If you’re a hunter, an outdoorsman, or simply a gun enthusiast, then this article is for you!
Today, we’re reviewing the top 5 products on the market and sharing a detailed buying guide to help you find the best reloading kit for your needs, skill level, and budget. This is also a great place to start to find reloading kits for beginners, however it will also be a good idea to get one or two reloading manuals and reading them before buying your first reloading kit. The important parts of your reloading kit is the reloading powder scale, the powder dispenser and the press.
First up, we’re looking at one of the most popular reloading kit options for newbies; the Rock Chucker Supreme Master from the renowned brand RCBS. manufactured in the United States, this kit is designed with more than 75 years of experience in the reloading community.
This reloading kit features the Rock Chucker single-press at its core, which is one of the most highly-regarded and well-known reloading presses on the market. A lot of people can recognize it on the spot thanks to its signature green O-frame made out of cast iron and huge letters decorating the sides.
If we consider the Supreme Master reloading press alone, we say you already get great value for money from this unit as it offers excellent accuracy at a reasonable cost. Not to mention, the newest version of this press carries extra length to fit taller cartridges.
What’s more, it includes many convenient features such as letting you prime as you’re on the press and speer reloading. You can even pair it with Lee dies, so that’s a nice bonus.
This RCBS reloading kit comes with a bunch of other tools such as M500 mechanical scale, universal case loading block, hand priming tool, .17-.60 Debur tool, UPM III, hex key set, powder funnel, case lube kit, and speer reloading guide.
The Rock Chucker Supreme Master reloading kit is built to last you a long time while providing superior accuracy for hand-loaded cartridges. For all these reasons, this unit is our top choice for best reloading kit and one of the best reloading kits for beginners.
Lee Precision is one of the leading brands of reloading equipment in the country, manufacturing several highly reliable yet affordable presses on the market. The company’s dies are a standard in the industry standard, compatible with many competing brands and even copied by others.
The Breech Lock Challenger Kit is a terrific option for beginner hand loaders looking for a decent starter unit that doesn’t cost a fortune. The Breech Lock Challenger press is an O-frame single-stage unit made out of aluminum, linked with steel, and painted a unique red color. The combination of aluminum and steel makes for a very sturdy construction.
Accompanied by multiple premium quality tools, this kit includes a handy primer catcher tube that lets you put a trash can or bag under your workbench so you can immediately get rid of spent primers as you de-prime spent cases.
Additionally, the Lee Precision Challenger Kit includes a convenient breech lock system that allows you to change dies with only 1/6 of a turn. This equals just one wrist twist!
What’s more, this reloading kit comes with the company’s Auto-Prime hand-held tool, 8 shell holders of the most popular sizes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 19), and a powder measure. You’ll also receive the Lee safety scale, which is super accurate when it comes to mechanical powder scales, sensitive to 0.05 grains.
If you’re familiar with the Lock-N-Load Classic reloading kit from Hornady, we’d like to introduce you to its Deluxe version. This package comes with everything a rookie hand loader needs to start learning as quickly and as easily as possible.
This kit is equipped with the company’s Lock-N-Load press, featuring a single-stage mechanism, an O-frame constructed out of high-strength alloy, as well as a distinct red paint job.
However, the star feature of the Hornady Classic Deluxe Lock-N-Load press -and its biggest selling point- is the quick-switch bushing system that lets you change dies in seconds with maximum convenience. You even get 3 die bushings with this reloading kit.
Additionally, this quick-change system cuts down on the time it takes you to reload several different cartridges, saving you from wasting precious minutes fiddling with dies and helping you dedicate more time to load extra ammunition.
We especially like the angled configuration of the hand loader as it grants you improved visibility and better case accessibility. This way, you can visually check the powder’s level without any hassle before you seat a bullet.
Just like any other Hornady reloading kit, the Lock-N-Load Classic Deluxe includes the company’s 10th edition reloading guide, which contains more than 1,000 pages of load information that’s recent and accurate.
What’s more, this Deluxe reloading kit is packed with a bunch of cool extras such as a digital scale (sensitive to 0.1 grains), powder measure stand, One Shot case lube (1 can), kinetic bullet puller for easy ammunition disassembly, as well as OAL gauges to ensure that the seating depth of your bullets is correct.
Next up, we have another reliable contender from Lee Precision. The 90928 Value 4 Hole Turret Kit is ideal for beginners interested in reloading pistol-caliber cartridges, or newbies looking for some extra volume than you get from a single-stage press, and just generally one of the best reloading kits for beginners.
This amazingly affordable kit is equipped with just about everything you’d need to start reloading right away including both rifle-caliber and pistol-caliber Lee dies. The more you practice, the faster you’ll be able to load, with a maximum rate of 250 rounds per hour.
The core of the 90926 Value kit is the Classic Turret Press, which features an automated indexing mechanism that holds up to 4 different dies. This means you can switch calibers more conveniently and easily.
Additionally, you get more than 4 inches of clearance to make you as comfortable as possible when reloading anything from .300 Winchester Magnum to .32 Smith & Wesson, given you’re providing the correct dies.
What’s more, the package includes a copy of the Modern Reloading Guidebook (2019 edition), which contains more than 178 calibers of 38,000 loads in a new large-size format. This kit also offers a bunch of case polishing tools to help you clean and fix up spent casings, such as a primer pocket cleaner, lubricant, and chamfering tool.
Last but not least, we’re looking at another dependable reloading kit from Hornady. The 095160 Lock-N-Load Ammo Plant Kit is a fantastic choice for those looking to move on from practicing with a single-stage press or want to work with a higher ammunition volume offered by a progressive press.
The heart of this kit is a professional-grade Lock-N-Load progressive press, featuring a 5-stage design and an automated indexing system that accommodates a maximum loading rate of 500 rounds per hour.
Similar to the Classic Deluxe we reviewed earlier, this press sports a quick-switch bushing system and an auto-ejection function that lets you change dies in seconds with maximum convenience, saving time and effort.
Additionally, the 095160 Lock-N-Load Ammo Plant Kit is accompanied by a pistol bullet feeder, case feeder, and high-capacity powder measure to facilitate assembling your components for swift operations.
The package also provides you with the Hornady Powder Cop. This case-activated tool helps you check if you’ve loaded a case with too much powder.
While the Powder Cop isn’t supposed to replace careful examination, it’s very useful for doing spot checks on a progressive press where you’re usually dealing with hundreds of rounds every hour.
How to Find the Best Reloading Kit for You
Typically, a reloading kit consists of:
- A loading press
- A loading block
- A reloading powder dispenser
- A powder scale
- Powder dippers
- A powder funnel
- A powder trickler
- Tools for case priming and trimming
- Sets of reloading dies
While you can buy each of these components separately if you’re a beginner or you just want to save yourself the hassle, purchasing a ready-made reloading kit is your best bet. Thankfully there are a few great options for reloading kits for beginners.
You can, later on, replace or add components as you gain experience and become more skillful, and even electronic powder dispensers to save time. To help you get started, the following points are the most important features to check for in a reloading kit:
The loading press is the core of any reloading kit. This device is responsible for holding cases in place during the loading process via dedicated dies.
Presses come in 3 main types, here’s a simple breakdown of each:
- Single-stage press — this type of press is the simplest, least expensive, and easiest to operate. It usually features a large, sturdy frame with the capacity to hold 1 die only, so you get to work only 1 round at a time.
Single-stage presses are also the slowest. They’re often more suitable for beginners because you can pay closer attention to each round as you load them for maximum accuracy.
- Turret press — this type of press is generally similar to a single-stage press but with a rotating ring called a turret, designed to hold multiple dies at the same time (usually 4, 5, or 6).
In some models, you’re required to manually shift and index the turret, while other models feature auto-indexing. Turret presses are suitable for reloading several cartridges at once with a good balance between accuracy and volume.
- Progressive press — this type of press has the most complicated design and operation, but it also offers the largest volume for loading ammunition. Like turret presses, progressive presses hold several dies at once.
However, they’re equipped with various extra components such as a case feeder, powder measure, and round ejector.
Once you’ve figured out the right type of press for your workstation, it’s time to think about adding accessories to make the operation more specific to what you’re planning to achieve.
For example, if you’re going to reuse spent brass, you should consider getting a kit with a catcher that you can mount onto your rifle.
This can save you a lot of hassle when it comes to cleaning up because the casings are immediately collected as opposed to randomly hitting the ground getting dented or stepped on. You can also get a tumbler to bring your used casings to life as it provides more thorough cleaning than you can get from cleaning by hand.
Finally, you should take some time to think about the materials you’ll need to prepare and reload your customized ammunition.
- Casings: you can buy these or reuse them if possible. However, you can’t reuse them for good and you have to keep track of which ones are new and which ones you’ve fired.
- Primers: you can use these only once, so you need to stock them so you’re ready to reload anytime.
- Gunpowder: this exists in a wide range of types and brands so you need to do your homework to determine which powders suit your intended applications.
Choosing a good reloading kit can be a tricky task, especially with so many features to consider such as press type, accessories, and consumables. This is why our list includes only the top-performing products on the market to make sure you end up with a reliable setup no matter what.
That being said, we recommend the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit by RCBS as today’s winner, especially for beginners looking to buy a single-stage press. It provides excellent accuracy, allows you to use Lee dies, lets you prime while on the press, and offers plenty of value for money.