Is loading lead really that big of a hassle? Or have I just done too much research on the internet?
It is not nearly as complicated as forums seem to make it! If you have a modern gun with standard dimensions, you buy quality reputable commercial bullets such as Missouri Bullet Co., and you pick a standard recipe right out of a cast reloading data book such as Lymans, about 95% of the time you will have no issues with accurracy or leading. Most CAST will be of a standard hardness rating of 18 unless they are made for very low velocity loads. Make sure you are getting "cast" and not "lead" bullets. "Gas checks" have been deleted from my entire pistol vocabulary.
The problem is that when you ask a simple question on a forum, every wants to tell you everything they know that is even remotely related, and every isolated malfunction in tehir lifetime, and you get bogged down with lots of information that looks complicated about troubleshooting every possible diffculty that you will most likely never encounter.
Half the information in this thread is about casting your own bullets which you never asked about, and would be foolish to get into before you've ever shot any.
Cast bullets at rifle velocities gets a lot more complicated, but you only mentioned pistol rounds, and thats a great place to start.
I think that way too much information scares a lot pof people away from cast bullets.
So, get some quality cast bullets, load them up and work up your loads just like you would with jacketed bullets, and see how you like them. If you should experience leading or accurracy problems, then you can troubleshoot those problems with some of the more in depth techinques if necessary, but most likely you won't have to deal with them.
I've shot cats bullets for many years in a wide variety of guns. I've never had barrel leading, and they are of super accurracy, and I've never slugged a barrel, or ordered a special size bullet. Im shooting Rugers, and Smiths, and Freedom Arms. My guess is that 95% of your research, you will never need to know.