Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer -The Firearm Blog


Frankford Arsenal claims that their Perfect Seat Hand Primer is “designed so you can have the perfect primer seat every time.” That is a bold claim, but in a world where primers cost $90/1000 if you can find them, it hurts to waste any to improper seating. Let’s take a look and see if the Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer lives up to its name.

More Reloading @ TFB:

Frankford Arsenal has no idea that I am doing this review. I bought this reloading tool because I was in the market for one, having worn out a comparable tool made by Lee. While I am not an expert reloader or hyper-precision bench rest competitor, I do reload several thousand rounds per year. Many of those rounds are bulk practice .223 and 9mm. However, I do load a decent amount of precision rifle ammo as well.

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer (left) and an old, worn-out Lee hand primer (right)

What’s In The Box

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

The Perfect Seat Hand Primer comes in a tidy plastic case

The Perfect Seat Hand Primer comes in a plastic hard case. The handle, the primer tray, two seating stems (one for large primers, one for small), and an assortment of 12 case holders are all included. The hard case arranges everything nicely. One great detail is the numbering of the studs which hold the shell holders. This makes it very easy to find the one you need instead of hunting through a random distribution.

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

One primer stem is installed in the tool, the other sit in the case

The top half of the hard case holds the primer tray and a guide for matching calibers to the appropriate shell holder. “Holds” may be too strong of a word because it falls out every time the case is opened, but I digress. The chart is very comprehensive and even had some calibers I had never heard of.

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

A very comprehensive list of cartridges and their respective shell holders are included

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

Numbering the studs for each shell holder is a nice detail

On The Reloading Bench

The primer tray is large enough for a full 100-count sleeve of primers (yes, even Federal with their abnormally large boxes). It is also square, which is an obvious design choice that somehow escaped Lee on their old hand primers. Some smaller boxes, like Remington, may even fit 200 at a time.

One little feature that I love is the gate that covers the primer tray feed chute. It easily slides over to keep the primers from siding out of the tray. This is great when you, say, forget to switch to the correct size of seating stem for the 100 primers you just put in the tray.

The most unique feature of the Perfect Seat Hand Primer is the small dial that adjusts seating depth. Frankford Arsenal says that each click adjusts the depth by 0.001″ with a total adjustment range of 0.05 inches. Each click is audible and tactile. These tiny changes in depth cannot be seen.

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

A small wheel on the front of the tool controls the depth adjustment

The adjustment wheel really works. I played with adjusting it higher and lower, and it really did allow me to maintain a  precise seating depth. As my old hand primer was wearing out, I had a batch of .223 brass with primers that were seated poorly. I went back through several hundred of them and was able to precisely set the seating depth to just where I wanted it.

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

Various seating depths demonstrated on .223 brass

Switching between the large and small primer stems is easy and only takes a few seconds. I swapped back and forth between large batches of .308 Winchester and .223 Remington without any undue delays.

I do have one main gripe with the Perfect Seat Hand Primer: primers get stuck in the middle of the tray. The tray appears to have a slight warp in the middle so there is not enough clearance from the lid. It is just narrow enough to catch about ten primers. With a little shaking and flexing of the tray, they will slide loose. But it is annoying.

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

The feed chute gate (top right) is a great touch, but the primers getting stuck under the “al” in Arsenal is annoying


I don’t think the Perfect Seat Hand Primer is actually perfect, but it is very good. Minor complaints aside, I am glad that I bought it. I wish I had bought this long ago because it would have saved both time and primers. If you need a hand priming tool (and are a control freak), you should consider the Perfect Seat Hand Primer.

TFB Review: Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer

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