Primal Rights makes the world’s finest primer seating tool: the Competition Primer Seater (CPS). In this story, we’ll take an in-depth look at this tool. I’ll cover everything from unboxing to setup to priming cases. Let’s get to it!
About the CPS
From the Primal Rights product page:
The Patented CPS was designed to address the need for a robust and precise high-volume primer seating tool. The limitations of other priming tools are self-evident to those that have used them for a 300, 500, or 1000rnd priming session. Hand priming tools can cause extreme fatigue in your thumbs and hands. This is especially true when you have a batch of brass with tight primer pockets. The bench-mounted units are often quite a lot safer, but generally much slower. They also often lack the same “feel” you get with the hand priming tools.
Recognizing these deficiencies, we set out to design the worlds best priming tool, with all of the strengths of other units, but none of their weaknesses.
Good for right-handed or left-handed use. The handle on the CPS can be moved to accommodate any bench position or priming style you prefer.
Speed, without sacrificing precision or reliability. Some priming tools are very fast. Others are very precise. The CPS is the only priming tool to combine both features into a single unit. You can achieve seating depths accurate to within a thousandth of an inch, all while priming at a comfortable rate of over 20 cases per minute. At that pace you can easily prime over a thousand cases per hour.
Absolute precision primer seating depths. Precision rifle shooters know that one of the keys to reducing your extreme velocity spread is to ensure consistent powder ignition. The CPS has a revolutionary adjustable shell holder system which allows you to raise and lower your case in relation to the priming rod. You can seat the primer deeper or shallower in .001″ increments. The adjustment mechanism has tactile and audible clicks to ensure you stay on your desired seating depth. One click = One thousandth of an inch adjustment.
Universal primer tube loaded. You can use nearly any brand of primer tube for simple and effective loading of primers into the tool. No more plastic trays to break or fumble with. As long as the tubes have an outside diameter of .312″ or so, you can use them with the CPS. The unit ships with both small rifle and large rifle priming tubes.
Integrated shuttle feeding system. The CPS uses a manually-operated shuttle system to slide primers from the primer tube into position over the primer rod. This ensures that any jams or misaligned primers are easily and safely discovered by the operator. Slight finger pressure is all that is required to position a primer for seating. Sliding the shuttle rearward until it stops will capture a primer from the primer tube. Sliding the shuttle forward will position the primer over the priming rod. This is an effortless motion which completely isolates the primer being pressed into the case from the rest of the primers in the primer tube. The manual operation also ensures that you will be able to feel any malfunctions immediately and allow you to stop if a jam occurs.
Bench-mounted for rigidity and stability. The CPS is a bench-mounted priming tool. This ensures a controlled and static orientation of the case being primed, so that if a faulty primer detonates, the blast will be directed straight upwards through the case mouth rather than in a random direction. Being mounted to a bench also allows for a consistent technique and operation of the priming tool.
Rotational drive system. Nearly all other priming tools on the market utilize a pivot drive system to provide leverage. The drawback with those systems is that the amount of force required to achieve the desired leverage changes through the tools range of motion. Unlike pivot-driven designs, the CPS provides an accurate and constant feel through the entire range of motion. This, combined with the extreme strength and rigidity of the CPS ensures that you will “feel” each primer as it is being seated. This is important so that worn out brass can be identified and culled when you feel a loose primer pocket.
What’s In the Box
The CPS comes with everything you’ll need to prime cases (with small or large primers) except shellholders. The CPS uses hand-priming type shellholders from LEE, Frankford Arsenal and other compatible systems. Here’s what’s in the box as shown in the picture above:
- CPS priming tool core assembly
- Large and small primer shuttles
- Large and small pick-up tubes (serve as drop tubes as well)
- Large and small primer punches
- Instruction booklet
Setting Up the CPS
As shown in the video, setting up the CPS is straightforward:
- Mount the CPS to your bench (two screw holes)
- Drop in the appropriate shuttle
- Place the correct shellholder onto the shuttle
- Place the shellholder cap onto the shellholder, tighten
- Drop in primer punch
- Use pick-up tube to load primers, invert, place onto shuttle, pull hitch pin (verify that primers drop)
- Prime case by “Feel”
- Adjust depth with wheel (each click is 0.001″ of seating depth) until handle is lowered to stop
- Fine tune primer seating depth to your liking (actually, to your rifle’s liking)
Priming with the CPS
I have used the CPS now for over 2 years, and can say that this tool is the pinnacle of primer seating tools. I’m now using it for all of my load development, related research, and benchrest-oriented shooting scenarios.
Some things I like about this tool:
- You can use tube fillers to load primers
- It is fast!
- Static depth is more precise than “by feel”, gives you a higher level of precision
- Quality, made in USA, USA materials.
The only real down-side to this tool for most folks is the cost. At $600.00 it costs more than some reloading presses. But real gear costs real money, and when you compare this tool to an imported FFP rifle optic in the same price range, it’s clear that the CPS is more of a lifetime investment. This tool is for those that want the best, that need the best.
You can order your own CPS directly from Primal Rights:
If you do get a CPS, prepare for a “whole new world” of priming!
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