This is a very involved topic...
....Since there are several diverging opinions.
As far as the lead is concerned, I use wheel weights which my pal the mechanic is happy to give me. I go over there about once every three months and in that amount of time, he has forty to seventy pounds worth in a five gallon bucket. Wheel weights gives me a bullet with a hardness somewhere around 12 to 16. It is a little hard to load them but I use a press (which I recommend for all BP revolver shooters.) Probably ten to twenty percent of the weight is stuff I can't use. It is zinc weights, valve stems, the steel clips in the weights, cigarette butts and dead bugs. All of that stuff is pretty easy to avoid. I have gotten pretty good at picking out the lead alloy weights by sight and avoiding the stuff which I know won't melt in the pot.
I had a source of pure lead which is used as ballast in ships. (not sailboats....Sailboat ballast is anything the maker can get his hands on.)
As far as molds are concerned, I like Lee molds. They are inexpensive (I recommend Titan Reloading Inc.) They come up to temperature very quickly so you are molding good bullets quickly. And with a little practice you can get your rythm to the point where the molds don't cool down too much between pours.
I find that I get better results with .45 Long Colt bullets if I put a hand clamp on the mold before I charge it. I tried just squeezing the mold closed but my hand got tired and I still did not et consistent results. In this way I get far more consistent bullets.
When I do round balls, I have a couple of molds that I made spring loaded handles for. I can get round balls from these molds that are much more consistent than Hornady bought balls.
This is sacrelige...but I am not a fan of steel molds. For one thing they make a bullet with a large sprue. For another thing they take a long time to come up to temperature. And finally, they are three to four times as expensive as Lee aluminum molds. I have Lee molds that I have been using for 35 years and they still make a bullet with is high in quality.
I also use a Lee Production Pot which is also about 35 years old. My only quarrel with it is the drain spout at the bottom.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Last edited by Doc Hoy; September 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM.