I think folks need to be realistic. Not everybody is fortunate enough to have access to an unlimited supply of free lead, delivered to their door. I would assume less than 1% of all handloaders are this lucky. For the majority, they need to buy lead or buy bullets. For folks to claim we all can reload .45ACP for $2.50 or even $5.00 a box if we become scroungers is ridiculous.
I am realistic, I am also a scrounger. Have been all my life, doesn't matter what we're talking about, lead, wood, steel. I let everybody I talk to that I'm a boolit caster, that I can use most any kind of lead. A guy at work says he has a "lead statue". Or he thinks it might be pewter.!! I said I'd pay .50/lb no matter what it was. Turned out to be nearly pure lead. Makes great 45 HP boolits.
I heard they were re-building the indoor range at my gun club. The trap hadn't been mined for 20+ years. I asked if I did the clean up, could I have the lead? Yup! It took a gang of kids, a couple trucks, and about 10 tanks of propane to get a ton,(that's 2,000 pounds), of lead out of there. And we left a bunch there.
Here's what I took home.
It took most of the spring of 2010 and maybe 100 manhours, but the final cost was maybe $2.00 per 100 pounds. Works out to be .02/lb, I'd call that negligible for a 200 grain 45 boolit @ 35/lb.