How to Seat Primers

Bolt Action Reloading • July 05, 2023

Priming cases is a pretty simple step. There are three types of tools:

  1. Hand priming
  2. Bench priming
  3. On-the-press priming

Ultimately they all can work when set up correctly. When you are first starting out, assuming you have hands that can tolerate some repetitive motion, hand priming is the fastest way to figure out the “feel” of priming. A bench primer is a good middle ground, and while you can prime on some presses, you just do not get the feel on the long handle that you do with a hand primer.

Your reloading manual should tell you the correct primer that is needed. Primers are designated large or small, pistol or rifle, magnum or standard. Especially when you are starting out, follow your manual’s guidance as closely as possible. You will have to configure your tool for the appropriate size (large or small) and follow the directions for your priming system of choice. At the end you should have primers fully seated below flush of the case head.

For a comprehensive overview of primer seating, be sure to watch the video above!

--Bold Action Reloading

NEXT UP, Part 3: How to Dispense Powder

For the complete 4-part article, see Reloading's Beginner's Guide - How to Start Reloading