Many shooters and gun enthusiasts — whether rifle, shotgun, or pistol — are in the market for the best reloading press in 2021.
It’s no surprise many often decide to reload their own bullets instead of buying rounds of ammunition. The most obvious reason is money related.
It’s a no-brainer that, in the long run, reloaded bullets cost almost half the price of bullets bought ready-to-fire.
And it’s not only the cost, too.
Sharpshooters swear by the enhanced performance of their meticulously measured and fabricated bullets.
Honestly, reloading is not the most time-efficient. You’ve got to have the time, skill and patience to work with a reloading press.
Considerable time will also need to pass before your initial investment starts to make a difference to your cash flow.
Then, of course, there’s the learning curve that takes some time depending on your aptitude for the thing.
The best reloading press for one shooter may not necessarily be the best reloading press for another. Should buying a reloading press become an option for you, be guided by the following important points.
There are 3 types of reloading presses
See which of these types suit your situation – the single-stage, turret, or progressive reloading press.
1. Single-stage reloading presses get the thumbs up among beginners because of their relative simplicity.
Handling the equipment is uncomplicated and there are not a lot of adjustments required.
The four steps or stages take place distinctly in this type of press, which makes this an instructive tool for beginners trying to learn the whole process of reloading.
This type is ideal for small production. Needless to say, production rate is slow. The best single-stage reloading presses churn from 50 to 100 rounds per hour.
2. Turret reloading presses produce more rounds per hour than the single-stage type, possibly twice more.
This higher productivity also means higher price tag and more complicated mechanism involved.
Multiple dies can be mounted on the press. When a step is completed, the turret revolves to the next step until reloading is completed.
This eliminates the need to change dies during the whole sequence of reloading.
When reloading various calibres, you may set up the dies in the turrets for the different cartridge types that you wish to load.
It will then simply be a matter of switching turrets when you’re ready to change bullets.
With its more intricate reloading system and increased number of moving parts, the resulting frame is less solid compared to the robust form of the single-stage style.
3. Progressive reloading presses can reload as fast as 500 rounds per hour.
Definitely not for personal reloading purposes, the high production rate of this type is designed for heavy reloaders and reloading businesses.
The press has several die stations, special dies and powder charger. As in the turret style, there are 4-5 stations but several of the steps occur simultaneously, resulting to faster production rates. Changing from one calibre to another takes place in under 5 minutes.
This type is not for reloaders who are just starting to learn the basics.
One of the drawbacks could possibly be the extra time and adjustments required for setting up, and the high maintenance that goes with an intricate system. These presses are also the most expensive.
Distinct qualities inherent to each type
As we have mentioned, the best reloading press depends a whole lot on your situation and what qualities you’re looking for.
Easy to set up – this is a quality of the single-stage type. If you’re a beginner and learning the ropes in reloading, simplicity matters.
Stable and durable – because of their very few moving parts, single-stage types have strong frames and robust build.
Low investment cost – the simplicity and uncomplicated design of single-stage types make them relatively cheaper to manufacture. The investment cost is offset earlier and the buyer enjoys low-cost bullets after a shorter cost-recovery period.
Combined affordability and high production rate – the turret type is more expensive than the single-stage type but has about twice the production rate. For the loader who values production but cannot invest heavily on a progressive loading press, the turret type is the next best thing.
Time-efficient and fast production – if production and time cannot be compromised, the obvious choice is the progressive type. No other type is more ideal for the heavy reloader.
Steps involved in reloading a bullet
Reloading presses put together all the pieces that make up an ammo – first the bullet casing, then the gun powder, followed by the primer and, finally, the brass that seals the bullet. How these steps are done (and how fast!) varies from one type of reloading press to another.
Best reloading press for the money
Decide which type you really need; then look out for the best within that type.
For single-stage, choose cast iron material for the body; handles should be solid steel.
Ask for lifetime warranty. If you find a press with upgradeability feature, that should be a great buy.
Turret presses are faster than single-stage types mainly because it can hold several dies at a time, but it still basically operates in the same way – one die at a time.
Find one that has an auto-indexing feature that can be deactivated to afford flexibility to the user. If you have a number of different calibres, make sure that your press can provide you with the needed versatility.
For any machine that has speed as a basic feature, such as the progressive reloading press, safety should be important.
Your equipment must come with a safe ejecting mechanism, organizing and storing compartments, powder measures, among its many high-tech features.
Whatever type you choose, pick one that is ergonomic or user-friendly because any equipment should be designed and manufactured with the user in mind.