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The 5 Best Reloading Kits for Beginners

Best Reloading Kits for BeginnersIf you’re new to reloading your own ammo, you’re best served by getting the best reloading kits for beginners.

That starts with a reloading press that even a newbie shouldn’t have any trouble with figuring out. The reloading press will be the centerpiece of the entire kit, so you will need the best reloading press for beginners.

Then come the accessories, which can be troublesome to figure out on your own if you’re new to reloading. You may have trouble finding the best accessories, and the ones you get separately may not even work properly with your reloading kit.

That’s the beauty of a reloading kit. You also get the accessories you need to start almost right away, as you may only need a few items more to start reloading.

But not all reloading kits are the same. That’s why we have this guide so you can find the best reloading kit for starters that suits your needs.

Reloading Kit Comparison Chart

Check out what’s in store for you with our list of the best reloading kits for beginners. This table should quickly let you know what you’re going to get.

Reloading Kit Reloading Press Type Scale Type Reloading Manual View on Amazon
LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit Turret press Mechanical Modern Reloading 2nd Edition Check Price
RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit Single stage press Mechanical Nosler #7 Reloading manual Check Price
LEE PRECISION Anniversary Challenger Kit II Single stage press Mechanical None Check Price
Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kits Single stage Digital Hornady Reloading Handbook Check Price
Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit Progressive None None Check Price

Top Reloading Kits for Beginners

Reloading kits are convenient for newbies, as you immediately have the accessories that ought to work properly with the reloading press. Even if you don’t get all the accessories you need to get to work right away, you only need to buy a few more accessories to complete your reloading equipment.

Some reloading kits are especially terrific, particularly if you’re an absolute beginner. Here are some of the top-rated reloading kits that you should consider.

LEE PRECISION Classic Turret Press Kit

Features
  • This kit and a set of Lee dies is everything you need to begin reloading
  • Note: the Bench Plate system the Classic Turret Press is mounted to in the photo is sold separately.
  • Made in USA
  • The kit includes the Pro Auto-Drum powder measure and riser, perfect for all handgun and small rifle cartridges.

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lee Precision is one of the more famous brands in the business, as it was founded by an actual reloader intent on improving the reloading presses at the time of the company’s founding.

The kit includes the following:

  • Classic Turret Press with auto-indexing
  • Auto-drum powder measure
  • Powder measure riser
  • Large and small safety prime
  • Case conditioning tools (lock stud, large and small primer pocket cleaner, chamfer tool, cutter, and tube of Lee case sizing lube)
  • Cartridge-specific case length gauge
  • Modern Reloading 2nd Edition

This Classic Turret Press is especially efficient, as it may let you work fast enough to get 250 rounds per hour. You do have to practice to get to that level, but it sure is much more efficient than a regular single stage press.

The press has auto-indexing, but it best to disengage it first when you use the turret press to resize and deprime some rifle rounds. You can then trim the brass (as needed), before you go back to auto-indexing as you use the turret press to prime and charge the case, seat the bullet, and then crimp the case.

For these tasks, you’ll need the right dies. These are separate purchases, but that should be easy enough.

The case trimming and maintenance tools here work very well, even if they may seem cheap when you use them. The primer feeds are just as good as the more expensive ones.

You even have a reloading manual here, though of course you’ll need to add more books to be on the safe side.

This kit works for pistol and rifle rounds, and it’s terrific for pistol rounds. But it may not be the rifle reloading kit for beginners you need, as larger rifle cases will require you to go with manual indexing.

There’s a scale as well, and it works nicely enough. However, some newbies find it tedious to use especially when compared to a digital scale.

Pros
  • Extremely cost-effective
  • Efficient press
  • Plenty of accessories that work very well
  • Comes with a reloading manual
Cons
  • Not as efficient for rifle rounds
  • Lots of newbies prefer digital scales

RCBS 9354 RC Supreme Master Kit

Features
  • Includes nosler #7 reloading manual

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The RCBS brand has long been associated with the reloading industry, and it’s known for their high-quality products.

This kit contains:

  • Rock Chucker Supreme Press
  • M500 Mechanical Scale
  • Hand Priming Tool
  • Uniflow Powder Measure
  • Hand Priming Tool
  • Universal Case Load Block
  • .17-.60 Deburr Tool
  • Hex Key Set
  • Case Lube Kit
  • Powder Funnel
  • Nosler #7 Reloading manual

The classic Rock Chucker Supreme Press is the very centerpiece of this kit, as it’s perhaps one of the best (if not the best) single stage reloading presses around.

If you’re a newbie, the first thing you have to do is to go through the manual thoroughly. This isn’t just a compilation of reloading recipes, as you also get a detailed explanation of the whole reloading process.

You can then start using this kit, once you get the right dies that work for the caliber of the rounds you’re reloading.

The accessories work as well as you’d expect, and the whole kit is fairly complete aside from the expected lack of dies. You’re able to lubricate the cases, deburr the necks, charge the cases with powder with consistent accuracy, and hold the rounds.

The mechanical scale here along with the hand priming tools have their good points and drawbacks.

The mechanical scale does take a while to master, and it’s not as efficient as a simpler digital scale. On the other hand, the weight readings you’ll get with this mechanical scale may be nearer to the actual weight than what the digital scale will read out.

The hand primer tool is also easy to use, but you may just end up using the priming arm on the press instead.

Pros
  • Terrific single stage press
  • Complete accessories for just about all reloading tasks
  • Accurate scale
  • Consistent powder charges
  • Easy to use priming tool
Cons
  • Most newbies prefer digital scales
  • The hand priming tool can be tedious

LEE PRECISION Anniversary Challenger Kit II

Sale
Features
  • Includes the Lee Safety Scale which is very sensitive
  • Has a power funnel to fill the case
  • A chamfer tool camfers the insdie and outside of thecase mouth

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Quite a few veteran reloaders don’t really have a lot of nice things to say about this kit. But that’s because this is a kit that’s specifically geared towards newbies who don’t know much about reloading at all.

Check out the kit components:

  • Breech Lock Challenger Press
  • One Breech Lock quick-change bushing
  • Complete powder-handling system, with powder measure
  • Lee Safety Prime Small and Large Primer Feeder
  • Lee Safety Scale
  • Powder funnel
  • Chamfer tool
  • Case sizing lube

The Challenger Press is great and easy to use, though it’s limited to a single bushing. If you’re constantly changing calibers, then you need to buy extra bushings so you don’t have change dies all the time.

The mechanical scale here is probably what most newbies will want to replace right away, since it’s not as quick and easy to use as a digital scale. Still, it’s quite accurate and you may want to keep it around to make sure your digital scale is working properly.

The case prep tools are so-so, but you can replace them for just $20 with a good case prep multi-tool. The lube isn’t exactly perfect, but you can always go with carbide sizing dies instead.

All in all, this kit works well enough especially for the price. Be sure to get a reloading manual, along with a caliper and reloading tray.

Pros
  • Fairly complete
  • Bushings allow for quick die changes
  • Accurate mechanical scale
  • Cost-effective
Cons
  • Most newbies don’t like mechanical scales
  • You need a better set of case prep tools

Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press Kits

Features
  • included components: LNL Classic Kit

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While there are 2 kits available here, if you have the budget then you may as well get the Lock-N-Load Classic Kit Deluxe for a truly complete kit.

This kit gives you a lot:

  • Hornady Classic press
  • Digital Scale
  • Primer Catcher
  • Positive Priming System
  • Handheld Priming Tool
  • Universal Reloading Block
  • Chamfer & Deburr Tool
  • Lock-N-Load Powder Measure
  • 6 total Lock-N-Load Die Bushings
  • Powder Trickler
  • Powder Funnel
  • 5-ounce One Shot Case Lube
  • Lock-N-Load Straight OAL Gauge
  • Pistol Rotor & Metering Assembly
  • Powder Measure Stand
  • Shell holders 1, 2, 5, 16, 35
  • Kinetic Bullet Puller
  • Decorative Tin Sign
  • 6 Sure-Loc Lock Rings
  • Steel Dial Caliper
  • Reloading Handbook

Reloading manual present? Check.

That means you get a handy guide on how to reload, plus you get the loading recipes you need for your rounds.

Digital scale? It’s here.

This type of scale is generally faster and easier to use, as you can just check the readout instead of balancing weights up top.

Topnotch single stage press? The reloading press here is good enough that some think that this is best reloading kit for precision rifle rounds if you’re a newbie.

Everything’s basically here, and that means you only need the dies to get started. The dies aren’t included simply because the dies you buy must match the calibers you work on.

With the bushing system, you also have a simple die setup so you don’t waste time. The handle offers nice leverage so you can go about your work smoothly.

You get nice visibility due to the design and frame angle, and you enjoy better access to the cartridge as you go about your work. The frame of the press is tough, and you get the durability and stability you want.

Pros
  • Terrific press
  • Extremely complete kit
  • Bushings system for quick die changes
  • Digital scale
  • Comes with reloading manual
Cons
  • Not a cheap reloading kit (since you get more in return)
  • As you get better, you’ll still need a progressive press eventually

Lee Precision Load Master 45 Reloading Pistol Kit

Features
  • Load Master Reloading Pistol Kit
  • Cast Aluminum
  • 7/8"x 14

Last update on 2020-10-29 /  Affiliate Links (#ad)  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now if you own a pistol and you think you can deal with a progressive press even if you’re a newbie, you should take a look at this handgun reloading kit.

This set is actually not just for the 45 ACP. It’s also for the 38 Special, 357 Mag, 9mm Luger, 40 S&W, 44 Special, and the 44 Mag, and 45 Colt, but only if you buy the right die set for these.

The dies are even carbide, which offer better durability. You also won’t have to lubricate the cases first before you resize them.

This comes with the following:

  • Load-Master progressive press
  • 3-die reloading set
  • 4 case feed tubes
  • Explosion shield
  • case feed rod, cylinder and plate
  • case slider
  • 4 disks (A, B, C & D)
  • Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure
  • red powder hopper and cover
  • bead chain
  • brass hopper nuts
  • folding primer tray
  • plastic bin and bracket

This comes with 5 stations, though as a newbie you may even want to try this out as a single stage press. Once you’re more familiar with it, you can then use the 3-die set and may get more dies for the 5 stations.

With a progressive press, even a relative newbie to reloading can end up with 400 reloaded rounds per hour. That’s a huge increase from 100 rounds an hour.

This may well be the best reloading kit for the money. The press and the accessories work nicely, though are key missing pieces.

First, you need a reloading manual with a comprehensive section on reloading basics. You’ll also need a digital scale for easy use.

Pros
  • Comes with a handy die set for 45 ACP
  • Progressive press offers extremely efficient reloading
  • Accessories work nicely
Cons
  • It’s a bit more complicated than a single stage press
  • You still need to buy dies for different calibers
  • You have to buy a reloading manual and a digital scale

 

The Basics of Reloading

Here’s a quick primer on what reloading is, and why you need to know about it.

What’s Reloading?

Reloading is basically recycling spent ammo components, so you don’t have to keep buying new ammunition made in a factory. This is a process that also called handloading.

When you reload your own ammo, you use a reloading press to work on the brass cases that have already been fired. You have to put the brass case back to its proper size, remove the spent primer and put in a new one, pour the right amount of the right powder, and seat in the bullet inside the case.

You then end up with a reloaded cartridge ready to fire again. Even as a new but with the best starter reloading kit, you can practice your skills so that you can reload 400 cases inside an hour.

Why Reload Your Own Ammo?

Production of cartridges for a rifle, reload. measurement of the empty cartridges with a calipeIt’s true that you can just buy your own ammo for your shooting needs.

But it’s also true that buying your own ammo every time you practice your shooting skills can be a terribly expensive proposition. Reloading your own ammo, by reusing the brass and by putting in the bullet and the powder into the case, can cut down your ammo expenses by half.

As you get better, you may even be able to reload your ammo according to your own specs. You can even end up with more accurate rounds compared to factory-made rounds.

Sometimes you may use older cartridges for which factory ammunition aren’t that common, so you need to reload to keep using it. Reloading, you may even work with wildcat cartridges, for which there are absolutely no factory ammo available.

Reloading ammunition for beginners, especially with the right kit.

Can You Really Save a Lot of Money?

It’s true that for cheap ammo such as 9mm rounds, you may end up with minimal savings in the short term. You may save maybe 20% off the price.

But for other rounds such as match-grade .308, the savings can be quite substantial. Terrific .308 ammo you can use for serious shooting may cost as much as $2 a round, but you reload your own “just as good” ammo for only 70¢ a round.

Consider that you can spend maybe $800 to get 1,000 rounds of .223 Remington ammo. But it would only cost you perhaps $500 for the first 1,000 of those rounds.

That’s because you have to spend maybe $200 for an ammo reloading kit for beginners. That means that the next 1,000 rounds will only cost you $300!

How Reloading Works

So how does reloading actually work?

Here are the exact steps you can expect:

  1. Reloading starts with you picking up your casings once you’ve fired your bullets. These are the cartridges you’d be reloading, just in case that hasn’t occurred to you yet.
  2. After firing your ammo, those used casings will be dirty and the dirt can mess up your reloaded rounds. That means you have to clean all those casings first, and you use a reloading tumbler for that.
  3. When you have the shiny brass, you then use your reloading press for many of the steps of the reloading process.
  4. You have to resize the brass, since there will be some dents and other sizing issues.
  5. You also have to take out the spent primer and put in a new one.
  6. After that, you have to add gunpowder, with the right type and weight of powder for your caliber.
  7. Then you have to seat the bullet inside the casing, at the right depth. This may be hard to insert, so you may have to “bell” the casing to let you insert the bullet more easily.
  8. Once that’s done, you may want to “crimp” round, which means tucking things in so the bullet is secure inside the casing.

Most of these steps will require a reloading press, plus dies that will do the specific tasks for reloading. You will need separate dies for resizing, bullet seating, and so on.

With a reloading press and the right die, you can do a particular task simply by pulling a handle.

Since you’ll put in gunpowder at the right weight, you’ll need scales to make sure you’re putting in the right amount of powder.

You’ll find that you’ll need certain other accessories to do everything, which explains why you need the ammo reloading kit in the first place.

What are the Best Reloading Kits for Beginners?

Reloading Kits for BeginnersIt’s simple—it’s one you can use for a long while.

Newbies to reloading can’t do much right off, as they need to learn every step of the process. It won’t be easy, which is why they need a good reloading kit for beginners.

Everything has to work together to make things easier. It would also be nice if it comes with a manual already, though if you’re a newbie you should get one right away.

If it’s easy to use, then the reloading kit can get you hooked as your efforts are rewarded. It won’t be frustrating, which may discourage you from continuing to learn how to reload your own ammo.

What’s the best multi stage reloading kit for beginners?

If you’re a newbie who wants a multi-stage reloading kit, the centerpiece of the kit can be a turret press.

The turret press allows for much faster work, since you won’t have to remove and replace dies for specific tasks. The multi-stage design of the turret press lets you move the round more efficiently from one stage to another.

Things to Consider Before Buying Reloading Kits for Beginners

There are 2 basic factors to consider here. One is the quality of the reloading press itself, and the other factor is about the accessories you get with that press.

Type of Reloading Press

There are several types of reloading press you can consider as the centerpiece of the best reloader for beginners.

One is the single stage reloading press, which is affordable and simpler to learn. It does the job slower, though, but for a student reloader that’s not a bad thing.

The single stage is often regarded as the best press for newbies, and even veterans still use them after upgrading to more efficient progressive presses. Among the most popular reloading tips for beginners is that you start with the single stage.

The progressive type is what the veterans mostly use, as this will speed up the process considerably. With the single press you can maybe manage to reload 100 rounds (once you get good at it) per hour, but with the progressive press you can do 500 rounds or more per hour.

The progressive is best bullet reloader press, no doubt about it.

It’s just that the progressive press is more complicated, so it may not be the best for absolute newbies. Also, it’s much more expensive.

There’s another type which is called the turret press, and like the single stage press it allows you to use only one die at a time on your round.

However, you have several different dies already set on the turret press, so that you won’t have to keep removing and putting in a new die for a new reloading task.

Quality of the Press

A good reloading press for a newbie has to be easy to use, which is often why the single stage press is commonly recommended model for beginners.

A good single stage press can still offer excellent quality, if it does the job and it’s easy for you to set up and put in your dies. The press also has to be durable, so that you can rely on it to work for you for many years to come.

Accessories

A reloading kit for newbies should have the needed accessories for the reloaderA reloading kit for newbies should have the needed accessories for the reloader to start working as quickly as possible. Ideally, you should get all the accessories you need to start reloading right out of the box.

The accessories you need to buy (if they’re not part of the kit) include the following:

  • Dies for each specific task in the reloading process
  • Large and small primer
  • Powder measure and funnel
  • scale
  • Other various tools such as lock stud, caliper, cutter, and chamfer tool
  • Case sizing lube
  • Bullet puller
  • Reloading manual

You’ll also need a reloading bench, but this is rarely included in reloading kits. If you’re a newbie then you’ll likely need to buy or make your own reloading bench.

Quality of the Accessories

Having plenty of accessories is generally a good thing. That saves you time and effort in buying these parts and tools separately.

However, it’s not that helpful if the accessories you get are of much lower quality. These tools may slow down the work considerably with frequent mistakes, and you may end up with substandard reloaded ammo as a result.

You may end up replacing most of the accessories, which waste your time. Also, you paid good money for tools you didn’t really use.

Again, these accessories should last a long while so that you won’t have to keep replacing them. They should all work with the reloading press and it should be easy for a newbie to use these accessories.

Make sure that the reloading press and all the accessories also work for the calibers you plan on reloading.

Who Makes the Best Reloading Kits for Beginners?

That’s ultimately up to you to decide. Go online and check out the opinions of both newbies and veterans to reloading, and you’ll certainly find that there’s no consensus.

What’s clearly evident, however, is that your best option is to go with the more recognized brands. These brands are famous for their reliable reloading kits, and often they offer them at cost-effective prices.

This is why we stuck to iconic brands like Hornady, RCBS, and Lee Precision. There brands are famous for their high-quality reloading equipment.

Final Verdict

The super-complete Lock-N-Load Classic Kit Deluxe from Hornady may be the beginner reloading kit, if you want everything but the dies as part of the package. The press and all the accessories work well, and you’ll have an enjoyable time learning to reload your own ammo.

With the Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Kit Deluxe, you get the best complete reloading kit.

Still, all our recommended kits are among the best reloading kits for beginners, so you can try any of them and you won’t regret it.

FAQs of Reloading Kits for Beginners

How do you know how much powder (and what kind of powder) to use for your rounds?

For that, you need a reloading manual. The info here can give you the precise “recipes” for various calibers, and you can get other needed technical details like the proper case length required.

Why can’t you start with a progressive press?

It’s true that the progressive press is much more efficient than a single stage press.

But a single stage press is easier to learn, plus it’s much more affordable. It will also help you to learn more about each step of the reloading process.

Even when you upgrade to a progressive press, you can still use a single stage press as a veteran reloader when you want to end up with extremely accurate rounds.

Is a turret press a good choice for a newbie?

This is a press that’s more efficient than a single stage, but less efficient than the progressive.

It’s not a coincidence that it’s also more expensive than a single stage (in general), but not as expensive as a progressive.

It’s also more complicated to use than a single stage press, though simpler than a progressive press.

 

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