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Lead Free Bullets?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Morpheus, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    Anyone know if there is anyone manufacturing lead free bullets for reloading 40 S&W?

    Or anyone that makes full lead free non-personal defense cartridges of 40 S&W?

    I've been searching for them, but haven't been able to find anyone that makes them. Let alone has them.
     
  2. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    Frangibles might be your only option. I know remington makes frangibles I've loaded 500 of them for my 9mm. They have all shot ok and cycled so far with no issues.
     
  3. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    @Jonn5335 do you remember their brand name?
     
  4. ArgyleAdams

    ArgyleAdams Portland, OR Active Member

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    I think I recall Barnes making lead-free .40/10 bullets.

    Sent from my phone; typos likely.
     
  5. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    They were remington brand but apparently it was a limited run. I know frangiblebullets.com still manufactures frangibles as components.
     
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    There are a lot of options as far as lead free ammo for defense. However the question is, do you want lead free ammo or lead free bullets? Lead free ammunition uses a non-toxic primer, which tends to degrade over time, and you should shoot some of it regularly to keep track of any deterioration. It's mostly used for training. Notable examples: WinNT, PMC "green range", and many others. Personally, I would not recommend frangible bullets for defense. As much as they are touted as a "great" defense bullet in my experience when they hit soft tissue, water or any "soft" material they perform like ball ammunition. They will fragment if they hit something like bone, but that is not reliable. By comparison, I would highly recommend Barnes, their bullets are designed specifically for expansion and terminal effect. Most frangible bullets are designed for training purposes.

    Barnes announced this year they will be producing the TAC-XPD, I saw them at SHOT, and I'm still waiting on a T&E box from my friends over there.

    TAC-XPD Ammunition | Barnes Bullets
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Frankly, I would wand a Self Defense round to be as toxic as possible to the one I shot:cool:

    For range ammo, most indoors will now call for a jacketed bullet with some going to the extreme of requiring that it be a TMJ or CMJ, no hollow points or exposed lead in the base.
     
    bcdon and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    I'm more interested in finding training ammo that is lead free. Personal defense I'm not as interested in the lead free. :)

    Looks like there are a few options out there, but not many available right now.
     
  9. Modly

    Modly Beaverton Active Member

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    You must take in consideration that lead-free options will have different characteristics than lead.

    Most non-lead projectiles are made from copper or brass, and they have a lighter mass than lead. What this means, is that you need more volume of that material to make up for the weight.

    For example, I shoot 147gr 9mm lead rounds. An all copper projectile weighing 115gr will carry a similar velocity, because it's a larger projectile, and will have a similar charge behind it.


    Problem number two. Cost. Lead is one of the cheapest materials that you can make a projectile out of. Most cheaper materials are not ideal for high round shooting. Yellow metals do not have this low cost associated with them. It will cost you at least twice as much to shoot unleaded.
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There's another issue with "solid metal" pistol bullets. When I last read the ATF regulations re: AP bullets, they consider a bullet with the jacket material making up the majority of the bullet weight as an AP type bullet. Several bullets that were made in the past from solid "yellow metals" have been banned due to this regulation.

    As I also understand, pistol bullets are the big concern due to their ability to defeat standard body armor. Solids for hunting rounds aren't covered as most vests don't stop a hi-powered rifle round.

    Here's an example of one, the French "Arcane":

    SIB-1.jpg
     
  11. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    I was thinking that this might be the case. The inexpensive and much different in overall weight. I wasn't sure if someone had figured out a cost effective alternative to lead yet or not. Guess not.
     
  12. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    My ex-wife's fruit cake might make a good substitute but I don't know how cost effective it would be;)
     
  13. Modly

    Modly Beaverton Active Member

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    All copper bullets are still legal. Brass has been banned though. Brass is less prone to deformation, where as copper flattens much like lead does.
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Seems to be in contradiction to 18 U.S.C., § 921(a)(17)(B)

    If the bullet is a "solid" then wouldn't the "jacket" exceed the total weight?

    FWIW, Copper is a frequently used element in Armor piercing Ordnance.

    Interesting.
     
  15. Modly

    Modly Beaverton Active Member

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    They mention a copper alloy specifically, but not copper.

    If copper was illegal, Barnes Bullets would be out of business right now. They have pulled all brass solids (except large bore stuff that the ATF hasn't demanded them to quit offering), but I can still buy copper projectiles right now.
     
  16. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    There is a "sporting use" exemption for the AP rules regarding handgun, and there are also specific exemptions for frangible ammo made of banned materials.

    Barnes gets around most of it by having bullets that despite being solid copper are still intended to deform (re: tac-xp) however barnes had some headaches a while ago when their banded solids fell under the AP rule for .223, 7.62x39 and a few others which have become popular with the pistol caliber rifle crowd.

    If you want truely non-toxic ammo for training, you're going to be looking for ammo that's FLETC certified (federal law enforcement training centers) as they require non-lead (including lead free primers). Forget about loading this yourself, as the LF/NT primers are almost impossible to lay hands on, and have a lot of very special handling requirements. Namely: they are very sensitive to moisture, so much so each box of 1000 primers comes individually wrapped and sealed in milar, and any primers that are exposed to the air for more than 2 days should be discarded.

    Unless you really have a solid need for lead free training ammo (like if you're going to a class over at thunder ranch) I would suggest avoiding it.
     
  17. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    I am just wondering why you would want lead free bullets :confused: (just my nose is getting in the way again)
     
  18. Morpheus

    Morpheus Columbia Gorge Anyway, back on the farm.

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    I know someone who has a private range, and was worried about long term lead build up. So, was wondering if anyone had developed a non-damaging alternative. I didn't think there was one, but was wondering.
     
  19. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    a bullet trap will solve that problem and not a big deal to install