Whether you are shooting targets or hunting, you are going to go through a ton of ammunition in your lifetime. If you purchase brand new ammunition from the store, the costs will quickly start to add up. That is the biggest reason why lots of shooting enthusiasts start reloading.
To save the most money while reloading, you should look for the best single stage reloading press you can find, since they will be cheaper than a press with multiple stages. However, what should you look for in a reloading press?
Our in-depth guide will help you make the right choice. We have reviewed and ranked ten of the best presses out there. This article also features a detailed analysis of the top three presses we found.
Top 10 Single Stage Reloading Presses Table
How to Choose the Right Reloading Press
When you are looking for any new piece of equipment, you should take multiple factors into consideration; this is particularly the case when you are looking for the best single stage reloading press.
- Price. Since you are trying to save money by reloading your ammunition, it makes sense to take the price of your press into consideration. The quality of the press will probably, though not always, coincide with the price, however, so make sure you find the right balance of quality and affordability.
- Ease of Use. The best reloading press will be on that is easy to use, all while allowing you to make high quality and safe ammunition. You should be able to move the lever without too much force. The press itself should be easy to put together and setup. You should also look for a press that has a locking mechanism for die depth, saving you time and making your reloading process more productive.
- Durability. Since you will be using the same lever and parts for all of the stages of reloading, you need to make sure that you select a press that will be durable. Most or all of the parts should be made from high-quality materials, such as iron or steel.
- Ammunition Type. Certain presses can only be used to reload certain calibers. Make sure that the press you select can handle your ammunition.
- Handedness. While all single stage presses can be operated with either hand, some systems are set up to accommodate both right handed, left handed, or ambidextrous users.
Top 3 Best Single Stage Reloading Press Reviews
Out of all of the presses we reviewed, the Rock Chucker is by far the best single stage reloading press on the market today. RCBS has long been one of the leading makers of reloading presses, and this is another example of that.
The Chucker is made out of high quality and durable materials. The lever moves up and down with ease, regardless of which stage in the reloading process you are in. It worked especially well amongst our testers since it can be easily used by someone that is either left or right handed.
It is also extremely forgiving for a beginning user. Since it has a longer loading area, you will have a bit more wiggle room to load your cartridges and change out the necessary dies for each step. This makes it easier for someone that has not had a lot of practice to utilize the press effectively.
Summary: This RCBS model has a larger loading area than most presses, making it easier to use for beginners. It is made with high-quality materials.
Another brand synonymous with reloading, Lee, is the maker of this well-made press. It takes Lee’s Classic Cast design and tweaks it slightly to make it even easier to use. One of the best features of this press is the die bushing system. Instead of having to twist your multiple dies on and off, much like a screw, you just have to turn them slightly, and they will release; this will end up saving you a lot of time switching between the different tools you need to reload a round.
Another nice feature is the oversized hollow ram. When you are removing primers from old cartridges, they are supposed to fall through the ram to a bin. However, on other presses we tested, their narrow ram design made the primers fall to the side or even get stuck on occasion. Not so with this one. Once we had it fitted with a hose, the primers dropped easily into our bin without fail.
Finally, the Lee is made with only the highest quality parts. The lever arm moved with little effort, and the press is rock solid and built to last. The only problem we had with it was that it was not accessible from both sides; this might make it harder to use for someone who is left handed.
Summary: A new twist on a classic design, the Lee Breech Lock has lots of great features. Its oversized hollow ram makes catching primers a snap, and the press is built to last. It is only accessible from one side, however, making it a bit of a challenge for lefties.
An extremely basic design made by Hornady, another reloading mainstay. This press has the least features of our top three, making it a good choice for an experienced reloader who doesn’t need lots of comforts. It is made with high-quality materials and is easy to setup and use.
The main feature that it does have, however, is a good one. Instead of being locked into having the lever arm being straight on the press, you can choose to switch it to either side; this makes the press more accessible from whichever side you prefer to have open, making it easier to use for both left and right-handed reloaders.
Summary: A basic reloading press that allows you to switch the position of the lever are, the Hornady Lock N Load is best suited for experienced reloaders who don’t need lots of extra features built in.