Are you on a quest to find the best progressive reloading presses?
Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best progressive reloading presses.
In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.
- Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages)
- Progressive Reloading Presses Buyer’s Guide
- The Definition of The Progressive Reloading Press
- How Does A Progressive Reloading Press Work?
- Reloading Press Types
- Best Brands of Progressive Reloading Presses
- Tips on How to Use a Progressive Reloading Press
Without further ado, let’s begin!
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Best Progressive Reloading Presses
- Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
- Lee Loadmaster Progressive Press
- Dillon Precision 650 Progressive Auto Indexing Reloading Machine
- Dillon Precision 14261 RL550C 4 Stage Manually Indexed Progressive Reloading Machine
- Dillon Square Deal B Reloading Press 9mm
If you are an enthusiast shooter, you probably practice gun firing just about every day. This is the type of hobby that requires a lot of ammo and lots of money over time.
Yet, with the latest technology, it is now possible to make your own ammunition from home!
This is a process that goes by the name of reloading. Professional shooters and hunters have made this a small hobby, that has the potential to save you tons of money.
To achieve this goal, you are going to need a good-quality progressive-reloading press, in order to start producing your unlimited stash.
1. Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press – Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
- Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive Reloading Press – Reload up...
- Fast Reloading – Lock-N-Load technology allows you to stop...
- Quick and Reliable – The Lock-N-Load powder measure uses...
- Smooth and Precise – With a single pull of the handle,...
- What's Included – Item 095100. Includes 5 Lock-N-Load Die...
Most users are in agreement that, this is a top bestseller when it comes to automatic progressive reloading presses. There are various qualities as to why this is at the top of many lists. The most important would have to be its EZlect System.
This involves speeding up the production process without the need for special adjustments. The ability to eject perfect bullets which are rated at 600-rounds every hour can be realized. For this reason, this is a very easy progressive press to operate.
This device comes with 5 auto-indexing stations, which allows for fast reloading without any difficulties. In addition, changing dies is fast when you change calibers through a fast-changing bushing-system. Users have mentioned that it is possible to change the calibers that range from .45 to .223 in just under 5 minutes.
The EZlect System is perhaps the best-rated feature associated with the Hornady Progressive Press, yet there is lots more. Another stand-out feature includes the collecting tray that has been strategically fitted.
As soon as the cartridges on the gun have been ejected with perfection, the collecting-tray will collect all of these. Its design is unique which allows you to offload to your primary storage.
The Hornady Lock and Load also feature a Case-Activated Power Drop feature that drops just the correct measurements of Gun Powder inside the cartridges provided the Lock and Load is in the right position during a reloading process. This avoids accidental spillage, while through a bullet-case retainer-spring which is universal an empty cartridge will be held securely.
An important note when you use this machine would be the bushing in the Powder Station. It can twist and unseat after at least several hundred ammo that is produced. This is regarded as a small issue because the Powder Station can be detached from your press, and rather than pressing all the materials together, you may have produced a squib-load. The best way to fix this problem is to use an O-ring and install this just beneath the bushing.
Even though this press is a bit on the pricey side, you will also need to take into account the purchase of separate dies and shell plates. Other primary parts which are vital for this machine to operate can also be on the expensive side.
Regarded as on the heavy side at 30.9 pounds, the durability may be something that needs to be looked at. It uses a very high-strength aluminum alloy along with a strong compound-linkage system which operates the 2-inch cylindrical ram.
The overall construction has been designed to handle regular wear-and-tear caused by frequent use. This is why this is a product that you can rely on to last you for many years to come. Other accessories along with features that you will enjoy about this press include the priming system, case feeder, and the powder measure.
- Simple to set-up as well as handle
- 5 progressive stations
- Caliber changing that is fast
- The powder-measure mechanism is great
- The reloading process is fast
- Expensive which includes having to buy any additional accessories
- The bushing featured on the Powder Station is prone to becoming unseated
- The accessories are not included in the original purchase
2. Lee Loadmaster Progressive Press – Best Value
- Load Master Reloading Pistol Kit
- Cast Aluminum
- 7/8"x 14
- Load Master Reloading Rifle Kit
- Cast Aluminum
- 7/8"x 14
If your budget is limited and you are looking for a more affordable alternative when compared to the more advanced types of progressive-reloading presses, then the Lee Loadmaster is one of your best options.
Reloading handgun and rifle cartridges at about 400-rounds per hour is easy and fast thanks to the 5 progressive stations. In addition, the chrome-plated diameter ram which is oversized can accommodate even the biggest of the rifle cartridges.
Perhaps the top feature associated with the Lee Loadmaster would be its auto-indexing system which ensures the quality and consistency of all the ammunitions.
The turret head is removable and makes everything much faster like changing from 1 caliber to the next with speed.
When setting-up to specific calibers, the dies will remain intact as well as maintain their ideal adjustments. Just the shell-plates need switching out when it comes to this arrangement.
The Lee Loadmaster’s Pro-Auto Disk Powder Measure happens to be one of the best features as it stops all leaking or spilling of your gunpowder which is loaded into each case. It also dispenses just the right amount before it crimps the shells. This means, that with each pull on the handle, quality and quantity is controlled.
The primer system on this machine is a bit unreliable (which is not common with all the Lee Loadmaster units). The unreliability occurs when it malfunctions and then it works normally again. In addition, the data for the powder-measure is also not accurate. Due to this, you might be required to check whether the dispensed powder weight is actually correct, rather than relying on product information provided by Lee Loadmaster.
Another important note is that the reloading process is a bit finicky which may be due to the advance mechanism that is poorly designed.
The caliber-specific shell-plates and the die are usually sold separately. Even though this is a more budget-friendly price, the overall construction is very durable due to the die-cast aluminum frame. This is a machine that is reliable for everyday use and will last for many years to come.
- 5 progressive stations
- Compatible for most standard dies
- Lowest price for the products listed here
- Accommodates the biggest rifle cartridges’
- Caliber changes are fast
- The primer system is unreliable
- The shell plates and dies are sold separately
- The powder measurement can be inaccurate
3. Dillon Precision 650 Progressive Auto Indexing Reloading Machine – Professional’s Choice
- 5 station progressive loader
- includes .223 Conversion Kit - NO DIES
- No dies are included with the XL650
If the production of many loaded-rounds that you can achieve in the shortest time possible is what you are interested in, and you do not mind spending a fair amount of cash, then you might just be interested in the 650 XL from Dillon. This press is so high in quality, that most of the professional reloaders that sell remanufactured ammunition have chosen this press as a preferable option. The customer service, warranty, and the quality of Dillon products are truly unparalleled. There are extremely good reasons as to why this company is regarded as one of the industry leaders when it comes to reloading equipment.
As can be expected, this is a press that comes with fantastic features along with outstanding aftermarket support. It obviously comes with automatic indexing and fast-change tool heads. It also provides various component feeders and accessories that make those tedious jobs a lot easier. The reliability and high-quality of the Dillon Presses have made them the top choice when it comes to automating them. While the process might be time-consuming and expensive in order to set-up, this can increase your output to thousands of rounds every hour.
The primary selling point associated with these presses has to do with the round count that you can potentially produce. It can reach a speed of 500 to 800 rounds every hour with very little practice. In addition, you can purchase other aftermarket accessories that can increase the round counts even higher. With the 650 XL from Dillon, you can be sure you will leave any competitors behind in association to your round production.
- Has the ability to load more than 120 different types of calibers
- Can reload both rifle and pistol bullets
- 4-stage reloading system
- Lifetime Warranty
- Cranks out more than 500-rounds per hour
- Is consistently ranked as the top or close to for the Best Progressive Reloading Press in many reviews
- It does need a caliber-conversion kit (the original product comes with a 9mm, but you will require dies for any other calibers)
- A few moving parts might break more frequently than the turret presses
- The set-up is slightly complex, especially for beginners
4. Dillon Precision 14261 RL550C 4 Stage Manually Indexed Progressive Reloading Machine
- Choose caliber conversion kit to be included
- Dies Sold Seperately
- Capable of loading 120+ Calibers
- Will Load Rifle and Pistol
- Shown with optional accessories.
The Dillon Precisions’s progressive press has been rated as a mean machine. This 4-station reloading press works on every stage to produce cartridges that are ready almost instantly. The 1st station operates in 3 ways. The 1st station will size, de-prime, and then prime the cases. The 2nd station will load the powder in, while the 3rd station will seat and crimp your bullets which completes these processes.
This model of Dillon presses comes with 1 large and 1 small pickup tube dedicated to the primers. This makes it a bit easier to load these into your primer system, while at the same time it also ensures the right-side is constantly loaded. This version also comes with a low-primer alarm which will indicate when your tube is running low on primers. This is a feature that is not included in many of the other types of progressive-reloading presses. The included powder measure that will help you to save a lot of time loading your powder. At the same time, it ensures your measurement is consistent with any type of cartridge that is being reloaded.
The Precision RL550C 4 Stage Progressive Reloading Machine also comes with a manual-indexing feature. This will mean you are required to turn your shell cases each time you decide to shift into different stages. Yet since it will work on all types of dies and cases simultaneously, it will not prevent you from being able to produce at least 500-rounds per hour which is expected from progressive reloading presses. The big catch bin attached to this press holds all your loaded shells in 1 place. This might not be the most budget-friendly option out of the progressive reloaders, but your tradeoff will include a highly versatile and durable product which comes with an impressive lifetime warranty.
- The best warranty in this industry
- Easier to use
- High quality
- Only 4 stations
- Manual indexing
5. Dillon Square Deal B Reloading Press 9mm
- Auto indexing
- Complete with dies installed
- Comes with one caliber conversion installed
Similar to the other types of progressive reloading presses from the Dillon Precision range, the Square Deal B 9mm Progressive Machine comes with many advantages. This heavy-duty reloading press comes with 4 stations which does everything from sizing brass onto collecting your reloaded cartridges inside a box.
One of the stand features linked to the Dillon Precision 20104 Square Deal B has to do with its automatic indexing, that does away with having to turn your plate each time you have to move onto the following stage. The package also comes with everything that you will need to begin reloading. This means that the additional accessories which you might need to purchase are minimal.
Each of the Dillon Precision reloading presses offers separate stages dedicated to crimping. After the crimping, your loaded brass is ejected directly into a collecting box. Additional parts on this Dillon Precision include a priming system which features pickup tubes dedicated to both large and small primers, along with an accurate powder measure that comes with large and small powder bars which offer more precise measurements.
- Automatic indexing
- Comes set up, and ready to load 9mm
- Ideal for the handgun loads
- Only 4 stations
- The price
The Definition Of The Progressive Reloading Press
When it comes to beginners, the Progressive Reloading Press is a machine that is used for assembling gun cartridges.
The materials that you are going to need, include bullets, a casing, the primer, and gun powder.
The materials are then all compacted through the use of a lever into what is known as ammunition.
Many people are under the impressions that this equipment is complex to operate. Yet once you have mastered these processes, you can easily produce a minimum of 400 bullets in an hour.
There is minimal hand operation because it comes equipped with the necessary accessories which complete the majority of these processes on its own.
In addition, these progressive reloading presses come with other functions like deburring and powder measuring.
How Does A Progressive Reloading Press Work?
Unlike the turret presses which only has the capabilities of handling a single case each time, the progressive reloaders ensure that the tool-head remains fixed while holding the cases inside a rotating-case holder-disk. This case-holder disk stores the same amount of dies when compared to the tool head.
What this means is that each time you pull on the lever, the progressive-reloading press deals with various tasks which match up to the station numbers which are all performed simultaneously. The round production average is much higher when compared to both single-stage or turret presses.
The progressive reloading presses all come with different station numbers, but they usually range from 3 to 8. With more stations present, the machine is able to perform more tasks simultaneously.
Reloading Press Types
There are 2 other reloading press types in addition to the progressive-reloading press. This includes the turret press and the single-stage press.
When comparing these 3, the progressive presses are regarded as the more expensive type.
However, this type is more efficient as you benefit mainly from its efficiency and large capacity.
To gain a further understanding of the progressive-reloading press, we will give you a definition on the turret-reloading press and the single-stage press.
1. The Single Stage Press
Regarded as the most basic of the reloading machines. It is also the top recommendation if you are a novice when it comes to things associated with this niche.
These processes are very straightforward, which means there is less chance of things going wrong.
This is a reloading press that operates slowly and can produce around 100-ammo per hour.
Even though this is regarded as a time-consuming task, these machines fall into the cheapest category.
- Very simple to use
- Less moving parts
- The best option when you are still learning about the basics
- Easy to maintain
- Changing a caliber is difficult
- Batch process
- Slow production rate
2. The Turret Press
These machines are the upgrade to the single-stage press. These take 1 cartridge each time and usually come with 4 to 5 die stations.
This will mean that you are not required to assemble these in the batch process like you would in a single-stage press.
Beginners can go for the turret press, particularly for those who are after producing faster results.
The turret press derives its name due to a revolving turret which helps to process more than one die at a time.
This press is also recommended when you work on multiple caliber rounds because the set-up is not as complex when compared to progressive presses.
A turret press would be classified as the middle ground when it comes to types of reloading presses.
- Increased production rate
- Case length gauge
- Caliber changing is easy
- Case handling is less
- Removable and revolving turret
- Scale for the powder
- Increase in moving parts
- The accuracy is less when compared to a single-stage press
- Costs more when compared to the single stage presses
3. The Progressive Reloading Press
These are the presses that are compared to ammunition factories. Yet bullets that you produce are dramatically cheaper when compared to bullets that you buy in a store.
These processes are just about automatic, where you are only required to install along with adjusting the dies. You will need to change them as soon as you start working on a different caliber.
Due to the advancements of the progressive reloading press, it can be problematic for a few beginners that are not technically-orientated.
This press is the most efficient out of all 3 mentioned, as well as the very best fit.
- The fastest of production rates
- Changing calibers is simple
- Easy maintenance
- Lots of moving parts
- Most expensive
- Maintenance costs are high
- Exceptional precision
Buying Guide: Important Things To Take Into Consideration When Purchasing A Progressive Reloading Press
Some progressive presses, like all products, are more cheaply made compared to expensive ones. However, that might not always be bad, since not everyone needs to have a press machined out of a solid steel block. Simple cast aluminum can do the same job much less expensively. Quality becomes a lot more complex, however, when comparing progressive presses since they incorporate much smaller moving parts and are a lot more prone to breakage, malfunction, and jamming.
Also, if you have made the decision to buy a progressive press already, there is a good chance that you already are aware that you will be spending a significant amount of money. Although the quality to cost ratio needs to determine by each person for themselves, with progressive presses, usually you are a lot better off purchasing a quality press, to begin with. You will probably end up saving a lot of headaches in the future.
Completed Round Production
One of your top requirements, if you are already considering purchasing a progressive reloading press, is completed round production. Although progressive reloading presses are one of the fastest producing presses that are available in today’s market, not all of them are created equal. There are some progressive presses that are a lot faster compared to others, and every brand makes several different models of presses, and various levels of production are employed.
One of the major ways that a progressive press can help to increase production is via an auto-indexing feature. Some progressive press, similar to turret presses, require the shell plate between each pull of a lever to be manually indexed. With other progressive presses, it is automatically indexed. The automatical indexing, of course, increases round production significantly. However, increased round production has some disadvantages associated with it. The feature results in the press being a lot more complex with more moving parts. That makes the press a lot more prone to malfunctioning and decreases its reliability. Although there is only a very small decrease in reliability, you should consider it when you are wanting to buy a press.
The amount of time it takes to change the calibers on the press can also change your output. Unless you plan to purchase separate progressive reloading presses on each caliber that you reload, at some point you will end up changing out tooling and dies. Depending on the press you have, it can be a very time-consuming and grueling task. If you are planning on switching your caliber configurations regularly, you might want to choose a model that makes the task a lot easier.
A major factor of what sells on specific press over another one is optional accessories. Every company has a wide range of products that can help to make the reloading process a lot easier, and increase round output as well. Quite often, optional accessories end up making the sale of a certain press over a different one.
Component feeders are a major accessory that can really help to make your life a lot easier. Component feeders are made b various manufacturers for powder, bullets, cases, and primers that automate the reloading process as much as possible. Some component feeder models orient components for you as well so you just need to fill the hoppers, and the machine does everything else!
Type of Ammunition Used
Different types of progressive reloading presses have been designed to reload different cartridges. Therefore, while some have been designed to make shotgun shells, there are others that have been designed to produce bullet cases. Therefore, be sure to choose a press that is built to reload the specific type of ammunition that you use.
Assembling and Ease of Use
One major drawback to a progressive reloading press is there are many moving parts and are therefore heavy. This also makes thee kinds of presses hard to use and assemble. So when you are looking for a progressive reloading press to buy choose one that is easy to assemble and use.
The best reloading press will ideally have permanent features. The reduces how much time has to be spent on putting various parts together. recommend a press that doesn’t involve a lot of processes. Basically, pulling the handle down should be more than sufficient in order to get things done. That means that the insertion of cases and indexing of shell plates should be mechanical processes.
You need to ask yourself how many bullets you will be able to make in one hour as part of your process of looking for a press to buy. The number of bullets that you can produce in one hour will, of course, depend on your level of experience. Some press brands will provide you with an estimate on the number of bullets that can be made in one hour. Try to obtain a press reloading rate from manufacturers’ websites and user reviews. That will help you determine which is the beet press for you.
Best Brands of Progressive Reloading Presses
During the late 1940s, Joyce Hornady founded Hornady. The company has become synonymous with high-quality reloading products. In addition to its progressive reloadig=ng press, Hornady also manufacturers reloading benches, bullet pullers, case trimmers, and much more.
Lyman gots its start by inventing a rifle sight during the 1800s. Since that product was introduced the company has expanded its operation to include a broad assortment of reloading gear which includes its reloading presses.
In 1958 Richard Lee started Lee Precision Equipment when he began to make shotgun shells. The company grew rapidly from there and started to make different reloading equipment.
The roots of this company go back to founder Mike Dillon. He was wanting to progressively load a 223 onto an M18. After being told that was impossible he decided t make modifications to his dies and started to sell load conversion kits.
Tips On How To Use A Progressive Reloading Press
Like the reviews about the progressive-reloading presses have indicated, these machines come in different designs. The advice below is based on general guidelines.
- To begin with, you will need to assemble the press, followed by installing the necessary components. You will need to refer to the manual for the exact instructions.
- Now position 1 fired-case into the 1st Station shell-plate. Set your handle down, so this case travels into the Sizer die.
- Now lift up the handle and your case will go into Station 2. This is followed by a primer which sent into the Priming Station. You will now need to apply a force which will set your primer inside the case.
- Make use of the press-base adjustment screw in order to adjust the depth of the primer seating. Adjust this screw downwards to reach the correct depth.
- When the primer-seating has been set, you can put the next fired-case into the 1st Station. Now lower your handle, which will force the case down. The shell will go down, while the handle will go up, and this case then moves into the 2nd Station. From here the primer is seated in the 2nd station.
- Now place your next case into Station 1, followed by lowering the handle, which will allow the case to now go inside the powder-measure adaptor. The powder is then poured inside the case. The shell-plate will go down, and this case will be indexed onto the following station.
- Now take the case out of the shell plate and position on the provided scale to ensure the weight is correct. Once checked, place the case inside Station 4.
- Place the next fired-case into Station 1, raising the lever again. The case which was placed into Station 4 will go into the die. The shell-plate will lower the case where it is indexed to Station 5.
- Now adjust your eject-spring case. You need to set the case-eject close as possible to the shell-plate, making sure they do not make contact.
- As you put the next fire-case into Station 1, when the shell-plate rises, the case in Station 5 will move into the bullet-seating die.
- Hold your bullet over this case and place it inside the seater-die. As the shell-plate goes down, the case will move into the eject-tray.
Your choice in the Best Of The Progressive Reloading Presses will depend on its production rate, how efficient it is, along with other features.
When comparing a progressive-reloading press with a turret press or single-stage press, you can now see the differences and make a decision on the type that matches up to your needs.
Using our review on the Best Progressive Reloading presses, you can start your own new hobby and make ammunition that matches up to your standards. This is also the type of hobby that can save you money over the long run.
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