RCBS Priming tool - My review
To start with, I'm not one for the latest and greatest but hold no animosity toward those who feel the need to have such. I still reload with my old Herter's single-stage press, powder dropper, a balance beam scale, and a few other old school items dating back to the mid-'70s. Progressives are not for me. But I degress.
My Herter's press had the primer arm on it, but I never like the lack of feel with it and tired of working that heavy arm up and down and up and down...you get the picture. So years ago I bought a Lee hand primer, the old style with no feeder tray. Load one primer at a time and repeat. It worked fine for my needs (no high volume reloading in my case). But recently I noticed that some primers weren't seating as deep as they should. A teardown revealed that the lolipop arm that raises the seating pin had worn down and was no longer raising the pin as high as it should.
I suppose I could have contacted Lee for a new one, but since it was 2 models old I doubted parts were available and decided it was time to upgrade to at least the 20th century. The downside for Lee was that the newest models don't accept the older style shellholders, I didn't want to buy a new batch of "new style" ones, and because I had an ample supply of RCBS shellholders, I looked at the RCBS hand priming tool. Reviews were favorable in general, something about plastic parts and difficult feeding being the foremost complaints. I promptly put one on my Xmas list.
For me I found the complaints baseless. After priming several boxes of casings, the thing loads primers as fast as you can load a new casing and work it. It does take a bit of rhythm to tilt the thing to load the next primer, but after 10-15 casings the lesson was learned.
The one item I question is the "safety gate," which is a curved strip of metal designed to prevent "chainfires" should a primer go off. Where the notch is cut to allow the primer to feed through, it's very thin and weak. It doesn't take much to bend it, and if one were to let the spring-loaded handle pop open, I can see where the end of the safety gate could snap off. Perhap RCBS will address this one area of concern in a later upgrade or modification.
Also, you have to keep the handle compressed while you swap out the shell holder or change primer sizes. A word to the wise--Don't release the handle. Things inside pop out of alignment and it's a pain to realign. But that's owner induced. Just beware.
Prices run $40-55 for this tool, so do your shopping around. It's a great investment and one I recommend for those looking for a hand primer. It makes it so easy to reprime your "empties" while relaxing in the Laziboy!