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Reloading Berger Bullets


Priming Question

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Unread 01-23-2007, 08:51 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: Priming Question

Fill me in, why not use the federal 210's with the Lee Auto prime?

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In my experience, federal primers are softer than winchester. Winchester are softer than CCI. I believe that the Federals are a little more apt to 'prematurely ignite' if handled 'roughly'. I know that guns that won't set off Winchester or CCI due to light primer strikes can be used with Federal primers because they are softer/thinner. My guess is that its a safety issue with the hand primer tools, where your face is so near the primer tray. I believe one of the primer manufacturers recommends a small number of primers be placed in the tray when using a hand primer (to lessen the chance of injury if/when a chain fire occurs). They also recommend safety glasses (a good precaution that could save your sight during the few minutes you use these tools).

I've witnessed a chain fire of more than 100 small pistol magnum primers in a Dillon press. The Dillon contained the explosion, I'd hate to see a chain fire in a plastic hand held device.

BTW, when I'm not using my Dillon progressive, I use a Lee handheld priming tool, I try to only dump a few primers (10-20) at a time. I use Remington and CCI primers mostly for my rifles. I use Winchester primers in all my Cowboy Action competition loads.

I've tried the federals and they are so soft that I end up bending them in my progressive, so I don't use them.

Hope this didn't ramble too much (drove more than 600 miles + worked today and I'm a little tired).

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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Unread 01-23-2007, 10:20 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 439
Re: Priming Question

Use the Lee Prime exclusively for my rifle reloadings. It so cheap that I bought two. I set one up for large primer and another for the small primer. Used all types of primer and most were the Federal Match kind and never have any problem or mishap, at least not yet [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img].
To achieve the maximum possible accuracy, all variables must be remove or at least minimize.
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Unread 01-24-2007, 05:34 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Forest Lake Minnesota
Posts: 30
Re: Priming Question

Thanks for all the responses!
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Unread 04-09-2008, 02:43 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 65
This is directly from Lee's website:

Primer Brand Warning

"We recommend only Winchester and CCI primers be used in the Auto Prime because Federal and Remington primers pose a potential danger to the operator. In testing, we found that the latter two brands of primers almost always chain detonated if the primer being seated was accidentally set off. A primer going off near your hand can be compared to an M-80 firecracker.

When a full tray of primers explode, it does so with enough force to cause injury to the operator and anyone else standing within a ten foot radius.

The older Improved priming tool and our current production Ram-Prime only accept one primer at a time, so this hazard did not apply.

We take no position as to the quality of primers and mention this only because of the increased danger of chain detonation with some brands only."
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Unread 04-13-2008, 04:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chatham, VA
Posts: 436
I have used the RCBS handheld priming tool, the Lee handheld tool, the Forster bench mounted tool, and the RCBS bench mounted tool. In my opinion the bench mounted RCBS is tops of all, with the Lee hand tool a near second.

Seating based on feel will give the best results, I use a RCBS primer pocket uniformer mounted to their case prep center to clean/square up the primer pockets.

I have put tens of thousands of primers through the Lee hand tool. For the life of me I can not figure out how a person could pay so little attention to what they are doing while reloading to end up setting a primer of in one of these things, regardless of brand.
"My greatest fear is that after my demise my wife will sell my guns for the price I told her I paid for them"
-don't know where it came from...but true
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