If you're a cast bullet shooter, sooner or later you're going to want to cast your own bullets. Like everyone else, I've purchased store-bought bullets, both cast and jacketed, but part of the allure of shooting cast bullets is taking common scrap and making your own bullets. The first thing we need to do is find scrap lead, and cast bullet guys are always looking for scrap lead. I'm not sure who said it, but one of the old gun writers was famously quoted as saying, "If it's plumbous, I'm liable to make bullets from it."
For many years, the most common lead scrap was lead wheelweights. These things could be had at any tire shop for simply hauling them away. Many is the time that I've walked into a tire shop, bantered with the service manager for a few minutes, and walked out with a five-gallon bucket of wheelweights. Those days are no more. Lead has residual value, and the shops know that. The national scrap price of lead wheelweights is 50 cents per pound. This stuff isn't inexpensive. Still, there is a lot of lead out there that people don't want to deal with and a savvy scrounger can still get lead for little or nothing.
Recenctly, I came into possession of a small box of wheelweights, and some discarded roof jacks. Around here, roof jacks are pure, soft lead, and if you can find a roofer willing to save the lead, they are a great source of soft lead.
In all things that require high heat, it's best to do this outside. In my case, I set a fish cooker on the ground outside my shed, with a lead pot, ladle, and some ingot molds.
One note. Never introduce water into a lead pot. Lead melts at 630F and water boils at 212F. If so much as one drop of sweat gets into the molten lead, it will immediately flash to steam and I've seen molten lead jump two feet out of a pot, splattering lead everywhere. Seriously, don't let water get into your lead pot. That's bad juju. One other caution. Once an implement is used for lead, it can never be used again for food products. You simply don't want lead in your foodstuffs, so dedicate a pot and ladle to lead use.
So, after an hour of smelting this morning, I finished with over 10 lbs of good clean wheelweight metal and about 30 lbs of soft lead from roof jacks.