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What’s the Best Progressive Reloading Press? Reviews & Buying Guide

best-progressive-reloading-press

As avid shooters, it’s normal to see a lot of ammo getting used up regularly. Of course, this also means spending more than a hundred bucks over time. Good thing we can now make our own ammunition right at home. Start making your own stash and save money with a reloading press. We’d like to show you what we think through these best progressive reloading press reviews.

OUR #1 RATED

Lee Precision Load Master Progressive Press Kit

LEE PRECISION Load Master-Progressive-Press Kit.40 Smith & Wesson

OUR #2 RATED

Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press

Hornady 095100 Lock N Load-Auto Progressive Reloading Press

OUR #3 RATED

Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000 Reloading Kit For 41 Magnum

Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000-Reloading Kit For 41 Magnum

1. Lee Precision Load Master Progressive Press Kit

The Lee Precision Load Master Progressive Press Kit reloads both rifle and handgun cartridges. Through this reloading kit, gun owners can reload with ease and enough clearance for even the largest magnum rifle cases.

It features an automatic indexing progressive press or single stage press. It features five stations that accept the most popular reloading dies. And with a detachable turret, these dies can be removed and reinserted without adjusting.

This tool features a steel and aluminum metal frame. It has a priming feature, and a bottom right hand handle location. It also has three mounting holes, has a spent primer collection system, and accepts a standard 7.8” – 14 thread dies. It has a 3 ¾” ram stroke, a ram diameter of 1 3/4” and an o-frame.

LEE PRECISION Load Master-Progressive-Press Kit.40 Smith & Wesson

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2. Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press

The Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive Reloading Press features an EZlect System. This system involves speeding up the production process without the need for special adjustments.

This easy to operate 30.9 lbs progressive press comes with five auto-indexing stations for fast reloading. Also, it has a quick-change bushing system for quick change die and caliber conversion kit. It also features a collecting tray to fit and offload to its primary storage strategically.

It also features a Case-Activated Powder Drop that drops the correct measurements of Gun Powder inside the cartridges to avoid accidental spillage. On average, it can reload about 500 rounds per hour.

Hornady 095100 Lock N Load-Auto Progressive Reloading Press

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3. Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000 Reloading Kit For 41 Magnum

The Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000 Reloading Kit For 41 Magnum can get a loaded cartridge with each lever’s pull. Its primers, like powders, are fed only if a case is present. It has an alternate loading sequence that lets you load one case at a time.

This kit can be an excellent kit for beginners. It also features an ergonomic foam grip roller handle with an all-steel linkage that can change calibers in minutes. It has a full-length sizing die, bullet seating die, and a 3-hole turret. Its case has a sensor and steel, cast aluminum, and polymer frame.

Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000-Reloading Kit For 41 Magnum

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4. Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000 Reloading Kit For 38 Special

The Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000 Reloading Kit For 38 Special is an automatic reloading press. After adding a bullet and loading a cartridge with each lever’s pull, all other operations are automated. If a case is present, its primers and powder are fed only for added safety. It is an ideal option for beginners.

It has an alternate loading sequence that allows for loading only one case at a time for slight adjustments. Lee only recommends CCI or Remington primers for their kits. It also comes with the roller handle upgrade for easy changing of other calibers.

Lee Cast Aluminum Pro 1000-Reloading Kit For 38 Special

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5. MEC 9000GN .410 Press

The MEC 9000GN .410 press is affordable and best for churning out .410 bore shells in large quantities for a minimal time. Once shells are crimped, they’re ejected into a handy box because every pull of the lever will produce a complete shell and pushing the lever back up with automatic indexing the press to allow the next stage of the process.

This kit is chambered at 2.5-inch shells but can also be adjusted to fit 3-inch shell plates. The kit includes three powder bushings, a charge bar, and everything you need to start with the reloading process

MEC 9000GN .410 Press

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6. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press comes with a high-quality Lock N Load bushing, making switching calibers easier and faster.

This classic progressive press uses a single twist that can switch from one die to the other. It also helps eliminate the need for unscrewing and screwing and eliminating the need for making any adjustments.

It also enables the user to load more shells in minimal time. It also features an easy to grip handle, prime catcher, instructional manual, and well-designed angle frame.

Hornady Lock N Load Classic Reloading Press

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7. Hornady 085005 50 Bmg Press

The Hornady 085005 50 BMG Press Kit also features the Lock-N-Load technology. Right after switching to a Lock-N-Load bushing, you can shift the ram-prime to the die. You don’t have to set this kit from time to time. Once the holder and the ram-prime are in place, there are no further adjustments needed.

It also features high-strength steel and a heat-treated body frame that ensures rigidity and stability. You can connect this to standard dies by using its bushings. It is possible to reload centerfire cartridges with a Shell Head Adapter.

Hornady 085005 50 Bmg Press

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What’s a Progressive Reloading Press?

A progressive reloading press is a machine used for assembling gun cartridges. The materials you will need include bullets, the primer, a casing, and gunpowder. Through the use of a lever into what is known as ammunition, you can compact all of these materials. Also, these come with other functions like deburring and powder measuring. Although this process may be complex to operate at first, things will be easier after quite a few tries.

How Does It Work?

Each time you pull on the lever, progressive reloading presses deal with various tasks that match the station numbers performed simultaneously. The tool-head must remain fixed while holding the cases inside a rotating-case holder-disk that stores the same amount of dies as the tool head. It also improves the production rate and requires a caliber conversion kit. When using reloading presses, always abide by the standard gun safety laws and practices. (1)

Types of Press

There are three reloading press types: progressive, single-stage press, and the turret. The progressive press is the most expensive type among the three. However, it is more efficient as you benefit mainly from its efficiency and large production rate capacity. The best progressive reloading press can accommodate bulk reloading up to 600 rounds per hour.

7 Steps on How to Use a Progressive Reloading Press

how to use reloading press

Step 1. Put a fired case at the first station shell plate. Set the handle down, and then lift it after the case goes in the sizer die. As it goes into the second station, a primer will go to the priming system. Apply force to set the primer in the case.

Step 2. Once set, put another fired case in the first station. Repeat the same steps. 

Step 3. Put another case in the station and lower the handle. The case will go into the adaptor that measures powder. The powder will go into it. The shell plate goes down, and the case gets indexed to the next station.

Step 4. Take the case from the shell plate and set it on a scale to correct it. After checking, put the case back to station 4. 

Step 5. Put a fired case in the first station and raise the level again. The case you put at station 4 goes into a die. The shell plate lowers the case, and it gets indexed station 5. 

Step 6. Adjust the eject spring case. The case eject has to be set as close to the shell plate as possible without making contact.

Step 7. Put a fire case in station 1. As the shell plate goes up, the station 5 case goes in the bullet seating die. Hold the bullet over the case and set it into the seater die. The shell plate goes down, and the case goes into the eject tray.

Buying Guide

buying guide

Affordability

It is best to be wise in choosing the reloading machine you want to purchase. How many bullets do you plan to make in an hour? How many bullets can it make? It would help to consider whether you will save money in buying a press by purchasing a stable and sturdy one that can last you longer. It would cost you more if you’ll buy cheap reloading presses but would only last you a few months.

Material

Quality should always come first when you are planning to buy the best progressive presses. Find a press with a solid steel block because it is more durable. However, simple cast iron can do the same job much less expensively. Quality becomes a lot more complicated when comparing progressive presses since they incorporate much smaller moving parts and are more prone to breakage, malfunction, and jamming.

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Round Production

Completed round production must be one of your top requirements if you plan on purchasing the best progressive reloading presses on the market. As mentioned earlier, progressive reloading presses are not equal. They may vary depending on how fast they reload than others. What kind of tasks do you want your progressive press to perform? Is it going to be a manual indexing or an auto-indexing system? By identifying these, you’ll find the best progressive presses that will suit your needs.

reloading press production

Ease of Use

Some presses may be hard to maneuver, especially for novice reloaders. Because there are many moving parts, it is more complex to understand. To buy a progressive reloading press, it is best to find a progressive reloading press that is easy to use.

Type of Ammunition Used

It is best to identify what kind of ammunition you plan to reload. Different types of progressive reloading presses reload differently with other cartridges. Some types make shotgun shell plates, and some produce bullet cases. Therefore, choose a press built to reload the specific type of ammunition that you want to use.

Reloading Rates

Decide how many bullets you intend to make in a specific time. Sync it with the number of bullets you intend to produce in one hour with the press you plan to buy.

Some press brands will provide you with an estimate of the number of bullets made in one hour so that you can check out their websites and user reviews.

reloading press rates

Optional Accessories

Every company offers a wide range of products that can help make the reloading process a lot easier and increase round output. Optional accessories may help your progressive reloading machine perform better or worse, so you must be careful in buying such. Read a lot of reviews to determine whether these accessories are compatible with your progressive reloading machine or not. These accessories are often sold separately.

FAQs

It depends. Although some people find the single-stage presses a more accurate way to load ammunition than a progressive reloading press, its accuracy is still excellent. Progressive presses perform multiple tasks with each handle pull, manual indexing feature, or auto progressive reloading press index. Since this kind of press is for bulk reloading, its accuracy may suffer a small amount. Nonetheless, this can still produce accurate ammo for your rifles.

A turret press works one round in one go, while the best progressive press works multiple rounds at once, making the latter a better choice. A single-stage press can produce about 50 rounds per hour while a reloading press can produce 100 up to 800 rounds per hour.
Yes, reloading dies are interchangeable with different presses. While it’s true that some older presses/dies have other threads than the new presses, 90% of the time, it fits in a reloading press.
Yes, reloading can help you save money, improve your rounds’ accuracy, have fun, and give you more ammo to use for your target shooting. You can only have these merits if you reload. Reloading can cut the cost of your ammo by more than half. Since commercial ammunitions need to adhere to specific safety standards, most do not perform their best. You can correct this if you reload.
The cost to reload 1000 rounds of 223 depends on the brass you plan to use. Are you going to use a brand new brass or a fired brass? The powder and load you are going to use may affect the cost, too. Also, consider the bullet and bullet grain you plan to use. Your price may vary due to the price of the components where you live.

For your safety, you must always read a progressive reloading press manual. You also need to reload ammo from low and then work your way up because it is safer. Be forewarned that you should never start reloading at a maximum load. Aside from it being dangerous, it isn’t necessary. Make sure to check your location’s gun safety laws, as well. (2)

And the #1 Progressive Reloading Press is...

Our team unanimously decided that the Lee Precision Load Master Progressive Press is the best among all the seven best progressive reloading presses mentioned in this list. We were impressed that it can reload even the largest rifle and handgun cartridges. It also uses an auto progressive reloading press index. Aside from being sturdy and reliable for having a steel and aluminum frame, it also features five stations that accept the most popular reloading dies.

LEE PRECISION Load Master-Progressive-Press Kit.40 Smith & Wesson

Our #1 Recommendation

Lee Precision Load Master

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