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.
4 Best Reloading Kits for Beginners
1. RCBS 9354 RC Reloading Kit Review
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.