Previous Post
Next Post

Behold, the next line of attack on gun rights. When you can’t legislate guns away, it’s much easier to regulate them to the point where they’re too expensive to be practical for most people to own one. All you need to do is find some willing environmental advocates who will hold up a dead bird for the cameras. From “For Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, it’s a “national tragedy” and one that easily could be prevented. The nonprofit group, headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., is leading the effort for a federal clampdown, saying it’s a logical progression after the EPA moved to reduce lead exposure in drinking water, paint, gasoline, toys and batteries.”

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. No agreement or disagreement with you on motives, since I can’t read the minds of the environmental folks.
    That being said, isn’t this an issue that can be sorted out with technology? My father has had alot of success hunting ducks without lead, and I know for a fact that the military is very actively researching and already deploying affordable, lead-free ammunition to the troops.
    With ammo sales being so damn lucrative in the last ten years, I have no problem thinking that Hornady, Federal, Reminton, even Tula can come up with a lead-free alternative with similar performance. IMHO any resulting bump in ammo price due to material changes would be relatively minor compared to the crazy spikes we’ve seen due to increased demand caused by political scares/increased participation, war-related shortages, and commodities price fluctuations related to China’s growing appetite for copper, etc.

    • For rifles the tungsten-carbide small core embedded in copper alloy made a nice choice for very heavy or thick-skinned game, but somebody on the Potomac asked Speer to stop making it. The new military round (no lead) is actually more expensive to produce, btw. Lead shot has long been banned for waterfowl, and heavyshot or steel shot or other substitute is fine. For land critters it really doesn’t matter…and they know it. Lead doesn’t leach into the environment. It requires help to do so, and the main help is alloying or blending with other elements to produce a metal that will leach. Thus a big bar of lead lying around the house isn’t a health threat, but lead aerosolized in gasoline or used as an additive in paint is definitely a hazard. The lungs ingest the find powers easily. We also excrete most lead ingested. For kids the danger is larger. Lead in primers is the only risk, and that has been very heavily reduced in recent years, and will soon be gone.

      • Lead shot has long been banned for waterfowl, and heavyshot or steel shot or other substitute is fine.

        So what type of bird are they displaying? Or are they trying to make a problem that does not exist?

        • Many birds need to ingest small chunks of rock to properly digest food, and the inviro-people are trying to use individual cases where birds mistook lead shot on an outdoor range for such pebbles.

  2. Sure they can use alternatives, gold would probably work. And that is what alternatives may ending up costing too. Especially if mandated by EPA regulation, that’s the best way to force someone to pay your asking price.

    • Nah, won’t be THAT expensive… not when current alternatives from small, low-scale outfits like Barnes are going for $28 for a box of 40 rounds of 9mm hollowpoint copper. For plinking ammo, thats expensive.. for high-quality self defense/LE applications… which is what its made for, its reasonable.
      Gents, I’m not arguing this from a political perspective, to me its a technological problem that hasn’t had enough examination. I’m an engineer, and I think lead is a holdover material thats still being used because this is a relatively stodgy industry.
      If Aberdeen proving grounds can come up with a rifle round replacement with superior performance, no lead, and comparable cost.. then it can be done for civilians as well.

      • “I think lead is a holdover material thats still being used because this is a relatively stodgy industry.”

        No, its still being used because its cheap, very dense, and very soft.

        This means that it has good terminal ballistics, causes low wear, and is inexpensive to boot.

  3. “In a petition filed with the agency last week, the groups said that up to 20 million birds in the United States die each year after nibbling on bullet fragments..”

    20 million? Wow I’d love to read a study that proved that. Ban lead to stop the birdocaust, lol!

    • “…die each year after…”

      I notice it doesn’t say “…die each year as a result of…”.

      Every day tens of thousands of birds around the world die after eating seeds, nuts, berries, and bugs. Does that mean we should ban mother nature?

  4. This is a complete joke & a farce.

    If they REALLY cared then the EPA would make BENZINE illegal.

    BENZINE gives people cancer. Period. 100% effectively. It builds up in your bone marrow just like mercury and after a certain amount of it you get leukiema.

    BENZINE is allowed to be in EVERY single petro-product made and it is even used in some foods as a preservitive with the gubbermint knowing that it harmful to ALL humans and animals that either breaths in it fumes, skin contact, or eats it.

    I know all this because BENZINE gave me cancer because my choosen profession was painting.

    So please tell everyone you know to avoid BENZINE at all costs.

    You might just save your own life or someone else’s life from a horrible death by cancer.

    • You make a point. We have horrible benzine levels near the freeways here it Portland, Greentopia, because the stuff is legal here, so we get all of California’s.

  5. Excellent example of poorly worded spin. First, they claim that there are 20 million bird deaths, then they include, “Bald eagles (US pop ~10,000) Golden eagles (US pop ~20,000) and California condors (390 in the wild)”, just to sound like we’re killing all the country’s endangered birds. I guess sparrows and starlings aren’t as guilt-inducing.

    I can see it being a problem with condors, you know, with all the hunting that goes on in the Grand Canyon and California desert, but eagles don’t scavenge. In order for lead to kill an eagle, it would have to be in the body of a gopher, fish, etc.

    We all know this is coming, maybe not in our lifetimes. But with the issues that lead causes, it makes sense, long-term, to find something else.

    Finally, lead’s been banned from waterfowl hunting for over twenty years. Where is all this lead coming from?

  6. There are a bunch of alternatives to lead, when you duck hunt over water you are supposed to be using lead free shot, for obvious reasons, but the U.S. government already restricted the use of non-lead projectiles claiming they create “cop killer ammo”. The groups claim isn’t the problem , we do need to be finding alternatives to lead, but the government needs to relinquish its grip on alternative metals.

    • Genuinely curious here… which metals did the gov’t restrict for cop-killing potential? Never heard of this til now. Can you link to any of the articles or regulations about that?

      • The government is afraid of tungsten carbide in bullets. It is a very hard metal and the so-called penetrator in the front of the bullet is their main focus. The best big-game solids had a tungsten carbide core to provide heavy penetration of, i.e., cape buffalo by not losing so much weight as they passed through the beast, compared to lead. These were only available in loads so heavy no bad guy could stand to use them, i.e. 375 H&H magnum and larger, and they were not designed as penetrators (Speer African Safari Grand Slam). Still, they’re off the market. A bad guy willing to create such items can easily do so, if he wishes to risk a felony and has basic tools. Tungsten carbide is a common industrial alloy.

  7. I don’t disagree with lead being bad. It is actually more of an issue with an indoor range and requires additional expensive or filtration and cleaning systems as well.

    I really find it hard to believe that its bullets that birds are eating is killing so many birds. When Blue Trail Range in CT was sued due to lead, the state, the fed and some independent court appointed company tested the range and found it not to be a big deal and the law suite was eventually tossed.

    In 2005, MA looked at this and the alternatives where Copper, Zinc, Bismuth, Tungsted/Nylon, and some others I cannot remember. All the alternatives presented had the issue of higher costs although performance was just about the same or very close.

    They did also find that Fishing sinkers where actually more of a problem than bullets. About 2,500 metric tons or more end up at the bottom of water bodies every year in the USA. It was also found that wheel weights also a larger problem than bullets.

    Copper or Bismuth was found to be the most appropriate alternative.

    If they do ban lead bullets, there needs to be a phase in period until more economical alternatives are available.

    I would also like to point out, the groups involved only want the ban on hunting, they specifically state that target and range shooting would be specifically excluded.

    • I’ve bismuth for years. I have no problem with it for waterfowl. The cost would be very high if used for skeet shooting, frequent quail hunting, and so forth. Expensive and unnecessary. At the indoor range it is still the primers which mainly produce the aerosolized lead, I believe. Perhaps it is an indoor problem with uncoated lead 22LR bullets? I don’t really know.

    • Laugh. Heck, we’ve spread millions of pounds of it around other countries in the last twenty years. It must be safe for the environment, no?

    • You guys laugh, but DU has caused untold harm, and we should all be ashamed of it. It is really, really bad stuff. It’s mostly harmed civilians, but a lot of our own troops have been harmed as well. DOD ignores the problem, ala Agent Orange.

  8. Is there something about the lead that makes birds eat it? If not, how do they know they don’t eat steel shot too? I know lead is poisonous, but I highly doubt that getting a bunch of steel shot stuck in a gizzard would be less lethal. Any solid in a digestive tract that won’t break down can be lethal.

    I doubt that this is anything other than an increment in the march toward total ammunition bans.

  9. “In a petition filed with the agency last week, the groups said that up to 20 million birds in the United States die each year after nibbling on bullet fragments”

    Only 20 million? These same people support wind farms that kill 500 million birds each year. Expanding the use of windmills will only worsen the problem.

    And cats kill another 500 million to 1 billion birds per year.

    Let’s rid ourselves of cats and windmills!

  10. Lead-free shot for bird hunting is a no-brainer. This year, I’ll also switch to lead-free for deer, and lead-free .22s for the squirrel hunting trip I’ve promised my younger son. I’ve used lead-free fishing weights the last couple of trips, as well. There is evidence that lead bullets fragment to the point that you get some substantial lead in the meat around the wound. Lead also tends to hang around in the environment. A local rifle club here has had serious legal troubles because of 40 years worth of lead leeching into a nearby creek. I think they’ve got it figured out now.

    That said, I’ll keep shooting lead for practice/plinking. With proper containment, a public range can deal with it, and even recycle it. And distributed shooting in the National Forest probably doesn’t cause much harm.

    But for hunting, why not lead-free? The difference in price is minimal in the context of a hunting trip, and the Barnes and Hornady copper-core ammo is fancy, high-end stuff.

  11. You all are missing the point of the watermelon’s thrust. The issue isn’t lead projectiles, it never has been. The issue is hunting. Killing Bambi. Those evil rednecks and their Ghia-humping 4WDs and evil black/camo guns.
    The watermelons were NOT happy that waterfowlers switched to bismuth, just go to any Sierra Club or other greenie meeting and ask around. I have. And the answer to our ‘lead solution’ is ALWAYS that something ELSE should be done to stop the slaughter. No matter what you find for a ‘solution’ to problem A, it will never be enough. It NEVER IS. Problem B will become the next incremental crisis to be overcome. You need to understand that and respond accordingly. If you give in to THIS ‘reasonable request’ then you will be right where the Brits are in just a few years.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here