Top 5 Best Progressive Reloading Press – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Perhaps you are an avid shooter and practices gun firing almost every day. That kind of hobby requires lots of ammo and a significant amount of money in the long run.

But with today’s technology, you can now make your very own ammunition right inside your home!

This process is called reloading. Professional hunters and shooters make it their little hobby on the side, and you can save money in the long run, too. In any case, you will need the best progressive reloading press that you can find to start making your limitless stash.

Progressive Reloading Press Defined

For beginners like you, a progressive reloading press is an equipment used to assemble a gun cartridge from scratch. The materials you will need are a bullet, casing, primer, and of course, the gun powder. Through a lever that compacts all of the materials into what we know as simply the ammunition.

Some may think that this machine is quite complicated to operate, but once you get the process, you can produce at least 400 bullets per hour.

There is little hand operation as it is well equipped with accessories that do most of the process by itself. Furthermore, a progressive reloading press has other functions such as powder measuring and deburring.

Top 5 Best Progressive Reloading Press 2017

There are several models available in the market for this specific type. Progressive presses differ mainly in their prices and the number of rounds produced per unit time.

Through this progressive reloading press reviews, we identify which of the following are good investments for reloading.

Last Updated: 2017-09-25 at 17:53 PST - Details

1. Hornady Lock N Load AP – Best Auto Progressive Reloading Press

Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press

Many users agree that this is one of the top bestsellers for auto progressive reloading press. There are a lot of qualities which made it be on the top. One of which is the EZJect System.

This is about the acceleration of production without requiring special adjustments. Ejecting perfect bullets rated at 600 rounds per hour is then realized. Thus, it is one of the easiest progressive presses to operate.

The progressive reloading press features five auto indexing stations. Reloading is fast with no difficulties.

Changing the dies is quick when changing calibers through the quick changing bushing system. It is said that you can change calibers ranging from .45 to .223 in 5 minutes.

The EZJect System is probably the best feature for Hornady Progressive Press, but there’s more. One of those features is the strategically fitted collecting tray.

When the gun cartridges are perfectly ejected, the collecting tray collects all of those. It’s uniquely designed so it can be offloaded to your main storage.

The Hornady Lock and Load features the Case-Activated Powder Drop feature which would drop the right amount of gun powder into the cartridge if the latter is in the correct position during the reloading process.

It prevents accidental spillage, and through the universal bullet case retainer spring, the empty cartridges are held securely.

One thing to be noted in using this machine is the bushing on the powder station. It is prone to twisting and unseating after several hundreds of ammo produced. 

It is considered a mild problem as the powder station detaches itself from the press, and instead of pressing the materials together, you might have created a squib load. The correct fix is to buy an O-ring and install it just under the bushing.

Aside from the high price of the equipment, you have to consider the separate purchasing of the shell plates and dies. The other main parts that are essential to the machine use could be expensive.

Though it’s quite heavy at 30.9 pounds, and the durability is something to look at. It utilizes high strength aluminum alloy with a compound linkage system that operates the 2-inch cylindrical ram.

The construction is mainly designed to withstand the wear and tear from regular use. That’s why you can guarantee this to last a long time.

Other features/accessories that you can enjoy are powder measure, case feeder, and priming system.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Five progressive stations
  • Good powder measure mechanism
  • Fast changing of calibers
  • Fast reloading process

Cons

  • Very expensive (including the purchase of accessories)
  • Accessories aren’t included in one-time purchase
  • Bushing on the powder station prone to unseating

Sale
Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
210 Reviews
Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
  • Auto-progressive reloading press for quickly switching dies...
  • 5-station bushing system lets you change from 223 to 45 in...
  • EZject system reliably ejects every cartridge, every time,...
  • Quick-change metering inserts; universal case retainer...

Last Updated: 2017-09-25 at 17:33 PST - Details


2. Dillon Precision XL 650 ACP – Best Progressive Reloading Press for the Fastest Production

Dillon Precision 16926 XL 650 45 ACP Progressive Auto Indexing Reloading Machine

If you’re in a hurry of mass producing ammo, say about 800 rounds per hour, then, this Dillon Precision Reloading Press matches your needs well.

Of course, you can go for more when you use both the case and bullet feeders in the same process. This is recommended for both pistol and rifle calibers.

Dillon XL 650 is very easy to operate as there are five different stations that complete five different steps in one single time.

XL 650 also has the automatic indexing system which speeds up the production rate. With this, manually turning the shell plates to move to the next steps aren’t needed any longer.

The process is semi-automatic, and you only need to do one stroke manually to set the bullet on the power-filled cartridge.

With this XL 650, there’s no immediate need of adjusting the dies because they will stay in their perfect adjustments with its removable toolhead. Perhaps the focal point of this reloading press is there’s no need of removing them when changing calibers.

Though it doesn’t often happen, depending on the caliber and the volume of the case, the powder loaded is prone to spilling. This is unlike with the Hornady’s high-tech system that only dispenses the right amount of gun powder into the cartridges.

The bullet feeder and case feeder are both optional accessories for XL 650, but they will significantly improve the production rate of the machine.

Pros

  • Large production capacity
  • Five progressive stations
  • Optional feeder accessories to speed up the production
  • Fast changing of calibers

Cons

  • Very, very expensive
  • Gunpowder prone to spilling sometimes
  • Need to purchase additional dies

Last Updated: 2017-09-25 at 17:53 PST - Details


3. Dillon Precision RL550 – Best Progressive Reloading Press for Different Caliber Types

Dillon Precision RL550 40/10 Progressive Reloading Machine 4 Stage Manual Index

Even beginners can master the operation of progressive reloading press with the Dillon RL550B. Its practicality and simplicity allow you to master the steps in the reloading process.

This is a 4-stage progressive press that caters around 120 different calibers for different firearms.

With its manual indexing system, you can finish about 400 to 600 rounds per hour.

Though other advanced reloading presses have automatic indexing which speeds up the reloading, this press’ allows you to master each step and making this press friendly to the beginners.

Four stations are operated at once. The first one is for the resizing, de-priming, and priming. The second station is for loading powder into the cartridge.

The next station is for setting the bullet into the brass. And, finally, the fourth station is for crimping and ejection of the assembled ammunition.

One great feature to have when swapping calibers is Dillon’s removable toolhead. It’s a great time saver because it allows all of the dies to stay perfectly in place and well adjusted.

You don’t need to remove the dies, just swap the shell plates, toolhead, and recalibrating the powder, etc. in less than five minutes.

Dillon RL550B is already a great progressive reloading press on its own, but the shell plates included in the package are set in one caliber. 

If you’re a gun enthusiast and does have a significant number of ammo in different calibers, you may have to consider purchasing separate shell plates and dies. They can be expensive.

At 35 pounds, RL550B is quite a heavy reloading press. But since you get what you paid for, there’s no mistake that upon regular use, this would still function perfectly fine alongside the several maintenance to do.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly operation
  • Four progressive stations
  • Reload 120 different caliber types
  • Fast production rate
  • Fast changing of calibers

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Separate purchase of shell plates/dies for different calibers

Last Updated: 2017-09-25 at 17:33 PST - Details


4. Lee Precision Load Master 45 – Best Progressive Reloading Press for the Money

Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit

If you’re tight on the budget and want a cheap alternative to the most advanced progressive reloading press of today, Lee Loadmaster is your best option.

Reloading both rifle and handgun cartridges (around 400 rounds per hour) are quick and easy as there are five progressive stations.

Furthermore, it has an oversized, chrome-plated diameter ram to accommodate the largest of rifle cartridges.

One of the best features by Lee Loadmaster is the automatic indexing system to ensure the consistency and quality of the ammunitions.

The removable turret head makes things faster such as quick changing from one caliber to another.

In setting up to a particular caliber, the dies stay intact and retain their perfect adjustments. Only the shell plates are needed to be switched out in this arrangement.

Lee Loadmaster’s Pro-Auto Disk Powder Measure is an excellent feature because it guarantees no spilling or leaking of the gunpowder loaded into the cases.

It dispenses the right amount before crimping the shells. Thus, upon every pull of the handle, quantity and quality control is thereby controlled.

This machine’s primer system is quite unreliable (not common to all Lee Loadmaster units). It’s unreliable in a way that it malfunctions and normally works again.

Also, the powder measure data is not accurate. Because of this, you may have to check if the weight of the dispensed powder is correct as opposed to the product information of Lee Loadmaster.

Another thing to note is the finicky reloading process which might be the result of a poorly designed advance mechanism.

Lee Loadmaster is compatible with a lot of standard dies that have the measurements of 7/8 to 14 inches. The dies and the caliber-specific shell plates are typically sold separately.

Despite its lower price, the construction is durable as Loadmaster utilized die cast aluminum frame. You can rely on it for regular and everyday use because it will last for a long time.

Pros

  • Compatible with a lot of standard dies
  • Five progressive stations
  • Accommodates largest rifle cartridges
  • Lowest price (on this list)
  • Fast changing of calibers

Cons

  • Unreliable primer system
  • Powder measure is sometimes inaccurate
  • Dies and shell plates sold separately

Sale
Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit
66 Reviews
Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit
  • Load Master Reloading Pistol Kit
  • Cast Aluminum
  • 7/8"x 14

Last Updated: 2017-09-25 at 17:53 PST - Details


5. Lyman T-Mag II Turret Reloading Press – Best Reloading Press for the Money

Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press

This Lyman reloading press is a type of turret press. This is not in a different league with the progressive reloading presses.

T-Mag II is best recommended for gun aficionados who prefer a striking balance along with the other types of reloading press. It has six different stations that function at once. Also, it is best used for pistol reloading.

Just like the previous progressive presses, changing calibers is fast through the removal of the turret head while the current adjustment of the dies is retained.

The turret handle is responsible for the removal of turret head. It is ambidextrous which provides ease of operation to all kinds of users.

This Lyman T-Mag II is not a kit, so you will have to purchase separate accessories such as shell plates and dies to make it functional.

The construction of the primer tray is made of plastic which might be a turnoff to those who want their reloading press to last a long time.

Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press

T-Mag II’s base is versatile so you can mount it easily to a wood or metal bench. Its durability is certain because of its cast iron construction with a rustproof finish. It is lightweight compared to other reloading presses at 9.8 pounds.

Pros

  • Six stations
  • Lightweight, Affordable & Versatile
  • Ambidextrous turret handle
  • Turret handle serves as turret head remover
  • Fast changing of calibers
  • Compatible with a lot of standard dies

Cons

  • Manual priming
  • Other accessories sold separately
  • Plastic primer

Sale
Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press
60 Reviews
Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press
  • New Turret System for Even Greater Stability
  • Flat Machined" Base for Solid Bench Mounting
  • Ideal for Pistol Reloading
  • Non-Rust Handle & Links

Last Updated: 2017-09-25 at 17:53 PST - Details

Type of Reloading Press

Best-Progressive-Reloading-Press-

There are other two types of reloading press aside from the progressive reloading press. They are the single stage press and turret press.

Among the three, it’s easy to say that the progressive press is the most expensive. However, it’s the most efficient because you can primarily benefit with its large capacity and efficiency.

To further get an understanding about the progressive reloading press, let’s define both of the single stage press and the turret reloading press briefly:

1. Single Stage Press

Single Stage Press

This is considered as the simplest reloading machine and best recommended if you’re novice on most things related to this niche. The process is plenty straightforward, and there are lesser chances of going wrong.

This reloading press works slowly and produces at an average of 100 ammo per hour. However, despite the time-consuming task, the process of reloading is guaranteed to be precise and of good quality.

Among the three types of reloading presses, this one is the cheapest.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Cheapest
  • Great option to study the basics
  • Few moving parts
  • Easy maintenance

Cons

  • Slowest production rate
  • Time consuming
  • Batch process
  • Changing caliber would be hard

2. Turret Press

turret-press

This machine is a better improvement compared to the first type introduced. It takes one cartridge at a time and typically has four or five die stations.

This means that you don’t need to assemble them in a batch process unlike with single stage press.

Of course, beginners can go gunning for this turret press especially if you prefer to produce faster results.

A turret press is called that way because of the revolving turret positioned at the top which helps process multiple dies at once.

It is also good for working on various caliber rounds as setting up brings not much hassle compared to a progressive press.

The turret press is the middle ground among all of the reloading press types.

Pros

  • Faster production rate
  • Changing caliber is easy
  • Less case handling
  • Case length gauge
  • Scale for powder
  • Revolving and removable turret

Cons

  • More moving parts
  • Not as accurate as single stage press
  • More expensive than the single stage press

3. Progressive Reloading Press

Progressive Reloading Press

This press is considered to be like an ammunition factory. But, the bullets produced are significantly cheaper than the bullets bought from stores.

The process is almost automatic, and you just have to install and adjust the dies. Changing them is required when you work on different calibers.

Because the progressive reloading press is so advanced, it might be a problem for some beginners who aren’t technically-oriented.

But know that it’s the most efficient of the three and the best fit for all the other types.

Pros

  • Fastest production rate
  • Adjustable
  • Easy maintenance
  • Changing caliber is easy
  • Excellent precision

Cons

  • Most expensive
  • Many moving parts
  • High cost of maintenance
  • Heavy

Conclusion

Choosing the best progressive reloading press depends on their production rate, efficiency, and other loaded features.

Comparing the progressive reloading press with the single stage press and turret press, you’ve finally learned the differences between the three and which would be relevant to your needs.

With our best progressive reloading press reviews, you can begin a new hobby of making your ammunition that meets your standards. And with this newfound hobby, you can save a lot of money in the long run.

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