5 Great Tools to Start Your AR-15 Reloading Setup

posted on January 9, 2020

Want to get the most out of your AR-15? Every rifle is different, and because of that fact, you'll never get the most accuracy or precision out of your gun using factory ammo. If you want to fine-tune a load to your gun, you'll need a dedicated reloading setup. Here are five tools that'll get you on the road to handloading heaven:

A micrometer-adjustable seater, a freefloating/self-centering bullet-seating system and a bullet-retaining system separates the RCBS MatchMaster Full Length Bushing Set .223 Rem. from its—well, competition. Simply place the projectile inside the seater die’s built-in window and seat the bullet. The design eliminates the likelihood of misaligned projectiles and crunched fingers. These dies are available in several calibers. MSRP: $169.95; rcbs.com

Hornady .223 Rem. Brass offers superb uniformity in wall thickness, weight and internal capacity. Each case is measured for consistently tight wall concentricity and also run through a pressure-calibration test to ensure case expansion is completely uniform once rounds begin going downrange. Choose from numerous rifle and handgun calibers, and large quantities are available, too. MSRP: $32.41 (per 50); hornady.com

Powered by two AAA batteries, measuring 2¼x4¼x¾ inches and weighing a mere 2.47 ounces, the Lyman Pocket Touch 1500 Digital Scale offers immense performance—along with an impressive 1,500-grain capacity—in a compact package. A patented universal-funnel pan, powder scoop and calibration weight are included. The touch screen boasts an easy-to-read lighted display. MSRP: $30.95 lymanproducts.com

The Frankford Arsenal M-Press Coaxial Reloading Press features an easy-to-adjust shell-holder system that allows the user to switch between small-, magnum- and rifle-size cases with a turn of a dial. The quick-change, floating-die system facilitates optimal bullet-to-case alignment, minimizing runout. Guide rods provide welcome stability and there’s even a spent-primer catcher, three aluminum die blocks and an integrated LED to brighten your work area. MSRP: $262.99; frankfordarsenal.com

A replacement for the company’s popular Rapid Lube 5000, spraying a thin layer of Dillon Precision’s DCL Case Lubricant on brass prior to running it through your press’ sizing die lessens the force required to raise and lower the ram. It also reduces wear-and-tear on the press over time. For those loading in volume, DCL lessens developing “Dillon elbow”—the reloading equivalent of tennis elbow. MSRP: $11.95; dillonprecision.com


SIG Sauer X-Ten Comp
SIG Sauer X-Ten Comp

First Look: SIG Sauer X-Ten Comp Pistol

A full-size carry gun with a 10mm kick.

Browning Hi Power Custom Build Part 1

While many firearm enthusiasts consider the Hi Power to be one of John Browning’s finest achievements, there are some Hi Power owners who feel the urge to make a great handgun even better.

First Look: PHLster Skeleton Holster For the Glock G42

A small and slim holster for a small and slim pistol.

What We Look For

There are a lot of things to watch out for before, during and after a violent attack.

First Look: NEBO Slyde King Lights

A versatile tactical flashlight now offered in Mossy Oak.

Reactionary Zones Part 2

What happens when the problem is too close to avoid?


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.