There are a lot of options for reloading presses, but don’t let that get in your way. There are just a few key considerations and this reference will help you with those.
Rather than spending hours doing the research without feeling like you are getting anywhere, follow our expert guide. We have taken only the most important details into consideration to help you make the right decision for your needs and your wallet.
Reloading Press Types
The first and most important aspect to consider is the kind of press:
- Single Stage. Single stage presses set and reload one cartridge at a time. They are the most popular reloading press because they are simple and inexpensive. While single stage presses can be easy and are often very precise the drawback is speed. They are an excellent choice for beginners and remain a staple for most long-time reloaders.
- Turret. Turret presses allow for multiple cartridges to be set up and then loaded in rapid succession. This is the middle of the road option in terms of cost and speed and usually does not compromise precision. The turret reloading press is not the simplest to operate but it is a great option for those with the aim of making a moderate-to-high quantity of ammunition.
- Progressive. Progressive presses are essentially all-in-one assembly lines that cycle through all the stages of reloading once set up. They can generate dramatically larger volumes of ammunition with less effort than other types of presses and modern versions are very precise. The main reason to choose a progressive press is because of the speed and volume. If you use a lot of ammunition then a progressive press is a serious consideration. It is a more advanced option and is recommended for those that are mechanically inclined.
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Things That Make a Great Reloading Press
Reloading presses are never referred to as cheap, so the best one that you can buy is the one that you will actually use. Consider the following to ensure you are getting the best product to meet your needs:
- Suitable for the gun and ammunition being used: rifle, pistol or both.
- Appropriate for the level of the user. Single stage are the easiest you use. Nothing beats a progressive for production volume.
- Suitable for the amount of shooting done by the user (Those that shoot a lot of ammunition and have reloading experience should consider the progressive. For lesser experience or less ammunition, the turret or single stage press would be appropriate.)
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You need your reloading press to be sturdy. The steel makeup of the RCBS Rebel Single Stage Press does not disappoint on this front. It should be the only single stage press that you would ever need to buy.
A notable feature of this press is the great leverage that makes the entire press easier to use than some other presses. It is also ambidextrous. The need for less effort makes a difference in how willing you’ll be to use it. This press durable and powerful, making it a great option for those that use a reloading press often. This also makes the Rebel great for loading a wide range of cartridges including many larger rounds.
If you are just getting started in reloading, this press is an affordable and smart investment. It can also be a great utility press for pros.
This progressive press is capable of processing cartridges from beginning to end in one smooth motion. That enables you to churn out volumes of ammunition completely beyond the ability of a single stage or even turret press. We love the smooth action and easy pull of this press and were impressed with the precision. Hornady’s patented Lock-N-Load system also makes set-up extremely easy.
The Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive Press is an incredible value for a progressive press. Let’s talk about what you get: Sturdy cast iron construction, high capacity hopper, quick change metering inserts, ability to quickly change dies and calibers, built in priming system, automatic indexing, and case activated powder drop.
The Lyman All American 8 Turret Press is one of the most feature-rich turret presses available. Add in high quality construction and easy use, and you have our winning turret press. It’s a great way to speed up your cartridge reloading without jumping all the way in on the complexity and cost of a progressive press.
The large 8 station turret is machined out of cast iron and equipped with an easily removed turret bolt that makes swapping turrets simple. The large, 8 die station turret will hold two complete 4 die sets or up to four 2 die sets. The ram is 1” diameter ram with compound linkage. The frame is large enough to work with even the longest rifle cartridges. A relatively new feature is the reliable and simple straight line primer feed. It is designed for use with any standard 7/8”x14 thread dies and accepts standard shell holders.
For great reloading references and learning, check out Gungearlab.com’s Top Reloading Reference Guides.