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Old November 28, 2017, 11:02 AM   #26
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Metallic lead is not a problem, at least for humans. Our digestive tract can't get the lead into serum for it to do any damage. Birds have stones in their gullet which grinds up their food but if the lead can't oxidize then it can't get into their system. Lead salts are where the danger lies. Lead sulfate, Lead oxides, and lead nitrates are the dangerous forms of lead. They are readily absorbed into the blood and the toxins attack the CNS. In order for lead to form into those salts it has to be exposed to sulfuric or nitric acids,(the digestive process uses hydrochloric acid which doesn't effect lead readily) not something normally found in nature. In areas that are affected by acid rain or where the soil is naturally acidic (like cranberry bogs) then the lead would begin to break down - not so much when the bullet is lodged into an animal. The only reason it affected the California Condors was that they live for 60 or more years in the wild. You can pick up a lot of lead over that span, a lot more than if it lived a tenth of that time.
There was a lot of "twisted" science in the lead danger myth where bullets are concerned. The condors got most of their lead poisoning from tetra-ethyl lead deposited along the highways by the hundreds of thousands of cars that were pushing lead oxides out the exhaust pipe. The same lead was found on grocery shelves, sidewalks, and everyplace that people could track. All from the exhaust of the nations cars.
Now we burn alcohol in the cars and shoot copper bullets and the animals are dying from "copper" poisoning.
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Old November 28, 2017, 11:54 AM   #27
Art Eatman
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I'm not interested in raining on anybody's parade; those who like copper bullets should stay with the game.

I have too many one-shot kills over a twenty-five year period of active deer hunting with mostly Sierra bullets in my '06 and .243 to consider changing to copper. No point to doing that. Granted, I'm not in an anti-lead state.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old November 29, 2017, 12:25 PM   #28
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I have too many one-shot kills over a twenty-five year period of active deer hunting with mostly Sierra bullets in my '06 and .243 to consider changing to copper. No point to doing that. Granted, I'm not in an anti-lead state.
I've been thinking about your reply. I have never run into a particular ammo that I have not been satisfied with the performance of for deer. I have always hunted deer with a .270 in the past* and, to the best of memory, lead ammunition. Considering the ranges I hunt at it's likely over kill. I have never felt "I need ______ ammo" nor really paid attention to exactly what I had been using. If I had I would not have changed and maybe had I not bought a .243 I may have never entertained the idea.

The funny thing, now that I think about it, is how one judges success. As you note you have success so why change and its a good point. I don't think the advantages of copper ammunition are certain enough or even alleged to be large enough for one hunter to matter. I tried it more on a "why not". Had I failed to take this deer, or had a long track, I probably would be in the "stupid .243 is too small for deer and copper ammo sucks" camp though I did not put the rifle or ammo in the best scenario for success. I'm surprised how well it did in this case but assume traditional lead ammo would have had the same success. My only concern is a total lack of exit wound but its explainable.

*I once failed to take a deer with a 30-30 when I was 14 - not the rifles fault. I have taken my .375 Holland and Holland hunting and passed on a smallish deer because I felt it was ridiculous.
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