#1.RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool
The RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool is the best hand priming tool because it’s universal to most of bullet cases and convenient to use. In addition, it has a patented design to provide safe priming operation. We highly recommend it because it’s suitable for both beginners and professionals.
Why do you need the Best Hand Priming Tool?
For people who love shooting, homemade bullets are more budget-friendly than those coming from factories. So, many people try to make their own ammunition. It’s not as difficult as you imagined and can be a great pleasure as it not only gives a sense of achievement but also saves money. Furthermore, you can even make improved bullets that are more accurate and reliable than standard products. If you are going to make your own bullets, you need to pay more attention when doing the priming. It’s the most important step because it affects the internal balance of your bullets, and needs delicate operation.
If you make a mistake, it’s complex to redo and you may waste some of the materials. To avoid troublesome situations, you need the best hand priming tool to help you. There are a lot of benefits to having a good priming tool. First and foremost, it’s much safer to seat the primers with the tool than using your bare hands. Second, a priming tool provides a primer tray that is able to contain primers for multiple bullets, increasing the productivity of your work.
Finally, it’s easy to operate, allowing you to make bullets very quickly when you are skilled. It’s hard to tell which hand priming tool is the best because there are so many features to consider. You may need different shell holders to fit the bullet cases, and we suggest using a priming tool that has the same brand name as your shell holder, or at least the universal one. The reason is that a mismatched priming tool may somehow have trouble when mounting. Next, you should pay more attention to the primer tray. A good tray should be convenient to add primers and be able to prevent the primers from falling out. On the contrary, a bad tray may usually get its cover popping up after some cycles of priming. Compared with other features like hand-fitting, the tray easily tells how reliable the priming tool is.
Finally, as you are getting practice after hand priming for a while, you will find defects in your original tools and advantages in non-mainstream products. You may like better security when you first started, but soon you may prefer more efficiency for mass production or more reliability for better quality. Our recommendations are based on common experiences and test results, and we are pretty sure that they have the potential to be the best. However, there can’t be a fixed option as your best hand priming tool, and you need to try more to find it out.
Best Hand Priming Tool
- #1.RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool
- #2.Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer
- #3.Lee Precision Auto-Prime XR
- #4.Hornady Handheld Priming Tool
- #5.Lyman E-ZEE
#1.RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool
For most users, RCBS is the best hand-priming tool. The reason why it is well-accepted is that it’s very safe and super easy to use. It provides an effortless reloading process, and always seats primers perfectly, eliminating the possibility of tray detonation.
The RCBS uses a patented safety gate to isolate the primer seating operation from the primer supply. Even if you have failed when reloading, the primers in the tray won’t be affected. In other words, it minimizes the possible damage from the wrong operation. Next, as the RCBS advertised, this hand priming tool is universal.
It comes with a shell holder which uses 2 pieces of steel inside of a spring that holds the brass. This design allows the holder to accept cases from .32 ACP to .45-70 Government. You may like the solidness when the steel parts hold, and it’s not difficult to take the cases off after you finish reloading. Another thing recommendable is that the primer tray of the tool is very convenient.
The tray is removable, making your tool portable to bring to different places. It is squared and can orient your primers. In addition, the tray fits any manufacturer’s primer packaging. The cover of the tray is transparent and holds tightly after you add primers, so you can easily make sure that no primer is upside down. It never pops up when reloading, being reliable for long-term usage.
Additionally, this tool is comfortable to use. You hardly get tired even after priming hundreds of cases. Moreover, it has a nice fitting to your hands, and the priming is so effortless that even a child can do it. Finally, this hand priming tool comes with accessories to seat large and small rifle or pistol primers. Although the manufacturer has added so much value making the tool quite expensive compared with its competitors, it chooses to add more to make this product the most dependable and universal on the market.
#2.Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer
The Frankford Arsenal produces a very premium hand priming tool. You may need to get familiar with this product, but you can make better bullets as you can adjust the seating depth of the primer. We highly recommend it as the best hand-priming tool for skilled users. It looks luxurious as the tool together with its components comes in a nice storage case.
Also, it produces a sense of accuracy from the inside to the outside. This product provides 12 shell holders to cover the most popular cases. The seating depths are adjustable, which can be accurate to 1 thousandth of an inch. We think this tool set is perfect for those who want high-quality bullets.
Another good point of this tool is that it is safe. Both the die-cast zinc body and the steel internal components are impossible to break in long-term usage. Also, the tool has a “hard stop” design to completely prevent crushing a primer. The shell holders hold steadily. Although this product is not popular and has not been market tested, we believe it’s trustworthy, since it has outstanding craftsmanship. One thing that is worth mentioning is that each shell holder has a number carved on it.
This is really very considerable. Just imagine that one day you accidentally drop the case and all the shell holders fall off. With these numbers, it will be effortless to put them back in the right position. The tray of the priming tool works with both small and large primers. It seems to be the only breakable part of this product; however, there is no need to worry about it. The cover of the tray holds tightly, and won’t be cracked by regular impact. Even if you break it, the manufacturer provides a quick replacement so that you can soon get back to normal usage.
#3.Lee Precision Auto-Prime XR
If you want something budget friendly for reloading, you need the Lee Precision Auto-Prime XR. This is the best hand priming tool as it has the lowest price among competitors and can prime very fast. The first thing we want to declare is that the Lee priming tool is not cheaply made. Although it doesn’t have an ergonomic design for holding, all the metal parts are solid and durable.
When using this tool, you get a clear sense of the priming operation, which allows you to prime faster. It may not be comfortable at first, but you will quickly get familiar with it. The tray of the Lee priming tool is in the shape of a triangle, which perfectly concentrates the primers. It has a lock to hold the cover, preventing the primers from falling out.
The advantage of this product is that it only uses Lee shell holders, which are very inexpensive. All these components are made from quality materials and have classic Lee designs for security. Although Lee’s priming tool has the lowest price on the market, they are still reliable products. But those who use other brand shell holders may run into problems, so please be aware. However, to make the best of this tool, you need to be skilled and operate carefully. The failing rate is not higher than average, but you get a more obvious feel as you are priming more cases per unit of time.
#4.Hornady Handheld Priming Tool
You may have heard of Hornady if you are familiar with reloading. This hand priming tool is famous for its comfortable hand fitting. People can’t get rid of it after falling in love with its easy operation. It may be the best hand-priming tool after you get used to it. First and foremost, the Hornady priming tool has an ergonomic design.
You can operate the tool with a whole-hand action, so your fingers won’t get tired quickly. Also, it saves energy as the tray has a transparent cover, allowing you to make sure that every primer is seated right. Additionally, the tray is quite big, so you can add more primers at one time. There is no need to emphasize security since the Hornady priming tool has a standard design.
Even beginners won’t fail to prime unless they use other brand shell holders which are not compatible with the tool. It may not be a big problem, but we think there may be potential defects with the cover of the tray. As the cover is round, it may accidentally be twisted and opened when operating. The risk may become big after long-term use as the feet which fix the cover to the tray may get worn or broken and lose their function. Compared with competitors, the Hornady has a balanced performance. Although you may have to buy different exclusive shell holders for different demands, it’s still convenient for most of users.
The Lyman E-ZEE can be the best hand priming tool because it works with any popular brand. Basically, you get a nice universal priming tool with a convenient tray, but you pay less for it. It’s quite delicate that this product is neither the most high-performance nor the cheapest. The good thing is it has its own design that separates it from competitors.
For example, it has no small parts to fuss with or lose and allows quick changeover between primer sizes. It also has an ergonomic shape which reduces fatigue. The E-ZEE may be the most universal priming tool on the market. And the installation and usage are quite easy. However, you need to buy shell holders if you want to get it functional.