You have to consider several factors before you zero in on a reloading press that can fulfill your needs. The wide variety of models available on the market can make it difficult for you to select one.
That said, you have to do some research if you want to make an informed decision. There are many different types of reloading presses available today, but single-stage reloading presses are the most popular, and for a good reason.
You can conveniently process a large quantity of ammo without hassle. Plus, modern designs ease the process for you, enabling you to save time and effort.
Some of the main qualities that reloaders look for when selecting a press are price, accuracy, and precision. You get what you pay for when it comes to reloading presses, so you should keep your budget flexible if you want a high-quality product. Moreover, you should not compromise on precision and accuracy.
Otherwise, you will not be able to get the results you want from your reloading press, which can be quite frustrating. You might feel that selecting a reloading press can involve a great deal of effort. The effort will be worth your while if you manage to find the perfect model for your needs.
The best approach you can take when browsing the market for a topnotch reloading press is buying one from a market leader. RCBS is a recognized brand when it comes to reloading presses. Their products are sturdy, efficient, and deliver the performance you expect.
The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit offers optimal accuracy and offers precision reloading. The kit includes many tools and items that you will find handy when reloading ammo. Here is an overview of the top features of this reloading press:
A majority of customers who purchased this reloading press on Amazon are happy with its features and performance.
A customer wrote that he used an older model from the brand for a while, but wanted to purchase this one, and he did as soon as it was available at a discount. He states that there is Zero play from the ram on each stroke and the reloading press offers great consistency.
Another customer stated that he used a different press that offered efficient performance but writes that the Rock Chucker is a beast. He is happy with its performance after reloading over a thousand rounds.
Another customer wrote that this reloading press makes the process a breeze. He does state that there are issues with the primer catch, but overall, he recommends it for all reloaders. Another customer stated that you should not buy any other high-end reloading press and simply opt for this model instead.
A reviewer stated that he owns two of these machines, calling it great. Another customer wrote that he loves the lever action of this reloading press and calls it an overall solid machine. A reviewer praised the reloading press as well as its packaging.
On the other hand, one customer faced a major issue with this reloading press. He states that the ram arrived broken and he was unable to get a replacement.
You can easily order this reloading press on Amazon, and they will deliver it to your doorstep. This option is the most convenient because you can place the order from any device you use and receive it at home.
The reloading press is available for around $125, and you have to pay an extra $15 for shipping. You can also browse other reloading presses on Amazon that offer other features and designs to compare price and performance.
This reloading press is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to purchase a high-quality, efficient model.
Are you looking for a high-quality reloading press? People who prefer to press ammunition need to invest in a sturdy reloading press to ease the process. Modern technology ensures there are plenty of options available on the market today. However, not every reloading press will offer the efficiency and quality you are seeking.
Therefore, you have to consider a few factors before you invest in one. Firstly, you need to determine the type of reloading press you need. For example, a single-stage press might be more suitable for your needs as compared to a progressive press.
Secondly, you need to figure out the number of rounds you will be working with because this factor is important because it helps you determine the right reloading press to buy. A turret press is ideal for people who work with 200 to 300 rounds.
Thirdly, there is the matter of space. You cannot buy a reloading press that will take up too much counter space, which can be a hassle if you have limited space available to work. Considering all these factors will help you narrow down your list of options, and make an informed decision.
You can simplify the process of selecting a reloading press by sticking to products manufactured by the top brands in the industry. Some brands are highly reliable and have a solid reputation, such as Lyman.
You can count on Lyman to deliver high-quality reloading presses, which are not only cost-effective but complete the job effectively. The Lyman Reloading Press is one of the best products you will find in its category.
For one, it bears the signature stamp of quality that Lyman brings to the table. Moreover, the price is decent. Here is an overview of the top features of this reloading press:
A majority of the customers who purchased this product on Amazon are happy with its performance. A customer wrote that he purchased a second one so that he can use it for a different caliber than the one he uses the older one for, giving him added convenience.
Another reviewer wrote that this reloading press enabled him to speed up the process of producing ammo, and he is down to around 20 seconds for a round. A customer wrote that this product is solid and at the same time, easy to use.
On the other hand, a few customers had some complaints about this product. A customer wrote that assembling this reloading press is a handle and all the parts don’t fit perfectly.
You can conveniently purchase the Lyman Reloading Press on Amazon. The retail price of the product is around $275, but it is currently available for around $200, which means substantial savings if you order it from Amazon.
Plus, you get free shipping, which further economizes your purchase. You can also browse the other reloading presses on Amazon that offer different features to compare quality and prices.
Overall, the Lyman Reloading Press is one of the best models in its category. The features it offers are extensive and will serve the needs of both new and experienced reloaders. Plus, the product is currently available at a discount on Amazon, which is a major benefit. You should consider purchasing this model if you want a high-quality reloading press.
You will find a wide range of reloading presses available on the market today, which can make it difficult for you to select the best one for your needs. Some reloading presses include features that reloaders often don't even use, yet they hear about these additional features and purchase the press.
You cannot opt for the first reloading press you come across on the market because not all of them will deliver the results you expect. You have to consider many factors as well as your requirements so you can make an informed decision.
Some reloaders look for an additional press that they can keep in their workshop or garage to use when their primary device breaks down. Some reloaders simply want more capacity to work with, so they can produce more ammo without hassle.
In this situation, opting for a traditional reloading press with standard features will fulfill your needs. Moreover, conventional presses are affordable, and you can easily buy one for under $50, without compromising on quality or efficiency. You also have to factor in the space available to you. You cannot fit a large reloading press on a small table.
A great option for you is to opt for a reloading press manufactured by a brand that is popular and reliable. Lee is a name that comes to mind when you talk about high-quality reloading presses. The brand manufactures a range of products for hunters and professional shooters, as well as for people who like producing their ammo.
The Lee Reloading Press Md 90045 is among the most traditional and unique reloading presses available in the market today. The press offers all the standard features you could need and at the same time, is available at a low price.
Here is an overview of the features this reloading press offers:
A majority of customers who purchased this product on Amazon are happy with its features and performances. A recurring theme in the reviews on Amazon is the low price of the reloading press, which reviewers consider a major plus point.
A customer wrote that this reloading press is versatile and he uses it for depriming. Another reviewer stated that this press is perfect for users who don’t want to handle bulky, heavy reloading presses. He goes on to say that this press works well for pistol ammo, though he feels the precision needs some improvement.
A customer wrote that the price of the product is unbelievable. He further states that Lee is a reliable brand and that is the reason he purchased this reloading press, which he loves. Another happy customer stated he loves the reloading press and uses it for decapping.
On the other hand, a few customers did not have an entirely pleasant experience with this product. A customer wrote that the reloading press broke after using it for 15 rounds. He did clarify that Lee replaced the product, so he is happy.
The simplest way to purchase this product from the comfort of your home is placing an order on Amazon. The original retail price of this reloading press is around $40, but it is available for around $35 with free shipping.
Overall, the Lee Reloading Press is the most suitable traditional reloading press if you want a spare press for your workshop or want to increase your capacity. The price is great, considering the features on offer. You should consider purchasing this reloading press.
When it comes to efficiency and effectiveness, seasoned gun owners, hunters, and professionals use topnotch reloading presses. And when it comes to the best of the best reloading presses, there is nothing that can match the performance and quality of the Hornady reloading press. The best thing about the product is it is versatile.
You can load different types of shell casing and caliber, which justifies the price of the product. In light of this, here all the reasons why you should opt for the Hornady reloading press.
There are several amazing features of this reloading press.
This is a pretty important feature of the Hornady reloading press as it guarantees that every single cartridge that you use ejects without any complications. Each time you reload a cartridge properly, it will automatically eject itself.
The feature is pretty awesome as it will never affect the performance of other cartridges when reloading and you will not have to make adjustments constantly.
Based on how highly regarded this product has become, a majority of users were utterly satisfied with the reloader’s powder drop features that made sure that the device will never dispense of gunpowder when there is no other cartridge in the slot.
Case activated technology comes into play as soon there is a cartridge available, it will dispense the gunpowder. This feature also makes the entire process cleaner and efficient.
One of the most significant features of any reloader is its priming mechanism. Before buying any reloader, the foremost factor you have to take into account is the how effective and simplified its primer is, which is where the Hornady reloader press takes the cake.
While a majority of other products have this mechanism included, utilizing Hornady primer mechanism is very easy to understand and use. There are a total of 3 very simple steps you have to follow to use its primer – first you need to prime the seater punch, next you need to prime the shuttle and the third step is to prime the feed tube.
When it comes to using the best reloader, versatility and durability are both pretty important factors. The capability to quickly reload different caliber bullets is going to ensure you are not wasting your time and that you will be able to reload 300 to 500 bullets at a time.
The primary factor why the Hornady reloading press has become so popular in the US is the fact it has a universal case retainer spring.
What this essentially does is derive more value out of the reloading device allowing you to reload different types of cases. The universal spring will enable you to reload different shell casings quickly. You can stick different cases on the shell plate and replace them at any point during the reloading process.
The quick lock and load feature of the Hornady reloader is quite impressive. It allows users to easily change the dies they want to use, removing them and replacing them when reloading different shell casings and calibers. All you have to do is give it a clean twist, and the reloading press will change the die.
The indexing feature in the Hornady reloading press is a class apart. The feature provides users a completely different type of indexing compared to traditional indexing in different reloading presses.
The stations in the reloading press can be moved by half when you upstroke it – the other half can be moved as soon as you down stroke it – a pretty interesting and unique indexing feature that allows for smoother and hassle-free operation compared to other products.
Progressive shell reloader presses manufactured today enable users to reload bullets in bulk quantities – they allow you to produce more cartridges in a minimum amount of time. This reason is why having a large capacity hopper is so important. And the hopper on the Hornady reloading press is just what you have been looking for all this time!
The Hornady reloading press comes in highly recommended by a majority of gun owners and hunters mainly because of the slew of features and benefits it offers.
A lot of users stated how easy it is to reload different types of shell casings and calibers without having to make additional preparations. A majority of the people were simply impressed by the product’s powder drop feature – where they were able to cleanly load powder in different shell casings without making a mess.
Although there were users, who said that the product is a tiny bit tricky to use although the instruction was simple to follow. Sure, it can be minutely daunting for first-time users and amateurs, but there is a way you can circumvent this problem.
There are thousands of videos available on different social media websites where you can quickly learn how to load bullets using an already efficient product effectively.
The product is ideal for seasoned gun owners as well as amateurs and hunters. The reloader has every single feature that you would ever want in a reloading press. It comes with an easy to follow instruction manual and can be safely used to reload plenty of cartridges at any given moment.
You can purchase the product in under $400 with free shipping on Amazon. The product is pretty competitively priced compared to the range of features it offers.
All in all, the Hornady reloading press has everything that a gun owner can ever want. With a plethora of different features that are ideal for every type of reloader out there – it makes reloading very easy and drastically efficient. You can reload different caliber more accurately and expedite the entire process. The product comes with multiple accessories and tools.
While it’s true that using a reloading press requires significant time and effort, many people enjoy reloading ammunition for multiple reasons. Whether you want to save money in the long run or enjoy working with ammo, investing in reloading press is a wise choice.
This guide will provide you all the information you will need to make to purchase the best reloading press.
*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.
Best Reloading Press
Best Turret Press
Best Progressive Reloading Press
Wondering why you should put in all this effort to purchase the best reloading press? Here are a few important reasons why:
Most gun enthusiasts purchase reloading press machines in hopes of saving money. However, before making the purchase, it's important to consider whether you will be willing to put in the required time and effort needed for operating a reloading press.
If you're not up for the task, you're better off investing in new bullets. The need for a reloading press will depend on the kind of rounds you choose,
your commitment and how often you plan on shooting. Investing in a reloading press will help you save money on caliber rifle bullets. Some other reasons include:
Selecting the best reloading press can seem challenging, especially because there are many options available to you. Before you make a decision, it is important you purchase a reloading press that has all the features that will make the task easier. Here are a few important factors you should consider:
Users can choose from three main types of reloading presses:
The most important factor to consider is the number of bullets the reloading press can produce. So, it is important you consider the number of bullets you would like to process in advance. Additionally, don't forget to pay attention to the speed of production.
The faster the machine, the more bullets you will be able to produce in a relatively short period. This feature will ensure that you always have bullets ready for use.
There’s no point of purchasing a reloading press that is difficult to use. Novice users are likely to benefit from a machine that is easier to use and does not have too many steps.
Not to mention, if the procedure is too complicated, you might as well purchase bullets from the store. Invest in a reloading press that is easier to use and contains a detailed user manual that you can read for extra guidance.
One of the most important factors to consider is what types of guns you plan on reloading. If you wish to load 9mm, 30-06 guns, you will most likely require a machine that can load ammunition at a faster speed. Additionally, you will also require a reloading press that can use both long and shot cartridges.
You will require a specific set of reloading dies according to the caliber you wish to load. You will also have to pay attention to the shell plate and other crucial press accessories such as priming-related part, die bushing and die ring.
The number of calibers you load will have a direct impact on the changeover procedure of the reloading press. This reason is why some reloading presses need more time and effort to change the caliber compared to other models.
Unfortunately, not all users have large workspaces, basements, and garages. This reason is why you should invest in a reloading press while keeping space considerations in mind, especially if you only have a small counter space available.
It's worth noting that modern reloading presses featuring motorized feeders and collaters take up a lot of room, this is why you should consider the size of the machine before making a purchase. Some reloading presses may feature a solid mounting arrangement that will take up additional room.
Some brands will be willing to send you replacement parts, absolutely free of costs no questions asked. If you want to take advantage of such benefits, it is essential you invest in a brand that offers excellent customer service. Some brands offer excellent customer service that will allow you to buy replacement parts after even ten years.
Durability is an important factor that will determine the quality of the machine and how efficiently it will work. A durable product is likely to last for a longer period. Ensure the reloading press you are investing in is made using quality materials. Reading customer reviews on Amazon is a hassle-free way to determine the quality of the product before spending big bucks.
Most gun enthusiasts have guns with different types of calibers, which means that you will have to invest in a reloading press that can deal with several bullets. For this reason, it is recommended you use a progressive press that will allow you to produce bullets of various calibrations.
You can either opt for a reloading press with a calibration converter or one with several heads that will allow you to switch between calibrations. Ultimately, this decision determines the number of different caliber guns you have. However, a converter is likely to be a better option since most presses only feature limited hands. A converter is a more versatile option that encourages faster production.
A reloading press goes through 6 different stages to complete the reloading process. This reason is why you ought to pay attention to the type of accessories that come with the product. Some of the most high-end brands include many accessories such as a scale, hand priming tool, uniflow powder measurer, hex key and much more.
If these accessories are not part of the package you purchase, you may have to buy them separately. This option may not be as cost-effective as purchasing a kit that already has everything you will need for reloading.
Are you in search of the best reloading press? Here is a list of some of our top picks to make the process much easier.
The Lee Reloading Press Md 90045 is among the most traditional and unique reloading presses available in the market today. Most potential buyers are impressed by the reloading press's affordable price. This particular model is the best reloading press according to its usefulness and price.
Features smaller dimensions which means you don't have to apply much force to reload the bullet, unlike other larger models. What's best is that the brand offers some of the best customer services so you can rest assured that the reloading press will work for several years to come without any problems.
This ingenious single state refilling machine is made using quality aluminum alloy. The press features a C-frame design along with an ergonomic lever that folks can use with both their right and left hand. Since the press features a breech lock, you don’t have to worry about readjusting the die after very few hours.
You will be able to change the die using a simple switch of the wrist. The press is capable of accepting all kinds of press shell holders as long as it is universal standard sized. The small size of the reloading press makes it good at bullet seating, decapping and bullet sizing. Some notable features of the product include:
The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit offers optimal accuracy and offers precision reloading. You can also purchase an updated kit that includes a Debur Tool and an accessory handle for greater versatility.
Unlike other single stage presses, this particular model features an elongated design that allows users to use longer cartridge designs. For added convenience, the reloading press also includes an M500 mechanical scale which makes the reloading press ideal for both right and left-handed operation.
It also includes a special Hand Priming Tool that not only renders safety mechanism but sets the primer in a relatively short period. Rest assured, the press offers consistent results, reload after reload.
RCBS is among the most reputable names in the world of firearm accessories, which means that you can trust the makers for manufacturing high-quality products that will last several years to come. The brand ensures longevity which means you can put your trust on the product for many years to come.
Best of all, the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit is available at an incredibly affordable price, making it a suitable option for folks who are on a tight budget. Some notable features of the product include:
The Lee Precision II Shotshell Reloading Press 12 comes equipped with all the powder and shot bushings you will ever need. All the items are inside the lid for added convenience. Customers will also be pleased to know that the reloading press comes with a detailed manual. This manual will aid you in setting up the product.
The Lee Precision II is an excellent choice for beginners who have never used a reloading press before. The Lee Precision II Shotshell Reloading Press 12 is a suitable choice for people who want to produce bullets in fast and easy manner.
Unlike other machines in the market, the press is relatively easier to operate which means you don’t have to follow too many steps.
This feature will make pressing an easier process. The reloading press also features an easy to hold handle for added convenience, allowing users to move the press from one place to another without any problems. The Lee Precision II allows users to reload shells without putting in much effort and time.
The produce has received many positive reviews from gun enthusiasts around the world. Customers agreed that the reloading press works exceptionally well for loading machine gun bullets at an affordable price.
The Lee Precision II Shotshell Reloading Press 12 features a solid construction and offers simple operation. This press is beneficial for folks who enjoy reloading. Users can conveniently make 200 rounds per hour while the reloading press also includes a built-in primer catcher.
However, what makes this reloading stand apart from other products in the market is the 24 shot and powder bushings. Unlike other reloading presses in the market, the shot and powder bushings come free with the purchase.Some notable features of the product include:
The Lyman Reloading Press is an excellent choice for both novice and seasoned reloaders. This particular model is a combination of a progressive press and a single stage press. A turret press is a good buy for folks who will be working with 200 to 300 rounds. It is both budget-friendly and capable of producing a good amount of ammo.
For added convenience, the reloaded press offers six stations. Its quality turret head can accommodate several stages of a die so that you can conveniently work on your ammo.
Additionally, users can install the handle on the either the left or right side according to their preference. Users can also mount the machine onto any flat surface of their choice including metal and wood.
The Lyman reloading press features a sturdy high-tech iron frame that is constructed using silver hammer tone powder to prolong its usage. For added convenience, it also has a spent primer to ensure all the components are always in place once you finish reloading. The reloading press is rust-resistant which means it will work fine for several years to come.
It includes a turret handle located on top of the reloading press, which you can use as a tool when you are removing the turret head. This feature is likely to make the reloading process much easier since you don't have to change the calibers every time you use the machine.
This design is also super convenient you will won't require additional tools to disconnect the turret head. Some notable features of the product include:
The Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press is a heavy-duty reloading press machine that promises to deliver efficient reloading every single time. Unlike other reloading machines, the unit retains adjustment even when you replace or eject dies, though the initial adjustment may take some time and patience.
This particular model can speed up production without making any special adjustments. With this machine, you can produce about 600 round per hour, which is bound to be fast enough for most users.
Users are likely to be impressed by how easy to operate the Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press is. Best of all, it includes five auto-indexing stations. For added benefits.
The progressive press features a Quick Change Lock N Load Bushing System which means that users won’t have to put in much effort in adjusting the reloading press.
Thanks to this additional feature, users will be able to swap dies with a simple twist, regardless of the different types of cartridges they have, which means that it will only take you a couple of minutes to replace the cartridges.
Since the brand cares about the safety of its customers, it features an activated powder drip which will ensure that press will only charge powder when the case is full. The powder will only drop when there is a cartridge present; this will prevent the reloading press from making a mess. Some notable features of the product include:
For more information, consider checking out the customer reviews on Amazon to see what other people have to say about the product. This step will help you decide whether the product is worth investing in or not.
Hopefully, this buyer’s guide has provided you all the information you need to make the right purchase. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask us in the comment section below. Good luck!
If you are a gun enthusiast, then like most shooters you would have considered the hobby of Handloading or reloading your ammunition. Handloading or reloading is the process of manufacturing or recycling your ammunition for the firearms.
Reloading or handloading involves loading shotgun shells or firearm cartridges through the assembly of various individual parts such as hull, case, powder, primer, and shot or bullet, instead of buying fully assembled and factory-loaded ammunition.
Handloading is a widely-used term because it refers to the assembling of ammunition with the use of individual components from different sources.
Reloading, on the other hand, is a more specific term used with regards to the assembling of ammunition by using shells or cases from ammunition fired previously. These two terms are interchangeable, which is because the techniques used are same for the most part whether you use previously fired or new parts.
However, the main differences relate to the way you prepare shells or cases. New parts are often ready to load; in contrast, previously used parts usually require thorough cleaning, elimination of used primers, and at times other necessary preparations to get the components ready for use.
So, do you want to make reloading your new hobby? This question is relevant before you buy pricey equipment, and make room for your new hobby. In the following sections, we will discuss why reloading your ammunitions can be a great hobby.
If you tend to shoot on a frequent basis, you will know buying ammunition could be very expensive. Unless you happen to shoot .22lr, you are likely to spend plenty of money on your ammunitions. If you reload your ammo, you will be able to reduce your ammunition expenses by a significant margin!
For instance, nowadays, a pack of fifty 44 magnum cartridges usually cost around $35. On the other hand, you will be able to reload a pack of fifty 44 magnum rounds for only about $8 to $10. For example, if you shoot on a weekly basis and shoot two packs on each trip, it will save you about $50 per week!
However, we agree that if you shoot 9mm instead, your savings are likely to be considerably lower, but you will save some cash.
With the use of reloading, you can make better ammo. You will be able to customize your loads for energy, speed, accuracy, velocity, and even reduce the recoil. There is no doubt that specialized factory rounds tend to offer better speeds and lighter recoil, but many shooters want to know what they are shooting.
If you prefer reloading and are willing to spend some extra time, you are likely to squeeze the highest potential from your rifle.
In many situations, reloading your ammo makes plenty of sense, particularly if you happen to own unpopular calibers. Oddball rounds and wildcats tend to swiftly fall out of favor when their sales decline; however, in case you have all components, you will be able to reload what is not available in the nearest store.
Although ammunition is easily available in most regions throughout the country with more famous ammo reappearing on retail shelves, ammunition levels are low compared to 5 years ago.
Although you cannot do a lot regarding the overpriced or ever-elusive 22 LR rounds, you can easily generate your shotgun ammunition and centerfire using a reloading press. Therefore, you do not have to worry about your nearest retail store running out of different types of ammo, as you can easily develop your ammunition.
For plenty of folks reloading or handloading is a great pastime. It can also work as a stress reliever if you are really into it. Many people are very passionate about it. You will enjoy the self-satisfaction that comes with the creation of your ammo. Reloading is the art-and-craft in the shooting world.
iAlso, for most shooters reloading is a version of going environment-friendly or green. They reuse or recycle the brass, re-purpose the lead using re-claimed shots. They also cast and melt redundant wheel weights to make new bullets. All these factors contribute to the pride and satisfaction in the trade.
If you are one of those people who prefer to experiment and tend to work and fiddle with fancy equipment, reloading could be plenty of fun! And with the passage of time, you will enjoy it even more.
You can always try and learn new things. Whenever you get yourself a new weapon, you will get the chance to evaluate the different type of loads, and carry on experimenting till you figure out the perfect combination customized to that specific firearm.
You will have to spend some and cash to buy some basic reloading or handloading equipment required for your ammo. Like plenty of other activities or hobbies that need investment in the form of equipment or gear, there are several ways to hand load your ammo with different kinds of equipment.
In this discussion, we will try to strike a reasonable balance between effectiveness and costs. Here are the essential items that you will need to start your reloading journey.
If you get a chance to pick up a previously-fired brass cartridge case, you will notice the dirt. The dirt on the case is likely to vary depending on whether the shot was fired outdoor or indoor.
At least, you will have to get rid of any powder residue and dirt that the brass has gathered on hitting the floor. Although the brass is not required to be squeaky clean or new, it is important to wipe off any loose dirt.
If you are tight on your budget and would to go for a cheaper alternative, you have the option to clean the brass with materials you may have at your home, such as a plastic container, some hot water, and a detergent like Tide. It will do the job.
Although the brass will not look shiny and pretty, it would be good enough for reloading. But the main drawback is that you will need to dry it thoroughly. And it needs bone-dry, which is likely to take plenty of time. This reason is why a case loading is so much better.
A reloading press is a vital component needed for reloading. Fortunately, it is very helpful for completing various steps in the reloading process. Similar to Play-Doh factories, reloading presses are devices that use mechanical advantage for squishing parts together.
The sturdier reloading presses that are ideal for both normal die use and bullet swaging purposes are usually in the shape of the letter O. A single die is fully enclosed by heavy steel on these types of reloading presses. On the other hand, both aluminum and steel construction is common in reloading presses that are in the shape of the letter C.
Plenty of shooters prefer the C styled reloading presses over the O shaped ones, which is because there is much more space for the bullets and they can be easily fitted into cartridges when using the C presses. A reloading press can perform many functions such as:
Reloading dies are often available in the market in groups of twos or threes. The number depends on the specific shape of the cases. A set of three dies is required for a straight case, while a set of two dies is ideal for a bottlenecked case.
In both sets, the first die is used to perform the de-capping and sizing functions, except in a few cases where you can perform de-capping using the second die, in three die sets.
In a set of three dies, the middle die is for expanding the mouth of the case in a straight case (and de-capping, if not performed with the initial die). On the other hand, in sets of two dies the complete neck is stretched at the time a case is pulled out with the first die.
The final die in both the sets is used to seat the bullets and, at times, apply a crimp. There are specialized crimping dies available in the market for applying a much stronger crimp when you seat the bullets.
A caliper is a must-have equipment for the reloading process. It is used to measure a variety of things. Perhaps one of the most crucial measurements you will have to make with the caliper is the overall length of the cartridge. It is vital to ensure that the bullets are seated deep and well enough to allow for a reliable feed.
However, they should not be too deep as it can lower the volume of the interior case and lead to overpressure. A reloading guide or manual will come in handy as it will inform you precisely how deep you need to seed bullets of different types and calibers.
A powder scale is also vital equipment. It is important because if you charge your cartridge with too much or too little powder, it can be quite dangerous! You can buy an electronic or mechanical scale.
It will help ensure the powder dispenser is discharging a suitable amount of powder every time. A majority of starter handloading or reloading kits often include a powder scale.
Although you can load using only a powder measure and volume to weight conversion chart, it will considerably limit your precision concerning load adjustment, which can increase the risk of inadvertently overloading a cartridge with powder.
A powder scale will also help you sort cases and bullets by weight, which often increases consistency a bit more. Also, sorting bullets according to weight has other benefits because each group of matched bullets can perform with more consistency. Similarly, cases are sorted by weight to group them according to wall thickness and interior volumes.
For instance, military cases are usually much thicker; in contrast, a case reloaded several times is likely to have comparatively thinner walls as the brass flows forward while firing.
Although it is possible to weigh every individual powder charge for all of your different cartridges by hand, it is a tedious and time-consuming process that you will soon become boring. A powder dispenser is a tool that will allow you to state a specific quantity of powder dispensed each time you pull the lever.
You must be wondering, what is the most effective way to purchase all the above equipment. Well, the answer will depend on your budget. You may know that many companies now offer starter kits to their customers. These kits often include nearly all of the equipment on our list (some starter kits usually don't have the shell-holders and dies).
You must also know that many starter kits have single-stage presses; however, there are some more progressive kits available in the market that come with different types of presses.
In most cases, starter kits are one of the most cost-effective ways of starting out. In case you lack the financial resources and can't buy a starter kit, or the reloading press that came with your kit is not suitable for your requirements, you have the option to make your personalized kit by buying all the above items separately.
When you have acquired the equipment, you need you will be ready to start learning the process of reloading.
A reloading press is a vital component of the reloading system. As reloading presses are quite expensive, choosing the most suitable press is very important. There are three main types of reloading press, as discussed below:
A single stage press is the simplest type of reloading press. The press can hold only a single die at any time, and often has an extremely rigid frame. Single stage presses are mostly used to reload rifles. The die is in a cavity in the top half of the reloading press, while a shell holder attaches to the press's ram, which can hold the case rim of the cartridge.
When you will push down the lever, the ram will go up, causing the die to act on the case. In most cases, priming is performed in advance using a priming setup; however, many single stage presses come with priming attachments. Out of the three presses, a single stage press is usually the slowest with regards to die switching setup and completed rounds in an hour.
A progressive reloading press generates one full round for each lever cycle. The press does this with the use of a shell plate which can hold several cases at the same time. When you raise the ram by pushing the lever, many processes take off simultaneously. The shell plates will start turning once the ram is activated.
Each of the shell plates will be ready for their next operation, while the final round kicks into completion with a chute or round bin.
Many progressive reloading presses will index automatically (they are known as auto-indexing progressive), while others need to be manually indexed. Most pistol shooters and rifle shooters (semi-automatic like AR shooters) use a progressive press.
These presses can, in some cases, be used to load bolt action rifles, but because this process usually involves lower quantities, this kind of rifle loading involves single-stage or turret presses.
A majority of turret presses are very similar to single stage presses, (a single die will act on the cartridge at any given time) but can hold several dies at the same time, allowing you to index manually from one die to the next much quickly. Many turret presses can auto-index too, which eliminates the need for manual indexing.
Although a turret press still needs several strokes of a lever for each full round, it speeds up the reloading process due to better indexing capabilities.
A turret press has more flex which usually leads to lower precision in the reloading process than single stage presses; however, this is not a major problem. For most pistol or rifle reloaders, turret presses are often an ideal starting point, while for more veteran reloaders they can be a superb precision rig.
There are several manufacturers of reloading press and other reloading equipment. We will discuss a few of them in this section.
Lee Precision is one of the leading producers of reloading equipment. The company prides itself as an affordable provider of a variety of reloading tools and is known for product innovation. The company uses patented innovative designs which allow it to keep the prices low.
The products offered by the company include reloading dies, presses, shell holders, priming tools and bullets casting, etc. Most of their products incorporate high-quality metal which ensures their durability.
RCBS is one of the pioneers in the reloading equipment industry. Most of their products are known for their portability as they have a compact design, which makes them ideal for use at a shooting range. Another great thing about their products is that they are suitable for both seasoned shooters and beginners.
Lyman is a producer of reloading equipment that has been in the business since 1878. Their products go beyond getting the job done. They not only deliver the value but also advance technology.
Their specialty is that they incorporate their customers' feedback in the development of their products which improves customer satisfaction. They make a slew of reloading products such as presses, dies, scales, bullet casting, tumblers, and muzzleloaders, etc.
Reloading presses can offer several years of great service to their owners if maintained professionally. Most are micro-polished and hardened for superior finish, but they still require some maintenance.
First, de-cap the assembly and flush it with a degreaser and wipe the expander ball. You can wipe down any threads or springs using a rag lightly laced with fine oil. Inspect the seating stem (especially the opening) for any debris.
You can use the twisted end of a patch to clean the small caliber plugs and stems. Do not forget to inspect it after you have cleaned it to ensure the surface of the press is free of burrs and clean. Regular cleaning will prevent the excess buildup of lubes which is a frequent problem.
We have discussed what reloading or handloading is and why it can be a great hobby. We have looked at the various equipment needed for reloading along with their function in the reloading process.
We have also discussed the different types of reloading press and have highlighted the differences between them. Lastly, we looked at some of the top makers of reloading equipment. Our buying guide will discuss in detail the different features that you should consider when buying different reloading equipment with some recommendations.