Some options for bullets

Of the possible alternatives to lead bullets, solid copper or copper/zinc (95/5) alloys are the leading contenders.

Two hurdles in adopting non-lead bullets are the availability and cost of copper bullets.

A brief and nonscientific survey of local sporting goods stores showed few selections other than the traditional lead bullets.

Store personnel often had to look around to find the nonlead bullets, indicative of the lack of demand from customers. Plus, in all cases there were only two to three brand names and usually not all calibers were available.

“We have some, but very little” compared to the lead-based ammunition, said Jerry Stehman at Jerry’s Outdoor Sports. “Barnes makes a great (copper) bullet. Maybe they saw the writing on the wall.”

All of the salespeople said they rarely get asked about non-lead bullets.

The cost of the copper bullets ranged from twice to three times the price of the lowest-priced factory-loaded lead bullets and it is comparable ($35-$45) to premium lead-core bullets.

Some of the companies offering nonlead ammunition for rifles and handguns include Barnes, Hornady, Remington, Winchester and Federal.


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