If you are into shooting as a hobby, you know that buying ammunition is a major expense. That’s why a lot of people turn to reloading in the first place.
Besides saving money, you can also make your own ammunition that is much more consistent, and thus accurate, than factory ammo.
In order to speed up reloading, the tool for the job is a progressive reloader, which is basically a press that allows you to do all of the steps of reloading on a single tool without having to switch much, if anything, out on the tool.
This makes overall ammunition production faster, as progressive reloading means you can finish each individual round instead of having to switch tools between processes.
In this article, we’re going to help you pick the best progressive reloader so that you can make high quality and cheaper ammunition to keep you shooting.
The Hornady 095100 is our Best pick because it is truly a one-stop-shop for reloading.
It’s a fast, clean to use, and extremely slick setup that anyone would be happy to use.
For the more budget-conscious, the Lee Precision LoadMaster is a great choice.
This one has everything you need to get into progressive reloading without some of the features that hobbyists and new reloaders might not need.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Comparison
- 2 8 Best Progressive Reloading Presses Review
- 2.1 1. Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
- 2.2 2. Hornady 085005 50 BMG Press, Kit
- 2.3 3. Lee Precision Pro 1000
- 2.4 4. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kits
- 2.5 5. LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press (Red)
- 2.6 6. Dillon Precision 14261 RL550C 4 Stage Manually Indexed Progressive Reloading Machine
- 2.7 7. Lyman 7040781 Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press
- 2.8 8. Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit
- 3 What is a Progressive Reloading Press?
- 4 How to Choose the Best Progressive Reloading Press
- 5 Conclusion
8 Best Progressive Reloading Presses Review
1. Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
- Quick Change Bushing System
- Universal Case Retainer Spring
- Case Activated Powder Drop
- Automatic Indexing
This press is the one for you if you plan on doing a lot of reloading in multiple calibers. It would be appropriate for a small ammunition business.
The Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press is easily one of the best progressive reloading presses on the market today.
Installation and setup of the press are easy with the included, thorough instructions and handy videos that Hornady has made available on their website.
Once you have it set up, this press is a slick one that can be changed from one caliber to another in just a few minutes with their quick-change system: this is especially handy for large volume reloaders.
In terms of actually reloading, this press is a slick one for progressive reloading. There are two major standout features here. First is that it comes with a universal case retainer spring which keeps things lined up where they need to be.
This makes for a better final product. Second, the powder drop will not work until there is a case seated in the appropriate spot: this makes reloading with this press a much cleaner proposition than normal with much smaller chances for spillage.
The Hornady 095100 Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press may well be the best progressive reloader on this list, and it would be at home in any setting that you could think for it, but is specially made for people who might do a high volume of reloading.
2. Hornady 085005 50 BMG Press, Kit
- For 50 BMG reloading
- Custom Made Dye Set
- Heat Treated Steel Construction
- Can Be Converted to Other Calibers
Sometimes a general tool will not do. If you need to reload .50 BMG, this is the press for you.
.50 BMG is one of the most expensive rounds to shoot. It is also, unfortunately, hardest to reload. Thus, if you want to shoot any real volume of .50 BMG, you’re going to need to be able to reload it. The issue that it’s too long for most presses.
That’s where the Hornady 085005 50 BMG Press Kit becomes an excellent option for you. This press is made out of durable steel and should last you a lifetime of use.
It is a uni-tasker at heart, meant to fit and reload the largest calibers that are commonly shot, with a focus on .50 BMG, and thus it comes with the dyes necessary to reload that round.
However, It can also be converted to other long calibers, which is handy considering that it has a very wide working area, which allows you to be able to work with longer rounds than most presses can accommodate.
Adding some of Hornady’s other accessories to this one would make it one of, if not the, best way to reload some very expensive rounds for much less than the cost of buying new.
3. Lee Precision Pro 1000
- Upgraded Handle
- Easy Caliber Changes
- Durable Construction
The Lee Precision Pro 1000 is, as the name implies, a profession piece of equipment for serious reloaders. This press will serve nearly all users very well.
As far as progressive reloading presses go, it is hard to beat the Lee Precision 1000. Once you have it set up, which is more than doable with the clear instructions, operation couldn’t be easier.
After you’ve gotten the casings, powder, primer, and bullets in place, all you need to do is pull a lever, and this press takes care of the rest.
To keep things clean, it is designed so that primers and powder will only dispense if there is a cartridge present, which is a feature that we like on higher-end presses.
While it is aimed at professionals, this progressive press is also well suited to amateurs at the reloading game.
It can be set to reload only a single case a time, which is a feature great for beginners, or for people looking to dial in a very specific load.
Changing calibers is also fairly easy, which can be done with the addition of a few parts from Lee and just a few minutes switching things around.
Overall, this press would be great for the professional or the hobbyist and would do well at your workbench as well as it would in a manufacturing setting.
A progressive reloading press like this one from Lee will ensure that you’re making quality and consistent ammunition for years to come while saving money in the process.
4. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kits
- Quick Change Bushing System
- Complete Kit
- Sturdy Construction
- Great for Multiple Calibers
If you are new to reloading and want to start off on the right foot, one of these kits by Hornady will do you very well.
Hornady is one of the better known and trust names in the ammunition business. This trust is clearly earned in their progressive presses as well.
These kits are meant to be a place to start in the reloading game that will make it more than doable for the hobbyist to make professional-quality ammo and save a ton of money in the process.
To that end, these kits are great as they come with everything you need aside from bullet components and a workbench.
Once you have this setup and cranking out ammunition, changing calibers is a snap with their quick-change bushing system.
As far as progressive presses go, this one is on the smaller end of things, which some users will find handy.
As usual, Hornady makes this press out of high-quality parts that will stand up to the test of time assuming you do some basic maintenance.
Meant for people just getting into reloading, this kit would be about perfect for the hobbyist who did not want to risk messing around with inferior or cheap products, but at the same time does not want to break the bank trying out the hobby of reloading.
A special thing we really enjoy about these kits is that they come with a book detailing much of the information you’ll need to know to reload, so it could make an excellent gift as well if you have an avid shooter in your life.
5. LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press (Red)
- Steel Linkages
- Heavy Duty Construction
- Long Case Capacity
- Largest Ram In The Industry
This classic reloading press features a timeless design and will more than certainly meet most of your reloading needs.
In terms of progressive reloading presses, this one by Lee is a classic design that still more than keeps up with the reloading needs of a hobbyist.
The press, made out of cast iron with a solid steel linkage, is both heavy and durable enough to last a lifetime.
The fame is large enough to accommodate long calibers, making this a great press for reloading full-power rifle ammunition for hunting.
Additionally, there is an automatic indexing feature built-in to ensure that everything stays nice and straight. The primers are dispensed through an included clear PVC tube that ensures that every primer ends up seated correctly.
The wood handle on the press is a nice touch, giving the whole thing a classic look that would be at home in anyone’s garage or reloading table.
Despite its relatively moderate price point, is clear that this press is made to last and will almost certainly be a lifetime purchase.
The Lee Precision Classic Turret press is one of the best progressive reloading presses if you want something that is built to last, sturdy, and has what you need to reload on a small scale without a really complicated machine.
One of these would certainly do the trick for the vast majority of hobby reloaders.
6. Dillon Precision 14261 RL550C 4 Stage Manually Indexed Progressive Reloading Machine
- Capable of over 120 different calibers
- Manually Indexed Shellplate
- Easy Maintenance
- Fast Caliber Changes
If your needs in a progressive reloading press are for control and precision with every round, this is the press for you.
The Dillon Precision 14261 is one of the best progressive presses on the market if you want to get extremely precise with your ammunition.
Some of the presses on this list are much more automated, which means more speed, and that’s a great thing if your goal is high volume.
If, on the other hand, you want to make a smaller number of really precise rounds, this less automated press would do you better.
The manual indexing means that you have total control over every step in the reloading process.
Changing between calibers is quick and easy, assuming you have the correct dye sets on hand: all of this can be done easily by following the simple, included instruction.
This sturdy design is meant to be bolted directly to your workbench and works well with Dillon accessories.
It’s also made to last, with this version being designed to be easier to clean and lubricate than was the case with previous models.
This press would do very well for someone who was making their own ammunition, in a variety of calibers and wanted the most control and precision over the process.
Overall, this progressive reloading press will help ensure that you get great ammunition every time, and we think it would be a great choice for serious precision shooters in particular.
7. Lyman 7040781 Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press
- Cast Iron Construction
- Powder Coat Finish
- Six Station Turret Head
- Ambidextrous Handle
This progressive press is a very popular model, and with its thoughtful construction, we can see why.
The Lyman T Mag Press, simply put, is a slick solution to your reloading needs. This press has a six station turret head that is detachable.
This gives it a really interesting feature if you’re willing to get more than one turret head.
Instead of changing out dyes for each individual caliber, you can instead simply have a few different heads set up for different calibers.
This would make it so that your downtime between calibers can be shortened, and you can get more rounds produced in the same amount of time.
The press itself if sturdy, and well made: the powder coat finish means it will last for decades to come. One thing we really like is the handle placement: it’s right in the middle of the machine so that you can use it with either hand.
Operation is smooth, and it does accept standard sized dyes: this means that, in combination with its open C design, you can reload nearly any caliber and get results with this press.
This would be about the best progressive reloading press for a hobbyist reloader who wants to make a few calibers of ammunition and keep themselves going to the range on a reasonable budget.
It’s a tough, sensibly designed progressive reloading press that will almost certainly meet your needs.
8. Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit
- Cast Aluminum Construction
- Accepts Standard Dies
- Pre-Configured for 45 ACP
- Specialized for Pistol Rounds
If you need to reload 45 ACP and want to do so with precision, this is the kit for you hands down.
45 ACP is one of the most popular pistol rounds out there, and shooting it out of a 1911 is a real joy. What is much less joyful, however, is buying new 45ACP.
It’s an expensive round, and the cost of it is exactly why a lot of people get into reloading in the first place. This press has that in mind and comes ready to go to reload your favorite pistol caliber.
This kit is sized for pistols, so if you need to reload rifle rounds, you might need to go elsewhere. That said, if you need to reload a lot of 45, this single purchase will get you all the tools you need to do so with speed and precision.
This is made from sturdy aluminum and will last a lifetime, assuming you take care of it. The kit comes with the press, dyes, turret, shell plate, as well as the feeders to get all of the bullet components where they need to be.
Basically, this is a one-stop-shop for the reloading of 45 ACP. You can convert this progressive press to other calibers, so it would be a great option for an avid pistol shooter who needs to make a lot of ammunition quickly and with precision in mind.
The Lee Precision Load Master 45 is a precision tool meant to save you a lot of money of 45 ACP reloading.
What is a Progressive Reloading Press?
A progressive reloading press is a tool used to reload ammunition. There are two kinds of press, generally.
The first, single-stage, can do one function at a time. These, on the other hand, can perform multiple functions at once.
For example, with a single press of the lever, these presses will seat the bullet in one round, put the primer in another, and add powder do a third. How many functions are done at once, depends on the press you’re looking at.
Progressive presses vary in their features, but they all share that common feature of doing multiple steps at once. Many of these presses are meant to make a lot of rounds very quickly, and they do so well.
Almost all presses like this can be converted from one caliber to another relatively quickly, so you’d only need one press in a workshop assuming that you are a hobby or small business reloader.
If you get set up correctly and work efficiently, you can expect several hundred rounds per hour out of a good progressive press setup.
There are two main attractions to these presses.
First and foremost, reloading your own ammo is typically a lot cheaper than buying new. Over the life of a press, you can save a lot of money reloading.
Second, because you control the process, you can get much more consistent ammunition out of a progressive press than you are likely to find with commercial ammunition.
How to Choose the Best Progressive Reloading Press
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a progressive reloading press. First, make sure that it can actually handle the rounds you want to make with it.
For example, make sure not to buy a pistol press that cannot accept longer rounds if you want to reload .50 BMG.
Second, keep the volume of ammunition you want to make in mind. If you’re going to be going with small volume, personal production, and the goal is to save money, then doing something like getting the biggest press you can find might not be the best use of time and space for you.
Third, look for the feature set that you think is important. Some of these presses come as kits with everything you need to make a certain caliber.
If you shoot that caliber and are just learning how to reload, an all in one kit like that can save a lot of time and hassle on your end.
Fourth, look for something that is flexible. Most presses can be converted from one caliber to another pretty easily.
If you think you’ll have to reload several calibers, or might turn reloading into a side business, then being able to find dyes and change them out relatively quickly will be very helpful to you.
Buying a progressive reloading press is an investment in making your own ammunition.
Depending on your needs, we’re sure that you can find something from this article that will have you making ammunition and saving money in no time.