Originally published on Ultimate Reloader HERE. (you can comment there!)

So you want to start loading rifle ammunition! Soon you’ll be realizing more accurate ammunition, complete control over cartridge characteristics, and also save a bunch of money. But first, there’s a bunch of information to absorb, and a bunch of things to buy. But what things to buy? That’s the reason for this article! There are certain things you’ll need, and certain things you’ll want. In this article I’ll introduce a list of the essentials and the “optionals”.

A good baseline equipment and components package for reloading rifle ammunition - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader
A good baseline equipment and components package for reloading rifle ammunition – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

The above picture gives you an idea of the equipment and supplies that will be needed to start loading rifle ammunition, but there are some things that just didn’t fit into the picture. You’ll also need media and machinery to clean cases for instance. For reference, here’s a “complete list” of the items that you’ll need to put on your shopping list or wish list:

Required? Quantity Item
Yes 1 Single stage, turret, or progressive reloading press
Yes 1 per cartridge (some shared) Shellplate (if press is a progressive), Shellholder (if press is a turret or single stage)
Yes 1 per cartridge Die set
Yes 100+ Brass, previously fired or new
Yes 1 Brass tumbler and media
Yes 5lb+ per application Powder
Yes 1000+ per application Primers
Yes Various Bullets
Yes 1 Precision scale, digital or mechanical
Yes 1-20 per caliber Ammo boxes (can reuse factory ammo boxes and trays)
Yes 1 Digital Caliper (0-6″)
Yes 1 per case size Case trimmer
Yes 1 Powder measure
Yes 1 Load manual
Yes 1 Hand priming tool
Yes 1 Universal Reloading block
Yes 1 Chamfering and deburring tool
No 1 Bullet puller (impact type is most simple and cost effective)
No 1 Powder funnel
No 1 can Case lube and brush (required if your dies are not carbide or Titanium Nitride)
No 5-10lb Case tumbling media (ground walnut shells, dried corncob)
No 1 Case tumbler (Vibratory cleaner or similar)
No 1 Micrometer (0-1″)
No 1 per primer size Primer pocket reamer or swaging tool (if reloading crimped military brass such as 5.56x45mm or 7.62x51mm NATO)
No 1 Powder trickler

It sounds like a lot of things to track down and buy, but most manufacturers make rifle loading kits that come with most of what you’ll need for a bare-bones reloading setup.

Here are some additional resources here on Ultimate Reloader that will help you get off the ground reloading:

Hornady Case Prep Center

AR-MPR Phase II: Precision Loading and Accurizing

AR-308 Precision Loading

Originally published 01/2009