Ram primer units

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by elkslayer4x5, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. elkslayer4x5

    elkslayer4x5 New Member

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    Looking for opinions on ram primer units as manufactured by Lee and RCBS. I have a RCBS unit, and really like the consiscent primer seating. The biggest 'con' is the fact that you need to reset the unit for each cartridge, unless you have a ram primer unit for each cartridge that you load. Which, in my mind is'nt all that bad, as I like tools, the more the better. Have'nt had any experience with the Lee unit, has any of you used both? And if so, what are the pros and cons of each, other than the Lee is about half the cost of the RCBS? Thanks for any opinions. :)
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    The Lee ram prime sits unused in my bench drawer. Handling primers one at a time is not my idea of effective priming or sensible time management in a loading session. A handpriming unit tops most methods IMHO except for the few perfected progressive systems.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Do RCBS presses not come with a priming arm any more? Lee presses don't, so you have to buy some sort of "additional" priming system. But RCBS used to come with a priming arm.

    I've gone to a different priming system, but paying an additional 25 bucks for a ram-prime, when it comes with a ram-priming system built in? Makes no sense.
  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have a couple of the Lee auto prime tools, one set for large primers and one set for small. I do use them a lot when I do single stage loading. I also have one of the Lee ram prime tools that I use, usually when I am loading .223.

    I have never seen one made by RCBS so I can't comment on it. From what I am reading on the original post, I take it that you have to have a ram prime for every caliber. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The Lee is very easy to use, once you have the priming part set and the shell holder "head" screwed into the top of the press, all you have to do to change calibers is slip out the old shell holder and slip in a new one. Of course you will have to change the little "rod" that actually holds the primer from large to small or vice versa. It sounds complicated as I re-read this but it is really easy.
  5. elkslayer4x5

    elkslayer4x5 New Member

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    The RBCS unit is the same as the Lee you describe, I just have the one unit. But since shell holders hold more that one cartridge, would'nt I need to readjust?
    In my orininal post, I was asking for someone who used the ram priming unit if it actually had to be readjusted for each differnt cartridge in order to keep the seating depth the same, it seem to me that I will need to readjust for each caliber I load for. Used it for the first time to prime .357 cases, and then posted this question, I would like to use a die lock nut to maintain the seating depth, but it seems to me that each cartridge will have a differnt case head thickness, requiring an adjustment, Wanted to know of some one has experience with that. Am going to contact Lee and RCBS to see if they will sell me just the ram primer unit bodys, as I only need one set of rams. Have I confussed everyone yet? :)
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I have my priming set-up so that it is completely seated BEFORE the full stroke is made. That way I depend on MY HAND, and my sense of feel, instead of the machine.

    Just makes more sense, to me, when doing something delicate, to rely on my senses.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Yes, I am confused. I am going to have to Google an RCBS ram prime tool to see what you are talking about. I cannot picture having to change rams for different cases??????

    With the Lee ram prime, it is as Alpo says, you go by the sense of touch, feeling when the primer seats.
  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I just looked at a you tube video of the RCBS ram prime tool. It is the exact principal as the Lee. The only time you would have to change the ram is when you change from large primers to small primers and/or back. It is still done by the sense of feel/touch!! Tell me if I am not seeing something!!

    Here is a link to that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WERbCMho_E
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Rim thickness makes it a must to change adjustment most times. The large primer in rifle and pistol are different sizes/height also.
  10. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    No matter how thick a primer is, whether pistol or rifle primer, they will only go so deep into the pocket. You just press the things in until it hits bottom and then you stop!! How hard can that be? As I said, I use the Lee ram prime and you can only put the primer so deep!
  11. elkslayer4x5

    elkslayer4x5 New Member

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    When I first set the unit up, I adjusted it so that at the very top of the stroke with a bit of 'cam lock' it would seat the primer .003 below the case head level. Once set, it set every primer to that depth. No-one else does this?
  12. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    I seat every primer to the bottom of the primer pocket regardless of the measurement of how deep the cup is below the head. This has worked for me for about 25+ years, and haven't had a failure to fire because primers aren't seated, nor do any protrude above the case head.

    I use a ram prime tool most of the time and like the "feel". I can feel the primer hit bottom, and don't rely on an adjustment to determine seating depth.
  13. cutter

    cutter New Member

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    On my RCBS single stage the primer tool is on the ram and casing is primed in the decapping process and resizing. The only simplier method is on my dillon progessive.
  14. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Seating the primer to the bottom of the pocket is best or flush to .004" below. Firing pin protrusion is about .035" to .055" so its going to contact the primer soon or later. An inertia firing pin on a 1911 goes even farther. Misfires are caused by slow velocity of the pin due to dirt or gummy oil deposits or a weak spring. IMO. :)
  15. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Seating the primer to the bottom of the pocket is required.

    If the primer is not fully seated, what happens when the firing pin hits it is it first finishes seating the primer. This absorbs some of the energy of the mainspring, and you often get "light strikes", where there is a firing pin dent in the primer but it does not fire. Hitting it again usually makes it go bang.

    Most light strikes in reloaded ammo (in my opinion) are caused not by weak springs or gunked-up channels, but by primers not being seated all the way.
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