Speer Lawman clean-fire range report

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Drrhein, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Drrhein

    Drrhein New Member

    Had a great day at the range today with the chance to check out my Springfield 1911A1 Loaded match-grade after performing the Cane-published slide-lap procedure. Kudos to Cane.

    The other thing I wanted to report is the opportunity to try a newly re-released ammo from Speer.

    It's called Lawman clean-fire and it is supposed to address concerns voiced by many regarding the inhalation of several bad chemicals and heavy metals whenever spending time at the range.

    Here's the ad on their site.

    Lawman Clean-Fire—The Indoor Training Solution
    If air quality in indoor ranges concerns you, Speer® has the ammunition to set your mind at ease. Lawman® Clean-Fire® is loaded like regular Lawman except for the primer and bullet. The ignition power comes from our patented* Clean-Fire primer that contains no lead, barium, or antimony.
    The bullets we load in Lawman Clean-Fire are Speer's TMJ®. The lead core is completely and seamlessly encased in jacket material so powder gases can't burn lead off the bullet base. This design is superior to other makers' "base cap" bullets where the caps can loosen, leaking lead and destroying accuracy.
    Lawman Clean-Fire leaves the range air and your firearm cleaner. Fired cases don't show the usual soot coating you see in most regular ammunition. Velocities and bullet weights are the same as most Gold Dot® products for realistic practice.

    Sounds good but is it so? And what about the early versions of hard primers that failed to fire on first strike?

    I talked to them on the phone about this and they told me that the product was off the market for a short time so they could address the primer problem. They now use CCI primers specially made for speer to eliminate the chemical and heavy-metal issue and yet still fire normally without the requirement for a titanium firing pin and a five pound hammer.

    The ammo tested for this review was the Speer Lawman 45 Auto, 230 Gr TMJ (Total metal jacket) CF (53885) fired in my Springfield mentioned above. Additionally, I also fired a hundred rounds in my Sig P226 9mm using Wally World ten dollar range ammo. (My experience has been the WWB in the 45 Auto and the Federal 9mm are equally dirty.

    I was amazed to discover that the muzzle stayed clean even after 200 rounds (see pic) while you can see the usual blowback crud on the Sig. The barrel on the Springfield was not black, as is seen in the Sig, and instead you see a bit of brass deposit. The feed ramp on the Springfield was slightly darkened but you could still see the polished ramp under that. While the SIG, using the dirty ammo, was all dirty and crudded up. Normally, with WWB you'd see about a inch and a half sooty blowback deposit on the forward portion of the gun which is why some folks don't like stainless or Nickel plated. Further, there was practically no smoke or smell so the claim about being better for your health seems to have merit.

    On the pics you can clearly see the difference between the clean-fire brass and some WWB brass.

    So I can report that the Speer ammo is a great option when you want to keep your gun clean (perhaps during a formal event) however its nearly two times the WWB price means, at least to me, it's a bit pricey for mere plinking. I have seen it available at various internet outlets for less but still higher than wwb.

    Attached Files:

  2. Logan2302

    Logan2302 New Member

    Thanks for the info.

    Although I can't afford to shoot them, my favorite ammo based on bullet performance, power, and reliability is Golden Sabre, Ranger T, and Gold Dot.

    I don't have easy access to an indoor range. What's your opinion on their cleanliness for indoor ranges?

  3. Drrhein

    Drrhein New Member

    See, that's the thing. As I've aged I've become less tolerant of smoky ammo. I had a break of some years from shooting and I can't believe how much more sensitive to it I have become. Everything I've shot has the problem to one degree or another, especially in indoor ranges which suffer from poor ventilation. Add to that bullets which aren't fully jacketed throwing lead particles into the mix. The clean-fire is, so far at least, the cleanest I've seen, but that comes at a price, about $10 more per 50 rounds (from the discounters) and as much as $20 if you pay retail. The higher priced ammo (some of which you mention) do seem to burn cleaner but also cost more.

    In the years to come, as environmental concerns broaden to include shooting, you'll probably see this issue become more prevalent as to the health effects on those who shoot or work around the activity. Ultimately I foresee requirements being placed upon us as extreme as full-body suits, respirators and gloves. We already have eye and hearing protection required around here.

    Anyway, better, cleaner burning ammo is one way to hold off the nut-ball future safety requirements.