Lee sent me 2 new steel links and for 30 years neither have failed.

One of them the lid is "loose" but a bit of masking tape holds it locked.

Like with anything in reloading they take a bit of patience.

RJ
I avoided using lube on it for fear of contaminating the primers. Started using a lil dab of grease too late in the 2nd tool's life.
 

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I had a Lee hand priming tool but it went away during the divorce. Worked quite well for maybe 10 years. Recently (10 years ago) I got a Lee Ergo Prime, works well. I also got a Lee Bench Prime that worked quite well until I broke it (my fault, not a design/material flaw). In between priming tools I used a ram prime (I got 2 and mounted one on a Lee turret), maybe not the fastest, but worked very positively and easily. But the only POS priming tool I won't recommend is the RCBS bench priming tool. Unusable right out of the box. The engineers that designed it were either drunk, out sick or asleep. I was excited when I unpacked it (the tool is purdy, but unusable as is). Chromed steel handle but pot metal base/frame, I wonder how long that junky base will work? The only way it can be used is to fabricate a mount that raises it 3" off the bench top. If mounted flat the handle hits the bench top, won't even feed a primer much less seat one. I have been able to use it, but the handle has to extend 8" out over the edge of the bench (BTW, I learned my tool review manner from the Lee Haters I see)...
 

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The old Lee auto-primes were marginal but worked reasonable well. Unfortunately the concept of feeling your way to proper seating depth is not the same as a fixed system. When my second auto-prime broke, I bought the new model which was terrible and scrapped it.

I switched to Lyman's ram prime, no to be confused with Lee's ram prime, although similar in concept are light years apart.

One at time manual priming is only marginally slower but very repeatable, not based on feel. Upside down or crushed primers or jams are virtually nonexistent. I routinely prime batches of a hundred on an old Lee Classic. The speed is faster than one might expect because at the same time you pick up the case with your left hand, you pick up a primer with your right inserting them almost simultaneously. You end up with the same three steps as the auto-prime, insert, stroke, remove.

I've primed thousands of cases with this method, each seated within .002" repeatability with primer pocket prepped cases and without the hand fatigue of the old auto-prime.

I have different Lyman dies, one set for large and one for small primers as well as for Hornet which has a different head thickness dimension. This method is so reliable and accurate that I have eliminated all primer seating issues and concerns from the reloading process.
 

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As I read through this thread, hoping for enlightenment, I realize there may be no such thing as a great priming tool.

I've worn out RCBS hardware, a couple of the little bench mounted units, and I have Lee priming tools. They are better than using the flipper thing that comes with a press. The hand priming tools were good until I started having problems with my hands. Apparently common with the Golden Years. The Lee Bench Prime works OK, but some primers don't work as well as others. The .380/.223 shell holder does a poor job with both rounds.

The LEE Ram Prime works 100%, but it's slow when you need to prime 500 cases. I use it in my Lee mini/economy press.

If there's a faster, more reliable priming tool out there, I'd be happy to look one up.
 

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My Lee hand priming tool wore the toggle out in 1 year. I've been using a RCBS for about 8 years and set up is slow but it works great.
 
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