Best Reloading Press Reviews and Recommendations

When it comes to acquiring ammunition, there are two possible ways you can do so: either by buying readymade bullets from a sporting goods store, or by reloading your own. Finding the best reloading press for your needs will help you make your own more efficiently.

Reloading your own bullets may seem intimidating at first.  In fact, some people even think that it’s too complicated of a process for them to tackle. Others have the idea that it may actually cost more since some of the reloading presses that you may see in the market are quite expensive. While this is true initially, the truth is that you can actually save a lot of money in the long run by reloading your own ammunition in comparison to just buying them directly.

In order to reload your own ammunition, you will need a high quality reloading press. In this article, we will learn about how a reloading press works and some of the best models that are currently available out in the marketplace.
Best reloading Press

What is a Reloading Press?

Basically, a reloading press does the job of reloading your shell cases.  It makes use of compound leverage to push brass into dies that are working on a specific stage of your reloading process. In addition, it sizes the shell, replaces the primer, loads in the gunpowder, seats the bullet, and crimps it. The only thing you really have to do is clean and lube your shells before you reload them. But in order to have a good reloading experience, you first have to choose the best reloading press that’s available to you.

Types of Reloading Press

Different reloading presses reload bullets in different ways; this is why a reloader must consider the different kinds of reloading presses before making a purchase. Of course, price makes a huge difference as well; single stage presses are the cheapest, but they are also the slowest to reload. On the other hand, the turret press is in the mid price range and is faster than the single stage press but also cannot complete as many reloads in a given amount of time as the progressive reloading press, which is considered to be the highest end type of reloading press.

SINGEL-STAGE
turret
progressive

Single Stage Reloading Press

As we just discussed, the simplest of all presses is the single stage; it operates on one die and one case at a time, which requires more time on your behalf while reloading. You have to change your dies for every stage that you work on while also having to replace the shell casing each time the last one is completed. People who settle for single stage presses are either new to the art of reloading or only reload occasionally.

Turret Reloading Press
A turret press includes a turret plate where you can place all the dies that you need for a particular caliber you are working on. This means that you can operate the complete process in one shell casing without the need to change and remove your dies as compared to a single stage press as we just talked about. A turret press obviously works faster in this manner, especially the models that have an auto indexing feature where you don’t need to turn the turret plate in order to proceed to the next station. All in all, the turret press will be the best reloading press for you and offers the best compromise between the single and the progressive reloading presses.

Progressive Reloading Press
If you need to produce around 500 to 600 bullets in an hour, the progressive type of reloading press is what you need. Progressive presses not only hold all of the dies that you need for a particular caliber, it also holds 4-5 cases that are worked on simultaneously with every pull of the lever. With this kind of functionality, you can understand that progressive presses are also the most expensive in comparison to single and turret presses. But on the other hand, if you are a pro reloader who reloads as a job, the progressive press is easily the best reloading press for you.

Best Reloading Press Comparison Table

Recommended 3 different types of Best Reloading Press Reviews

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press - Single Stage Reloading Press

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press

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One of the most versatile and wisest choices when it comes to single stage reloading presses is the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press.  The Rock Chucker has a sturdy O frame design that holds support around its body. The frame on this single stage press also has a huge clearance where it can hold cartridges that are up to 4 inches in length, which makes it compatible with most kinds of rifle ammunition.

In addition, if you are a left-handed reloader, there shouldn’t be any problems. The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press has an ambidextrous handle where you can shift from left to right with ease. The ball handle grip also offers comfort to you as the reloading is in progress; this handle is made of steel to make sure it can receive pressure while pulling the lever.

For most single stage reloading presses, the priming process is not included and must be done on a separate tool, but with the Rock Chucker Supreme Press, both large and small primer arms are included to give you less dependence on using other tools. The primer arm can be easily attached and removed so that when you are through with the priming stage, the arms can be kept in a safe place. A primer catcher is also included in the package, which obviously gives you less of a hassle on cleaning spent primers on the floor.

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Furthermore, the size of the Rock Chucker is compact enough so that it doesn’t take much space and can even be used while traveling.

RCBS is known to have great customer service and quality products. This is what has made them a popular brand with reloaders for years.  They have been producing quality reloading presses for more than half a century and their products are all tried and tested.

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Lee Cast Aluminum 4-Hole Turret Press - Turret reloading press

Lee Cast Aluminum 4-Hole Turret Press

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Finding a reloading press that can fully cater to your needs requires lots of research. For years, reloading has been a common hobby by people who love to go shooting or who do so professionally.

The lee classic cast 4-hole turret press is considered a great buy for those who need to make more bullets than what the single press design can deliver. This particular press is recommended to most reloaders since it doesn’t cost as much as a progressive press and produces more reloads per hour than a single stage. As we mentioned earlier, turret presses in general are a superb compromise between single stage and progressive presses.  

Just like most turret presses, this Lee 4-hole turret press features auto indexing so there is no need to manually turn the turret plate; instead you just watch it prepare the dies to the next stage automatically. This turret is built out of cast iron, which maintains accuracy and leads to an overall longer life.

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Its 4-hole turret plate can complete all of the stages in the reloading process. Reloading different calibers is also possible since it offers more than enough space to accommodate different casing lengths, in addition to giving your hands plenty of work space. This makes the Lee Classic a more versatile press as a whole since you will be able to reload practically any caliber that you have and have the necessary hand clearance to do so.  

Other great features of the Lee Classic turret press are the priming system and its spent primer catcher that will leave you with a no mess workstation. Its longer stroke makes it easier to apply force for every station that you’re working on when needed, while the 4th hole is capable of crimping your cases. The Lee Classic cast press is also built with strong and reliable materials that can last for a lifetime while still being competitive price wise in the marketplace.

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Hornady Lock N Load AP Reloading Press - Progressive Reloading Press

Hornady Lock N Load Auto progressive Reloading Press

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As we have discussed, progressive presses simply offer the fastest way to produce 500 to 600 reloads in an hour. The Hornady Lock N Load Auto progressive Reloading Press is known for its awesome features, such as its quick change die bushings system. With a simple twist on your dies, you can easily swap out other dies that you need to use. The Lock N Load also helps reloaders maintain their specific adjustments in every die set so that once they are fixed, no necessary adjustments are needed later on.

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Automatic indexing is also cool feature from the Lock N Load Auto progressive press; this makes the die holder turn automatically as you pull the lever for every stage.  This translates to less hand work for the user and a faster operation as a whole.  

With the Lock N Load Auto-Progressive’s EZject system, all of your loaded cases will be sent to the hopper and not anywhere on the floor or your working table. It can hold more casings at once so you don’t have to be emptying it all the time and allow you to focus on your reloading. Its Case Activated powder drop feature will not release any powder unless there is a case waiting to be fed, and furthermore removes all of the possibilities of wasted gun powders for safety purposes.

All in all, the Lock N Load Auto progressive has all of the necessary accessories that you will need in order to start reloading your cases, such as an automatic powder measure, a case feeder, and an advanced priming system.

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Lee Precision 50th Anniversary Reloading Kit - Reloading Press Kit for beginners

Lee Precision 50th Anniversary Reloading Kit

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For new reloaders, choosing the right reloading press may be hard to do at first. Thinking of what type of press to use, what brand is the highest quality, what accessories you need to purchase, and the price of the press are all important factors to take into consideration.  

It’s a good thing that Lee was able to come up with a complete set of a package, or a ‘kit’ as they call it, so that you can start reloading right away. The Lee Precision 50th Anniversary Reloading Kit is one of the bestsellers on the market when it comes to reloading kits for many reasons, and here’s why:

Sturdy O Frame:
There are three different types of frames when it comes to reloading, O, C, and H. Each of these have their own set of pros and cons but the O frame is what most reloaders find better when it comes to a single stage reloading press. This is because it offers enough hand clearance for your hands to work on each stage of the reloading process.

Breech Lock System:

With the Breech Lock quick change bushing system from Lee Precision 50th Anniversary Reloading Kit, you save time by allowing you to change dies with a simple twist and you will not have to make anymore small adjustments.

Safety Scale:

When it comes to reloading, one of the most critical parts of the process is loading the powder. This is because if there’s no powder in the casing, it won’t fire!  Then again, if you load too much powder, the damage to your gun can be catastrophic and you could sustain serious injuries.  There are also standards set by the law that you must follow and are in place for the safety of the shooter. Because of this, investing in a good scale is a must, and what could be better than having this safety scale be included in your kit?

To be more specific, a sturdy scale is what you need, and Lee’s Safety scale is made of a phenolic metal that designed to last for a long time while providing accurate measurements. Every load will be cleaned up in a funnel with no spills  made.

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Other accessories that are included on this kit are:

  • Lee Value Trim
  • Cutter and Lock stud
  • Chamfer tool
  • 1 tube of sizing lube
  • Small and Large primer pocket cleaning tool
  • Small and large safety prime
  • Funnel
  • Instructional manual

As with most reloading presses that you can get on the market, the Lee Precision 50th Anniversary Reloading Kit does not come with a particular set of dies. This is because not all reloaders use the same caliber. So in order to use this kit, you will have to purchase your set of dies for the caliber that you want separate from the kit.

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Best Reloading Accessories for Your Press

Best Reloading Accessories for Your Press

Some reloading presses may require you to get additional accessories in order to make the process faster and easier. One of the most popular accessories that you can get is an automatic powder measure where you do not have to use manual scaling and funnels to load each case. The priming system also includes primer tubes or arms to make sure that each and every case is properly primed.

Case feeders are a lot of help too, and save you time and hand work by manually inserting the cases to the plate. Turret plates are also advisable especially if you work on multiple calibers.  Changing your dies all the time is a tedious job while swapping turret plates can be done quickly with minimal effort. If the press that you are using has a quick change bushing feature, installing bushing adapters is highly recommended, and saves you time on adjusting your dies and swapping them.

A bullet feeder may come in handy too if you really want your press to work on all stages without the need for you to manually set them on the case. Getting some large hoppers to catch your reloads are also ideal so that you don’t get any loaded cases on the floor. Another similar accessory that would be nice to have is the spent primers case that allows you to have each of your casings in one place and also makes it easier to empty them when you are done reloading.


Things to consider before buying a reloading press

Things to consider before buying a reloading pressWhether you are a novice when it comes to reloading old shell casings or a seasoned reloader who is looking for a new reloading press, you should always know the most important features of any particular reloading press that you are looking at  (Take a look at our reloading press reviews.

When you are aware of the different types of reloading presses, it will be easier for you to match your needs to its features. With 3 different types of presses that you can choose from, these are the questions you need to get your right reloading partner:  Feel free to take a look at our reloading press buying guide

  • How much ammunition do I need?
  • What are the specific calibers that I will be working on?
  • Do I have enough space to reload at home?
  • How much money do I have to spend according to my budget?


Benefits of reloading press

Benefits of reloading press

Using a reloading press has many advantages (but you have to choose the best reloading press for you) compared to buying readymade bullets that only takes more money out of your wallet. There are so many reloaders nowadays that want to reload their own ammunition for many valid reasons.  To learn more about these reasons, here they are:

It is not a secret that some reloading presses are expensive, but what’s more pricey is buying readymade bullets every time you want to use your guns. Using your own reloading press can save you up to 50% against those factory made bullets that you can purchase from a sporting goods store, for example.
When you reload your own cases, you get to be a part of every stage in the process. This means that you can really see if your bullets are within the standards set by the law and can even work with the allowed range to see if it performs better.
When you make your own ammunition, you also get to choose the type and brand of powder, primer and bullet that you want to use. This gives you more of a chance to experiment with which particular reload gives your gun the best performance.

 For a brief description read the complete post on the BENEFITS OF RELOADING

Are Reloading Presses Difficult to Use?

Are Reloading Presses Difficult to Use?

In anything that you have to use for the first time, naturally, you might find it hard to get used to. For new users of reloading presses, there might really be a time that you might get confused on how things work and how to operate them. However, with the right manuals and some video tutorials, it will only take you a short period of time to finally realize how simple reloading presses really are to operate.  

As you upgrade your reloading press from a single stage to the progressive reloading press, you’ll also notice that it gets a little more complicated.  However, for most readers, starting with a single stage and turret reloading presses is recommended. This will give you enough experience on the basic functions until you can work on them simultaneously on progressive presses and produce more rounds per hour.

 If you have some extra time then you can take a look on how to avoid common reloading press mistake.  

Final Verdict

Getting your own reloading press is one of the best things that you can do if you want a more personalized and quality controlled cartridge produced for your shooting needs. It may be expensive to buy at first, in addition to having to also purchase some accessories that you will need as well. But your money will be well spent, as all of the brands we mentioned are sturdy products that will last you for a long time with proper care.

Choosing the best reloading press for you should always depend on the needs that you have, but also know that the price of the press should influence your decision making process as well. Setting your budget also helps to help you narrow down your choices. If you found our info helpful please use one of our links to make your purchase from Amazon. This site receives a small commission from Amazon at no extra cost to you for purchases made through our link. Thanks for your support and for visiting reloadingpresso.com.

There are many other different reloading press reviews and video tutorials that you can access for free online right now. If you are still unsure of what to get, these resources will definitely help you decide the right reloading press for you. Also, if you happen to know a person who shares the same interest and perhaps already owns a reloading press, trying them on hand is a much better research method than just reading and watching online reviews and tutorials.

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