The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) is switching to lead-free ammo for target shooting and training exercises. The DEP’s press release says the Sunshine State’s enviro-cops will now practice with [as-yet-unnamed bullets] made of compressed copper with recycled brass casings and a lead-free primer. “Florida depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply, and on surface water for the outdoor recreation industry. High rainfall and acidic conditions, typical in Florida, cause lead to be more mobile in the environment. Therefore, proper management of outdoor shooting ranges is especially important.” I’ll drink to that! So when’s the PC lead-free ammo going to make it into prime time? A firearms instructor on Epinions gives us the 911—I mean “411” . . .
There are two downsides to this ammo: The first is that the lead-free primers have a shorter lifespan then conventional pistol primers. While the conventional primers will work after literally decades in storage, I understand that lead free primers have a shelf life somewhat under a decade before they become unreliable. Since I never let this ammunition sit this long before use, that has never been a problem for me.
The other disadvantage is the cost. The Win Clean line of ammo is noticeably more expensive then other equivalent target ammo. If you are only buying a box or two at a time, you might not notice, but if you buy in bulk as I do, the price difference is significant.
True story? Back in May ’08, Paul J. at DefensiveCarry.com had another, even more compelling reason for giving lead-free bullets a miss.
Out of 100 Winclean rounds, 5 didn’t go “boom”. There is a clear mark where the firing pin hit. All the Federal rounds worked fine. I shot one or two boxes of Winclean in the past with no duds… is this something to be concerned about with my Glock? Or should I write it off as bad (cheap) ammo? Its my every day carry, so I want it to go “boom” rather then “click” when it has to. My current carry ammunition is Federal HST.
TTAG (that’s us) will contact Winchester ASAP to get the company’s response. Suffice it to say, the official website considers plinking and target practice as the bullets’ “recommended use.”