I bought my muzzies so I could be a little more independant from the gun store. In a worst case scenario I could make homebrew powder and firing primers (the chemistry as all on the internet).
I like the idea of using scrape lead and recycling bullets. It seems well established in the pioneer traditions of muzzle loading and mountain men off in the wild for years at a time.
Does anyone here have much experience shooting home cast lead conicals, particularly .50 cal Lee minnies? How much powder behind one? Do you need a felt wad or some other gas seal? How do they do on a moose etc.?
I bought a .50-70 mould and plan on rolling them on the steel top of my table saw to get the diameter to match my barrel caliber. I already tried one .50-70 in the barrel (didn't shoot it) to see how easy it would be to load. A rolled one went in as easy as a standard minnie, the unrolled were a little harder but one good wack with a starter still got it to go in halfway. They both went all the way down the barrel. I popped them out the breach and they seemed to keep the original profile and picked up a the riffling on the bands towards the back.
I like the 50-70 profile. It is about 500 grains. I prefer the heavier bullet at closer ranges when using centerfires, so I lean that way with my muzzleloading experiments. I belive in the three B's... Big Bullets are Better for banging down big critters (especially bears).