Skip to comments.Green bullets?
Posted on 07/26/2013 10:29:53 PM PDT by neverdem
The Daily Caller website just published a short article by Michael Bastasch titled "Getting the lead out, literally: US Army plans switch to 'green' bullets".
Green bullets? It appears that the Obama administration is once more pandering to rabid environmentalists by requiring the Army to re-engineer the bullets our men and women in the field use in combat to be more "environmentally friendly". To accomplish this, the military is replacing the lead in bullets with copper. Because the Army doesn't believe in half measures, the Program Executive Officer, Col. Phil Clark has said that they have already eliminated 1,994 metric tons of lead from the military's 5.56mm rounds, and as this program expands to the 7.62mm round, he reports that the total lead reduction in our small arms munitions 3,683 metric tons between 2013 and 2018. A metric ton is 1,000kg, or about 2,200 pounds, so 3,683 metric tons is approximately 8.1 million pounds of lead is the amount the Army will remove from its ammunition over the next five years.
Naturally, the idea of reducing all that lead, which is of course a toxic substance, from the environment is an admirable goal. Almost any time we, as a society can reduce the unnecessary dispersion of toxins, we should consider it a win.
However, the current spot price of lead is $0.94 per pound. The current spot price of copper, on the other hand, is $3.21 per pound. That is a difference of $2.27, or to look at it another way, copper is 341% more costly than lead.
When that cost differential is applied to the additional 3,683 metric tons of copper that must be acquired to replace the lead component of these small arms rounds, the total is $18,431,000.
Nearly twenty million dollars, not to improve the effectiveness of...
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
More BS, inorganic, elemental lead has minimal toxicity. This isn't just for the econazis. Gun grabbers like the ammo that costs more.
Another stupid Obama idea.
Copper may be going up...
Would the government like me to turn in my lead?
I’ve handled enough lead in my day to be six feet under already.
Obama’s an expert. I’m trying to figure out what he was a pert in.
OK, how about copper jacketed carbon steel projectiles instead? That’s very ecologically friendly.
Lead is significantly denser than copper (11.30 g/cc vs. 8.93 g/cc). For Jim’s benefit; that means that lead is 26.54 percent denser than copper. Copper bullets will therefore have considerably different ballistic qualities than lead bullets. That’s got to matter on the front line.
At a specific gravity of 10.49, the density of silver is closer to that of lead. It would also be effective against vampires and werewolves. OTOH, it is considerably more expensive than either lead or copper — not that that seems to matter to anyone.
On the other hand, copper, being less dense than lead (8.93 gm/cc vs. 11.3) so, at the same velocity pure copper will have only 80% of the momentum and muzzle energy that pure lead has. In decomposing, many copper compounds are quite toxic.
These are important but undiscussed factors in most news articles, like this one.
For more bang for the buck, why not use spent uranium and tungsten, as we do in tank rounds? At the same velocity they would have about 70% greater impact energy, and could burn through hard surfaces like armor steel in a trice. They are not easily soluble and are of much less lethal toxicity. One tank round would make an awful lot of 5.56mm bullets. (/sarc)
Of course that decree will be an epic fail because lead is easily available from millions of car batteries, and enterprising hand loaders will find a way around material shortages.
Of course, because lead is so bad for the “environment” of the battlefield. Never mind about the dead bodies. My God, these people are sick. I mean, the irony. Just black hearted sick.
Copper with its reduction in mass per caliber and lousy ballistic coefficient is gonna’ suck at longer ranges.
I accidentally ran a couple bullets through the washing machine last week. They came out a pretty iridescent green.
“Good” for the environment, and it will kill American soldiers - a double win by Obama standards.
At high velocity copper is just as toxic as lead is when it impacts its intended target.
Shooting blanks would be much more friendly.
Green bullets?? I would be excited by more effective bullets. For the time being however it’s probably a good idea though. There is probably a better than average chance that this new ammo could be used against the civilian population. I just hope they use the old ammo that was hoarded this last year for practice.
Way back in Viet Nam we opened a new case of C-rats. To our dismay there were no cigarettes, just a note saying cigarettes were hazardous to our heath. With bullets flying over our heads and impacting our sandbags we all thought of the idiots who made that decision.
You'll never take me alive, copper.
The only thing that should matter is whether these new bullets will kill a bad guy before he knows he has been shot.
That is just plain funny. Thank you.
Can you shove a homemade bullet into those casings that pop out of the gun every time you fire? Are those casings reusable? Is there any special equipment involved?
Please excuse my ignorance. My experience with firearms is limited to very occasional practices at the range.
However, Barnes bullets have quite a following, or they used to have at any rate.
I should add that Barnes bullets also cost about 36 dollars, and up, per 50 bullet box.
Hate to burst your bubble but an 180 gr. bullet, regardless of what it is made of, will have the same energy and trajectory as any other 180 grain bullet of the same ballistic configuration. Depleted uranium is heavier than lead but if you are using a 180 gr DPU bullet it will have no greater energy upon impact than a 180 gr lead bullet.
“They already bought a billion bullets,”...JFK bought one thousand Cuban cigars before the embargo.
Give them credit for trying and it just might work.
Plenty of non-thinking, emoting humans here to gather around such a cause.
They really need US disarmed, one way or another.
Yes, shell casings are quite re-loadable. You can buy bullets or make your own(buying them is much easier)and, yes, you need special equipment to reload. You need a Press and dies at a minimum, plus powder measures, powder scales and other gadgets. You can buy books that would help you get started if you wanted to start reloading, I have been reloading my own ammo since I was 20, I am 71 now.
It is cheaper and somehow more satisfying to reload your casings than it is to buy the completed round.
A copper bullet which is dimensionally identical to a lead 180gr bullet will have less mass. A copper bullet with the same mass as a lead 180gr bullet will have to be larger.
Lead isn't some alien substance. It is a product of the earth. It is impossible to toxify the environment with something that came from that environment in the first place.
Barnes bullets(which I do not use, BTW)cost more than lead bullets but their performance can't be denied, neither can their commercial success. BTW, they already sell to the military and have for quite some time, ditto to LEOs.
Back when I was young, if you had a ringworm or fungus infection, my mom would take real copper pennies, put them in a saucer and pour vinegar over them. After a few days the vinegar would turn green, then you could dab it on the ringworm to kill it.
It really worked. Saved on a doctor’s visit.
LOL! Reminds me of the winter siege of Stalingrad when the Germans lost all their resupply aircraft except two.
When the soldiers unloaded those supplies they had...condoms and black pepper.
***Can you shove a homemade bullet into those casings that pop out of the gun every time you fire? Are those casings reusable?***
Yes! Reloading is big! I’ve been a reloader for the last 45 years.
Cases you can’t reload...Aluminum with berdan primers. Boxer primers will work in most cases designed for them.
Boxer primers are used by the US. Berdan by most European armories.
Years ago, a gunsmith (I can’t remember his name, he was from Trinidad, Co, later Salt Lake City) who designed a .22 cal bullet made mostly of copper with a small lead tip.
He said it was devastating on even big game in that it opened up, held together and went through the animal like a small buzz saw.
Environmentally friendly at the cost of accuracy and distance but hey its a volunteer army right?
Interesting facts, thanks.
Just based on the relative specific gravities of lead and copper; I would expect copper bullets to have a significantly higher muzzle velocity (given the same load, etc.) than lead. However, that higher muzzle velocity translates into more air resistance — combined with a lower density, they should lose velocity faster than lead bullets.
After writing the above, it finally occurred to me to “look it up”. Here’s what one manufacturer has to say about their copper bullets.
Sorry, your bubble is the wrong bubble. What I was referring to was one of the same volume and shape as the same bullet standard for the FMJ mentioned. Thus the weights of the same bullet shape for various metal densities will vary widely. That is why I stipulated the same impact velocity, which zeroes out considerations other than the fact that the FMJ-sized bullet weight would be different for different metals of construction.
That is also why I did not introduce the trajectory of getting to the target, which is far more complex than you indicated, as any handloader, hunter, or sniper would know. My Lyman 47th (Edition) Reloading Handbook takes 18 pages of fine print to just barely cover ballistics and trajectory variations, and 183 pages of tables for reloading various calibers, bullet shapes, and weights. If you wish this to be in the discussion, you have a much bigger task than your model suggests.
Do you begin to recognize why I said, "There is more to this than the average citizen would understand"?
As for penetration, Barnes bullets usually penetrate better than a lead bullet.
We are not talking theory here, Barnes bullets have been on the market for years and have been proven to be equal, or better, to a lead core bullet. They don't separate, for instance, there is nothing to separate, so their weight is retained after entering a game animal, thereby assuring better penetration and better killing ability. In fact, if you are familiar with the name Nosler, you would know the reason they became popular was because the rear of the Nosler is pure copper, which partially solves the seperation problem. The main disadvantage of Barnes, and Nosler, bullets is their high cost, and this is problem the Military faces if they switch completely to copper bullets.
I know what I am talking about, you on the other hand, seem to be talking about bullets of unequal weight etc. and trying to compare them performance wise.
I would suggest you do a search on Barnes, and Nosler, bullets and other copper bullets and educate yourself, you seem to need it.
Because they don't separate and because they have a higher BC, copper bullets have better penetration on the average.
If you get a brass splinter imbedded in your finger, you will probably find that it is much more painful than a wood or steel splinter, after a very few days. (experience)
“There is more to this than the average citizen would understand. My US Ball FMJ.30-06 tips are encased in steel, with copper coating (for lubricity in the bore) and lead in the shell. If the bullet is not fragmented, the copper and steel may well slow down the leaching of the lead. But lead oxide/carbonate/sulfate is very insoluble, and a film of this will help keep the lead stable. ...”
imardmdl is correct.
US 30 cal Ball M2 (standardized in the 1930s, unofficially called 30-06) has been loaded with copper-coated steel-jacketed bullets since the early 1950s at least.
US 7.62mm NATO (Ball M80 etc) has been loaded with copper-coated steel-jacketed bullets since production began in the 1950s.
It’s easy to check either cartridge with a magnet.
Though their configuration is not identical, both are manufactured by swaging a cup of jacket metal around a core cut from lead wire. In a reversal of the making of many sporting bullets, the point of military bullets is solid, but the base is not closed, so the lead core is still exposed.
US 5.56mm M193 was loaded with jacketed bullets not made of steel. M855 bullets contain a steel penetrator so it is not so easy to determine what the jacket material is, by using a magnet.
I was talking about different bullet weights, of course, as I explained, and you have missed the point, doggedly attempting to assert yours.
As a 77-er, having reloaded once or twice (/sarc) since youth, I can understand how someone younger can rush to conclusions, both in subject matter and in attitude. It is also plain that momentum = mass x velocity and energy = mass x velocity squared times 0.5. That has not changed in sixty years since I first learned it. I just presumed that would be assumed, and the reader would inherently take the FMJ bullet bubble/model as the valid uncomplicated comparison. Capisce?
Sorry you took offense. I guess that's your choice, not mine. And your model regarding identical trajectories is also wrong, as you have pointed out by contradicting yourself.
****If you get a brass splinter imbedded in your finger,****
Yep. Had one of those. I had to dig it out with a needle.