Lee Auto Prime & Federal Primers

This is a discussion on Lee Auto Prime & Federal Primers within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Has anyone had any bad experiences using the Lee Auto Prime with federal primers ? I know it says not to, but if im careful ...

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Thread: Lee Auto Prime & Federal Primers

  1. #1
    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    Lee Auto Prime & Federal Primers

    Has anyone had any bad experiences using the Lee Auto Prime with federal primers ?

    I know it says not to, but if im careful to gently seat each one and not just squeeze madly away is there any risk of these little suckers exploding like Lee says ?

    I plan to do about 20 primers at a time, wear gloves, hearing protection and safety glasses and perhaps setup some sort of perspex sheild to work behind (is this overkill ?)
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  3. #2
    Member Array dgraing's Avatar
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    If you're going to go through that much trouble, why not just use what they recommend? CCI primer's work fine for me on my lee equipment. You're asking for trouble if you purposely disregard their warnings.

    David

  4. #3
    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    Yeah ive got 400 CCI primers to start with but due to shortages I had to get 2600 Federal ones as thats all they had in stock.

    Ive read a few forums and people have loaded 10,000+ rounds with no issues on the Lee Tool, one guy even tried to deliberatly set one off and had much trouble trying to do so.

    The one that did go off after trying very hard was actually a different brand.

    One would think the hand tool is alot more gentle than the presses and therefore posed less risk. Surely Federal wouldnt make a primer that couldnt be seated by the end user ???
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array AZ Desertrat's Avatar
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    don't use Federal.......just take Lee's word for it.
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government--lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." --Patrick Henry

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    It's not how hard or soft the Federals are. It's the chemical composition of them. From what I have read you can get primer fratricide (one primer setting off the entire tray) with the Federals more easily than with any other brand. They use a different composition than any other primer, I think it is called BASIC primer compound and is more likely to chain react when close to another primer that goes bang.

    bosco

  7. #6
    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
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    Darn, I didn't know this! I've loaded about 350 rounds using Federal primers, and fortunately haven't had one go off yet (knock on wood). So, I need to get rid of the other 650 primers I have?

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    I use Federal in a lot of my rounds. I think they are fine in a feed tube that is isolated from the actual priming ram area. When using the Lee hand primer or any other system that has the bulk of primers close to the actual ram engagement area I use another brand or just put about ten primers in the hand held tray.
    bosco

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    I rarely use Federal primers though I did just prime 500 22-250 cases with Federal Gold Medal Match primers using a hand primer. Plus, with the current primer shortage, I can see the necessity of using what you can get. Accidental primer discharge is one of the reasons I prefer using the RCBS hand priming tools. They have a sliding metal strap that isolates the primer tray from the case being primed during the priming operation. They are more expensive than the Lee priming tools but on the plus side, I've never broken one of the RCBS tools. I have a bucket full of broken Lee hand primers.

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array sui-juris's Avatar
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    Federals are softer but I've used about 500 so far w/no problems.
    I only put about 20 in the tray at a time..
    " Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master." George Washington

  11. #10
    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    UPDATE: Ive decided to sell my Lee Autoprime after buying it and not using it, I managed to pick up a Lee 50th Anniversary Kit and to be honest I think the press mounted safety prime system is far superior.

    My thoughts are if youre going to be flaring cases you may as well prime them while you are there on the press as it save double handeling the shells into yet another shell holder.

    I did 400 on the weekend in about 2 hours.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Good choice. I like the hand priming tool, but if I had to use Fed. primers, I'd just use the Ram-prime tool on the press since it is safe to use with them.

    So far, I have only used Winchester and CCI primers and always use the hand priming tool. Hopefully one day I'll be able to buy some more to use. Maybe not, the way things are going.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  13. #12
    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    Here in NZ we have certainly seen the ammo price increases and shortages but reloading components are stilll a steal and still in stock

    I picked up 1000 Frontier CMJ Projectiles for like $69US, the supplier is getting another 30,000 in June and will be the same price.

    Powder here, still in good supply. $28US for 500 grams

    Primers $36US per 1000, Federal in good supply.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Guess It's time for me to move. Need any lawyers over there?
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  15. #14
    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    Actually, lawyers are always in hot demand :) checkout SEEK - New Zealand's no. 1 jobs, employment, career and recruitment site.

    Only problem is you cant carry here :(
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    HMMMM?? Might be worth the tradeoff.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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