'Green' Ammo???


January 31, 2005, 07:22 PM
I've just been starting to hear about lead-free 'green' ammunition for sporting purposes. Steel shot has been around for a while now, but I understand that there are various types of rifle and pistol lead-free ammunition being developed. I am seeing implications that leaded ammunition is, or will soon be, banned. I apologise if this topic has been previously discussed, but I need to be brought up to speed on what is going on with this recent (to me) development ...

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Standing Wolf
January 31, 2005, 08:00 PM
Give the leftist extremists another 25 minutes, and they'll start demanding new "quiet" ammunition, too.

January 31, 2005, 08:48 PM
Give the leftist extremists another 25 minutes, and they'll start demanding new "quiet" ammunition, too. Well, if that is accomplished by repealing at least the suppressor portion of the NFA then I'll have found a point of agreement with them!

January 31, 2005, 08:53 PM
Have them legalize silencers !! BTW in europe the EU is going to ban all lead bullets a few years from now ! Green ammo here may include jacketed lead bullets where the jacket covers the lead completely, lead free primers, or bullets made from copper powder which is frangible[ fractures easily], or all copper bullets.. But don't worry about no lead bullets because Barnes makes many and they have been very successful for hunting. Corbon is making ammo with Barnes all copper bullets for defense.I have some to try .The tests have been very successful .I'm very sensitive about not giving the BG lead poisoning or contaminating the environment.

January 31, 2005, 09:16 PM
I thought that copper was too effective as an armour-piercing material? Isn't it banned?

January 31, 2005, 10:02 PM
What are my Reminginton made rounds made of then? Then look copper, but now I am confused.

January 31, 2005, 10:21 PM
I'm going to start reloading with jelly beans.

Malone LaVeigh
January 31, 2005, 10:30 PM
Blah blah leftist extremists blah blah blah. Another planet heard from.

January 31, 2005, 11:41 PM
Malone, say what you will about your political stance, but the basic facts are that about 80% of the screeching anti-gun tirades originate in your camp. Of course, then the Repubs just nod their heads in agreement.

Back on topic, I've shot about 50 rounds of green ammo through my HK P7. As I understand it, the stuff is a compressed metal powder that disintegrates when it hits something solid.

My general impression of the stuff is positive, overall. For indoor target shooting, this stuff may be the way to go. If there's no chance of lead poisoning then maybe indoor ranges that shoot this stuff exclusively won't have to invest in such massively expensive ventilation systems. (Wishful thinking on my part.)

There are two downsides to the stuff though:
1)It's pricier than comparable regular ammo.
2)It has a lighter powder load, which means that if you don't maintain a good grip the pistol will fail to cycle properly.

February 1, 2005, 06:24 AM
really doesnt everyone want legal silecncers????


anyway here's the link for the army.
a lot of this stuff is AP apparently.

some of them are wire type bullets.

"We're trying to be good stewards of the environment. If we know one compound is environmentally friendlier than the other, and we can make that material substitution, as in the case of the tungsten for lead in the 5.56 mm ammunition, it's a good thing to do," Mr. Arnold said. "Actually, we've found that the green bullet is more accurate and causes less erosion in the M-16 rifle itself."

February 1, 2005, 07:23 AM
Green ammo is designed for use in indoor ranges with less than optimum ventilation. Where lead and heavy metals could be inhaled.
Typically all standard ranges should have good enough ventilation to draw fumes away from the firing lines. However in some "Hogan' Alley" and "Funhouse" type training areas this isn't feasible.

Disentegrating bullets are for close quarters training where the danger of riccochets from hard targets is highly likely.

I believe that lead core bullets as we now know them will be around for a long long time yet.

Yes iiibdsiil, your Remington ammo is copper jacketed.
Unless it's Golden Sabre handgun ammo and then it's brass.

February 1, 2005, 07:40 AM

Standard lead ammunition will be with us for a long time.

What is happening, slowly and in small areas, is that some indoor and outdoor ranges are requiring people to use "green" ammunition. All that means is that the ammo is less polluting than lead, at least in theory.

Normally, this means that the lead bullet is completely enclosed by copper or brass (TMJ) or is made of material other than lead, such as the sintered copper mentioned earlier.

The frangible (sintered) ammo has the bonus effect of not causing ricochets or splatter that standard copper jacketed lead bullets do. That is a nice feature when a person wants to shoot in a confined area or in close proximity to steel plates.

Shooting ranges that see a large volume of shooting, such as military ranges, are trying to reduce the amount of lead that gets into the ground. They also want to reduce the cost of cleanup, since the EPA is requiring the lead bullets to be reomved from the ground in some cases. Think about how much lead a typical Army shooting range puts into the ground each year. If that lead does create a hazard, which is open to debate, then it needs to be cleaned up. That's where the money really adds up.

I have used PMC's line of no-lead ammo in some training. It works well enough, but Speer's (same company really) traditional lead ammo works better in the same gun.

Did that help?


February 1, 2005, 08:02 AM
Fly320s said:
I have used PMC's line of no-lead ammo in some training. It works well enough, but Speer's (same company really) traditional lead ammo works better in the same gun.

Speer is a wholy owned subsidary of ATK (Alliant Techsystems) who also owns CCI, Federal, Estate Cartridge, Alliant Powder, RCBS, Outers, Weaver, Ram-Line, Gunslick and several others that I can't remember right now.

PMC (Precision Metallic Cartridge) is owned by Pan Metal Corporation who owns Starfire/El Dorado cartridge.

February 1, 2005, 08:13 AM
As an industrial hygienist that has taken air samples for lead on indoor firing ranges and seen the lead blood lead levels for employees on those same ranges I can tell you without political-based prejudice that lead in bullets and lead-containing primers represent an exposure problem for those employees and for active shooters on those ranges.

Lead enters the body through inhalation and by mouth. Aggresive ventelation can help prevet the inhalation hazard and good hygience practices can prevent the ingestion of lead.

February 1, 2005, 08:14 AM
As long as there's fire, moulds, & a pot to melt in, there will always be lead bullets.

But I'm all for the "green" bullets for indoor ranges.

However, I'm still hesitant about the "green" primers. Have they worked out the reliability problems yet? :scrutiny:

February 1, 2005, 08:24 AM
I have always been amazed by the number of people who do not wash their hands after shooting or reloading. you especially need to wash after cleaning your firearms. The solvents that break down lead and powder fouling also make it very easy to be absorbed by contact or inhalation.

If you can smell it, it's in your nose.
If it's in your nose, it's in your lungs.
If it's in your lungs, it's in your blood.
If it's in your blood it's in YOU.

Every time I go to the range I watch people shoot several hundred rounds and then just walk out.

But the worst are those who get a packet of chips or a candy bar out of the vending machine and start munching away with gray fingertips! :what:

And people wonder why I dislike shaking hands with strangers. :fire:

February 1, 2005, 12:01 PM
I used some kind of frangible ammo in my Gunsite Advanced Carbine class. I think it was PMC, but I am not sure. I know it was expensive.
It didn't shoot to the same POI as regular ball ammo, I presume because the bullet is so light, but it was close enough for what we were doing with it: indoor simulators. It ran fine through my AR15, but the instructors said that they have had some issues with it: it wouldn't run reliably in some peoples' guns.
As long as we are able to choose to use this ammo, I don't see the downside to it. If it presents less of a health risk, if it presents less of a safety hazzard, if it causes less damage to the targets and the surroundings, why not use it ? But again, this assumes that we still have the legal right to buy and use standard ammo if we choose.
I believe one company is making frangible ammo out of compressed corn. What could be more environmentally friendly than to make bullets out of a renewable resource ?

R.H. Lee
February 1, 2005, 12:05 PM
Every time I hear 'green' I see red. :mad: My answer is that I'm working up a .50 cal 900 gr load made out of depleted uranium for a 3 shot hideout pistol. Only test fired it once so far but I'll fine tune it and try again as soon as I get my arm out of this sling.

February 1, 2005, 12:57 PM
you especially need to wash after cleaning your firearms. The solvents that break down lead and powder fouling also make it very easy to be absorbed by contact or inhalation.

Does this mean I should wear rubber gloves when cleaning guns?

February 1, 2005, 01:24 PM
But the worst are those who get a packet of chips or a candy bar out of the vending machine and start munching away with gray fingertips!

. . . and to think of all the times I bit lead sinkers onto my catfishing lines when I was a kid. I guess I'm doomed.

February 1, 2005, 01:36 PM
Why don't they just bake bullets out of recycled plastic grocery bags ? :p

I don't get this "lead contamination of the ground" thing ... :confused:
In the past, didn't they call that a "lead mine" ?

If it was worth digging out of the ground once, it's worth digging out again.

February 1, 2005, 01:39 PM
[quote]PMC is not owned by Speer[quote]
Whoops. You're right. I was thinking of CCI, but wrote PMC.

Thanks for the correction. :)

February 1, 2005, 02:51 PM
Does this mean I should wear rubber gloves when cleaning guns? Why not? Disposable latex-free exam gloves are seriously cheap at the drug store. I worked in an auto shop that required us to wear them when we worked with any type of fluid. It kept your hands cleaner, and reduced the exposure to whatever chemicals you worked with. Might as well wear them while shooting, too, if you feel comfortable doing it. They do change up the friction coefficients quite a bit, so you might not feel so good doing it, but if it works for you, it's probably not a bad idea.

AZ Jeff
February 1, 2005, 05:29 PM
I wrote this back in October of last year related to lead levels and lead exposure:

Lead levels in the human body, when measured via blood test are expressed as "micrograms per deciliter". That said, here are some factors to consider:

(BTW, all of the below comes from stuff I have read by the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, aka "ASLET". These guys are more likely to be exposed to lead in an indoor environment than are more other shooters, so they have done LOTS of research on the topic.)

Most of the issue with lead ingestion comes from shooting on INDOOR RANGES. The ones outdoors have enough ventilation and natural "cleaning" factors to reduce the lead ingestion levels pretty easily.

Lead ingestion by shooters comes from 4 major sources, not necessarily listed in order of significance:
1. molten airborne lead particles generated during firing, melting off the back of lead bullets, and inhaled
2. particulate lead absorbed when touching/handling lead bullets
3. lead primer byproducts inhaled as a result of shooting
4. molten lead particles inhaled during casting lead bullets

Most of us don't cast our own bullets, so we can ignore #4 above as a source of lead ingestion. However...source #3 above is by FAR the BIGGEST CONTRIBUTOR to lead ingestion by shooters. (It's something like 10 times greater than the next highest source!!)

The reason here is that, most "non-corrosive" primers contain lead styphnate or something similar. When lead primers ignite, the chemical reaction creates a lead salt that is airborne, and worse yet, it hydroscopic, like all salts. It picks up moisture easily.

Guess what's in your throat and lungs? Lots of moisture, waiting for the lead salt to combine with it. Instant absorbtion.

The solution---RIGOROUS cleanliness on the range, and care when shooting indoors:

1. Don't smoke, eat, or drink on the range. You are ingesting just that much more lead in doing so.
2. Don't shoot on an indoor range that does not ventilate by pulling combustion products AWAY from the shooting line. If you MUST shoot on a range with poor ventilation (Lord knows why), use an OSHA approved mask.
3. DON'T SWEEP with a broom on an indoor range. The floor is COVERED in lead salts, and brooming puts them back in the air.
4. Once you are done shooting on an indoor range, wash your hands immediately. If you can take a shower and change clothes ASAP, all the better.
5. Lastly, DON'T go to bed after shooting indoors until you take a shower and wash your hair. You hair traps lots of lead particles that will transfer to your pillow, and then to your mouth/nose while sleeping.

People I know who have followed the above rules can sucessfully shoot indoors A LOT (like IPSC practice multiple times per week) without having excessive lead levels.

Green ammo primarily concentrates on minimizing lead content in the primers, and secondarily minimizing vaporized lead due to backsplash and propellant gas melting.

All of this, of course, is MUCH more of an issue for shooters to inhabit INDOOR ranges than those of us who shoot out of doors.

And biting lead sinkers is NOT a significant health hazard. :rolleyes:

brian roberts
February 1, 2005, 06:19 PM
when slik willy wasn't getting BJs in the oval office, his next funnest thing to do was count money from the chinese, that's where most of the tungsten in the world comes from.....an' GUESS WHO "happens" to have a "green" ammo factory in Kalifornica???? makin' "green" bullets???? yup, you win the cigar(and a FRESH one, not the one Monica had) the army is supposed to be looking at "green ammo" in the near future AND all the tree-huggers are supposed to be gearing-up for a fight to make this stuff army accepted in the not-too-distant-future. then, that done, they'll be starting on us, & of course, we're to be painted as not giving AF about all th' little kiddies breathin' our fumes!!!
for a look at the real-deal about how to get rid of this in your body, on GOOGLE: type in: dr. cranton, go to the site "mt. rainier & mt. rogers clinics" scroll down to FAQ, click on any one, then print-about 16 pgs. your hmo will probably pay for the med. exam; med work-up; & blood work, but won't pay for the treatment, which, depending on your geographic locale would be $85-125 each, typically 20-40 treatments,($2,000.00-5,000.00) then, depending on behavior-modification(diet, exercise, etc.) you may only have to go back 2-6 times per year as a maintenance requirement. this is an IV drip of a synthetic amino acid, and is VERY effective for many things that are ancillary to the consideration we're discussing.
after that, go back to GOOGLE & type in: ACAM(american college for the advancement of medicine) when you get to their site, click on:for public, then dr. search, then your state, it will spit out ALL the therapists in your state. also, Cranton has a book available, "BYPASSING BYPASS" very informative. there are two countries (Finland & New Zealand)that will NOT allow a bypass or a heart transplant w/out a regimen of Chelation(key-LAY-shun) first. believe me, folks, there are people who'll laugh & jeer, but, i've SEEN this WORK, its no BS!!! hope i can help just one of you. :)

February 1, 2005, 06:24 PM
Green ammo.

My Monarch brand 7.62X39 ammo has a greenish hue to it. Does that count???

Andrew Rothman
February 1, 2005, 07:12 PM
Chelation to combat hardening of the arteries as brian roberts describes is widely regarded as quackery.

It is, however, considered to be the best treatment for lead poisoning.

Andrew Rothman
February 1, 2005, 08:52 PM
John Farnam has posted several times about green ammo:

Try this search in Google:

Here are a few of his posts...


From a friend in OH on frangible ammunition:

"Just completed class at OPOTA last week. None of our pistols liked the frangible ammunition that is now required at this facility. All went down with consistent failure to fee and failure to go into battery. I personally cleaned several. Didn't solve the problem. Then I took them all to the outdoor range and changed to real ammunition. Problems instantly disappeared."

Lesson: "Frangible," "green," and "clean" ammunition is crap! It is ineffective for anything but practice, and problems like the forgoing are so common, training is always degraded. Not recommended.


and two days later:

Comments on frangible have been on both sides of the issue. Some think it is fine. However, this one is typical:

"Since my agency made the switch to lead-free/frangible, we have had nothing but trouble. We buy and consume one million rounds a year. We tested all brands. All demonstrated themselves to be unsatisfactory. Issues range from hard primers, to bullets disintegrating in magazines, to abbreviated shelf life, to cycling problems. Our selection was finally based, not on the best performance, but of the least of the poor performances! In any event, it is good for practice only. If is not suitable for any serious application, so we have to be careful not to get it mixed in with the good stuff.

A final note. We've been informed that bismuth is as undesirable as lead. No disposal facility will take it.

Looks as if the tree huggers are really keeping us 'safe,' eh?"


and back in 2000:
11 Sept 00

>From a friend with a large PD on "frangible," practice ammunition:

"We use lead-free, frangible pistol ammunition exclusively in our indoor and outdoor ranges, but that practice may have to change, as we are having all kinds of problems:

The composition bullet sometimes breaks when the round feeds, usually fracturing level with the crimp. In some instances we find the broken tip of the bullet when the shooter performs the stoppage drill. In some instances it comes out of the barrel when the shooter fires the succeeding round. This has not damaged a gun or injured a shooter so far, but we are concerned about the phenomenon.

We also found that some casings are poorly crimped. Upon feeding, bullet setback is common. Again, we are concerned about blown-up pistols, though this has not occurred yet.

Primer failure is also common. I believe this plagues all no-lead primers.

The failure rate as described above was significant enough to make us cancel the contract. We're now looking of another vendor, but, based on my experience, I don't think frangible, no-lead practice ammunition from any source is ever going to be satisfactory."


February 1, 2005, 09:25 PM
Pan Metal Corporation (PMC) has their American headquarters in Lost Angels, PRK but no factory there. Most of their PMC brand ammo is made in South Korea.
PMC also puts their PMC brand name on some ammo produced in South Africa.

Their subsidiary, Eldorado Cartridge Corporation has a factory near Boulder City, Nevada, where they produce Starfire ammo.

The PMC Green ammunition and primers I tested early last year was produced in South Korea.

February 2, 2005, 01:07 AM
In spite of repeating myself -

I have taken air samples in indoor firing ranges for lead.

I have scheduled employees in those ranges for lead blood tests.

I have seen the results of the indoor air samples and the blood tests.

The higher the airborne lead concentrations the higher the blood lead levels.

Not someone told me, not read it somewhere, not heard it from my second cousins dog, but sampled the air, saw the results, and saw the elevated blood lead levels. :banghead:

February 2, 2005, 11:52 PM
I overheard a conversation at a gun store the other day. One guy asked another guy why he hadn't seen him in so long. That guy says that his doctor noticed extremely high lead levels in a recent blood test and told him he had to stay away from the range for a year :what: . He shot at a range that I've been to a number of times, but I won't go there any more!

February 3, 2005, 12:04 AM
If you are concerned about airborne lead at the indoor range you prefer to shoot at ask a few questions.

Do they reuse any of the air in the range or do they exhaust all of it and heat/cool fresh air? If they reuse the air is it filtered using HEPA filters?

Is the outside air brought into the system on the same side of the building as the exhaust? If not is the air intake and exhaust on the sides paralelling the normal wind direction? (don't stake your horses upstream of where you drink :evil: )

Do they monitor for lead in the air and would they share that information with you?

Have they ever been cited by OSHA for airborne lead in the range? If so, did they correct the problem?

Would they like OSHA to pay a visit? State OSHA organisations run "consulting" services and will visit and make recommendations to the owner about such issues as lead. The consulting branch is forbidden from contacting the enforcement branch.

February 23, 2005, 02:38 PM
...but oh well, I was on business travel much of the month.

I belong to a club where access to the outdoor ranges becomes impractical during parts of the year depending on the weather.

Our 50ft indoor range is about 50 years old and the backstop won't handle full power jacketed loads. The restriction (ironically) is either lead < 1000fps, or frangible.

Because of those restrictions, our more serious shooters (especially the defensive pistol program competitors) have spent a fair amount of time testing alternatives.

To stay compliant with the club rules, most of the serious guys reload and use frangible bullets (a.k.a. green ammo') during the indoor season.

I've been shooting this all winter in my CZ-75's http://www.ammoman.com/images/9MMFGBL-3.jpg (Speer Lawman 9mm 90gr Frangible).

The bullet used is Sinterfire http://www.sinterfire.com/ .

The reloaders are mostly using Sinterfire as their projectile. While this is anecdotal to be sure, I've seen it reliably cycle in most Glock's, 1911's, and Sig's (which represent the majority of brands used). I've not had one hiccup in my CZ-75's (pushing 800 rounds or so). Similarly with my 1911's (about 200 rounds frangible .45ACP downrange so far). Just for giggles, our MD brought his AR' with .45 upper...no problems there...similarly with a Beretta CX-Storm. The round gun guys are mostly running 38SP Sinterfire with pleasing results when scoring targets. I cannot recall a single incident where somebody had a "bad ammo day" with frangible.

It's not to say that there isn't some "bad stuff" out there or some "bad marriages" of platform and frangible ammo', but with the right load...they're very accurate, reliable, and serve a useful purpose.

Stay safe,


February 24, 2005, 08:15 AM
Please visit www.sellier-bellot.cz and find out what they have to say about their green bullet.

In fact, professional instructors who spend hours at indoor shooting ranges appreciate this cartridge (only 9mm and 38 special) as they intake less toxic gases. They have replaced 4 chemical components with neutral ones.

In addition to "cleaner air", you get a much cleaner combustion meaning less corrosive attack on your gun parts. Not bad!

cracked butt
February 24, 2005, 08:57 AM
I have zero interest in shooting in an indoor range again until green ammo is becomes more available, cheaper and possibly mandated by individual range operators, unless I'm in the range shooting by myself.
The last time I shot indoors, I could taste the lead in the air, that was enough for me. :uhoh:

Zach S
February 24, 2005, 09:15 AM
Does this mean I should wear rubber gloves when cleaning guns?Not a bad idea. I wear the purple nitrile gloves a lot around the house when I'm cleaning the bathroom, working with solvents, pastes, epoxy, primer, paint, or I'm into so much oil that my Mechanix gloves do little to no good (I hate changing axle shafts).

I've only used the .223 frangible from PMC. I've never had a problem with it functioning in my AR. The range I frequent is pistol calibers only, but the PMC green .223 is okay to shoot. The price sucks though.

February 24, 2005, 02:11 PM
The lead issue is not the "end of the world" situation that some people want us to believe.

Using the software for this board is not easy at all.

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