Lee Auto Bench Prime vs RCBS Automatic Bench Priming Tool

Discussion in 'Rifle Cartridge Data' started by greg_r, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    Thinking of a dedicated bench mounted priming system. Anyone out there have experience with both the LEE bench mounted auto prime and the RCBS automatic bench mounted priming tool? If so, which do you prefer and why?

    I'm thinking it's going to be the RCBS. It just seems to be the better built tool. Plus I have heard / read a lot of reviews about the Lee tool having a lot of feeding and breakage problems. I also know the Lee tool has seen a lot of upgrades since it's release. Maybe Lee fixed the problems?
     

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  2. GoesBang

    GoesBang Supporting Member


  3. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    I either prime on the press, or use the Lee hand primer. But I rarely do more than 50 in a batch.
     
  4. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    I have been reading reviews, watching videos, and whatever else I can. I like the price of the Lee. I also like that the Lee can be mounted sideways, which is a big advantage in my mind. The primer tray is easier to load. But there are a lot of reports of linkage breakage and the plastic parts cracking.

    The lever on the RCBS has to depress below the base, so has to be mounted on the edge of the bench or on a riser. The primer tubes are slower to load, but I already have several tubes for my RCBS auto prime so I could load up 400 at a time and be ready to rock with just a simple tube change. The RCBS hint is all metal. The biggest obstacles I see are price (I could buy two Lee units and have a spare and a few dollars left over for the price of the RCBS unit) and reports that the RCBS unit is finicky. One set up properly it seems that it runs well.

    On my single stage presses I use a Ram Prime which I really like, which is a one at a time option (not a problem when loading my target rounds bwhich I do maybe 50 at a time, but I generally load 300 to 500 plinking loads at a time), or the RCBS press mounted automatic priming system, which was also finicky, but runs well once it's adjusted. It will prime 100 cases before having to reload, but I don't like the fact that it primes about 2/3 of the way up the upstroke.

    I think it's going to have to be the RCBS tool. Either that, or take my single stage press off the bench and put the Lee "Value" turret back on the bench and load my target rounds on the weekends at the main house.
     
  5. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    The choice was made easy for me today at lunch. Talking to a friend who has one that doesn't work and is missing the small primers attachment. He feeder tube he says has to be pushed back by hand. He is bringing it to work tomorrow and giving it to me.

    In the meantime I called RCBS. After a lengthy hold the receptionist picked up the phone, apologized for the hold, explained that the techs were busy and someone would call me back.

    Just got my return call, explained the problem as I understood it, and that I did not have the toolmin my possession. The tech explained that a return spring was broken, wore, or missing completely. Took my address and the spring and missing primer parts are on the way.

    Customer service is every bit the equal of Hi Point, maybe even better!
     
  6. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    Well, what do you get for free? Not bad! It looks like it's missing the return spring. My guess it will work well when RCBS gets my free parts to me. BTW, idd I say this was free? Just have to wait on the parts!
     

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  7. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

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    A little more research and I discovered that the older versions of the automatic primer tool did not have a return spring.

    I took this thing apart cleaned it and lubed the shoulder bolt. Now it is working properly even without the return spring. I will see how the return spring fits on, if I can just snap it on I will do so, it can't help but make it better, if not I will just use it the way it is.

    It would help if someone had one and could send a picture.

    FWIW, I primed 50 44 magnum cases with it just to see how it works. And it works very well, a 10x improvement over the press mounted priming tool.