Best Reloading Press for Beginners

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As a new shooter, you might have considered loading your ammunition and are now looking for equipment and components. The reloading press is one of the essential equipment you will need and will account for most of your budget. You’re probably wondering how to go about buying the best reloading press that will make reloading easy and economical. A reloading press is a device that is used to push cases into the dies that perform the loading operations using compound leverage.

Two types of reloading presses are currently available in the market: a turret or single stage press and a progressive press. For beginners, a progressive press is the best since it is flexible for long term loading and also does multiple functions at the same time. Read this guide first for you to know everything you need to consider when buying a reloading press. We have also listed some of the best reloading presses in the market to make it easy for you to select one.

Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Reloading Press for Beginners

As a beginner, choosing the best reloading press can be quite a task. You don’t want to risk buying expensive equipment that will disappoint you in the long run. We have come up with a list of factors that will help you in selecting the best reloading press. This will make loading your ammunition enjoyable and stress-free. 

  • Speed

The most common reason why most people get into reloading is that they want to shoot more. For you to shoot more, you need to spend less time loading ammunition, and this is why speed is crucial in a reloading press. The speed of a reloading press is usually indicated in terms of rounds per hour. A progressive reloading press is the fastest, but you can also get a turret press with decent speed. Always consider how much time you have for loading the ammunition and even the quantities of ammo you need. These factors will guide you on the best speed for you.

  • The type of gun 

Before buying a reloading press, it is essential to consider the kind of weapon that you will be reloading for. The kind of gun you own will determine the size of cartridges to use as some guns have either very short or very long rounds. The type of weapon also influences the press accessories (die bushings, die rings, and priming parts). If you have a variety of calibres to reload, you need a reloading press kit that can accommodate all your cartridges, pistols and rifles. Different reloading presses have different sized spaces of seating the bullet. Make sure that the case you are using fits into a reloading press before you decide to buy it.

  • Ease of changing calibres

For a reloading press, each die performs a different operation when plugged into a reloading machine. You, therefore, need to keep changing calibres for different steps of the procedure. In a single-stage press, you get one die at a time, and changing the calibres can be time-consuming. In case you are using a single-stage press, it is advisable to process many rounds through one step, then turn the die and move to the next level.

A progressive press allows you to install all the dies you need at once, thus producing complete rounds of ammunition. You only need to check regularly if the dies are still set correctly. It is easy to change calibres on progressive presses due to the quick-change mechanisms that allow you to change several dies at once. For a beginner, progressive presses are a great win because of this feature.

  • Cost

The cost of buying and maintaining a reloading press varies depending on size and efficiency. You may want a cheap press that doesn’t strain your budget, but this will mean compromising on speed. As a shooter who wants to get the best equipment, you should save up and get a quality press. This saves you time by producing many reloads in a short time and also operating multiple stages at once with just a pull of the lever. Always make sure there’s a balance between the price and efficiency of the reloading press you choose to buy.

  • Volume of production

The quantity of ammunition that you intend to produce is an excellent guide to which reloading press you should go for. If you are producing ammunition in large quantities, you should consider a progressive press that will give you the ability to produce rounds of ammo in terms of thousands per hour. If you’re an average shooter, a turret press is the best for you since it’s cheaper than a progressive press and can produce up to 500 rounds of ammunition per hour.  

  • Personal preference

We cannot ignore the effect of your likes and dislikes in the choice of a reloading press. When buying a reloading press, you need to make sure it meets your needs in terms of design and efficiency. Some people prefer quality and consistency while others just want equipment that will make their hobby more fun. Other preferences include the size of the reloading press. Some people will opt for a small press that does not occupy a lot of space, while others will not mind creating extra space in the garage for a new press. The brand you end up choosing can also be influenced by your inclination towards a specific brand. 

Top 6 Reloading Presses for Beginners (Best Picks)

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Reloading Presses for Beginners

Summary of the Best Reloading Presses for Beginners

Finding the best reloading press that meets all the above qualities can be time consuming and tiresome. We made it easier for you by selecting the best six reloading presses that are available in the market. Read on:

Product nameFeatures to look at
Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading PressAuto-progressive reloading press for quickly switching dies and loading other calibres
Has a 5-station bushing system that lets you change from 223 to 45 in less than 5 minutes Has an eject system that  reliably ejects every cartridge, every time, without adjustments Comes with a quick-change metering inserts; universal case retainer spring; automatic indexing system Has a built-in priming system; case-activated powder drop; large-capacity hopper
LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit
The kit includes the Pro Auto-Drum powder measure and riser, perfect for all handgun and small rifle cartridges. fast and convenient when loading handgun cartridges, with rates over 250 rounds per hour possible
Instant change turret makes changing calibres a snap
Best for beginners Great price making it affordable.
RCBS Summit Single Stage Reloading PressMade of the highest quality materials Designed for bench-top operation Has an ambidextrous handle operation with compound leverage Has a massive 2-inch diameter ram Gives you full frontal access Accepts bushings for 1-inch die bodies
Dillon Precision 14261 RL550C 4 Stage Manually Indexed Progressive Reloading MachineMade of high-quality materials making it sturdy Can reload most calibres
It is fast thus saving you a lot of time Has an auto-indexing feature that makes it faster to move from one stage to another Has five reloading steps that give you high accuracy
Lyman All American 8 Turret Press for Reloadingframe and turret are made of heavy duty cast iron for durability It has an extra-large eight-station tower that is easily removed to make swapping turrets simple. Can hold two complete four die sets or up to four two die sets. 
Durable powder coat finish. Comes with straight line primer feed with large and small primer tubes.
   Lee Precision Load Master Reloading Rifle KitMade of cast aluminium
It has a large ram with a stroke clearance that’s big enough for even the most significant rifle cases. It can be used as an automatic indexing progressive press or as a single-stage press
It has five stations that accept most reloading dies It has a detachable turret that allows dies to be removed and reinserted without adjusting.

1.Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press

For a new reloader who wants to jump directly into a progressive press for high volumes, this is the best quality press for you. Not only do you get value for your money, but also quality functionality. It is cheaper compared to other presses of its quality.

Features

  • Auto-progressive reloading press for quickly switching dies and loading other calibres
  • Has a 5-station bushing system that lets you change from 223 to 45 in less than 5 minutes
  • Has an eject system that  reliably ejects every cartridge, every time, without adjustments
  • Comes with a quick-change metering inserts; universal case retainer spring; automatic indexing system
  • Has a built-in priming system; case-activated powder drop; large-capacity hopper

Specifications

  • Type:  progressive press

2. Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit

This reloading press is perfect for beginners since it is not complicated to use, and it is also affordable if you are on a budget. It has an instant change turret that makes it easy and effortless to change the calibres. It is possible to load 250 rounds per hour with this press due to its speed and convenience.

Features

  • The kit includes the Pro Auto-Drum powder measure and riser, perfect for all handgun and small rifle cartridges.
  • It is fast and convenient when loading handgun cartridges, with rates above 250 rounds per hour possible
  • Has an Instant change turret that makes changing calibres a snap
  • Best for beginners
  • Great price making it affordable.

Specifications

Type: turret press

3. RCBS Summit Single Stage Reloading Press

For buyers who want a high quality yet inexpensive singe stage press, this is your best bet. It is made of high-quality material and is designed to last for decades. It is easy to mount on a bench or worktop since you only need to fix the bolts. It is also elegantly designed with attractive green colour and even an ergonomic handle to offer you the comfort you deserve. 

Features

  • Made of the highest quality materials
  • Designed for bench-top operation
  • Has an ambidextrous handle operation with compound leverage
  • Has a massive 2-inch diameter ram
  • Gives you full frontal access
  • Accepts bushings for 1-inch die bodies

Specifications

  • Type: single-stage press

4. Dillon Precision 14261 RL550C 4 Stage Manually Indexed Progressive Reloading Machine

This equipment is designed to offer both performance and quality. It has unique features that make reloading more comfortable and faster. Its functionality cannot be ignored since it has five reloading stages that ensure you get accuracy all the way. It has an auto-indexing feature that makes it faster when moving from one step to another. It is also essential to note that you can operate multiple stations by the pulling of the lever. It has a tremendous overall construction that offers you durability due to its sturdy structure. Buying this reloading press is a significant investment that every shooter lives to pride in.

Features

  • Made of high-quality materials making it sturdy
  • Can reload most calibres
  • It is fast thus saving you a lot of time
  • Has an auto-indexing feature that makes it faster to move from one stage to another
  • Has five reloading steps that give you high accuracy
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Specifications

  • Type: progressive press

5. Lyman All American 8 Turret Press for Reloading

When you buy this model, you are assured of high functionality and durability. It comes with an eight-station turret head, thus allowing you to make more ammunition. It has multiple stations on the head that make the work more comfortable since you will not need a lot of adjustments. The handle is also versatile since it allows installation either on the right or the left side. This is an advantage to left-handed reloaders since most presses have their handles on the right side. It is made of iron and covered with hammer powder to prevent it from rusting.

Features

  • frame and turret are made of heavy duty cast iron for durability
  • Has an extra-large eight-station turret that is easily removed to make swapping turrets simple.
  • Can hold two complete four die sets or up to four two die sets.
  • Durable powder coat finish.
  • Comes with straight line primer feed with large and small primer tubes.

Specifications

Type: turret press

6. Lee Precision Load Master Reloading Rifle Kit

This kit is designed to offer you value for your money. It is made of cast aluminium, making it durable and reducing chances of rusting. You can use it as a single-stage press when you don’t have a lot of ammunition to produce and convert it to a progressive press when the need arises. It also has a removable turret that makes adjusting of dies easy and efficient.

Features

  • Made of cast aluminium
  • It has a large ram with a stroke clearance that’s big enough for even the largest rifle cases.
  • It can be used as an automatic indexing progressive press or as a single-stage press
  • It has five stations that accept most reloading dies
  • It has a detachable turret that allows dies to be removed and reinserted without adjusting.

Specifications

Type: can be used as a progressive press or single-stage

How To Operate the Hornady Lock-n-Load AP Reloading Press

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Reloading Presses for Beginners

Q. What is auto-indexing on a reloading press?

Indexing is the process of moving the dies to the next position in the reloading process. Turret and progressive presses have an auto-indexing feature. This means that you do not have to reposition the die manually. The auto-indexing feature also allows you to move to the next step of the process seamlessly.

Q. which is the best place to mount a reloading press?

When mounting a reloading press, you need sufficient space to move around and for your feet and elbows. It is advisable to install your reloading press on a sturdy table or workbench. When mounting, leave some space around your workbench for the other components and also above the press for an extension. After installing, clamp down the press and drill holes to bolt the press in place.

Q. How do I know which components I should use with my press?

Every machine comes with a manual that will guide you on the specific components to use. The manual also comes with safety instructions, so make sure you read it. In case you misplace the manual; you can find this information on the internet depending on the type of press that you own.

Q. What kind of press should I get as a beginner?

The type of press that you end up choosing will depend on your budget and preference. If you are on a budget and won’t need more than 200 rounds of ammunition per week, a single-stage press will serve you well. A single-stage press is also great for a beginner since it will teach you how every component works. After you have the knowledge and experience, you can then advance to a progressive press which is faster and more complicated. A progressive press is more expensive, but it can produce thousands of ammunition and are long-lasting.

Q. How do I maintain my reloading press?

Just like any other equipment, a reloading press requires maintenance to keep it functional for the longest time. If your reloading press is made of iron, make sure you clean it regularly to prevent rusting. Brush off or wipe powder that is left after charging powders. Always apply lube on the cartridges before using the press; this reduces friction on the machine and makes it work efficiently. When using the reloading press, do not use too much force on the lever. Instead, use the right amount of force that will get the shell up into the die.

Final word

Loading your ammunition is not only fun but also economical. You get to regulate the quality and accuracy of your bullets and also enjoy using bullets that you have created from scratch. Purchasing ready-made bullets limit you from learning how different measures affect accuracy, firepower and explosion of the bullets. When you decide to load your ammunition, you need to get equipment, and a reloading press is the one you will need most.

Many types of reloading presses vary in features. Your budget and preference will determine the kind of press you end up choosing. You can opt for a simple single stage press that is cheaper but produces just about 200 rounds per week. You can also opt for a turret press that is more advanced than a single stage press but is quite affordable or opt for a progressive press that is expensive but produces up to thousands of ammunition within a short time. If you intend to go big in reloading, it is advisable to buy a progressive press at once.

Another advantage of having a reloading press is that you can reload used ammunition. However, you have to be careful and observe safety measures when making the bullets and also when disposing of the unused powder.

When buying a reloading press, you need to have a budget in place as this will help you know the options you have and can afford. You need to consider the amount of ammunition you will be loading on average. This will help you to get equipment that will meet your need and also suit your budget. For example, if you only need 200 rounds of ammunition per week, it will not be cost-effective for you to get a progressive press. Always make sure you have enough space to mount your press and maintain it properly to get the most out of it.

This guide will help you in your search for the best reloading press and also guide you on what to look for. We hope that you enjoy your search, and load your bullets for more fun and adventure in your shooting.

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