If you buy components in bulk, use clone wads, and select loads that use as little lead and powder as possible, you can save money, even loading for the 12 gauge. And it's mindless fun to crank out shells. Every trip to the range becomes an Easter egg hunt as you look for reloadable hulls. You feel rich in ammunition when you've got a couple of five-gallon buckets full of ammo to dip into, even if it didn't cost you much less than the pile of factory flats that replaced it. I miss all of that already, but I don't think ammunition is costing me much more than it used to.