The call for “green” ammunition

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Thread: The call for “green” ammunition

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    The call for “green” ammunition

    The Black Hills Pioneer & Rapid City Weekly News | BHPioneer.com | News for Spearfish, South Dakota > Opinion > The call for ?green? ammunition

    It's been 17 years since the federal government banned the use of lead shot in shells used to hunt waterfowl. Back in 1991 the number of ducks and geese turning up dead from lead poisoning was on the increase, not so much as a result of being hit by lead pellets but as a result of ingesting pellets as they bottom fed in ponds and marshes. Swans and other non-game bottom feeders were also impacted. Hunters initially complained about the poor performance of non-toxic steel shot compared to lead, but it wasn't long before a number of non-toxic alternatives to ordinary steel appeared. Bismuth, Hevi-Shot, various tungsten alloys and others offered hunters a more effective, but also more costly, alternative to steel shot.

    Steel shot has improved over the years and loads such as Kent Fast Steel, Federal's Black Cloud and Winchester's Xpert shotshells are bringing more waterfowlers back into the steel-shot fold with improved velocities, range and performance. Many states now also require steel shot for hunting any kind of game bird in certain kinds of wildlife management areas. Hunters adapted once again and ammunition makers responded with non-toxic loads designed for taking everything from pheasants and grouse to doves. But now the quest for environment-friendly “green” ammunition is taking a new turn. Several states are considering an outright ban on all lead ammunition.

    California led the charge on this issue when a rare California condor turned up dead from lead poisoning. Condors are large vultures and therefore primarily scavengers. Apparently the condor had fed on the meat of an animal or animals that had been shot with lead bullets and ingested lead bullet fragments. Even big-game hunters in California must now use lead-free bullets, and several other states may soon make similar rules.

    Lead has been used in bullets for hundreds of years. It is a cheap and effective substance when it comes to manufacture and performance, but it is a toxic heavy metal. From a health standpoint it makes sense to find alternatives to lead, but there may also be political motivations I'll get to in a moment.

    *
    There are alternatives to lead bullets. Cor-Bon in Sturgis, Remington and other handgun bullet makers offer lead-free frangible ammunition for defense and law enforcement applications. Barnes has offered copper bullets for big game for some time and its bullets perform very well. Winchester's new E-tip rifle bullets were used by friends of mine on elk hunts last season will good results in most cases. Other companies are riding the “green wave” of innovation and working up new non-toxic loads for handgun and rifle shooters in their research and development departments even now.

    Some sportsmen have speculated about political motivations concerning the sudden push for “safer bullets.” With gun control on the ropes in the judicial arena following this year's Supreme Court ruling on the 2nd Amendment, some gun control groups are looking for ways to make acquiring ammunition more difficult. Ammunition, they argue, is not protected by the 2nd Amendment. Copper is the main lead alternative in rifle bullets right now, and copper costs a whole lot more than lead. Hunters used to paying $15 for a box of 20 cartridges with lead bullets will easily pay two or three times that amount for copper equivalents.

    The non-toxic push could also, in theory, make possession of lead ammunition illegal. It's not uncommon for reloaders who make their own cartridges to have hundreds of bullets bought in bulk lying around for future loading. If the nation goes entirely lead-free, reloaders could conceivably have to destroy stockpiles of unused ammunition or shoot it all up before any laws take effect. I know some in the industry who look at lead-bullet bans as a backdoor way of shutting down those who make their own ammo by making components harder to get and prohibitively expensive.

    Regardless of motivations, the trend is clearly toward lead-free ammo in the political arena. Ultimately, the matter will likely be decided either by the courts, state game management agencies or voters.
    Are we to expect Tofu bullets next?
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    Its a plot.

    Lead comes out of the ground much the same as it goes in.

    It comes out looking like a lump of dirt and goes in as a bullet. So what.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    oil comes from the ground too...
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    Green ammo does more harm to the enviorment then lead does. I know of a few ranges that went green/ but still certain agencies still shoot lead, and now the person who mines their lead refuses to pull the lead out because of the different metals he has to sort through. I know of one range that has been open since the dawn of time, went partial green and now their having ground water issues with the Non-toxic stuff. This Green ammo thing is a joke. It makes bigger messes then lead ever did. They couldn't have just left well enough alone.
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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    Well you know what they say about the Liberals... everything they set out to do, they end up accomplishing the opposite because of their impulsiveness. I know that at one point, one of the Jeff Cooper 4 gun safety rules was "Treat every gun as though it is loaded, until you've checked it and verified otherwise." Somewhere along the way, that second half was dropped to make it more 'fool-proof' I think that might have been in response to the liberals poking their noses into guns. We had to make safe safer to protect them from themselves!

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    we just have to look at ethanol to see their stupidity. big help that was.
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    We as shooters need to band together. Some types of shooting can use alternatives to lead. Others may not. We need to make sure we support them.
    I carry modern firearms every day but they are not what I shoot the most. I havnt found anything that shoots accuratly in my BPCR's like lead does.

    Michael

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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind some none-lead ammo for target practice.
    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)

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    my issue is my stock pile that i invested in becoming "illegal". i don't like that.
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    Ammunition, they argue, is not protected by the 2nd Amendment.


    I think this one would end up losing in court.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

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    Gee! I thought "green ammo" came out of old GI ammo boxes.

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    I make it a personal policy to never buy anything labeled "green" or eco-friendly. It is my duty to enlarge my personal carbon footprint in order to drive eco-wackos crazy.
    The only thing I recycle is BRASS.
    What Would Gumby Do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    I make it a personal policy to never buy anything labeled "green" or eco-friendly. It is my duty to enlarge my personal carbon footprint in order to drive eco-wackos crazy.
    The only thing I recycle is BRASS.
    Amen! I love my carbon footprint!

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    Gee - that means the BG's will now die from "Green Poisoning."

    What a bunch of hooey. If they can't ban guns, they try to tax the crap out of the ammo. If that doesn't work, they'll make it illegal to own a certain type of ammo and only allow something that costs much more.
    Tim
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    I make it a personal policy to never buy anything labeled "green" or eco-friendly. It is my duty to enlarge my personal carbon footprint in order to drive eco-wackos crazy.
    The only thing I recycle is BRASS.
    i agree. i go recycle cans, bottles, etc and have CFL bulbs in my house, but just to keep my electric bill down...not to placate to the enviro-nazi's
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