Mike's Reloading Bench

Engineered Solutions
for today's reloader

Tips & Tools

This first item is important so listen up. If you will take the time to DRILL THE PRIMER POCKET out of a case for which you plan to reload and USE IT AS A TOOL you will be amazed at what you can learn about how your primer system works. This simple little tool will tell you what you need to do to set your primer system up. When setting up your press do the primer system first. Leave the turret out of the press so that you can look straight down on the primer pin and with your new tool in place you will be able to make fine adjustments of the case retainer to get the case right where it needs to be to accept the primer. Leaving the turret out and operating the press will also let you watch the primer as it gets delivered to the pin. Is it a smooth transition or is something causing the primer to jump around on its way to the pin? If it's not a smooth transition find out why and fix it. Simple.

The second item to look at is the ADJUSTMENT OF THE CASE RETAINER at the #2 station. It has been my observation that when using the 19s shellplate, if the case retainer is adjusted according to the Lee instructions by setting it too far inward and then allowing the first case that passes to automatically set it to the proper position doesn't work well. The problem is the spring used in the primer pin and the weight of the primer tray and primers causes the pin to tilt outward as the pin is raised and subsequently it becomes misaligned with the primer pocket in the case. If your press is anything like mine the pin will be off center, sometimes by as much as one third the diameter of the primer pocket. Instant smiley face time!

Using your new drilled out case tool as a visual aid carefully push the case and retainer outward until the primer pin is directly in line with the primer pocket and lock down the case retainer. Doing this will allow subsequent cases to drift out and contact the case retainer due to centrifugal force and your cases will now be in the correct position to receive a primer. I believe using a sizing die without the decapping pin in station two is more of a problem than a help. On my press the die simply moves the case back toward the center of the shellplate and misaligns the case and primer pin canceling any advantage gained by letting the case float outward into proper alignment. If you feel you must have a die providing shellplate contact in station two for whatever reason, I would suggest a universal decapping die sans decapping pin.