Getting into the sport of trap and skeet can be a very expensive hobby. If you are new to the sport you need to shoot upwards of 20 or more rounds per month to improve.
Unless you’re making a ton of money you will quickly need to mitigate costs. This is where a good shotshell reloading press comes in. With a reloading press you can easily cut your costs in half depending on which shell gauge you compete with.
Which is The Best Shotgun Reloading Press?
Make sure you scroll down below to see the different calibers available for each press. Be careful which press you buy some shotshell presses are caliber specific.
Single Stage Shotshell Reloading Press
Check Price: Amazon
The Lee Precision II shotshell reloading press is most reloaders first shotgun press. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t an excellent press. This press can be good for even some of the most advanced reloaders.
This press is great for shooters that only shoot a few hundred rounds per week. Unless you are a daily trap or skeet shooter the Lee shotshell press is likely all that you will need.
The Lee Precision Shotshell press is an all in one unit that can load a variety of calibers. This shotshell press is a light easy to handle press made out of aluminum and plastic.
The Lee press should load high quality 3 inch and 2 3/4 inch shells very quickly. You can easily make five or more boxes of shells per hour with this press. You can make any type of shotgun shell including slugs. This Lee Reloading press makes quality crimps, typically better than factory quality.
The press is very accurate and is a great deal for the price. You will be able to quickly
The Mec 600 Jr Mark V is another single stage shotshell reloading press. This model is a step up from the Lee single stage shotshell press and likewise costs significantly more.
In my opinion the increased cost is worth the increase in build quality of this shotshell press. This press is easily adjustable to accommodate up to 3 inch shells. It is sold in multiple gauge ranges including .410,10,12,16,20 and 28 gauge. Like the above Lee press this single stage press can load from 5 to 8 boxes of shells per hour.
The Mec 600 Jr Mark V is a high quality machine that is built to last. This press was built with beginners in mind. They’re is a very small learning curve and you will be up and reloading in no time. This press comes adjusted by the manufacturer and you only need to make minor adjustments before you start.
The only disadvantage that this press has is the minor spillage that can happen between reloading stations. This press has everything that the beginning shotshell reloader needs. If you are looking for a single stage shotshell press you can’t beat the Mec 600 Jr in this price range. Check out the additional gauges by clicking the Links below.
Best Progressive Shotshell Reloading Press
Check Price: Amazon
The MEC 650N shotshell reloader is a great budget progressive shotshell press. You don’t have to spend a lot to buy one of the best progressive shotshell presses.
This MEC press is a little more expensive than the 600 Jr, but performs a whole lot faster. With this press you can simultaneously work on 6 shells at once.
That’s the beauty of the progressive shotshell reloading press. With a progressive shotshell press you’ll easily load 300-400 shells per hour. The only thing slowing you down is the priming system. Speed does have its limits though. If you try to go to fast you’re bound to miss a powder drop or smash a hull.
The reason to choose this MEC 650N press is because of
If you understand the basics of shotshell reloading you will be an expert in no time. This press really is the perfect progressive press for the beginning reloader. It will take a lot of shooting to outgrow the MEC 650N. This shotshell press is available in 12, 28, 16, 20 and 410 gauge. For more information about the different gauges follow the links below.
Check Price: Amazon
The Mec Mayville 9000 is the absolute best progressive shotshell reloading press for the majority of reloaders. This shotshell press is absolutely foolproof as far as progressive presses go.
This press doesn’t have all of the features that the RCBS The Grand includes but it can do anything most people will ever need. Where the Mec 9000 stands out is
In a ten operation shotshell press you would assume the setup would be difficult, but it’s very intuitive. You just roll through the operations and work on 6 shotshells at once.
With every stroke of the
You can easily fill a
Which Gauges Should you Reload?
The easiest answer is that you should reload all the gauges that you want to compete with. It’s true that you won’t save much money if you’re used to buying the cheapest 12 gauge shells at Wal-mart.
You won’t save as much money per shotshell, but you will be shooting higher quality bullets. This is where the primary advantage comes in when reloading 12 gauge. You will be shooting high quality shells specifically designed for your shotgun. If done properly shotshell reloads should give consistently better groupings over most store bought ammo.
You won’t save a ton of money reloading 12 or 20 gauge shells. Where the real savings comes in is shooting less common gauges. You can easily get down to 40 percent of the total cost per shell when reloading 410, 16 and 28 gauge shotshells. This amount of monthly savings will quickly pay for even the best shotshell reloading press.
Different Types of Shotshell Presses
Unlike a standard press, the typical shotshell press is gauge specific. They do sell conversion kits but most of the time you’d be better off just buying an additional press per shell.
It is both cost and time prohibitive to convert to a different gauge shell. Like with a traditional reloading press you can choose between a single stage and progressive shotshell press.
- Single Stage Press- The single stage shotshell press is a cost effective reloading solution. With this type of press you load one shell, in each of the stations. After you are completely finished with the shell you move onto the next one. This type of press isn’t recommended for high volume shooters. With a single stage shotshell press you can typically reload between 5 and 8 boxes of shells per hour.
- Progressive Press- The progressive shotshell press is for high volume reloaders. These presses typically cost much more than the standard single stage press. With every pull of the arm you will create a new shotgun shell. Typically you can expect 4 to 5 times the production speed out of a progressive press. Whether or not you can justify the cost of this press will depend on your available time and shooting volume.
Most of the shotshell presses on the market are both easy to use and make high quality shells. The only real problem with a shotshell press is that they are caliber specific. Fortunately most of the starter presses are fairly cheap so you can afford a basic press for shells you shoot less frequently.
What’s The Best Shotshell Reloader?
For the majority of competitive trap and skeet shooters the MEC 600 Jr is going to be the best shotshell reloading press. If you want to get into heavy competition you will want to step up to a progressive press.
For these people the MEC 650N or MEC 9000 will be the right choice. The Lee Shotshell press will work for anyone who doesn’t shoot regularly or wants to reload oddball shells.