6 Best Reloading Presses: Beginner To Pro!

by Tom Moore

August 24, 2022

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Between hunting, range time, and ammo shortages, plenty of beginners and pros are looking at their options for the best reloading presses. 

Heck, you’d be crazy not to look at options.

If you’ve been using firearms for any amount of time, you know the value of solid hardware that is reliable and accurate. Especially when you reload ammo.

The right reloader and materials can provide you with homemade ammunition that is superior to store-bought in almost every way. Below, we break down the pros and cons of our favorite reloading presses in order of best to good. No duds or bad decisions here.

Best Reloading Press

Hornady Lock N’ Load AP

Progressive

  • Standard for high-volume reloading
  • Lifetime warranty
Check Price
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme

Single Stage

  • Heavy-duty, sturdy frame
  • Ambidextrous handle
Check Price
Lee Precision Classic

Turret

  • Clearance for handgun and rifle cartridges
  • Affordable price
Check Price
Dillon Precision XL 750

Progressive

  • Bells and whistles included
  • More expensive price tag
Check Price
Redding Big Boss II

Single Stage

  • One-piece O-frame
  • Most durable press on this list
Check Price
Lyman All American 8

Turret

  • 8 die stations
  • Large clearance
Check Price

Best Reloading Presses

  1. Hornady Lock N’ Load AP – Progressive
  2. RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme – Single Stage
  3. Lee Precision Classic – Turret
  4. Dillon Precision XL 750 – Progressive
  5. Redding Big Boss II – Single Stage
  6. Lyman All American 8 – Turret

Best Reloading Press Reviews

Now that we’ve had an overview look at our list, let’s take time to individually review each reloading press. In this section we’ll be revisiting our top picks, speaking about the product, and looking at the pros and cons.

Hornady Lock N’ Load AP Review

If you want a high-volume machine that can put out a lot of ammo of varying calibers, it doesn’t get much better than the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive.

Hornady’s proprietary quick-change bushing system lets you switch from pistol to rifle case calibers in minutes. Even their powder measuring system uses quick change inserts. 

Auto-indexing and the linkage leverage system allow for a really smooth lever pull with plenty of power for the reloading process. 

Not only does this press do everything well, but it comes with an unbeatable lifetime warranty. Their website guarantees, “if it breaks, we’ll repair it or replace it at no charge.” Hornady LNL AP is the best progressive press on the market.

Hornady Lock N’ Load AP Pros and Cons

  • EZ-Ject system after crimp
  • Quick change die bushing and hardware for resizing each station
  • Awesome accessories (like a shell plate or powder measure)
  • Some machines might need to be dialed in after delivery

Hornady Lock N’ Load AP Deals

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Review

At almost double the weight of most single-stage reloaders, the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme press is one heavy-duty piece of equipment. The focus for this press is zero flex for maximum accuracy. 

On-press priming, large loading window, and high-quality cast iron frame make this one of the best reloading presses we’ve ever reviewed. (You can still prime by handloading if you prefer.)

Don’t mistake its simple design for amateur use only — RCBS is a trusted name. Many experienced marksmen use the Rock Chucker Supreme.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Pros and Cons

  • Gold standard for single stage presses
  • Large 4.25-inch loading window
  • Versatile die sets
  • Accessory base plate not included

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Deals

Lee Precision Classic Review

Widely seen as the best turret press on the market, and we agree. Lee has forged a legacy in the reloading world with dependable reloading equipment, and their classic turret press is one of the greats.

What is the best reloading kit for the money? The best reloading kit for your money is the Lee Precision Classic turret press. If you find a good deal, you can get this reloading press for under $100.

This 4-hole press uses all of the right materials in all of the right places. It comes equipped with a cast iron base, solid steel joints, and a refreshing wooden handle.

It’s like they actually thought the machine would see a lot of use. Not to mention the handy priming system with a catcher for large or small primers. 

Also, instant change turrets provide you with the ability to switch between calibers extremely fast.

If you want to stay away from the fuss of a progressive reloading system but want more speed than a single stage, we highly recommend you check out the Lee Precision 4 Hole Classic Turret.

Lee Precision Classic Pros and Cons

  • Clearance for handgun and rifle cartridges
  • Affordable
  • Heavy-duty steel joints
  • Only space for 4 dies
  • Buying from Amazon can mean secondhand (be careful!)

Lee Precision Classic Deals

Dillon Precision XL 750 Review

Dillon Precision recently replaced their beloved XL 650 with this newer XL 750. You can tell that each updated component brings a nice improvement. Attention to detail is a priority with Dillon. The XL 750 boasts excellent materials with its class-leading fit and finish.

Honestly, this high-speed progressive reloader is top-tier. The only reason it isn’t our number one pick is the jump in price after adding all the things we need.

But if you have extra cash to invest in the complete press kit, or maybe you already have several of the accessories that Dillon recommends (like die sets, a primer flip tray, and case lube), then pull the trigger. You won’t be disappointed.

Dillon Precision XL 750 Pros and Cons

  • Handgun and rifle calibers (including magnums)
  • Lifetime warranty with wear and tear
  • Great electric case feeder
  • Ultra smooth in all 5 stations
  • Longer time between caliber switches
  • No dies included
  • Can be expensive

Dillon Precision XL 750 Deals

Redding Big Boss II Review

If repeatable results are your main goal, you can’t go wrong with the Redding Big Boss II single-stage reloading press. This pick has a heavy-duty O-frame design that minimizes variance from wiggle.

Its massive frame, large ram, and better lever pull can even make loading magnum rounds effortless. High-powered rifle cartridges aren’t an issue with roomy clearance and an offset design that gives the reloader a clear view of what they are working on.

What is a good reloading press for rifle rounds? The best reloading press for rifle rounds is the Redding Big Boss II single-stage reloading press.

Some find the spent primer collection system finicky, but there are simple fixes to find online if you find it irksome.

Redding Big Boss II Pros and Cons

  • Most durable
  • 4.5-inch reloading clearance
  • Big one-piece O-frame
  • No quick-change dies
  • Might be overkill if just used for handgun rounds

Redding Big Boss II Deals

Lyman All American 8 Review

The Lyman All American 8 Turret Press is all about freedom and options. They want you to be in complete control and with as many choices as possible. Eight reloading dies might seem like a lot, but this press can accommodate 2 sets of 4 dies or 4 sets of 2 dies.

Some see the lack of auto-indexing as a weakness, but with this setup, you determine your own workflow for what’s in front of you without swapping out a bunch of dies. It’s actually very on-brand.

Add to that a sturdy cast iron build, a large 1-inch diameter ram, and a large or small straight primer feed, and you have one seriously well-thought-out reloading machine. The straight primer feed system allows for safe and easy primer installation.

Lyman All American 8 Pros and Cons

  • Durability
  • Swappable turrets
  • Large clearance
  • Cannot auto-index

Lyman All American 8 Deals

Best Reloading Press – Buyers Guide

A reloading press is a professional to consumer level device that helps you consistently assemble functioning rounds of ammunition for safe discharge from an intended firearm.

These tightly fit tools allow you to press out old primers, resize casings, and load new primers, gunpowder, and bullets with crimping for good measure. 

One press can accomplish every task, producing more reliable, higher quality, and more accurate ammo than most ammunition purchased at retail.

Let’s be honest. If you plan on shooting as much as you want, making your own ammunition can be cheaper in the long run.

Turret vs. Progressive vs. Single Stage

A turret reloading press provides an upgrade from the simple single-stage press. Instead of performing one step and then switching out hardware to complete the next step, a turret press allows you to rotate the top turret portion to place the next hardware in place over the casing/shell holder.

Progressive reloading presses are the fanciest, boasting rotating platforms that cycle through each station necessary for the reloading process. After you get going, each lever pull produces one live round of ammo. This is easily the quickest type of reloading press.

Hunters and other long-range precision shooters that wish to make consistent high-powered ammunition tend to use single-stage presses because single-stage presses tend to be more consistent and longer-lasting because of the fewer moving parts.

Reloaders elect to scrutinize every measurement and step of the process to ensure each bullet fired finds its target.

What is the most accurate reloading press?

The most accurate reloading press is a single-stage reloading press such as the Redding Big Boss II, followed by the best-made turret or progressive reloading press. We recommend the brand RCBS because of its long history of producing excellent machines with high customer satisfaction.

Though each type of press can only be as accurate as the operator, make sure you have a great reloading manual and stable workbench. These are the foundations of great press.

What reloading press should I buy?

If you are a beginner that doesn’t want to start simple or an experienced reloader looking to up their efficiency, the Lock-N-Load AP by Hornady is the best bang for your buck.

But if money flows a little freer for this decision, the Dillon Precision XL 750 with all the added bells and whistles is 100% the right decision.

As they say, “Buy once; cry once.” None of these reloading presses are prone to jamming. Plus, each company makes almost every type of press. Look at what they have to offer.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll find the press features that speak to you and make reloading ammo a new joy in life.

New to guns? Start here.

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About Tom Moore

Tom is one of our content writers at Gun University. When Tom isn't behind the keyboard, he participates regularly in NRL22 and IPSC. You'll often find him out hunting with his mates or camping with his family.

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