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Should armies use lead-free bullets?

#1
BBC News - Should armies use lead-free bullets?


Lead has always been an obvious choice for ammunition. It's cheap, heavy and easy to mould into bullet shapes - it also has a lubricating effect on gun barrels when fired.
once again, the reporter Angus Crawford of the BBC shows his ignorance, and unwillingness to listen to people who advise the BBC, and has taken all that NAMMO has said as gospel because it makes good copy and hes too idle to cross check with others....
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
It seems to be the modern trend within the media to write up anything which indicates superior knowledge on the part of the producing party while showing complete ignorance of the subject. The Sunday Telegraph also managed to get in on the act recently with an article about a small bore target rifle shooter taking aim through his scope sight.
I feel there would be a lot less confusion and ignorance where firearm topics are concerned if facts were displayed correctly but then that would not really suit the media, the politicians and the police, all of whom seem to prefer to have the public in a continuing state of fear.
 
#7
I'm probably going to talk out of my hole here ( why change? ), but wouldn't a "steel-core green eco bullet" turn it into an armour piercing round? And as a total ammunition mong, how would it affect muzzle velocity, range, kinetic energy upon impact, even recoil? Why would it still need a copper jacket ( not as if the steel is going to slough off on the rifling - or is it the other way round? )

Perhaps the most pertinent question is, is steel cheaper than lead....other than a potentially spurious eco benefit ( devil's advocate ) what advantage does steel enjoy over lead?
 
#8
I am also not that sure but do they use copper as it is softer than the gun barrel ans so bites into the rifling. would steel not rip the rifling out?
 
#9
I'm probably going to talk out of my hole here ( why change? ), but wouldn't a "steel-core green eco bullet" turn it into an armour piercing round? And as a total ammunition mong, how would it affect muzzle velocity, range, kinetic energy upon impact, even recoil? Why would it still need a copper jacket ( not as if the steel is going to slough off on the rifling - or is it the other way round? )

Perhaps the most pertinent question is, is steel cheaper than lead....other than a potentially spurious eco benefit ( devil's advocate ) what advantage does steel enjoy over lead?
Lighter, so more velocity with the same charge. This may lead to stability issues and effect terminal power at longer ranges due to lower ballistic co-efficient. (less inertia, slows down quicker).

Essentially it will be like an AP round although these tend to still have lead in them with a steel core. Steel directly in contact with the rifling would shag it out in no time as would copper and a drastic increase in velocity. The heads on lead free may be bigger to address this or there may be less propellant to keep velocity down, I dont know but lead free ammo has been touted for quite a while now. Wildfowlers have to use leadfree carts in their shotguns and they have experimented with alternatives for air rifles too.
 
#11
I am currently working on the Swedish PRT base in Afghanistan, and whilst out here the Swedish Soldiers are issued lead based rounds, they leave their green environmentally friendly rounds back in Sweden
 
#12
. Wildfowlers have to use leadfree carts in their shotguns and they have experimented with alternatives for air rifles too.
Yes wildfowlers have been forced to use lead free in certain situations for some time, however unless you are very wealthy the alternatives are nowhere near as good. The price of the best alternatives puts it out of reach of many, the cheaper stuff does not hold downrange energy as well as lead and is not as efficient in killing. Some of the alternatives may also be more toxic then lead.
As someone who culls geese, I have to use a lot of shot and still use lead shot as the law allows it to be used in certain areas. Economically, I have no real choice. For those interested, search for the current price on 25Kg of hevi shot! Further, I have never met a wildfowler out here on the shore who was using anything other than lead. You can change a law but if no one pays a blind bit of notice to the change, its poor legislation!
 
#15
Lighter, so more velocity with the same charge. This may lead to stability issues and effect terminal power at longer ranges due to lower ballistic co-efficient. (less inertia, slows down quicker).

Essentially it will be like an AP round although these tend to still have lead in them with a steel core. Steel directly in contact with the rifling would shag it out in no time as would copper and a drastic increase in velocity. The heads on lead free may be bigger to address this or there may be less propellant to keep velocity down, I dont know but lead free ammo has been touted for quite a while now. Wildfowlers have to use leadfree carts in their shotguns and they have experimented with alternatives for air rifles too.
Good god, man. How much can you get technically wrong in one post?

1. Lighter, so more velocity with the same charge. Not necessarily, in fact less V is possible, since burn rate is proportional to pressure.
2. Steel directly in contact with the rifling would shag it out in no time. Yes, correct. But the bigger issue is that the steel has to be reaaaaaaaally mild. Rusting of the proj is thus a problem.
3. as would copper. Err, we use pure copper, 90:10 Cu:Sn, and even lower Cu:Sn ratios as jacketing material or as a coating on steel jackets. Copper and its copper-rich brass alloys lubricates nicely at high speed.
4. Essentially it will be like an AP round although these tend to still have lead in them with a steel core. Mild steel is not much harder than copper-based jacket materials. You need a glass-hard penetrator with a pointed tip to get AP performance.
 
#16
Classic reporting: They now make 80 million a year. All lead has been removed along with any heavy metals in the gunpowder.
Dingerr may care to correct me, but where the f**k is heavy metal in gunpowder? KNO3 + C +S, potassium is a very light metal, it floats on water. As for nitro which is presumably what they mean, then the metal content is even lower, like about zero.
More classic reporting:Lead has always been an obvious choice for ammunition. It's cheap, heavy and easy to mould into bullet shapes - it also has a lubricating effect on gun barrels when fired.
Lead lubricates barrels? I use shed loads of lead in my Smith, Colt 45 and Browning Hi Power, it definitely does not lubricate the barrels and if I were to use lead in my Springfield I hate to think of the scrubbing involved in order to remove the sh1t in the barrel.
 
#18
The Russians have used steel cored ball rounds for years in 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R. However, a mild steel core does not make an AP round...
So have we. SS109 NATO standard round has a steel core in the bullet. And it is not AP. IIRC, that would be the M995 AP round (may have the designation wrong but there is a US AP round for the 5.56 NATO). I think that the Americans have been playing around with a "lead free" round for the M4 for a while now, but not sure what the state of play with that is at the moment.
 
#19
Of course, while we are returned to shooting state-of-the-art ammunition current at Chickamauga and Gettysburg, our enemies will continue to use the best available ammunition that they can lay their hands on.

tac
vcrai.com
 

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