I just began casting, and found it quite enjoyable and easy. I'm using a Lee 2 cavity mold to cast 158gr Semi wadcutters with space for a gas check. These won't have a gas check installed right now as they're for .38 special though I like having the option when I step up the .357 magnums. For melting I'm using ingots of pure lead alloyed with a bit of solder for the tin content (as recommended by the lee manual). Buying lead at the market price of just over $2/lb. isn't bad but I don't intend to keep paying that much if I can find a better source. This was just for experimentation. To melt them with I just used an old cast iron pan that was too scratched and pitted to reliably cook with anymore. It melts lead excellently, but is perhaps too big and requires a lot of lead before I can effectively dip from it. My fuel source is a small propane stove which heats quickly and evenly. For this batch I just used a teaspoon with some wood taped to it for safety. It worked alright, but the lead tended to get cold quickly causing a few bad casts early on. I think a proper cast iron lead ladle will improve this. I'm also considering a smaller melting pot that wouldn't need so much lead in it at a time to be able to work. I had to use two pounds of lead to dip effectively, and had to leave half a pound behind. One thing I noticed that troubles me is a frosty looking slag would develop on top of the molten lead. At first I assumed these were impurities, but I'm beginning to suspect that the lead on the surface may be reacting with atmospheric oxygen producing a useless lead oxide. Whatever it is, it won't melt, and seems to be useless. Is this normal or should I make adjustments to prevent it? Having finished casting I can say it's a good way to save money, and a fun hobby. I wasn't expecting to but I ended up casting 70 bullets before the lead got too shallow to scoop.