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Primers, Primers, Primers

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by norton, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. I don't know about the rest of you, but it seems to me the weakest link in most press designs is primer feeding and seating.
    I have 3 presses sitting on my bench, a Rock Chucker , a Lyman turret and a Dillon 550.
    I gave up on the primer seating on the Lyman turret and R/C-The Dillon I have had off and on problems with.
    From watching videos, it seems like the RCBS Pro 2000 has the most sensible primer feed system. It is very simple.
    I have talked to other shooters/re loaders who do most of their priming by hand. Even if they are using a progressive.

    Who makes the best, most reliable primer feed system?
  2. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    No problems here on the LCT... ;)

    It's pretty much fool proof. Not really cut out for a progressive machine, but I believe Lee has implemented the safety prime onto some of their single stage presses as well.


  3. ravenkeeper98

    ravenkeeper98 NRA Benefactor

    Feb 24, 2007
    Sumter, S.C.
    I have come to like the Lee Safety Prime. I know it is used for the single stage presses, but it is easy, until you get to the last primer, but just reload the tray and it is good.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  4. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    What type pf problems are you having on the 550? Maybe we can trouble shoot and get it fixed.
  5. My slide doesn't come out completely. I have to reach down and pull it the last few inches. Then sometimes it doesn't return to the press with a primer in the punch.
    I have tried cleaning and then using emory cloth on the slide. Does not seem to make a difference.
  6. AR-Black


    Mar 8, 2005
    I have the Square Deal B. It's 20 years old.

    The primer housing return spring broke, called Dillon and they sent a new one no charge. THANKS DILLON!

    Not familiar with the 550, but could it be a weak spring?


    I'm reloading some 357 Maximum for a Contender deer pistol. The cases are too long to load in the SDB, but I do use the SDB it to prime the cases. Then single stage press to expand the neck. Then hand measure powder. Then single stage press to seat and crimp. Thank goodness it's only a single shot pistol and I only load about 50 at a time.

    180 grain XTP's @ 1,600 fps.
  7. OkieGunNut


    Apr 18, 2010
    I size, deprime and expand (pistol calibers) all on one of my two RC 2s. I prime using the Lee hand press and the Lee AutoPrime 2. I like the positive stop I get by using the handpress and I can watch TV and do it at the same time. I also seat all rounds with the hand press and then crimp on the RCs.
  8. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    The priming system on the 1050 works pretty slick but when it does start to malfunction I fear I'll have to call in a team of engineers from MIT to fix it.

    The Pro 1000 that resides under the bench was not something I wanted to keep dealing with.

    The Square Deal and the 550 operate fine the majority of the time and when a primer malfunction does occur it's usually due to dirt and debris. It's not that big of a deal to tear it down and clean it, just a bit frustrating and time consuming. Of the very few complaints I have with my Dillon presses priming problems are probably foremost on the list. The design just lends itself to getting dirty.

    The LNL probably has the easiest and cleaning priming design. There's literally nothing on the system that's confined within the press and the entire system can be torn down within a minute or so. Because spent primers are ejected into a tube that runs to a receptacle under the press there is never any primer residue to slow down or clog the primer system.

  9. MoNsTeR


    Aug 24, 2003
    Lakewood, CO
    My Pro 2000 had... issues with the primer feed. I'll just say I don't like it and leave it at that.

    The 550 works but has a tendency to gunk up because spent primer residue falls right into the mechanism. Also the fact that it's a total Rube Goldberg design is a kind of double edged sword, causing it to malfunction easily but be easy to fix because it's easy to understand.

    The 1050 just works. I don't really even know how it works, but in 10k rounds or so it hasn't malfunctioned once. Of course I just jinxed myself.
  10. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA

    I can only speak of the LCT and SDB, and agree with these statements particularly the one about dirt and debris. One of the only very few issues I had with he SDB was the primer slide sticking cause of getting dirty. After my initial issue the derlin slide bearing being worn, Dillon sent me an entire new assembly. I made sure I cleaned it with alcohol and lubed it lightly with dry silicone spray. Never faultered provided I kept it maintained every 1000 rounds.

    The XL650 primer feeder is a different beast altogether though it looks robust. I don't see any need to switching it out to LPP anytime soon, but I'll be taking it apart in the next 500-1000 rounds time permitting just to see how it ticks and develope a game plan to keep it maintained.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  11. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    I like my Safety Prime setup on my Lee Turret. Had some problems at first until I figured it out, now its 100%.
  12. mnhogrider


    Sep 10, 2007
    I'd try gently bending out the bottom part of the actuating rod where the pulley for the transfer bar rides so it'll push the transfer bar further back into the primer magazine. This will also create more tension on the return spring when it pulls it back the other way.

    Just bend it out a little bit at a time until it's sliding like it should. And go easy when bending the rod. I read a post where somebody broke one. :nsb:
  13. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    I was going to suggest that as well. If you call Dillon they will be able to help you out with it. They will tell you the exact angle that the bar should be bent at and how far to bend it.
    Worth a shot if you haven't tried it yet.
  14. Guys, I called Dillon today and they recommended the same thing. Bend the rod. I will later this evening.
  15. albyihat


    Aug 3, 2007
    SW Montana
    Norton under the primer slide are 2 hex(part # 14014) head screws. by loosening and tightening these you can adjust the pressure and angle of the slide housing. playing around with this fixed problems I had with the shuttle/slide not returning and going forward smoothly. Now only problems I have are with dirt build up but I can go 750rds or so before it gets gummy and needs to be wiped down.
  16. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast

    kinda bull**** answer for a 400+ dollar machine
  17. jing1117


    Oct 10, 2008
    Roseville, CA
    Another load for the Hornady LNL progressive press, very simple design and easy to operate and maintain. With more than 20k loaded with it I only destroyed 4 primers in it. Its not the priming systems fault, it was my fault since some military cases managed to elude me when I sorted the cases.
  18. jwc17


    May 24, 2009
    Yes, and that is the answer they gave me when I called about the same problem. It worked and the machine works flawlessly now.
  19. alank2


    May 24, 2004

    I've never had a primer problem of any type on my 550 and for awhile there I was constantly switching between large and small. Even when I did that I wasn't having to tweak anything.

    Good luck,

  20. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    The only part of the 550 that should be accepted as "not working that great" is the "spent primer" catch system. It does not always catch them. BUT it should feed them 100%. If not you need adjustment in some way. Problems can be complicated to find if not "in the know" but Dillon should help you. Brian Enos has a great write up on how to reslove them as well. Search that site. In breif all the below must be adressed.

    Clean slider, no oil
    Good tip on the primer tube in the press
    Good tension on the operating rod (may need to bend it out to get more tension)
    Proper height of the operating rod bracket (call dillon but it's not supposed to touch the press.
    Straigh out of that opperating rod or a slight outward angle (not inward).
    10/10 primers fall into the cup (with out the tip in place) doing that test