I'm going to go against the grain here. My first (and only) reloading press was (and is) a Dillon 550. I load pistol ammunition in several calibers. Personally, I see absolutely no reason to start with a single-stage press and would likely have stopped reloading if I had. For pumping out pistol rounds, a progressive just can't be beat.
And a progressive just isn't that hard. Get a good reloading book (Lyman's is good). Read it. Watch the video from Dillon. Set up the press and have at it. It's just not that hard guys. If you have a problem, call up Dillon -- their techs are great.
You will need some extras. First, the aforementioned reloading book. I use a tumbler and media. You will need a primer flip tray and primer tubes. You will need a scale and calipers. You should get a bench mount. The bullet tray is useful as well. And you will need some plastic bins to hold the cartridges as they come off the press.
I spent quite a bit getting started (partly because I got dies and quick change assemblies for 9mm, .38, and .45 ACP), about $1000. I ran some quick calculations and figured out that the press paid for itself in the first year. That is, I saved more than $1000 in ammo cost the first year I started reloading. YMMV.
Last edited by M1911; July 6, 2006 at 09:14 AM.