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As a few others have stated, I think that the Lee autoprimes need just a small dab of grease on them occasionally. My two are almost 40 years old, and I never have broken one. Only reason that I began looking for something else is because my hands don't stand up to using them like they used to, but a small dab of grease on them does wonders.
 

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I didn't make my point(my bad) My RCBS hand priming tool has more leverage and is definitely made of better material than the Lee was.
 

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I'm still using the original Autoprimes and have three of them. Two have been shimmed with .005 brass and all have a smear of grease on the toggle pin.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
All's right with the world now. My son gave me back the old style Lee Primer I'd given him a couple years ago to get him started. It's only had maybe a thousand primers seated with it, so should last me the rest of my life.
:ROFLMAO:(y)
 

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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).
I only use that for demonstrations although it is exceptional. I use the Forster priming tool. Only thing I don't like about it is only 40 primers at a time.
 

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Watch some YouTube videos and decide on an upgrade. I started with a Lee Breechlock Challenger kit. It’s served it’s purpose. Eventually I will upgrade to other brands. The case length gauge for trimming(with lock stud) is simple and effective. The factory crimp dies are good. I use the hand primer ( good sense of feel) and have no experience with the auto prime. Sorry I can’t be of help there except to say there are likely others you’ll be more satisfied with. I had to grind down the hand trimmer shell holder to get it to fit-lol. Lee products get the job done and are ok to learn on until you get more experienced and know what upgrades you want. For the most part, many of their products are a lower grade of materials than others. Ultimately, I don’t mind I bought a Lee starter kit, and will always make use of some of their equipment. I don’t doubt some have issues with the auto primer. They’d likely work with you. You ought to call them. I appreciate Lee’s affordability approach and some equipment is innovative and outright nifty. Unless an experienced reloader is guiding a beginner through their purchases, a beginner should be well served with a Lee starter kit. I’m getting sub moa for the wsm cartridges I reload. I haven’t even checked for run out(concentric) nor used a chronograph.With those type of results, Lee products apparently get the job done.Somehow I turned that into a Lee products review- LMAO.
Definitely get another brand auto primer if Lee doesn’t replace it.
 

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Baddad457 Here's a paper shim in place instead of the brass. It just increases the lift by about .005.

I buy the old Lee priming tools anytime I see one for sale. I've never found a better tool for the job.
 

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As stated, the real shim is brass (actually a strip of high-temp silver solder) and has lasted about 30 years, so far.
 

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That's a good idea, JBelk. I like the Auto Primes too.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Baddad457 Here's a paper shim in place instead of the brass. It just increases the lift by about .005.

I buy the old Lee priming tools anytime I see one for sale. I've never found a better tool for the job.
Damn, I just found this. Thanks ! I'm gonna try it first chance I get. (y)
 

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I'm still using the original Autoprimes and have three of them. Two have been shimmed with .005 brass and all have a smear of grease on the toggle pin.

maybe my autoprime (made in '91) doesn't need a spring, it may need a brass shim. thanks!!!!!!!!
 

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My RCBS hand priming tool has worked great for over 3 years
 

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I tossed out the “new” AutoPrime after wearing out the great working original. Have been thru two sets of press mounted Lee primer systems, one older and one new one, both pieces of crap. ( plus you cannot buy repair parts, like the poorly designed spring) On my turret and progressive I hand place them, using just the flipper tray from the old AutoPrime to orient them. No primers on the floor, or sideways, or upside down, or no primer deposited in the seating arm. Much less frustration. Very disappointed in their customer service when their products don’t work.
 

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I'm still using the original Autoprimes and have three of them. Two have been shimmed with .005 brass and all have a smear of grease on the toggle pin.
i found a shim thin enuff to to make my auto prime werk. thanks JBelk!!!!!!!
 

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I tossed out the “new” AutoPrime after wearing out the great working original. Have been thru two sets of press mounted Lee primer systems, one older and one new one, both pieces of crap. ( plus you cannot buy repair parts, like the poorly designed spring) On my turret and progressive I hand place them, using just the flipper tray from the old AutoPrime to orient them. No primers on the floor, or sideways, or upside down, or no primer deposited in the seating arm. Much less frustration. Very disappointed in their customer service when their products don’t work.
I have been working on a method similar to what you described for my Lee benchprime. The feed system often turns primers sideways and I spend more time clearing jams than priming. I figured that I can use a primer flipper to orient and a pair of needle nose to single feed primers into the shellholder. I think that I can do this faster than most.
 

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I have used a number of priming systems in the 50 or so years of reloading. The "best" system that I have found is the RCBS hand primer. I have the type 1 that uses the same shell holder that the press uses while the latest version has a universal shell holder built in. They both utilize the big square trays that are easily used with any size primer packaging. I have trays marked for small pistol, small pistol magnum, small rifle, small rifle magnum, Large pistol, large pistol magnum, large rifle and large rifle magnum. That helps me remember what primers were, when they are left in a tray. I have one priming tool set up for large primers and one set up for small primers. I have no need to change from one to the other.
The hand primers allow me to feel the primers seat without crushing them. I never touch primers - ever! - and there is no build up of explosive primer mix. I automatically run my finger over the seated primers to check for high primers even though I have not had a single problem in the last 20 or so years. I have modified the tray covers (the little tip that seats the lid on the tray so it doesn't cause the primers to flip when it is set in place) and trimmed the top plastic piece that the shell holder sits on to make the shell holder fit easier. Just little things that make the use of them easier. I doubt I will ever wear one of these out.

I did start with the Lee hand primer but it wore out fast and I had to buy the special shell holders for it which just added to the frustration. The Lee tool was fine but I do a lot of reloading and the aluminum and plastic just isn't made for heavy use.
 

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Here is the piece that broke on mine. It's the LG one. The plastic part where the primers lift up into is what broke. LEE did replace it for free. My RCBS Bench Priming tool tubes had corroded and I procrastinated in replacing them. I'll use it some and the LEE too. I also have an old style LEE hand tool that I like, but don't have the right shell holder for my .204.

Lee Primer Feed.jpg
 

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Here is the piece that broke on mine. It's the LG one. The plastic part where the primers lift up into is what broke. LEE did replace it for free. My RCBS Bench Priming tool tubes had corroded and I procrastinated in replacing them. I'll use it some and the LEE too. I also have an old style LEE hand tool that I like, but don't have the right shell holder for my .204.

View attachment 100813
Here is the piece that broke on mine. It's the LG one. The plastic part where the primers lift up into is what broke. LEE did replace it for free. My RCBS Bench Priming tool tubes had corroded and I procrastinated in replacing them. I'll use it some and the LEE too. I also have an old style LEE hand tool that I like, but don't have the right shell holder for my .204.

View attachment 100813


oh my God!!!!!! is that some sort of chinese machinery? or is it alien? :alien:
 
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