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Are you searching for the best shotgun shell reloader? This is the guide for you. If you reload your own ammunition, you need power tools that effectively reload shells. We have done the heavy lifting and prepared a list of some of the best shotshell reloaders for most shotgun owners.
- The Top Shotgun Reloader Available
- Comparing the Best Shotgun Shell Reloader
- What to Consider When Buying a Shotshell Reloader
- Commonly Asked Questions
The Top Shotgun Reloader Available
After doing plenty of research, and tests, and getting feedback from gun enthusiasts, here are our top three reloaders. Later in this guide, we will look at what to consider when buying the best shotshell reloaders.
RCBS 9356 Rock Chucker Supreme Press
RCBS is a reputable manufacturer of quality shotgun shell reloading equipment. For that reason, it is no surprise that the RCBS 9356 Rock Chucker Supreme Press is our best shotshell reloader. Some shooters who have this press call it the Mack Truck of presses for reloading shells. The Rock Chucker Supreme Press features a cast iron construction that is durable, strong, and versatile enough for high volume reloading.
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 high-volume reloading shotgun shells, hunting shells, case forming, and bullet swaging.
Though it’s a single press, you can make it a progressive press by adding a Piggyback-4. It also has a large loading window that measures 4.25 inches. This makes it easier to reload shells for longer shotgun models. Compared to the Lee Precision and the Forest Camping shotshell presses we will look at, these single-stage reloaders are among the most expensive among all of our recommendations in this buying guide.
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
- Consumer-friendly O-Frame design
- It is ambidextrous
- Has a large loading window
- Can turn to a progressive shotshell reloader
What We Don’t Like
- It is expensive
- Has compound leverage system
- Made from Cast Iron
- Accommodate large magnum cartridges
LEE PRECISION 90014 Load-All 2 Shotshell 12 Gauge Press
If you want to reload shotgun ammunition for a double gauge shotgun, we advise you to get this press. The LEE PRECISION 90014 Load-All 2 Press is a single-stage 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 a primer catcher as well as other numerous accessories that include: eight shot bushings and 16 powder bushings, a steel sizing ring, a safety charge bar, and 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.
The Lee Precision II shotshell reloading press comes out of the box as a 12 gauge option. However, you can reload your own shotgun shells in 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 and skill level in shell 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 best shotshell reloader list, it is one of the best considering its functionality and numerous accessories.
What We Like
- It is a multi-reloading model
- You get the options of 12, 16, and 20 gauge
- Comes with numerous accessories and eight shot bushings and 16 powder bushings
- 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
- Includes free 24 shot bushings and powder bushings
- Has a built-in primer catcher
Forest Camping Shotgun Shell Reloading Crimp 12 gauge
If you are a minimalist, you will probably love this shotgun shell reloading press. The Forest Camping Shotshell Reloader is a simple, reliable shotshell reloader press that you can use in almost all places, whether you’re camping or simply having fun at the shooting range. Think of this shotshell reloader press as an efficient backup plan in case you have another power tool.
This shotgun reloading press can simply be installed on any horizontal surface. Moreover, you can reload your own shotgun shells under any condition because the press is not dependent on electricity. There is minimal need for prior knowledge or a manual to start using the Forest Camping Reloader or before you can even reload shotgun shells. You can easily learn to use the crimp as you work.
The Forest Camping press features a steel and aluminum construction. This makes the Forest Camping Reloader 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. The Forest Camping Reloader helps you achieve the necessary result and a steadier crimp.
The Forest Camping Reloader can load more than 100,000 shotgun shells. The Forest Camping Reloader 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 amount and great performance, this Forest Camping Reloader is one of the economical shotgun press choices 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
Comparing the Best Shotgun Shell Reloader
|Features||RCBS 9356 Rock Chucker Supreme Press||LEE PRECISION 90014 Load-All 2 Shotshell 12 Gauge Press||Forest Camping Shotgun Shell Reloading Crimp 12 gauge|
|Material||Cast Iron||Steel Frame, Plastic Base||Steel|
What to Consider When Buying a Shotshell Reloader
When it comes to buying a 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 reloaders, the single-stage, and the progressive stage press. The single-stage shotshell reloading press 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 reloader can either be manual or auto index. The difference is that you manually rotate the shell plate in manual progressive shotshell reloaders, 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 better than a progressive press would.
Different shotshell reloaders have designs for various consumer skills. As a beginner, we advise you get a shotshell reloader that you can effortlessly work with. However, that does not mean you should compromise on quality. Get a shotshell reloader that is easy to use while still retaining commendable functionality.
An ideal shotshell 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 to reload shotshells. Generally, some reloading presses can convert several gauges while others function on a single gauge.
In simple terms, the accuracy of a shotshell 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 to determine the end result in terms of the finished shell. A small margin of error in the finished shell 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 shotgun press that can help you reload your own shotgun shells. Logically, you should get a multi-purpose shotgun shell reloader like the Lee Precision II press. If you have similar shotshells though, you can choose either.
How fast a shotshell 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.
Shotshell reloaders come with various station designs. It’s your job to find shotshell reloaders that fit your situation. You need to choose one that is not prone to spillage.
Commonly Asked Questions
Before finishing up this shotshell reloaders review, let’s look at a few questions we frequently get about shotshell 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 Your Own Ammunition Dangerous?
Not if you reload shotgun ammo 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 with your shotgun reloading press.
Is Reloading Ammo Better Than Buying it?
Yes, though some ammo is more expensive than others.
Reloading your own ammo can charge significantly less than buying commercially produced bullets 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, ammunition for shotguns is not always fully air-tight. Additionally, older shells may have a paper shell. As a result, gunpowder loses potency as time goes by.
When that happens, the finished shell 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 shell 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 from the best shotshell reloading press.
We hope this buyingguide 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 the best shotshell reloading press.