Need something that will allow you to reload ammo more efficiently?
Then the best progressive reloading press is what you are looking for!
If you are done with a single-stage or turret reloading press and want to step up the game, progressive reloading press is the only way.
Experienced vets know how to choose and what to choose but most beginners don’t.
So if you are a beginner, looking forward to getting yourself an ideal progressive reloading press, here is where you are going to get it.
We have found out the 6 most efficient progressive reloading presses of the market right now, take a look below!
- Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Press Loader
- Hornady 095160 Lock-N-Load Ammo Plant
- Lee Preciesion 90938 Load Master Progressive Press
6 Best Progressive Reloading Press Reviewed
At the top, we have the Lock-N-Load auto progressive reloading press from Hornady that can reload over 500 rounds every hour smoothly. It is a 5 station professional-grade reloading press.
Has auto-indexing and lock n load bushing feature, this makes this press pretty efficient. With this very reloading press, you will be able to stop reloading, change the die and start reloading another caliber in less than 5 seconds, all credit goes to the 5 station bushing system. Shifting from 223 – 45 doesn’t take more than 5 minutes.
This press comes with a powder measure and that uses quick-change metering inserts. And due to that, you are allowed to shift from one powder type to another using the button, a push is all it takes.
For reliable cartridge ejection, there is an EZ-JECT system, you get reliable eject every time without much adjustment.
If we talk about operating this loader, that is super smooth. Use the handle you will feel the smoothness and the responsiveness of this reloading press. It features automatic indexing, priming, and ejection, so this makes this reloader pretty efficient and easy to work with.
The machine comes with 5 locks and Load Bushings, cartridge bin (1 large), primer backup tube, rotors, powder measure, powder drop, and metering inserts.
To start reloading you will be needing only two things additionally which are shell plates and the dies, and you are all set to go.
- Features fast change lock and load bushing system and metering inserts.
- Comes with a super reliable ejection system.
- Has auto-indexing, priming, and ejecting feature.
- Has pretty rugged and top-notch construction.
- A very efficient reloading press can reload more than 500 rounds Per Hour.
- Super smooth and responsive progressive press.
If you need to a lot of rounds reloading often then this Hornady 095160 lock and load ammo plant might be your thing. It is a high-capacity progressive reloading press that works very efficiently.
Anyone who has used a progressive reloading press before will know the difference by just a single pull of the handle of this press. It is so smooth and super responsive.
It is heavily constructed, you won’t have to worry at all about the build quality of this very unit. It comes with a system called Power-Pack linkage and this is an incredible system. ‘
What it does is, accelerates and doubles down the leverage is applied to pull the handle. Isn’t that so amazing?
It comes with a bunch of needed accessories, 3 cartridge bins, 3 primer tubes (large), 3 prime tubes (small), 2 primer slide springs, Pistol metering insert, rotor, dies wrench, and powder cop.
You will have to get the shell plates and dies, and you can start reloading.
- Extremely efficient and responsive reloading press.
- Powerpack linkage multiplies the leverage put on the handle.
- Heavily constructed reloading press.
- Comes with all the accessories except shell plate and dies.
- Very easy to work with and higher round reloading capacity.
- It is a very expensive reloading press.
Here we have the Lee Precision 90938 loadmaster reloading press, another top-of-the-line progressive press that is satisfying a lot of users.
Capacity-wise, this loadmaster falls slightly short because this one can reload 400 rounds per hour when our top two Hornady presses can do a minimum of 500 rounds every hour.
Apart from that, every other thing of this very press is great.
Comes with 5 stations that can do their tasks smoothly. Another impressive feature of this very model is, it has loadmaster pro auto desk measure which makes sure there won’t be any powder spill or leak during the reloading.
This press is suitable for all the 7/8-inch to 14-inch dies, this makes the press pretty versatile. With this press, you will get the assurance that every shell is filled with an accurate volume before it is crimped.
The ammo quality will be pretty consistent thanks to the automatic dispensing system. And if we talk about operating this machine, that is very easy too. This machine is very responsive and the reloading is super-efficient.
- This machine has a very rugged construction.
- Compatible working with large cartridges.
- Suitable to all the common dies.
- Reloads very efficiently and smoothly.
- Prevents powder leaking and spillage.
What is a Progressive Reloading Press?
It is actually a machine that is used in assembling cartridges. You gather all the materials such as bullets, casing, primer, and gun powder. And a machine that puts all these together and gives you complete ammo is a reloading press.
A progressive reloading press is a little complex, beginners might find it a little hard to master at the beginning but with continuous use, anyone should get a good hang of it.
Progressive reloading presses are extremely efficient, they can give at least 400 bullets production within an hour, this is the least it can do.
It comes with all the needed accessories so it requires very minimal hand operation, most of the thing the press does on its own with full accuracy.
Some progressive reloading presses come with powder measuring and deburring features as well.
Do you know how a progressive press operates? No? Check this out.
Not every progressive press is the same, some are designed differently and have different functions. So different reloading presses work a little differently.
Presses come with different stations, each station has a task to complete. And how one press works depends on the stations. Most progressive presses come with 4-5 stations and they are good to go with.
Not only the stations, but the amount of automated attachments on the press also makes different presses work a little differently.
That being said, the basic remains the same.
- You will every progressive reloading press features a bunch of stationary dies.
- Each of those dies does a task, different dies have different tasks. The tasks are, removing a used primer from the casing, resizing a casing and giving it a proper shape, dropping the right powder amount into the bullet, putting a new primer, crimping a casing to close, etc.
- There is a lever or handle, when that is pulled, all the tasks are done together.
- A shell plate moves the bullet rounds from one to another die and it keeps going in a cycle.
- And when a die is emptied, which means the shell plate has moved it to another die, you put a new shell into the first die. And keep doing it in a loop.
Types of Progressive Reloading Press
The progressive press is one of the reloading press types. But they are also a little different from each other’s though the basics are the same. However, below we have tried to give a broad idea about the differences.
There are some progressive presses that can reload a large range of rifle rounds and pistols. But there are some which are only designed for specific cartridges such as shotgun reloading press.
You cannot you a shotgun reloading press for pistol reloading for obvious reasons.
The reason why different brands have come up with specific cartridge reloading press is, changing between different rounds takes a good amount of time which makes the reloading a little inefficient.
Reloading with cartridge-specified progressive reloading presses is super-efficient.
As you know progressive press comes with a lot of stations through which the casings go.
There are two options, one is automatic and another is manual.
In automatic indexing the casing moves automatically to the next station, you won’t have to put that with your hand. You just cycle the handle and the case will move to the next station.
And on the manual indexing, the case station needs to be changed manually which is obviously time-consuming.
Despite automatic indexing being fast, still, a lot of people choose manual indexing due to its less complex procedure.
If you are a beginner, automatic indexing might seem a little hard to understand.
There are mainly three types of reloading press, if you have been into this reloading industry for while you must know it.
If you are a beginner it is mandatory that you keep knowledge about each type so that you can choose the one that fits your needs.
And that is exactly why we have made this comparison between Progressive vs Single-stage and Turret reloading press.
We tried to make it detailed enough to help every beginner, take a look!
If you are a beginner who has never done reloading before, a single-stage reloading press will be the best choice for you, no doubt on that.
A single-stage reloading press is a very simple machine that can be figured by anyone and that is why they are the best for beginners.
Compared to the progressive reloading press, Single-stage reloading presses are way too affordable, this is another reason why a beginner should consider choosing this at the beginning. You will get an entire kit of single-stage reloading press by a progressive reloading press price.
A progressive reloading press is a little complicated and there is a fair reason behind that. With a single-stage press, you won’t be able to load above 100 rounds but with a progressive reloading press, you will be able to produce at least 500 rounds per hour which is huge.
Compared to single-stage reloading press, progressive reloading press requires more maintenance as well because it has a lot of moving parts, and you need to be very careful with them if you want them to function well every time.
A turret reloading press is better than a single-stage reloading press. Unlike single-stage reloading press, Turret press has a couple of stations to hold a bunch of dies at the same time.
And with turret press user will have to just turn the handle, and it will automatically turn the disks where the die is held.
With the single-stage reloading press, you cannot load more than 100 rounds under 1 hour but with turret press, you can double down the amount. But compared to the progressive press that is still low.
Benefits of Getting a Progressive Reloading Press
If shooting is your hobby and you do it very often then having a reloading press can save a lot of your bucks. Every time buying the factory-made rounds costs a lot of money, you can save the entire cost if you reload by yourself.
Plus, you get accurate reloading when factory-made reloads are not accurate most of the time.
When you have a reloading press you can produce rounds as much as you need and you can reload in your way.
Now let me tell you what the benefit of owning a progressive reloading press is.
The only and extremely helpful benefit of owning a progressive reloading press is, you will be able to produce around 500 rounds every hour and that is huge. The more rounds you can produce, the better shooting practice you can do.
How to Choose the Best Progressive Reloading Press?
Before you go to the market and pick any progressive reloading press, let us tell you there are several factors to consider. And if you just go and pick whatever you get, that could be a complete waste of money. You should choose a press that will satisfy your needs and know that deep inspection is mandatory.
Below we have listed few factors that everyone should think of before buying a reloading press, check them out.
Progressive reloading presses are pretty expensive and you need to be very careful when choosing the brand. Because the brand tells a lot about the product.
There is no way you should go with unknown brands, doesn’t matter how low their prices are, just ignore them.
Progressive presses are expensive and you won’t like to waste a big amount just to save few bucks.
We would suggest you pick a model from reliable, well-reputed brands. Well-reputed old brands will never mess with their product quality. Plus, you will get a good warranty and top-notch customer service as well.
Though they might be a little expensive in the long run they will be worth it.
There are reloading presses designed for a specific set of ammo and you need to know what ammo or cartridge the press is suitable with before making the final call. ‘
There is no point in purchasing a pistol reloading press when you have to reload shotgun ammo, right?
And if you are intended to work on different calibers, then go for a reloader that allows different caliber change, there are a bunch of them.
How much ammo the reloading press can produce under a given time, knowing this is extremely important. For example, if you have a lot of reloading but the press can only reload 100 per hour. Surely, this will take a lot of time and make you wait for long. And this is something that advanced-level vets hate.
If you are a beginner then stick with a press that gives a small amount of reloads per hour, no issue with that. But shooters who shoot 1000 or more rounds daily then need something that will give more faster reload rate.
So before you pick a press check what is the reloading rate of that. Most of the information is wrong. And in that case, you will have to rely on customer reviews.
An ideal progressive reloading press should produce around 500 to 600 rounds every hour.
You won’t want to pick a reloading press that will cause you to break sweats when operating. A manual reloading press is irritating since you will have to do everything manually. But there are some automatic presses that are super easy to work with. Choose one from them.
Progressive reloading press comes with different stations and each station has different tasks. If you are a regular shooter then you will have to go with a press that has a minimum of 4-5 stations. If the budget allows, go for even 6 stations progressive reloading press.
Some manufacturers give the needed accessories with the reloading press while some keep them separated and consumers need to buy the accessories separately.
So when you are out buying a reloading press, try to choose a model that comes with all the accessories. That being said, do not compromise on the quality just become one that comes with all the accessories, in the long run, you will suffer more.
There is some reloading press that has automatic indexing and some have manual indexing. With automatic indexing you won't have to change the case with your hands, it will happen automatically when you use the handle. And with a manual index, you will have to do the case changing manually.
Some beginners like the manual one since that are very easily understood.
So when you are out for buying a reloading press, try to choose a model that comes with all the accessories. That being said, do not compromise on the quality just become one that comes with all the accessories, in the long run, you will suffer more.
How to Use a Progressive Reloading Press?
After you have purchased a reloading press, then the next thing that should be done is purchasing the top reloading manual.
Doesn’t matter if you have a mentor or not, experts still suggest getting a good reloading manual. But do not get started with different manuals at the beginning you will get confused.
Get started with the good one.
After reading the manual you should be able to install the reloading press all by yourself. So now let’s get into the reloading process.
- Start with one casing, put that on station 1 on the shell plate and then pull the handle down which will bring that case into the sizing die.
- Then pull the handle off in order to put the casing on station 2 when a primer will go to the priming stating and will set a new primer to the case.
- Now you will have to fine-tune the press base adjustment screw in order to adjust the depth of primer seating.
- And when you put the case into the priming station, meanwhile put the next casing on station 1. When you pull the handle down the case also goes down and when the handle is up the shell lowers in order to index the casting into station 2.
- Insert the primer at the 2nd station.
- Now set another used casing on station 1 and then pull the handle down. Doing so will get the first case into a powder measure adaptor and this is where the press will put the primer into the case. When the shell plate lowers the press will index the case for the reloading station.
- Now check the shell plate for the casing and put that on the reloading scale in order to check the weight. Then return the case to station 4.
- Set another used casing on station 1 and then pull the lever up. The station 4 casing will be set to another die and then the shell plates put the casing low and then that becomes indexed for station 5.
- Now you will have to do the ideal adjustment for the eject spring case. All you have to do is ensure that the case ejects the sets close to the shell plate with no touching.
- Put another casing on station 1 when you see the shell plate goes up, meanwhile, the case on station 5 will go for the bullet seating die.
- Then you will have to put the bullet over the case and onto the seater, the moment the shell plates lowers the press will put the case to the ejection tray.
How to Maintain a Progressive Reloading Press?
Progressive reloading press surely saves a lot of time by delivering a lot of rounds within a short time. But it also takes a lot of time and effort for maintaining it, especially when it is not being used.
If you want your reloading press to perform as new, you will have to ensure that you keep that well maintained always. Here is how you should maintain your progressive reloading press.
- Whenever you are using the reloading press make sure you use only clean tools. Do not use any dirty tools because that will make the press dirty.
- You should oil all the moving parts of the press machine once a year at least, try to do it twice. Doing this will ensure the machine function smoothly.
- After you finish reloading 1000 rounds clean the primer slide. If you can do that after every 500 rounds that would be great. But make sure you must do it after every 1000 rounds.
- Keep adjusting the indexing pawls after every 10000 reloads.
- Do not put the wrong case on the case feeder.
- Corrosion or dirt in the brass can damage the dies and the cartridges, so use vibrating case cleaner for the brass.
- Closely inspect the brass to find any defective or split cases.
- In order to know about the incorrect and missing powder charges use a powder check die.
- The spilled powder is something that you cannot stop from happening, but it would be wise if you use canned air and a small paintbrush to tackle that. Do not use a vacuum cleaner that could be very risky.
- If anyhow you feel like you have jammed primer, the stop working immediately and very carefully clean that.
Frequently Asked Questions
We can take only one name since there are a few brands that have done a really great job at making progressive reloading presses. Look at Hornady, Lyman, Lee, there are some others as well.
All the models we have listed above are pretty accurate. You can check all of them and choose one that you find most accurate.
Yes, mostly they are accurate. But some progressive reloading presses are not as accurate as advertised, so you have to be careful when picking.
Got your hands on the best progressive reloading press already? Congratulations! And in any case, if you didn’t yet, comment below on what you are struggling with. Will be glad to help.