A lot of your practice needs can be met with a LT-Pro laser tube that fits in the barrel of your handgun that senses the hammer fall and fires a brief laser pulse so you can see where you would have hit the target if it had been a bullet. Check them out at: LaserLyte : Rear Sight Laser : Laser Gun Sights : Laser Bore Tools : Pistol Bayonet
. If you are a NRA member, they will give you a discount. Of course, if you re going to become a good shot, you'll have to bust many caps. I like to get to the range a couple times a week and usually fire about 300 rounds each time. I couldn't afford to shoot that much if I had to get my ammo at Walmart. 600 round per week isn't very much - a lot of national competitors will fire 1,000 rounds every day for a couple weeks before a major match. If you really want to become really proficient, it will require reloading. At our range, I pick up thousands of once-fired .45, .40, 9mm, .38, .357 and other cases that I don't reload to trade with other reloaders that do. I cast wheel weights and spent bullets, sifted from the range backstops into new bullets. Powder and primers cost, but its a lot less that completed rounds. I've probably got $3,000 invested in reloading and casting equipment, but you can get into reloading for a lot lot less than that and then as you get deeper into it, you can add goodies as time goes bye.
For carry ammo, a lot of department that carry .45's are using 230 gn. Gold Dots. 230 gn. Gold Dots are also available as components for reloaders. Most you will probably say don't carry reloaded ammo for personal defense, but I can outline why it's OK