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The 5 Best Hand Priming Tools (2021 Buyers Guide)

Installing primers is a relatively easy process using a priming tool. 

Most priming tools have similar features and can be configured to load either small or large primers.  The priming tools come with loading trays to allow for quick and easy priming.  The primer tray has groves on the bottom surface of the tray and when you gently shake the tray the primers will align correctly for case priming. 

Once the primer is in place apply smooth and constant pressure.  If you fell excessive pressure don’t force it there may be an alignment issue with the primer (it may be lying sideways).   Just remove the case and inspect that the primer is seated correctly and start again. 

Many priming tools have removable caliber specific shell holders while some have a universal spring loaded case adapter that will fit most calibers. Both do the job. What you are looking for with a priming tool is feel and repeatability.  

You can use a primer pocket uniformer to  ensure that each primer is seated at the same depth in the case. The primer should be flush or several thousands below the case head.  Never seat a primer in a loaded cartridge.

This is the best product on our list currently in stock:

Our #1 Pick

RCBS 90200 Hand Priming Tool

RCBS 90200 Hand Priming Tool

Why we like it:

  • Separates the seating operation from the primer supply
  • Primer tray installation requires no contact with the primers
  • Uses the same shell holders as RCBS presses

Our Picks for the Top Handing Priming Tools

RankNameShop
1RCBS 90200 Hand Priming Tool Check Price
2RCBS 90201 Universal Hand Priming ToolCheck Price
3Hornady 0500021 Handheld Priming ToolCheck Price
4LEE PRECISION 90230 New Auto Prime Hand Priming ToolCheck Price
5Lyman Products E-ZEE Universal Priming ToolCheck Price

1. RCBS 90200 Hand Priming Tool

RCBS 90200 Hand Priming Tool

Pros:

  • Separates the seating operation from the primer supply
  • Primer tray installation requires no contact with the primers
  • Uses the same shell holders as RCBS presses

Cons:

  • Changing shell holders
  • Need to purchase a RCBS specific shell holders



2. RCBS 90201 Universal Hand Priming Tool

RCBS 90201 Universal Hand Priming Tool

Pros:

  • The universal shell holder will accept cases from .32 ACP to .45-70 Government
  • Includes accessories to seat large and small rifle or pistol primers
  • Removable primer tray orients your primers for use and will fit any manufacturers’ primer packaging

Cons:

  • Snaping on the tray cover may cause primers to flip
  • Sometimes the case doesn’t line up perfectly with the primer



3. Hornady 0500021 Handheld Priming Tool

Hornady 0500021 Handheld Priming Tool

Pros:

  • One-piece primer tray with an improved retaining system for the lid
  • Integral molded bushings for ultra reliable function, comes with an additional tray designed for use with RCBS shell holders

Cons:

  • Some of the primers seated shallow
  • Some loading issues with small primers



4. LEE PRECISION 90230 New Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool

LEE PRECISION 90230 New Auto Prime Hand Priming Tool

Pros:

  • The Auto Prime has been designed to work with every brand of primer
  • Unbreakable comfort curve lever and large triangular trays that accept all brands of primer boxes with slide on covers for large or small primers

Cons:

  • Requires purchase of specialized shell holders
  • Plastic parts not as reliable



5. Lyman Products E-ZEE Universal Priming Tool

Lyman Products E-ZEE Universal Priming Tool

Pros:

  • Allows instant changeover between primer sizes
  • Ergonomic shape reduces fatigue,
  • Accepts standard shell holders

Cons:

  • May occasionally flip a primer
  • May experience some dimples on the primers


We hope you enjoyed our top picks for best hand priming tool.

Written by Mike Sr

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