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I had an original Lee AutoPrime tool, 20+ years, primed thousands of shells. The plastic rod guide finally wore to a point it required too much fiddling to center the primer. So Lee would NOT sell me a replacement plastic piece and offered me the new and safer AutoPrime with square trays, improved safety features, etc, etc. So I brought one. My priming failure rate went from .3% to starting at 5% within 1500 cases to over 10%. It flips the primer, has a guide chute, etc....and is a piece of crap.
Yesterday while struggling with it to prime some 45 cases, the top of the body broke off!!
I’m sure they are flat out right now making money from the ammo shortage, but I can assure you all I am through trying ANY equipment from Lee, no matter the cost.
I also have four of the priming tools for the turret press ( which doesn’t rotate because of a five cent plastic square that drives it) and Breech lock progressive because it is far easier to just hand place the primers.
 

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I've found that I have to tweak and modify Lee presses and tools to make them perform on an acceptable level. No problem if one is willing and capable, but frustrating/disappointing to those not interested in futzing with them. But, I've also found a few instances where RCBS and Lyman presses/tools did not perform acceptably, so sometimes it's poor design and not only lower quality that is the matter. Regardless, something is very wrong with your reported increase in primer flips, and something is very, very wrong that the top broke off of that priming tool! :oops:
 

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I've got a old Auto Prime and ordered a new one. I agree the new one is crap. I primed about 50 cases and broke the latch on the tray. Just use a small clothes pin to keep it closed.
 

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My AutoPrime is 40+ years old and also improperly placing the primer. Having read horror stories about the new version, I opted for a Frankfort Arsenal. First primer misfed, had to disassemble the whole thing. It's much heavier than the Lee, the return spring is much stronger - why, I have no idea. It has misfed several primers since. I have mixed emotions about it. It seems stronger than the Lee, but so far the performance doesn't impress me favorably.
 

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I bought one of the new ones a couple of years ago so I could prime Small Rifle cases. My original one only had LR primer adapter. I broke a part on the new tool and Lee sent me a replacement free of charge. My RCBS Bench Priming tool is my favorite, but the primer tubes I had got corroded because of improper storage on my part. I bought new tubes and still use it, but for small batches, the new and old Lee tool work fine.

Good luck.

New Lee Auto Prime.jpg Lee old style.jpg
 

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I probably need to call Lee and ask about the tray on mine with broke latch.
 

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They replaced the LR Primer feed assembly on mine free of charge.
 

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I don't think it's just Lee that's looking for ways to cut corners on their products. It's all of 'em trying to save a little money by making parts of poor quality.
 

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I don't think it's just Lee that's looking for ways to cut corners on their products. It's all of 'em trying to save a little money by making parts of poor quality.
I’ve had problems with the new lee auto primes also. After about the 15th time of the lid popping up and using clamps to hold it in place. I found that if you hold the grip horizon and the trey at 90 degrees the primers feed much better.
 

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I've gone back to the 1960's era when you picked up a primer with your fingers and placed it in the priming tool ... on press or off press . The first hand priming tools didn't have a tray .
The Lee round trays worked but you had to flip some over . The NEW Lee Hand Priming Tool is so Mickey Mouse the Chinese would be ashamed of the flimsy construction . I wish Lee had done better on the Wonky triangular tray ...sorry Lee but it Sucks Rocks .
Those priming tubes that you fill then spill all over the floor are worse than the trays .
I now use a Lee Ram Prime on a Hand Press or the priming arm on one of my larger Lyman , Pacific or Eagle presses ... picking up the primers and putting them in the priming arm cup is ...FOOLPROOF ! I put the primers in a small round shallow dish (think small metal ashtray) and they are easy to pick up ...Eliminate The Plastic Tray ...my new motto !
Gary
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Huh, I liked my 30 or more year old Lee Autoprime so much I bought a second. On the first I got ham fisted and broke the connector link which Lee replaced for free pronto. The second I bought at a gun show for $5 with the connector link already broken and another email to Lee had a new link in the mail.

Some good molybdenum grease in the right places and graphite in others make mine run like a Swiss watch.

These tools are not SnapOn but they do have a lifetime guarantee with the only inconvenience being the down time while the new part is in transit. As Dad would say "They are as good as the best and better than the rest."

YMMV

RJ
 

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What RJ said about molybdenum grease and tool longevity. Way back in the day, 40 years ago, I was buying a new one every couple of months. Only broke a couple of them, but the others were slap wore out. The tool, I thought, back then could'a been made more durable. I primed tens of thousands of cases with them. I haven't reloaded in nearly thirty years. But, if I did, I'd own at least a couple of them.
 

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I wore two of the Lee hand primers out and replaced them with the RCBS hand primers. I like not having to store the special cartridge holders and I have trays for all the primers. With the trays marked I can stor the primers I didn't use until next time and know exactly what I have. No more putting primers back into the trays.
 

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I've got 2 of the Lee Auto prime (round tray) for S & L primers set up, but I've gotten to where I prime on my Lee press more now than ever, using the "squeezers" seems to irritate the arthritis in my hands, so I just use the hand version to seat those occasional high primers I seem to get now and then.
 

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I've got a very old Lee auto prime and have had no trouble with it. Have had it around 30 yrs now. have a couple set's of Lee collet dies and Lee bullet mold and Lee sizer's. Haven't had any problem with any Lee stuff I've got. Seems there's a lot of Lee user's around that swear by Lee and a bunch other that seem to like to trash Lee. I think some of the Lee thrashers had never even used a Lee product but have the idea if it's inexpensive, it's junk. Just isn't so. See it in a lot of different products made to sell at lower cost. Far to many people compare cost to value. If it's inexpensive, it's junk! Lee is inexpensive, no doubt about it but my experience with them has been good!
 

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Don,
I'm glad you had good luck with Lee products. The only Lee product that I had no trouble with was the loaders in a box, no I have to correct that. I had problems with the decapping pins. After I made my own I didn't have any more problems.
I have thrown away the scale because it was not repeatable, the "perfect" powder measure because it was worse than the scale. I still have my loaders in a box all but the two I gave away for someone who wanted to see if he wanted to reload. the rest of the Lee equipment either broke, wore out, or was not compatible with my processes (trash).
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Everyone has their druthers, which is a good thing. Like Don, I've used essentially nothing but Lee products for a few decades, with no drama.

I'm curious about your experience with the PPM.
Most folks I encounter who dislike it, dislike it when trying to use it not as a volume device as intended; but rather a weight dispensing device.

I'll assume you used it as intended, so what alternative volume device did you use to check against it's consistency; and how did you check it?
i.e. did you check the same volumes dispensed repeatedly, or did you simply test from the same bottle? I'm curious.

Cheers
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Ham fisted and no finesse 😉

I've broken Lee decapping pins but it was my fault. The Perfect Powder measure takes finesse and technique just like all the rest.

RCBS dies have given me more problems than all the rest combined, Lee, Redding, Bonanza (Forster), Lyman, Hornady and (the too expensive for what you get) Whidden.

RJ
 
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