The types of reloading presses in 2024!

There are 3 types of reloading press and the best reloading press is more of a personal choice, just like a juicy beef steak. To understand which type of reloading press you need and other details keep reading.

Did you know there are 3 types of reloading presses?

  1. Single-stage Reloading Press – The Simplest and cheapest
  2. Turret Reloading Press – Moderate in both complexity and price
  3. Progressive Reloading Press – Most complex (with added features) & most expensive.

We will discuss which kinds of reloading press you need after understanding what each type of reloading press does.

Single Stage Reloading Press

A single-stage reloading press is the simplest type of reloading press of the 3 types. It is relatively cheaper, setting up is easier, and perfect for a beginner reloader. Only one die can be operated at once (hence the name single stage).

Usually used for rifle brass case reloading. It can also be used for depriming (using the depriming die) and priming. Single Stage Reloading Press is the slowest. But less prone to mistakes, especially for beginner reloaders. Out of the 3 types of reloading press Single Stage Reloading Press are our favorite. It sure takes time but gives more control which results in more accuracy.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Press

Turret Reloading Press

Lee Turret Press

The difference between a turret reloading press and a single-stage reloading press (technically) is just the number of dies you can set up in the turret simultaneously. This multiple-die setup is possible due to the turret ring of the turret reloading press. The Turret ring shown in the picture can be rotated manually or auto-indexed which rotates the ring by the pull of the lever.

One similarity between the turret and Single Stage Reloading Press is both types of reloading press work on only one brass case at once and multiple pulls of the lever are required to complete one round. The turret ring can have anywhere from 3 to 7 die set-up positions. Due to the movement of the ring, the precision decreases but with enough practice and patience that can be improved.

Progressive Reloading Press.

The Progressive Reloading Press is an upgrade from the turret reloading press and is best suited for bulk reloading. Generally, the users of the progressive reloading press are semi-automatic rifles or Pistol users. These kinds of shooters will have a lot of cases to reload and reuse.

Unlike the Turret Reloading Press, in the Progressive Reloading Press, the Shell holders rotate and the dies stay in position. In a progressive reloading press usually 3-7 Brass Cases are operated simultaneously and one bullet is completed per pull of the lever. Progressive Reloading Press decreases the overall time required for reloading.

The progressive reloading press is the most complex and more prone to error as a 3-7 operation happens with a single stroke of the lever. The system can be equipped with case feeders and in some models projectile feeders as well, which decreases the reloading drastically. The accuracy of the completed round is the best.

Progressive Reloading Press

Choosing a Reloading press

In choosing a reloading press, first, we need to understand our needs. The needs can be categorized based on:

  1. Precision of Completed Rounds.
  2. Time taken to complete rounds.
  3. Value for price.
  4. Complexity of setup.
  5. Types of brass case you want to reload.

Evaluating each point will help us choose which type of reloading press you need.

1.    Precision of completed rounds.

High precision means to hit the target every time at the same place. And if high precision is required then Single Stage Reloading Press easily takes the spotlight.

2.   Time taken to complete rounds

If lots of bullet needs to be reloaded then time for each reloading need to be brought to a minimum. But this reduced time for reloading comes at a cost of precision. Progressive Reloading Press is the fastest as with each pull of the lever one round is completed.

3.   Value for price.

This is more of a subjective opinion. In my Honest Opinion, Single-Stage and Progressive Reloading presses are more valuable in price than Turret Reloading presses.

4.   Complexity of Setup

In the beginning, any setup is complex but as more and more rounds are completed the setup becomes easier. keeping that in mind, set up for Single Stage Reloading press is the simplest and less prone to error.

5.   Type of Brass you want to reload

Largely there are 2 types and a few sub-types. The two major types are pistol and rifle. Sub-types are bolt action rifles, automatic Rifles, and semi-automatic. Single-Stage Reloading press is mostly used for rifle cases, and for pistol turrets or a progressive reloading press is used.

Understanding your needs will make choosing the type of reloading press you need easier.

Summary table for types of reloading presses.

Single StageTurretProgressive
Precision of rounds9 out of 107.5 out of 106 to 7.5 out of 10
Round completion timeSlowModerateFast
Value for priceVery GoodModerateVery Good
ComplexitySimpleModerateVery Complex

As you can observe, the precision for none of the reloading presses is a solid 10/10 and it never will be because there are a lot more variables, but you can increase the precision by trimming the cases before loading them. To know more about case trimmers read my other article here.

To summarize the table above;

  • If you require very high precision then above anything else you need to choose single-stage Reloading Presses.
  • But if you have lots of rounds to reload and precision is not the top requirement then the Auto Progressive Reloading press is the best option.
  • But if your requirement is somewhere in the middle of both types Turret type would be your best bet.
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