Best Reloading Kits for Beginners – 2023 Ultimate Round-up

| Last Updated:
October 3, 2023

Reloading your own ammunition is a great way to both save money and improve the accuracy of your firearms.

Whether you just want to dip your toes into the hobby or take a deep dive into load development, reloading is a worthwhile endeavor.

If you are just starting out with reloading, scroll down to learn more about choosing the best reloading kits for beginners.

Comparison of the Best Reloading Kits for Beginners

  • Best overall reloading kit.
  • Includes a turret style reloading press.
  • Includes all other components for reloading.
View Latest Price →
  • Includes the Big Boss Reloading Press.
  • Runner-up for best overall reloading kit.
  • Includes other accessories like a reloading funnel.
View Latest Price →
  • Best reloading kit for the money.
  • Includes a Lock-N-Load Classic Single Stage Press.
  • Digital scale for powder and casing weight measurement.
View Latest Price →
  • Powder funnel included.
  • Includes a reloading manual.
  • Spray lube and other accessories.
View Latest Price →
  • Reloading handbook included.
  • Includes the Brass Smith Single Stage Press.
  • Includes tools, lubricant, and primer tray among other accessories.
View Latest Price →

What to Watch For When Buying a Reloading Kit

Getting into a new hobby can be daunting when you are faced with purchasing the equipment needed to get started. Luckily, in the world of reloading, you can buy convenient kits that are perfect for beginners. Let’s find out what to look for when choosing a good reloading kit.

Build Quality

The build quality of reloading gear is a very important factor. Not only does high-quality gear make the learning process go more smoothly since you don’t have to struggle to get her working correctly, but it also ensures that you are producing safe and well-made ammunition for your firearms. To wind up with quality reloading gear, your best bet is to stick with a respected brand name such as Hornady, Lyman, Lee Precision, and RCBS.

Another bonus on buying high-quality reloading gear is that it will be easier to sell if you decide to upgrade or if you decide that reloading just isn’t for you.

Photo credit:

Additional Gear Needed

It is important to keep in mind that although reloading kits for beginners come with the vast majority of gear needed to start reloading, some additional purchases will still need to be made. These additional purchases include things such as dies and calipers that are for specific calibers as well as case holders trimmers.

There are few things more annoying than being excited to start a new hobby only to realize that the starter kit didn’t include everything needed. Keep this in mind to avoid that annoyance and to make sure everything will still fit in your budget.

Safety is #1

This really should go without saying but is worth mentioning anyhow. The process of reloading itself isn’t necessarily dangerous. However, firing cartridges you load yourself can be. If done improperly, there is a chance of catastrophic results. That is why it is vitally important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and the information in a quality reloading manual.

When you are first starting out, it is best to go with minimum loads of black powder for a specific bullet weight according to the reloading manual. As you gain more knowledge about reloading, you’ll be able to begin to really fine tune your custom loads for optimal performance.

Review of the Best Reloading Kits for Beginners

The following is a list of the five best reloading kits designed just for beginners. As you go through each one, be sure to take note of what’s included, along with any other notable characteristics.

This will give you a good idea of what to look for in an ideal reloading kit. You may find one that will fit you best. Now, let’s take a look at our “best overall” choice for beginner reloading kits:

Best Overall:
Lee Precision - 4-Hole Turret Press Deluxe Kit


  • Press Lever-Action is Smooth and Easy to Use
  • It Has All the Components You Need and Then Some
  • Great for Reloading Pistol and Small Cartridge Rifle Rounds
  • Auto-Index is Flawless With Little to No Modification Needed
  • Reliability is Excellent, Even After Reloading Thousands of Rounds


  • May Be a Little Pricey for Some Budget Shoppers
  • Some Have Had Issues Trying to Fit the Dies on the Press
  • Primers May Drop at Times When You’re Trying to Use Them

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were happy with the kit overall. The press was easy to use and provided them will all kinds of goodies that they needed to reload their pistol and small rifle rounds. One user said it was a convenience for him since he owned both a 9 mm pistol and a small semi-auto rifle (SBR). He said he was able to crank out over 100 rounds in just over an hour because of how easy it was to use the press.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This has all the fixings and components you need for reloading. Plus, you get the press itself. Not to mention, you can reload and switch out different calibers quickly and with efficiency. Simply put, it’s the easiest reloading kit that anyone can use. Consider it the ultimate starter’s kit for reloading your pistol or small-barreled rifles (to name a few examples).

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by those who want to manually load their pistol rounds (regardless of caliber). If they also own rifles with the ability to fire smaller cartridges, it might also benefit them as well. Users who want a kit that pretty much has everything they need will be looking to this as a possible choice.

What Could Be Improved and Why

One possible improvement would be to ensure that all the reloading dies are measured properly for fitting. Some have complained that there have been some slight mismeasurements on some of the dies. That could cause a problem during the reloading process itself (like the die not staying in place).

Bottom Line

If you want a reloading kit that is the best for beginners and has a lot of the stuff you need for reloading small rounds, the Lee Precision 4-Hole Turret Press Deluxe Kit is exactly what you’re looking for. This might be considered the “kit of kits” out of this list if you plan on loading a lot of small rounds.

Redding - Big Boss Pro-Pak Deluxe Reloading Kit


  • Tools are Excellent in Quality
  • Press Lever-Action is Nice and Smooth
  • Great for Reloading Most Pistol Rounds Across Many Calibers
  • Powder is Easy to Load into the Empty Casings. No Spillage to Speak of
  • Easy Repeatable Reloading, You Can Crank Out Countless Rounds in a Matter of an Hour


  • None for the price

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers had no trouble using the tools and the reloading press itself. They also have reloaded over a hundred pistol rounds successfully, without dealing with any spillage or reliability issues with the press itself. One user said it was the closest thing he could get to a full-fledged reloading station for his 9 mm rounds.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This stands out as a tool-heavy reloading kit that will definitely get the job done for anyone who wants to reload as many pistol rounds as possible. It will work with many calibers, so you can consider this the closest thing to a universal reloading station. The reloading funnel makes it easy to add the powder into the casings and prevent spillage.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a must-use for pistol owners. It will also give them the opportunity to reload more pistol rounds so they don’t have to purchase new boxes of ammo that can cost hundreds of dollars. In other words, it’s probably best-used by those who want to save money and make their own pistol rounds.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Though no major con is mentioned here, we can at least suggest the possibility of including something else in the kit: perhaps gunpowder that can work with most calibers? This will also be a money saver for those who want to start out with reloading their own pistol rounds rather than purchasing them separately.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a really good reloading kit that will work with pistol calibers across the board, you’d be insane to pass up on the opportunity of giving the Redding Big Boss Pro-Pak a closer look. You'll have all the tools you need and a press that is reliable and will help you crank out a lot of rounds in such a short time.

Best for the Money: 
Hornady - Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit


  • Die Sets are Solid and Inexpensive
  • Accurate Reloading and Measuring
  • Excellent as a Beginner’s Reloading Kit
  • Great for Reloading Pistol and Rifle Cartridges
  • Reloading Press is Easy to Use and Lever-Action is Nice and Smooth


  • Some Lubrication Might Be Required Before Initial Use
  • Some Were Not Satisfied with the Overall Quality of the Scale
  • Batteries that Come Included With the Scale Might Be Dead

What Recent Buyers Report

This reloading press is simple to use considering that it is one of the easier types to work with. In fact, single-stage type presses are highly recommended for beginner’s use. And recent buyers made that known to us. One user said he was able to reload over a thousand rounds in a single month without any reliability issues or spillage at all.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This kit is affordable for most budgets and includes everything you need in order to make reloading a breeze for your pistol or rifle. Either way, it’s the closest you can get to a near-universal reloading station. The press is solid and has the potential to last you decades (provided that you take great care of it). Plus, all the small parts, like your dies, fit perfectly, right down to the accurate measurements. So you get perfectly loaded rounds almost every time.

Who Will Use This Most

This reloading kit will be best used by those who use their pistol or rifle for one purpose or another. It can be hunters who use AR-15 rifles or competitive target shooters who use an S&W .40 caliber pistol. For almost any round you want to reload, this kit will be the solution, especially if they’re looking for a kit that won’t suck the life out of their bank accounts.

What Could Be Improved and Why

What should be included in the kit is a lubricant that can be used to make the press a lot smoother to use. Some have had to do so before using it the first time so it doesn’t feel so rough and stiff to use. Add lube to the mix and it will save more money and averts all kinds of frustration.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for the best reloading kit you can afford and want it as newbie-friendly as possible, the Hornady Classic Lock-N-Load Kit will be exactly what you're looking for. You've got all that you need to reload your pistol or rifle rounds, a reliable press, all the small side tools you'll need, and everything in-between is what you'll need to build the best beginner-friendly reloading station.

4. RCBS - Explorer Reloading Kit


  • Excellent for Reloading Pistol and Rifle Shots
  • Accurate Measuring and Reloading for Most Rounds
  • Manual is Easy to Understand, Gives Clear Instructions
  • Tools are Excellent in Quality, Not Flimsy or Cheap Feeling
  • Reloading Press Action-Lever is Smooth and Easy to Move Around


  • None for the price

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were impressed overall with the kit itself. They were able to reload most of their pistol and rifle rounds quickly, thanks to the smooth moving abilities of the reloading press. The powder funnel provided accurate, no-spill reloading every time it was used. One recent buyer said he was happy with a reloading kit that actually provided perfect amounts of powder for each of his rounds.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This kit is another reloading kit that can reload the pistol and rifle rounds for all of its shooters. This kit looks basic on paper, but make no mistake, it has all the stuff you need to ensure that all your rounds are perfectly loaded and ready for action in any application.

Who Will Use This Most

This reloading kit will be used by many shooters across some of the most popular applications. If you have pistol or rifle rounds to reload, this will likely be your choice for best reloading kit. Hunters, target shooters, and concealed carry shooters will benefit from using this reloading kit for all their ammo needs.

What Could Be Improved and Why

With no obvious cons, we can still make a suggestion on what should be included in the kit. Once again, we can suggest the possibility of adding gunpowder into the mix. One type for pistol rounds and another for rifle rounds. Either way, you’ll have just enough powder to allow you to reload an entire box of rounds. That would be an excellent bang (no pun intended) for your buck.

Bottom Line

If you want a reliable reloading kit that will be excellent as a starter kit for reloading pistol or rifle rounds, look no further than RCBS Explorer Reloading Kit as something that’s right up your alley. You'll have all the reliable tools you need to make your reloading much easier and less of a mess.

5. Lyman Brass Smith Victory Press Reloading Kit


  • Easy to Reload With No Spillage
  • Reloading Press is Easy to Use
  • Powder Funnel Can Hold a Lot of Gunpowder
  • The Handbook Contains Easy to Understand Reloading Instructions
  • Primer Tray Provides Excellent Organization for Recently Loaded Rounds


  • Some Say the Primer Might Stay Stuck on the Die
  • Some Say the Batteries on the Electronic Scale are Either Weak or Dead on Arrival
  • Some Say the Press Might Be a Challenge to Use, at First

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were looking for a reloading kit that was easy to use and compatible with most rifle or pistol rounds. They were able to reload their rounds easily without having to make any alterations to the rounds themselves. Reloading was easy and the reloading press allowed for quick primer closure. One user said he was able to knock out a single box of 9 mm bullets in just a half-hour.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This reloading kit has all the tools and accessories you need, plus a manual on how you can easily and perfectly load rounds for your pistol or rifle rounds. Either way, it’s one of the most newbie-friendly reloading kits you can get. Everything you see here is easy to use and will be reliable for as long as you take good care of it.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be a reloading kit that will definitely be a favorite among pistol and rifle owners, especially when they’re looking for a reloading kit that will allow them to quickly reload as many smaller rounds as possible. If timing is one of your number one priorities when it comes to reloading, this reloading kit includes a press that will allow for quick reloading almost every time.

What Could Be Improved and Why

A possible improvement to consider would be to get rid of the batteries from the scale itself. This way, it gives users the opportunity to get their own batteries for the scale so they can use it frequently and no have to worries about how much battery life it has left.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a reloading kit that will do an excellent job reloading as many pistol or rifle rounds as possible, the Lyman Brass Smith Victory Press Reloading Kit is the beginner’s kit that will work to your advantage. You will have everything necessary to ensure that your reloading process is quick, clean, and easy .

The Basics of Reloading

The following is a brief overview of the basics of reloading. It is important to know what entails it and what needs to be done while you’re reloading your own rounds. We’ll talk about the components of reloading and what you need in order to reload your own ammo.

The Components of Reloading

The following components are needed in order for you to reload reach and every round: primers, powder, bullets, brass, reloading dies, shell holders, and a reloading bench. Each of these components is necessary to the reloading process. When you look at each and every one of them, it appears quite simple to do.

However, you’ll need the right kind of tools and accessories to ensure that you’re doing it correctly. It can get a little complicated and a little messy if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Photo credit:

What is Needed for Reloading

Aside from your regular components, you’ll also need a reloading press. This will allow you to load the powder into the ammo casings and seal the primer, among other tasks. Some reloading presses are simpler to use than others.

It also depends on the type of rounds you intend to reload (for pistols, shotguns, and rifles). Some of them might be used across the board, while others are for specific types of firearms.

How to Choose Your First Reloading Kit

As a complete newbie to using one of these, it is important to look out for some of the best characteristics and features of each reloading kit. This brief guide on what to look for will also help you find one that stands head and shoulders over kits that are inferior and unreliable. Here's what you need to look for:


If you’re new to buying these, chances are you're looking for something that is affordable. As a rule of thumb, it’s important to find a reloading kit that is high in quality and has the components that you need. Never settle for anything that is considered cheap or poor in quality, just because the price tag is so low.

What’s Included?

It’s important to know what’s included in your reloading kit of choice. One thing that must be included is a reloading press. Without it, the kit is useless. Other accessories that should also be included in this kit include your primer tray, powder funnel, and reloading dies, to name a few.

Which Rounds Will You Need to Load?

Most of the kits will allow you to load your pistol rounds, while others are designed for reloading rifle rounds for your AR-15 and other semi-automatic rifles. Most of the kits below will be compatible with either casing size. 

Cautious Considerations When Reloading Ammo

There are some things you need to mull over when you’re tasked with reloading your own ammo. They are important to consider and should not be ignored for the purpose of your own safety. Here’s what you need to mull over:

What Caliber Rounds Am I Reloading?

Whether it’s pistol or rifle rounds, knowing which caliber is important because there are different casting dies that will fit specific calibers and sizes.

Be sure to use the right one so you can perfectly seal the round with your reloading press rather than damage it due to using the wrong casing or primer.

Photo credit:

How Much Powder Do I Need for Reloading?

Sometimes, too much gunpowder can be a bad thing. It’s important to pay attention to the size of the casings you’re reloading so you know how much powder you need to load. This is where your funnel and measuring scale comes into play. You need to have the right amount in order to have effective firing power. 

Pros and Cons of Reloading Your Own Ammo

There are some really great advantages you can enjoy, simply by reloading your own ammo. However, it does come with its share of disadvantages, as well. When you invest in your own reloading kit and begin reloading your own shots, here’s what you need to expect:


Here are some pros:

You Save a Lot of Money

It’s no secret that you’ll be saving yourself a ton of money by reloading your own ammo rounds. These days, a large box of ammo runs for hundreds of dollars (depending on the caliber, how many bullets you get, etc.). This is also an excellent alternative for those who are on a budget and needs to purchase accessories for their firearm.

Easy to Customize

A reloading press will allow you to easily customize your rounds. It will be perfect for when you need better velocity or accuracy, depending on your application. Competitive shooters and hunters can get a little creative with their rounds and make their bullets a little faster than regular factory rounds.

Hornady - Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit

You Can Make Bullets That Are No Longer Sold

Have you tried finding your favorite rounds only to find out they’re no longer being made? Now you can save yourself the frustration and sadness. You can actually make the same rounds or something similar. You’re familiar with what it looks like and how it looks. And once again, you have plenty of creative control to work with when it comes to reloading your rounds.


Here are some cons:

It Takes Patience

Granted, it will be a long time before you’re able to master the reloading press. Especially when you’re trying to reload as many rounds as possible for your pistol or rifle. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to reload your rounds of choice much faster.

It’s Expensive at the Outset

Mind you, the equipment you need will set you back hundreds of dollars., but compare that to how much you’ll be spending annually to buy numerous boxes of ammo. If you hate throwing more money out the window, it’s best to swallow your pride and get the equipment you need to start reloading your own rounds.


The best reloading kit for beginners is out there. It might even be one of the best things you’ve ever invested in as a gun owner. Knowing what you can achieve by reloading your own rounds can be an exciting task but it’s not easy at first. Simply follow the instructions and don’t be afraid to go through a bunch of rounds for the sake of practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon be able to reload the rounds you want to use for the real deal. 

Michael Lutes

Michael Lutes is the managing editor and owner at Gun Mann. He is a veteran, gun enthusiast, 3 gun competitor, and 2a advocate. Mike has a passion for innovation and education across the industry to create great content, training, and insights from the best and brightest.

Leave a Comment