1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's got to be a better way. First off, I use a Rock Chucker for loading, and I don't want to buy a progressive press.

I've seating primers with a Lee hand held tool, and I've broken 3 handles in 5 or 6 years. They keep sending me handles, but they keep breaking. You would think that they would design the "press" handle better. It also really wears my thumb out too. I seated 100 primers in once, or twice fired .45acp Winchester brass last night, and my thumbs are still sore. I used Winchester primers, and those primers seem to take a lot of pressure to seat? I've tried Federal, and Winchester primers, and they are both hard to get seated. I've tried using the primer uniform tool from Lymann. Tried cleaning the primer pockets, all this, and they're still tough to seat?

What method have you guys found the most effortless?

I'd really like to hear some suggestions. I am going to cut up a rubber pistol grip that I got laying around, and fit it to the handle on the Lee tool. I'll at least be able to transfer it back and forth from the broken handles to the new handles.

Thanks,
DB
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,388 Posts
I've never broken a handle, so we've got to help you find a better way.

I've been using Lee hand priming tools since the 1960's when the shell holder was threaded and screwed into the tool. I also have newer ones, only 10 or 15 years old. I don't think I'm lucky that mine haven't broken, so let's see what we can do.

First, was your brass originally crimped at the primer pocket? Most 45acp isn't, but there are exceptions. If so, cut the crimp out with a knife or reamer, or get a swaging tool. Make it easier for the primer to start its journey.

Do you tumble your brass? Without the spent primer? This tends to clean and polish the pocket a bit.

Have you seated a few primers bit by bit and measured them? Maybe they get seated easily, but you keep pushing on the lever. As long as they bottom in the pocket, that's good enough. Let's make sure you only push enough to seat, and no more.

There are bench mounted priming tools (RCBS and Forster Bonanza) and there are single-stage press mounted priming tools (Lee and others). They work extremely well. The Lee tool isn't very expensive. It works.

Let's start with those things, and see how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nick,

I'll try tumbling after I resize, and de-prime.

I only seat primers enough so that there are no "high primers".

No crimps in the primer pocket. I have those on my Lake City .556 brass that I use for .223. I have the tool for the small primer pockets, but haven't seen any on my .45's.

As far as the primer tool built into my RCBS Rock Chucker goes, I broke it. Don't as me how I broke it, but I wasn't priming brass....

I'll have to see it the RCBS and Forster Bonanza is affordable.

Thanks for advice on the Forster Bonanza. I'm going to look into some other bench mounted tools. I'm going to try and rebuild my loading bench.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
I use the RCBS hand tool it works great
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
There's got to be a better way. First off, I use a Rock Chucker for loading, and I don't want to buy a progressive press.

I've seating primers with a Lee hand held tool, and I've broken 3 handles in 5 or 6 years. They keep sending me handles, but they keep breaking. You would think that they would design the "press" handle better. It also really wears my thumb out too. I seated 100 primers in once, or twice fired .45acp Winchester brass last night, and my thumbs are still sore. I used Winchester primers, and those primers seem to take a lot of pressure to seat? I've tried Federal, and Winchester primers, and they are both hard to get seated. I've tried using the primer uniform tool from Lymann. Tried cleaning the primer pockets, all this, and they're still tough to seat?

What method have you guys found the most effortless?

I'd really like to hear some suggestions. I am going to cut up a rubber pistol grip that I got laying around, and fit it to the handle on the Lee tool. I'll at least be able to transfer it back and forth from the broken handles to the new handles.

Thanks,
DB
I like the bench mounted tools. The handles are longer and your pushing down not squzzing with you thumbs. The Sinclare hand tool is easier to use. However, it is slow and costs way more than a Lee tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
I use the one built into my RCBS Partner press. I prime and bell the cases at the same time. Can you not just fix your press?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
I'm not much of a Lee fan but I have used the Auto Prime 2 for a lot of years and it works just fine. I use an old RCBS junior press
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
Hi all.
First things first, are you using once fired military brass? are we talking 45ACP brass also, I have seen non U.S.A. 45ACP brass that came with small peimer holes, when I first saw them I didn't believe what I was looking at!!!
" Square peg, round hole " The first thing that one should learn with just about any tools, Is you should just about never have to force anything, If It's that hard stop and find out why, as you did here by asking. I think you will find the problem Is your brass and not the tool, I think you can get a primer gague??? I don't have one but some one who knows please speak up.
Be very careful cleaning out that primer pockets, a little to much and the primers will come out while shooting!!! I had that happen with some off the shelf reloads that I got on the fly, 99.9% of the time I use my own reloads or new ammo. So check your brass!!!
Semper Fi all. Hank D.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
614 Posts
I’ve been using the same lee auto prime for going on twenty years. While I’ve had to replace a few worn out connector rods (the early ones were junk) I really have no complaints overall with it.

I will recommend to you like I tell my son all the time. When operating a tool and something doesn’t feel right STOP! Don’t force the issue. You’ll just end up breaking things.

I also deprime all my brass with a decapping die first, (I never resize dirty brass. To great a chance of scratching the die and ruining it) then tumble in fine grit corn cob that actually is small enough to get into the primer pockets and clean them. This helps more on a progressive than with the auto prime but it is noticeable.

I have also noticed quite a few commercial head stamp 45 acp brass that is now coming with crimped primer pockets. At first I thought it was only the “no-tox” Lead free stuff with the enlarged flash holes. But lately I’ve been seeing a lot of what appears to standard commercial brass with crimped primer pockets. ***?!? WHY?!?:confused:

Jeff
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,806 Posts
There's got to be a better way.... I don't want to buy a progressive press.
You answered your own question. There is no better way. Seating them by hand no matter what you use sucks.

Get a progressive reloader (the dark side) and you will kick yourself for waiting so long.

We have cookies over on the dark side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
I too have had problems breaking the Lee's. They all broke when seating large primers. As with your experience, Lee replaced them. I now only use the Lee's for small primers. I bought a RCBS bench mounted priming tool which I normally use for the large primers, and it has worked out well. You get ample seating power along with a little feel in the process. I like the Lee, but if you have tight primer pockets, the effort required for the necessiary leverage generated, and the strength of the Lee is not up to the job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
I use the lee hand priming tool for my 45 acp and other calibers too, I have never broken one but my thumb has gotten sore, I have a bench mounted rcbs priming tool that is the best by far between the two. I like the lee when I am kicked back in the recliner watching the tube. I seat till I feel the primer bottom out and then turn brass one half turn and squeeze again. I would highly recommend the rcbs bench mounted priming tool. I find its quite a bit faster than the lee tool

Lucky
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,371 Posts
You answered your own question. There is no better way. Seating them by hand no matter what you use sucks.

Get a progressive reloader (the dark side) and you will kick yourself for waiting so long.

We have cookies over on the dark side.
+1

Wheres the cookies? WHERES THE BEER?????????????????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
As with several others here, I've been using a Lee hand Priming Tool for literally decades. I keep two set up for my prime priming needs (couldn't resist) and still have another brand new in the box sitting under the bench.

Never have broken any part over all these years. I want to feel the primer seat to ensure correct depth. Tried an auto feed method and it sucked. The time to feed the tubes, the lack of tactile feedback, etc ad nauseum turned me away. Guess my staying with a turret press instead of going progress says volumes about how I like to do things. Gives me plenty of opportunity to inspect things with each batch of 50 rounds. Never have had a squib or double charged reload either.

Oh as for process, I decap spent brass and then it goes into the tumbler fior a good cleaning. Only then will it touch my hand primer and dies. Makes a huge difference too which I bet is the root of your problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the tips guys. I'm tumbling my brass again. I've alread done it once, but this time I de-primed, and resized first. I guess I'll get in the habbit of doing it once to get rid of the crud, and then de-prime, resize, and do it again longer.

I hope this works. I really enjoy being able to seat primers while watching a Nascar race, or a decent movie. If not, I'll get a bench mounted primer tool.

I haven't found any crimps in my 45 brass. What should I be looking for? They all look the same. Some are definatly smoother than others, but I hope cleaning them will fix that. Everyone has always told me that they never prep primer pockets with their 45 brass.

Maybe me Lee hand tool is jacked? I've got another one that I never used. I just took the handle off it, and replaced the other one I had that broke.

Thanks again,
DB
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top