If you need a reloading kit for beginners, this is a guide uniquely designed for you.
Let us take you through 5 of the best devices that will make your life so much easier. These are units that not only simplify the ammo reloading process but can also help you enhance the performance and overall quality of your bullets.
Do you know about other tools you need for reloading?
Worry not; we will also get that topic covered. We will take a look around the most important aspects to consider when choosing the best reloading kit for beginners.
Let’s get started.
Basics of Reloading
Reloading ammo is a straightforward process, although we must insist that there is no room for making mistakes. First, assemble the cartridge, prep it, and then use your unit to process it into a bullet that can be fired from a rifle or pistol.
You possibly got lost when we mentioned: “assemble the cartridge.” Well, let’s take a look at the components of a cartridge and what needs assembling.
The primer is what creates the explosion that ignites the gunpowder. This is merely that area of a cartridge that the firing pin strikes.
- Brass shell
That part of the cartridge that keeps everything put is the brass shell. This is what you will reuse to save money. Usually, this part remains intact even after you fire a shot.
It is the gunpowder that creates the pressure that pushes the bullet out of the brass shell. When reloading your ammunition, the amount of gunpowder you should use will highly depend on the type of powder you buy and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
This is the part of your cartridge that is shot out of the barrel. There are numerous types of bullets that vary in size, shape, and materials.
During the reloading process, you simply need to combine these components to create the finished cartridge. With the help of your reloading press and several other tools, you can quickly produce hundreds of ammunition with each passing hour.
Required Tools for Reloading
Apart from your reloading press, there are various other tools needed for you to create new ammunition. They include:
- Reloading Press
This is an integral part of any reloading process, and it is used to resize the brass shells and seat the bullets inside. Depending on the type of press you purchase, the unit may also come in handy when de-priming. This is a process that involves removing the spent primers from the brass shells. Read more about the types of press here:
The dies enable you to resize brass shells, seat bullets and crimp your cartridges. This is the part that ensures your press can handle the particular caliber you want. You need dies that are caliber-specific, so you may have to purchase different sets separately from your reloading kit.
These are tools used to measure cartridge length and ensure the bullets sit at the correct depth. Calipers help you to confirm that your cartridge can fit into the magazine and chamber as desired.
This is the tool you will use to measure your gunpowder per cartridge. Accurately measuring your powder is essential because too little or too much can cause unwarranted accidents. Read more about reloading scale choice here.
- Reloading Manual
Finally, you need a reloading manual to help you understand the reloading process in-depth. A proper guide will also help you decide on the ideal amount of powder to use for various caliber types. Read more about the perfect reloading manual to start with here.
5 Best Reloading Kit for Beginners – Recommendation
If you want to start reloading your ammo for the first time, you need a sturdy, yet user-friendly kit. We rounded up the top 5 kits, and some even come with the best reloading accessories. Check them out.
1. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kits
If you need an ammunition reloading kit that is packed with features, this is one of the best quality single stage presses in the market. The unit has an easy-grip handle, an angled frame, primer catcher, positive priming system, and Lock-N-Load bushings for easy and quick die changing.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Heavy and robust built for enhanced longevity
- Lock-N-Load technology for easy die changing
- Designed for ease of use
- Comes with a range of accessories
- Made in the USA
- No assembly needed (just attach the handle)
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Bushings, shell holders and dies sold separately
This kit is on top of our list because it is backed with numerous positive customer reviews. So, what gives it an edge above other equally good reloaders?
One of its major bragging points is the Lock-N-Load technology. This feature simplifies the die changing process, and all you have to do is insert the die and twist it gently as it locks onto the unit. There are 3 Lock-N-Load die bushings, and this makes the process even easier, irrespective of the caliber you are using.
It is also worth mentioning that this is an all-in-one kind of press. This is designed to take care of de-priming the casings, and it also has a spent primer tray for collecting used primers for stress-free disposal.
In short, the package comes with all the accessories you need to begin reloading your ammo. The bushing dies, and shell holders are, however, sold separately.
This easy to use unit is an excellent fit for experienced and beginner reloaders. It covers all the ammo reloading basics and generally guarantees excellent value for your money. Even with a sturdy and heavy built, this kit operates smoothly and promises you many years of service.
2. RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit
Another good reloading kit for beginners is the RCBS 9354. It is designed to enhance precision while at the same time making the reloading process easy and quick. If you are searching for a top-quality single stage press that is built to last, this is a top option to consider.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Sturdy and durable unit
- Designed for accurate ammo reloading
- Ambidextrous handle with a comfortable grip
- Lengthened design accommodates popular longer cartridges
- Best for beginners and skilled reloaders
- A range of accessories included
- Nosler #7 reloading manual included
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Accessory Base Plate not included
- Die sets and case holders are sold separately
With the package, you get an accessory handle, deburring tool, and an updated loading block. Additionally, there is a hand priming tool, case lube kit, reloading scale, hex key set, powder funnel, reloading manual, and more.
Users get an all-rounded starter park that allows them to begin the reloading process as soon as they receive their package.
Moreover, the lengthened design of the package is an intelligent feature that allows the reloader to accommodate longer cartridge designs that are quite common nowadays. In case you are left-handed, you will also appreciate the ambidextrous handle that offers a firm and comfortable grip.
The strength and versatility of this press are unmatched. Even though this is not the cheapest machine on our list, it is reasonably priced, and the savings you make are likely to cover the costs you incur in no time. The Rock Chucker Supreme is a kit you can depend on, irrespective of your skill level.
3. Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit (Red)
The Lee Precision brand has, for over the past 60 years, offering affordable reloading solutions. For gun enthusiasts in search of cheaper and easier ways of reloading ammo, the Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit is a fantastic press to consider.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Compatible with all standard dies
- An excellent choice for beginners
- Comes with just about all accessories needed to start reloading
- Packed with great features that make it equally as good for skilled reloaders
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- You need to buy a Lee Bench plate separately
- The plastic powder dispenser may not be as durable as the rest of the kit
This unit brags of having 8 of the most popular Hand Priming Shell Holders (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, and 19) as well as an updated Auto Prime.
Furthermore, the Auto Prime is a fast, effective, and safe hand priming tool that caters to all your priming needs. On the other hand, the Breech Lock quick tool ensures easy and fast die changes for smooth reloading irrespective of the calibers you use. This tool makes it unnecessary to keep adjusting your dies.
Moreover, users get to enjoy the perfect powder handling system. Lee’s powder scale is one of the safest and most stable scales on the market. It is sensitive and can charge from 2-100 grains. By eliminating jerky action or cut powder, the safety of users is generally enhanced.
The frame design of this reloading equipment cannot go without mentioning. Well, the kit has a unique “O” shaped frame, which provides adequate space to work on different calibers. This intuitive design also helps to free your work area from clutter.
If you are like most folks, you will first want to know about the range of dies that are compatible with a kit before purchase. Well, this one is compatible with all standard dies, and this makes it one of the most versatile presses on our list.
4. Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit
If you want a complete reloading kit, this unit is for you. It comes with a whole range of accessories and the ability to work on a wide selection of calibers. As long as you have your dies, this press comes ready to begin reloading right out of its package.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Numerous accessories included
- A host of features to make the kit versatile
- User-friendly design
- Easy to assemble
- Designed for unmatched precision
- Lee Precision offers excellent customer support
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
There are three main features of this kit that stand out, and they include the Pro Auto Disk, the Safety Primer Feed, and the Auto-Indexing. The Pro Auto Disk simplifies the process of measuring your powder. By extension, this reduces the risk of incorrect measurements that can lead to unwarranted accidents.
The Pro Auto Disk has 4 disks, and you choose the one to use depending on the charge needed. This is a feature that also lowers the risk of leakage. Then again, the hopper is relatively large and can handle about a pound of gunpowder. This allows you to reload a decent number of ammo rounds within a short period.
If there is one thing we love about Lee Precision is their dedication to using the latest technology. The safety prime feed is yet another useful feature, and it works on both large and small primers.
It’s fully automated and hence eliminates the need for manually placing primers in the brass. In other words, you don’t even require a hand priming tool.
When using the majority of turret reloading presses, a single brass is pushed up the turret and remains there during the de-priming, priming, powder charging, bullet seating and crimping process. With this kit, there is an Auto-Indexing feature that turns the turret to the stage that follows when you pull the handle.
Auto-Indexing saves time. It also makes it unnecessary to keep turning the turret manually at all the stations.
5. Lyman Brass Smith All-American 8 Reloading Press Kit
Last but not least is an excellent reloading press from Lyman brass. This is a brand that has been in business for over 140 years. Therefore, the designs and overall quality of their kits do not come as a surprise. It’s easy to see that this company was flexing muscles with its feature-packed All-American 8 Press.
WHAT WE LIKED
- Heavy-duty cast iron construction
- Ideal for use with rifle and pistol cartridges
- Complete kit with numerous accessories
- Comfortable ambidextrous ball handle
- Comes with a host of user-friendly features
- Lyman 50th edition reloading handbook included
- Compatible with die sets from other brands
This is the latest rugged turret press from the brand, and it brags of having a heavy-duty cast iron construction. It is large enough to accommodate large rifle cartridges and, at the same time, ensures the speed and precision of smaller pistol cartridges.
The 8-station turret operates smoothly and is capable of holding 2 complete 4 die sets or about 4-two die sets. Other features of the press that help to simplify the reloading process for beginners include the auto primer feed, powder measure, digital touch scale, case lube kit, case prep multi-tool, and magnum bullet puller.
This is a highly versatile machine with a Universal Trimmer that has 9 of the most widely used caliber pilots. It is designed to accept all standard shell holders, and you can use it with any standard 7/8″ x14 thread dies.
Better still, this unit comes with an innovatively designed, comfortable ball handle that accommodates both left and right-hand operations.
With the package, you will also receive the Lyman 50th edition reloading handbook. This is a well-written and detailed reloading manual that will help you ensure your safety when reloading different calibers.
Things to Consider While Selecting a Reloading Kit
If you are like most people, the first thing you will think about before buying a press is your budget. This is what determines the features and overall quality of the unit you get. Let’s take a look around other equally vital aspects to keep in mind before buying a reloading kit.
It’s hard to find a reloading kit that is a universal bullet maker. For you to invest in the right machine, first consider the calibers you wish to handle. Our list contains kits that can handle a range of calibers, so this will save you both money and space. After all, it makes no sense to have a different machine for each caliber you desire to produce.
I recommend choosing a unit with a conversion kit. This is a feature that enhances the overall usefulness of a press.
Ease of Use
Beginners can easily get overwhelmed, trying to grasp the various crucial ammo reloading concepts. You are yet to live through your worst nightmare until you choose a device that is challenging to use.
The machines on this list are as close to plug and play as it can get. Whether you are a beginner or ammo reloading expert, making full use of their features will be more of a walk in the park.
Even ammo reloading kits that are typically considered inexpensive are not that cheap. You have to part with a considerable amount of cash for you to walk home with even a basic reloader. That said, you owe yourself the favor of choosing equipment that is designed to last for a reasonable while.
Consider the materials used in the construction of a machine to gauge its overall quality and durability. Additionally, take note of the quality of customer support a manufacturer offers and the warranty period. In the majority of cases, top quality kits are backed by reasonable warranties.
Which Is the Best Reloading Kit?
Here’s the deal, we focused mainly on the machines that are easy to use and ideal for beginner reloaders. You will highly likely have an excellent review to leave if you choose any of the devices we have listed above. We’ll even help you to decide on the most suitable option, depending on your unique needs.
If you want to learn the reloading process from scratch, one of the easiest to use kits is the RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit. It comes with a range of accessories and has numerous great features that also make it ideal for advanced users.
In case you want an equally user-friendly option that saves you from the hassle of assembling the unit, consider the Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kits.
Beginner reloaders have different needs. This makes it challenging to find a one-fits-all kind of reloading kit.
If you want to ensure your safety during the reloading process, we would recommend that you settle for the Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit. Its powder scale is one of the most stable and accurate, and this reduces the risk of unintentional powder abuse.
The Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit is our favorite pick because it is the most complete reloading press on our list. It is also the most expensive, but its advanced features make it worth its weight in gold.
Of course, there are many other great reloading kits for beginners that are not on our list. If you have friends who love shooting games, you could ask them for more recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What types of bullets can my reloading kit handle?
Reloading kits are created differently, mainly when it comes to the types of bullets they can handle. Some kits can be used to reload only one kind of ammo, while others can reload a range of bullet types. It remains imperative to confirm that the machine you choose can reload the ammo type you frequently use.
- Are there safety concerns allied with using reloading kits?
Safety is a significant concern to consider when choosing a reloading kit. The reloading process requires high precision, especially when measuring your gunpowder. You are good to go and safe as long as your measurements are correct and in line with your gunpowder manufacturer recommendations.
- Which is the worst safety mistake users can make?
If you want to enhance your safety when using a reloading kit, it is vital to avoid powder abuse. This includes mixing different types of powders, using incompatible ones, or even using old powders.
When you steer clear of powder abuse, you not only ensure your safety but also enhance the chances of your press lasting longer.
- Can beginners use progressive reloading presses?
It takes practice and mastering numerous vital concepts for you to use a progressive reloading press comfortably. We recommend that you begin by using a single-stage reloader. Read more to find a suitable shotshell reloader for you.
- How do I learn the reloading process from scratch?
Reloading ammo is quite straightforward, although there are specific essential details that cannot be overlooked. Understanding the necessary process will ensure your safety and also enable you to create top-quality ammunition. If you feel lost on where to begin, you will need to invest in a detailed reloading manual for beginners.
If you’re just entering the world of ammo reloading, there are numerous vital things you must learn about the reloading process. Our list will help you find the very best reloading kit for beginners that are easy to set up and use.
However, you will also need to invest in a reloading manual and perhaps even consult with friends for you to get through the compulsory learning curve.