Re: starting out reloading
I have been reloading as a hobby for about 9 years now. I started out using the old rock chucker press by RCBS and loved how sturdy and tight it was. When I left for college and now a career, my parents bought me the partner press reloading kit. The partner press will work, but the consistency is much to be desired. I also tried out the new rock chucker supreme press by RCBS. It was a great press, just like its predicessor, but I couldn't find an automatic primer feed for the new ones and ended up buying the old one off e-bay. I like the auto primer feed for when I am prepping large quantities of brass. you don't have to handle every primer and risk getting skin oil or case lube in the primer mix.
Like others have said, reloading manuals, reloading manuals, reloading manuals. to me the time these people have put into testing loads for us to have safety is the best thing ever. I currently have manuals for hornady, speer and sierra, becasue they are the bullets I use. I also have a hogden book, but only use it for reference if I am reloading bullets people give me as gifts from a company that I don't have their book for. THe nosler book and the barnes book are both on my to buy list when I get some more O.T.
I would also recommend that you get a good case length trimmer. I learned with an old RCBS that had a collet type clamp for the shell base, and found it fairly inconsistent. Now I use a Hornaday case trimmer that actually uses the same shell holder you need for the press to hold the case. It keeps the case length within .0015" as measured with my Fowler electronic calipers I got as a gift from work. Dial and Vernier calipers are very accurate as well for measuring case length if you want to be picky. If you don't want to be picky about the case length yet, the good old case length guides you can pick up at the sporting goods store for $5 will work great.
For the powder scale, which is a must have, the beam scales with the pan seperate from the scale hook work great for me. (The partner kit came with the hook attached to the pan, and I ended up moving the scale counter weights almost every time I put it back on the scale.Did not like at all). I would also recommend getting a good powder measure to save time in the process. I reloaded for 5 years without one, but now would never do without again. For rifle cartridges I am very picky about powder weight and check every charge on the scale the measure stays within .1 grains all day and I zero out the load with a powder trickler, in Pistols I load well under the max charge and only check every fifth one to make sure the measure or I don't change the charge. The hours this tool saves me paid for itself the first time I used it.
Tools that are needed but I haven't expeirmented with are a deburring tool, case lube kit, powder funnel, and reloading block.
I'm sure there are more tools that I am not thinking of that are important, but I have to get ready for work. I hope this helps.
"I am a stone. I do not move. Very slowly, I put snow in my mouth and he won't see my breath. I take my time. . . I have only one bullet. I aim at his eye. Very gently, my finger presses on the trigger. I do not tremble. I have no fear"