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Thread: RCBS APS Hand Primer

  1. #1
    Senior Member WarEagleEd's Avatar
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    RCBS APS Hand Primer

    Anybody use the RCBS hand primer that uses APS strips? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Do you own and use the strip loading tray?

    I have been using a Lee Auto Prime XR and I find myself having to constantly fidget with it. The primer doesn't load onto the primer punch, the lid pops off the primer tray, or the primers didn't feed into the channel leading up to the shell holder. The operation of the lever is not smooth at all which makes it difficult to tell sometimes if a primer is properly seated. I would rather prime on the press than use that thing. So, I'm debating on the K&M hand priming tool or the RCBS APS strip hand primer. Either way there is no primer tray that is sensitive to position. The K&M is well made and uses the same Lee shell holders that I currently have on hand, but you have to drop the primers into the tool one at a time. The RCBS APS primer feeds the primers through on a strip so no futzing with individual primers. Only problem is that you don't just buy the priming tool, but need to buy APS strips and the strip loading tray that costs about as much as the hand primer.

    I can go back to priming on the press, but that means I'm out in the garage and not in the house close to my family. So any insight into either tool or some other option that I'm not aware of that meets my criteria (not position sensitive and doesn't require near constant fidgeting) is appreciated.

    Ed
    Last edited by WarEagleEd; 11-15-2018 at 11:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    I've been using the new lee bench primer for a few years and it's been great. It's a lot easier to use than a hand primer. Especially with the tight primer pockets.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GUltnpA9E8

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    Iíve been using an APS Hand tool and strip loader for a couple years now. Where I would lose a few to damage or being flipped with the auto prime XR, I now actually manage to keep them all in straight and right side up (unless a crimped pocket gets in the way, but even those can be saved if youíre not too hamfisted with it).

    The strip loader works pretty well and is an essential tool if youíre going to use the APS strips. Just make sure you have them all flipped before putting the lid on, and you might have to coax a few every now and then into their hole in the strip. It takes a bit of practice, but I much prefer it to the headaches I had with the XR.

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    Senior Member WarEagleEd's Avatar
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    Mbaker78,

    It's looks like the APS primer strips are color coded, but that one color covers two different primers. For example, according to the instruction manual on the RCBS website, the white primer strip is for the following:

    #300 Large Pistol, Standard
    #500 Small Pistol, Standard

    But, these are two different diameter primers. So does one strip accomodate both sizes or is there two different white strips, one with a larger diameter hole for LP primers and another with a smaller diameter hole for SP primers?

  5. #5
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    There’s a large and small in each color, but the color codes are just for your convenience. Each pack of strips comes with a few big stickers that you can store loaded strips on, they each hold up to 4 strips. If I happen to use a pistol strip for rifle or vise-versa and haven’t used all of the strips I loaded I’ll just write what they are on the sticker when I store them.

    Strips are sold in packs of 8 and they come with 8 stickers, so there are plenty of extras.

    You can also occasionally find CCI primers already loaded in their respective color strips, it’s usually cheaper than buying 5 packs of strips and a box of primers by a good margin.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check