Making your own ammo through reloading presses is a time consuming venture, but it’s a very satisfying one once you get the hang of it. Another key factor is having the proper tools for it, and that’s where these presses come in. While it is rewarding to use your own press you need to be ready with the right equipment. Understand what you are looking for in the product, and make sure that it’s worth the time and money. Once you’ve come to that conclusion, here’s the list of the 8 best reloading presses out there.
Best Reloading Presses
- Lee Precision Load Master 45 acp
- Redding Big Boss 2 Single Stage Reloading Press
- RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit
- Lee Precision Anniversary Challenger Kit
- Dillon Square Deal B Reloading Press 9mm
- Brass-Smith Ideal Press Reloading Kit
- RCBS Summit Single Stage Reloading Press
- Hornady Lock-N-Load Ammo Plant
Lee Precision Load Master 45
This reloading kit is specifically designed for 45 ACP, and the only brands of primers that are safe to use on it are CCI and Remington. If that fits what you’re looking for, then here’s some more fine details. This is a progressive 5-hole reloading kit that comes with full size, powder through expanding and bullet seating dies, a large primer feed, pro-auto disk powder measure, turret, #2L shell plate, and universal case feeder.
I would definitely make good use of the how-to videos that are floating out there on the internet, but if you have the patience to assemble it properly and fine-tune it to suit your needs, it is a very reliable model that doesn’t come with a huge price tag. I would make sure that you have a good sturdy bench to use this on, or there is the option to purchase the stand that is specifically made for it.
Redding Big Boss 2 Single Stage Reloading Press
For those of you that have used the original Redding Big Boss Press, this is built with the same durability and functionality as the original, but with a larger ram and heavier frame which makes it easier to load large magnums. It also has a “smart” primer arm that swings itself into position when deemed necessary, and it flips out when it’s not in use.
It is a great single stage press that is absolutely designed with magnums in mind. One thing that can be considered a downfall for many is the fact that it takes a lot of force to function on certain cartridges. One thing that most people agree on is the fact that this is a huge chunk of iron, and it is one of the smoothest rams you’ll ever operate. For the steal of a price that comes with this machine, so long as you’re able to operate the huge thing, it’s a bargain either way you look at it.
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit
The Rock Chucker Supreme comes with everything you need to reload like a pro, except for dies and shell holders. It comes with two accessory handles, a Uniflow-III powder measure, universal case loading block, case lube kit, and much more. It’s a single stage press with an ambidextrous function, and it is best used for precision rifle reloading. One thing that this is good for is beginners that want to obtain most of what they need in one stop.
While there are other pieces that you’ll still need, this kit is complete enough to justify it’s hefty price tag. I understand that kits will be more expensive, but that’s why you need to make sure that the product has everything that makes it worth the cost. While this is a single press, it functions best in small quantities, but if you can keep to that plan, it is a tried and true product that comes with a comfortable amount of history.
Lee Precision Anniversary Challenger Kit
Lee is an absolute go to when it comes to reloading equipment. The brand name is enough to convince people to buy their products, but when you find a kit like the Lee Precision Anniversary Challenger Kit, you know that you’ve found the perfect product. This kit is half the cost of the previously mentioned RCBS Rock Chucker kit. Something to keep in mind with this kit, you’ll want to buy extra Breech Lock Quick Change Bushings.
The anniversary kit might come in at half the price of other kits, but that should also give you an idea of what to expect. It functions like butter, but you will need to replace it as you work. It would be wise to keep the money you save on purchasing this kit to buy replacement and extra parts. This is a good place for beginners to start. You’ll get enough experience with it to know whether you’ll want to continue with this style of press or change to something else. It isn’t designed to pump out a multitude, but for a smaller workload, it is perfect.
Dillon Square Deal B Reloading Press 9mm
This is the company’s most compact machine, don’t let it’s size fool you. It is designed for common handgun and carbine rounds, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. cFor those of you that have the same mindset, a lifetime guarantee does two things. It let’s you know that even the manufacturer has faith in it’s own product, and it gives the customer the piece of mind that they won’t have to pour money out of their pocket to fix regular wear and tear damage.
Dies are included and adjusted to reduce time spent, and this press is designed with a moderate workload in mind. So, this isn’t a good option for mass production, but for those that don’t want to deal with changing things out all the time, it’s the perfect option. Considering the fact that this isn’t a kit, the price tag is a little higher on the scale than most would hope for, but between the lifetime guarantee and the proof of its quality, it’s more than worth its weight. Another key factor is the fact that there is no need for readjustments. With the removable toolhead that is included, your dies stay in the perfect position every time.
Brass-Smith Ideal Press Reloading Kit
This is another moderately cheap kit that still gives you a good amount of bang for the cheap buck. Beginner’s should look to start here, and those with more experience might find this kit very comfortable to use. The kit includes all of the normal kit equipment, but on top of that, you can enjoy the fact that everything included is designed to work best with what it is already packaged with. There is no need to buy replacements or better versions for this kit.
This also comes built with the ambidextrous option already built into it. It’s C frame works great for bullet seating, and so far, everyone has mentioned that it works great with any powder that they’ve tried with it. Later down the line, I would look to purchase something a little more specific to your specific needs, but as a general press or beginner, it’s exactly what you would ask for.
RCBS Summit Single Stage Reloading Press
A nice ability with this press is the fact that you can mount it anywhere on your bench. Again, I would ensure that you have a sturdy enough bench to support this beast, but it was designed from the ground up to be the smoothest press you’ll ever operate. It also has a multitude of options available to those that want to change it up. For one thing, it comes with a short handle option for those that want more versatility and efficiency. A 2” ram and die holder are already standard with this machine, and it packs an ambidextrous design that makes it user friendly whether you’re left handed or just need the ability to use it however possible.
It is built to last, and it once again comes with a lifetime guarantee. Something else I haven’t seen for any of the other models is the fact that this press has some of the easiest setup we’ve seen in a press lately. Something else that sets this press aside from the others is the fact that it moves the die to the case and not the other way around. Also, with an open face design, it makes it a lot easier to see what you’re doing compared to other presses that you have to work around to see anything.
Hornady Lock-N-Load Ammo Plant
Let me start this one with specific features. It features automatic indexing, priming and ejection, so you feel completely in control while allowing the machine to work for you. That’s something that you don’t really hear much when it comes to reloading presses. Let the machine work for you. That’s literally the definition of a machine. It comes with its own quick change bushing system, quick change metering inserts, and case activated powder drop.
If you’re looking for more than just the press, there is also the option to purchase the kit which includes the initial press and more accessories that make your job a lot easier. This is the most expensive entry on this list, but considering how much more it does for you, it’s well worth the money. This is yet another press that people usually recommend watching the how-to videos, but once you assemble and get the hang of it, it’s the perfect press for more experienced consumers.
And that’s a quick list of the 8 best reloading presses out there. None of these are perfect, but once you know what you’re hoping for in your press, there’s a press for everyone on this list. For those that are looking for kits instead of simple presses, keep in mind that most of these presses come with a kit option. Don’t forget to research the possible pros and cons of each product, but know that your money is well spent in any of the presses mentioned above.