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stupid question about lead bullets

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by coosbaycreep, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    Is that nasty smoke that's created when shooting lead bullets harmful if you breathe it in? Is it any worse than shooting jacketed or plated bullets?

    I've begun shooting primarily lead (148gr DEWC from MO bullet company to be exact) bullets in .38spl to save money, and the only thing I don't like about them is that horrible smelling smoke they give off when you shoot them. I think it's from the lube they use on them, but not sure.

    Anyway, I was shooting some a few days ago and had a slight breeze blowing all that smoke back in my face, and ended up coughing up half a lung because I couldn't hardly breathe, and I was worried that maybe there's a bunch of lead particles or some other crap in the smoke that might give me cancer sooner than jacketed bullets will.
     
  2. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    The majority of the smoke is from the bullet lube, but there is also small amounts of lead that makes it into the mix. I don't know if the concentrations are enough to be harmful when shooting outdoors. But I know most indoor ranges don't allow it due to the buildup that can happen if enough people are shooting lead at the same time.
     
  3. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    Some bullet lubes are smokier than others, and some powders and or charges make for smokey loads with lead bullets.
    Please share the details of the load.
     
  4. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    148gr DEWC
    CCI 500 primer
    2.6gr bullseye

    I've tried other lead bullets with other powders in .38, .357, .44mag, and .500mag too, and I haven't had any that didn't produce way more smoke than jacketed bullets.
     
  5. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    You might look for some moly coated bullets by Bear Creek Supply,they don't have that 'crayon lube',and don't smoke quite as much.Shooter's Service Center in Portland carries some.
     
  6. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    Sir - back in the days when we were allowed to have modern-style handguns that looked like handguns, we used to shoot between 800 and 1200 rounds of .38Spec every week - each - in our weekly police pistol comps - sometimes, on a thursday night, that might mean shooting about four hundred shots.

    Add to that the zillions of lead bullets I've shot from my BP handguns and rifles since I began to shoot as a six-year-old child, and you can see that I've been exposed to lead by-products for the last 58 years.

    ...and I'm still standing.

    tac [kof kof]
     
  7. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    I would start those at 2.9gr and work up to 3.4
    2.6gr seems to light for a cast DEWC, 2.6gr of BE is considered the min. for a swaged HBWC.
     
  8. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Most of that smoke is from the lube.

    Also, many lubes are food grade ingredients. I personally use Rooster's Zambini lube, well, before rooster started making bullet lube, they made waxes for candy.