If you’re a high-volume shooter, you know how expensive ammunition can get. And although there are situations where manufacturer-made ammo is a must, there are just as many, if not more, situations where reloaded rounds will feed your gun just fine. It’s important to note that reloading ammunition takes care and precision; it isn’t a pastime to take up lightly or one you should carry out while watching television. That said, there are numerous publications, how-to videos, and tutorials to help you become an experienced reloader, and if you want to reload, the first thing you need is a reloading press.
Regarding reloading presses, there are three kinds: single-stage press, turret press, and progressive press. The single-stage press is best for new reloaders, but it’s also suitable for those who want to ensure their ammunition is reloaded with care. A single-stage press gives you the most control over every stage of the process, and although it’s more time-consuming, the pros far outweigh that one con. And although there are multiple single-stage presses on the market, one, in particular, stands out: the RCBS Partner Press.
RCBS Partner Press Features
RCBS stands for “Rock Chuck Bullet Swage, ” referring to the founder’s desire to swage bullets; swaging bullets is a method of forming them with pressure. RCBS has been a leader in the industry for more than 6 decades and is based in Oroville, California. They make everything you could possibly want for reloading, from the actual press to dies to primers to all manner of accessories and parts.
They’re now a subsidiary of ATK, an enormous company known for producing precision and strike weapons and ammunition for the military and law enforcement. Regarding reloading presses, RCBS isn’t just a good choice; they’re excellent; here’s why.
The RCBS Partner Press was specifically designed for new reloaders. However, even experienced reloaders enjoy this press for its simplicity and quality control. This press is also an excellent choice for those with limited space. It’s made of cast aluminum and is an O-frame style; the handle is made of steel and is located in the center of the press so that it can be used either right or left-handed. It has three mounting holes, and although mounting hardware isn’t included, it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get. Best of all, this press comes with the RCBS lifetime warranty for home reloaders. The warranty is void if you buy this press for commercial use, but most users stick to home use.
This RCBS reloading press has tight tolerances, unlike some competitors, which do not. It’s capable of lasting through extensive reloading and can handle not only rifle rounds but pistol rounds as well. RCBS advertises this press as capable of handling all rounds from magnum sizes down to small .17 caliber rounds. It comes with standard-sized 7/8”-14 threads, which are the right size for most die brands, including Lee, Hornady, Redding, Lyman, and RCBS. It also comes with a primer catcher for spent primers, which isn’t something all presses can claim.
This single-stage press has various features that make it an excellent choice for reloading. The primer arm has interchangeable primer plugs and sleeves so you can easily seat both large and small primers, and the arm conveniently swings aside when not in use so it won’t be in your way. This RCBS press has a 3 ½” ram stroke and does work well with the RCBS Ram Prime Unit, which is sold separately. It’s designed to be used with a variety of RCBS accessories.
How Reloading Can Make Life Easier
Reloading doesn’t need to be complicated. With research, attention to detail, and this RCBS reloader, you’ll be reloading ammunition like a pro in no time. This press is long-lasting and user-friendly; countless experienced reloaders have given it rave reviews. Although some reloaders prefer the speed associated with progressive presses, which allow for multiple rounds to be completed all at once, there is something to be said for the ability to exercise strict quality control.
This RCBS Partner Press lets you exercise quality control and reload ammunition efficiently. The fact that it’s also compact and doesn’t take up much of your workspace is also an added benefit. Reloading ammunition is absolutely an exact science, and you shouldn’t trust your ammo to just any reloading press. To ensure your reloaded rounds are well-made and your press has a long life, go with the RCBS Partner Press. The Rock Chucker Supreme Press by RCBS is also an option and is our pick as the top single stage press to use, but where the Partner Press beats the Rock Chucker is in price, coming at around $75 versus the $150 Rock Chucker.
Another beginner single stage press that many users enjoy is the Lee Precision 50th Anniversary Reloading Kit, found here and reviewed in detail as the best one to start with if you’re new to reloading and trust in Lee products.