HEY NOW! I am an EXPERT at being a reloading Noob! Hope you like to read. If you do not, sorry in advance...
Glad you asked your questions here. Check out some of the other posts in the reloading forum as well.
Let me tell you what I see you missing...
FIRST the powder. I say go with Bill on the powder. If you are looking to reload 44 mag then you should use the AA#9.
WHY? Because Bill knows what he is talking about, so do other folks on this forum. BUT, I am building up 44mag loads right now and I am using AA#7 (because I did not THINK to order AA#9) with plated bullets. So far I got them to around 1100-1200 and they are working great. Just because it is a 44 mag does not mean that it has to shoot at magnum velocities. Remember that. When nobody is looking you can shoot the lower powered loads and still feel good. Just keep a few power ones around in case you wanna show off
As far as powder goes, I THINK you will end up using H110 so pick up a bottle, on top of that pick up a bottle of AA#9 and whatever else you want to get. Maybe even 2 bottles of each since you can use them with other loads. MAYBE even get a bottle of red dot or greet dot, one of them was supposed to play nicely with plated bullets. I have blue dot and THOSE sounded like 9mm/40 cal poppers at the indoor range. I say to get these powders because it is good to have a choice and you can certainly use them all for 44 mag. AA#7 gives a good feel at the higher limits and I have yet to use the AA#9 but I am really trying to get a bottle because I wanna try those loads out next. The H110 is what you will move on to to TEST that envelope. Those will give a pulse to your mag loads and you will FEEL the shockwave as 23.1gr ignite and scare those around you.
As for your primers and your powder, GET it all from powdervalleyinc.com They have REALLY SEXY shipping (like around $14.00 for a nice shipment)
AND they will only charge you a hazmat fee for the primers and the powder. Midway will charge you TWO hazmat fees. Powder Valley has REALLY good prices on primers too. Widners also has good stuff. Pick up a few thousand of the LARGE PISTOL primers. Some folks say get some magnums, I dunno if I totally agree there but then again, I am NEW. All of my stuff I shot yesterday did not need magnum primers but if you can look at your loads ahead of time they will tell you to use a magnum or not. You can ALWAYS use Large Pistol Primers in other calibers (45 maybe) but magnums I dunno, unless you get freaky calibers. Get 2000 magnums and 3000 LPP primers, mix it up. You have that hazmat fee so it is best to buy a LOT and make it worth it. I think Widners and sons have good prices too but they were out of stuff. Oh yeah, Wolf/Tula primers are good to use as far as I am concerned. A primer is a primer. It is like ford/Chevy. pick yer poison. Wolf/Tula are WAY cheaper then the others.
Midway had good prices on the rainier 240gr leadsafe plated HP but I have been hearing that Lately X-treme bullets is cheaper. I would check them out too.
I see a Lee Modern Reloading manual in your order. REMOVE IT. That is what I got started on and I have had nothing but questions and frustrations and well, let's not get into that here... I also have a Lyman 49th edition and I have heard that the Hornady and Sierra books are really good too. the Lee might be good for a SECOND book JUST to see how they do it but I almost took mine out and shot it the other day. but then I remembered that there are still some printed recipes in it so why would I destroy those? Even though they are out dated and inaccurate they are still recipes... Lee will give you all of the reasons why you should ONLY buy LEE equipment. This is us, this is our gear, oh look at how to reload, buy our stuff... That is the Lee book in one sentence.
It has gotten me into MANY arguements because I had questions afterwards. Finally I found out that the secret is to read it from the back to the front. Because it tells you HOW to decipher the loads AFTER it puts them all there for you to read. Not before.
I might be picking up a RCBS 505 scale tomorrow. The problem with many digital scales is that the ones reloaders tend to use are setup for GRAMS and they are good for measuring .01 GRAMS. Yes many convert over to grains but what it means is that there is no such thing as a 23.0 grain load on H110 in 44 mag. Your scale will show it as 23.1 or 22.9 but 23.0 is nonexistent. IF you get a digital scale Just do your research because I got a Smart Reloader SR650 and I am mad that it is not as accurate as I want. Of course a good beam scale like the 505 would be a better choice for load development. If I had to get another digital scale I would try a Jennings JSVG40 because I THINK it has a 20 year warranty but it is accurate to .005 grams which SHOULD translate nicely to .1grains and I am willing to bet that it would be a better scale for someone as paranoid as me. AND it only costs about $80 and all is good...
Kinetic bullet pullers are all about the same. If you can get a local one for $15 it could save you a dollar or two. You might also want to consider getting that 44mag factory crimp die. I have one and I might not need it but I am glad that I DO have it because I think it makes a difference in my crimps. I destroyed a case already on my first 44 mag loads. Not with a factory crimp though. They are looking perty.
Look for a Competition Electronics Pro chrono DIGITAL also. You need that to check your velocities. They are on sale right now at Midway for $99 and you can ALWAYS get a printer or remote for them later on. I LOVE mine even though I am still figuring out how to use it right.
As for brass. Gunbroker has 44 mag brass ALL the time. I picked up 1500 44 mag shells for (once fired) for $240 after shipping. Mainly because I like shiny things though.
The trick to reloading CHEAPLY is to buy in large QUANTITIES. That bad thing is if you decide it is not for you, tell me and I will give you $100.00 for all of your stuff
No seriously, the bad thing is that you had better like it if you buy in large quantities cause you are committed at that point. I am now scrounging estate and garage sales for bullets looking for good prices. I got some speer 230gr .45 ashtray hollowpoints yesterday for $7.00 Not bad for 88 of them..
Good luck and have fun. Sorry if I stepped on any toes but if I have a chance to offer MY opinions, then it is just that, my opinions and I am a fully qualified NOOB in the reloading department but I am dialing in my stuff and getting my loads in order...