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Competition Primer Seater review

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Competition Primer Seater review
« on: June 15, 2016, 06:33:26 PM »

Jeff M

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As some of you may have read about, Orkan from Primal Rights gave me a Competition Primer Seater for being the only competitor to clean the long ball stage at the South Dakota Steel Classic (  It is available here:

Well, I got it out of the box, got it mounted, and have finally begun using it.  But first, a little background:  In October 2015, I stopped by TS Customs since I was in town there for some training.  Travis is a super nice guy, and showed me around, showed me how he chambers a barrel, and shot the shit with me for a while.  Part of that shit-shooting session was discussing cartridges, and reloading.  We wandered up to his reloading area, and I saw a contraption on his bench that I'd never seen before.  It appeared to have a primer tube sticking out of it, and looked a lot like this:

I asked him what it was, and he told me it was a prototype primer seater that he was working on with Orkan.  He gave me a brief demo, and I thought it was neat.  Then I asked the cost:  $600.  I nearly choked.  $600?  No effin way!  That's 1500 bullets!  That's a rebarrel!  Neat, thanks, but no thanks.  I wrote the whole thing off, having never actually TRIED it.  As far as I was concerned, I had no need to try it.  Spending $600 just to prime brass was sheer lunacy, and there was no chance in hell that my hard-earned money was going to go to something like that!

Now, full disclosure, in case you missed the part above - I DID get this unit for free, as a stage prize at a match.  HOWEVER - now that I've set it up and used it?  Yeah.  I'd pay $600 for the production version I have in my hot little hands here.  Ab-so-fuckin-lutely.  And here's why:

I've tried all sorts of ways to prime my brass.  I've done it on my 550.  I've done it on my 650.  I've done it like this, I've done it like that - I even did it with a whiffle ball bat (bonus points to those of you who caught that!).  Ok, but seriously - I've used a 550, a 650, and most recently, I've been priming on my CoAx.  As anyone who has ever primed on a CoAx knows, it's incredibly repeatable, but man, what a pain in the ass.  All the handle pulling, and putting the primers in there one by one by hand..  Ugh.  Tedious, monotonous bullshit.  Labor of love, my ass.  That's easily my least favorite step in the entire reloading process.  Enter the CPS.  This thing uses primer tubes, just like a progressive press does.  It seats primers to a repeatable depth, just like the CoAx does.  BUT - it allows you to ADJUST THE DEPTH in .001" increments - something a CoAx does NOT do.  "But I like to use my hand primer.  I know how far I have to seat them by feel."  Yeah, ok.  Maybe if you're a neurosurgeon with the worlds most sensitive hands.  Otherwise, all you're feeling is how worn out your primer pockets are getting.  I mean really, that's all the change in resistance is!  Or maybe your argument is "I like using a hand primer because I can do it in the living room in front of the TV."  The only reason you have to do it in front of the TV is because it takes so fucking long!   ;D

So, you load up a tube, and you stick it into the the large hole just behind the shellholder there.  Pull the cotter pin, and the primers drop.  Give the shuttle a quick flip back and forward again, put in a piece of brass, give the handle a yank, and you're done.  There is a positive stop, so no worries about crushing a primer, or it going to deep, or not deep enough (just don't short stroke it) - simply pull the handle as far as you can, and then push it back up.  Clip the shuttle with your finger from the hand that's on the handle, use your other hand to swap the primed brass for an unprimed piece, rinse and repeat.  It's crazy fast, and it's crazy repeatable.

Now, for those of you sitting out there thinking "There's no way, he got some kind of payment or kickback or something for writing this review.  He's full of shit."  I'm here to tell you, nope.  I've already disclosed that I got the unit for free, but that's it.  I've gotten no kickback from PrimalRights or Orkan, I get no referral bonus if you go buy one, nothing like that.  I'm just sharing my review of a piece of gear that has made life a LOT easier when it comes to time spent on the reloading bench.

NOW - having said all that, I do have one small gripe about the product as supplied:  The included primer tubes are apparently Hornady tubes.  Those of you that have Hornady tubes, or use them, and like them, well you can skip this section.  For those of you that have Dillon tubes, listen up:  Hornady tubes are a LOT tighter than Dillon tubes.  You have to PRESS to get the primer into the tube, and then you have to PRESS to get the last few primers through the pick-up nipple and into the tube.  I didn't like that.  It required so much force that it slowed me WAY down from what I was used to loading Dillon tubes.

The Hornady tube is seen on the left in the photo above.  A standard Dillon tube is in the center, and my modified Dillon tube is on the right.  All I did was to cut the blue plastic end off the Dillon tube, and then drill a hole through the end of the tube for the cotter pin to hold the primers in place.  I just eyeballed it and used a #45 bit.  For the record, I tried all sorts of other things, but the blue end on the Dillon tubes is too narrow for the opening on the CPS, and it flopped around.  I tried removing the white end from the Hornady tube, but since it goes into the tube instead of around the outside of the tube, there's a relief cut in the end of the tube for the white insert, so I had this little "shelf" where primers would get stuck when using a Dillon pick-up nipple on the Hornady tube.  My little modified tube works just right, and took me all of about 4 minutes to whip up.

Some additional photos:

So, if you're sitting there thinking to yourself "I hate priming, but I just can't see my way to spending $600 on this thing...", I'd really urge you to reconsider.  I mean, sure - $600 IS $600, and if you don't have a lot of disposable income, there's not much you can do about that.  I recognize the fact that shooters' budgets are as individual as their rifles.  If there's any way you can do it, and if you hate priming as much as I used to - this thing will be the answer to all your prayers.  I promise you!
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Re: Competition Primer Seater review
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2016, 07:58:07 AM »

TS Customs

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Truer things could not have been said about the CPS. I knew you'd like it!