It's always good to see a shooter get interested in reloading. I am still amazed at how few reloaders there are on this BB, with registered members approaching 5000.
The Dillon is probably the best press you can buy ... in my most humble opinion. Not because the other brands have any deficiencies, but because of the features of the Dillon and the customer service ... unbelievable!
I started with Lee brand presses. Inexpensive and it allowed me to spend more on accessories and components. I didn't get to a Dillon for many years. If you do decide on a Dillon, I can recommend the 550B. I got started for abou $120. Starting out with a Dillon will run that up closer to $420-450.
Yes it is cheaper to reload per round. Even so, it is getting more and more difficult to exceed the quality of factory ammo these days. You can, with practice, still routinely meet or exceed the accuracy.
Yes, you will need a caliper. No, in my opinion, you will not need a chronograph, but it would be nice. A case tumbler? Take a look at Lee's new Zip-Trim.
Buy QUALITY dies and take care of them. But the first thing you should do is get started on a library of reloading manuals. This is absolutely essential!
Read a couple of them from cover to cover before you start the first cartridge. My first manual was a Hornady and my second was a Lyman. I avoided some very serious misconceptions by reading first. Most reloading books are either by powder mfgs or bullet mfgs. You can't have too many sources, IMHO. In fact, I'd get at least one reloading book and read it good before I spent another penny.
I am passing on to you the same advice that I received when I started. I don't load for the AR, but if I can ever help, use my email.
Be Safe. Welcome to reloading!
"Get your mind right and the body will follow." - Shino Takazawa, sinsei, hachi dan, Keishinkan do.
[This message has been edited by sensop (edited March 11, 2000).]