chorst294 the cost of components keeps going up also my friend , if your 100% sure you will be taking the plunge even if it will be a year away I suggest you try to decide on a few of the calibers you will be reloading for and stock up on a few things now .
Here are a few on line Sites by powder manufactures to help in choosing powders and bullets for when you get started .
Here are a few sites that are very reputable and sell not only reloading stuff but just about anything gun related you may want between them .
I have personally bought more than a few thousand of dollars of stuff from MidWay , Cabelas , and Cheaper Than Dirt , and I hear Natchez has a excellent reputation . Lastly there is Graf's their store is close enough I shop there in person and they have excellent pricing and customer service .
Please save yourself some $ and DO NOT order powder and primers and have them shipped to you as there is a Hazmat dangerous materials shipping charge of $20 per package tacked on top of the shipping fees and Powder and primers can NOT be shipped together in one package .
So even if you ordered in extreme quantities like say 100 Thousand Primers and 70 LBs of powder you would be looking at $40 just in Hazmat Fees then they would add whatever the shipping cost would be on 2 packages .
Find a good local source for those two components .
If your Sgt is giving you reloading Dies for straight walled Handgun rounds like the 45 ACP or .357 Magnum be sure to ask him if they are carbides dies . If they are you will not need to lubricate them to reload them if not you will need put some type of lube on them to get them in and out of the die .
If you find yourself in need of Dies , Lee products have worked for me for 20+ years now and their prices are very reasonable .
The basic process is pretty straight forward Die 1 is a resizing/depriming Die it forces the case back into factory dimensions and pushes out the spent primer . Then you must first install a new primer , Die 2 expands or "Flares" the case mouth slightly "As per your adjustment of the Die" to help it to accept the new bullet and in many reloading operations it also allows the powder charge to be dispensed directly into the case , Die 3 is your Bullet seater die it pushes the bullet in and can be adjusted to "Crimp" the bullet to hold it firmly into place . Die 4 as many handgun die sets come with is a special crimp Die only , because some reloaders like it to be a totally separate operation from the seating .
There are slight variations on this . For instance with many rifle rounds you may do what is called "Neck sizing" only and buy a special Die set for it , Rather than the entire case being resized all it will size is the case neck . It is used by owners of Bolt action rifles to greatly extend the life of their case because after firing the case body is sized to exactly the dimensions of the chamber of that 1 particular rifle . IT is NOT something you should try for Lever , pump or Semiautomatic weapons because the now slightly over sized case body may not function through the weapons action as it would if it had been full length resized . It is also not a suitable thing to do if you have more than one weapon in a particular caliber .
O and I will give you one EXTREMELY serious warning that many a reloader has ignored and ruined their guns because of it . Never and I mean never ever become so engulfed in the whole saving money aspect of reloading that you try to develop rounds that are below the listed minimum for a given bullet powder combination to either A stretch your powder supply/savings or B to develop some type of quiet round that you wish to attempt to shoot in your basement or backyard . You might just make what is referred to as a "Squib" load , a round with just enough power to get the bullet out of the case but NOT out of the barrel . Whats happens when you fire a second shot with the barrel solidly blocked can be disastrous for the guns and your personal health .
Ignore the above and you may just wind up with the nickname of "Stumpy" or "Patch" for the rest of your life .