It was Friday evening and my friend Wayne and I were having one of our usual survival topic conversations and the topic eventually got around to lead shot for shells. It seems that Wayne had notice something somewhere which stated that many of the states are considering banning Lead content in bullets and shotgun shells.
This of course got my creative juices flowing and after our conversation ended I decided to investigate this situation a little bit 17 wsm ammo further. Since lead was a toxic type material it certainly would hold some merit at outlawing it for the sake of the environment and personal health. My first question that I asked myself was what are the alternatives? Do we currently have a lead free bullet at all?
Upon doing my research I discovered that some states such as California has already taken the liberty to ban lead ammunition in any area where endangered California condors may possibly reside. These large birds have been known to feed upon the various scrapes of meat which are usually left behind by the hunters after they field dress their kill. The problem stems from these scrapes containing residual lead shot. Lead position has been cited as the primary cause of Condor deaths in the area. In addition they have expressed some concern about the bullets not only contaminating the ecosystem but possibly affect people as well. Other states are actively promoting the non-use of lead shells and ammo such as Arizona, Utah, Minnesota and North Dakota. It would be only at matter of time before many other states will start to follow suit.
That still did not answer my inquiry as to an alternative material for creating bullets. Additional web searching revealed the use of copper as the alternative of choice for lead. Without doubt whenever there is controversy there are several sides to the issue. Major gun lobbies argue that the bans on lead bullets are simply unfounded and the lead poses no risks what so ever.
Lead free bullets have been around now for a number of years however it is just during the current green demands that they have gained visibility to the public. As any gun fan knows lead is the major component of ammo and has been pinpointed as a compound which lowers the IQ of many children in America today. There are numerous groups which desire to eliminate lead in any way, shape or form in the interests of the habitat and protecting the environment.
Hunters complain that the alternates proposed to replace lead in bullets have increased the cost of the shells. In America alone the gun groups spend in excess of $1.08 billion dollars per year on bullets alone.
As of late there has been a tremendous leap in the number of manufacturers of the lead free ammo. Most of the companies which make the copper bullets claim that the new style ammo outperforms the older lead type. In the market place today you can readily find major name businesses such as Winchester or Remington creating their own lead free ammunition.
It is even getting to the point where some of the nations firing ranges have begun to ban the use of the lead ammo for various safety concerns. Since the largest user of lead ammunition has always been the military is it contended that these lead bullets have contaminate major military training areas across the nation and are quickly becoming the primary concern of many environmental agencies.
Although recent tests and research conducted upon meat shot with lead bullets have been conducted the findings are not completely conclusive. It does appear that the meat can contain some what of an elevated level of lead further testing will need to be completed. Even with these meager facts several health departments have advised that meat shot with lead bullets not be given to high risk groups such as young children or to pregnant women.