Any tips for reliability/sideways primers

Questions and discussions and troubleshooting Lee Load Master presses

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Any tips for reliability/sideways primers

Postby pdoggeth » Tue May 03, 2016 1:03 pm

Hi folks, Recently I bought a new loadmaster, and I've been using it for about two months now. I've read a bit before I bought it to know that it's a press that needs experimentation and care.

I think I'm getting the hang of everything, except the main struggle I still have is that there are times I would get sideways or crushed primers. I have read some of the suggestions about this problem, some recommending the sizing die in station 2, and others talking about getting a rhythm down.

Here's my setup:
- I decap first on my single stage & then tumble and clean. Often I would actually resize on the single stage as well and make sure brass is not exceeding maximum length.

- Station 1: nothing
- Station 2: I have a resizing die w/o the decapping pin. This is also the priming station
- Station 3: Flare die with auto-drum measure
- Station 4: Bullet Seating
- Station 5: Bullet Crimp.

I find that if I go super slow, I tend to have less problems. Not zero, but less. I'm talking about slow and steady especially on the up stroke, and right before I index on the down stroke. But going that slow would somewhat defeat the purpose of a progressive press, right? I don't expect this to be a super fast ammo factory, but still, I was hoping I could increase my throughput just a bit. I think at this super slow pace, it takes me 25-30 minutes to finish 100 9mm rounds.

Anyone have some other suggestions aside from slowing it down and the resizer die on station 2?

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Gillie Dog
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Postby Gillie Dog » Tue May 03, 2016 1:59 pm

My suggestion(s):

Station 1: Size with decapper (in case you do have a primer in a case)
Station 2: Nothing (assuming you have the case properly centered on primer pin, what are you loading? 9mm?)
You are good from here on.

You MUST have the press mounted SOLID. No shake or wiggle at all during operation. Addition of post in front of the press might be needed.

Read Mike's Reloading Bench front to back if you have not yet done so. There is a wealth of information there to help solve problems.

If that does not solve the problem go to Mike's primer system and you will have it solved.


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Postby Jal5 » Tue May 03, 2016 1:59 pm

Eliminate all wiggle in the press. See magic mikes shake break fix. I use a similar process as you but i give clean brass some spray lube for all. All calibers. Just makes everything go smoother. Less shake & more smooth = fewer primer problems. Keep the primer trough and pin area super clean too.

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Postby pdoggeth » Tue May 03, 2016 5:59 pm

Thanks for the suggestion guys

Correct, I'm reloading 9mm.

About that shake though... I have my flare die set to give a pretty good flare to my brass (so bullet seating is easier). As a result, this sometimes requires a little force to move from the down stroke, which would cause shake. However, since it's before the indexing move, that shake shouldn't disrupt the orientation of the primers... I hope.

I guess I better read Mike's notes again.

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Postby gooffeyguy » Tue May 03, 2016 6:41 pm

I found when loading 9mm that the shellplate holds the case in too close to the center to get a good alignment with the primers. I set the case retainer at station 2 a little farther out and snug it down so it takes a bit of effort to move. This allows the case to be positioned a bit further out when the shellplate rotates and allows for better alignment with the priming system.

I also put my empty brass into a gallon sized ziplock and shoot a couple squirts of Hornady One Shot on them then close the bag and juggle the bag around a bit in my hands to let it get onto all the cases. Then dump the lubed cases into the case collator.

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Postby carload9 » Tue May 03, 2016 7:21 pm

get shake brake.

Buy the lund cargo spreader on ebay to go with plate kit from mm.


flair stat 2

3 drops powder only.

i have mm carrier and primer system.

i have all websterz stuff too, u should buy.

Once you buy these things it helps. & your done.


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Gillie Dog
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Postby Gillie Dog » Tue May 03, 2016 8:19 pm

For 9mm I use a 19S shell plate with the wire spacers epoxied in so the case is centered on the primer punch. Yes, that means I have two 19S shell plates but I favor the "mechanical" method of assuring the case is properly centered for receiving the primer.

I prime all pistol cartridges on the Loadmaster with Mike's primer system and have gone into the many thousands of priming with out a failure. (Other than the occasional running the trough dry of primers which once you dribble powder all over out the flash hole you will not do it again. Or at least not very soon after doing it once.) :oops:

I guess I should work on a Loadmaster primer sensor for the trough in my spare time.:P


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Postby sloboataz » Wed May 04, 2016 2:18 pm

What they said. I am also new had to (and still am) going thru the same things. The brace makes a huge difference. My priming system works great now except that a few will stick and/or get sideways on the right side of the slide in the new style pan. Just have to watch it. Right off MM's page, drill the pocket (only) out of a case and look thru it to see how your pin lines up with the pocket. Mine was perfect so I use the sizer to hold it. If not, you may want to space it out, again, as per MM. I have been decapping with the LLM. I back out the sizer and open the #3 guide to shoot the cases into a bin for cleaning. I just tried decapping and sizing before cleaning and was able to get even more consistent COL's. Yes, I have MM's plate! As was said, anytime you run a case thru the sizer..lube it. Be careful. Take your time. Small bombs. I still measure and check throws every 15 or 20 and just loaded 100 rounds in 15 mins with a primer reload. You can load fairly quick and safe if you are careful. Good luck.

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Postby El Hombre » Thu May 05, 2016 8:37 pm

I shoved a support under my bench top, right under the LM, so it didn't bounce around. That was pretty obvious the press needs to stay rock still, and with me yanking on the lever, it sure wasn't rock still.

Other thing is to try different speeds on the lever and watch what happens; both good or bad things. Then try moving faster or slower and see if you can change the bad to good. It's a feedback loop, monkey see, monkey do whatever it takes! The sound the press makes when it's happy is easy to recognize once you've heard it, just a nice rhythmic repetition.

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Re: Any tips for reliability/sideways primers

Postby Whiterabbit » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:05 pm

I cant speak to press stability, mine has been rock solid from go. BUT, I did get sideways primers exactly once, and missing primers exactly twice. Here's what happened to me.

For no primers, it was ensuring i always put in 10 more primers than i needed as a pusher.

For sideways primers, I previously had a spilled powder event and that stuff gets everywhere. The primer chute must be clean and dry.

Zero issue since that. If you have a question, pull the assembly and wipe with a dry cloth.

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Re: Any tips for reliability/sideways primers

Postby erle » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:22 pm

You've gotten some mighty good advice.

1- Any time the primer pin pushes a primer up that is not centered--it is likely to catch on the side of the case primer hole & flip. Loosening the case retainer helps & epoxying wire in the grooves is even better.

2- If the primer does not slide out evenly onto the primer pin, it has a tendency to flip before it seats. Magic Mike's carrier mod allows you to adjust the height of the pin so it is just right. His mod also assures that the tip of the primer pin is flat.

3- The slightest movement of the press also has a tendency to flip primers. As has been suggested, Magic Mike's "Shake Break" will help hold the press steady.

I have two presses & I could get them to act right a lot of the time by fiddling with them. The best thing I ever did was get all of Magic Mike's mods on both of them. I very seldom get a flipped primer any more & if I do it is because I get in a hurry & mess up or don't keep the priming area clean!

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Re: Any tips for reliability/sideways primers

Postby bill3337 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:33 pm

check carrier alighnment see my post above ,the dreaded carrier alighnment,mine was probaly a little off for months,that was one of the symptoms
any catastrphic event moves it a little ,till finally its unmangable
after the realighnment i am up to 600 in a row no issues at all

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Re: Any tips for reliability/sideways primers

Postby rowe_s » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:47 am

I have found that the base of the TulAmmo small primer has a radius about what looks like double that of the Usual American primers. This makes it easer to tip while setting on its bottom. This would allow it to tip over or turn sideways while setting on the priming punch of the LoadMaster.

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