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Old April 23, 2013, 08:00 PM   #1
WIN1886
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Lead free vs lead bullets for hunting medium game !

I've hunted game birds , small game ( rabbits , squirrels , etc ) and medium game for years with lead shot and bullets containing lead and have eaten all the edible game that I've harvested ! Now I'm being told by some that I should switch to lead free ammunition and or bullets which is commonly more expensive to reduce the chance of lead contamination in the meat which I never thought was a factor as long as your careful about removing the bullet fragments or shot from the meat ! Most my 45-70 cast loads go right through the deer....what do all you feel about the lead vs lead free bullet use on edible game ? Thanks !
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:14 PM   #2
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Don't eat the hole is all I can figure. I'm not breaking wise. If there's contaminant, that's where you'll find it. Do a little fine trimming and you should be good to go. I've spit shot out at the table eating thanksgiving pheasants, but no one jacked me for protocol.
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Old April 24, 2013, 12:27 AM   #3
math teacher
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Unless you are a condor, I wouldn't worry about it. People have been eating game shot with lead bullets for centuries. Once you remove any blood spotted meat, you will be good to go.
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Old April 24, 2013, 08:24 AM   #4
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Boy does this thread bring back memory's. _

Having to give up my bloodshot tore up bone shattered infested sausage meat because of a bullet passing thru it? Come on !! Ain't no way that's going happen. At my age a little lead intake probably doesn't matter. I am what I am. If sitting at my table and one spits out shot, lead fragments, bullet jackets? You will indeed be chastised for such behavior. Fish bones gets a pass.

S/S
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Old April 24, 2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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If I understand your question you are refering to the solid copper bullets such as the Barnes etc. They are more expensive than lead, and as long as you are using a rifle traditionally up to the requirements of the game hunted they are probably unnecessary.

But they do have advantages. Traditional jacketed lead bullets have always broken up and given poor penetration when shot fast. That is why heavier, but slower bullets such as the 45-70 you use have been more depedable for larger game where peneration is needed.

The solid copper bullets retain 98%-100% of their weight and expand well when shot fast. In fact the faster the better and you cannot shoot one fast enough in any gun in production to get it to break up. They penetrate very well. Traditional jacketed lead bullets lose 20%-70% of their weight as soon as they impact game. That means a 180 gr 300 mag bullet that started at 3000 fps will only weigh 50-140 gr after impact. A solid copper bullet weighing 130 gr can be fired from a 308 @ 3000 fps and retain all 130 gr of its weight and give comparable penetration.The idea is to drop down 1 or 2 bullet weight and shoot the copper bullets as fast as possible.

The biggest disadvantage of using the light bullets is when shooting at longer ranges. Up close the 130 gr 308 will give very comparable performance in game as a 180 gr 300 mag. But the lighter bullet doesn't retain speed as well at longer ranges, so the 300 would still be the better long range choice. The solid copper bullets do not perform well if they impact at speeds slower than about 2000 fps.

But they certainly do make guns that traditionally are considered underpowered capable of taking much larger game. If I were elk hunting with a 243, I'd be using copper bullets.
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Old April 24, 2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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I've never figured out how a bullet to Bambi's heart/lungs will put lead into hams or backstraps.

It's reasonably well known to bird-hunters that lead shot doesn't do Bad Things to those who enjoy ducks, geese, dove or quail.

Anti-hunters dream up all manner of strange notions.

Personally, I'm dubious about the validity of the deal with California's condors, for that matter.
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Old April 24, 2013, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Eatman
Anti-hunters dream up all manner of strange notions.
Indeed.

Lead contamination of game doesn't enter my calculations. I use the bullet that I like best. I use Barnes TTSX bullets because they make big game bullets that are lighter than anyone else and I like light, fast bullets.
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Old April 24, 2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: Lead free vs lead bullets for hunting medium game !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Eatman View Post
I've never figured out how a bullet to Bambi's heart/lungs will put lead into hams or backstraps.
This. I don't eat heart, lungs, or ribs on deer. Therefore, no meat is ruined. I shoot the bullets that I've found do the best job of putting meat in my freezer. It doesn't matter if it's made of plastic, I'll use it if it works.
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Old April 24, 2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies ! For now my State only requires non-lead shot ( mostly steel shot ) for waterfowl hunting or the areas designated for waterfowl hunting...so a lot of times I even use steel shot for Pheasants and Ruffed Grouse if I'm hunting close to those areas in case we find birds on or near them ! Maybe its just tongue wagging , but I've heard rumors of proposals banning bullets containing lead as well in certain locations ! I agree with proper shot placement , cleaning , and processing being the key...though admittedly have had bullets go the full length way in deer ( between the front shoulders and exit out near the rear ) ! I have not even tried an all copper or lead free bullet out of any rifle or handgun I own yet....never seen the need so far ! Most of my 45-70 handloads don't break the 2000 fps barrier and some don't even come close like my 400 grain cast bullet loads ! Now in my .243 cal. rifle that is not even a challenge !

Last edited by WIN1886; April 24, 2013 at 04:40 PM.
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Old April 24, 2013, 06:42 PM   #10
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I've always followed the rule to cut away all blood shot meat. I've not had a problem for years. That said, I was eating a deer stew last winter and bit into a piece of gliding metal. My Nosler BT apparently blew up when it hit the deer's spine.

Stuff sometimes ends up where you don't expect it to go. It was a first, and I have to admit it brought me up short. I wouldn't want one of my kids to bite into that (or lead).

As my supplies of lead ammo depletes through scope-sighting, practice and hunting, I'm switching to copper ammo to use for hunting.
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Old April 25, 2013, 04:38 PM   #11
WIN1886
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Quote:
I'm switching to copper ammo to use for hunting

I just ordered some to try for deer hunting......why not !

Last edited by WIN1886; April 26, 2013 at 04:42 AM.
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:55 PM   #12
jrothWA
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There is a dentist that attempted to

convince Montana to ban all lead and the state did their own analysis and ended up FINING the Dentist for bad data and costing the state-run hunter donation money fior buying beef in lieu of the donated meat.

The dentist used same info for convincing california to ban all lead ammo,unfortunately.
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Old April 25, 2013, 11:27 PM   #13
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I hunt pigs in the condor area of Central California. i like the Barnes TSX bullets. I use the 140gr in my .270 and 168gr in my .308. They penetrate and expand with minimal fragmentation on the pigs. very good bullets IMHO....
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Old April 26, 2013, 04:53 AM   #14
WIN1886
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Quote:
The dentist used same info for convincing california to ban all lead ammo , unfortunately.

Really , I wonder what the dentist thinks of all the silver fillings containing mercury they've put in our teeth as kids ?
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Old April 26, 2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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win1886:
Quote:
Really , I wonder what the dentist thinks of all the silver fillings containing mercury they've put in our teeth as kids ?
Bing! We have a winner; and not just in name. In the grand scheme of things, there's a lot of things to consider...
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Old April 27, 2013, 10:33 AM   #16
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I'm in Southern California too and kill a lot of hogs using the Barnes. Personally I wouldn't go back to a cup and core bullet in a bottleneck case. Your 45/70 is a different animal altogether. I own one and have killed a couple of hogs with it using the Barnes and it works well; but that is not why I have one. It's for shooting BIG FAT LEAD bullets! At the velocities of a 45/70 I would personally stick with lead.

I've seen three Barnes bullets come apart. Two of them in a 100 gr. TSX shot out of a .257 Wby mag and one out of a .340 Wby mag. Two of the bullets were pretty close but one of the .257 rounds went into a running hog at 300 yards and weighed 71 gr. when recovered.

I'm with others here; I started out using the Barnes in heavier weights but over time have gravitated toward lighter, faster bullets. I like the new TTSX and use it in my .300 win mag as my "go to" bullet. I shoot the 168 gr in that caliber but in -06 I might use the 150. I use the 140 TTSX in the 7mm rem mag and it's done well, both in accuracy and performance. Recently I started using an 80 gr. TTSX loaded with Hodgdon Superformance powder in the .243 and simply love it! 6 mm performance out of a short action cartridge!
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:15 AM   #17
WIN1886
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Quote:
At the velocities of a 45/70 I would personally stick with lead

No doubt , I did notice the 45-70 300 grain Barnes bullet has a huge hollow point so I suppose this is designed to help expansion at slower speeds....kinda like their all copper handgun line of hunting bullets ! The .243 all copper bullets from Barnes do sound interesting....I'll have to check it out !
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Old May 18, 2013, 01:26 PM   #18
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I've never, ever found a piece of lead or copper from a bullet in any of the big game meat that I put in the cooler. Just stay away from the damaged meat. I like Barnes bullets (in guns that they shoot well out of ) because they hold together better than any thing else and I want full penetration always. I shoot regular jacketed rounds out of plenty of rifles though and there is no telling how much lead shot I have eaten over the years.
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Old May 20, 2013, 11:46 AM   #19
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Well, guess thats one way to get lead back into your pencil.
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Old May 20, 2013, 01:42 PM   #20
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"Personally, I'm dubious about the validity of the deal with California's condors, for that matter. "

I'm with you. A few years ago, I came across a copy of the report used when they first outlawed lead in southern California. Seems like only one bird was conclusively kiled by lead poisoning. The rest may have had some lead levels but most bird had guts full of beer can tabs, silvery gum wrappers and other bits of shiney stuff. They couldn't admit to that to further there agenda so they lied. Wish I could find that report again.
Now it's going through the California legislature to ban lead bullets state wide. It's passed one part of their legislature and almost guaranteed to pass the other half and Governor Moonbeam has said he will sign it. And people told my I was nuts back in 1970 when I fled California for good. Yeah, crazy like a fox.
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Old May 21, 2013, 09:46 PM   #21
johnwilliamson062
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Pure lead is very stable. Lead alloys are not.
Now, put pure lead in your stomach acid and it will break up though.
It isn't going to dissolve into the game animal in the few hours before it is cooled or processed. These is something ignorant people dream up to convince others hunting is dangerous.
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Old May 22, 2013, 07:21 AM   #22
Newton24b
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oh yes, we can always trust the dentists when it comes to the field of firearms. remember that dentist who said that his weapon firing 8-900 rounds a second would end all wars because no opposing armies would dare to risk that blood bath?


theres a reason you dont eat the meat around the wound, or the internal organs other then the heart, or the liver for the brave.

its common sense really. but the government latches onto something that the rich people like, and do stupid things to keep the rich people writing checks.

its like with unions, how many politicians want to cut hourly benefits and risk the whole damned public workers union going on strike?
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Old May 22, 2013, 11:27 AM   #23
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most people completely avoid blood shot meat when they are butchering. anything that even has a chance of containing lead is thrown out, or at least this is the case with every person I've ever known that hunts. the only exception is birds and IIRC waterfoul hunting now requires steel shot anyway so all you have to worry about is turkeys and pheasants(some others but those are the main ones) and those are easy enough to pick shot out of. you'll be fine with lead, some people that have no idea what happens to an animal when it is shot like to make stuff up so they sound like an authority.

also, you get more heavy metal poisoning from eating seafood once a month than you do from ingesting 1 lead shotgun BB a year.
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Old May 22, 2013, 08:09 PM   #24
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I was a college student in the early 70's. That was about the time we first began to hear about "everything" causing cancer.

One of my professors had written a one page paper as a 'tongue in cheek' response to all the chicken little's. I have lost the paper but I do recall the opening line: "Studies show beyond a shadow of a doubt that 100% of all pickle eaters DIE!!"

Think about it!!!!!!
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Old May 24, 2013, 02:19 PM   #25
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Read the chilling paper on Dihydrogen Monoxide.
http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

My only concern with lead is shot in water. Water is the universal solvent; sooner or later that lead will get into fish and I eat fish.
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