Welcome to LRH and to reloading. This is a great place to increase your knowledge in both areas. I enjoy reloading and have been for over 25 yrs. I have used the same RCBS RS5 press the whole time and it's still going. I have a RockChucker in the closet in case this one fails. Doesn't look like it's going to though.
A good reloading manual should be on your liist as there is good and pertinent reading in these. I have several different kind but tend to trust and use the Nosler #6 the most. I think they're spot on with their data. There is a ton of reloading data available via the internet.
Dies: I started out years ago using RCBS but went to Hornady Custom Grade New Dimension Dies. They exceed my expectations. Most name brands are pretty good. They all need to be cleaned and set up properly to function correctly.
Reloading for the 6.5-284 is pretty straight-forward. Again, lots of info out there (www.6mmbr.com
) on this cartridge. It seems to have quiet a following in certain BenchRest disciplines and has become pretty popular for LR Hunting. For good cause, it's accurate and flat shooting. I regularly get 3 and 5 shot groups that measure 1.5-3.0" at 500yds with my factory rifle in this caliber. This is with minimal effort at load development.
I shot Remington and Winchester brass for years and simply considered case prep as a normal "labor of love". I silently grumbled when I came across brass made by Lapua or Norma in the catalogs. I wanted to try it or course but hated the thought of spending that money. I always figured there couldn't be that much difference. I was wrong.
If you're going to load for the 6.5-284 get the best brass available, that goes for any cartridge you load for (if it's available). I have to attribute part of my rifles accuracy to Lapua brass. It is quality.
I have some brass head stamped by Weatherby but in 7mmRemMag. I assume it's made by Norma. It has been pretty consistent but after 5-6 reloads the primer pockets are getting loose. Loose as in, able to almost seat them with my thumb. I'm afraid the "clutch is gonna start slipping" on 'em! I think Norma tends to be softer. Others may know better.
Good luck with your new endeavor. JohnnyK.