I dont like the idea of quenching a low cost aluminum mold, the way I did with the iron Hensley and Gibbs molds, back in the day. The star sizer turns out about 2000 finished bullets per hour, so the true rate is about 600 an hour,when you add in the time spent cleaning up the wheelweights, going to the scrap yard, etc. I like to just devote a couple of weekends to casting, then put the molds away until next year. The Lee master progressive loader, with bullet feeder, is pretty low cost, and it's quite easy to load 600 rds per hour on it. So the rate of production of ammo is really 300 rds per hour, counting the casting, but the cost per rd is about 7c, for 9mm, more like 9c with .45. I recover a fair amount of lead from the local ranges. Ditto brass, of course. So my 20k rds per year fired ain't really all that much money, and the similar amounts of .22r are (normally) only 1/2 that much.

That's actually a very cheap hobby. $50 a week is nothing in today's money. 45 years ago, I paid 1.5c per shot for .22's, and made $1 an hour! :-) If you don't clear $20 an hour these days, you are messing up badly. You will be saving nothing towards your retirement, and unless your spouse makes similar money, or unless you get 40 hours per week of 1.5x base rate overtime., you certainly can't pay for the proper upbringing of a couple of kids, (without sponging heavily upon others to pay for the kid's education). that much overtime, all year, means your kids never learn anything from you, cause if you aint working, you are sleeping.