Best Reloading Kit - 2020 Buyer's Guide

This article will discuss reloading kits, what they are, what they’re used for, and what makes a reloading kit worthwhile. It will also be reviewing four of our topmost reloading kits so that you can make an educated decision when searching for the best kit to purchase for yourself or a family member.

Now, if you’re here looking for information about reloading kits, you probably know what they are. But just in case, a reloading kit is a press, and that press allows you to load your rounds for whatever caliber ammo you need. Each kit might work differently, but at their very basic, all kits are a press. 

The process is relatively simple: you fill the case with gunpowder, press the bullet into the case, the case stops the bullet from being seated too deeply. You repeat this process until you have as many rounds as you want or need.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Very Rigid Frame
  • Can switch dies in seconds
  • Comes with a digital scale
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  • Room for six dies at once
  • Scale that comes with kit works great
  • Priming tube is hard to seat on the priming arm
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  • Best value for the money
  • Comes with 11 Auto-Prime shell holders
  • Breech lock quick-change bushing is included
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  • Best beginner option
  • Made of Heavy, sturdy cast iron
  • Reasonably accurate
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  • Kit comes with an ambidextrous lever handle
  • Kit has a cast-iron frame
  • Priming arm on the press can be a bit loose or flimsy
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What Makes a Great Reloading Kit?

What should you look for in a great reloading kit?

Ease of Use

When looking to purchase a reloading kit, you should look for one that best suits your needs for ease of use. Are you new to reloading your ammo? You probably want something that best fits your knowledge.

Type

There are three main types of presses. Single-stage, progressive reloading press, and turret presses. Each press serves a different purpose, and you should choose the one that best matches your knowledge and needs.

Single Stage

This is the most simple press. It holds a single die at a time, has a rigid frame, and is typically used for rifle reloading. The dies are typically screwed into the opening in the top of the press, and the shell holder is attached to the ram. The ram holds the cartridge case rim, and when the lever is pushed down, the ram goes up, and the die acts on the case. It has the lowest production rate, as it can only produce one bullet at a time.

Turret Press

The turret press is very similar to the single-stage press. Only one die at a time acts on a cartridge, but it holds multiple dies so that you can switch from one to the next quickly. Turret presses require many strokes of the lever to complete the round but speed the process up with their indexing capabilities. Turret presses may have more flex than a single-stage and less precision than a single-stage if you’re not well-versed in using it.

Progressive Reloading Press

The progressive reloading press completes a round for every cycle of the lever. This type of press has a shell plate that holds multiple cases at once. This means when the ram is raised, by pushing down on the lever, multiple processes happen at one time. The ram is cycled, and the shell plate turns, and the last round is kicked into a completed bin or chute.  

Top 5 Picks of Best Reloading Kit​

To find the reloading kit that will best suit your needs, we’ve gone through and reviewed some of our favorite kits.

#1. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kit

The Hornady Lock-N-LoadClassic Reloading Press Kit is an excellent kit for beginners. This kit is a single-stage press, which means that it has a very rigid frame and can hold one die at a time. This type of press can be used for any caliber but is most often used for rifle reloading.

The process is something like this: the dies are screwed in, a shell holder is attached to the ram, the lever is pushed down, the ram goes up, and the die acts on the case. This press will have a slower rate of completed rounds per hour as it only does one round at a time.

This press comes with a reloading handbook, a digital scale, primer catcher, positive priming system, handheld priming tool, universal reloading block, and chamfer and deburring tools. It also comes with lock-n-load powder measure, three lock-n-load die bushings, powder trickler, powder funnel, and one-shot case lube.

What Recent Buyers Report

This particular customer has been reloading for 15 years with a turret press, and they love that they’ve made the swap. This kit is sturdy and made for precision. They used to have to hold shell cases so that they’d line up correctly when they resized and seated bullets. They don’t have to do that with this kit, and you need to use less force with this kit than with their previous kits. The Lock-N-Load kit provides better leverage and stability, and they can swap out dies very quickly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Lock-N-Load Classic Kit comes with many things in the kit, from a digital scale to a primer catcher and more. It’s a great starting point for beginners and a great addition to any long-time gun enthusiasts line-up. Customers seemed extremely happy with the kit and are pleased with the stability and ease of access to the offered cartridge. The fact that this kit comes with everything you need to use it makes it a great buy.

Bottom Line

This kit offers ease-of-access that many others may not. It comes with many additional supplies, such as a digital scale, powder measure, and more. This kit lives up to the expectations of beginners and gun veterans alike.

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CONS

 #2. Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit

The Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit comes with the Breech Lock Challenger Press and one Breech lock quick-change bushing. It has a complete handling system for powder, with a convenient powder measure that’s also repeatable. The Lee safety scale is also part of the package and includes a powder funnel. It comes with a case prep tool, such as a cutter and lock stud to trim cases, a chamfer tool, and primer pocket tools. 

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most buyers report that while this is not the best press, it’s a bargain and a good deal. It works as intended, and even after thousands of reloads, the press is in good shape. Most users find that this works well for their specific needs.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This press is an easy-to-use press for beginners who are just starting. For the cost, it’s well-made and does the job right. It has an auto-primer that allows you to prime cases with ease, right off the press, which takes away a lot of time spent priming otherwise, and comes with priming tool shell holders for almost every caliber. It can reload both pistol and rifle ammunition.

Bottom Line

This product is well worth the money if you’re a newcomer to the world of crafting your ammunition. It’s easy to use and doesn’t break the bank by forcing you to buy extra supplies outside of the kit itself.  

PROS

CONS

#3. Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit

The Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit is a turret press that comes with a powder measure, riser and can give you 250 rounds per hour at maximum. It also has a cutter, lock stud, chamfer tool, both a small and large primer pocket cleaner, and lube.

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most buyers have found themselves to be heavily impressed with this kit’s make. It’s made of heavy, sturdy cast iron and is reasonably accurate. It works for both rifles and pistols. There is a small learning curve if you’re switching from single press to turret for the first time, but other than that, it seems that most buyers are pleased with the results.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This kit is accurate and well-built. It’s made of cast iron, comes with all the necessary pieces to get started with it right out of the box, and can produce 250 rounds in an hour. It’s easy to use, and the dies are very well manufactured. A buyer said that if the cartridge fits into the final crimping/case sizing die, it will chamber in your firearm.

Bottom Line 

This product is made of cast iron, very accurate save for the powder scale, and has a tedious balance beam scale that comes with it. Many users of this product recommend upgrading to a digital scale because while the balance scale is accurate, it’s tedious and time-consuming to use.

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CONS

#4. RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit

The Rock Chucker Supreme Master Press has been lengthened to allow more effortless loading for longer cartridges. It comes with an ambidextrous handle, great strength, and versatility. It has a mechanical scale, a hand priming tool, a uniflow powder measure, a case load block that is universal, a deburr tool, a hex key set, a lube kit, and a powder funnel. 

What Recent Buyers Report: 

One recent buyer, who has formal training in reloading equipment, noted that they had never used this brand before. However, they said that the press functioned accurately. They said that their only negative was changing the primer arm size. They preferred the hand primer that came with the press over the attached arm. 

Why it Stands Out to Us: 

This kit comes in a lovely green color, with an ambidextrous lever handle that can be used with either your left or right hands. It comes with enough accessories to use the kit as soon as you get it put together out of the box. It features an excellent cast iron frame, which makes the press sturdy and well-put-together. The priming arm on the press can be a bit loose or flimsy, and many preferred the hand primer over the arm.

Bottom Line: 

This product is excellent for beginners or veterans alike. The hand priming tool and the ambidextrous handles are a crowd favorite in regards to the kit as a whole, and the mechanical scale is not. Many people replaced the mechanical scale with a digital one. 

PROS

CONS

#5. Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Expert Kit

The Lyman Reloading Press has a universal case trimmer, a scale, powder measure, and more. This kit is great for beginners and has room for six dies at once, which means if you use a three die kit, you can load up to two calibers at once.

What Recent Buyers Report: 

The only negatives that most buyers mention are that the primer arm is often set up wrong and has to be taken off and re-calibrated for use with tubes of primer. Otherwise, you might get a twisted primer. Buyers are otherwise satisfied with this kit.

Why it Stands Out to Us: 

This appears to be the complete kit on the list, though it has a few kinks, specifically in the priming arm attached to the press. It is a turret press so that it can make a few more rounds per hour than a single press. 

Bottom Line: 

This product seems to suit most customers’ needs. However, the priming arm is hard to get used too, and hard to set up correctly. 

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CONS

What Are The Benefits of a Reloading Kit?

There are two types of people who prefer reloading kits. Sharpshooters, people who like perfection and customization for contests and events, or people who are part of gun clubs. Of course, both these people shoot a lot, and we’ve forgotten to talk about collectors who collect and reenact with old guns that may not have a bullet on the market anymore. 

Save Money

If you shoot a lot, you use a lot of rounds. So reloading your old shells can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Customize Rounds

Customized rounds are great for things like competition, or you just need a new hobby. Customization is usually done through signature or tweaks to the ammo you create.

Make Bullets That Don’t Exist on the Market.

Bullets might be discontinued, and if you’re a collector, that’s a problem. You want bullets that match your gun. Reloading presses can load bullets that do not exist on the market or are hard to find and expensive to buy. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, a reloading press might benefit you. Before you purchase a reloading press, you should research, figure out the type of press you want, how often you’ll use it, set a budget, and eventually decide on a brand.

People Also Ask

It’s always great to ask questions when researching reloading kits, especially if you’re a beginner. Below are two of the most commonly asked questions:

What’s the best reloading kit for beginners?

The best kit for beginners is a single press, typically. Single presses do one bullet simultaneously and allow you to teach yourself before diving into turret presses and progressive presses.

What is the best brand of reloading equipment?

The best brand of equipment, according to our research, is Hornady. However, each user’s needs may vary, so it’s wise to choose the best product that fits your weapon, habits, and level of expertise.

 
Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.