The Best Hornady Iron Press Review in 2024!

Thinking of buying a reloading press? Heard a lot about its auto-priming system? Then read the best Hornady Iron Press Review on the internet to find out if what you heard is what to expect from this single-stage reloading press.

I’m writing this review after using the Hornady Iron Press for more than 1 year on & off. And here I present the results of the experiments that I conducted with a controlled group of brass cases.

But if you are looking for a quick glance at the article, then I must say this press is resistant to applied pressure making it quite stable, and the heavy build makes it durable. It has an operating window of 3.53″ long with Hornady’s Lock-N-Load quick die-changing technology.  

If the short summary makes it seem like, it is not your cup of tea, then read my single-stage reloading press review and find out which suits your needs best.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron Press

In my point of view, the Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron Press is an upgrade to the Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic. It improves on the shortcomings of the classic reloading press while retaining some of the desired features or improving them. The notable features include;

Hornady Iron Press Frame

Let’s begin with the frame, as you open the box, at first glance you will notice its unique triangular frame design and when you take it in your hand you will feel its weight, about 26 pounds (12 kgs). The weight effectively increases stability and durability, making it quite resistant to flux while in use. The triangular frame provides an obstructionless case view and case handling space, with an operational window of 3.53″ inches.

hornady iron press review

Unlike the Classic press, the Iron press has 2 handle mounting holes that are about 30o angled from the vertical axis making it ambidextrous, enabling equal leverage for both the left and right-handed reloaders.

Automatic Priming System

The priming system of the Iron Press is also unique as it automatically places the primers in the primer punch. You begin with filling up the priming tube, you can use Hornady Auto Primer Tube Filler to hasten the process. Then slide it in position. And screw in the external tube for protection against primer detonation.

It works in conjunction with the ram so no extra movement besides changing the brass case is required. You will need to buy this contraption separately if you are not buying the iron press kit. But If you do plan on buying the Iron Press then definitely get this upgrade.


Read the instructions here or check the Youtube Video to find out how to set up the Automatic Priming assembly.

You can also deprime the cases using this reloading press by using a universal depriming die or depriming attachment with the full-length sizing die. The spent primer catch tray collects the removed primers but it is not 100% effective.

Lock-N-Load Bushings

Just like the previous model (Classic reloading press), this model is also equipped with the Lock-N-Load — Quick Change Bushing System (Simply, twist and change the die). With the Lock-N-Load system die changeover is practically a task that requires just 10 seconds.

Hornady made good use of the triangular shape and had plenty of empty space on top of the press, and Hornady did not let it go to waste, they made threaded holes, which can be used for securing prep tools such as neck brush tool & primer pocket cleaner.


If you get the kit then you will also receive a die caddy, which let’s place other dies just behind for quick access. You can also attach a powder measure or a case holder bin with the die caddy.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron Press Kit

Hornady has bundled some essential equipment for reloading and arranged a starting kit for new reloaders. I have listed down the items present in the reloading kit;

  1. The reloading Press,
  2. Die Caddy.
  3. Automatic Priming System
  4. Lock-N-Load Die Bushing (3 pieces)
  5. Digital Caliper with accuracy up to 0.001″
  6. Bullet Comparator (set of 6)
  7. Shell Holder set (#1, #2, #5, #16, #35)
  8. Unique Case Lube
  9. Powder Measure
  10. Lock-N-Load Bench Scale
  11. Powder Funnel (can accommodate 22 – 45 caliber cases)
  12. Component Feed Bin & Bracket
  13. Reloading Handbook
  14. Chamfer & Deburr Tool
  15. Six Neck Brushes
  16. Large & Small Primer Pocket Cleaner

It is rare for any reloading kit to include a reloading manual. And depending on the time you order the kit, you may receive the latest reloading manual. I have compared reloading manuals in an article, read here.

The inclusion of a bullet comparator along with a digital caliper instead of a dial caliper was a good decision by Hornady, it enables precision reloaders to measure the completed round with ease.

The combination of powder measure along with powder funnel and powder scale is just perfect and Hornady even here did think through to include the best powder scale.

They sure did not include a case trimmer which is a must-have for any rifle reloader, but they did not forget about the case prep tools such as neck brushes Chamfer, and primer pocket cleaner tools.

With the inclusion of all this equipment, you are almost ready to reload spent brass cases. All you need now are a die set, gunpowder, Projectiles, and a kinetic bullet puller. But if you are into precision reloading, then buying a case-cleaning tumbler and case trimmer is a must. And to make life easier I suggest buying a loading block and Hornady auto primer tube filler to arrange the primers easily.

To summarize the best Hornady Iron Press Review

In my Honest Opinion, I would say this reloading press is certainly one of the best in the market. The reloading kit is also of top-quality product. It is also a well-needed upgrade from the Classic press What I Think about the Press?

What do I think about the Press?

Quick die change bushing
Automatic primer feeder
Spent primer catching tray
Heavy – But you are not going move it around
Relatively expensive

What about the Kit?

Powder Measure
Bench Scale
Digital Caliper
No bullet puller hammer
No primer flip tray
No reloading block

Is it a good beginner reloading press kit?

The Hornady Iron Press Reloading Kit includes almost all the equipment a beginner reloader may need for reloading pistol cases, but if you are a rifle user you will need a case trimmer as well. The reloading press is simple to use with lots of functions, setting up the reloading press is relatively simple, and if you think otherwise you can always come back and check the video above.

The Hornady Iron press is also quite expensive for the single-stage class but that extra cost buys you excellent equipment by Hornady and it justifies that price with the quality of the finished product.

What do you think

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