Do all hand held primer tools suck?

Yerman

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I started with an RCBS Universal, then bought a Lyman E-ZEE, then bought a Hornady. Every one of them either leaves a small crescent shape on the edge of the primer or a dent in the middle of the primer.

It happens on large primer 308 or small primer 6.5 Creedmoor.

I am 100% positive I am using the correct pin, the correct size (large or small), correct shell holder, etc. And, I'm not man handling them and seating them in too far. It happens even if I don't seat them to the bottom of the primer cup.

I use CCI pretty much exclusively. Are the CCIs soft compared to other brands? Do I really need to buy a 21st Century Hand Priming tool for $120? Even if I do, I'm not 100% convinced that the 21st Century won't do the same thing.

What do you guys think?
 

trophyhunter

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    The Lee $15 primer tool is my go to tool I've had for years. It works perfect every time. They have a new square model, it's ok, but if you can find the older one, definitely a great tool.

    I'll see if I can find a pic of one.


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    trophyhunter

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    Ok they've gone up a bit, but it's still a great product. I've used mine well over 6,000 times and never had a problem with it.


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    padom

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    Do yourself a favor and get a 21st Century hand priming tool. The best you can get. You will never buy another one. Click adjustable primer seating depth. There is one for sale in the Reloading PX right now.
     

    Threadcutter308

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    Does the crescent or the dimple in the center cause noticeable inconsistencies or problems ? I'm just wondering if maybe you are fretting over something you don't need to. I suspect that the punch/pin was not well finished at the factory. If the face of the punch were ground and radiused on a lathe, I doubt you'd be seeing anything on your primers. I have a 21st Century primer Tool and it's one of the nicest tools that I have. No arguing that it's pricey, but when you pull it out of the box for the first time, you realize that it's in a completely different league as far as quality and design. Would I buy the 21st again ? I wouldn't even consider any other tool.
     
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    Threadcutter308

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    @ Yerdom, Padom's right, you should grab this (before I do). Check with seller to see which size primer it's set up for. Actually, I just checked. It comes with small and large punches, you just need to buy the shell holders (at a whopping $7.99 each).
     
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    padom

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    They come with both large and small plungers. He says it comes with #4 shellholder which is for 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 338 Win Mag). So you'll just have to grab shellholder from 21st Century for the cartridges you are loading for.
     

    Bradu

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    I didn't know there were two of the RCBS, but the one that uses shell holders is the one I use.

    That's the one I use and it's the best I have found. I know not everyone has had the same luck because my buddy's rcbs sucks. The Hornady sucks ass, I have a 21st century one that has the tray and it busts the little elevator system every so often. I'm not impressed for the money. I've contemplated selling my extra giraud trimmer I bought off my buddy when he quit shooting in order to buy a primal rights seater. It's a lot of money but I bet I'm half way there with as much as I have spent on other setups.
     

    Ledzep

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    I'm in the LEE boat. Never had a problem. I've used other peoples' RCBS and Horandy primers and I still like my LEE better.
     

    padom

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    I don't use a tray with my 21st Century. It's strictly for my precision bolt gun rounds. If I'm priming large quantities like 5.56, 6.5cm or 308win for my gassers I prime on my XL650.
     

    Warpspeed

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    I use the K&M primer and found it to be much better than the Lee. The nice thing is that it uses the Lee shell holders.
     

    Darkside-Six

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    I use the RCBS universal and it works great. I switch between large and small primers frequently and have never had an issue.


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    craigos

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    21st century i sone of the best out there, and the K&M is great also.
     

    Rob01

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    Yes they all suck. Get a bench mounted version. Much easier on user. Hell I use a Dillon 550B to prime all my brass LOL
     

    steve123

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    Had the lee, Hornady and now the 21stC. I bought the version that uses the Lee tray and Lee seater. It's not perfectly reliable but it is nice to be able to adjust depth. I like to get the PR primer tool but at 5 times the prices over the 21C I'll stay with what I have.
     

    Lucky Se7en

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    Sometimes the edge of my primers come out a little deformed with the crescent shape you are talking about when primed with the RCBS handheld tool, around 60-90 degrees around the circumference primer. It seems like it's caused from the lack of concentricity allowed by the diameter of the clearance hole. If you play around with the tool you can develop a feel for a way to prime the brass that will minimize the extent of the physical deformation. I personally haven't noticed too much of a difference in the performance of the rounds with the damaged primers so I don't think that it's a huge deal for me, but I am still interested in any priming tools that can offer an improvement.
     

    Juggerxxx

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    Went with a frankford arsenal and love it. It too has adjustable seating depth (for what it's worth) and comes with every shell holder you could every want.
     

    supercorndogs

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    Yes they all suck. Get a bench mounted version. Much easier on user. Hell I use a Dillon 550B to prime all my brass LOL

    Now thats the kind of priming tool I want. Would I be too greedy if i wanted the Dillon 650 to prime with? LOL.
     

    BallisticSam

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    ON the RCBS you know that its the flat part of the pin that goes up right......................:rolleyes: Just finished using mine loading some CCI into some Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor brass.
    IMG_9405.JPGIMG_9406.JPG
     

    scudzuki

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    I've been using the same cheap Lee hand priming tool for years.
    I've primed more than 30k cases, large and small pistol and rifle, with mostly CCI primers.
    Never had a problem with the dents you're talking about.
    A friend bought another brand hand priming tool and it left circular depressions on every primer because the priming punches had huge unnecessary chamfers around their edges.
    I built up the punches (large and small) with my TIG welder than re machined the face of the punches properly and now his primers don't get depressed.
     

    Rob01

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    Now thats the kind of priming tool I want. Would I be too greedy if i wanted the Dillon 650 to prime with? LOL.

    Not at all. Lol. I have had that 550 for many years and don't really load any ammo on it anymore. It's my brass prep and prime station now.
     

    supercorndogs

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    Not at all. Lol. I have had that 550 for many years and don't really load any ammo on it anymore. It's my brass prep and prime station now.

    What made you stop using it to fully load the ammo? Just wondering and possibly weighing future fantasy reloading purchases.
     

    Rob01

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    What made you stop using it to fully load the ammo? Just wondering and possibly weighing future fantasy reloading purchases.

    I load my pistol and 3 gun .223 on a Hornady Ammo Plant now so the 550 is a prep tool now. Never loaded precision ammo on it.

     

    mark5pt56

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    Riddle this Batman---why the round tray and square packaging. Especially the overly large Federal ones I'm still hammering on an old Lee but do want to upgrade one day
     

    Juma

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    Yes they all suck. Get a bench mounted version. Much easier on user. Hell I use a Dillon 550B to prime all my brass LOL

    We use Sinclair primer pocket uniformer, SSM cleaned and primed with a bench press. Prefer the solid seating feel with the press. Run thumb over primer after each priming for safety.
     

    accurate_okie

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    I have the Hornady hand held, Hornady single stage press, Lyman and a Dillon 550B and have had this problem with all of them. I think I have put more crap federal primers in sideways because of the Dillon though. I bought a bunch of federal small and large rifle that have burs on the outside edge. The Lyman you have to get a feel for or you will crush a primer. Hornady handheld keeps getting jammed up now after a few thousand rds. Not much complaint about the Hornady single stage press other than I have to load one primer at a time.
     

    dddoo7

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    The CPS will take all of the frustrations out of priming. It is faster than any other method I have tried and at the same time it is more precise as well. It will prime at about 800/hr when running at a comfortable pace...and that includes poking primers. It is fully adjustable as far as seating depth goes. The feel is excellent so you know where your primer pockets are as far as tight or loose. I have two Dillon 550’s and the CPS is faster than the 550. I would not ever want to have to use a hand primer after having one of these.

    I have owned both the bench mounted and the press mounted CPS lite and either work well. I settled on the bench mounted because I liked the stand alone unit better...but the lite was still better than any other priming system available.
     

    padom

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    I have the Hornady hand held, Hornady single stage press, Lyman and a Dillon 550B and have had this problem with all of them. I think I have put more crap federal primers in sideways because of the Dillon though. I bought a bunch of federal small and large rifle that have burs on the outside edge. The Lyman you have to get a feel for or you will crush a primer. Hornady handheld keeps getting jammed up now after a few thousand rds. Not much complaint about the Hornady single stage press other than I have to load one primer at a time.


    I have used 10's of thousands of Federal 205, 205M, 210, 210M's and I have yet to have a single issue with seating them and never found the bur you speak of. And your 550B has some known issues with primers getting flipped. If you do a little searching you will find many discussions on this very topic and how to easily fix it. Calling Dillon with their amazing customer support would have also got your issue fixed as well.
     

    padom

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    Did not see that PR came out with a CPS Light. Just picked one up to throw in my Rock Chucker that is rarely used for pulling bullets or depriming...
     

    Jig Stick

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    My Sinclair handheld primer seater works awesome. I can seat primers way faster than when using a bench mounted model. And you can really feel the force needed to seat the primers. If its tight, loose, etc. I wouldn't prime any other way for a bolt gun.
     

    Rebelirons

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    How hard are you squeezing? I only get marks on my primers is if I squeeze way to hard at the bottom stroke. I have been using my RCBS hand primer tool for years
     

    OzTRG

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    I switched to a Sinclair hand primer, after years of priming on the T7 press (using fed gold match large rifle and large magnum primers). I have found that hand priming gives me the consistent feel for correct seating rather than the crunch of doing it on the press. In addition I have found it has wiped 1-2fps of my MV SD. Just my experience.
     

    Rob01

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    Primer only goes in so far whether hand or press. I doubt that SD difference is from a priming method.
     

    accurate_okie

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    I have used 10's of thousands of Federal 205, 205M, 210, 210M's and I have yet to have a single issue with seating them and never found the bur you speak of. And your 550B has some known issues with primers getting flipped. If you do a little searching you will find many discussions on this very topic and how to easily fix it. Calling Dillon with their amazing customer support would have also got your issue fixed as well.

    The bur will catch on edge of the pocket and cause that side to get crushed, it doesn't matter which primer tool I use. I just pop it out and stick another one in. I bought 5000 205's and it seems to be about 5 or 6 percent so far. I only pop out the really bad ones since this isn't precision stuff that I use the for. I don't have these issues when i use my CCI primers

    I will look up the problem for the Dillon and see what they say, thanks.
     

    padom

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    The bur will catch on edge of the pocket and cause that side to get crushed, it doesn't matter which primer tool I use. I just pop it out and stick another one in. I bought 5000 205's and it seems to be about 5 or 6 percent so far. I only pop out the really bad ones since this isn't precision stuff that I use the for. I don't have these issues when i use my CCI primers

    I will look up the problem for the Dillon and see what they say, thanks.

    What brass are you priming with these 205's??? Are you sure your not priming brass with a military crimp or not all the way removed crimp? That would do exactly as your saying....
     

    accurate_okie

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    What brass are you priming with these 205's??? Are you sure your not priming brass with a military crimp or not all the way removed crimp? That would do exactly as your saying....

    Some of the brass is crimped and I cut it out but I can definitely tell when I miss one so I just stop and fix it right there and keep going, the other one was federal brass that wasn't crimped. It's only with these 205 primers and not any off the 210's, 215's or CCI SR primers I have. I tried the CCI primers in the same bras without a problem. So I will use these up on plinking stuff and stick with CCI for the "good" stuff.

    I also think my Dillon problem is my bench but that will be fixed soon with a new bench and then we will see.
     

    CJS-6.5

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    I use a Hornady hand primer. Seats them great, but when you let it open all the way sometimes two primers will drop in. Now it's just habit not to open it all the way. I suppose I should fix it but it works.
     

    MtnCreek

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    Riddle this Batman---why the round tray and square packaging. Especially the overly large Federal ones I'm still hammering on an old Lee but do want to upgrade one day

    Don't know. The old Lee tool (round) stated it was not for use with Fed primers. The new Lee (square) is supposedly compatible with Fed primers.

    I've worn out two Lee hand primers. They will eventually wear to the point that they won't fully seat a primer. I have a seater that mounts in an rcbs press, a rcbs hand primer and a dillon 650. The Lee has a more precise feel than any of the others I have. But they are built cheap, will eventually fail and the tray cover will likely fail very soon. They suck, but I still use them.
     

    redneckbmxer24

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    I didn't like the RCBS priming tool I have but I have two old style Lee's for years and they flat out work, never had an issue other than the ergonomics of the lever absolutely blows and will give me a blister. They work though. I also really like the K&M tool, it's very nice, adjustable, and doesn't give me a blister. A little slower since it doesn't have a tray but I prime while I sit on the couch watching TV so it doesn't bother me.

    The Frankford Arsenal is supposed to be very nice but I haven't picked one up yet.