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The Lead Free Ammo Movement

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by dbyrne, Feb 21, 2009.

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  1. dbyrne

    dbyrne Member

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    Why is it that so many firearms enthusiasts are against lead-free ammunition? There are plenty of credible studies showing that lead exposure originating from ammunition has a negative effect on both wildlife and humans. To be clear, as far as "human exposure" goes, I am talking about both airborne lead that the shooter is exposed to as well as lead particles then end up in the meat of animals killed with lead bullets. As far as wildlife lead exposure goes, I not referring specifically to the legislation passed to protect the California condor, but in a more general sense.

    It seems that many people see the lead free movement as some kind of government conspiracy to infringe upon our 2nd amendment rights. However, virtually every other industry has gone "lead-free". The dangers of lead paint are well documented. One of the big arguments against importing manufactured goods from China is that they don't have the same safety precautions when it comes to lead. When gasoline went completely unleaded, was that a plot to keep Americans from owning cars?

    It is shocking for me to see hunter's write off these studies as phony or based on junk science. For group of people who allegedly enjoy the outdoors, many seem to take a cavalier stance towards conservation.

    As a long time lurker of THR, I am very interested to see what people on both sides of this issue have to say.
     
  2. ZombiesAhead

    ZombiesAhead Member

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    Some worry that mandating lead-free ammunition will make ammunition prohibitively expensive and this campaign may be in part a movement to this end.
     
  3. Hungry Seagull

    Hungry Seagull member

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    What? Same as the recent anti uranium tank rounds flap?

    I think this whole thing goes over like a lead balloon.
     
  4. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Ever thought that the "war on lead" was concocted to circumvent the 2A?

    Lead is really not that toxic unless you eat it. I am a printer and we used to use lead type in our business. I personally handeled lead every day for about twenty years with no ill effects, as well ac cast my own bullets out of it. I also know of several people who have bullets and even multiple shotgun pellets embedded in their bodies who are walking around several decades after the accident.
     
  5. TMM

    TMM Member

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    part of the reason, i'd guess, is because the amount you're exposed to is minute...

    secondly, lead-free is more costly... with ammo prices the way they are, (and quick check at metalprices.com, lead is around 46 cents a pound, and bismuth is around $7.75), and the numerous copper-jacket bullets out there to reduce or eliminate lead exposure, i'd be against legislation preventing the use of lead bullets. if you want to buy them, all the power to you. i just don't want to be forced to buy more expensive ammunition.

    tmm
     
  6. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    It's a cost and performance issue. Lead is heavy and cheap. Not many materials are. I'm not going to shoot gold bullets.

    Some older guns really require cast lead bullets. Blackpowder cap and ball revolvers and rifles designed for lower-pressure loads should not be shot with other materials.

    All ballistics computations assume lead rounds. New rounds would require all ballistics tables, and all rifle sights, to be changed.

    Some local statutes and ordinances ban "armor-piercing" rounds -- meaning, other than lead rounds. You'd have to revise all of those laws if you banned lead rounds, unless your purpose were to ban all ammunition.

    Build a better mousetrap and we'll beat a path to your door. But chemistry has found nothing better combining heavy, soft and cheap than lead. And some guns would be dangerous with other materials.
     
  7. Hazwaste

    Hazwaste Member

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    Lead ban = Backdoor 2nd Amendment Infringement
     
  8. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    The hazards of lead is so overblown in regards to adults its not even something to concern oneself with.

    If it does concern you get your levels checked, its not expensive and simple to do.
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    People still find intact lead bullets in Civil War battlefields, dbyrne, where they've been lying for a century and a half.

    That's why those of us who spend time outdoors are more concerned about these veiled efforts to stop hunting than about lead.

    Lead, except in certain circumstances, is inert. It stays where it lies.

    A recent study of people who eat game meat regularly found less lead in their systems than those who ate only commercial meat. There's simply no reason to see lead bulelts or shot as an across-the-board threat to humans or the environment.
     
  10. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    dbyrne, its not so much that shooters are against lead-free ammunition, its that we're leery about government intervention. Baby steps, as they say.

    Once the gov decides what goes into our ammo, and we let them get away with it, the door is open.
     
  11. rickomatic

    rickomatic Member

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    dbyrne,
    You need to understand that we all are a bit leary of someone who comes on this board claiming to be a longtime lurker and asking such a loaded question filled with left wing buzzwords like, "credible studies" (by the way, the one you eluded to about dangers of lead in meat from wildlife is well debunked), and "shocking".
    A lot of us here are living breathing proof that your and other's claims of the evils of lead (which is one of the most abundant naturally occuring minerals), are the ideas that are far fetched. We've been around it and exposed to it not only growing up with lead paint everywhere, but shooting, casting and reloading for years with no adverse affects. Just look at the many threads here about people having been tested for lead exposure. I don't remember ever seeing one where a member found out they had high levels.
    As for "virtually every other industry going lead free", I think the automotive battery industry might have a slight bit of difference with you. Automotive batteries are still lead based, and 99% of that lead is recycled.
    So, you'll have to exuse our suspicion. Perhaps you'd like to state some of your bona fides to ease our minds that you really are one of us, just with a different opinion. What are your "credentials" in regards to the shooting sports?
     
  12. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    For me, it's plain and simple cost. I can't cast copper bullets. I can make lead bullets less than a penny a piece including electricity, lead and lube.

    On a side note, I cast, load and shoot thousands of rounds a year, my blood tests low for lead, even though I handle gobs of it. I'm not sold on lead bullets = lead poisoning.
     
  13. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    lead is dangerous if inhaled, in the intestines(readily absorbed) or in joints otherwise its pretty innocous(for a toxic metal)
     
  14. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    "There are plenty of credible studies showing that lead exposure originating from ammunition has a negative effect on both wildlife and humans."

    Well, yes, there can be negative effects on wildlife and humans by ammunition. Especially if that lead is moving at a high rate of speed. :cool:

    If you are referring to the "groundwater pollution" angle here's a link about the results of two credible studies which found that this is BS:

    http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2000/F/200005338.html
     
  15. cdet69

    cdet69 Member

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    so if we outlaw lead ammo what are you going to use in your 22lr rimfire? no manufacturer makes anything for them yet. just a way to price people out of the sport. if you can't take their guns just make it impossible to use them.
     
  16. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Winchester will have .22 cal rimfire ammo available shortly, this year.
     
  17. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    Lead ammo bans are just another one of the leftist ways to make ammo more costly. Its not a "government conspiracy", its more of a neo-liberal scam. Granted, lead is dangerous if you eat old paint chips for an afternoon snack. But numerous studies have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that hunting with lead ammo does not make the meat unsafe to eat as long as the game is properly processed. I use myself as an experiment... I have been shooting for 25 years, indoors, outdoors, and have eaten many pounds of game killed with lead. I have never had lead poisoning, or anything that resembles those symptoms.

    Now on the other hand, scrap steel would make a great medium for casting cores in plinking ammo. Recycled steel is cheap as dirt, but it has to be hotter to cast than lead... AKA more energy needed.
    However, for hunting and defensive loads, lead is the best since it is nice and soft. I doubt a hollow point would work with a mild steel core.
     
  18. cdet69

    cdet69 Member

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    where can you find the ammo specs for the winchester lead free rimfire ammo
     
  19. dbyrne

    dbyrne Member

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    Rickomatic: I understand your suspicion. I posted this here because I knew the THR crowd would provide me with some well thought out counter-arguments and it would not become a flame war.

    cdet69: you make a good point about .22 lead-free ammo not being currently available. I have a bolt action .22 so I assure everyone I fire my share of leaded rounds! :evil:

    I also agree that the cost can be prohibitive, although I do believe that if lead-free ammunition became more popular it would encourage manufacturers to find a solution to this problem.

    To make my stance more clear, I don't think lead bullets should be banned, just that developing alternatives can only help our sport. I don't hear people yearning for the days when primers had mercury in them. If we can eliminate lead, why should that be any different?
     
  20. LtShortcut

    LtShortcut Member

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    I'm guessing that you are with the "green" movement who wants us all to use tungsten bullets. Well here are some facts about tungsten.

    Tungsten melting point = 6,192 degrees F
    Lead melting point = 621 degrees F

    Which do you think would be easier/cheaper to cast into bullets? You'd use up so much energy trying to melt the tungsten you'd burn through enough electricity to power a small town.

    Tungsten is just as poisonous as lead if not more so.

    http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/40002231/

    Do a google search if you want to see more.

    I think an above poster mentioned the armor peircing of bullets. Tungsten is so hard and tough it would probably make all tungsten bullets armor peircing "cop killer" rounds.

    Not to mention the wear to barrels that such a hard metal would cause.
     
  21. dbyrne

    dbyrne Member

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  22. dbyrne

    dbyrne Member

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    LtShortcut: I agree Tungsten isn't practical.

    A lot of the newer lead-free rounds (like the one I just linked to) are using tin. I'm sure that is not all they are using, but some companies are more forthcoming than others about exactly what metals are going into these bullets.
     
  23. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    None of my shotguns can handle steel shot. I guess I'll melt them down for ammo! :rolleyes:
     
  24. cdet69

    cdet69 Member

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    i live in the central hudson valley region of new york. last year there was talk of making lead free ammo mandatory for big game hunting. i did some testing with lead free bullets because i handload most of my ammo. i found that the barnes 7mm 160 grain bullet was excellent in accuracy and terminal performance. while the nosler 150 e-tip was super accurate but not as good. in my 222 the barnes 36 grn varmint granade was supe accurate. in my ar the 55 grain barnes mpg was also great. i myself do not have a problem with lead free bullets and use them when i can. my concern is that other people whose income can not afford to use the or worse yet will you them but will forego practicing with them. then how many critters will be gravely wounded? also what will become of just shooting for fun?
     
  25. cdet69

    cdet69 Member

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    thanks for the info dbyrne look forward to trying it out
     
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