The main issue with reloading cost is where you obtain your components. Too many people pick up a Cabela's catalog, and using their component prices as a baseline, dismiss reloading as "not worth it". Like anything else you buy in quantity, you must shop around for the best price if you expect to save. In over 40 years of shooting and reloading, I've picked up enough empty shotgun hulls and brass off the ground to fill a 2 car garage solid. Today as more people are getting into reloading it is becoming more difficult, but there is still a lot of brass available for the picking. Especially in the cheaper, more common calibers like 9 MM and .223.
It was the same 25 years ago when .308 and .30-06 was then considered to be common and cheap at the time. I would collect boxes of the stuff because most shooters couldn't be bothered with it. I would even have guys come over and ask me if I wanted their brass, after they saw me scrounging for it. I always said yes, even if it was for a caliber I didn't reload for at the time. Sooner or later I did, and that brass was put into good use.
Many leave 9 MM and .223 on the ground at my local club because they feel it is simply too cheap to bother with. While that may or may not be true today, you can bet the cheap prices won't last much longer. I'm surprised they've lasted this long. The days of factory, brass cased, reloadable 9 MM for under $10.00 a box aren't going to be with us much longer, as the prices of the raw materials used in ammunition keep rising, (Brass, Copper, and Lead). It is one of the main reasons so many manufacturers are going to steel cased ammunition. Especially the Russian manufacturers. Brass is a premium commodity in that country. Even American companies like Hornady are now producing steel cased 7.62 X 39 MM ammo at premium prices.
If you buy in bulk you will keep your cost per round lower. Watch for sales. The Internet is a good source to shop for bulk components. It means a more expensive initial investment, but you will save a lot more, and you'll be shooting clean, accurate, brass cased, hand crafted ammo. Not filthy, inaccurate, steel cased, Russian crap.
For example, I picked up 12,000 primers recently from Cabela's of all places, (they do have sales that you have to watch for), for just $19.95 a thousand. I should have bought more as there was no limit. That's a mistake I won't make again if they ever have them for that price again.
For powder WC-844 is excellent for both .223 and .308. Places like Pat's Reloading has it for just $85.00 for an 8 pound jug. If you buy several at once you amortize the Haz-Mat fee.http://www.patsreloading.com/patsrel/ItemDetails.aspx?Category=Powder&SubCategory=Rifle _Powder&Name=WC844_Surplus
For bullets I purchased a case of 5,000 Lake City 55 Grain FMJ Boat Tail Bullets for $390.00. These are the same bullets Federal loads in their XM-193 Ball Ammunition.http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8691&dir=278|281|1081|1141
If you break the price down on the above prices, and you already have the brass you are looking at:
Primers..........02 cents per round
Powder, (25.0 Grains per charge).........04 cents per round
Bullets.............08 cents per roundTotal...........14 cents per round
If you want to calculate time it would depend on how many rounds per hour you are capable of producing on your equipment. I'm not in a race when I reload, but on my Dillon Progressive I can easily produce 400 rounds per hour once I'm up and running with full primer tubes. Even at just .14 cents a round that amounts to $56.00 of ammo per hour. No one will pay you that to chat on the Internet.
As I said, I've been doing this sort of thing since I got out of high school in 1970, 42 years ago. Over the decades it has paid off well, and continues to do so. For someone starting out in reloading it still can, you just have to shop carefully for your components. Paying too much for anything negates any savings you might experience from it down the road. Reloading components are like anything else, the cheaper they can be obtained, the "better" they are.