Let’s Hear It for the Equipment Snobs! – the Lee Ram Prime
Copyright 2020 – Stephen RedgwellLee Ram Prime
I have used a lot of priming tools over the years. A few were expensive. Others, cheap. Cost was secondary, as long as they got the job done. But when I was shooting competitively, I used an inexpensive Lee hand priming tool. The reason? Equipment had to function properly. The little Lee worked.
But then there are the reloading snobs. They always seem to buy outrageously priced priming tools and other equipment to create what they think is the best ammunition on the planet – even if all they own is an off the rack Savage 110 or a Marlin 336. Old Lee Tool
There are a few reasons I believe they think this way. The first is the inverse proportion rule. Group size is inversely proportional to the amount of money spent. Put another way, some shooters figure their groups will get smaller if they spend more money. They haven’t realized that you cannot buy bugholes.
These folks point to top competitors and their high end equipment. If it was no good, why do they own it? Well, I didn't say it was no good. The difference is, they know how to use it properly and can afford it. All are looking for an edge. Some have sponsors.
Top competitors also do a few things differently than casual shooters. They practice a lot and know how to analyze and correct deficiencies. Some use coaches. All spend a lot of time shooting. It’s the time spent, and knowing how to practice that are important. Priming tools, rifle stocks and other things are secondary.
If you wish to follow the inverse proportion rule, consider that more time practising will make smaller groups.RCBS Hand Tool
The second is “Keeping up with the Joneses”. It’s a form of social pressure. They read about others on websites like this one who own $3000 rifle scopes or expensive dies and presses. They feel that they have to own these things too. Sadly, they are willing to put themselves into hock to accomplish this. Part of the 'keeping up' problem is tied to the glam factor.
“Hey, Old Bill only runs custom rifles with March or Nightforce scopes!”Forster Tool
You cannot afford to be seen with a Remington 783 or a Burris scope! What will the others think? Praise the retail gods, Bill! Your credit card company thanks you too!
There are even a few shooters who flat out lie about the equipment they own. These guys are too embarrassed to admit their reloading room is full of used equipment and inexpensive dies, or well worn rifles, so they, um, prevaricate. No need to stretch the truth! Congratulations on not being fooled into thinking that everything you own must be worth a king's ransom!
Some shooters recover from this when they are over 60, but they are still a minority.
Anyhow, back to the priming tools that I have used and fought with. I’ve tried a lot. The equipment companies and retailers benefited to be sure, but most of my stuff was either a loaner or tax deductible. RCBS Bench Tool
1. Lee hand priming tool with the round trays – years of faithful service. I wore out three. It would have been perfect if the primer tray was square.
2. Lee Auto Prime II – Good. It's only failing was the plastic feeding trough. It had to be tapped or the primers moved onto the ram with a pencil. It didn't like to feed the last five to ten primers.
3. Forster bench priming tool – Okay, but a pain in the butt to load the primer tube. Tied for tedious with the RCBS Automatic Priming Tool.
4. Lee Auto Bench Prime – Yuck! The primer trays jammed and misfed constantly.
5. RCBS universal hand priming tool – Okay, but it broke after a year. For $100 CDN, I expected better.
6. Lee Ram Prime – Sometimes, simple is best.