Don’t Buy the Best Reloading Kits for Beginners Until You Read the Full Review (Buying Guide Included)

Reloading is a fun task. I know it’s time consuming, but it’s not a hard job for sure.

However, finding the best reloading kit for beginners is not a straightforward task at all.

Mainly, when you have several brands and several types of reloading press, sometimes it’s overwhelming to decide on a particular kit. If you are a beginner, then things can get messy in this case.

But don’t get troubled.

I’m here to solve the puzzle for you. In this article, I’m going to review 4 best reloading kits for beginners mentioning all the upsides and downsides of each of the packages.

Later, I will also provide you a guide on the core buying factors and a basic about reloading kit’s core components.

Without any further ado, let’s begin.

Best Reloading kits for beginners

 

4 Best Reloading Kits for Beginners


1. RCBS 9354 RC Reloading Kit Review

RCBS 9354 RC Reloading Kit

Pros
  • A perfect reloading kit for reloading rifle and pistol shots.
  • This is a single-stage reloading press. So, it’s the most beginner-friendly type of reloading press.
  • Easy to mount and get things underway quickly.
  • The parts are of good quality, and the scale is sensitive too.
  • This kit features an ambidextrous handle location (handy for both right-handed and left-handed persons).
  • The case reloading block is universal, the fits most caliber sizes.
  • A handy reloading manual is included in the package.
  • It is cost-effective for beginners.
  • The company stands behind the warranty quite well.
Cons
  • A digital scale with the kit would have been an excellent addition.
  • At least the standard shell holder for hand priming would have been a great add-on to the kit.

Summary

This Reloading kit RCBS is the perfect one for the beginners without any doubt.

A beginner needs a single-press reloading press with basic kits, and the operation process needs to be straightforward. This particular reloading kit is exactly what it requires.

The kit includes Rock Chucker single stage reloading press, M500 mechanical scale, Nosler #7 reloading manual, powder measure, hex key set, hand priming tool, powder funnel, case lube kit with pad, caseload block, .17-.60 Debur tool, etc.

Nonetheless, I believe, a digital scale would have helped a beginner more.

The press supports reloading longer calibers, which is something that helps a beginner without any doubt.

You can reload hundreds of calibers if not thousand with this kit, you just need to buy the proper shell holder and reloading dies to get things done.

As a whole, this one is the best reloading kit for beginners containing several required tools that are durable and well built. Moreover, the price is beginner-friendly too.

If you buy this kit, very likely, you don’t need to buy any other equipment anytime soon.

You can also buy the RCBS ATK 9287 Explorer Plus, where you will get some more instruments like bullet puller, dial calipers, and some shell holders (no. 2,3,4,10), a powder trickler, etc.

2. Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit Review

Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit

Pros
  • Easy to install.
  • The package includes a good pictorial reloading manual.
  • The press is not incredibly heavy.
  • You will get an accurate electronic scale with this kit, which eventually makes your life even more comfortable.
  • The handle is pretty long to give you enough leverage.
  • A positive priming system is in place to make the priming a lot easier than before.
  • The lock-n-load bushing kit helps to install and remove the dies effortlessly in a quick time.
  • The offset press design helps to deal with the shell holder without any hassle.
Cons
  • The black plastic cup that acts as a reservoir doesn’t clip very tightly with the press. However, it goes in and out correctly.
  • It’s not a good press for the left-handed reloaders.
  • The digital scale is a bit slow to respond.

Summary

This single-stage reloading press kit is another complete beginner-friendly reloading kit that doesn’t cost too much. You will get everything you need to get started inside the tool kit.

The Hornady reloading manual (10th edition) that is included in the kit is fantastic, I should say. It covers pretty much everything you need for reloading.

The hand primer is good and useful. However, the spring of the hand primer is weaker than I expected. It’s not up to the standard compared to other hand priming tools.

You have the option to some more versions of this classic kit like the classic deluxe kit, where you will get some more instruments including steel dial calipers, some shell holders, bullet puller, and some more useful tools.

Or you can buy the classic loader kit where you will get only the loader.

Altogether, if you are a beginner or an occasional loader, this kit is sufficient for you too.

3. LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit Review

LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit Review

Pros
  • Overall good quality build.
  • Easy to use and performs fast.
  • As this one is a turret press, so you don’t need to deal with changing out the dies every now and then.
  • The auto-drum powder measure helps to complete a single round quickly.
  • A valuable and elaborate reloading manual comes with the package.
  • The auto-index system works flawlessly.
  • The lever handle works smoothly, and it can be switched to the opposite side for a left-handed reloader.
  • It performs pretty well even after reloading thousands of rounds.
  • It’s super cost-effective compared to the other kits on my list.
Cons
  • No electronic scale is included in the kit.
  • The auto-index system doesn’t work for cartridges longer than 4 inches.

Summary

Although this is a turret press reloading press, it still offers a smooth learning curve. So, it won’t get you in trouble if you are even a complete beginner. You can watch several YouTube videos too to learn things quickly.

This very reloading kit from Lee Precision includes all the essential packages to start the reloading process. It includes – a classic turret press, chamfer tool, lube kit, powder scale, reloading manual, powder measure riser, primer pocket cleaning tool, cutter and lock stud, powder measure, safety prime.

Of course, you have to buy the required shell holder, and reloading dies for the respective calibers you want to reload. With this kit, you may want to buy some other additional instruments, too, like – caliper, case trimming tool, etc.

By the way, if you are going to reload only pistol ammo, then case trimmer is not required.

All in all, this one is a handy reloading kit for beginners to reload the pistol and rifle ammunition that won’t break your bank. It lasts long, and you probably won’t have to buy a new kit for long if you get used to this one.

4. Hornady 085521 Lock-N-Load Iron Press Reloading Kit

Hornady 085521 Lock-N-Load Iron Press Reloading Kit

Pros
  • The press offers a nice feel, and you will be able to reload pretty fast.
  • This kit features ambidextrous operation too.
  • A digital caliper comes with a kit that gives an accurate reading.
  • The spring-assist increases the strength and makes it even easier to use.
  • The press features an auto prime system.
  • A useful powder measure with case adapters (both large and small) comes with the kit.
  • Both large and small primer tubes are included in the kit.
  • A reloading manual is included with a lot of useful information.
  • A digital bench scale comes with the package that works perfectly.
Cons
  • A bit pricey compared to other reloading kits on my list.
  • No loading block is included in the kit.
  • A primer flip tray would have been a good addition to the package.

Summary

This reloading kit from Hornady cost a bit more than what you would have expected. With that said, if money is not a problem for you, then you definitely should go for this reloading kit.

It’s a single-stage reloading press, which is a beginner-friendly option, no doubt. Moreover, it has some cool features like auto priming that makes the reloading procedure even quicker.

The quality of all the instruments is good. The Lock-n-Load bushing system is there to change the dies effortlessly and quickly.

This kit contains the following tools and instruments – automatic priming system, Lock-n-Load digital bench-scale, powder funnel, component feed bin, bullet comparator (set of 6), die caddy, lock-n-load die bushing (3 pcs), chamfer and deburr tool, powder measure, shell holder kit, neck brushes, reloading manual, primer pocket cleaners (large, and small), lube kit.

So, it includes quite a bit of an instrument and also shines in performance. It can beat any cheaper reloading kit any day.

Alright, now let’s move to the next session. Now, I’m going to give an idea about Best reloading kits for Beginners and some essential buying tips.


Reloading Kit Theory and Buying Guide

The Basic of Reloading Process and Reloading Kit

If you’ve gone through my reviews already, then very likely you are now quite known to the instrument and tools that usually come with any reloading kit.

Let me discuss the basics of the reloading process in brief.

Reloading ammunition is nothing but reusing the used brass shells repeatedly (typically up to 5-7 reuses). Of course, you need other components like a primer, gun powder, and bullet to make full ammo.

With the help of reloading press and other instruments included in the kit, you de-prime and prime, weigh gunpowder and fill the brass shell with it, and insert the bullet.

For shotshell reloading, you have to insert some other components in a shell, and the reloading press is different in that case. Here, we are discussing mainly focusing on pistol and rifle ammunition reloading.

Here is a short introduction to the significant and standard reloading kit tools and instruments –

  • Reloading Press – A reloading press is the heart of the reloading process. Here you will do almost all the tasks like shaping the brass shell, depriming, priming, inserting gunpowder and bullet, etc. You will get a lever handle that you will use to move forward, step by step. However, entering the primer is sometimes done using a hand primer too instead of using reloading press.
  • Reloading Dies – Reloading dies are vital parts in the reloading press. You will set the dies on the press based on your cartridge. It will be used to decapping/depriming, shaping the brass, resizing and expanding the case mouth, seat the bullet, crimp. As dies depend on the specific cartridge you are using, most of the time, you may have to buy it separately, not as a kit.
  • Reloading Manual – A reloading manual is so crucial to get things done correctly following the accurate recipe. Luckily every reloading kit includes one reloading manual. Here, you will get the recommended measurement of powder mixtures against a cartridge. You will get some valuable reloading tutorials in that manual too.
  • Scale – Scale can be either a reloading beam scale or an electronic scale. No matter what, it is required to measure the gunpowder accurately based on the recipe.
  • Calipers – To measure the length of the final cartridge, you need a caliper, either digital or analog. It’s essential to measure the reloaded cartridge. If the length is not ok, then you might have to readjust the depth of the bullet.

A reloading kit contains some more useful instruments, but those are the most common and most needed ones.

Any good reloading kit should offer the above instruments. However, sometimes a tool like a caliper doesn’t come with the kit for some models. In that case, you buy it separately.

Also, reloading dies, and shell holders don’t come with the kit usually. It’s because you need dies and shell holders specific to the cartridge.

Let’s Watch the Video

Press Types

Not all reloading presses are the same. You have three types of reloading presses to choose from –

  • Single press.
  • Turret press.
  • Progressive press.

Among those three types of reloading press, the single press is the most suitable one for the beginners, and then the turret press. It’s because these are inexpensive, require less time to learn and get things started.

On the other hand, a progressive press is for experienced reloaders. It works faster than the other two types, but it can make things overwhelming for a beginner to start the proceedings.

That’s why I’ve not listed any progressive press here.

Single Press – This is the most accessible type of reloading press. It performs one process at a time. That’s why it is the most beginner-friendly, mainly if you are worried about messing things up. The downside is – you need more time to complete a single round than other types.

Turret Press – Turret presses have a turret plate that accommodates about 4 to 5 reloading dies that rotates and allows you to complete more than one step at a time.

Progressive Press – A progressive press is for the experienced reloaders who need to reload a batch of ammo at once. This type of press has an extra attachment to thread multiple dies and can perform several rounds of reloading in a quick time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Reloading Ammunition

Reloading ammunition has some advantages and some disadvantages. No doubt, the benefits win the race here. Let me explain why.

Reloading Saves Cost – Yes, even though buying a reloading kit requires an initial investment, but it pays off in the long run. Here you are reusing the brass shell, and buying gunpowder, primer, bullet separately save your money too.

Customization Option – You can customize the ammunition based on your hunting requirement, and use different ammo in the same rifle. This, in turn, saves your money and provides accuracy as well.

One disadvantage of reloading is it demands some patience from you to complete several rounds. It takes time, and you need to complete several steps to complete a single round. However, it’s a fun task. So, if you enjoy hunting, you should enjoy reloading too.

With that said, if you are a frequent hunter, then probably you won’t want to reload. You would want to buy new cartridges instead. It’s because, for reloading, you have to collect the spent shells, which sometimes might seem overkill to you.

Price

Finally, the price. Generally, as a beginner, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on buying anything. Instead, you want to buy the best reloading kits for beginners for the money. I considered this point of view and made a list accordingly.

Nonetheless, the Hornady 085521 Lock-N-Load Iron Press is a bit pricier than other models here. But it is worth the money considering the performance and included instruments with the kit.

Final Words


Let’s recap!

In this article, I’ve mentioned 4 best reloading kits for beginners with all the highs and lows of each kit.

All the reloading kits listed here excel in quality, come with a lot of necessary instruments; more importantly, they don’t cost you a fortune.

I’ve listed both single press and turret press here. If you are a complete beginner, then I would suggest you go for the single press ones. If you have a somewhat basic understanding already, then go for the turret press one.

Whatever the case is, as a beginner, you should consult an expert to get a hands-on tutorial on using a reloading kit.

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