Congratulations on joining the reloading community. My favorite "screwing around/plinking load" load for 45 ACP is 4.0gr of Bullseye with 230gr cast lead. It's easy on the gun, functions well and is very accurate with all the Governments I've fired it in for the last 25 years.
One thing to watch out for when loading cast bullets is that bullet lube will build up on the bullet seating plug and progressively seat the bullets deeper and deeper. Occasionally scrape around on the plug with a kitchen match or other soft probe to check for "ugly wax build-up".
I buy once-fired, commercial brass from a variety of sources; look around on the web. Avoid military brass or suffer swaging primer pockets. Never pick up "range brass". Like your mother said, you don't know where it's been.
Bullet sources come and go; again, look at the web but watch out for excessive shipping charges. I've had bad luck with National Bullet Company's quality. I do like American Bullet Company's work but have found all the commercial casters somewhat inconsistant.
Reload safe, reload often.
Join the NRA.
[This message has been edited by burrhead (edited September 25, 1999).]