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What’s the Best Single Stage Reloading Press? Reviews & Guide

best single stage reloading press

Shooting guns can be pretty addicting, especially if you are getting better at it at the shooting range, but it can also be expensive. Having the best single-stage reloading press to make your own ammo will ensure shooting days are even better. 

Our team tried on a couple of brands to find the best reloading press in the market. Here are our finds.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Lee Precision Cast Iron Hand Press

OUR #2 RATED

RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit

OUR #3 RATED

Lyman Brass Smith Victory Press Reloading Kit

1. Lee Precision Cast Iron Hand Press

Why We Picked It:

This is a portable single-stage reloading press that is very convenient to use. It has an aluminum frame which makes it really durable. You can easily mount the press on a bench or work table, wherever your preference may be, since this only weighs 1-½ lbs. 

There are no complicated mounting tools for this machinery. Changing dies wouldn’t be a problem since this is also compatible with the breech lock system. It accepts die bushing, and it is compatible with sizes 7” to 14” dies. 

The best thing about this product and why we considered it as the best single-stage reloading press is because you can decap and size on long reloading sessions with no trouble at all. The powder measure is also not a concern as it comes with an accurate scale.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

PROS

CONS

2. RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit

Why We Picked It:

The very first thing that you will appreciate with this standalone press is the design. It is a progressive reloading press that is very spacious, making it easy to fit many rifle cases. 

The reloading setup has an adjustable ball handle that is perfect for long reloading sessions since it is absolutely easy and comfortable to use. It also has a quick and smooth system. 

The adjustable handle is also heavy-duty, which can handle reloading and case forming no matter what load is used. You can easily produce this ammo whenever you want to.

Another positive feature of this RCBS product is that this is already a complete kit. Whether you are a beginner or a pro in the reloading field, this will absolutely be very beneficial. It includes 14 items, including a digital scale.

PROS

CONS

3. Lyman Brass Smith Victory Press Reloading Kit

Why We Picked It:

If we talk about the durability of an O frame press, you should not be doubting Lyman. They are fairly known to produce reliable reloading presses in cast iron construction. This particular release has an ambidextrous handle, on-press slide bar priming, and super-solid handle/lever. 

They promise that all the products have a tight and precise fit and have a smooth operation, and they always deliver those promises to their loyal buyers. Victory is unique from another priming because of the newly designed straight line primer feed. There is a lesser possibility of spent primer with this. 

This may be a new addition, but it is still a straightforward design that just requires you to push forward the priming arm to position it under the shell holders. You don’t have to worry about a spent primer with this solid steel machinery.

PROS

CONS

4. Forster Co-ax Press

Why We Picked It:

Most users pick this product because of the straightforward method that they are using. Despite the simplicity, it still delivers high-quality ammo because of the unique features in its products. The Snap-in and snap-out die changing capability allow the user to change from sizer die to seater die quickly, unlike other presses. 

It also has a spent primer catcher system that takes care of all spent primers and dirty carbon. Perfect alignment is also assured when you are reloading ammo because of the Dual floating guide rods.

Forster impressively features more qualities, so people who make their own ammunition pick this piece to ensure accurate ammo as they start reloading. It also does not fit the O- or C-frame press, the reason why it has all the mechanical advantages of any other single press.

PROS

CONS

5. Lee Precision Classic Cast Press

Why We Picked It:

This machinery is not the first single-stage press coming from Lee Precision since they are a staple name in this industry. Reloading ammunition, quality at that, is offered because of the functionalities you can find in their products, including the standard Lee Breech Lock. 

This feature eliminated the need to make endless adjustments. You can reconfigure the reloading process to necessary reloading dies’ for different calibers, which can be smaller like .223, 30-06, or the likes. 

This press also has two automatic primer arms for large and small primers with the bottom of stroke priming for the best feel.  The classic cast press still features a massive USA cast iron frame, just like the other releases. The Lee press is very durable and has an ambidextrous handle and removable ram tops.

PROS

CONS

6. RCBS Summit Single Stage Reloading Press

Why We Picked It:

This is not the ordinary stage reloading press that you constantly see and may not be that easy to work with, especially for those new to reloading. This press has a different build since the cartridge remains stationary, leaving the die going up and down on a carriage. 

This machinery is totally different from other traditional single-stage reloading presses. 

Despite the difference, they are cited for having the best concentricity in bullet(1) runout and case neck. If you want to excel in bullet seating, you need to get this—a better choice than a reloading brass.

You will be confident with this piece regarding build and durability since this is solid cast iron. It may not be great on press priming as this may not be significant in that area.

PROS

CONS

7. RCBS RC Supreme Reloading Press

Why We Picked It:

Anyone exposed to single-stage reloading would know RCBS is a brand that has already established a name in this field. The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is an addition to their easy-to-use stage reloading press. You can be sure it has all the features you want to find in a single stage press along with a very reasonable price. 

You will be satisfied with its heavy-duty cast iron construction, designed to let users have easy case-resizing. They also have a compound leverage system. The best part about this product is that they created it not for accumulative purposes but for quality single-stage reloading.

PROS

CONS

8. LEE PRECISION Breech Lock Challenger Press

Why We Picked It:

Very affordable price is the first thing you will notice with these reloading presses from Lee precision. However, these products are also very useful in many tasks such as sizing, seating, decapping, and crimping.

It has the “O” frame, which is built for heavy workloads, plus these are cast iron built and not steel. You will also find the opening set at a 30-degree angle, making it easy for maneuver and visibility. It still has the Breech Lock quick-change die system that makes changing dies very easy. 

It is making the reloading process quick with just a twist of your wrist, without the need to readjust the dies. This is one reliable progressive press you will find in the market today. You don’t even have to worry about spending too much money on its price.

PROS

CONS

9. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading

Why We Picked It:

One of the oldest names in the reloading industry goes back to 1949, but they established a name that builds professional-grade reloading presses.This is actually a famous choice of law enforcement officers and military veterans because they trust this single-stage reloading press for its accuracy. 

It does not require much “know-how” because the reloading process is pretty straightforward, even to beginners in this field. It does not have automatic bullet seating, but you simply set the die, prepare the Sure-Loc ring, and tighten it with the Lock-N-Load bushing.

The primer arm is also top of the line called Positive Priming System (PPS). The technology used for this is a versatile single-stage reloader since you can work on a range of calibers provided you have the die sets needed.

PROS

CONS

10. RCBS Ammomaster 2 Single Stage Presses

Why We Picked It:

If you are looking for a single-stage reloading press that can create large-caliber rounds such as .50 and .25 ACP calibers, this is the single-stage reloading press you need. These are accurate bullets you will be able to create and allow progressive presses that make faster rounds. 

This positive priming system can crimp and install the primer and reload ammunition with no problem at all. If you are one of the shooters fond of using heavy-duty rifles that require large calibers like the magnum rifle rounds, this reloading press will put you on the right track.           

You will quickly see yourself reloading bullets rather than spending a fortune on buying them off the rack. As you already know, bigger shells also cost more money, so why spend more if you can make it yourself?

PROS

CONS

Factors To Consider

factors

Style of Press

  • Single Stage Press – It is best for beginners since it usually has a user-friendly setup, and anyone can get started reloading without confusion. This is essential because you want beginners to trust themselves first to continue what they have started. 
  • Turret Press – If you want to create more ammo, turret presses would be the best choice for you for personal use or other purposes. You will be able to create a lot of ammo in an hour or so. 
  • Progressive Reloading Press – This will allow you to produce a higher capacity, but this costs a bit higher. Not necessarily mass production, but you can make more batches at the same time. 

Handles

Handles are very important in a single-stage reloading press, especially once you maneuver the bullet seating die. It would be very useful for the entire process if the lever is ambidextrous for easy use.

Materials

Durability relies significantly on the materials used. High-quality cast aluminum, brass, steel, or metal, each one will serve its purpose, but it matters how long it will last. Steel is a strong material, but the disadvantage of it is its weight. That is why some prefer to use aluminum or brass. Still, find the one that has a better fit for your needs.

Priming

Not all single-stage presses offer priming options, and a hand priming tool is necessary to complete the reloading process. It will require you to purchase another piece of equipment, although a few have the capability. It is wiser to have that machine with the primer arm attachable anytime you need to do priming. You may want to consider an automatic primer arm as well. 

Upgrade Options

Some stage presses are upgradeable. Some parts usually are not a part of it, but there are options for a user to attach it. Others are also designed to work with higher versions or an upgraded version of a specific part to create a bigger caliber round or vice versa.

Ease of Use

Every person who began their reloading works started as a beginner. If the reloading equipment is too complicated to use, there are not many areas for the user to grow and learn to enhance their capability. You can start experimenting as soon as you get the hang of it. 

Read: What’s the Best Reloading Manual?

Accessories

The best single-stage reloading press usually includes all necessary accessories, even the measuring scales and dies. You would be surprised to find that there are presses that are actually distributed as a full kit. As a beginner, it would be wise to invest in these types rather than spend on individual parts that may have compatibility issues in the end.

Complete Kits or Standalone Reloading Press?

The best single-stage reloading press would be better if sold in kits, as you can be sure that these parts are proven to work well together. A problem with add-on divisions like a shell holder or priming arms is their compatibility. You may be spending money over a piece, but you could not start reloading because it does not work.

Related Posts:

Die Changing System

This feature is a very important part of a reloading press. The quicker you can change the dies, the faster your production is. Also, convenience should always be present, even if this is simply for personal use.

Price & Warranty

The materials used will always be the basis of the price of the product and the construction. However, many brands produce single-stage reloading presses that are not expensive but are providing quality outcomes because of the system and materials they designed.

Our Team's Selection Process

selection process

Overall Performance

The overall performance of a reloading press is automatically determined as soon as you begin reloading. This machinery should work as a whole and not just because they have fabulous dies or accurate measurements. It should be a complete package. 

Weapon Compatibility

Getting a reloading press compatible with many gun ammo would be beneficial as not all can support both sizes. They either are just for small rounds or bigger ones; however, always make sure that the single press reloading presses you choose are compatible with your weapon.

Product Quality

Durability is always what we are looking for. That is why we must check what customers say about the product and not just rely on what the manufacturers claim it will provide. It is still best to get first-hand truth before giving out information or buying something.

FAQs

Users actually see these as more accurate as there are fewer moving parts that affect the loaded rounds, even if you can still make them in batches. You have the ability to scrutinize every detail and content of your ammo before you seal and prime it, which makes it more accurate.

Most experienced users of single-stage reloading presses prefer to use long handles since these are more comfortable to use. However, it is more advisable for beginners to try shorter or medium-sized handles. It is always about a person’s preference, but there are not conveniently built and are not adjustable.

Single-stage reloading presses have their strengths depending on how the manufacturers designed them. However, a piece of straightforward and user-friendly machinery will still be the best reloading press to make sure they can keep up with the production until they are fully capable.

What’s Our #1 Single Stage Reloading Press?

The number one single-stage reloading press is Lee Precision Cast Iron Hand Press. We have to consider the brand first as we already know that this name provides users with high-end quality single-stage or turret press. 

Beginners are always welcome to use this product because everything can be used starting from the powder measure, which is very accurate, and the convenient shell holders. 

This is the classic kit that is very useful to both beginners and veterans in the reloading field. User-friendly, convenient, and very useful. What else should you look for?

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Our #1 Recommendation

Lee Precision Cast Iron Hand Press

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