no comments

6 Best Progressive Reloading Press Reviews Of 2017

Believe it or not, ammunition manufacturers rake in a whopping $13.5 billion worth of annual revenue. And that’s not all, from this annual revenue the manufacturers earn $1.15 billion in profits. On the other hand, gun and ammunition stores earn $478 million in profits annually.

So, what is the secret behind these statistics?

Well when you consider that there are over 10 million firearms in use, the statistics start to make sense. After all, all these guns need a steady supply of ammunition. Fortunately, if you do not want to visit your local gun store for ammo on a regular basis, there is an alternative. The alternative to buying ammunition on a regular basis is making your own.

How?

You ask, well with the best progressive reloading press of course. The latter is a piece of hardware that you can use to assemble your gun cartridge from scratch. With a reloading press keeps you from spending huge amounts of money on ammo. However, finding the best progressive press is not as easy as it sounds. With the wide variety of presses available on the market, pinpointing the best can be difficult. In this review, I will share with you the features to look out for in a press. Also, I have compiled a list of six progressive reloading press reviews.

As I have already stated finding the best reloading progressive press can be difficult. This is especially since different presses offer different features. When writing this review, I relied heavily on user reviews. This is with the aim of giving you a better understanding of what people are saying about different presses. Also, I have taken into account expert opinions on different presses. Additionally, I have used some of the progressive reloading press in this review article. Thus, I have also added my own personal experience in this article.


A Quick Comparison Of Best Progressive Reloading Press

Products

Round Per Hour

Images And Check Price

Editors Rating

Dillon Precision 16940 XL 650 223

500 - 800

99%
Excellent

Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press

500

98.5%
Excellent

Lee Precision II Shotshell Reloading Press

200

95%
Good

Dillon Precision 16926 XL

500 to 800

99%
Excellent

Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press

Not Specified

97%
Excellent

Dillon Precision RL550B Progressive Reloading Machine

500

98%
Excellent

Things To Consider When Buying A Progressive Reloading Press

Durability

The best progressive reloading press has to be durable enough to serve you for a good number of years. Therefore, check the material used to make a press before settling on one. I recommend sticking to presses made from cast steel, stainless steel, and rugged polymer plastics. These materials are able to withstand the force and pressure that comes with the process of making a bullet.

 Best Progressive Reloading Press should be durable

The Type Of Ammo You Use

Different progressive reloading presses are designed for reloading different cartridges. Thus, while some are designed for making shotgun shells, others are designed for making bullet cases. As such, make sure the press you settle on is built for reloading the specific type of ammo you use.

types of ammo

Ease Of Use And Assembling

One of the main disadvantages of progressive reloading presses is that they have a lot of moving parts and are thus heavy. In this regard, these types of presses can be difficult to assemble and use. Therefore, when shopping for a progressive reloading press go for one that is easy to use and assemble.

Ideally, the best reloading press needs to have permanent features. This reduces the amount of time spent putting different parts together. Also, I recommend a press that does not entail a lot of processes. Essentially, pulling down the handle should be sufficient to get things done. This means the indexing of shell plates and insertion of cases should be mechanical.

Reloading Rates

How many bullets can you make in an hour? This is the question that you need to ask yourself when shopping for a press. Of course, the number of bullets made in an hour will depend on how experienced you are. All the same, some press brands give you an estimate of how many bullets you can make in an hour. Try to get a press’ reloading rate from user reviews and manufacturers’ websites. This way you will have an idea of which press is best for you.


Best Progressive Reloading Press

Dillon Precision 16940 XL 650 223

If you have been scouting for a progressive press, then you know that on average most reloading presses are capable of producing between 400 and 600 rounders per hour. It is therefore fair to say that the Dillon Precision XL650 is not an average press. This easy to operate progressive reloading press is capable of churning out 800 rounds per hour. This press achieves this number thanks to its automatic indexing system. The process of making bullets is semiautomatic. In fact, with this press, you do not have to cast the dies as they stay perfectly in place.

Features

  • Removable tool head, which ensures that your dies stay in perfect adjustment. Thus, there is no need to screw them; this greatly speeds up the process.
  • Automatic indexing system, with this system there is no need for the manual moving of shell plates, which makes the process easy and fast.
  • One powder measure; This powder measure comes with large and small powder bars, with the small bar installed. With the two bars, you can load any powder from 2.1 to 15 grains of powder for the small and 15 to 55 grains for the large one.

Pros

  • The press is capable of producing between 500 and 800 rounds per hour.
  • All the main processes are automatic.
  • Produces a wide variety of cartridges for both rifles and handguns
  • Comes with the option of adding a bullet and case feeder
  • Comes with a 30-day money back guarantee
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Does not come with dies included
  • Is costly especially when you add the necessary accessories

Verdict

To make this progressive press efficient, you will have to buy both the bullet feeder and case feeder. And while this will greatly increase the overall cost of the press, when you consider what you are getting it is worth it. With this press, there is no manual operation. This is the main reason why it tops my list of the best progressive reloading press reviews.


Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press

Not everyone can afford the Dillon Precision XL650 regardless of how good it is. Fortunately, for us, Hornady Lock N Load offers high-quality reloading presses at affordable prices. One of my favorite Hornady Lock N Load presses is the Auto-Progressive Reloading Press. This press has many features that I love, but the one that has earned it number two on my list is the bushing systems. This system allows me to quickly change dies depending on the caliber I want. With such features, sometimes it’s hard to believe that I got this press for almost half the price of the Dillon XL650.

Features

  • Quick Change Lock N load Bushing systems: This system allows you to quickly change the dies based on the caliber you are working on
  • Case activated powder drop: This feature ensures that powder is only dispensed when there is a case present. This helps you conserve powder and also improves the press’ safety
  • EZject system: This system ejects all cartridges once they are done, this makes removal of cartridges easy and minimizes chances of damage to the cartridges
  • Automatic Indexing system: This system speeds up the production of cartridges
  • Large capacity hopper is capable of accommodating a large number of cases.

Pros

  • Produces cartridges quickly thanks to its automatic indexing system
  • Is built to be stable and durable
  • Comes with a large capacity hopper
  • It is offered at a reasonable price
  • Can be used to make cartridges of varying calibers

Cons

  • It might be difficult to set up for first-time users
  • It is quite heavy

Verdict

Hornady Lock N Load is one of the most reputed progressive reloading press manufacturers in the country. Thus, it should not be surprising that the Auto-progressive reloading press is one of my favorite. While it is costlier than some of its competitors, it offers great value for your money.


Lee Precision II Shotshell Reloading Press 12 GA Load All (Multi)

If you are looking to reload shotshells only, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a progressive reloading press. For less than $ 100 you can get your hands on the Lee precision II reloading press. And I know what you are thinking, at such a price, its quality must be disappointing. Well, that’s what I thought to at first. But after using it for a while, I can confirm that this press produces shells of great quality. In fact, with this press, you will be able to factory quality shells.

Features

  • Large plastic hopper: The hopper on this press is capable of accommodating 5 pounds of shot, which translates to 125 rounds
  • Handle: The handle makes this press easy and convenient to carry or move
  • Built-in primer catcher. This catcher has a door up front which makes it easy to empty primers
  • Recesses; There are recesses at every station, which improves and quickens the positioning of the shells

Pros

  • Can be used to produce 12-gauge, 16-gauge and 20-gauge shells
  • It is lightweight and convenient to carry
  • Can be adjusted from the 2 shell to the 3-inch shell
  • Is capable of producing 200 shells per hour

Cons

  • The press is largely made of plastic materials
  • Can only be used to reload shotgun shells

Verdict

From its affordable price tag to the quality of its shotshells, there is a lot you can expect from this progressive press. It offers great value for your money, and I dare say it is one of the best progressive reloading press for the money.


Dillon Precision 16926 XL 650 45 ACP Progressive Auto Indexing Reloading Machine

Sure Dillon Progressive presses are costly; however, their quality is undeniable. That being said the second Dillon press on the list is the 16926 XL 650 ACP. With plenty of positive reviews online, you can never go wrong with the press. Just like the other Dillon XL 650 on this list, this model churns out 800 rounds per hour. This is well above the number of rounds produced by other presses on an hourly basis. The secret to its fast operation is its automatic indexing system and other features.

Features

  • Automatic indexing system, this system speeds up the process and gives you the ability to churn out 800 rounds per hour
  • In-built Powder drop, this ensures accurate and precise dispensation of powder into each case, meaning that you do not have to manually measure your powder.
  • Case feed tube; this tube automatically loads cases for faster reloading
  • Plastic ball handle, this handle is the one part you turn when you want to produce your rounds

Pros

  • Capable of producing up to 800 rounds per hour
  • It is easy to operate and assemble
  • All the parts are made from high-quality materials
  • Can be used to make rounds of differing calibers

Cons

  • It is quite expensive, especially with the additional accessories
  • Does not have dies included

Verdict

The pricey nature of Dillon progressive presses points to the company’s emphasis on quality. This is the one thing you are guaranteed when you buy the Dillon XL 650 ACP press. And with the addition of accessories such as the case feed motor, your reloading becomes much easier and convenient.


Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret Press

So, which is better single stage vs. progressive reloading press? This is a question that you might be asking yourself. Well, if you want the best of both worlds, I recommend going for the Lyman Reloading Press T-Mag Turret press. The latter will give you the output rate of a progressive press at the price of a single stage press. Unlike the other presses on this list, this press has six stations, which can be operated as one. Also, unlike the other presses, this one is not large or bulky. As such, if you want something convenient and easy to store this is the press for you.

Features

  • Turret head with six stations. With this head, you can work on the different stages of a die all in one place, which really makes work easy.
  • Turret handle, the turret handle can be used for a number of things, one it can be used to remove the turret head and two it can be used for carrying the press.
  • Durable construction. Despite its price, this press is very well made and features iron frame materials with silver hammer tone powder.

Pros

  • Built to be sturdy and durable
  • It is easy to operate for both professionals and beginners
  • Can be used to make both rifle and pistol cartridges
  • It is compatible with all standardly sized dies

Cons

  • The press does not come with dies included
  • The priming process is manual

Verdict

As already stated, this Lyman press offers the best of both worlds. As such, it is the ideal press for both novices and professionals. Needless to say, its output per hour cannot be compared to that of other pricier models. However, its cost to quality ratio is unrivaled.


Dillon Precision RL550B Progressive Reloading Machine

The Dillon Precision RL550B Progressive Reloading Machine is the perfect press for beginners. This press is easy to operate and is known for its practicality and simplicity. A 4 stage progressive reloading press, this press can reload up to 120 different ammunition variants. The reason why I placed this last on my list is its manual indexing system. However, this should not discourage you from buying it. On the contrary, it is built for simplicity, and not sophistication as its other siblings on this list are. Also, since the four stations are operated at once, it saves time and can produce 400 to 600 rounds per hour.

Features

  • Sturdy 4 stage design, this design is simple and allows you to produce up to 600 rounds per hour, 200 less than its siblings, which is quite impressive for a press built for beginners
  • Removable tool head, the tool head makes work easy and there is no need to adjust the dies once they are set up
  • Manual indexing system, this system is not automatic but can still churn out a decent number of rounds per hour

Pros

  • Can produce up to 500 rounds per hour
  • Comes with a caliber conversion kit
  • It is easy to use
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Does not have dies included
  • Maintenance of the press can prove challenging

Verdict

The last entry into my list may have a manual indexing system, but this is not to say that it is not worth its price tag. On the contrary, built on the foundation of Dillon’s reputation, this reloading press has all the features of a great progressive reloading press. Additionally, it is the perfect press for a newbie.


Conclusion

All the six reloading presses reviewed above have their own uniqueness that earns them a place on the list. Therefore, the best progressive reloading press will depend largely on what you are looking for. If you want quality that is uncompromising any one of the Dillon models will do. On the other hand, if you want a reliable and affordable press for your shotgun shells, the Lee Precision II will be ideal. On the other hand, if you are looking for a cheap progressive reloading press the Lyman is the one you want. In conclusion, this list has something for everyone.

Reply