For a very long time people have had a negative notion about guns instilled in their mind. However, the recent rise in popularity of shooting sports has made people realize that guns do not necessarily equate to violence.
More and more people are getting hooked on shooting sports. Some choose to do it for personal defense purposes. Others just love the exhilarating feeling that an extreme sport such as shooting gives them.
However, despite the fact that many people appreciate the positive benefits of shooting sports, it is not an easy sport to pursue. The thing about shooting is that you have to invest in ammunition, especially if you plan to frequent the shooting range for practice.
Ammunition does not come cheap and it’s usually the reason why people do not even attempt to try this hobby. The good news though is that there’s a way to save money while still having a steady flow of ammo that you can use for your practice sessions. That’s where reloading presses come into the picture.
Reloading your own ammo is an excellent way to save some money while also learning about the science behind the dimensions and measurements of bullets and how it affects the ballistics of the firearm.
One good thing about reloading your own ammo is that it gives you the opportunity to experiment on your ammo and find ways for it to help you improve your shooting style. Here’s a list of other benefits that you can get out of reloading your own ammunition.
- Constant supply of ammo. When you have your own reloading kit, you won’t have to worry about running out of ammo. Sometimes, even if you have a favorite local ammunition supply shop, there are times that they’ll run out of supplies. As long as you keep track of your own inventory of components, you’ve got yourself covered.
- Design perfect loads. There’s nothing wrong with the pre-loaded ammo that you buy in firearm shops but there are better alternatives. When you reload your own ammo, you have the freedom to adjust the loads such that it will help you improve your shooting style. For example, if you are using a rifle and you have trouble with long-range shooting, you can tweak the dimensions and the combinations of bullet, primer, powder, and charge to help your rifle perform better.
- Wonderful pastime. Aside from being a cost-effective way to ensure you don’t run out of ammo, reloading presses can also help make shooting a fun and exciting hobby. If you are serious about your shooting hobby and you want to learn more than what they teach you in shooting class, understanding ballistics and how it affects your shooting style is a good place to start.
What You Need to Know About Reloading Your Ammo
After you have finally decided to reload your own ammunition, the next thing to do is to choose which press you are going to use and set up shop.
If you already have a workshop in a spare room at home, then you’re good to go. If you don’t already have a workspace set up, you can just look for a spot where you can safely set your reloading stuff up – it doesn’t take that much space anyway.
You just have to be sure that it has good lighting and you also need some room to move around as you work. You are also going to need a sturdy table where you can mount your reloading press along with the rest of your reloading equipment. It would also be a good idea to have a shelf nearby where you can keep your dies and other reloading supplies.
Aside from setting up shop, you also need to pay attention in buying your equipment. You have to know what tools you are going to need for this task. Here’s a list of reloading equipment and a brief description of their use.
Reloading press: This is no doubt that most important equipment you need in your reloading kit. Reloading presses come in three major categories and it depends on your experience which type of press is more suitable for you.
Single stage press: This is the simplest and cheapest type of press. It is mostly recommended for beginners who don’t have a lot of experience in reloading ammunition. It is fairly easy to operate but it also requires time for reloading.
Turret press: This is mostly recommended for intermediate reloaders – those who have a little experience in reloading but don’t have the luxury of time to reload ammo one at a time.
Progressive press: This is the most advanced type of reloading press and only experienced reloaders are advised to use it. It is very complicated and challenging to set up, but once it is completely set up it’s only going to take seconds to reload several rounds of ammo.
Die: The die is necessary to achieve the right shape and dimension of the cartridges. The type or the set of dies that you are going to use will depend on the design of the cartridges.
Powder scales: Before you load your ammo, you have to make sure that you have the right amount of gunpowder to put in there. A simple scaling mistake can compromise the safety and reliability of the ammunition that you are going to use.
Vernier caliper: Calipers are also necessary for checking the dimensions and making sure that you’ve got the correct lengths for the ammo you’re working on.
Quick tip #1
If you are reloading rifles cases, you have to use a lube pad. Lube pads are used to make sure that you won’t have any problem removing the die, which usually gets stuck when no lube is used.
Quick tip #2
Always double-check the quality of your ammo. Pay very close attention to what you are doing in order to avoid any safety fails.
Quick tip #3
There’s no shame in asking for help. If you are not confident about a certain procedure, try to do your own research, read reloading books, or ask the experts.
The items mentioned above are the basic tools you need for reloading your own ammo. You will pick up other items that you might need as you go along.
Also, remember that you don’t have to spend a fortune investing in high-end and branded equipment. There are products out there that have very decent quality for a very reasonable price.
In your reloading kit, the most expensive tool that you need to invest in is the reloading press. While you may be compelled to buy a branded model, you should consider other less expensive makes and models first.
|RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press||$1||4.8/5|
|Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press||$$||4.4/5|
|Lee Precision Anniversary Challenger Kit II||$||4.5/5|
|Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press||$||4.3/5|
|Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit||$||4.5/5|
|SmartReloader Mark XVI Reloading Press||$||4.0/5|
|Lee Precision II Shotshell Reloading Press 12 GA Load All (Multi)||$||4.6/5|
|Lee Precision Breech Lock Hand Press Kit||$||4.6/5|
|Dillon Precision RL550B Progressive Reloading Machine||$$$||4.8/5|
|Redding Reloading – T-7 Turret Press with Primer Arm||$$||5.0/5|
You might be surprised to discover that there are really good products that you can get for almost half the price of high-end brands. For example, below we have listed five of the most popular reloading press models that are available in the market. They are popular because aside from the fact that they have really good performance, these models can also be bought at very reasonable prices.
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press
RCBS is considered as a force to reckon with in the industry and it has continuously produced high quality products that prove its reputation. The Rock Chucker Supreme Press is one of the many products that prove the company’s commitment to delivering what they promise to their customers.
This single-stage reloading press is designed for maximum precision and consistency which is reflected in the quality of the reloaded rounds it produces. This amazing set of features is the reason behind its exceptional performance.
- Excellent quality materials for construction
- Efficient single-stage reloading press which is convertible to a progressive design
- Ideal for both amateur and experienced gun owners
- Can reload even the latest design cartridges
- Comfortable and ergonomic design
- Versatile operation for righties and lefties
- Rigid and stable design
- Perfect for heavy-duty reloading tasks
Things to look out for
- Primer Catcher design is flawed and could use some improvements
Coming from a very popular brand producing high-quality firearm equipment and accessories, expectations are very high for the Rock Chucker Supreme Press. It doesn’t come as a surprise that this product delivers more than what is expected from it.
It works efficiently and its durable construction makes it last longer than its expected lifespan. Plus, it comes at a surprisingly affordable price, considering the fact that it is made by a well-known brand
Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
Hornady is a trusted name when it comes to reloading machines and equipment. It has been in the industry for quite some time and it hasn’t failed in producing really exceptional products which are intended to make reloading a lot easier.
The Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Press, for example, is one of its amazing masterpieces. It is designed to provide convenience to the user without compromising the consistency and quality of the ammo it produces.
Furthermore, this amazing set of features will surely convince you why the LNL is the most practical reloading buddy you can have.
- Some of the most advanced features for a progressive reloading press
- Uses a patented bushing system for quick and easy changing out of the dies
- Optimized caliber changing design
- Ideal for almost all cartridge sizes
- Extremely fast reloading rate
- One-of-a-kind indexing mechanism with automatic functions
- EZject system for easy cartridge removal
- Built-in priming system
- Hopper intended for large capacity
- Convenient add-ons for smoother operation
- Professional and high-grade finish
Things to look out for
- Half-stage operation requires some getting used to for those with experience operating full stages
The Lock N Load Auto-progressive reloading press deserves its place in the list of best reloading presses because of its impeccable performance.
Coming from a major manufacturer of firearm equipment and accessories, Hornady surely didn’t fail to deliver with this reloading press model. It is efficient and reliable. It offers speed without sacrificing the quality of the ammo you produce. It is everything you are looking for in a reloading machine.
Lee Precision Anniversary Challenger Kit II
Lee has continuously proven its reputation as one of the top brands in reloading equipment. The Precision Anniversary Challenger Press Kit II is one of the best examples of what this manufacturer can do.
More importantly, it is also proof that Lee is dedicated to its customers because it puts together all of the basic tools needed to make reloading a lot easier for both newbies and pros alike.
This kit has a well-designed turret press, complete with other accessories for reloading. You won’t have to purchase a more expensive reloading press just to get the quality that you deserve.
- Includes all the basic tools for reloading in one package.
- Impressive Challenger Turret reloading press
- Accommodates all sizes of cartridges
- Forgiving opening angle for easy access
- Full length sizing made possible by compound leverage
- Maintains precise measurement and consistent quality among end products
- Comes with a set of tools for prepping the cases
- Quick Change bushing for convenient die switching
Things to look out for
- Shell holder must be acquired separately
- May experience some lag in weight reading with its digital scale
If you are looking for a reliable reloading machine, Lee’s products are always a practical choice. Year after year it has consistently produced only the best quality of reloading machines and accessories that you won’t have to spend a fortune to acquire.
Lee has always been known for quality and this Challenger Press Kit is a perfect example of that.
Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press
Products like the Lyman T-Mag Turret Press serve as a constant reminder that it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to get the quality that you deserve. When it comes to reloading machines, quality does not necessarily mean more expensive.
Looking at product review sites, you will get some hints about the most recommended products which will help you decide which one to choose.
The T-Mag may be a mid-range product but it has the quality of a reloading press from a high-end manufacturer. Not only can you see this in the product’s design, you will also experience it with its exceptional performance.
- Re-engineered design for faster reloading rate
- Multiple stations for reloading more rounds than a regular turret press
- Versatile and durable construction with solid iron material and silver finish
- Smooth indexing performance with its unique turret retention system
- Efficient performance attributed to its compound leverage design
- Maximum stability with its Flat Machine base
- Comfortable and ergonomic design
- Complete with tools for prepping cases
Things to look out for
- Faulty digital scale for some units
Investing a lot of money in a high-end brand is not necessary when you can get the quality you are looking for in a very affordable reloading press product. With the Lyman T-Mag Turret Press you can reload smoothly and quickly while still being sure of the quality of the product you produce.
It is very efficient and its durable design does not require much maintenance for you to ensure it lasts a long time. This product also comes with some of the basic tools you need for a regular reloading task so there’s really nothing more you can ask for.
Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit
Lee is committed to producing products that will cater to the varying needs of its customers. The Precision Classic Turret Press is another promising product that is designed to address your reloading needs. It is impressively powerful for a mid-range reloading press model.
This reloading press is not too complicated to operate so even the least mechanically inclined will be able to work it out.
Its highlight is the efficient turret reloading press included in the kit. Furthermore, it comes with a whole set of basic reloading tools that you are considered staples for this kind of task. Basically, it has everything you are looking for in one complete package.
Efficient performance with an extremely high reloading rate
- Features a four-station design and quick-change mechanism
- Effective suspension system for priming arms
- Priming arm clearing assistance with its Automatic Disk Powder
- Includes a complete set of case prepping tools
- Add-ons include case cutter, chamfering tool, cleaner for the primer cutter, and case sizing lubricant.
- Compatible with the Bench Plate System for maximum stability
Things to look out for
- Safety scale requires manual calibration
- Bench Plate System has to be acquired separately
As one of the biggest manufacturers of high-quality firearm equipment, Lee is expected to put out products that directly address the customer’s needs. The Classic Turret Press is created for this purpose, which is why it comes with a very competent turret reloading press and a complete set of the basic tools you will need for this task.