slugs containing lead as an environmental polutant

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Paul Wyatt, May 11, 2005.

  1. Paul Wyatt

    Paul Wyatt Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2004
    I have stated previously on this site that I thought that it wouldn't be long before the environmentalists started clattering about lead slugs polluting the environment, much the same as happened with lead shot. I thought (hoped) that it was a ways off, but saw the following notice on Norma's web site:

    The Lead Ban of January 1, 2008

    From January 1, 2008, it will not be possible to sell hunting and sporting ammunition, containing lead, meaning with bullets containing lead cores.

    We could load bullets of any kind of material, but we feel that there is no good substitute for lead as of today, and that metallic lead does not cause any environmental problems. The latter opinion is also shared by Björn Gillberg and Ulf Qvarfort, among others.

    The present, existing ”alternatives” are nearly all based on copper. The copper is toxic and being as hard as it is, the copper bullet only expands acceptably at a very high velocity. You could load these bullets in a 7 mm Rem Mag or a 300 Win Mag, but hardly in any of the slower European calibers. If the velocity at impact is not high enough, the bullet does not expand, but goes right through, like a full metal jacket. The consequences are long escapes, tracking and unnecessary suffering for the wounded animal.

    Therefore, we fully comply with the official letters of the SVA* and the Swedish Hunting Association to the Swedish Government, in which both organizations express their opinion of postponing the lead ban to a time when reasonable alternatives exist.

    To be able to continue hunting at all, it must be guaranteed that the killing of the animal is done in an ethical way. Therefore we need to keep the lead – at least for the time being!

    PS At hunts for roe deer, moose and wild boar , 6 tons of lead is used every year - at practise and sporting, another 50 tons.

    PPS Attemps that the American Army have made, using bullet cores of nickel and tungsten, have been terminated, since this material turned out to be carcinogen.

    It appears that this is a situation, so far restricted to Sweden, but I don't think our politicians will be able to resist jumping on this bandwagon for long! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
  2. Waltech Jim

    Waltech Jim Writers Guild

    Dec 2, 2004
    Brass Bender,

    This sounds suspiciously like the anti gun/hunting movement making an end run.....

  3. Paul Wyatt

    Paul Wyatt Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2004
    Except this is taking place in Sweden right now. I just think that the environmental movemnet will pick up on this in the USA and start clattering for regulations that will restrict introduction of heavy metals into the biosphere, just like happened with lead shot. The anti-gun/ anti-hunting forces will certainly join in IMO.
    Appears as storm clouds on the horizon right now, but we as a hunting fraternity had better start preparing!
  4. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2004
    Oh I wish I could say something about this but I better not so as not to get someone in trouble, but I will say this: There is an American company who is currently developing a bullet that will comply with this ban if it ever comes to pass, and it is mostly copper and it WILL open at very slow velocities! In fact, it will open at 1400 fps, has a four material composition, and early reports are sub half MOA accuracy from very worn out barrels. Mark my words, even if we never have a lead bullet ban, there will be many of us using this bullet anyway in about a year from now! Hope is not lost.

    Ps. It is good to hear from you again brassbender. I sold a couple handguns to your son in law the other day!
  5. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    Back when you were a pup duck and phesant loads cost $4 a box. Now folks are paying $15 for 10 rounds of bismuth or tungston. I wonder how much these new bullets will cost when they are all a shooter can buy? I would (almost) rather this didn't come out so the millions of shooters out there would come uncorked and for once in history say "Hell No." with a united voice. BR shooters, IPSC shooters, Positional target shooters, Trap and Skeeters, Home defenders and ccw carriers and hunters hunters hunters all saying "Lead is not a problem. NOW KNOCK IT OFF". I'll tell ya, we gotta get this envirocrap under control folks. Lead came from the ground in almost exactly the same form as it returns as a bullet. How harmfull could it really be?
  6. marc357

    marc357 Active Member

    Nov 17, 2003
    Do lead bullets continue to be a hazard after they land?
    02 Nov 2004

    There were 20 million metric tons of lead bullets fired in the United States in the 20th century. Is that lead having an environmental impact?

    Not at or near the U.S. Forest Service firing range near Blacksburg, Va., according to research by Virginia Tech geological scientists. Donald Rimstidt, a professor in the Department of Geosciences, College of Science at Virginia Tech will report the conclusions of a five-year study at the 116th national meeting of the Geological Sciences of America in Denver Nov. 7-10.

    There are 9,000 nonmilitary shooting ranges and a lot of military ones in the United States. Some 60,000 metric tons of lead are expended by shooting. (a metric ton or "long ton" is 2,200 lbs.). "So there is lead shot and bullets everywhere," Rimstidt said.

    "We were invited by the U.S. Forest Service to look at the shooting range in the National Forest near Blacksburg."

    The researchers' survey found 11 metric tons of shot in the shotgun range and 12 metric tons of lead bullets in the rifle range. "These ranges are 10 years old. Most of the lead shot has accumulated on about four or five acres. Some shots have been into the woods, which cover hundreds of acres," Rimstidt said.

    Professor James Craig, now retired, and Rimstidt looked first at lead corrosion and whether lead is leaching into the water table or streams. "Lead metal is unstable when it is in contact with air and water. It corrodes and forms hydrocerrussite, the white coating seen on old bullets in museums. That slows corrosion," Rimstidt said.

    However some lead escapes, he said. "But we learned that it is absorbed in the top few inches of soil and does not migrate beyond that," Rimstidt said. "Lead is not very mobile. It does not wash away in surface or ground water."

    Another finding is that there are large amounts of lead in the trees near the shooting range - but not in a large percentage of the trees, Rimstidt said. "If and when those trees are harvested, they would be contaminated with lead "

    Fisheries and Wildlife Professor Pat Scanlon was an investigator on the project until his death in 2003. "He found no evidence that birds eating shot, but this portion of the research was not completed," Rimstidt said. "We are not saying that wildlife would not ingest lead, but it does not appear to be a problem on this range. Other shooting ranges may be different."

    Rimstidt will give their recommendations to the Forest Service representatives so they can develop best management practices. "They already knew to put lime on the range to limit corrosion, to take measures to prevent soil erosion, and now, to keep track of the trees if they are cut. They are the experts in management. I will give them the facts and they will make the decisions," Rimstidt said.

    Rimstidt's conclusion is that shooting on controlled ranges reduces the overall risk to the public from lead in the environment.

    He will present the paper, "Lead behavior at National Forest Shooting Ranges," by Rimstidt, Craig, and Caleb Scheetz at 11:15 a.m., Nov. 8, in rooms 709/711 of the Colorado Convention Center as part of the Environmental Geosciences session. Scheetz, of Lemont, Pa., recently received his M.S.. in geosciences from Virginia Tech.

    Contact: Susan Trulove
    Virginia Tech
  7. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2003
    "Caleb Scheetz at 11:15 a.m., Nov. 8, in rooms 709/711 of the Colorado Convention Center as part of the Environmental Geosciences session. Scheetz, of Lemont, Pa., recently received his M.S.. in geosciences from Virginia Tech. "

    Caleb and his brother are friends of mine /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    still need to contact him and get info on this!