Reducing lead exposure

This is a discussion on Reducing lead exposure within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am VERY new to firearms so please bear with me. When I start shooting regularly I want something that has zero lead on the ...

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Thread: Reducing lead exposure

  1. #1
    Member Array bm303's Avatar
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    Reducing lead exposure

    I am VERY new to firearms so please bear with me.

    When I start shooting regularly I want something that has zero lead on the outside of the bullet. So something that will reduce exposure to lead from handling the bullet. Based upon my minute amount of research I believe this is called a "Total Metal Jacket" bullet, or TMJ, right?

    If I wanted to reduce lead exposure from both firing and handling of ammunition, I should be purchasing "TMJ" bullets?

    Is there a functional difference in standard bullets and TMJ? What about FMJ? Does FMJ have lead exposed? From what I have read FMJ seems to have some exposed while TMJ has none. Is this right?

    Can TMJ bullets be used in all 9mm pistols? And revolvers?

    Again, I really am new to this stuff so bare with me! Thank you.

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    Member Array Foo909's Avatar
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    I can't answer your question about TMJ bullets but I do know that Winchester offers a line of ammunition called "Winclean" as well as Remington UMC "Leadless" line that offers a brass encased base bullet. It's really designed for indoor ranges to keep the exposed lead base of the bullet from being eroded into the air while shooting.

    However, I don't believe you need to worry about lead exposure under normal conditions of practice or even sport shooting. As per most manufactures recommend to wash your hands after you are done handling ammunition/before you eat.

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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    Normal FMJ ammo will not have any exposed lead. FMJ bullets (the projectile) are exposed at the base, but that is inside the case of the complete cartridge. TMJ rounds are difficult to come by and will needlessly limit your ammo choices. But, yes you can shoot them normally.

    Still, you should have some jacketed hollow points in your personal stock. There are no health concerns unless you're doing things like shooting indoors, handling hard targets, or reloading cast lead. Normal loading and shooting in properly ventilated ranges post no health concerns. What's the big lead worry?

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    Lead poisoning from shooting is like catching the flu, wash your hands and keep them away from your face and you probably won't catch it.
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    Did you grow up in Kalifornia or something???

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    Quote Originally Posted by bm303 View Post
    I am VERY new to firearms so please bare with me.

    When I start shooting regularly I want something that has zero lead on the outside of the bullet. So something that will reduce exposure to lead from handling the bullet. Based upon my minute amount of research I believe this is called a "Total Metal Jacket" bullet, or TMJ, right?

    If I wanted to reduce lead exposure from both firing and handling of ammunition, I should be purchasing "TMJ" bullets?

    Is there a functional difference in standard bullets and TMJ? What about FMJ? Does FMJ have lead exposed? From what I have read FMJ seems to have some exposed while TMJ has none. Is this right?

    Can TMJ bullets be used in all 9mm pistols? And revolvers?

    Again, I really am new to this stuff so bare with me! Thank you.
    Lead is on the inside of the bullet and is surrounded by a copper shell. The lead is not touched by the shooter. Unless you are running simple lead cast bullets.

    Total metal jacket has no exposed lead in the base (which is inside the casing until fired) and Full metal jacket has an exposed lead base (which again is inside the casing and untouched by you).

    You can buy pure copper defense ammo using a Barnes X-Bullet. It's a solid copper projectile with no lead at all. Corbon loads it in their DPX line and others use that bullet for their ammo loads as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Lead poisoning from shooting is like catching the flu, wash your hands and keep them away from your face and you probably won't catch it.

    ^^^^I also would add,^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    don't do dumb things or hang around dumb people and you won't become a lead magnet.

    J/K

    As was stated , you shouldn't have to worry unless you are casting lead into bullets for reloading.
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    The way things are going you may be glad you found a box of ammo in the caliber of your gun never mind any special criteria,
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    I thought the point of self defense was to MAXIMIZE lead exposure..... All this time I've had it wrong? Sorry couldn't resist :-)
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    I'm grateful to have enjoyed shooting lead bullets in large quantities since the mid-1970s. Through handloading and shooting I've handled a lot of lead over the years and look forward to more years of lead bullet shooting fun.

    I've noticed no ill effects from lead whatsoever.

    Now I do have this prehensile tail forming at the base of my spine...
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    Metallic Lead is not absorbed through the skin into the body. Wash your hands before eating or smoking. Of course if you are smoking then don't worry about the Lead. Worry about the cigarettes.

    Also the dangers of "Lead Poisoning" in adults has been greatly hyped up in my opinion.

    You should have some ventilation if you are casting and melting Lead.

    I actually worked with Lead almost every day for years. I used to cast it, grind it, polish it, electro-plate it, pickle it, solder it, file it, cut it, patina it etc ~ in addition to shooting it. And not just a little bit of Lead. We were foundry casting and finishing large outdoor statuary. And that was before everybody wore masks.

    I had my Lead level checked some years ago and it was "0"

    Exposure to Lead is very unhealthy for babies and children with brains that are still developing. That danger is from ingestion SO KIDS! - Don't Eat Lead. Don't eat the paint chips off of the walls.

    Interesting Historical Factoid. Did you know that the Romans used powdered Lead as a seasoning on food? They liked the sweet metallic taste.
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    But Grog is so much better out of my heavy lead tankard!

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    Lead Oxide is the poison, lead is a silver easy to pour into bullets metal. Without eating a lot of lead you would have a hard time getting lead poisoning. Lead oxide how ever will poison you quickly! lead oxide is found in paint, primers, old gasoline, boat coatings, etc. It is also the powdery white stuff that forms on naturally weathered lead. Its most usually ingested from hand to mouth. Smokers are more likely to get it as there hands are in or near their mouths much more often. But if you use minimal care you can easily prevent poisoning. Do not eat or drink while handling lead, Wash your hands like a surgeon after handling lead. use soap that's high in phosphorus to remove lead oxide. [ Automatic dish washing soap ]. Do thos simple things and you are unlikely to become poisoned by lead bullets. DR

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    Reducing lead exposure

    I would venture to say whether your shooting FMJ or TMJ you'll be at the same minimal risk of harmful exposure to lead. Holding the rounds next to each other will show no difference because there will be no exposed lead. When the rounds hit a hard barrier they will both break and send lead and copper bits everywhere. For target ammo, you're just as we'll off buying FMJ and you'll have more options to choose from and be spending less than you would be on TMJ.

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