No, reload is not the only way to go.
Component prices are up, they are hard to fine.
To get a good setup (vs a cheap combo) is going to cost something around $500 when all is said and done.
Spread that out over the number of shots and its going to take a lot of time to recoup.
I am not saying not to, it fun, it saves some money in the long run, but its not an automatic slam dunk.
The best bang for the buck is a small caliber rifle when you get a LOT of rounds for a lb of powder. 223 or the like.