HSE Lead ammunition proposals

Hence copper/bronze might be suitable for deer stalking at close range, but would be entirely useless for target shooting at medium and long ranges.
My limited experience of monolithic ammunition for deer doesn’t fill me with confidence so I will continue to use what I’m using until the ban is in place.

From what I have witnessed the majority of deer don’t drop and tend to run a bit or indeed stand for a bit before running or falling over.

This included a hind shot at 187m with a 6.5x55 which was shot, ran and stopped (thought it may have been missed), was shot and then ran and stopped again (strike observed) and was shot again at which point she fell over.

In the larder the chest showed all 3 rounds within about 2 inches of each other right behind the front shoulder so perfect….. conversely all the ones I shot with the tried and tested cheapo Sierra Gamekings dropped on the spot or didn’t take more than a few steps.

During the season I can count on one had the amount of red deer that I saw drop on the spot using copper. You can argue till the cows come home but the only people who seem to go on about how they are so great often, if not solely, appear to be the same people making money out of selling or promoting them.

They are coming which is unavoidable but an additional cost to consider will be that of getting or having access to a suitably trained dog to find all the runners which will be dead but probably a bit further away than you’d expect.
 
My limited experience of monolithic ammunition for deer doesn’t fill me with confidence so I will continue to use what I’m using until the ban is in place.

From what I have witnessed the majority of deer don’t drop and tend to run a bit or indeed stand for a bit before running or falling over.

This included a hind shot at 187m with a 6.5x55 which was shot, ran and stopped (thought it may have been missed), was shot and then ran and stopped again (strike observed) and was shot again at which point she fell over.

In the larder the chest showed all 3 rounds within about 2 inches of each other right behind the front shoulder so perfect….. conversely all the ones I shot with the tried and tested cheapo Sierra Gamekings dropped on the spot or didn’t take more than a few steps.

During the season I can count on one had the amount of red deer that I saw drop on the spot using copper. You can argue till the cows come home but the only people who seem to go on about how they are so great often, if not solely, appear to be the same people making money out of selling or promoting them.

They are coming which is unavoidable but an additional cost to consider will be that of getting or having access to a suitably trained dog to find all the runners which will be dead but probably a bit further away than you’d expect.
Do the copper bullets expand to any significant degree in deer?
 
There are proposals to ban lead ammunition in Canada as well, although I haven't heard much about this making much progress except in the case of waterfowl.

However the following is a summary of a study published in 2018 which was titled "Study to Gather Information on Uses of Lead Ammunition and Non-lead Alternatives in Non-military Activities in Canada". I thought it would be of interest mainly in that it breaks down how and where lead ammunition is used in Canada.
Lead ammunition: executive summary

This excludes military use and focuses on just sport (target range), hunting, and police use, so keep this in mind.

I will pick out the most interesting facts.
  • Approximately 8 per cent of the Canadian population engage in hunting.
  • There are 2 million firearms license holders in Canada.
  • 40 per cent of these do both sport shooting and hunting.
  • There are approximately 1025 shooting ranges with more than 225,000 members.
  • Most (more than 800) have outdoor ranges.
  • 65 per cent have rifle ranges, 64 per cent have pistol ranges, and 41 per cent have shotgun ranges.
  • 5,000 tons of lead is discharged per year on these ranges (this appears to be a 2016 figure).
  • Less than 200 tons per year of this is recovered and recycled.
  • Use of lead on ranges was expected to increase to 5,800 tons per year by 2025 due to the increasing popularity of shooting.
  • 40 to 80 tons of lead are used each year in hunting.
  • 97 per cent of waterfowl hunters use steel shot.
  • Outside of waterfowl hunting use of lead-free ammunition in hunting is minimal.
  • Police and prisons use 120 tons of lead per year.

In Canada at least, lead used in hunting is only about 1 per cent of the amount used on ranges. Police use several times the total weight of lead ammunition than hunters do.

Very little of the lead used on ranges was being recovered and recycled.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Do the copper bullets expand to any significant degree in deer?
They do by design using a petal in the front portion however there are wear issues raised by some users of alternative projectiles
 
Do the copper bullets expand to any significant degree in deer?
The ones that I’ve seen recovered have been slightly mushroomed but nothing startling and most have kept the majority of their weight. I’ve only seen a handful picked up off the larder floor or at my mates place where he runs a small venison/game processing business and skins all the beasts and has found a few under the skin or in muscle.

The next time I’m dropping off beasts I’ll see if he still has any recovered ones kicking about and post photos.
 
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There are proposals to ban lead ammunition in Canada as well, although I haven't heard much about this making much progress except in the case of waterfowl.

However the following is a summary of a study published in 2018 which was titled "Study to Gather Information on Uses of Lead Ammunition and Non-lead Alternatives in Non-military Activities in Canada". I thought it would be of interest mainly in that it breaks down how and where lead ammunition is used in Canada.
Lead ammunition: executive summary

This excludes military use and focuses on just sport (target range), hunting, and police use, so keep this in mind.

I will pick out the most interesting facts.
  • Approximately 8 per cent of the Canadian population engage in hunting.
  • There are 2 million firearms license holders in Canada.
  • 40 per cent of these do both sport shooting and hunting.
  • There are approximately 1025 shooting ranges with more than 225,000 members.
  • Most (more than 800) have outdoor ranges.
  • 65 per cent have rifle ranges, 64 per cent have pistol ranges, and 41 per cent have shotgun ranges.
  • 5,000 tons of lead is discharged per year on these ranges (this appears to be a 2016 figure).
  • Less than 200 tons per year of this is recovered and recycled.
  • Use of lead on ranges was expected to increase to 5,800 tons per year by 2025 due to the increasing popularity of shooting.
  • 40 to 80 tons of lead are used each year in hunting.
  • 97 per cent of waterfowl hunters use steel shot.
  • Outside of waterfowl hunting use of lead-free ammunition in hunting is minimal.
  • Police and prisons use 120 tons of lead per year.

In Canada at least, lead used in hunting is only about 1 per cent of the amount used on ranges. Police use several times the total weight of lead ammunition than hunters do.

Very little of the lead used on ranges was being recovered and recycled.
I would suggest that, having seen on hunting shows, the punishment the likes of moose and elk can take with lead cored projectiles you are more likely to loose animals with monolithic ammunition from my (limited) experience.

That said, the heavier body and potential for longer range shots in Canada might allow for better expansion as velocity decreases at range.

The lack of choice will push many to homeload and it appears that you load lighter projectiles than lead with copper which in itself creates issues. I wouldn’t be wanting to **** about with lightweight bullets in thick cover against the bigger game you have and certainly not against bear or the likes.
 
HSE has just posted its report on the use of Lead in Ammunition..




As can be imagined, the proposals, if adopted in full will pose a huge threat to the continuation of shooting in UK.
It had been trailed that target shooting, where the lead is practically all captured, would be subject to "derogation" however the HSE proposals for range management border on the impossible.

The consultation period ends in November.. I expect the National Shooting bodies to react before them

From an initial skim, thoughts are as follows:

1. This is a basic cut & paste from EU REACH.
2. The only serious evidence of damage by lead is to waterfowl as a result of ingestion. There is NO evidence of anyone suffering from the effects of lead from any other path from shooting (apart from the obvious one..!). The waterfowl issue is a recognised problem, and has been addressed by the shooting community for over a decade now.
3. The majority of the paper is based more on speculation than any documented facts. The paper admits it has no evidence of any harm arising from shooting activities, however reacts to lead as if it were a manufactured contaminent. Lead is a naturally occurring element and is endemic in the environment. Only when lead occurs in an easily absorbed compound such as the tetraethyl lead used in petrol is there a problem. To describe the distribution of lead as "contamination" is to grossley misrepresent the situation.

Be quite clear, this is an attempt to shut down shooting.. no more no less!
"The sport of target shooting is a test of accuracy and speed of reaction" There's a sweeping generalisation.

"Military, police and non-civilian uses are excluded from the scope of this request, as are indoor uses (such as at indoor firing ranges) and lead-containing propellants." In other words civilian indoor ranges were also excluded from this request. It could perhaps have been phrased more clearly. In fact later they say "Lead bullets would still be available to purchase for other uses (e.g. indoor sports shooting)."

However, While acknowledging that indoor use of lead ammo has a very small risk of causing contamination to the environment, they then flag it up as the sole reason why bans and enforcement would be ineffective. They also suggest that this aspect of the sport has a relatively low socio-economic value. In other words, why should indoor target shooting be spared from the desired REACH ban.

Even if they stopped short of a total ban, thus allowing indoor ranges to continue, there's the knock on economic viability for the UK manufacturer. Imports will be limited to a few few countries that continue to allow manufacture to continue. A sport that has lasted over a century indoors and longer outdoors could end in much of Europe.

Migration of some outdoor shooters to existing and new indoor ranges could bring about some socio-economic growth in the sport but how likely is that to happen and in what time frame?
 

HE117

LE
At least Scotland set out along that path with STS, even if England+Wales haven't started yet...
.. not sure where that path is going though!

Nere a whisper when Sports Scotland shut down the range at Inverclyde..! Conflict of interest? Surely not!
 

HE117

LE
"The sport of target shooting is a test of accuracy and speed of reaction" There's a sweeping generalisation.

"Military, police and non-civilian uses are excluded from the scope of this request, as are indoor uses (such as at indoor firing ranges) and lead-containing propellants." In other words civilian indoor ranges were also excluded from this request. It could perhaps have been phrased more clearly. In fact later they say "Lead bullets would still be available to purchase for other uses (e.g. indoor sports shooting)."

However, While acknowledging that indoor use of lead ammo has a very small risk of causing contamination to the environment, they then flag it up as the sole reason why bans and enforcement would be ineffective. They also suggest that this aspect of the sport has a relatively low socio-economic value. In other words, why should indoor target shooting be spared from the desired REACH ban.

Even if they stopped short of a total ban, thus allowing indoor ranges to continue, there's the knock on economic viability for the UK manufacturer. Imports will be limited to a few few countries that continue to allow manufacture to continue. A sport that has lasted over a century indoors and longer outdoors could end in much of Europe.

Migration of some outdoor shooters to existing and new indoor ranges could bring about some socio-economic growth in the sport but how likely is that to happen and in what time frame?
Ah.. be very careful here.. they are stacking up some really onerous restrictions for indoor ranges as well!
 
I hate to say it, but shooting needs to get political and start to play the "special interest" card.. I don't want it, and I don't think it is a good long term strategy, but I think we are getting past the point where playing the "nice guy" is not in our favour.

The main issue is however that we need to collapse all the shooting tribes into one body.
To have one central shooting lobby group would be an excellent call. It cuts out the Rural and City, poor and posh arguments. The issue like the combining of Military Charities is managing the egos and putting the issue forefront in peoples minds.
Go for it!
 
Ah.. be very careful here.. they are stacking up some really onerous restrictions for indoor ranges as well!
Thanks but I'm under no illusions. In that post I was simply going over parts of the proposals that were teasing at exemption on one hand, while on the other hand stating that said exemption would be a problem. The inference being zero tolerance for civilian use. Also, even if exemption was made in the interim, availability of ammo would become a problem. That's before seeing any new proposals for handling and disposal of spent lead from the catchers.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
To have one central shooting lobby group would be an excellent call. It cuts out the Rural and City, poor and posh arguments. The issue like the combining of Military Charities is managing the egos and putting the issue forefront in peoples minds.
Go for it!
Every time we are threatened this solution is raised, however every time its raised we end up getting more not less.
 
The Balle D was one of the first examples of smokeless small calibre rounds. The energy profile of this round, although better than the black powder ammunition it replaced, is not really comparable with the rounds that followed it. Balle D was fairly quickly replaced with a jacketed lead bullet.

Bullet energy and momentum is down to cross sectional density. Although you can compensate for reduced density with increased velocity, this has a significant effect on bore erosion.

The issue of lead in indoor ranges is reasonably well understood, and modern ranges are built with air conditioning and bullet trap designs to address this. The Canadian paper is again questionable regarding the risk associated with lead. There is widespread misrepresentation regarding the toxic effects of lead in its various forms. Metallic lead is not that toxic in itself, it is only some lead compounds that are able to have a physiological effect. There is some seriously dodgy science in play here.. just because you can detect something does not mean that it is a problem. Our ability to detect small quantities of material has not been matched with the study of the effects of such materials. Lead is an element and exists as a result of the breakdown of natural uranium and other dense elements.
Balle M: round-nose, FMJ (1886)
Balle D: Spitzer boat tail, brass monolith (1898 )
Balle N: Spitzer boat tail, FMJ (1932)
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I’ve just received an e flyer from an importer for lead free ammunition

The trade price is above what I’d expect for retail on normal ammunition


I’ll just leave that there
 

4(T)

LE
I hate to say it, but shooting needs to get political and start to play the "special interest" card.. I don't want it, and I don't think it is a good long term strategy, but I think we are getting past the point where playing the "nice guy" is not in our favour.

The main issue is however that we need to collapse all the shooting tribes into one body.


I'm not sure about merging the various representative bodies, as i think that would actually weaken the arguments presented on behalf of various shooting activities.

Currently HBSA and BSAC seem to have a strong track record in their representation efforts, and I guess the NRA and GTA have varying degrees of input.

I fear that merging the organisations into a single entity will simply remove some of the expert specialists from dialogue with the Home Office, and instead make it easier to beat down a single generalist opposition. I think many of the smaller shooting niches will simply end up being bartered away in compromise deals covering the bigger sectors.

To be honest, I don't think any reasonable and measured representation by shooting bodies has significant effect anyway - there is not much pretence that Home Office proposals are some sort of urgent response to a pressing public interest matter, or that a balanced review will take place. The imposition of wave after wave of nonsensical, illogical and unnecessary legislation and "guidance" would indicate that a progressive agenda is being implemented, simply dressed up as a consultative process.
 

4(T)

LE
Balle M: round-nose, FMJ (1886)
Balle D: Spitzer boat tail, brass monolith (1898 )
Balle N: Spitzer boat tail, FMJ (1932)


Do you happen to have a primary source for the ballistic performance of Balle D?

I very vaguely recall that, although it was considered a spectacular upgrade over Balle M, the mid-long range accuracy fell off very quickly. 8 MOA @ 600m - and rising rapidly - rings a bell, but I'm probably mistaken.
 

HE117

LE
I'm not sure about merging the various representative bodies, as i think that would actually weaken the arguments presented on behalf of various shooting activities.

Currently HBSA and BSAC seem to have a strong track record in their representation efforts, and I guess the NRA and GTA have varying degrees of input.

I fear that merging the organisations into a single entity will simply remove some of the expert specialists from dialogue with the Home Office, and instead make it easier to beat down a single generalist opposition. I think many of the smaller shooting niches will simply end up being bartered away in compromise deals covering the bigger sectors.

To be honest, I don't think any reasonable and measured representation by shooting bodies has significant effect anyway - there is not much pretence that Home Office proposals are some sort of urgent response to a pressing public interest matter, or that a balanced review will take place. The imposition of wave after wave of nonsensical, illogical and unnecessary legislation and "guidance" would indicate that a progressive agenda is being implemented, simply dressed up as a consultative process.
At the micro level, I would not disagree.. what worries me is that much of the effort seems to be down to a very small group of individuals, who we probably both know, and who are far from being in the first flush of youth.

At the macro level, the situation is not well sustained, and the opposition view is not being properly projected. BASC is probably the most visible, but is still playing a very much sectarian line, no doubt supported by the game trade and the gun dealers who stand to make a tidy profit.. HBSA is probably the most informed body, but its representation is very narrow and is dominated by a single individual!

The real problem is that I don't see the internal representation coming through. In too many cases, the interests are being presented by professional front people who can be very short term in their perspective!
 
Do you happen to have a primary source for the ballistic performance of Balle D?

I very vaguely recall that, although it was considered a spectacular upgrade over Balle M, the mid-long range accuracy fell off very quickly. 8 MOA @ 600m - and rising rapidly - rings a bell, but I'm probably mistaken.
I don't, I'm afraid, sorry.
 
At the micro level, I would not disagree.. what worries me is that much of the effort seems to be down to a very small group of individuals, who we probably both know, and who are far from being in the first flush of youth.

At the macro level, the situation is not well sustained, and the opposition view is not being properly projected. BASC is probably the most visible, but is still playing a very much sectarian line, no doubt supported by the game trade and the gun dealers who stand to make a tidy profit.. HBSA is probably the most informed body, but its representation is very narrow and is dominated by a single individual!

The real problem is that I don't see the internal representation coming through. In too many cases, the interests are being presented by professional front people who can be very short term in their perspective!
Whatever happens, keep that twonk Mike Y*rdley away from it. Very far away from it.
 

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