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Lead Bullets?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by uban77, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. uban77

    uban77 Maui, HI. Luck favors the prepared.

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    Why have we gotten away from lead only bullets for defence? As I look into it, it looks like the best choose.
     
  2. pioneer461

    pioneer461 Columbia County, Oregon Active Member

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    Experience and modern metallurgy have given us better choices.
     
  3. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    +1.
    Especially since moving solidly into semi-auto's for defense (yes youngsters, we used wheelguns until the 80's) and the more recent proliferation of .380's and other mouseguns for concealed carry. I still pack lead when carrying a big bore revolver, although I only carry those when on dog walks etc. out here in the country. Mostly, it's a semi-auto with high-tech ammo when I leave the house and plan to be around people.

    This is a generality that is mostly true. Semi-autos function best with slick bullets shaped in FMJ configuration. Lead is softer and can create drag when it is cycled from the mag to the chamber, thus more easily jamming up your autoloader. FMJ bullets overpenetrate and do not cause the kind of wound channel that is most effective at stopping an attacker. Ammo developers went to hollowpoint bullets shaped in tradtional FMJ style to function reliably in semi-autos and to expand and enhance stopping characteristics. Today's smaller, lighter carry guns in smaller calibers need the low drag, high performance ammo more now than ever if they are to be reliable feeders and effective fight stoppers.
     
  4. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    I agree with the comments from members about defensive ammo.

    The old lead keith style bullets still work very nice in revolvers like the 357, 44 mag/Special, 45 Long Colt and a few others. For woods carry they will do a fine job.
     
  5. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    Lead is also poisonous and shooting lead melts a bit and leaves it as a gas for you to inhale.
     
  6. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you get a tiny dose, but the BG dies of lead poisoning. :)
     
  7. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Did you move to WA from Kalifornia?
     
  8. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    Nope, just enjoy my health and want it to remain that way. lead affects the renal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, etc.

    You can consume lead for all I care. I chose not to be stupid and do what is in my best interest.
     
  9. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    Well, all righty then... :paranoid:
     
  10. C1PNR

    C1PNR SW Idaho New Member

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    I guess I'm a throwback then. I frequently carry my Commander loaded with the Ideal 452423 SWC at ~ 850 fps. In my alloy it weighs in at 238 grains, which makes for a good fight stopper.

    I also carry the Ideal 429421 SWC in my 3" Bulldog. In my alloy it's ~ 250 grains at 700 fps +. Another good, reliable fight stopper and easy to control for followup shots, as needed.

    BTW, do you have any idea how hot you have to get lead to take it from solid to liquid to the gaseous state? It's not happening in your 5" or less barrel, trust me.

    I will admit, my Python is presently loaded with 146 gr JHP and my bedside 10mm is loaded with 175 Silvertip HP.

    So I do swing both ways.;)
     
  11. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    I'll just agree to disagree with you on that. Ever wonder why indoor ranges have to have special ventilation systems?
     
  12. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    I think at one point in time Lead was over used and our exposure was too high. These days it is pretty rare for your average person to get significant lead exposure. There has to be something seriously wrong with the person's environment or conduct for them to get serious levels of lead exposure.

    Lots of paranoia though. But paranoia is fun and cheap to spread around.
     
  13. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    The range closest to my house will not even let you shoot unjacketed ammo due to lead hazards.
     
  14. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    Ha! Ha! That is hilarious.

    Heck you can reload all your life, handle lead bullets, etc and never have any dangerous level of lead in your bloodstream as long as you don't sit and eat your lunch before washing your hands.

    Your cleaning supplies under your sink are far more dangerous.

    Lead bullets only have risk to the intended game or bad guy.

    But hey drink the cool aid, its on the list of very scary things that liberals like to protest about. But the truth is lead shot or bullets have zero affect on wild game except to kill them when shot with it.
     
  15. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    Ignorance is bliss.

    Lead also has proven to kill waterfowl when they consume it.

    You believe what you want to believe and I'll know what I know.

    Some dingbats think that everything is a liberal conspiracy.

    Sometimes, the truth is simply the truth and a fact is simply a fact.
     
  16. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    Over time when you grow up sonny you will learn not to believe everything you are told by the bunny huggers.:D

    Lead is only dangerous if you consume it.
     
  17. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    I'll consider the source. :thumbup:
     
  18. shotgun-2

    shotgun-2 south snohomish co. wa. Member

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    The question was about using lead for self-defense. How much lead exposure are you getting from that? I don't know about you but I don't shoot enough (so far never) for that to be a problem. Lots of shooting on indoor ranges is another question, usually only for long term exposure to employees. As far as lead poisoning to birds goes it only happens to birds that grind up pellets in their gizzard as scratch or birds of prey that eat the organs of those birds.

    As to the orginal question goes for self-defense, we have been brain washed by advertisements and gun writers searching for topics to sell us. Also as stated in earlier posts, some semi-autos won't reliably function with exposed lead bullets. Also gun barrels, like Glocks, don't like lead.

    The effect to the "Bad Guy" having been shot by a well placed shot with a normal self-defense caliber probably makes little difference in actual preformance between say, a LSWC, or a high tec JHP.

    Carrying high preformance ammo probably has more of a "Feel Safer" effect than a practical effect, because you feel you've done all you can to be prepared. Nothing wrong with that, and it gives us a topic to discuss.

    Please keep the "Bunny Hugging" prospective real and relevant to the topic.
    :bash::pound::ban::lolbeat:
     
  19. HalfNutz

    HalfNutz Kirkland (Juanita) Member

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    If you are not practicing with the defensive loads you plan to use, you are not doing yourself any favors. If your defensive loads are lead, then you are exposing yourself to a toxin.

    Lead that becomes airborne from foundries, shooting, etc. is known to cling to human hair. So for instance, if you've got a mustache or beard, simply washing your hands between shooting lead ammo and eating a sandwich is not an adequate safety measure. To say that it is not harmful is simply not true.

    Sure, there are safeguards to help protect yourself, one being the use of jacketed ammunition. :thumbup:

    Shoot what you want, but if you end old, senile and crapping in your drawers, your kids are going to hate you... :D
     
  20. Old506

    Old506 Northwest Member

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    Many jacketed bullets have exposed lead bases so if you think that you are safer, much of the time your not. It doesn't make much sense to shoot a FMJ but not lead free primers.

    I am more concerned about lead in primers than the minimal amount of lead from a bullet. I am even more concerned about tumbling brass which is why it is all done outside.

    Just ask the Doc to do a lead test if you are concerned. For about $50 bucks they can add it on to your blood work. Shooters who shoot a lot indoors get much higher numbers. If you wear gloves when cleaning your pistols, shoot outdoors, tumble brass outdoors you aren't going to have high lead counts, even if you are an IPSC shooter shooting 20,000 rounds/year.

    I don't shoot indoors. I try to wear gloves when cleaning. I shoot moly coated bullets that don't lead the barrel. I don't have lead count issues.

    As far as the OP goes. Lead is an excellent choice for many shooting activities. To me it makes no sense to shoot a HP in most pistol rounds (for expansion purposes) as many times they don't mushroom anyway, in my experience. I once put a deer out of its misery with a Remington Golden Sabre .357. It barely mushroomed, at nearly point blank, to just over .400 of an inch. Why not carry a .45 with 3 more rounds instead? I had some black talon's that did nearly the same thing.

    Although there certainly is an argument for a HP if expansion happens correctly you are also giving up muzzle flip and your ability to stay on target and fire another round. In order to get a good mushroom you need high velocity to the detriment of the shooter.

    Short of concealability if I need to grab a pistol for defense, I want my IPSC Singlestack with 200 gr LSWC. These Bunny Fart major loads @ about 171 power factor are head shot accurate to 50 yards (at least). My sights barely lift and my gun runs 100% to the point that I would trust my families life on it, not just mine. The other reason is that I have shot thousands of rounds threw the pistol.

    The high priced $2/bullet "defense" ammo is a marketing ploy not entirely different than lasers on pistols. (Do you think that it costs them any more to manufacture "defense" ammo or, does it cost more to market it?) If it makes you feel better to have "defense" ammo in a pistol that has a laser and pic rail flashlight with sites that glow in the dark then so be it.