Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lee Auto Prime - Hand Priming Tool Review

I’ve used mine to prime several thousand pieces of brass, including a couple thousand with the Federal primers that Lee strongly recommends not using with the tool. I could prime on the press, obviously, but I don’t like handling metal tubes full of impact-sensitive high-explosive. I’d rather size/deprime and flare, prime with the Lee tool while watching TV, and then load.

I have not had any problems with breakage so far, knock on wood, though I could imagine that the pivot in the handle might break if there was a casting flaw near that area. I also have some doubts about the latch that holds the plastic primer tray lid on.

The cam (for lack of a better term) did develop notches from priming several thousand pieces. I ground it smooth, and it happened again. I bought another one, and case hardened the "cam" with Casenit, and it seems to be holding up with no sign of wear. Not a big deal considering the tool costs less that $20, and I had lost a spring anyway.

Probably my biggest complaint is that it’s not very comfortable to use. Rubber grips on the handle and lever would be greatly appreciated. This is something that nobody else does either for some reason.

That’s pretty much all there is to say, it’s a simple and affordable tool, and it works.

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