Best Reloading Kits for Beginners and Experts

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Whether you're an outdoorsman, hunter, or a gun enthusiast, recycling your ammunition is a lot cheaper than having to buy rounds continually. While there are many different brands you can use, some may not perform ideally. To get the most out of your money, you'll want to go with the best reloading kit you can.

There are a lot of different kinds of kits you can go with, and each of them has its specific capabilities. Choosing the best reloading kit all depends on what you are going to use it for and what you're comfortable with.

Best reloading kit: comparison table

What is a reloading kit

Before we get into which is the best reloading kit above them all, you should know what precisely a reloading kit is. If you are a new hunter or gun owner, you may be aware that it is legal and possible to recycle your ammo. Not to mention, there are a ton of great benefits to reloading your own.

A reloading kit is a press that allows you to load your rounds for whatever caliber you need. How reloading kits work depends on the type of equipment you have. Each has different characteristics and processes to reload ammo.

In general, you fill the case with gunpowder then press the bullet into the case. The press allows for set depths to prevent from seating the bullet too deeply. Rinse and repeat until you have as many rounds as you want, or have use for.

gun and bullets

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reloading kit components

Each reloading press will have different components depending on the type you use. However, they will all have the same standard parts that every press requires.

Every press, and especially the best reloading kit, will have the same essential parts. A lever, shell holder, and die.

The lever is what you use to press the bullet into the casing to complete the round. The shell holder is as the name suggests; it holds the shell or casing in place so you can fill and press it onto the bullet. Lastly is the die, which sizes the neck of your casing to the specific caliber you are reloading.

Other components can include a turret ring, powder measure, case feeder, priming system, and a whole lot more.

The turret ring will allow you to switch between various die sizes quickly, so you are not continually removing one and adding another. A powder measure can correctly measure gunpowder into your case, instead of you having to do it yourself. The case feeder can automatically feed cases into the kit.

All of these extra components allow you to be more efficient when loading rounds but the overall process doesn't necessarily require them.

When dealing with basic reloading presses, you will be using the bare minimum components. The others you will only see in the higher-end progressive kits.

types of reloading kits

man opens shotgun bolt

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There are three types of reloading kits that you'll see when searching for the best reloading kit. While the look of these kits may vary depending on the brand and size you choose, the base concept will fall into one of these three types.

The first kind of reloading press is a single stage. This single-stage press is the most basic of the three and only loads one bullet at a time with one die size. This kind if perfect for beginners as it is very easy to work and doesn't require you to pay attention to a lot of extra components.

Next is the turret press, which is one step up from the single stage. Here, you'll see the same stuff from the first type, but with the addition of a turning turret ring. This ring, as mentioned before, can hold multiple die sizes and allows you to switch between them quickly.

Last is the progressive reloading press, which is the most advanced press here. These progressive kits allow for multiple attachments like the case feeder and powder measure. While there is a longer set-up time and many more components to keep track of, this press can produce multiple rounds very quickly.

Now while each press does have a different skill level, individual rounds are better for different kinds of presses as well. For example, it is best to make pistol rounds in a progressive press due to the length of the bullet casing. The case feeder works better with shorter casings.

Due to the size and power of rifle rounds, the turret or single stage is ideal. However, any press can make any bullet; some are just better suited.

how we reviewed

The goal behind our best reloading kit review is to provide you with the best and most accurate information possible to make a precise decision. However, we also want to be transparent with our review process.

While we have not personally had the chance to test out the reloading kits here, we can assure you that each product comes highly rated from Amazon. Our information was also taken from various high-quality sources, including reviews, product pages, and professional articles.

best reloading kits

The following list is in no particular order but does include some of the highest-rated reloading presses from the biggest brands. These presses are a great place to start and possibly end your search for the best reloading kit.

RCBS Summit Single Stage Press

RCBS Summit Single Stage Reloading Press
  • Made of the highest quality...
  • Hunting reloading presses
  • Another quality Bushnell...
  • Bench-top operation
  • Ambidextrous handle operation...

One of the top brands in the reloading press industry, the RCBS Summit is excellent for beginner reloaders. This press features a bench-top, pull down press instead of the standard push lever for better compound leverage. It has a 2-inch diameter ram and accepts bushings for 1-inch die bodies.

The unique design and convenience of this press, along with much more, give this press a 4.4 out of 5.0 stars rating on Amazon. An excellent choice for those just starting and getting into the reloading world.

PROS

  • Compound leverage
  • Compatible with any standard size die
  • Full frontal access

CONS

  • May need to readjust often

LEE PRECISION TURRET PRESS

LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press (Red) (Pack of 1)
  • If you are using the Auto-Disk...
  • Features Solid Steel Linkage
  • The Industry's Largest Ram is...
  • Heavy Duty Construction

From Lee comes their classic turret style press. This press features heavy-duty steel construction and the industry’s largest ram to dispense primers in an attached clear PVC tube. Whatever cartridge you are working with, you can be sure that the Lee Precision turret press can handle it.

Available in various die packs from one to three, this press is great for beginners and experts alike. Not to mention it is compatible with powder measures as well. On Amazon, this turret press has a 4.6 out of 5.0-star rating, making it an excellent choice for the best reloading kit.

PROS

  • Works with any size cartridge
  • Solid construction
  • Two-year warranty

CONS

  • Wooden lever prone to cracking or breaking

LEE PRECISION II SHOTGUN SHELL PRESS

Another press from Lee Precision, but this one is a specialized press for shotgun shells only. In a single-stage design, this press has a convenient pull-down handle and an integrated powder measure. The press can load 2 3/4- and 3-inch rounds and is compatible with 12 gauge, the kit also includes 24 shot and powder bushings.

This shotgun press also features an easy switch from powder to shot located on the front of the press. The Lee Precision shotgun press currently has a 4.6 out of 5.0-star rating on Amazon. If you are looking for a dedicated shotgun press, this is it.

PROS

  • Compound lever
  • Easy switch between powder and shot
  • Easy to use and carry

CONS

  • Slow crimping process
  • No primer feeder
  • Plastic build

RCBS ROCK CHUNKER SUPREME PRESS

RCBS 9356 Rock Chucker Supreme Press
  • Hunting reloading presses
  • Rock Chucker press frame...
  • Handle is made of solid steel...
  • Outstanding strength and...
  • Can also be upgraded to a...

Another single-stage press from RCBS, the Rock Chunker Supreme features a full 4 inches of ram-bearing surface to support the 1-inch diameter main ram. The handle and body are all made out of solid steel, making for a very durable build. A large loading window makes for easy adjustments during the reloading process.

Perfect for beginners and experts alike, the Rock Chunker has a 4.7 out of 5.0-star rating on Amazon, making for a natural choice as the best reloading kit out there.

PROS

  • Durable steel build
  • Easily upgraded to a progressive loader
  • Large window for longer cartridges

CONS

  • Inefficient quick-change die feature
  • Bad primer catcher

RCBS SUPREME MASTER KIT

RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit
  • Includes Nosler #7 reloading...

If you are looking to improve the Rock Chunker Supreme from a single-stage to a progressive loader in one go, this is what you need. The Supreme Master Kit gives you everything you need to improve upon an already stellar reloader. With this kit, you get a powder measure, case feeder, M500 mechanical scale, hand priming tool, universal case loader block, hex key set, case lube kit, and a powder funnel.

This kit includes everything you need to transform a great reloader into a better one. The Supreme Master Kit also has a 4.6 out of 5.0-star rating on Amazon.

PROS

  • Easy to set up
  • Easier to add to your existing Rock Chunker
  • A bunch of extras

CONS

  • Dies not included

DILLON PRECISION PROGRESSIVE PRESS

Dillon Precision 14261 RL550C 4 Stage Manually Indexed...
  • Choose caliber conversion kit...
  • Dies Sold Seperately
  • Capable of loading 120+...
  • Will Load Rifle and Pistol
  • Shown with optional...

If you are an expert reloader looking for the best of the best, look no further. This intricate progressive press features a caliber conversion kit, case feeder, primer, powder measure, finished bullet holder, and a tool kit for quick repairs. A pull-down handle makes for quick and easy loading.

Whether you are making pistol rounds or rifle cartridges, the Dillon Progressive press can handle it and more. Not to mention, it comes with a killer warranty and customer service. The Dillon Precision Progressive Press currently has a full 5.0 out of 5.0-star rating on Amazon, which is perfect.

If you want the best reloader kit in the progressive design, look no further.

PROS

  • Sturdy, reliable structure
  • Tons of add-ons
  • Fast and efficient loading

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Dies sold separately

HORNADY LOCK-N-LOAD AUTO-PROGRESSIVE PRESS

Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
  • Auto-progressive reloading...
  • 5-station bushing system lets...
  • EZject system reliably ejects...
  • Quick-change metering inserts;...
  • Built-in priming system;...

Looking for the best of all worlds that is still easy to operate, the Hornady Lock-N-Load press is the answer to your prayers. This press features a five-station bushing system that lets you change from .223 to .45 in less than five minutes. The EZject system reliably ejects every cartridge, every time without additional adjustments.

Everything here is for convenience and speed, from its automatic powder measure to the quick switch of dies and calibers. The Hornady Lock-N-Load press has a 4.1 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon, making for an excellent reloading press for intermediates.

PROS

  • Fast and reliable
  • Easy to use
  • Built-in priming system

CONS

  • Prone to jamming

how to choose the best reloading kit

shotgun and bullets

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Choosing the best reloading kit can be challenging. However, it can be a lot easier if you know exactly what you are looking for. There are a few considerations you will need to think about when looking for the best reloading kit.

For starters, what kind of ammunition are you working with? The caliber and volume of reloading you do factors into which press is best for you. Pistol rounds are commonly made in a progressive press, especially when using a case feeder and powder measure.

This is because the pistol cases are shorter than that of rifle rounds, so there's less chance of the feeder jamming. Longer cases perform better in a turret or single stage press, even though it may take longer to produce each round.

There are also presses designed for specific cartridges like shotgun shells, so you need to think about that.

Your skill level is another important factor to choosing the best reloading kit. For beginners, the single-stage or turret press is usually best, as it is a simpler system with less moving parts. For the more advanced reloaders, it's going to come down to your budget, and your needs.

Everyone likes customer service. Certain brands are known for their excellent customer service and providing the best warranties in the business. These brands are RCBS and Dillow Precision, so if that is important to you, you may want to look for those brands.

hunt smart

man reloading pistol

Buying your rounds is all well and good, but it can get costly in the long run. If you are an avid hunter, reloading your cartridges is the best way to go. And what better way to go about that than buying the best reloading kit.

When buying, remember to keep in mind what you plan to use the reloader for and what firearm you usually use, as that will change which reloading press you will want.

What reloader do you use? How often are you out shooting? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!

Featured Image: Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels


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