Learn about budget-friendly reloading supplies for the best option when it comes to just stocking a few extra rounds or acquiring bulk ammo.
In this article:
- High-Quality Reloads
- Additional Supplies You Will Need To Buy
Reloading Ammo Without Unloading Your Wallet
As with any type of product, a wide variety of ammo reloading kits are available. From the simplest to the most sophisticated, there are a few limitations beyond what you’re willing to spend.
In this article, I'm going to focus on the most economical ways to achieve the highest quality in your reloads. I'll also tackle options for comparatively fast and easy starter setups.
Some folks who practice reloading have few space or budget limitations. Some are seasoned reloaders who have improved upon and upgraded their bulk reloading supplies over time.
Many of us, however, are at least not yet that fortunate. If you fall into that category, the shopping experience for a reloading kit is about to get much simpler.
After all, we need to save some room on our wish list for bigger and better toys to dream about for the future, right?
There’s practically a unanimous consensus about the products made by Lee Precision currently offer the greatest overall value, with consideration toward ease of setup, quality, and cost-effectiveness. I use them religiously and recommend you do the same.
Lee Hand Press
At the top of our list is the Lee Hand Press. Although it doesn’t provide for the fastest production of ready-to-fire rounds, it offers a fully-functional design that requires minimal effort.
Add all this to a retail price ranging from about $30-$40, and you have a clear choice, whether you’re just beginning, have limited workspace, or if you have budget limitations.
Of course, you’ll at least eventually need more tools and cartridge reloading supplies. These are supplies such as dies, shell plates, powder, etc.
But a good press is central for the majority of reloading projects. The Lee Hand Press is among those that offer starter kits and supplies you need to get going.
Although its production is slower and requires a bit more effort than the Lee Hand Press, the Lee Loader can be purchased for about $25 and offers a kit containing all the necessary tools for single caliber reloading without the use of a press.
The kit, combined with a hammer, actually takes the place of a conventional benchtop press. Although this method may seem primitive, it actually very effectively produces high quality reloaded ammo.
Lee Challenger Press
Even at a slightly higher price of just under $60, the Lee Challenger Press is also a good value. It can reload all pistol and most rifle rounds. For a stationary press, the Lee Challenger Press still doesn’t take up much room, and it’s considerably more functional and efficient than other models.
It’s easily adaptable to become even more efficient with the addition of “breech-lock” die connections. This allows for a one-time adjustment for the reloading of any given caliber of the shell.
Additionally, the 50th Anniversary kit for the Lee Challenger Press includes other necessary reloading tools such as hand priming tools and a powder measure for around $100 on the low end.
Buying a practical and affordable reloading press makes for a good start at saving money in your reloading projects.
Whether online, in business locations or from individuals, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for bargains in your reloading tools and supplies. They’re out there if you take the time to check it out.
Utilizing your workspace as efficiently as possible and repurposing items you already own can also save you money. For example, if you’re in need of a workbench, an old shelf or end table might work out just fine for you.
Above all, if you’re looking to be economical in reloading ammunition, you shouldn’t let your eyes get bigger than your wallet or bank account. Especially early on in your reloading ventures, it’s better to focus on the given quality of reloading products first, before you consider whether they include all the available bells and whistles.
Upgrades are fine, if and when you can afford them, but in order to maintain a budget, there should first be a noticeable and consistent need for that upgrade.
These most basic tips should make for a happier and more affordable reloading adventure, but in order to maintain quality and especially safety, official reloading specifications manual should be reviewed, no matter which equipment and supplies you choose in order to get the job done.
Additional Supplies You Will Need To Buy
Gun Powder Dispenser
Primers and Primered Rounds
Bullet Grain Specification Chart
Check out this really in-depth guide by Hickok45 on reloading basics for more on the subject:
You don't actually need to acquire expensive reloaders to create quality rounds. There are fully-functional tools that are not as fast but are capable of producing reliable ammo.
You can go for an upgrade but make sure it's a necessary route to take.
What can you say about these reloading options for your ammo? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 27, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.