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Are you searching for the best shotgun reloader? This is the guide for you. If you reload your own ammunition, you need a power tool that effectively loads the shotshells. We have done the heavy lifting and prepared a list of some of the top reloaders for most shotgun owners.
- The Top Shotgun Reloader Available
- What to Consider When Buying a Shotgun Reloader
- Commonly Asked Questions
The Top Shotgun Reloader Available
After doing plenty of research, tests, and getting feedback from gun enthusiasts, here are our top three shotgun reloaders. Later in this guide, we will look at what to consider when buying a shotgun press.
Best Overall Shotgun Reloader: RCBS 9356 Rock Chucker Supreme Press
RCBS is a reputable manufacturer of quality reloading equipment. For that reason, it is no surprise that the RCBS 9356 Rock Chucker Supreme Press is our top choice. Some shooters who have this press call it the Mack Truck of presses. It features a cast iron construction that is durable, strong, and versatile.
The press is ambidextrous, meaning you can detach and change the handle to make it usable by left-handed or right-handed people. Additionally, the ideal O-Frame design makes it much simpler to use by both beginners and pros.
It provides a whole four inches of ram-bearing surface to rigidly support the one-inch diameter main ram. Its handle is made of solid steel and has a comfortable ball-type handle grip. These factors make the press a great pick for heavy-duty reloading, case forming, and bullet swaging.
Though it’s a single press, you can make it a progressive one by adding a Piggyback-4. It also has a large loading window that measures 4.25 inches. This makes it reload longer shotshells more efficiently. Compared to Lee Precision and the Forest Camping models we will look at, it is the most expensive.
Thankfully, its top-notch features like the cast-iron frame and moving case make it worth every dime. On top of that, it will probably serve you for years to come.
What We Like
- Versatile and durable construction
- Grants outstanding strength
- User-friendly O-Frame design
- It is ambidextrous
- Has a large loading window
- Can turn to a progressive press
What We Don’t Like
- It is expensive
- Made of the highest quality materials
- Hunting reloading presses
- Another quality Bushnell product
Best Shotgun Reloader for the Money: LEE PRECISION 90014 Load-All 2 Shotshell Press 12 Gauge
If you want to reload rounds for a double gauge shotgun, we advise you to get this press. The LEE PRECISION 90014 Load-All 2 Shotshell Press is a single-stage reloading press like the RCBS Rock Chucker. It features heavy-duty construction, using high-quality material to offer durability and a lot of strength.
This multi-press comes with numerous accessories that include: 8 different shot bushings and 16 powder bushings, a six-point crimp starter as well as an eight-point crimp starter. It is ideal for beginners yet professionals can enjoy using it too.
Lee Precision comes out of the box as a 12 gauge option. However, you can reload both of the standard sizes for shells. As a result, you can use this press with most of the standard gauge options like 16 and 20. Note that if you convert over to 16 or 20 gauge, it will cease being compatible with 67.5-millimeter shells.
When it comes to speed, the manufacturer states you can effortlessly load up to 200 shells in one hour. Considering your prowess in reloading, you can meet this statistic or use a longer period. The hopper holds up to 5 pounds of shot that you can use for 30 minutes without a refill.
Comparing this to the other two in our top 3 list, it is the best value for your money considering its functionality and numerous accessories.
What We Like
- It is a multi reloader press
- You get the options of 12, 16, and 20 gauge
- Comes with numerous accessories
- Easy to use design
- Durable, rigid, and accurate.
- Commendable speed for a single stage press
What We Don’t Like
- Cannot load 2 1/2″ or 3 1/2″ shotshells
- Warning: If press is converted over to 16 or 20 gauge, it will no longer be compatible with 67.5mm...
- This press cannot load 2 1/2" or 3 1/2" shot shells
- Made by Lee Precision
Best Cheap Shotgun Reloader: Forest Camping Shotshell Reloading Crimp 12 gauge
If you are a minimalist, you will probably love this option. It is the cheapest in comparison to the RCBS press and Lee Precision II. The Forest Camping Shotshell Reloader is a simple, reliable tool that you can use in almost all places. Think of it as an efficient backup plan in case you have another power tool.
It can simply be installed on any horizontal surface. Moreover, you can reload your shotgun cartridges under any condition because the press is not dependent on electricity. There is minimal need for prior knowledge or a manual to start using it. You can easily learn to use the crimp as you work.
The Forest Camping press features a steel and aluminum construction. This makes it durable and resistant, hence a long life. Its speed of shotgun cartridge spin is low. Consequently, you don’t need to use any additional lubricants.
You get impressive results from shotgun shell crimps. This is because manually spinning a cartridge is a more controllable process unlike reloading with a power tool. It helps you achieve the necessary result and a steadier crimp.
It can load more than 100,000 shotgun shells. The tool uses a removable aluminum crimp starter. On the upside, you can replace it with another one if need be. Thus a longer lifespan. For such an affordable price and great performance, this is the best cheap shotgun reloading press for you.
What We Like
- Great design, reliable and durable
- Usable in any condition
- Removable crimp starter for longer life
- Steadier results of shotgun shell crimp
- You do not require any additional lubricant
- Easy to install and use
- Very affordable
What We Don’t Like
- It is slow
- A SIMPLE tool that is RELIABLE in usage. It can be easily installed on any horizontal surface....
- EASILY learn to use this tool. You don’t need any special knowledge or manuals to start using the...
- More AFFORDABLE prices in comparison to other manufacturers. Product prices are more affordable in...
What to Consider When Buying a Shotgun Reloader
When it comes to buying a shotgun reloader, we advise you to put some key factors and features into consideration. With so many options available in the market, it is important to know exactly what you need before getting it. They include:
There are two types of shotgun reloaders, the single-stage, and the progressive stage press. The single-stage shotshell reloader performs a single function. Also, you have to change the die prior to the next task. While using a single stage press is time-consuming, the quality is higher.
A progressive shotgun reloader can either be manual or auto index. The difference is that you manually rotate the shell plate in the first, and it is automatic in the latter. They both do multiple tasks with the same pole of the handle. It is faster, therefore, easier to use too.
If you engage in competitive shooting or have plans of adding or upgrading shot volume, get a progressive press. For casual shooters, a single-stage press works.
Different shotgun reloaders have designs for various user skills. As a beginner, we advise you get a reloader that you can effortlessly work with. However, that does not mean you should compromise on quality. Get a reloader that is easy to use while still retaining commendable functionality.
An ideal shotgun reloader allows you to use 2 ¾ inch shells, 3-inch shells, and probably a few more. The caliber you are reloading determines which one is the best fit. Generally, some presses can convert several gauges while others function on a single gauge.
In simple terms, the accuracy of a shotgun reloader determines the quality of the finished shell. As a result, you can’t ignore this feature. Get one that the manufacturers point out how accurate they are. A small margin of error might be inevitable though it should be subtle enough not to cause any loss.
Do you have different sizes of shotgun shells? In that case, we recommend you go for a single shotshell press that can help you reload all of them. Logically, you should get a multi-purpose shotgun shell reloader like the Lee Precision II Load-All. If you have similar shotshells though, you can choose either.
How fast a reloader finishes shells is very important. Your experience and skill level have to complement the speed you want. The press’ shotshell mechanism is also a variant you need to check out.
Shotgun reloaders come with various station designs. It’s your job to find one that fits your situation. You need to choose one that is not prone to spillage.
Commonly Asked Questions
Before finishing up this review, let’s look at a few questions we frequently get about shotgun reloaders.
Which Gauges Can You Reload With A Shotshell?
The 12 gauge and 16 gauge are the most popular. Besides, you can use a shotgun shell press with larger or smaller gauges, if you have the right dies and fittings.
Is Reloading Ammo Dangerous?
Not if you do it properly. Reloading ammo has minimal dangers. On the other hand, mishandling ammo, or a firearm, in general, can be dangerous. It depends on how carefully you follow the right procedure and take precautions.
Is Reloading Ammo Cheaper Than Buying it?
Yes, though some ammo is more expensive than others.
Reloading your own ammo can cost significantly less than buying commercially produced bullet in many cases.
Are Reloads Bad For Your Shotgun?
Basically, the more you reload a cartridge, the weaker it becomes over time. As it degrades, it becomes more likely to fail or malfunction. At such a point, the reloads are bad for your shotgun, especially if you are into competitive sports.
How Long Does Ammo Last?
Ideally, most manufacturers say 10 years. However, shotgun ammunition is not fully air-tight. Additionally, older shells may have a paper shell. As a result, gunpowder loses potency as time goes by.
When that happens, it becomes unsafe and unfit for shooting. We advise you to avoid exposing your ammo to moisture or high heat for longer shelf life.
Are Reloads Safe To Shoot?
Yes, reloads are safe to shoot. In fact, they can be safer than commercially manufactured ammo. They can be accurate and reliable as well. The best part about reloads is they are hand made. Therefore, you can tailor it to fit your shotgun.
How Many Times Can I Reload Brass?
As many times as you can, so long as they are safe to reload and function efficiently. There is no specific number of times that you can reload brass casings. The number ranges from 5 reloads to 10 or more.
If you trim and anneal the brass after the 4th shot, load light, and don’t have an over-sized chamber, you will most likely get more reloads.
We hope this guide on the best shotgun reloader was helpful. Before buying your much-needed ammo reloader, carefully check its key features. Besides, consider how helpful it will be to your specific needs. Ultimately, you will end up with a worthy shotshell reloader.