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Priming tools.

2234 Views 60 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  TRW1964
Since my right hand has taken some time off for healing, I have been listening to guys recommendations for other types of priming tools. So far the Forster seems to be well made, smoother and does not require any additional shell holders. The RCBS is rugged but involves more movements to prime. The Lee is not bad, but a little flimsy for my liking. I want to do a few hundred more priming operations before I make a decision which I like best. Going to be very hard to beat the RCBS universal hand primer for overall ease of operations. Whatta Hobby!


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Well that's no reason to stop using it. This one broke 35+ years ago but was used for many more years! LOL! (I mostly use the RCBS bench tool today).

View attachment 376637
Had one of them way back!馃嚭馃嚫
I liked my first tool: the Lee hand primer with the hard plastic tray. Unfortunately, I broke the little "ears" that affix the clear plastic top to the square black plastic bottom. Went looking for a replacement, only to find it had been replaced by the truangular soft plastic tray shown in the OP's picture above. Haaated it. Primers wouldn't feed smoothly. Very fiddley. I am currently using the Franklin Armory version. It's ok, but a little large for my hands. You want to be able to get into a rhythm. So still searching.
I broke mine too but found some heavy duty paper clips of thin sheet metal that hold the lid in place.
Gave up on anything but a bench priming tool when the arthritis in my hands made hand tools too painful.
I use a frankford arsenal handheld and it's awesome but definitely not the easiest on the hand
I use both the Frankford Arsenal hand de-primer & primer: like them both better than my old Pacific bench press.
I've never seen the utility of a bench priming tool. It uses up scarce real estate on the bench, and most have far more leverage than you should need for priming. If you don't mind having massive overkill in that area, why not just use the priming attachment on your press? I've used the Lee, wore one out, in fact, got another, and then got a good deal on the RCBS. Either one does the job quite well, giving enough feedback to tell when the primer is properly seated in the pocket, which can be difficult with a bench priming tool and particularly when using the priming attachment on a press.
Not trying to steal the thread, but I thought I would offer some of the space saving things that I have done in my severly small reloading room.

I agree on giving permanent space for a bolt down priming tool. I as well have a very limited work area, 4ft x 2ft.

I fixed the space issue by installing 2 flush mount Inline Fabrication base plates, (I needed to add an additional layer of 3/4" plywood in order to accommodate the routed area.) and bought plates for all of my reloading equipment that had any torque to it.

For tools that don't have much torque I mounted a piece of wood on an Inline blank plate and a pair of Harbor Freight clamps, tools that are light are mounted on wood and held down with the Harbor Freight clamps.

On the opposite side of the room I store all of my reloading tools. On the bench I bolted a 2"x4" with wood spacers allowing the tabs of the Inline base plates and slid the tabs of the plates under with the presses slightly past the edge of the bench. For my smaller tools that were mounted on wood I attached a 2"x4" from the top of the bench to the ceiling and cut notches out allowing the wood bases to slide in. Again I was running out of space rapidly.

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Does anyone use the Lyman hand priming tool and how do you find it. I have the old Lee hand primer but I am going to need a new one soon.
An other shout out for the Inline Fabrication base plate and quick change plates. I haven鈥檛 setup the Forster on a quick change plate, yet, but have most of my presses on this system. Strong, convenient and practical way to save bench space.
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These are the good ones I鈥檓 glad I have two.馃憡馃徎馃嚭馃嚫 View attachment 375596
I used one of those exclusively for years. I still have it but last year, my wife got me a Frankford Arsenal tool from MidwayUsa. It is really well made, heavy duty, adjusts for seating depth and comes in a nice case with 12 shellholders. I'll never go back to the Lee.
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I used one of those exclusively for years. I still have it but last year, my wife got me a Frankford Arsenal tool from MidwayUsa. It is really well made, heavy duty, adjusts for seating depth and comes in a nice case with 12 shellholders. I'll never go back to the Lee.
Hi Viper

I was curious so I watched Ultimate Reloader's review of the FA Perfect Seat hand primer. Looks like the best in this design hand primer.

I have a question that I've not seen or heard anyone talk about. Does your hand ever get tired or sore? In recent years some of my joints don't like repetitive motion, especially if there is much resistance.

I've used the RCBS automatic bench priming tool for a long time and there is no work involved. I chose it for other reasons, but glad I did.
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I have a question that I've not seen or heard anyone talk about. Does your hand ever get tired or sore? In recent years some of my joints don't like repetitive motion, especially if there is much resistance.
I used to with the Lee just because it is a lighter and smaller tool than the Frankford Arsenal and required more manipulation and effort. Once I started using the Frankford Arsenal tool, I have not experienced any fatigue or soreness.

Of course, how a priming tool fits the hand and actually using it is different for everyone.
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I have and use the old Lee, plastic looking long in the tooth on both of them. Like the Frankford Arsenal also and recommended by LGS at a reloading class instructor.
I was not aware of the bench mounted primer option. This has been an informative read. I like the Foster. . It would not be me, if I did not have a complaint. It really irks me big time to see a $120 tool missing a cheap cheap plastic loading tray. They charge almost $20 bucks more to get the complete tool. I may just not buy one for that reason alone.

That in no way diminishes my gratitude for this interesting discussion.
I was not aware of the bench mounted primer option. This has been an informative read. I like the Foster. . It would not be me, if I did not have a complaint. It really irks me big time to see a $120 tool missing a cheap cheap plastic loading tray. They charge almost $20 bucks more to get the complete tool. I may just not buy one for that reason alone.

That in no way diminishes my gratitude for this interesting discussion.
Midsouth Shooters has the RCBS for $113. They want another $5.50 for the Primer Tray.

This one will spoil you...
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I was not aware of the bench mounted primer option. This has been an informative read. I like the Foster. . It would not be me, if I did not have a complaint. It really irks me big time to see a $120 tool missing a cheap cheap plastic loading tray. They charge almost $20 bucks more to get the complete tool. I may just not buy one for that reason alone.

That in no way diminishes my gratitude for this interesting discussion.
Recent Forster bench primers do indeed come with the loading tray and work perfectly. Love mine.
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Recent Forster bench primers do indeed come with the loading tray and work perfectly. Love mine.
Good news. Midway is still lisitng that as seperate item. The tray is not included in the primer description that lists every part such as each tube & plunger. I hope the new product gets out there. I caution buyers to make sure or be in for a surprise becasue the cheap POS tray lists for 25 plus shipping. Midway wanted 18 and change.
Good news. Midway is still lisitng that as seperate item. The tray is not included in the primer description that lists every part such as each tube & plunger. I hope the new product gets out there. I caution buyers to make sure or be in for a surprise becasue the cheap POS tray lists for 25 plus shipping. Midway wanted 18 and change.
I would also like to note that the cast base of the tool has a built in tube loader so it's quite usable even without the separate loader. Whatta Hobby!
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Midsouth Shooters has the RCBS for $113. They want another $5.50 for the Primer Tray.

This one will spoil you...
I was not aware of the bench mounted primer option. This has been an informative read. I like the Foster. . It would not be me, if I did not have a complaint. It really irks me big time to see a $120 tool missing a cheap cheap plastic loading tray. They charge almost $20 bucks more to get the complete tool. I may just not buy one for that reason alone.

That in no way diminishes my gratitude for this interesting discussion.
I wasn't familiar with the Forster. Just watched Ultimate Reloader review. The Forster and the RCBS operate pretty much the same way. The RCBS you slide a shell holder in the slot, the Forster doesn't require a shell holder. Just adjust the jaws to fit the case you're about to prime.

So, if your press uses shell holders, get the RCBS. If your press doesn't use shell holders, get the Forster. Once set up, the operation looks to be identical.
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I have shell holders. But I also use two presses and a priming tool. It is nice to have multiple shell holders, which is no problem for common case heads. The more obscure ammo the more limited holders I have. To make it worse, I need two size holder to form then load 43 mauser. Anyway, I like the universal holder concept. Might not be rock solid for heavy case forming but for priming it looks very strong. Or it maybe very strong. No idea. I like Foster as a company. I got a good location to mount that on my small portable bench with the light bullet seating press.
I have shell holders. But I also use two presses and a priming tool. It is nice to have multiple shell holders, which is no problem for common case heads. The more obscure ammo the more limited holders I have. To make it worse, I need two size holder to form then load 43 mauser. Anyway, I like the universal holder concept. Might not be rock solid for heavy case forming but for priming it looks very strong. Or it maybe very strong. No idea. I like Foster as a company. I got a good location to mount that on my small portable bench with the light bullet seating press.
If it means having to buy more shell holders just for priming, I'd go with the Forster. I have little doubt it will be just as good as my RCBS. I promise, it will be one of those "wish I would have done this a long time ago"!
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Agree. It is in my Midway cart. Will buy soon.

Edit: I cannot until I see the listing whit the loading tray included. Someday.
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