Best Ammo Reloading Kits Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Whether you’re a hunter or just someone that likes to go target shooting, at some point you're going to have to get into the nitty-gritty of your ammunition. And if you're on a budget the idea of reloading your spent cartridges might be a good way to cut down on the costs associated with being a shooter. Along with saving money, reloading your own ammo can be a rewarding and interesting process. Reloading ammo can help give you a deeper and more intimate understanding of just how bullets and ammo work, and getting yourself a good reloading kit is the first step of the process. We've rounded up the best ammo reloading kits available today just for you.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research
Low price Incredibly easy to use
High-quality reloading kit
Has been rated one of the best shotgun shell reloading kits
- Lee Precision II 90011
- RCBS 9354 RC Supreme
- Lee Precision Anniversary II
- Hornady 85003 Lock N Load Classic Reloading Press Kit
- Lee Precision Load Master 223 Remington Reloading Rifle Kit
- Lyman T-Mag with 1500 Micro-Touch Scale
- Lee Precision 90945
- RCBS 9046
- Redding Reloading 40000
- SmartReloader VBSR008-31
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Ammo Reloading Kits
1. Lee Precision II 90011
Low price Incredibly easy to use
High-quality reloading kit
Has been rated one of the best shotgun shell reloading kits
Exclusively made to be used for reloading 12-gauge shotgun shells
If you want an option that is totally affordable and least expensive on our list, then this Lee Precision II 90011 ammo reloader is for you. It is exclusively made to be used for reloading 12-gauge shotgun shells. The top of the press has a very convenient carrying handle, a noticeably lightweight feel to it and it is incredibly easy to use, too.Read more
Shotgun shell loader
This re-loader kit only allows you to load up on shotgun shells, but if that is what you are in need of, then this is a great kit to purchase.
This loader is high-quality. It has a durable construction and doesn’t feel cheap, although the price will shock you. You can reload in confidence with this kit.
Cost and Value
The Lee Precision II 90011 is perfect for your budget. It is impressively inexpensive for such a high-quality reloading kit. It will feel jaw-dropping that it is as high-quality as it is for the low price point, especially from a well-known and respectable brand in the field.
2. RCBS 9354 RC Supreme
Added durability and quality of extras
Long lasting product
A lot of satisfied costumers Incredibly well-built
Expensive Mounting bolts not included
The RCBS 9354 RC Supreme ammo loader lets you reload easily and with precision. This brand is not a stranger on the market and is one of the best. The kit comes with an updated case loading block, deburring tool, and even an accessory handle. Factor all of that in with the press, reloading scale, hand priming tool, uniflow powder measure, hex key set, case lube kit, reloading manual and powder funnel and you have everything you could ever want.Read more
This kit is extremely durable and built to last a long time. It can take a pounding with every reload it does. It should last many years without any trouble.
The high-quality of this ammo reload kit makes it worth every penny. It is built to last and is overall powerful and sturdy. You won’t feel worried that you will bust it quickly and have to replace it.
Cost and Value
This kit is definitely more expensive than our first option, but the added durability and quality overall plus the extras that you get with the kit make it worth it. It is a very compelling offer even if it is at an added cost.
3. Lee Precision Anniversary II
This kit comes with the Lee Safety Scale
One of the most affordable starter kits
Low price for a great quality
Might need to be upgraded after using it for a longer period time
The Lee Precision Anniversary II kit is another popular and highly rated choice. Like the previous Lee Precision option, you can count on quality with this one. This 50th-anniversary series kit comes with the Lee Safety Scale and is considered one of the most sensitive out there. It also offers a chamfer tool that is able to chamfer both the inside and outside of the casing mouth. Its overall performance is notable.Read more
Perfect starter kit
This Lee Precision Anniversary kit is the perfect starter kit for reloading your ammo. It is inexpensive yet durable and attractive all in one. You will feel like you are getting a great first go at it with this kit.
Easy to use
One of the most attractive qualities of this re-loader and accessories set is that it is easy to use. That is super important overall, but especially if you are just starting out. Everything is durable and balanced and ready for you to use.
Cost and Value
Similarly to the earlier Lee Precision option, this 50th Anniversary kit is one of the least expensive on our list and out there altogether. If you want a re-load kit that will perform well and is high-quality all for a low price, this is the one.
4. Hornady 85003 Lock N Load Classic Reloading Press Kit
A lot of extras included
Multi-tool started pack
One of the best options for a beginner
May not be the most robust system
Next on our list is the Hornady 85003 Lock N Load Classic Reloading Press. So, get ready to lock and load you pistols, people. This kit is affordable and similar to a few of the others on this list. It includes a single-stage press that is speedy, efficient, precise and versatile along with an electronic scale. It also features a powder measure to ensure you are using just the right amount of powder when loading each bullet. The included Hornady Handbook will help you along the way if you are first starting out on your new reloading hobby.Read more
This kit includes everything that you need to start reloading your ammo. It features a handheld priming tool, primer catcher, positive priming system, chamfering and deburring tool, universal reloading block, primer turning plate and three die brushes. That is all included alongside the single-stage press, powder measure and electronic scale listed above.
Easy to use
Whether you are intuitive to this ammo-loading hobby or not, this kit is easy to use. If you are an expert already, you will be able to get going right away. But, if you are just starting out, it comes equipped with a handbook that will help guide you through.
Cost and Value
The value of this kit is incredible. It covers all of the basics of ammo reloading, so if you are a beginner it is a great starting kit as much as it is for a seasoned re-loader. It is moderately priced for someone starting out, so you won’t feel too guilty if you decide to upgrade to a more professional choice down the road.
5. Lee Precision Load Master 223 Remington Reloading Rifle Kit
Made out from incredibly durable cast aluminum construction
Lighter than traditional steel
Comes with pacesetter dies, a turret, and a #4s shell plate
Made exclusively for reloading ammo for Remington rifles
Can be a bit tricky to start using right off the bat
This Lee Precision Load Master 223 Remington Reloading Rifle Kit exclusively focuses on re-loading rifles. It is quality-made from durable casted aluminum construction. That means that sturdiness isn’t an issue with this re-loader. You can expect it to last you through your hobby stage to your more professional take on reloading ammo. Either way, whether you are a beginner or promoting to a pro, this kit will work for you well.Read more
Lighter weight build
A lot of these ammo reload kits are made out of durable and tough steel. Not this one. It is still incredibly tough and durable, but it is made from casted aluminum. This makes it lighter than a steel press so that you can better move it to where you need it.
Exactly what you need
The accessories included in this kit are just what you need to reload rifle ammo. It comes with the actual reloading press, pacesetter dies, a turret and #4’s shell plate.
Cost and Value
Everything with this kit is reasonable if not better than. The price is similar to the other Lee Precision options on our list, which means that it won’t completely break the bank. It also is a good-quality kit that you can expect to perform well when reloading your shells.
6. Lyman T-Mag with 1500 Micro-Touch Scale
Very heavy duty
Accurate digital scale
Has a lot of parts other kits lack
Useful handbook included
Some of the parts are constructed poorly
Instructions aren’t very clear
The Lyman T-Mag Expert Kit Deluxe with 1500 Micro-Touch Scale has absolutely everything you would need all rolled into one convenient package. Lyman is known for producing high-quality ammo reloading tools, and they’ve decided to put it in a single kit. An excellent blend of classic design and cutting-edge technology, this kit has you covered.Read more
When it comes to the right amount of powder, this kit gives you two different tools to ensure precision. You have the #55 powder measure, which Lyman is known for. Then you have the inclusion of a digital scale, making sure that you produce high-quality ammunition each and every time.
Whatever you need
The name says it all. The Lyman T-Mag Expert Kit Deluxe with 1500 Micro-Touch Scale is a complete ammo reloading kit. It contains everything you need from beginning to end, including their reloading handbook.
Cost and Value
This is expensive, as are most ammo reloading kits, there’s no getting around it. This one happens to cost more, but it also contains so much more than most. For everything it gives you and allows you to accomplish, the value is very obvious.
7. Lee Precision 90945
Made up out of cast aluminum
Expandable and durable
Low price for such a high-quality kit
It can be a bit tricky to operate at first
If you are in the market for pistol-only ammo reloading, then this Lee Precision kit is for you. The Lee Precision 90945 is a high-end and popular selection for a good reason. It is durable, efficient and overall quality made. It is made out of cast aluminum so it is lighter than traditional steel but without sacrificing the same durability. You’ll likely have this on your hands for years.Read more
Easy to learn and use
Okay, some of the reviews say that it was a little tricky to figure out at first, but overall it was easy to do once they got it down. If you are a beginner, it could take a minute to be easy, but know that after a few go’s you should get it down pat.
This Lee Precision comes with a 5-hole reloading kit for 45 ACP. It is full-length and gets its power through expanding and bullet seating dies.
Cost and Value
The price for this kit is considerably low for the great quality, included items and longevity that it offers. In no time you will feel like a pro loading your own pistol ammo. All of the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, so you know that this is definitely going to be a great option for you.
8. RCBS 9046
Full-featured starter kit
Affordable and quality packaging
May not be of the utmost quality
If you are in the market for something like the next one on our list, an option from Redding, but you are hoping for a lower price tag, then this RCBS RS-5 Reloading Starter Kit should definitely be at the top of your shopping list. It is exactly that: low cost and good quality. This particular kit is made in the United States and comes with the RCBS limited lifetime warranty. In this kit you get a single-stage press, 505 mechanical scales, RCBS’s own Universal Case Loading Block, a powder funnel to keep your ammo powder organized and secure, a .17-.60 chamfer/deburr tool, neck brushes and so much more.Read more
This starter kit is impressive, especially with its price point and so many items included. Everything you get is good to fair quality and will get you learning to reload your ammo in no time.
This whole kit includes so many components that you need and they are all good quality. Since it is so affordable and all together in quality packaging, too, you won’t feel like you went wrong with this ammo reloading kit.
Cost and Value
With this starter kit from RCBS, you will get everything you need to learn and begin reloading your own ammo. The lower price difference between this one and the next Redding option shows in some of the quality, but overall this kit’s value is impressive.
9. Redding Reloading 40000
Comes with a lot of additional tools
Great options packed with quality tools. First of all, the frame that’s included for the main reloaded is rated to be incredibly sturdy and durable for years. Plus, thanks to a longer ram stroke, reloading magnum cartridges is not only possible but easier than ever before.Read more
The BIG Boss Pro-Pak Reloading Kit comes equipped with a 1-inch diameter ram and more than 3.8-inches worth of stroke. Plus, thanks to the company’s exclusive Smart Primer Arm, the whole act of reloading is much smoother than you’re going to find on a lot of similar kits.
Keeps your space clean
When it comes to the reloading process, the included primer catcher helps to make sure that your reloading station stays as neat and clean as possible. Many other reloading kits come with this feature as well, but little others work well as Redding’s one does.
Cost and Value
This is a big, powerful, and expensive kit. If money isn’t any sort of concern, then this is going to be one of the best options that you’ve got. It’s one of the most durable and heavy-duty reloading kits on the market, and it’s got a lot of impressive features to boot as well. The cost is easily the biggest downside here, but despite being so much more expensive than other options, the price is well-justified when you take into consideration everything that's included in this kit.
10. SmartReloader VBSR008-31
Made up out of a heavy steel material
Long lasting product
Ability to reload bullets all the way up to the caliber of .357 H&H
Some have complained about the customer service that SmartReloader offers
This SmartReloader Omega 800 Pro Reloading Kit VBSR008-31 allows you to reload ammo all the way up to .357 caliber H&H and it can work with any standard press shell holder out there. It also works with almost any type of reloading die that you have, too. It is a solid, heavy-duty reloader that doesn’t disappoint. This kit comes with a lot of accessories that you need to reload ammo, but the fact that this kit can also be a bit versatile also adds to its value.Read more
This solid, heavy-duty SmartReloader Omega 800 kit is made out of heavy-duty steel so you can be sure that it will last you a long time. It will continue to perform for a number of years after your initial purchase.
Because this kit is made from heavy-duty steel, it is a heavy reloader. It is incredibly durable but may be on the more difficult side to just pick up and move around. However, if durability, strength, great function, and longevity are your target needs, then this one is a great purchase.
Cost and Value
Like we said above, the heavy-duty design and versatility make this SmartReloader kit valuable. It is a bit higher priced but still very comparable to a lot of the reloading kits on this list. So, as a whole, this kit is very functional and solid and should prove to be an excellent choice for a lot of people looking for a new and easy-to-use maintenance kit.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ammo loading kits are not universal bullet makers, so there will be calibers that just can’t be made. When compiling the top ten list, high compatibility was important since it also means saving money and space. No one wants to purchase a separate ammo kit for each caliber, as it would defeat the purpose of buying an ammo kit. Buyers want to save money and make the most of what they have, not spend more. Of the many choices on the list, when there is low compatibility from the start, the company tends to offer a conversion kit to enhance the usefulness of the equipment. These conversion kits can transform a 22 caliber ammo reloading kit to also take on 30 caliber bullets. These conversion kits played a big role in the inclusion of the brands on the list. Not only are the prices reasonable, but they fall in line with the rest of the optional accessories offered by manufacturers.
We took great care in finding kits that used the most popular ammo on the market. The more obscure ones are better suited for a different list, as this list is for users that plan on using their ammo reloading kits at least weekly. The high use of the product goes together with the use of popular ammo, so most of the kits on the list will equally favor single stage and progressive press kits. Both of these have kept up with using the most popular ammo, with the latter being the best for quick operation. So as an absolute must for all the brands on the list, they handle both 22 and 30 caliber without issues. This includes out of the box or with the addition of an optional converter.
When choosing an ammo reloading kit, most users will default to looking at the price of the product. We took it in a different direction and prioritized ease of use. Even with the addition of a recipe cookbook with most ammo reloading kits, new users will often run into the problem of grasping it all at once and getting overwhelmed. This can be troublesome, so by choosing ammo reloading kits that had most of the core accessories right out of the box, we eliminated one of the most intimidating factors about using one. There is nothing more frustrating than having to line up all the extra stuff that is needed to get started after you’ve spent a lot of money upfront. The items in our top ten list are ready to go out of the box, with the number of extras needed at a minimum.
Ammo reloading kits aren’t cheap toys, so buying one that can stand the test of time will be of great benefit. The repetitive mechanical nature of an ammo reloading kit has to resist user error and bad materials being pushed through it. High-quality materials can’t be guaranteed from the users end when they’re making their own ammo, so we took it a step further and looked at ammo reloading kits that were built to take punishment. That also meant looking closely at warranties, and overall customer support. All of the ten items on the list are at the top of their class when it comes to durability. So if longevity has been an issue with a past ammo reloading kit you’ve owned, then it is time to update it with one from this list.
The quality of the bullets that come from your kit isn’t just tied to what materials you use, but to the instructions provided. As it was touched on before about the recipe books, their inclusion was important on this list. Companies that provide either a physical or digital copy of their recipe book have a higher buy rate than companies that offer thin books. The result of a well thought out book leads to much better bullet quality, which is the ultimate goal of ammo reloading kits. With the list focusing on high-quality kits, there was also a priority on the results of the ammo for beginners, intermediates, and professionals. We found it necessary that the kits should not favor one group, but be balanced in their advanced language in the book so that everyone can understand it. Lumping beginners and intermediates into the same group as professionals will only cause confusion when going through the recipe book. Think of it as a way to please all levels without compromising on the output of the ammo that is created.
Cleaning an ammo reloading kit is as simple as dusting it off. The only thing that is required of the products on the list is general upkeep and cleanliness of the area. There is higher importance on keeping the area clean of the dies, powders and other materials that will accumulate during the bullet making process. Generally, any ammo loading kit is prepped for use each time you make a bullet.
The key to keeping the area safe is to prep afterward for the next time you are going to use it. Leaving materials lying around can cause dirt and other debris to accumulate in areas and degrade the quality of your ammo. Ammo kits are not so sensitive that a little mess will bother them, but their safety protocols will take a nosedive if you don’t take care of them. Most of the brands on the list even provide a maintenance kit as a separate purchase. It is worth investing in one of these to help with the pre/after prep of your ammo reloading kit. Not only will it keep the machine running longer, but it will also help your case if you ever need to call in the warranty.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
We're not going to sugar coat this, there is a learning curve involved in the world of Ammo reloading. So, before you do anything we're going to urge to not only to look through our list but take the time to get educated. If you're a member of a gun range, find a friend who does their own reloading and get some advice. Read up, think about how much and what kind of shooting you're doing, and what kind you might be doing in the future.
Other Factors to Consider
Reloading dies: These are placed into a reloading press and are used to de-cap, resize, and expand the cartridge to the correct caliber, as well as to seat the bullet.
Reloading press: This is the main component of an ammo reloading kit. This is where the ammunition is loaded and assembled. Reloading presses are found in three basic models: single stage presses, turret presses, and progressive presses.
Shell Holder: Shell Holders are designed to be used in combination with the die set to hold the shell in place as it is being assembled. A universal shell holder can be used, throughout there are caliber specific versions made for the specific shell diameter and taper.
Powder scale: Used to precisely measure out the required amount of gunpowder in each round. These can be either balanced or electronic scales. Balance scales are easier to calibrate and are more durable to having fewer parts, but electronic scales are much more accurate and precise.
Powder measure: Another method for determining the amount of powder used. There are three main types: Dippers, bench mounted measures and electronic dispensers. Dippers are best used with a scale, as they measure by volume and have limited accuracy. Bench mounted measures are attached to the hopper and use a rotor to dispense equal amounts to each shell. An electronic dispenser is very similar, but the user can type in the required weight, and the dispenser will automatically measure out the correct amount.
Calipers: These are used to measure the brass to ensure it is within specifications. They are also used when setting the seating die by measuring the overall length of the cartridge in order to get the desired length. They can have either an electronic readout or a manual dial.
Case trimmer: Used primarily when reusing shells. After too many uses, the shell will no longer meet length specifications and will need to be trimmed in order to be reused.
Case tumbler: A device, very similar to a rock tumbler that is used to clean the brass shell casings prior to being reloaded. This tool is capable of cleaning hundreds of shell casings in just a few hours and will help improve the performance of the ammunition.
Shell casing: This is the body of the shell. Constructed most commonly from brass because of how malleable and easy to work with it is, the shell casing can be fired and reused several times before needing to be replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely not. When buying a reloading kit, one of the most important factors to take into consideration is the type of bullet that the kit is rated to be used with. Some kits can be used with a variety of bullets, whereas others are created to only reload one certain kind of ammo. This is usually clearly outlined when shopping around for a reloading kit, but still, make sure that you ensure the kit you’re looking at is rated to be used with the kind of ammo you frequently use and reload.
Not necessarily. Each starter kit is different in regards to what included accessories it comes equipped with, and some have more added goodies than others. However, even the fullest and most well-equipped starter kit is still likely to omit an accessory or two that you’ll find yourself needing later on down the road. Starter kits for reloading usually come with everything you need to get things started at first, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself having to run to the store to pick up something extra at some point in the future.
For buyers that have never owned a reloading kit, the first time opening the package can be a daunting experience. That’s why choosing the proper reloading kit for your level is important, as the wrong one could leave a bad taste in your mouth. RCBS and Lee Precision seem to be the best choices for a beginner that is just starting out. Besides having some of the best materials out of the box, they also include the most thorough instructions. Videos are plentiful with all of their models online, so there will always be visual instructions to follow.
Some reloading kits have everything you need right out of the box while others will only have the bare essentials. Pay close attention to the extras when purchasing a reloading kit so that the extra costs afterward don’t sneak up on you. It’s a matter of knowing what you need upfront so that the actual cost of owning a reloading kit doesn’t go beyond your budget. And it also serves as a helpful way of learning how much you have to invest in your reloading kit in the long term.
Some companies offer special anniversary kits that come bundled with loads of accessories, with some of those accessories only being available from the anniversary kit. There is also a one of a kind design and some other extras thrown in, notably a redone manual and documents. All levels of users can benefit from an anniversary reloading kit since the value will far exceed that of a regular kit. The only bad thing about this option is that anniversary kits are in limited quantity and may not always be available.
There are guides available on how to make your own reloading kit. This includes versions for a .410 gauge, 12 gauge and more. One of the books, in particular, has been in circulation for over three years and is also available at libraries. There are books even older than this one, many that beat it by a couple of decades. Making your own reloading kit is not only time consuming, but dangerous. The only pro to doing this over buying one is that you learn the ins and outs of the machinery.
Safety is a big concern to all of the companies involved with this type of machine, and especially for any machine dealing with ammunition. The first step to safety has to do with the evolving technologies related to gunpowder. With the smokeless powders of today, users don’t have to worry about accidentally igniting them. Smokeless powders and other technological advancements in the industry have helped out the overall safety measures needed when using a reloading kit. Even first time users will find that it’s hard to misuse one of these units.
Ammo reloading kits aren’t finicky products, but they do require a bit of know-how with the components. With the various things that go into making the kit a well-oiled machine, there are just as many mechanisms at work to keep the entire process safe. Something that the machine can’t safeguard against is powder abuse, which includes mixing different powders, using old powders or using incompatible powders. Avoiding this type of powder abuse will not only make the device last longer but will keep its safety measures intact over the multiple times it’s used.
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- Cleaning Cases - Part 1: Dry Tumbling, Website, ,
- Handloading/Reloading Ammunition, Website, ,
- Reloading: Want To Reload Your Own Ammo? Basic Questions to Consider, Website, ,
- How to weigh the costs and benefits of reloading your own ammunition, Website, ,