U.S. Military Switching From Lead To ‘Green’ Bullets

M855A1 cartridge and bulletJust what is a “green” bullet, you may well ask. Fox News casts its skeptical eye over an attempt to decrease the the amount of lead in our environment:

When the last bullet-producing lead smelter closes its doors on Dec. 31, it will mark a major victory for those who say lead-based ammunition pollutes the environment, but others warn ‘green’ bullets will cost more, drive up copper prices and do little to help conservation.

The bid to ban lead bullets, seen by some as harmful to the environment, started slowly more than a decade ago. But with two dozen states, including California, banning bullets made of the soft, heavy metal, the lead bullet’s epitaph was already being written when the federal government finished it off.

First, the military announced plans to phase out lead bullets by 2018.

Then the federal Environmental Protection Agency, citing emissions, ordered the shutdown of the Doe Run company’s lead smelter in Herculaneum, Mo., by year’s end.

Whether by state or federal regulation, or by market forces, lead bullets will be all but phased out within a few years in favor of so-called green bullets, experts say. While many believe that this will help the environment by keeping lead from contaminating groundwater, others say switching to copper-based bullets will cost hunters and sportsmen more and have little effect on the environment.

“Whatever the EPA’s motivation when creating the new lead air quality standard, increasingly restrictive regulation of lead is likely to affect the production and cost of traditional ammunition,” the National Rifle Association said in a statement

Critics of lead bullets say that in addition to lead finding its way into the water supply and food chain, people who handle ammunition have been found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Lead poisoning harms organs and tissues and can result in brain damage.

“Switching to nontoxic lead ammunition will save the lives of eagles, condors and thousands of other birds every year – and, importantly, will keep hunters and their families from being exposed to toxic lead,” the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a phaseout of lead bullets for hunting by July 2019…

[continues at Fox News]


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12 Comments on "U.S. Military Switching From Lead To ‘Green’ Bullets"

  1. This is an outrage!

  2. kowalityjesus | Dec 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm |

    Its a conspiracy! Once they git all our lead bullets we won’t be able to…uh…shoot lead bullets!

  3. Hope to see this implemented more places. Maybe taking the lead out will make us gun nuts a little less crazy.

  4. Anarchy Pony | Dec 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

    Well shit, god forbid the poor hunters and sportsman pay a whopping few dollars more for a box of ammo. They might not be able to kill as many things for fun anymore. Mighty Odin, those NRA gun fondlers are whiny little fucks. And this comes from someone who LIKES guns.

    • I haven’t been able to find copper rounds anywhere yet, and I’ve been looking for over a year. Hopefully, once the military starts using them, they’ll be cheaply and widely available as surplus. Also, most lead is thrown at ranges rather than at animals. Making a lot of noise while hunting is generally not productive.
      Ammo is becoming too expensive, but it’s only due to capitalizing on Obamaphobia. Never mind that the previous administration authored more gun control laws . . . with the assistance of the NRA, no less . . .

      • Anarchy Pony | Dec 19, 2013 at 11:21 pm |

        I’m well aware of the obamaphobia exploitation, just the other day one of my friends was bitching about the ammo shortage and blamed bamz. I tried to explain but it was pretty much a nonstarter.

        • The shortage aspect has much to do with Russia (aside the people buying all the ammo at Walmart and selling it online for a premium). They provide us with most bulk ammo, and they’ve had several factories blow up in the past few years.
          Part of reasoning with hardcore gun owners is making sure you have enough firearms that, if the police raided your home, the newspapers would describe it as “an arsenal.”

  5. Rhoid Rager | Dec 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm |

    The good people at the Irony Desk in the Psyops corner of the Pentagon are obviously working hard. They must have got a Christmas bonus this year from all the money saved with the government shutdown.

  6. Cortacespedes | Dec 19, 2013 at 11:24 pm |

    I, for one, cannot wait to phase out my munitions supply of archaic lead rounds and replace them with the more modern (“slices thru armor like buttah”) depleted uranium cartridge.

    Comes in buckshot too. Great for “wingshooting” drones.

    A full choke 12 gauge is a must-have this season.

  7. lilbear68 | Dec 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm |

    very little if any at all primary lead is used by any of the ammunition manufacturers.
    Hornady says they use NO primary lead and this closing will have no effect on them for decades if ever

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