By pursuing our hobby, we let go, all of our worries and immerse ourselves into something that brings joy to us. And shooting and hunting is a popular and thrilling hobby for many.
If you find shooting relaxing and often tend to go to the arena, then you would be required to reload your ammo every once in a while. You can do it all by yourself at home if you have a progressive reloading press.
I have a Hornaday lock and load press and love it.
Confused on which one to buy? Don’t worry, here you’ll learn everything about it, and hopefully, you’d be able to choose the best progressive reloading press for yourself by the end of this article.
5 Best Progressive Reloading Presses Reviews
We don’t want you to invest your money in the wrong place. Not every product you find would be of pure quality. We are bringing to you reviews of 5 of the finest progressive reloading press money can get you.
Are you a new shooter? Then this machine is the best progressive reloading press for beginners. Ask any pro about this bad boy, and we are pretty sure that they have heard about it and might have started their career with this one.
WHAT WE LIKED
- The fully-automated progressive press allows you to quickly switch dies
- Its 5-station bush system allows users to change from 235 to 45 in minutes
- Die-head doesn’t need to be tampered with while making other adjustments
- EZeject system lets you to effortlessly remove and reinstall cartridges
- Its quick-lock-n-load system enables you to reload a wide variety of bullets
- All the necessary accessories will be provided during the purchase
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Priming might malfunction at times
- Significant leakage in the powder measure
The Hornady Lock-N-Load Reloading press is one of the best in the business for its features. Starting with the fully automated 5 station press, it allows users to quickly and efficiently press or reload ammunition.
Not only that, the fully automated reloading press is compatible with all sorts of dies. This is mainly because of its innovative design, which allows you to properly reload bullets for the hunting season.
Furthermore, the 5-stage bushing system enables users to change from 223 to 45 in under 5 minutes, making your reloading and pressing experience quick and fun.
The design of the machine allows you to effectively change the powder measure, bullet seater, check dies, crimp dies, and the dies itself without having to make any adjustments or change to the die-head.
And, to top that, the design of the machine allows users to change a single die or the whole cluster without changing the whole die-head. Furthermore, the dies “EZeject” mechanism enables you to shift cartridges without much effort.
Lastly, the machine’s lock-n-load automatic progression is provided with a full-size lock and load powder measure that will enable you to reload a wide range of guns- starting from light pistols to heavy magnum rifles.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Has threaded link arms pins, so the process becomes faster
- Shell Plate index is controlled manually, so all the steps are monitored
- Calibers can be replaced very simply
- Over 120 calibers can be changed
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- It is a bit complex to use for beginners
The company is well-known for coming out with an amazing quality progressive reloading press kit, and this very machine is proof of that.
Let’s start with its special feature, the link arm pins that are threaded. Because of this new installation, you could simply use the arm pins without having the prime shaft to fall. Hence, the whole process becomes faster, and the maintenance of the device can also be done better.
You can reload over 120 calibers with this machine. These calibers can be swapped with a blink of an eye and need a low number of materials for it.
The reloading is just not limited to guns, but can also be used to load heavy ammo such as rifles.
Finally, the shell plate in the index is maneuvered manually. This feature allows one to have a greater hold over the entire reloading process.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Large 1.75 rams give you the clearance to reload the biggest bullets
- Auto-disk powder, Case Feeder, etc. provide an efficient reloading
- Varying plate shell ensures a wide range of ammo
- Can be used for all types of dies
- Has two modes of the press, the auto index, and the 5-stage press
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Its weight can make it difficult to move the contraption from one place to the other
The Lee Precision LoadMaster is given high regard by most bullet smiths because of its large 1.75″ diameter rams. The ram bearing ensures a stroke permeability for the biggest magnum rifle bullets giving you a wide range of choices.
It is perfectly compatible with dies of any diameter. The dies can easily be removed and reinserted without further adjustments due to a detachable lever called turrets. These turrets hold the dies in place and let you finish your work without any form of hindrance.
And, if you doubt the die’s durability, then sadly you are mistaken. Each die is made of Aluminum Cast frame, which is highly durable and reliable and is designed to ensure high functionality.
Manufacturers have made sure to make this bad boy perfect for all types of users. So, if you are a seasoned reloader, then the 7/8″-14 threaded dies are great for all kinds of bullets.
Furthermore, the machine has two different types of pressing mechanisms. One is the automatic indexing progressive press, and the other one is a single-stage press. And, to top it all off, every accessory is provided during purchase.
Moreover, the varying shell plate allows you to use different caliber types. In case you have a change of heart, your shell plates let you change them without much effort.
More on this Lee loadmaster kit.
RCBS is a trusted company that has consistently released fine quality products. Their Pro Chucker gained a lot of attention for its efficiency and its ability to reload ammo as fast as possible. It is made possible because of the five-station automatic indexing installed within the system.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Five-station index provides a huge production number
- 600 reloads can be done in one hour
- Safety ensured by the primers in the priming system
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- The plastic pieces are a bit fragile
You can reload the maximum number of bullets with a fast rate of around 600 rounds every one hour. Furthermore, this customizable machine can be fitted with a seven-station by replacing the five-station one.
Caliber change can be made very easily, too, as the die plate can be replaced very quickly. This results in a boost in the efficiency of the whole loading process.
Another great feature of this product is the amount of safety provided for the entire priming system with the help of the pickup tubes of the primer. The primers that have already been used falls to the trash from the base of the device with great precision.
Powders from the gun are quickly removed because of the metering properties present in the powder measure. Plus side of this is that no measure is eliminated from the press. The meter screws that come with the device can be easily changed for the powder to pass out.
Although the price of the machine is towards the higher end of the spectrum but with all the features present, we think this is the best progressive reloading press for the money.
As hunting season draws near, many hunters will be looking for exceptional reloading press at affordable prices. If you are one of them, then you might have hit the jackpot, as the RCBS’ rock chucker will never let you down.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Good for heavy-duty case forming, reloading, as well as bullet swaging
- An inch of the main bearing supported with 4-inch of ram bearing ensures proper reloading
- Strong material used in its making makes the product highly durable
- Can be upgraded to piggyback-4
- Bigger loading window enables the machine to work with a wide range of cartridges
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Very heavy so cannot be moved from one place to the other easily
- Due to its weight, the machine has to be placed on a sturdy base
First of let’s start with the machine’s body. The body of the machine has been made of cast iron, one of the toughest metal alloys on the planet, as the main ingredient in its construction.
This material gives it remarkable durability as well as the sturdiness that you have been looking for. Also, the cast iron press guarantees high versatility.
Furthermore, its ambidextrous o-based design makes reloading as easy a walk in the park. And, its larger window enables you to quickly and effortlessly reload modern cartridges. So, in short, you can work with older cartridges as well as work with bigger cartridges.
Now, let’s go to the innards of the machine. The rock chucker comes with a large frame. This frame gives you a full 4 inch of a ram diameter to perfectly support the main powerful ram. Hence, allowing a perfect reloading experience.
When designing the product, manufacturers have also taken into consideration the comfort into account. They did this by giving the lever, which initiates the pressing, a better handle.
Thus, the machine is perfect in all aspects and is remarkable for heavy-duty works. And, it is very difficult to find a presser of such high functionality at such price!
How Does a Progressive Reloading Press Work?
This machine is basically used to quickly reload Ammos in the comfort of your home. There are multiple features and parts that make the progressive reloading press an efficient machine.
You can also check out some shotshell reloader in this article.
Two types of progressive reloaders are available in the market; manual and auto index. In the manual one, you have to control the handle by yourself, and in the auto, you just have to press a button to start up the procedure.
Firstly, bullets are placed into casings and inserted into the machine, and the rest is done by the dies and stations.
The device is composed of a good number of rounds and dies. Rounds are kept in motion with the help of shell plates and are passed from one die to the other.
A handle is present to keep the process running, and when one round is finished properly, it comes out of the front portion of the reloader. The precision of the dies and rounds determine the rate of the production of the load.
The station is also a big factor in how fast the machine can reload bullets. This part ensures that the bullet is settled properly in its place. The powder is also sprinkled all over the bullet so that no over or undercharged load comes out.
Is Progressive Reloading Press Accurate?
Progressive Reloading presses are mainly used for volume reloading. The basic and the cheapest ones have a production rate of 300 loads per hour. More expensive machines can load up to a thousand ammo.
Additional accessories such as bullet and case feeders are used to increase the efficiency and overall volume. As expected, a rise in volume causes slight problems with the accuracy of the item.
This is mainly because the number of rounds will cause a lot of motion during the process, thus, affecting the accuracy. But with the greater volume, the minor effect inaccuracy is usually ignored by most of the users.
What to Look for When Selecting a Progressive Reloading Press
There are certain things you have to look into when you are starting out your hobby in a progressive reloading press. The first thing is you have to spend some time on the equipment you will be using. Furthermore, the type, as well as the brand you will be buying, are both very important.
Here, the brand is going to be an important factor as ultimately, that is going to have an impact on how the equipment is going to work and what kind of accessories you will get with it.
Now before selecting, there are certain things you will have to look into, and each one of them is going to be explained in great detail here for your benefit.
The Kind of Gun You Will Use
One of the most important things that come to consideration for a hobby such as progressive reloading press is the type of gun you use. So, here, the reloading presses you get has to be compatible with the gun you are using, as otherwise, the result will not be as good.
Say, for example, the gun you own is a pistol, then your reloading press has to be able to reload quickly, but for a rifle, you will need something a bit more precise.
So, try to do some research on the gun before you go ahead and choose the reloading press.
How Often You Will Need to Reload
Now, the next thing you have to be mindful of how often you would like to reload. For this part of the selection process, the cost is a big factor, because, in the end, that is what will help you decide.
So, if you want a higher reloading frequency, then you need to spend some big bucks to get the best. But the good part is that you will have a better output and an overall better efficiency.
But, if you do not need to reload as frequently, then there is no real need to spend as much in that. However, you might have a much slower reload time than that of other equipment.
How Many Calibres You Will Load for
You will have to get a certain number of things whenever you load for calibers. The items you will be needing are shell plate, shell holders, and dies for reloading.
There are some other accessories you might want to invest your money into if you want even better results. But either way, for each caliber you load for, there will be many things you need, without which the task in hand will be very hard to accomplish.
So, whenever you change the calibers, you much have a whole change over process, and if the change occurs more frequently, then you need to ensure all the other accessories are changed too.
How Much Ammunition is Required
The next aspect you will need to think of is whether or not you have a need for a large amount of ammunition and tolerance. Say, for example, you are trying to practice hitting the bullseye, then, in that case, you will want a steadier flow of ammunition.
But that is not a requirement if you are practicing self-defense. In this case, you will not really have to worry about the quantity of ammo as well as the frequency of the reloading.
Is Time or Money the Bigger Issue?
Time and money do not go hand in hand when it comes to reloading press. If you have little money but an abundance of time, then you can get away with getting a piece of equipment that is of lower quality.
But for the opposite situation where you have more money than time, this is when the more expensive and higher-end equipment will help you out. The high-quality equipment will give you great results in less time. This way, you will not have to invest a lot of hours into this.
Will It Allow Modification in the Future?
Equipment made for reloading can either have the option for further modification or not. Well, here you must evaluate whether you are going to make changes to the equipment. If you see that change is not something you will be needed, then there is no need to spend money on something that will support the modification.
However, if you are keen to add more to your equipment, then you should go the extra mile and get equipment that can be changed.
How Much Space You Have
This equipment can, at times, be very large, and for that, its storage becomes a very big factor. If you have a big house that has a decent-sized garage, then there is really not much for you to worry about as you can very easily store it away in there.
But if your house does not have enough space to store the device, then that will be a problem. So, you must keep your space into account when purchasing equipment for the reloading press.
We have spoken a bit about the price, but you have to know that in this case, a change in the price of the equipment can really have an impact on the overall quality of the equipment as well as the performance.
So, if you invest a lot of money, then you will be able to get equipment that will make the whole process more effective and fruitful. Whereas, if you choose to spend very little money, then it might take you more time to achieve the same results as you would have with the more expensive equipment.
But, having said that, you can get good results even while staying in the budget.
How to Maintain a Progressive Reloading Press
All products require some type of maintenance to last properly over a long period of time. Even the best and the most expensive ones need some care to function all right. These are the things you have to follow to keep your machine properly and running:
- Use of Lubricants
You have to oil up all parts of your equipment to keep it from getting damaged and also for resizing. If you don’t use a lubricant, then there is always a chance of rust formation and especially in places where there is a lot of humidity.
- Cleaning up Dies
First, you need to detach all the dies and eliminate any sort of external materials from it. This can be done with the help of a firm brush and any type of solvent. Vigorously go over the whole of the dies and make sure all the residue that can be visibly seen is removed.
Then squeeze in some soap solution into a rag and rub every inch of the die properly. After you are done with both of the cleaning methods, leave it under the sun to dry off.
If you live in the colder regions, you must place these over a heating grate. It will only take a couple of minutes to become dry.
- Rust Prevention
Silica gel absorbs small amounts of water from its surroundings. So, to prevent the formation of rust, all you have to do is place it on the machine. You can find these in stores, and if you don’t want to spend money on it, you will most probably get it from newly bought purses or shoes.
- Polishing the Brash
Storage of any debris or foreign materials on the machine can be stopped if you clean up the brass frequently. Make the device spotless with the help of a rag dipped in any chemical solvent. After that, polish the brass so no traces of residue can be detected.
You have to do these both right before you start resizing the brass. After you are done with the sizing, again use a rag to eliminate the excess lubricant used in the process.
We hope that we were able to help you find the best progressive reloading press. Finding the perfect gear wouldn’t be a problem if you have read this article.
A final note for you would be to use the device very carefully. Your safety should be your top priority.