Primer Feeders

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 25yretcoastie, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. 25yretcoastie

    25yretcoastie New Member

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    I am a little confused after reading my Lyman's and how to handle primers. From what I read the book seems to be against auto primer feeders. Yet when looking at the starter kits at midway and other sites it seems like most kits come with auto feeders. What are your opinions about this should a BRAND NEW reloader use one or stay with hand priming?

    Thanks
    Steve
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    There is no problem with auto priming systems.....that work that is. The systems found on the Hornady LnL as well as the Dillons are first rate. I seem to recall a section on handling primers in the Lyman manual, but to avoid priming systems all together I disagree with.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  3. 25yretcoastie

    25yretcoastie New Member

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    Well the Lyman book is against them, but they are offered in most of the reloading kits from Lyamn ??????
  4. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    I have read the warnings on pages 59-60 concearning primer feeds. I'd take it as a word of caution, thats it. There is nothing to be concerned with outside the common sense safety measures the average person is capable of. Also I disagree with Lyman stating that a ram primer is the "generally the best method for seating primers.". I get the most feel and speed from the RCBS handheld unit.
  5. 25yretcoastie

    25yretcoastie New Member

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    Thanks guys that makes more sense.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Primers are made of an explosive compound that is pressure sensitive. Mishandle primers and they may go off. The most dangerous situation is when they are all stacked one on top of another in a primer tube of a primer feeder. I don't know how others do it but Dillon uses an internal aluminum tube (metal to reduce the chance of static buildup) with a piece of thick pipe around the aluminum tube. If something happens and the whole of the tube goes off then at least it will not blow into your face but up the pipe.

    I have never heard that this ever happened (but it must have or Dillon would not have used the surround pipe) but it is possible, I suppose. Lyman prefers to suggest their users not use primer feeders, probably for legal reasons but the ones they sell appear to only have the aluminum tube with no outer protective steel tube. Funny that??

    Many presses by various manufacturers use ram priming systems of one type or another. Most have limiters to keep from crushing the primers but they must be set up correctly. Once set up all primers are seated to exactly the same depth. Hand primer seating tools allow you to feel the primer seat but variation in primer pocket sizes and other feel problems will not necessarily keep all primers seated uniformly. Maybe it makes a difference and maybe not. I much prefer the ram method as spending hours of hand primer seating would be sure to make these old hands ache for days if I did any volume of them, which I typically do.

    LDBennett
  7. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

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    I have found out that most of the reloading articals that you still read were wreaten years ago when the auto priming was just coming out. Sometime they just reprint with out rewriting the artical.
  8. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    You guys nailed it - especially gun-nut and LD. When a manual is reprinted it is edited, but a lot of the information is just forwarded to the new manual, and that is very likely why your Lyman manual still contains that caution or bias against auto primer feeders.

    I agree with 312shooter about the seating 'feel' with hand-primers vs the press primers. It is also my very humble opinion that a hand primer is much faster than a press-ram primer system. One more thing - I've found that I need to handle the primers less with a hand held priming unit than I do with a ram primer unit. This is important (at least to me) to keep from contaminating the primer element with skin oils or salts. I know you wear rubber gloves and avoid touching them altogether, but when I'm priming several hundred, rubber gloves are impractical.
  9. budman46

    budman46 New Member

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    ldbennett's comments are excellent...dillon recognized the potential for trouble with stacked primers and added a steel tubing shield on their systems...lee went with a horizontal tray. both work! if i used either, i'd use piece of black iron pipe slipped over the aluminum primer tubes used by rcbs and lyman in their auto-primer feed tubes just to be safe.

    budman

    ignorance is fixable...
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I do not know about other's primer feeders but Dillon's includes pickup tubes. You do need a primer "flip" tray. In this process you never touch a single primer.

    You first dump the entire box of primers onto the primer tray on the half with the concentric raised circles. You gently shake the half with the primers on it in all directions and the primers will right themselves so that the propellant end is up. You put the lid on the primer tray and flip it over and open it up. All primers will be propellant side down. With the pickup tube you pick up each primer by placing the pickup tube over the primer and pushing down. When you have all the primers you turn the pickup tube end for end and place it over the primer feeder tube on the press. Now you pull the retaining pin and all the primers fall into the primer feeder the correct way up. You have now primed the press, so to speak, to do progressive reloading. Other ram primer systems work the same to the best of my knowledge.

    Oh, an interesting thing I heard or read from a manufacturer: modern primers have a protective sheet over the priming compound so the oil on your hands does not contaminate them. I still am relatively careful when handling them if I have to for any reason.

    LDBennett
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