Reloading ammunition is an essential skill for many gun enthusiasts, allowing them to customize their rounds and save money in the process. However, choosing the right reloading press can be a daunting task, as there are many brands and models to choose from. In this post, we will compare three of the most popular reloading press brands on the market: Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS. We’ll take a close look at each brand’s features, benefits, and drawbacks to help you make an informed decision on which reloading press is right for you.
Whether you’re a seasoned reloader or just starting out, choosing the right reloading press can make all the difference in your ammunition production process. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start. But fear not – in this post, we’ll break down the pros and cons of three of the top reloading press brands to help you find the perfect fit for your needs. So, let’s dive into this reloading press showdown and find out which brand comes out on top!
Main features of the Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS reloading presses
Here’s a comparison table of the main features of the Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS reloading presses:
|Brand||Model||Type||Max Rounds/Hr||Primer System||Die Compatibility||Auto Indexing||Price|
|Dillon||XL750||Progressive||800-1,000||Automatic||Standard 7/8″-14 threads||Yes||$$$|
|Hornady||Lock-N-Load AP||Progressive||500-600||Automatic||Standard 7/8″-14 threads||Yes||$$|
|RCBS||Rock Chucker Supreme||Single-stage||50-100||Manual||Standard 7/8″-14 threads||No||$|
Dillon XL750: The Dillon XL750 is a high-end progressive reloading press that can produce up to 800-1,000 rounds per hour. It features an automatic primer system and an auto-indexing shellplate for quick and efficient reloading. The XL750 is also compatible with standard 7/8″-14 thread dies.
Hornady Lock-N-Load AP: The Hornady Lock-N-Load AP is another popular progressive reloading press, capable of producing 500-600 rounds per hour. It features an automatic primer system and an auto-indexing system, making it easy to use. The Lock-N-Load AP is also compatible with standard 7/8″-14 thread dies.
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme: The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is a single-stage reloading press designed for precision reloading. While it has a slower production rate, it is more accurate and precise than progressive presses. It has a manual primer system and is compatible with standard 7/8″-14 thread dies. It also has a more affordable price point compared to the other two options.
After comparing the Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS reloading presses, there are several key takeaways to consider.
Firstly, Dillon’s 650 XL and 750 XL presses stand out for their high production capacity, making them ideal for serious reloaders who need to load large quantities of ammunition quickly. The Hornady Lock-N-Load AP also offers a high production rate, with the added benefit of being able to switch calibers quickly and easily.
Secondly, the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is a great option for those looking for a reliable and durable single-stage press. It is also compatible with a wide range of calibers and has a very solid construction.
Thirdly, when it comes to precision, the Dillon 550C and the Hornady Lock-N-Load Precision Reloaders stand out, offering consistent and accurate loads with minimal effort.
Overall, the choice of reloading press will depend on individual needs and preferences, such as production rate, precision, and caliber compatibility. It is important to carefully evaluate each option and consider the features that will best suit your reloading needs.
Features and capabilities
What sets apart Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS reloading presses is their unique features and capabilities. In my personal opinion, Dillon and Hornady are both excellent options for those who are looking for high-end reloading presses with advanced features, while RCBS offers a more affordable option with reliable performance.
When considering which reloading press to choose, it is important to look for features that align with your reloading needs. For example, if you are looking for a press that can handle high-volume reloading, then the Dillon XL750 may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more affordable option that can still handle most reloading tasks, then the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme may be the way to go.
It is important to consider the availability and cost of replacement parts and accessories, as well as the ease of use and setup of each press. Ultimately, the best reloading press for you will depend on your specific needs and budget.
Specific needs and preferences
When it comes to performance, there are several categories that are commonly compared among reloading presses, including speed, accuracy, ease of use, durability, and versatility. Based on various reviews and comparisons, Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS all have their strengths and weaknesses in these categories.
In terms of speed, Dillon is often considered the fastest, with a high output and quick changeover between calibers. Hornady and RCBS are also fast, but Dillon tends to have an edge in this category.
For accuracy, all three brands are generally reliable and consistent, but some users have reported that Dillon’s powder measure is particularly precise.
Ease of use can vary depending on the specific model and features, but all three brands have generally user-friendly designs. Dillon’s quick-change toolheads and automatic powder measures are particularly popular among users for their ease of use.
Durability is also an important factor, and all three brands are known for producing high-quality, long-lasting products. However, some users have reported issues with certain models from each brand, so it’s important to do research and read reviews before making a purchase.
Finally, versatility is a key consideration for many reloaders, and all three brands offer a range of models and accessories to accommodate different needs. Dillon tends to be particularly popular among competitive shooters who need to reload a high volume of rounds quickly, while Hornady and RCBS offer a range of models that are suitable for both beginners and experienced reloaders.
Ultimately, the best reloading press for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It’s important to consider factors such as the volume of rounds you need to reload, the calibers you’ll be working with, and your budget when making a decision. Doing research and reading reviews can also help you make an informed choice.
Comparing Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS products
Dillon Precision RL550C
The Dillon Precision RL550C is a high-quality reloading press that is designed to make the reloading process fast and efficient. The design of the press is compact, which makes it a great choice for those with limited space in their reloading area. The RL550C has a smooth operation and allows you to load up to 400 rounds per hour. The auto-indexing feature is a nice addition and helps to make the process even faster. Overall, the RL550C is a great choice for those who need to load a lot of rounds quickly.
Hornady Lock-N-Load AP
The Hornady Lock-N-Load AP is another great reloading press that offers fast and efficient performance. The press has a sturdy build quality and is designed to last for a long time. The Lock-N-Load AP has a high level of precision, which helps to ensure that your rounds are consistent and accurate. The auto-indexing feature is also a nice addition, and the press allows you to load up to 500 rounds per hour. The one downside to the Lock-N-Load AP is that it can be a bit more expensive than some other options on the market.
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme
The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is a classic reloading press that has been around for many years. The press has a solid build quality and is designed to last for a long time. The Rock Chucker Supreme is a single-stage press, which means that it is slower than some of the other options on the market. However, this also means that it is more precise and allows you to have more control over the reloading process. Overall, the Rock Chucker Supreme is a great choice for those who value precision and control over speed.
My overall opinion
All three of these reloading presses are excellent options, and which one you choose will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you need to load a lot of rounds quickly, the Dillon Precision RL550C or Hornady Lock-N-Load AP are both great choices. If you value precision and control over speed, the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is a great option. Ultimately, all three of these presses are high-quality products that will provide you with excellent performance and reliability.
Here are three additional links to useful resources for the Reloading Press Showdown:
- Lee Precision: https://leeprecision.com/ – Lee Precision is a well-known name in the reloading industry, and their website is a great resource for finding information about reloading equipment and techniques. They offer a wide range of reloading presses, dies, and other tools, as well as helpful guides and videos for getting started with reloading.
- Lyman Products: https://www.lymanproducts.com/ – Lyman is another respected manufacturer of reloading equipment, with a wide range of products including presses, dies, and case prep tools. Their website features helpful resources such as reloading manuals and instructional videos, as well as a store where you can purchase their products.
- Sierra Bullets: https://www.sierrabullets.com/ – Sierra Bullets is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality bullets for reloading, and their website is a great resource for information on bullet selection, load data, and other reloading topics. They also offer reloading manuals and other helpful resources, as well as a store where you can purchase their bullets and other reloading components.
In my personal opinion, these three resources are all valuable for anyone interested in reloading, regardless of whether you ultimately choose to go with Dillon, Hornady, or RCBS for your press. Each manufacturer has their own unique products and strengths, and it’s always helpful to have a variety of resources at your disposal when it comes to learning about reloading techniques and equipment.
Equipment that used for reloading ammunition
Equipment that is commonly used for reloading ammunition with the Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS reloading presses:
|Reloading Dies||Set of dies for resizing, expanding, and seating bullets|
|Powder Scale||Used to accurately measure and weigh gunpowder|
|Powder Funnel||Helps to easily and cleanly pour gunpowder into cases|
|Case Trimmer||Used to trim and shape brass cases to proper length|
|Calipers||Measures case and bullet dimensions for consistency|
|Case Lube||Lubricates cases to prevent cases from sticking in resizing die|
|Priming Tool||Used to seat primers into cases|
|Tumbler||Cleans and polishes brass cases for reuse|
|Case Gauge||Checks that completed rounds are within proper dimensions|
|Case Feeder||Automatic feeder for cases into the press (only compatible with certain models)|
It’s important to note that not all equipment is necessary for every reloading setup and may vary depending on personal preference and reloading goals. However, having the right equipment can make the process more efficient and produce more consistent results.
Q: What’s the difference between a single-stage press and a progressive press?
A: A single-stage press only performs one operation at a time, whereas a progressive press can perform multiple operations with each pull of the lever. Single-stage presses are generally slower but can be more precise, while progressive presses are faster but may sacrifice some precision.
Q: How much does a reloading press cost?
A: The cost of a reloading press can vary widely depending on the brand, type, and features. Entry-level single-stage presses can start at around $100, while high-end progressive presses can cost over $1,000. It’s important to consider your reloading needs and budget when choosing a press.
Q: Do I need special training to use a reloading press?
A: While it’s not necessary to have special training, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of reloading safety and best practices. It’s recommended to take a reloading course or seek guidance from experienced reloaders to ensure proper technique and avoid accidents.
Q: Can I reload any type of ammunition with these presses?
A: Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS presses are all capable of reloading a wide range of calibers and types of ammunition. However, it’s important to check the press specifications and ensure that it’s suitable for the specific caliber and type of ammunition you plan to reload.
Q: How long does it take to reload ammunition with these presses?
A: The reloading process can vary depending on the type of press and the complexity of the ammunition being reloaded. Single-stage presses tend to be slower and can take several minutes per round, while progressive presses can produce hundreds of rounds per hour. It’s important to consider your reloading needs and time constraints when choosing a press.