So far I am satisfied with some new reloading products I’ve recently acquired from a company called SmartReloader
. Generally, when it comes to reloading supplies, I am pretty much a “Lee” man–I think Lee Precision
makes great products and offers great service at great (i.e. cheap) prices. I do have a few products from other manufacturers, such as RCBS
, but only because Lee didn’t offer what I needed at the time. You can spend more on presses that (arguably) offer more features, but for pistol cartridge reloading in particular, Lee is tough to beat in terms of value. I had some concerns about whether my Lee Loadmaster press and Lee .223 dies were up to the task of reloading accurate rifle cartridges for NRA High Power, but that concern is gone given how well my ammo has performed off the Lee press, dies, and powder measure. I even use the Lee Zip Trim and other case prep tools. Can’t argue with my recent Master scores, and the great groups I’ve been shooting in prone.
However, in the past year or so a new supplier has entered the market, SmartReloader
. As far as I can tell they are a European company, that seems to have a “house” brand line of products. I noticed a few of their items were available at Natchez Shooters Supplies
, one of my favorite online retailers. I first purchased the SmartReloader media separator
, which is $10-$20 cheaper than other brands. Since then, I’ve picked up their funnel
, case care kit
, and trickler
(although mine came in black, not yellow). All the SmartReloader gear is a little cheaper than the competitors. So far, I’ve only had a chance to use the media separator and case care kit (actually only the small primer pocket reamer and uniformer).
The media separator works fine, a nice replacement for the plastic pasta strainers I was using before. The primer pocket tools seem to work fine. I use them only when a primer gets mangled during insertion, or refuses to seat below flush. I lightly ream and uniform the pocket a bissel, which usually solves the problem for the one out of ten cases that have a primer seating issue during reloading.
All of the tools I have so far from SmartReloader are simple tools where precision is not critical and there aren’t any moving parts. I’m not sure I would dive into one of their presses, and especially not their electric powder measure and scale unless I was sure that they offer robust US support. In the case of Lee, any issues I’ve had have been addressed with prompt emails and great customer service. So far, SmartReloader doesn’t have much of a track record (or at least one I can find online), and I am not the kind to take the risks of an early adopter.
I’m certainly not disparaging any other line of reloading equipment. It’s a little funny how loyal we shooters can be about our reloading equipment, and how many on-line flame wars break out in the forums about who makes the best reloading presses and dies. All I can say is that for my Bullseye pistol and High Power rifle needs, Lee has done the job at the lowest price. But keep your eye on SmartReloader for some of the accessories that Lee doesn’t offer.
3/28/11 Update: I used the trickler and funnel tonight, both work fine.