Do you think copper bullets should completely replace lead bullets?
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
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Default Do you think copper bullets should completely replace lead bullets?

I think it would be a good idea. Copper is safe to touch, so people like me won't have to worry about it getting in my system. It keeps it's form better than lead bullets and doesn't scatter into all these little pieces, which I think would be better knockdown bullet than lead. And it's a safe alternative for animals to eat. I can't think of any downside to copper bullets. What do you think?

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Old 10-10-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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Low mass weight,less penetration,no mushrooming,all I can think of right now. and loss of energy down range.

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Old 10-10-2009, 01:03 AM   #3
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It is also ILLEGAL to make pure copper handgun bullets- they go thru body armor. From 18 USC 922:

"(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile. "

Being harder than lead, they do not accept rifling the same.

And a good part of the lead exposure you can get shooting is not from the bullet, but the primer. Most primers are based on lead azide.

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Old 10-10-2009, 01:19 AM   #4
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Do what we do and stop creeping me out with your lead aversion.

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Old 10-10-2009, 01:45 AM   #5
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So I guess a copper .50 S&W bullet fired from a Smith & Wesson Magnum would be pretty illegal then. Why does Barnes Ammunition sell them then?

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Old 10-10-2009, 03:49 AM   #6
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You would have to ask that question of the BATFE Firearms Technical Branch in West Virginia. Info I posted is cut & paste from the Federal Crimnal Code that regulates firearms and ammunition.

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Old 10-10-2009, 05:17 AM   #7
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No.

Copper is much more expensive than lead.

Lead is also a better bullet for many applications, including handgun hunting and shooting at steel...

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Old 10-10-2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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The density of lead is desireable to have sufficient mass to accurately reach the target and have enough energy left to humanely kill the target or knock down the target (steel, IHMSA). Even lead is insufficient for certain tasks. Thuis is why the military is using depleted Uranium in many cannon rounds because it is even more dense than lead and carries more kinetic energy to the target.

And, yes. The Barnes copper handgun bullets are "technically" against the federal law. They likely have some sort of a waiver from the BATFE.

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Old 10-10-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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Maybe Barnes is stepping around the 100% copper law by loading with a 99.95% pure copper bullet. Sounds stupid I know, but it could be why....just a thought.

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Old 10-11-2009, 02:06 AM   #10
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"And it's a safe alternative for animals to eat. I can't think of any downside to copper bullets. What do you think? "

Many downsides to copper bullets, most are listed above. AND, perhaps more to the point, there are virtually NO downsides to lead bullets. Kids have eaten bird shot, most of us who eat game birds and animals have ingeted pure lead pellets and chunks, quite a few people are carrying around bullets and fragemnts that are too risky to remove. All with no harm, because solid lead is harmless to animals (ecept in the flying bullet form)!

It's true that BIRDS are harmed by ingesting lead bits but that's only because their digestive system, a craw in which bits of gravel grind up the food - and lead - into fine particles that CAN be absorbed, but that hazard ONLY applies to them. So, all of the excited heavy breathing over "lead" being harmful to mammals is from half-baked "Chicken Littles" running in circles shouting "the sky is falling" with no idea of what they are talking about. It's the height of "junk science", even more so than man-made Global Warming.

Handle all the lead bullets you want, cast all the lead bullets you want. Just don't breathe the molten lead fumes very much and don't lick your hands clean of the gray dust and you will be fine.

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