There is not much of a difference in buying bulk jacketed bullets in 9mm, .357
to their cast counter parts.
How many out there have dropped reloading cast bullets because the jacketed bullets are so close in price???
To be honest, if I were still shooting at the pace I was quite a few years back, I doubt seriously that I would be able to afford shooting either, but would be casting my own for sure.
Most of the calibers I shoot are a bit off the main stream, or simply harder to find in bulk, or are more costly to start with. I love to shoot my 10mm, 41mag, and 454, but jacketed bullets run a bit higher for them than most in the weights I like to shoot, or are harder to come by. If I were shooting 9mm or 38/357's, I would have simply purchased bulk jacketed bullets when I could find them on sale and been done with it. Years ago, Midway and another company were only one page adds in Reloader or G&A magazines. You could purchase bulk bullets in 500 -1K for relatively cheap. Back then I stocked up on the main ones I was shooting and still have plenty on hand to last for who knows how long.
I know that is apples to oranges nowadays, but nowadays I have the 45 ACP, 45 Colt, & 454, which for the latter, buying factory ammo or even cast bullets for is cost prohibitive for me. There are really only a couple of jacketed bullets available for it and they usually only come 50 per box. I got into casting simply to feed the appetite of it and have expanded to cover just about all of them now.
I didn't mind paying the roughly $1 per pound of ingots or raw lead, or alloy that I have laid up in storage because I know they will be used, and they don't spoil or go bad. If I were to have to purchase cast or jacketed bullets in the calibers I DO shoot, I would probably not shoot much if any. It simply isn't a justifiable means for me anymore, I have to many other things that my little bit of extra spare change goes towards.