Thiis link seems to go up to 2013.
Very informative and apparently smelting in the US has not stopped. Hummmm.....
Given that, my apologies.
If you are shooting black powder then you should be concerned with a shortage. Pure lead is harder to find. Has to be soft lead for BP, soft enough to easily deform with a fingernail.
But smokeless powder used hardened lead, which is pretty easy to find. Wheelweights, and most lead you dig up at a range is hardened lead with tin and antimony. I have enough of that stuff that I nave a hazmat bin for the stuff.
But that pure BP lead, that I gotta dig around for. Someone once suggested plumbing supply stores for that. Get a hardness tester so you can test the stuff (or be a redneck like me and use your thumbnail to SWAG* it.) Also, if you cast your own, you will need a sizer/luber with the dies for your caliber (and a lube heater.)
*Acronym: Scientific Wild-Ass Guess
50 cal is little small for my needs. My double is 58cal. I shoot bullets as heavy as 560grains. They use so damned much lead that sometimes I dig em out of the backstop (the holes in my target box are so big that I can candle the holes and see where the rounds went.)
But that's pure lead, which is hard to find.
I have some buffalo bullets, but the lube has gone hard. I also just cast a coule of coffee cans worth of mini-ball 58s, but I need to size/lube them before I can use them. It's on my list...it's just a long list.
What sort of double? A kodiak maybe?
I have a 58 and some T/C maxis are that big but I prefer the hornaday GP at 525gr.
Have been looking at getting a witworth or gibbs in 45 and shooting 500gr + out to 1000 yds.
Yep, I got the Kodiak in 58 cal. What a beast; you gootta wipe off all the testosterone beore you can shoot it. It'll kill anything on the continent, in or out of a zoo.
I prefer to shoot authentic bullets when i shoot BP, so I have resisted buying modern bullets. Don;t believe in sabots, or jacketed rounds (and definately not those inline BP rifles---they're cheatin!") The most modern mould I have for BP is a LEE REAL bullet mould (hate the thing, the bullets suck.)
Were you talking about getting one of those bench-mounted BP rigs? I've seena few and they are like black powder artillery. Accurate--crazy accurate, but they are a beast.
No, the Gibbs and Whitworths were ca. 1850s designs, 45 cal and a big bullet ( 500+ gains) with high ballistic coefficient . They still use them at very long range matches. Pedersoli makes a nice Gibbs.
I do like the Kodiak, as what you might be shooting at might bite you, and one more shot is good.
I have been shooting real BP guns most of my life. It is hard to get real BP lots of places these days.
what about air gun pellets? if nothing else might make some crazy defense load if you just loaded some of those unmelted in the smoothbore, the craziest thing I ever loaded in my shells was skittles just so I could yell "taste the rainbow MF'er". might be a bit cheaper to walk the local parking lots for tire weights I used to do this long time ago to get lead for casting bullets.