Ramifications Of Banning Lead Ammo For Hunting

The NSSF lays it out:

Field-And-Stream-Desert-Eagle-Troll-Hunting-HandgunI don’t really know enough about the environment or the politics of the game to have a proper view on this.  I just know lead obviously isn’t healthy to consume in large amounts.

It sucks it’s not feasible for ammo companies to produce bullets for less popular calibers without lead.  If it wasn’t all about money, these companies could gradually make the shift to make everything lead free I’m assuming.

If you hunt and know more about this, school me.


12 responses to “Ramifications Of Banning Lead Ammo For Hunting”

  1. Kestrelbike Avatar

    It’d be great if some company developed an artificial projectile that outperformed lead or steel bullets trajectory, penetration, expansion, and cost next to nothing in comparison so instead of the banners hopes and actual goals of less ammo ending up in the hands of civilians, production actually increases 10 fold and a new golden age of ammo pricing occurs.

  2. @Kestrelbike, there is a reason why such a thing does not exist yet. Currently all of the alternative materials that perform as good, or better, than traditional lead based bullets are SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive. That being said, I’m sure lots of people are constantly working to find that “golden” bullet that could replace lead ammo.

    1. Or the alternative materials potentially end up making it armor piercing and then illegal for civilian sales.

      1. Jim Jones Avatar
        Jim Jones

        The antis really think we’re stupid. They want to ban lead ammo, which leads to all copper ammo, and then they put up histerics about armor-piercing ammo, which essentially all copper or steel ammo is. If there are still Fudds left around, the Green-Tip ban attempt should have knocked some sense into them.

  3. Quasimofo Avatar

    I hunt here in southeast PA, mostly deer, geese, and doves. USFWS banned the use lead shot for waterfowl since the ’90s, even if you hunt off the water on cut farm fields, etc… So it’s either use steel, which has meh performance, or some exotic and expensive alloy shot meant to mimic lead.

    The vast majority of premium, high performance hunting bullets use lead, and for ammo using those bullets I typically see it going for $40+ for a box of 20. Banning lead would only negatively impact selection and price…

    I haven’t heard this “protect the raptors!” argument before, and now I’m curious as to its rationale. The health risk argument is bogus, IMO, if you know how to prep your meat (insert sexual innuendo here).

    The biggest hunting problem we have here in PA is getting the damn Fudds and PGC on board for Sunday hunting. Then comes lifting the ban on semiautos. This lead ban is some next level isht.

    1. Raptor argument goes like this: Hunter shoots animal with lead bullet > Hunter leaves all or part of the animal with lead in it > raptors feed on carcass and ingest lead > raptors die from lead poisoning.

      I recall reading an article awhile back that basically concluded that raptors are just as likely (or more likely) to get lead poisoning from ingesting lead wheel weights on the side of the highway as they are bullets from hunters’ kills.

      1. Quasimofo Avatar


        I’m sure Barnes is OK about what’s going down in Cali, at least until the DFHs claim that the use of copper bullets causes reduced mojo levels in ground squirrels and the soccer moms who need to find better hobbies get riled up about this “cause”…

        1. Stan Darsh Avatar
          Stan Darsh

          I doubt it, considering what the ATF did to Barnes Banded Solids. Just recently has Barnes been allowed to sell again, only now in calibers rarely used anywhere but Africa. Im sure they understand the long game scenario in this attack.

      2. Robert W. Avatar
        Robert W.

        Worse, the one and only autopsy of a California Condor that had a physical mass of lead in his GI tract was from a fishing weight. That fishing weight was erroneously reported as a bullet.

        Solid lead is not in a very soluble form. The maximum 24-48 hours that a bird would have a lead solid in its system is not enough to leach the amount of lead that is necessary to correlate to the lead levels being found in the Condors.

        Since they became extinct in the wild, bred in captivity, and eventually re-released in the wild, every known condor has been GPS tagged. At one point, large groupings of condors were being found to travel around the area of old and abandoned buildings. They were observed to be eating the paint off of some of these buildings. The paint was tested to be lead based. Lead in lead based paints is in various compounds, not pure lead, that are extremely soluble in the body, and if eaten regularly would clearly cause lead poisoning.

        Those buildings were since cleaned of lead paints, and all was well for a while. The lead levels have been reportedly going up again in California, despite the over 97% compliance as reported by California Department of Fish and Wildlife. As of now, no known cause has been identified, but the most likely suspects would be other sources of soluble lead products. That is denied by the media and conservationists that have pushed the hardest for the lead bans, and our lofty rulers will agree to anything that bans guns or ammo, for any reason.

  4. We’re all going to die one day of something anyways. Oh my god why do people take time out of their bullshit lives to CARE about crap like this?

  5. GuruOGuns Avatar

    The way the Guru see’s it, lead comes out the ground I put it back.

  6. This lead ammo ban originally was just for designated condor areas, because the claim was condors were feeding on gut piles left by hunters and ingesting lead. As far as I know the lead free condor restriction has been in place for years now – and you are never going to believe this – there has been no dramatic decline in condor lead levels. Now normally that would make a sane person go “hmm, maybe its not the lead bullets from hunters after all…” but since this is California they double down on the stupid and expand the lead hunting ammo ban to the entire state. Given that most rifle calibers pack enough energy to go completely through both sides of a deer and likely drive themselves into the ground on the other side, the amount of lead actually left behind in a gut pile seems like it must be very small. It seems like a less expensive solution would just be to require hunters to bury all gut piles to prevent the birds from scavenging on them, but I suspect might be ignored by many hunters, just like I am sure many ignored the no lead rule. I think most major ammo manufacturers are producing lead free ammo now, and while it is supposed to perform very well on game, it is dramatically more expensive than traditional lead soft point hunting ammo. I would suspect the options as far as caliber, bullet weight, etc. are probably much more limited.