RCBS Priming tool - My review

RCBS Priming tool - My review

This is a discussion on RCBS Priming tool - My review within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; 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 ...

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Thread: RCBS Priming tool - My review

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up 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!
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array JDavisArk's Avatar
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    I'm priming 338 Win Mag cases with my RCBS hand priming tool recently. I've been priming standard large rifle with it for about ten years. Pretty much self contained. I swear by this method since you can actually feel the primer being seated. Safety lies with the reloader and not with manufacturer. Care has no equal. I've got a small pistol primer lodged in my left hand due to carelessness. Living example of what to do and not to do. Every once in a while.......my pinky finger goes numb.

  3. #3
    Member Array BobR1's Avatar
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    I had a Lee to start with, and it broke. Replaced it with the above mentioned RCBS, which was much better. My brother picked up the RCBS Bench Mounted Priming Tool used. I like it even better than the hand held tool for rifle ammunition.

    Bob

  4. #4
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    The bench-mount tool would have been fine when I had space to dedicate for reloading. It's a great primer. But I have to be more "portable" these days. I sure miss having a basement.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

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