Les sends me this kind of strange article:
The idea of a bullet designed both to kill the enemy and be kind to the environment might sound like a macabre joke. In combat, soldiers don’t usually worry about the green credentials of the enemy.
But armies in Scandinavia are so concerned about the pollution caused by lead bullets they’re replacing their entire stock with non-toxic versions. The manufacturers are encouraging the British armed forces to do the same.
But is there really a case to go lead-free?
“If you’re getting killed by a lead bullet or lead-free it doesn’t really matter, but most ammunition is used for training anyway,” explains Urban Oholm, senior vice-president of Swedish arms manufacturer Nammo.
First let’s talk about why Lead is so popular in the making of bullets. First its soft. This means it easily conforms to the rifling of the barrel, and then it deforms on impact allowing for better terminal ballistics, and its heavy, making it better for transferring kinetic energy. Using these two factors, gold would also make VERY good bullets….but we know why lead is preferred, its CHEAP!
Now I have my doubts about the whole environmental factor. I know my gun club hires a company to rebuild the berm every few years, and no money is exchanged. NONE. Why? Well the arrangement is that the company can keep all the lead they recover from the berm and sell it. See the lead bullets just bury themselves in the dirt…and it just sits there. Lead is relatively inert in its elemental state. As far as health of the shooter, well you’re getting more lead exposure from the Lead styphnate in the primers than the lead in the bullets.
Also “lead free ammo” is nothing new. Big Game hunters have been using brass or bronze monolithic bullets to get maximum penetration on big animals because the alloy is so much harder than lead. Also military has been making ammo with a steel core for ages. You see lead is cheap, but crappy steel (like the garbage they make rebar out of) is REALLY cheap. Also the manufacturing process is differed. Lead ammo is often swaged into a die with the jacket, or cast and plated, steel core ammo can be made simply by cutting a steel wire to the proper core length and the pressed into a jacket. So steel core ammo has been around for a while, and if you collect military surplus ammo, you’ll often encounter it.
I dunno, seems like a bunch a-do about nothing.