If you are a frequent shooter, you have two primary choices when it comes to the source of your ammo. The most common option is to purchase new boxes of ammunition and take no part in the loading process. This choice is admittedly quick and convenient, but you may end up missing out.
If you would rather not purchase your ammunition complete, you have the option of handloading your cartridges. However, if you are going to be handloading, you will need to find the ideal reloading press to ensure you can do the best job possible. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though.
Handloading is precisely what you would expect when you hear the name. It consists of loading your cartridges by hand. Since you're already here, you probably know that. Instead of giving a basic overview of handloading before our best turret reloading press reviews, let's take a look at why you would want to start.
Handloading has many significant advantages when you compare it to merely purchasing boxes of ammo without a thought as to anything aside from the caliber. When you load your own brass, you get to save quite a bit of money. You will no longer need to purchase cartridges whole when you want to shoot.
Loading your own bullets and cartridges is an excellent way for you, as a frequent shooter, to cut down on their expenses. But, there are reasons for handloading beyond the economic ones. For example, loading your cartridges will give you much more control over the performance of your bullets as you can measure the powder load.
Of course, if you are going to be dealing with gunpowder, bullets, and casings, you are going to have to expect a small element of danger. Weapons are not toys, and they never will be. A cartridge (and by extension, its components) should be treated with all the respect that is due to an actual firearm.
When it comes to safety, you will want to ensure you thoroughly check the walls of your casings for any fractures, and ensure you never overload a cartridge. There are many ways that you can potentially injure yourself while handloading. Usually it will be due to an overloaded cartridge.
As long as you ensure you never exceed the design specifications of a particular cartridge, handloading can be a safe and economical pursuit. If you are just getting started, the hobby becomes much less intimidating (and some might even say more enjoyable) as you get more experience under your belt.
The best reloading press for beginners is the RCBS Rock Chucker hunter's reloading press. While this press may be specialized for hunting cartridges, nothing is stopping you from using it with cartridges that have a lower power load. The ability to support a wide range of cartridges makes this an incredibly versatile press. Some notable features:
Regardless of whether your left hand or your right hand is the dominant one, you will be able to use this reloading press due to its ambidextrous compatibility. All you have to do is loosen the nut on the bottom of the loading handle and move it into the other slot, and you will be ready to get started.
Speaking of the handle, there is nothing overtly ergonomic about the design, but it is comfortable enough to ease the strain of repeated use. This reloading press features a typical ball handle that is made of solid steel. While this type of handle may not be the most comfortable, it is simple and affordable to build.
While this reloading press is capable of working with larger hunting cartridges, it features a relatively compact design that makes it portable enough to help ease installation. Of course, this is still a relatively solid piece of metal, so keep in mind the reloading press will be heavy.
A single-stage reloading press may not be ideal for your needs, but this helps improve reliability when compared to a press that makes use of several stages. Multi-stage presses simply have too many moving parts to function as reliably as their simpler cousins. Therefore, a single-stage press should be fine for most applications.
This reloading press can be found for a mid-range price, and we would argue that it is worth the extra money you pay. The inclusion of features that can’t be found on low-end models allows you to make your handloading process much more convenient. We would highly recommend this product if it fits your budget.
Up next on our hunt for the best reloading press, we have a model from Lee. They are one of the better-known names in this product category. With its combination of low price and convenient design, this particular reloading press is ideal for beginners. . Some notable features of this product:
If you aren’t sure about handloading, the low price of this model helps you decrease the financial risk by allowing you to try it out. Nobody wants to have invested in a $300 reloading press, only to find out they don’t even enjoy the process of handloading in the first place.
What this reloading press may lack in sophistication, it makes up for in reliability and superior value for money. If you want the most bang for your buck, few models can compete with the price tag of just under $40 for this Lee reloading press.
This unit is ideal for more experienced handloaders who are looking to prime and deprime their cartridges. Depriming can be messy work, and you don’t want your main press covered in residue. As long as you purchase the necessary accessories, you will find that primers are dealt with conveniently by this press.
If you are tired of other reloading presses dropping down and accidentally pressing your fingers, you won’t have to worry about that with this model thanks to the balanced lever design. Since the handle can be found in the bottom center of the machine, the motion of pressing a cartridge is relatively straightforward.
While you may be surprised to hear it, this is one of the most reliable reloading presses you will come across at this price point. In fact, Lee is so confident in their product that this reloading press comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty that is unconditional.
The only reason that this press missed out on the title of best rated reloading press is that it may not be too user-friendly. While the RCBS press (the winner) combined quality and reasonable price point into one convenient package, this reloading press is more expensive but also more capable. Some notable features:
This reloading press is an excellent choice for prolific shooters, thanks to the turret design. A turret reloading press is capable of supporting multiple dies at the same time. Since this press is optimized for use with pistol cartridges, we would recommend purchasing this model if you are an avid handgun shooter.
Support for up to six dies means you will have a wide selection of ammunition to handload without having to take the tedious step of swapping out a die. If you already have a reloading press, and you mainly stick to a single caliber, it is hard to recommend this press. Otherwise, it is ideal.
The ball handle has been coated to resist rust, and it is ambidextrous. As with most other reloading presses, all you have to do is slot the handle into the spot on the left. The turrets on this model can be swapped out for replacements in relatively short order so you can work with more than six calibers at a time.
A machined flat base means you will be able to mount this reloading press to your workbench as evenly as possible. The mounting process is also relatively simple, which is not something you can say about every model of turret reloading presses.
All in all, this is an excellent reloading press for more experienced handloaders. This is due in part to the higher price and the improved capabilities of this model when compared to the other choices. If you need to work with several reloading dies at the same time, this is the product for you.
As with any other product that will have to be semi-permanently mounted to your workbench, you want to ensure your reloading press is the right choice before you buy it. It can be a hassle to have to mount and dismount several reloading presses until you find the right model.
What To Pay Attention To When Choosing Your Reloading Press
The ammunition with which the press is compatible is the first consideration to make before your purchase. Depending on whether you are trying to handload pistol cartridges or full-power hunting rifle loads, you will need a reloading press that is optimized for a specific range of cartridge dimensions.
There are also several different types of presses, but for this review guide, we will go over two. The traditional manual press features a single die and a relatively simple design. On the other hand, a turret reloading press features a row of dies for improved loading versatility.
You will want to ensure you find a reloading press of sufficient quality when you are making your purchase. A quality press will make it easier for you to handload your cartridges. Superior construction also usually makes for a product that will last longer.
The matter of superior construction brings us to our last point, which is closely related to quality. You will need a press that is durable enough to last long enough to provide a reasonable return on your investment. Once a press has paid itself off in affordable cartridges, you know it was worth the money.
We hope that our short review guide has been able to help you find the best reloading press for your needs. While it may appear challenging to find the ideal model of reloading press, it becomes far easier with the help of some trusted reviews.
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