Top 5 Best Progressive Reloading Presses From Beginner to Advanced

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So, you want to jump into the world of progressive reloading? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
For enthusiasts venturing into the world of ammunition reloading, the choice of equipment can significantly impact the efficiency, enjoyment, and quality of your reloading experience.

Among the many tools available, a progressive reloading press stands out as a cornerstone for those looking to produce high volumes of rounds with a blend of speed and precision not found in single-stage or turret presses.

Whether you’re a novice entering the realm of reloading or a seasoned veteran seeking to upgrade your setup, understanding the nuances among the top progressive reloading presses is crucial.

These machines offer an intricate dance of depriming, resizing, powder charging, bullet seating, and crimping—all in a synchronized motion that saves time without compromising the meticulous attention to detail required for the perfect round.

The market offers an array of progressive reloading presses designed to cater to various proficiency levels—from beginners to advanced users. Each model and brand brings unique features, enhancements, and ergonomic designs to simplify the reloading process while elevating the consistency and quality of the produced ammunition.

The following article will do our best to boil it down to the 5 best progressive reloading presses. From models that ease beginners into the technical complexity of reloading to advanced presses that boast unparalleled efficiency and customization for the experts.

So, no matter where you are in terms of your experience level, our guide will help make an informed decision that aligns your reloading goals.

What Is a Progressive Reloading Press?

A Progressive Reloading Press is an essential tool for those dedicated to shooting sports, offering a more efficient means to produce large quantities of ammunition. Unlike a single-stage reloading press, a progressive press allows for the completion of multiple steps in the reloading process with a single pull of the press handle. The heart of this system is the tool head, located at the top of the press, which can hold multiple reloading dies for resizing, de-priming, bullet seating, and crimping.

This setup is perfect for shooters of rifle and handgun cartridges, as well as those loading shotgun shells. Features like auto-indexing and the ability to use an exchange kit make a progressive reloader like the Lee Precision Loadmaster or the Lock-N-Load highly sought after.

For those new to reloading or looking to upgrade, finding the best progressive reloading press reviews is crucial in selecting a press that meets their needs without exceeding their budget. The right reloading press kit can greatly influence the quality of your ammo, allowing you to tailor your loads for specific firearms, be it a pistol, shotgun, or rifle.

Whether you’re interested in crafting precision rifle ammunition or bulk shotgun shells, a progressive press offers a significant step up in efficiency and speed. Features to look for include the press’s ability to accept various reloading tools, ease of changing calibers, and the overall reliability of the indexing system.

With the right progressive press, even beginners will find it easier to start reloading and enjoy the benefits of custom-loaded ammunition.

Advantages of using a progressive press

As mentioned, a progressive press will significantly increase the production speed. When you consider that every pull of the press handle indexes the next reading station, you can quickly see how much faster the production will be.

In addition to production, the ease with which you can swap out between calibers and specific loads is significant.

5 Top-tier Progressive Reloading Machines

Dillon Precision XL750

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  • 1000 Rnds Per-hour
  • Lifetime Warranty (including normal wear and tear)
  • Most Versatile 

Dillon Precision RL-550C

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  • 500 Rnds Per-hour
  • Lifetime Warranty (including normal wear and tear)
  • Easy Caliber Exchange

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP

An image of the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
  • 1000 Rnds Per-hour
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Great Midrange Machine 

RCBS Pro Chucker 7

An image of the RCBS Pro Chucker 7 on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
  • 1000 Rnds Per-hour
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Great Midrange Machine

LEE Loadmaster

An image of the LEE Loadmaster on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
  • 500 Rnds Per-hour
  • 2 Year Unconditional Guarantee & Lifetime Conditional. 
  • Great Machine for Beginners

Dillon Precision XL750

Dillon presses are often considered the gold standard in progressive reloaders. With its advanced engineering and comprehensive customer support, this iconic brand has become synonymous with reliable reloading machines for amateurs and professionals alike!

The XL750 stands out for those looking at the best progressive reloading presses. It is a relatively new choice and offers an impressively consistent performance while still providing the efficiency required. As a result, many have switched from the XL650 to this superior option.

An image of the Dillon Precision xl750 on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
Photo Credit: Dillon Precision

The Dillon Precision XL750 is one of our top picks for best progressive reloading presses, it’s an excellent choice for any reloader seeking higher output with maximum convenience. With its automatic progress five-station bushing system and a powder measure that dispenses charges, the Dillon Precision XL750 allows advanced-level reloaders to produce high-quality rounds quickly. It also includes robust construction and an optional XL750 conversion kit for use with other calibers.

If you’re looking for an efficient, reliable progressive reloading press, look no further than a Dillon. This brand offers one of the best presses on the market. In addition, it provides several features such as sizing and priming cases, loading powder, setting and crimping ammunition, and of course, the option of having a powder sensor installed.

Dillon Precision XL750 Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Capable of loading up to 1,000 rounds per hour
  • Adjustable toolhead and die carrier system allows for easy caliber changes
  • Solid construction and high-quality materials ensure durability and reliability
  • User-friendly design and easy to set up and operate
  • Comes with a number of accessories and features that allow for customization

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other progressive reloading presses
  • Complex initial setup process
  • May not be compatible with all types of ammunition
  • Requires additional equipment to fully utilize its capabilities

Dillon Precision RL-550C

Dillon Precision RL-550C is a popular progressive reloading press widely used by enthusiasts and professionals. It is known for its versatility, durability, and ease of use and is capable of loading a wide range of calibers with minimal setup time.

An image of the Dillon Precision RL-550C on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
Photo Credit: Dillon Precision

The RL-550C features a four-station design that allows users to perform all the necessary reloading operations in a single pass. It has a capacity of up to 500 rounds per hour and comes with several accessories and features that make it easy to customize and use. These include a powder measure, priming system, toolhead carrier, and a number of optional add-ons such as caliber conversion kits, case feeders, and more.

Overall, the Dillon Precision RL-550C is a highly respected and well-regarded progressive reloading press widely used by professionals and enthusiasts. It offers high performance and reliability and is a popular choice for those looking to upgrade their reloading setup.

Dillon Precision RL-550C Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Capable of producing up to 500 rounds per hour
  • Adjustable toolhead and die carrier system allows for easy caliber changes
  • Constructed with top-quality materials for reliable performance
  • Simple and intuitive design
  • Comes with a variety of useful accessories and features

Cons:

  • Pricier than some other progressive reloading presses
  • Setup process can be somewhat involved
  • May not be compatible with all types of ammunition
  • Lower capacity compared to other progressive reloading presses

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP

The Hornady Lock-N-Load AP is one of the best reloading presses on the market. It is known for its versatility, durability, and ease of operation, making it an excellent choice for any reloader. Featuring a five-station design, this press allows you to complete all your reloading operations in just one pass and load many different calibers without significant setup time.

An image of the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
Photo Credit: Hornady Manufacturing Company

Hornady’s Lock-N-Load AP press is more versatile with its patented bushing system. The Lock-N-Load system makes it simple to switch between different toolheads and dies, so users can quickly and effortlessly change up their calibers and loading configurations, giving the press impressive flexibility and adaptability.

Boasting excellent durability and reliability, the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP is the perfect choice for anyone who needs a versatile and reliable reloading press. The press is built with high-quality materials, and solid construction makes it stand up to the most demanding use. Added features like a case-activated powder drop, an automatic case feeder, and a primer catcher make it extremely easy to use.

Finally, the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP is an excellent choice for those who want to get into progressive reloading. Its high performance and reliability make it a popular option for experienced and novice reloaders alike. So if you’re looking to upgrade your setup or are just starting, the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP is ideal.

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • High capacity of up to 1,000 rounds per hour
  • Patented Lock-N-Load bushing system allows for quick and easy caliber changes
  • Durable and reliable due to top-quality materials and solid construction
  • User-friendly design and straightforward operation
  • Comes with a range of helpful accessories and features

Cons:

  • Higher cost compared to other progressive reloading presses
  • Initial setup can be somewhat complicated
  • May not be compatible with all types of ammunition
  • Additional equipment may be required

RCBS Pro Chucker 7 Progressive

If you are looking for one of the top-rated progressive reloading press available, the RCBS Pro Chucker 7 is an excellent choice. This press features a seven-station design that enables reloaders to perform all the necessary operations in one pass with minimal setup time. In addition, it can handle various calibers and is renowned for its reliability and user-friendliness.

An image of the RCBS Pro Chucker 7 on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
Photo Credit: RCBS

The RCBS Pro Chucker 7’s quick-change die plate system makes reloading multiple calibers and configurations simple and efficient. Users can quickly move between various ammunition types by switching out the die plates and toolheads. This flexibility and adaptability make it one of the most versatile reloading presses on the market!

In addition, the RCBS Pro Chucker 7 is one of the most reliable and durable progressive reloading presses available. It features solid construction, using only the highest quality components, making it ideal for those who need a reliable press that can withstand heavy use. Its versatile features make it suitable for professionals and hobbyists alike, and it is a popular choice for anyone looking to upgrade their reloading setup.

RCBS Pro Chucker 7 Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Capable of loading up to 1,000 rounds per hour
  • Quick-change die plate system allows for easy caliber changes
  • Constructed with high-quality materials for long-lasting performance
  • Intuitive design and easy to use
  • Comes with a variety of useful accessories and features

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other progressive reloading presses
  • Initial setup process can be somewhat complex
  • May not be compatible with all types of ammunition
  • Additional equipment may be required to fully utilize its capabilities

LEE Loadmaster

Are you new to the reloading game and want a reliable, affordable press? Then, look no further than the LEE Loadmaster. It is an easy-to-use progressive reloading press that is designed for smooth operation and can handle a variety of different calibers. For an economical option for reloading, the LEE Loadmaster has everything you need!

An image of the LEE Loadmaster on a white background for the blog post Best Progressive Reloading Presses.
Photo Credit: LEE Precision

The LEE Loadmaster distinguishes itself from the competition with its five-station design, which allows users to manage all reloading operations in one go. This offers a loading capacity of up 500 rounds an hour and comes equipped with various accessories and features such as a powder measure, priming system, and toolhead carrier. In addition, several optional add-ons are available for purchase, including caliber conversion kits and case feeders, which can further customize the setup.

It is a highly versatile reloading press that is also acclaimed for its user-friendly design. With straightforward setup and operation, even those new to loading can quickly get in on the action. Plus, backed by LEE’s iconic reputation for quality construction and materials, it’s a worthy choice!

Definitely one of the best progressive reloading presses for a more affordable and user-friendly option. Ideal for both beginners and experienced reloaders, it is reliable and versatile, making it an excellent value compared to more expensive models.

LEE Loadmaster Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Affordable price point compared to other progressive reloading presses
  • Capable of producing up to 500 rounds per hour
  • Quick-change die plate system allows for easy caliber changes
  • Solid construction and durable materials ensure long-lasting performance
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons:

  • Limited caliber compatibility compared to other progressive reloading presses
  • May require additional equipment to fully utilize its capabilities
  • User-friendly design may not be as advanced as other progressive reloading presses
  • Some users have reported slow or difficult customer support from LEE
  • Lower capacity compared to other progressive reloading presses

Single Stage Press vs Turret Press vs Progressive Press

When getting into reloading, choosing the right reloading press is crucial for both efficiency and quality of your ammo. The single-stage press is a solid option for beginners or those focusing on precision rounds, such as rifle cartridges, since it handles one die at a time, promoting meticulous attention to detail. However, for those looking to produce larger quantities of ammo, such as shotshell reloading or pistol rounds, a more advanced press might be necessary.

The turret press offers a balance between speed and precision. Unlike the single-stage press, the turret press can hold multiple dies at once, allowing the reloader to manually index the tool-head and use each stage sequentially without needing to swap out dies. This makes it a better choice for those with moderately high reloading needs but without the budget or necessity for the most advanced equipment. Still, it doesn’t match the speed or volume capabilities of a progressive press.

The progressive press, with models like the Pro Chucker 7 Progressive Press and Lee Precision Load Master, radically increases the efficiency of the reloading process. Progressive machines like the Lock-N-Load, which is a five-station progressive, automate many steps by utilizing indexing progressive features. This means that each pull of the lever advances the cartridge to the next stage, dramatically increasing output. Consequently, if looking for the best reloading press in your budget that can handle high volumes, especially for shotshell reloading or handgun rounds, investing in a progressive press might be the best direction.

Ultimately, the decision on which reloading press to select depends largely on your specific reloading needs and how much you value speed versus precision. Whether it’s the straightforward single-stage press, the more versatile turret press, or the highly efficient progressive press, each brings its own set of advantages. Remember, even the best factory ammunition can’t cater to the personal satisfaction and customization that crafting your own rounds with a solid press and reloading kit provides.

The Bottom Line: Choosing The Best Progressive Reloading Press

In conclusion, progressive reloading presses are a popular choice among reloaders who need to produce large quantities of ammunition quickly and efficiently. They offer many benefits over other reloading presses, including higher capacity, faster production, and greater versatility.

However, it is essential to choose the right progressive reloading press for your needs and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines closely to ensure that you are producing accurate and safe rounds of ammunition.

Additionally, it is essential to use high-quality components and pay attention to detail to achieve the best results. Overall, progressive reloading presses can be a valuable tool for those serious about reloading and looking to take their hobby to the next level.

FAQs

What are the top 5 best progressive reloading presses?

The top 5 best progressive reloading presses are the Dillon Precision XL750, Dillon Precision RL-550C, Lee Precision Loadmaster, Hornady Lock-N-Load
five-station progressive reloading system, and RCBS Pro Chucker 7 auto progressive reloading press.

What is a progressive reloading press?

A progressive reloading press is a machine that allows you to perform multiple reloading functions with each pull of the handle, increasing efficiency and speeding up the reloading process.

How do I choose a progressive reloading press for my needs?

When choosing a progressive reloading press, consider factors such as your reloading budget, the type of calibers you will be reloading, the features you require, and your reloading frequency.

What are the advantages of using a progressive reloading press?

Progressive reloading presses offer faster reloading times, increased efficiency, and the ability to produce a higher volume of reloaded ammunition compared to single-stage or turret presses.

Can a progressive reloading press be used for both rifle and pistol cartridges?

Yes, progressive reloading presses can be set up to reload both rifle and pistol cartridges, making them versatile machines for reloaders who work with various types of ammunition.

What are some key features to look for in a progressive reloading press?

Look for features such as a sturdy construction, smooth operation, quick-change tool heads, case feeder options, automatic indexing, and compatibility with different calibers.

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Josh Malcolm
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I’m a dedicated firearms enthusiast as well as an advocate for firearm rights. I have a great appreciation for quality gear, be it firearms, every day carry, or hunting and outdoor equipment. 

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