Primer Flip Trays

Primer Flip Trays

Folks new to progressive reloading are often very surprised when they discover just how tedious it can be loading the primer tubes, or magazines for that shiny new press.  Owing to their tiny size, and the way they’re packaged, primers can be a pain in the butt to work with.  Thankfully there’s a very simple and cheap little tool to address this problem, the Primer Flip Tray.

Available from just about every reloading product manufacturer out there, primer flip trays may not look very exciting, but in terms of time-saved-per-dollar-spent, this is probably the most valuable tool you’ll ever own.

So what does thing do exactly?  Well, in order to use a primer pickup tube, such as those employed by the Dillon RL550, primers need to be oriented smooth-side-up.  Unfortunately, primers are usually packaged so that they fall out facing the opposite way, making them a nuisance to reposition.  Primer flip trays address this by allowing the reloader to quickly and easily reorient an entire pack of primers in just a few seconds.

If we take a closeup look at a primer you’ll see one side is entirely smooth, while the other has a series of protrusions.  By gently shaking them back and forth inside a primer flip tray, we cause them to snag on the plastic ridges, flipping them over onto their smooth side.


To begin, the operator will first take a new package of primers, and remove the cardboad sleeve keeping them in place.

Next, the user places the bottom half of the primer flip tray (the one with the ridges molded into it), face-down on top of the primer package.  Fortunately the tray is designed to perfectly fit one full standard pack of primers, making this a snap.

Now the operator simply flips the tray over, so that the primers fall onto it’s surface.  Even after doing this, there will likely still be a few misaligned.

From here the operator proceeds to gently shake the tray back and forth, realigning them.  Generally this will work without issue, however if one or two insist on being stubborn, they can always be adjusted manually.

With that done, the user places the lid on top of the tray, ensuring it’s snugly in place.  The entire tray can now be flipped upside down and reopened.

Voila, 100 perfectly oriented primers, smooth-side-up, ready to load into a primer pickup tube.


In the excitement of researching and buying a brand new progressive press, it’s all too easy to forget about tools like this one that make reloading so much faster, and simpler.  If you’re thinking about moving to a progressive system, do yourself a favor, and make sure you pick up a primer flip tray while you’re at it.

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