Frangible-Lead Free- Green Bullets

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Macs B, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    The German Forestry department is putting pressure on hunting organizations to move to so called "Green bullets". Copper frangible and disk bullets are being endorsed as the next great thing. Does anyone have any experience with these types of rounds?

    How available are these rounds in factory ammo?
  2. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Copper Bullets

    I only have experience with the solid copper bullets from Barnes - they are excellent for accuracy, expansion, penetration and weight retention.
  3. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Barnes Bullet

    I would have to agree with Browning about the Barnes bullet they are as good as they are cracked up to be.I see Hornady has come out with the GMX bullet that sounds like it could be as good as the Barnes & was developed for hunting in California - since they passed that bill that all bullets will be lead free!! I definitely want to get a few & try them out!
  4. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    MacsB................not sure what bullets you are looking at there in Germany, but I would hope they are not 'frangible'. As mentioned by Calhoun and Browningbbr the Barnes TSX and TTSX are very good bullets. I have been using Barnes since the original X bullets came out.

    They also mentioned the Hornady GMX and Nosler has the E-tip. The big name bullet makers were researching this type of bullet for some time..........before the California issue reared its ugly head. Lead in bullets is a global issue and like it or not it is another one that is going to get rammed down our throats.

    It started with the ban of lead shot for migratory bird hunting. It has progressed to being an issue at trap/skeet ranges and even for the use of upland birds or migratory birds in fields. Next on the hit list was rifle ranges and many have been closed. Now they are using issues such as the Condors in California and human consumption of lead from big game shot by hunters with cast lead bullets and conventional lead core jacketed bullets.

    It will be one thing after another....an issue here or there.....many EU countries are looking to ban lead bullets. It is coming here. The bullet makers are cranking out new 'copper' bullets for reasons a lot bigger than the Condor problem.

    I have been working on 'copper bullet' loads in my rifles for a number of years because I am not going to find my butt in a ringer some fall when our dunderhead politicians pass new legislation banning lead in hunting projectiles. Typically most hunters have their head in the sand on firearms issues at the best of times and most will be crying the blues about it when it happens.

    And sadly, it will get pushed through as it is will not be viewed by the majority as a gun control issue....................it will be a health and environment issue and that is a battle that we not only can't win it is a battle that is strategically designed so that shooters will look bad to the general public if they fight it. How unusual.
  5. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    Skyline,
    Yeah unfortunately we are indeed being "nudged" towards frangible bullets. Essentially they are a mass of loose copper or bronze bits that are somehow held together in a bullet shape. The Bavarian regional forestry director is pushing hard for all "professional" hunters to switch to these types of rounds.
    The second option is a "stacked" bullet. I have some experience with these in larger caliber weapons. They essentially are a stack of dimes that comes apart on impact. I've never fired any of these in game rifles, nor have any of my hunting buds.

    Is there a resource out there that I can access that can tell me about these things? Fact is, I know very little about the ballistics of these types of rounds. More importantly who sells them and where? Reloading here in Germany requires specific licenses which I do not possess nor will I be able to attain in the next two years. So I am getting a little concerned as this starts looking more and more like it's going to become law.

    The reason for the switch is based on the populated areas that we hunt and conservation concerns. All of the typical BS about lead is just as big here as it is in the USA. The notion that these rounds are safer for areas that border populated zones, read that as everywhere, is ludicrous as far as I'm concerned. No one that I know has ever heard of a casualty from a shoot thru or a ricochet.

    What can you do?

    Macs
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I like the Barnes bullets and various other copper bullets. But I don't use them for the most part. They are expensive! And I see zero reason to give up on lead bullets. And I agree with Skyline, I will be pissed beyond belief if I have to stop using them because of a bunch of idiots thinking they are saving the public by using lead free bullets. JUST SAY NO TO LEAD FREE BULLETS IS MY CAMPAIGN, KEEP THE LEAD...IT CHEAP AND WORKS. No study has proved lead bullets has killed anyone....other than gun shot wounds....eating lead meat (Is a greenie myth).

    I have a ton invested in reloading....Hot-Cors, Interbonds, Accubands, Grandslams, and Failsafes and I'm not willing to stop using them!!!:shocked:
  7. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Enysse..............it is the times we live in. Having said that, I am sitting here with about 500 rounds of 3" 12 gauge shells, loaded with #2 lead shot for geese and I can't use them...............not legally. I know there are hunters that are still using them over fields on private land and they do not seem to be too worried about getting caught, but I cannot even entertain the thought. My point though is that things can happen quickly as you know.

    I do not mind spending money on Barnes or Nosler unleaded pills as it pales in comparison to the cost of my ranch, 4x4's, ATV's, horses, boats and the other items too numerous to mention that I have invested in over time to feed my hunting habit. Like you, I do and will continue to shoot lead core bullets as well, but if and when the plutocrats bring an end to it, I will just carry on with the unleaded bullets as if nothing happened. I do not have the option of refusing to comply with regulation changes.....................no matter how mindless they seem to be.

    Macs B.............I am afraid I cannot help you in the 'frangible' bullet department. I only have a bit of experience with some of these for varmint shooting and of course there are versions used in law enforcement for specific take-down situations, but I am not aware of any particular site that may be able to help you. All I can suggest is searching the net. You could try Reloaders Nest................there may be someone on there with some experience using those types of bullets. There are also a number of 'Sniper' related websites and there could wll be some LEO or Military boys that can give you some information.
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Hi Skyline, I would use "green bullets' too before I gave up hunting. My point is that hunters have to put a fight up on this issue. I grew up hunting with a BB gun. When I was 12 years old I was allowed to buy a 20 gauge Mossberg shotgun for deer hunting. And for Christmas that year I got a Ruger 10/22. I used those guns until I was 22 years old, a college graduate and I bought a Rem. Model 700 270 Win. Those are the guns I learned to shoot with and I shot a lot of cheap lead bullets. I'm not sure I would be where I am today if ammo was through the roof. Because I shot a lot of lead slugs, Core-Lokts and bricks of 22's. It 22 ammo was copper or something else I probably would have found somewhere else to spend my dollar....and not fallen in love with hunting. And I think if we switched to "green bullets" today....grooves of people would break the law or quit hunting. And I hate to loose hunters to unnecessary costs.
  9. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Enysse........................yes I hear you, that is exactly what happened when they banned lead shot for migratory gamebirds............hunters quit in droves. Not all hunters are as rabid about their sport as we are. That is what the powers that be and the greenies, bunny huggers, etc. bank on. Make things a little rough and they will just quit hunting. Put in some laws which make things inconvenient or a bit more expensive and they will quit in droves.

    I am afraid the days of the .22 and young fellas like you and I wandering in the fields shooting gophers or targeting shooting on a regular basis are already gone for most. When a trip to the range for urban shooters (and that is most shooters) entails an hour or two drive time and a whole day tied up on the weekend..............most do it rarely if at all.

    As the lead issue has generated more attention an increasing number of shooting ranges have been closed down and this makes target practice more and more difficult for millions of shooters. That is where things are at to a great degree in many areas. Those of us who live where you can still shoot at the gravel pit or in the backyard (like me) tend to forget that we are the very fortunate and things are not so easy for most shooters out there.

    I hope you guys can fight off the lead ban, but if California is something to base future trends on, and they are now aiming for a state wide ban, it is coming faster than most want to believe. Most hunters will ignore it until it is too late.

    Heck when the lead ban came in for shotgunners, 90 percent of the shooters were running around wondering what happened and getting up in arms after the fact. The signs were all there, you could read about it if you wanted to, if you belonged to a Fish and Game Association or a firearms association you would know about it...................but most don't.

    It is a GOOD year when 5% of the shooters in the US belong to the NRA, most years it is around 4%. Hell they have to offer free memberships in cahoots with shooting industry manufacturers to get more to join..................and when it isn't free next year most of those who join with that program will not renew.

    I know I sound negative, but I have been watching this for 4 decades and nothing has changed, if anything the complacency just gets worse. It is the nature of the beast and we who hunt and shoot are grossly outnumbered by those who don't.

    I will be a very happy man when the shooting and hunting public stands up and proves me wrong and makes something meaningful happen..........needless to say I will not be holding my breath.
  10. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    I thought you might be interested in the results off our shooting test with the new “green” bullets.

    We spent the weekend at the Forestry department’s range testing new “Green” bullets. The manufacturers sent ammunition and representatives to answer questions and provide test rounds to thirty hunters here in Bavaria during a two day test.

    Remington is the primary American supplier of these rounds in their “Premier Disintegrator” line. Winchester was the second American maker with its “Varmint Special” line being adapted to larger game. Four European manufacturers provided test rounds, Gecko being the only one I had previous experience with. I will give credit to the companies, they sent knowledgeable people, shooters, who knew what they were talking about. Each factory rep present was a licensed hunter in Europe and the USA. I’m glad to say it wasn’t so much a sales pitch as information brief.

    Overall the shooting results were average to good. The bullets are indeed of frangible manufacture designed to disintegrate shortly after impact. The disk or stacked rounds come apart based on a designed penetration formula. All rounds and bullet types were sufficiently accurate in a variety of rifles to assume that they will work for most shooters. I personally fired four different bullet weights through my Browning A-Bolt 7mm REM MAG. All but one produced less than 1 ¾ MOA at 100 meters with t he Remington Disintegrator 142 gr frangible producing the best three shot group of just under one inch. I judged all to be sufficiently accurate to use as a hunting round in most rifles.

    The terminal effects were not as impressive as traditional ammunition. When shot on five gallon water bottles the disk type rounds produce only a single entry hole, no exit, the round disintegrated inside the diameter of the bottle. The copper frangible rounds produced an inconsistent exit hole, usually three or four smaller exits on widely varied paths. When shot on wet newspaper the disk round did seem to produce dramatic bullet channels.

    The manufacturer’s representatives claimed the true benefit of these rounds outside of the “green” nature of the bullet is that it imparts all of its energy inside the vital area of a target. Essentially they are made to penetrate a predetermined depth and then stop, coming apart inside the target, the effect being that all of the energy is deposited in the vital area. Various bullet make-ups are planned for thinner and thicker skinned animals. We shot one test on a dead farm hog, and the results were pretty much in line with the manufacturer’s claims. Particularly evident was the “fragging” of the vitals outside of the bullet path. One concern from all present was these rounds are generally lighter than what we traditionally associate with hunting bullets.

    Overall I’ll say that things might not be as bad as we feared. The prices on these rounds are about 10-15% higher than standard ammunition, no surprise there. They will kill game, in some cases maybe more effectively than traditional bullets. On larger game with tougher hides I worry about the ability to penetrate effectively. The ability to break bone is questionable. The rounds do show adequate penetration for most European game. I think the lack of an off side exit wound and the loss of that blood trail will lead to some lost game. The ability to shoot without as much worry of your back stop and secondary wounding could be good or bad depending on who you ask. I guess we will see.
  11. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Sorry.......can't buy it. As you know hunting is not a dead pig lying on a patch of grass for tests. Shoulder hits coming or going are quite common and a pig is not that big either in the great scheme of things. Sounds dismal.

    For me...........excuse me Mr. Bear but will you expire for me and not travel 200 yards through thick crap after the bullet blows up on the shoulder?

    What is wrong with people and where is the common sense? My dog has more brains these days......Mac, not you...the powers that be.
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Hi Skyline,

    Thanks for the nice response. Hopefully people on this site and the rest of the world wake up and realize it's not just guns the liberals are after...it's our bullets and everything else too.


    I think the GMX by Hornady and Barnes bullets are good...I could live with them but would rather have my lead:beatingdeadhorse:
  13. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Enysse............unfortunately you and I and others on here are all preaching to the converted flock......LOL

    But at least we feel better after....right?:rolleyes:
  14. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    We took the infamous "greeny bullets" out for a hunting test. During a recent drive/cull hunt we shot the new Remington frangible bullets with pretty poor results on live game. The lack of an exit wound was a huge problem, especially on less than perfect shots (not uncommon on a drive/cull hunt).

    I personally tracked two wounded hogs into the canola fields, turns out they weren't nearly as wounded as we thought. Nearly cost me a dog in that tight vegetation.

    I examined four red deer (rotwild) that should have fell in their tracks but didn't and six hogs that weren't sure what that stinging sensation was all about until a good follow up with a standard round put them down.

    It was unanimously decided by all concerned that until these things become law we will most likely not be using them again. To their credit even the forestry department folks agreed that they had never seen so many animals wounded on a cull hunt. Inspection of the wounds and wound channels revealed broken but not penetrated bone, and in one case a failure to penetrate on a old boar. The only plus was on the thin skinned game, I saw vitals absolutely disintegrated by a bullet flying apart inside the chest, just not with any consistency. Overall just a poor showing.
  15. Bavarianbrit

    Bavarianbrit New Member

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    Hello Macs,

    I just saw the post, its a fair comment on these rounds.
    I live down the road from you in the German zip code area 92363.
    I will be off soon to Scotland for a red stag culling week planned with the UK central hunting organisation BASC on the island of Arran.
    PM me if you want to meet.

    Regards

    Bavarianbrit
  16. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Macs B - Going back to your original question about lead-free, frangible bullets:

    Check the Barnes website. They are showing several bullets that might meet your requirements: MPG (Multi Purpose Green), TAC-RRLP & M/LE. I see bullet weights up to 140gn.

    I have not tested any of these and cannot speak to performance on game. However, the nice thing about Barnes is that their tech people will respond promptly to questions emailed to them.

    - browningbbr

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