As a person interested in shooting a muzzle loader of any kind it can be more enjoyable to make items for yourself. It is not difficult to cast you own bullets or round ball, cut out your own patches and make your own patch lubricant. making things like this just adds another aspect to your hobby that you can do in the winter evenings. There are just a few things that you need to consider and they really concern safety. Lead boils at around 700 to 800 degrees F and can give a very nasty burn. When boiling lead it give off a very toxic fume which can cause serious respiratory and health problems. Always boil lead out of doors or with a good fume extraction system. Also water split into molten lead will cause a sever reaction that will make the lead splash up out of the boiling pot.
I wear a leather welding apron, T.I.G. welding gauntlets, as they are light weight leather and a pair of industrial spec. safety glasses with side protection.
The other items we require will be some scrap lead and a means of boiling it. This can be either a modern electric furnace or a cast iron pot heated on a gas ring. You will also require the correct size of bullet mould and handles. The final item is a lead dipper to take the molten lead from your pot and pour it into your mould.
The type of lead you require for casting rifle and pistol balls or bullets need to be a soft lead, such as lead water pipe or lead flashing used for roofing. When I collect old lead I melt it down into the back of what is called to frog or indentation of a house brick. This gives you a nice stackable shape for future storage. It is important however to ensure the brick is really dry as a damp one can cause the molten lead to spit.
So, before we start let us look at our mould. If we assume it is a new one we need just to make sure the two halves fit together properly. There is a school of thought that says it is best to smoke to inside of the mould with a candle, allowing the smoke to coat the inside. I have been told that it is like proving a new frying pan. I have tried with and with out and have not noticed any difference but either way it is really up to the person casting the balls.