‘Tips and Tricks’ . . . Primer Tube Loading Frustrations . . . well . . . Fix’em !

I’m constantly hearing how people dislike the loading of these priming tubes. I wonder if it is for the same reason I used to dislike loading them?

I have Hornady, RCBS and Lyman and they all use the same principal of pressing them over the primers to load 50 or 100…I found it tedious because it took so much force to slip the plastic tip over the tiny little primers and had to be careful that I was centered properly.

I found that the least used tube I had, (an old Lyman for priming on a press) was the easiest to slip over the primers and it seemed to gobble them up quickly…DUHHH?…Yes, I actually had to look it over and think about what should have been obvious…these dang plastics need to be reamed out until it takes very little force to slip over the primers.

That takes the two handed alignment, pressing so hard, cussing at them, holding your mouth right and all that tediousness out of the equation and makes this job of loading the tubes much quicker and more tolerable…after all, tube loading is just a part of the job you want to get done, you want those primers in the end of some empty cases…right?

'Tips and Tricks' . . . Primer Tube Loading Frustrations . . . well . . . Fix'em ! 3

This long reamer did the job fine…just ream a little and test the pressure it takes to load a primer until you have it opened up enough to load them without all the force. Don’t get too energetic with the reamer or you might open the plastic tip up so much it will not hold the weight of the stack of primers as they stack up in the tube.

I used a drill index to do the same at first but found the reamer much easier to remedy the problem. It enlarges the very tip of the plastic and the plastic tip seems to self center over the primers much better.

A quality metal flip tray helps too, you still need one of those to get all those primers facing in the right direction.

There are ‘primer tube loading gizmos’ out there to load the tubes quicker but as with any tool, especially cheap ones, you will encounter other problems with those tools in just trying to remedy the original primer tube loading problem…compounding frustrations does not help get those primers in the brass any quicker and it takes the pleasure out of one of the aspects handloading.

That’s why I tried to remedy the first problem without encountering more. Loading those tubes can turn into an unpleasant stumbling block that doesn’t need to be there. Last week I timed myself loading a large primer RCBS 100 count tube. I didn’t racehorse, but I worked quickly, sometimes ‘slow is fast’, if you get my drift? From having the primers facing butt end up in the tray and ready to load, it took 1 minute 5 seconds! Even if it takes you a minute and a half…isn’t that better than wrestling with this process? Ok Boys, fix’em and get another little frustration solved so you can enjoy your handloading time at the bench…

“Take it easy out there Boys, be careful…don’t hurt yourselves!”

charlie irby aka ‘CharlieBrassStuffer’

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