Fancy spending time hunting? Love shooting targets in a firing range? Or are you a professional shooter looking to improve his ammo-reloading skills? Either way, you’ll find the best progressive reloading press an excellent addition to your shooting equipment.
Buying already-made bullets are practical, sure. But the cost of buying bullets this way is tremendous. Not to say that you’ll have to go to the gun shop and purchase them yourself. This can take a lot of your time.
Luckily, you can always use a progressive reloading press to start making those bullets at home. You’ll be saving a lot of time and money. On top of that, it puts your hands to work, which can be hugely satisfactory once you see those bullets ready to be fired.
However, buying one of these presses is not easy. There are few models worth taking a look at. And what’s even worse, they’re expensive – so going for the bad press can be a gigantic waste of money.
Here, we want to help you with that. We’re going to show you some of the best progressive presses and a brief guide on how to pick the right one. If you’re eager to get a progressive reloading press that doesn’t disappoint – then keep reading!
6 Best Progressive Reloading Presses Reviews in 2021: A Quick Comparison Table:
Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Ammo Plant
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Lee Precision Load-All II Shotshell Reloading Press
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RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit
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MEC 8567N Grabber Progressive Reloading Press
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Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit
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Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kit
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After hours of looking through progressive presses, we found a few that were impossible to dismiss. These reloading presses are all different, but there are worth taking a look at. If you’re looking for quality, you won’t regret reading our reviews about each:
1. Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Ammo Plant
- Quick Change Lock-N-Load Bushing System
- Reliable EZject System
- Universal Case Retainer Spring
- Case Activated Powder Drop
With decades in the ammo-reloading business, Hornady is a synonym of quality and reliability. With the Lock-N-Load AP plant, you’ll get all that and a lot more.
This is a 5-stage press. The whole system performs fast, reliably, and works with tons of different bullets depending on your needs.
It can handle small .45 bullets as well as large .223. Either way, you can change the whole system from one type of ammunition to the other in less than 5 minutes. You get the reliability and ease of use that few progressive presses offer.
The ejection system with EZject doesn’t play around. It will eject every cartridge without making a single adjustment. Along with the quick-change metering inserts and the case-retainer spring, you’ll obtain a swift-to-operate press in every way.
As for the priming system, it is built-in. It works well with the case-activated powder drop. And sure enough, you get a hopper of large capacity, perfect for filling hundreds of bullets in a single fill.
Finally, you can enjoy the Power-Pac Linkage System. It increases the press’s leverage so that you can prepare any bullet with the least amount of effort.
2. Lee Precision Load-All II Shotshell Reloading Press
- Warning: If press is converted over to 16 or 20 gauge, it will no longer be compatible with 67.5mm shells
- This press cannot load 2 1/2″ or 3 1/2″ shot shells
- Made by Lee Precision
Reloading pistol and rifle bullets are exciting. But what about reloading shotgun shells? That’s precisely what the Shotshell from Lee Precision delivers.
It is called the Load-All II – capable of reloading all types of 12-gauge shells. You can load either 2 ¾ or 3-inch shells without a problem. And when it comes to changing the shell gauge, you can do it super-fast.
Apart from that, this press comes with 24 shot & powder bushings, so you can start reloading shells right away. These bushings are molded, ensuring maximum durability and perfect shell production.
What’s more, you can reload an outstanding amount of 200 shells every hour. If you’re a heavy shotgun user, you’ll love this press. And if you’re selling the shells, this will get your productivity to a whole new level.
The hopper is fantastic, nonetheless. It can hold 5 pounds of powder and shot. That’s sufficient to load over 125 shells before you need to refill it.
Another useful feature comes from the built-in primer catcher. It is easy to empty when needed, so you won’t need to waste any time on it.
And to make the press even better, the whole system recesses in every station, so the shells reposition fast and effectively.
3. RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit
Even though this is not a progressive press by itself, you can make it into one. The kit comes with all the pieces necessary to create a 5-stage progressive press.
It all starts with a Rock Chucker Supreme Press. It is the standard, most popular press from RCBS. However, this one comes with an enlarged design, so you’ll have higher versatility when reloading, allowing you to make bullets of almost any gauge.
The press has another advantage. It offers an ambidextrous handle. You won’t have any problem making it work, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced reloader.
Apart from the press, you also get an M500 mechanical scale, a hand-priming tool, a uniflow powder measure system, and a universal case load block. This combination will help you make the reloading process a lot more accurate, ensuring maximum bullet quality.
Sure enough, you also get the powder funnel and hopper. It will let you pour the powder into the shells more easily. And with the .17 to .60 debug tool, you’ll get the whole set to become a complete progressive press.
And lastly, you get a case lube kit and a hex key set. This will help you build the whole system quickly but reliably. Add up the Nosler manual for all kinds of guides on how to reload bullets. You’ll love this set for sure.
4. MEC 8567N Grabber Progressive Reloading Press
- Fantastic addition to your reloading accessories
- Series shot shell press
- Type progressive press
Pressing fast and efficiently, the 8567N Grabber from MEC will take your shell-reloading process to another level of quality.
Boasting 6 stages and ensuring 10 accurate operations, this reloading press will make shotgun shells like no other. This one is a 12-gauge press, but it is also available in 16, 20, 28 gauge, and .410 bore as needed.
The fantastic results start with a fully-automatic primer feed, saving tons of time with the powder. Then you get an auto-cycle charging, securing the powder effectively. And with the 3-stage crimp, the shells end up securely closed for reliable use when needed.
Another feature we can’t leave behind is the Power Ring system. It will help you size the shells effectively, so you won’t stop when reloading. Just need to place the powder and shell casings, press, and remove the shell using the carrier indexes. The new one will come into work in seconds.
The press handle is extra comfortable, preventing any damage to your palm. Thanks to the wooden design, it also lasts a lifetime and makes the whole press look more attractive.
On top, you’ll find the powder and shot hoppers. They’re located independently for more precision. Yet, they work almost seamlessly, ensuring a fast reloading process.
And last but not least, you can enjoy the heavy-duty steel construction that doesn’t disappoint. The press will easily last a decade up to a lifetime.
5. Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit
Coming back to Lee Precision, we now find a reloading pistol kit. The LoadMaster 45 is an excellent option for people who want to get their pistol bullets made in little to no time.
This press is designed with 5 stages o you can tackle even the largest operations more smoothly. It begins with the Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure hopper, ideal for reloading small handgun bullets with maximum accuracy. The hopper can hold 0.5 pounds of powder so you can fill dozens of shells at once.
The hopper also comes with a metal casting construction, a pull-back lever, a swivel adapter, and a spring-return lever. Together, they ensure safe and reliable operation when filling casings.
It is not only the hopper, though. The LoadMaster comes with a turret press for easy operation, a shell plate for convenient case operation, and dies of different sizes for all kinds of reloading jobs.
Despite being designed for handgun bullets, you can still make it work with large magnum rifle cases thanks to the 1.75-inch diameter ram with large stroke clearance. And sure enough, it still works fast and effectively, no matter the size of the shell you’re filling.
Because Lee Precision cares about quality, it also made the kit of cast aluminum entirely. This ensures maximum durability and weather resistance. You can use the press for years without a single drawback.
6. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kit
- Lock-N-Load Powder Measure
- Lock-N-Load Die Bushings (3)
- Powder Trickler
- Powder Funnel
- One Shot Case Lube
Building your reloading press doesn’t have to be an annoying endeavor. Hornady makes it possible with the Lock-N-Load Classic progressive reloader.
At a simple look, it looks like a single-stage press. But it’s not, as the kit comes with a powder measure stand, a hopper, a chamfer and deburr tool, and even a positive priming system.
Everything is designed to make building bullets a lot easier than with a typical single-stage or turret press. This also includes an angled frame that gives extra rigidity, a Power-Pac Linkage system with solid steel arms, and more.
You also get a Quick-Change Bushing system so that you can go from one gauge to another in a few seconds. You won’t have to waste any effort or time adjusting this press.
If all that wasn’t enough, the tool also comes with its reloading block, a straight OAL gauge, a digital scale, a kinetic bullet puller, a decorative tin sign, and a reloading handbook. You’ll get the whole package for a more practical experience all around.
Because you want a product that lasts, Hornady also made it durable with a cast-iron construction. You can keep this progressive press working for years without a single drawback with the case lube.
How to Pick the Ideal Progressive Reloading Press?
After going through our reviews, you may still be confused about which one to pick. Luckily, we can help you get the best progressive reloading press with a small yet comprehensive buying guide. Here, we show you all the factors to consider before making your last choice.
1. Number of Stations
A progressive presser should have no less than 4 stages (primer, measurer, press, and ejector). Still, some can have up to 6 stages for a complete operation.
It is essential to consider because stages will tell you how many features you get from the press. The more stages, the more features. But that also means a slower operation and probably a higher price as well.
Before you pick a press with more stages, though, be sure to know what these stages do. Some models come with useless or impractical stages you won’t use.
2. Reloading Speed
How many rounds can you make per hour? That’s how you can measure the speed of a progressive press.
We recommend models that can make at least 100 rounds per hour. That’s about 25 rounds every 15 minutes. Anything less than that will probably be too slow and annoying to use.
Your focus should be on getting the most accurate and reliable press possible, though. Sometimes this speed comes at the expense of accuracy (something you don’t want to get away from). Be careful when picking so you can avoid that.
3. Gauge Capacity & Changes
Once you’re done with the speed and stages, consider what type of ammo you can make with the press.
Progressive presses can work for anything going from pistol cases to AR ammo, bolt-action rifles, and even shotgun shells. Of course, it all depends on the model you pick.
Most handgun presses can be adjusted to work with rifle ammo and vice-versa. But you can’t make a shotgun press work with rifle or handguns.
At the same time, it is the caliber or gauge size and the quality of the molds. We always recommend going for presses with well-made bushings.
You should pick a press with a caliber changing system that you can do in less than 5 minutes for the best experience. Anything that makes it harder to do it that fast can be pretty inconvenient and impractical.
4. Measurer or Hopper
This is what releases the powder or shot into the system. Most measurers are specifically designed to drop the right amount of powder depending on the shell needs. You should be well-aware of what type of hopper you need accordingly.
At the same time, consider those models with anti-spilling safeguards and adjustable measurements, so you can avoid messes and ensure a more accurate bullet production.
5. Ejection System
Once the shells have been filled and crimped with the press, the press needs to eject those bullets out. For that, you need an ejection system. We recommend built-in models that automatically release the shells so you can start making more without wasting any time.
6. Extra Attachments
Those progressive presses with more than 4 stages usually equip one or two extra attachments. This typically includes a case feeder. It will automatically feed a case or shell into the press’s base, speeding up the process exponentially.
Another attachment worth considering is a shell basket or holder. It is where the bullets will fall into when the ejection system pushes them out. This will save you a bit of effort and time to pull the bullets out by hand.
7. Construction & Durability
No progressive reloading press will be small or light. But it must be stable, sturdy, and durable. That’s why we advise going for models with steel or cast-iron constructions. Some cast aluminum models are also worth considering. Get away from plastic parts if you want quality.
8. Ease of Use & Install
Last but not least, consider how easy the press is to use and set up. You don’t want a machine that takes hours to build up, adjust, and operate. Instead, you want something that comes pre-calibrated, requires little building and makes the whole process easier with well-written instructions.
Benefits of Using a Progressive Reloading Press
So, you know how to pick the ideal progressive press, right? Well, let’s now learn how it can help you in comparison with other types of presses. Below, you’ll find a few benefits to consider.
1. Straightforward Operation
The ease of use that a progressive reloader offers over any other is exceptional. By automatic the priming, measuring powder, crimping, and ejection of the shell, a progressive press is way easier to use than a single-stage or turret model. It is the most beginner-friendly type of reloading press.
2. Cheaper on the Long Term
Even though it can cost a lot initially, they save a lot of money over time. You won’t have to buy separate bullets, you can decide how much powder to use, and you can make the bullets with less effort. All this means a cheaper product in both money and effort.
3. Saves Time
Because the process is often completely automated, you will save some of the effort and time that it takes to do different things at once. This means saving hours compared to single-stage or turret presses.
4. Makes Custom Bullets
Want to use a unique type of shell, a specific amount of powder, or create bullets for an old gun? You’ll then love the ability of a progressive system to adjust and make that possible with less time, effort, and money than with other models.
How to Use Progressive Reloading Presses?
You’ve probably checked how seemingly intricate progressive reloading presses are. If you are a bit confused, then you’ll love learning how to use one. Here’s a small step-by-step guide to follow:
1. Assemble the Press
Start by making sure the press is installed correctly and ready. Follow the manual or instructions, if any. This should take you between 10 minutes to an hour.
2. Place the Materials
Now you can prepare the hopper/measurer, insert the casings in the dies, and prepare the handle. Then adjust the primer seating depth. It should have at the ideal depth according to the size of the casings.
3. Lower the Handle
It’s time to pull the handle and let the powder go into the case. But first, you’ll have to lower the handle so the casing goes up into the powder measure adapter. Here, the powder will be poured into the shell.
4. Pull the Handle
When you pull the handle, the casing goes down, filled with the powder. Here, the case goes into the next station. Here, it will go into a die where the shell plate lowers down and indexes it into station 5 to be crimped.
5. Eject the Shell
Once the crimped bullet is ready, it will be sent into the 5th stage or the storage basket. It is prepared to be used. Just checked that it has no deficiencies, and you’ll be done.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
After reading our reviews and info section, you’re probably left with a few questions we haven’t answered yet. That’s why we answer some common doubts below:
Are progressive reloading presses accurate?
Most progressive reloading presses are designed to load hundreds of rounds per hour. This is incredibly fast when compared to other types of presses. But it certainly harms the accuracy of the process. It won’t necessarily damage how well the rounds work, but it could break the quality a little.
What is the difference between a turret and a progressive press?
While a turret press demands between 2 to 4 pulls to produce around, a progressive press only needs one. You would be saving several seconds per shell and up to minutes when it comes to making dozens of them if you use a progressive press.
Should I use a progressive reloading press as a beginner?
If you’re a beginner, a progressive reloading press may feel like the best idea, as it is easy to use and quick. But there’s a problem; they take some effort and time to get used to it. Apart from that, you could easily make bad rounds that don’t fire well, which can be exponentially dangerous.
What are dies in reloading presses for?
The dies are where the bullets start. Here, the brass or shells are primed, resized, seated, and crimped. Most presses come with their own set of dies. But most of the time, you’ll have to get dies of different sizes so you can create the right shells for your guns.
When it comes to getting the best progressive reloading press, you’ll find that it is not as difficult as it seems as long as you know what you’re looking for.
If you got this far, it means you’re thoroughly interested in getting a quality press. And that’s great – you should already know enough to pick the ideal model.
Whatever you go for, be sure it is a progressive press that meets your standards. Don’t go for the one that seems fancy or more comfortable to use, but what best fits your demands.