So, someone asked me to blog about “green” ammunition, so here goes. A little research has turned up all sorts of different kind of ammo that is being labeled as “non-toxic”, “lead-free”, “saves the whales”, and all manner of other labels. Since I haven’t shot all this ammo, I’ll only address the types of “non-toxic” and “lead-free” ammo that I’ve used.
First up is the Winchester “WinClean” line of ammunition. WinClean is not lead free – instead the lead core of the bullet is fully encased in the brass jacket. I have used this stuff in revolvers, and as far as quality goes, it’s really not any different than Winchester White Box, except for the fact that it’s more expensive. Since it costs more for the same performance, WinClean gets a thumbs down from Ahab.
The only “lead free” ammo that I’ve used with any regularity is the MagTech First Defense round. Instead of a traditional copper jacket around a lead bullet, it uses a 100% copper bullet, which it claims provides “maximum weight retention”. They make a .38 Special +P load which pushes a 95 grain solid copper bullet around 1000 fps from my Ruger GP100. This ammo burned cleaned, grouped well, and did not overpower with recoil. I stopped using it in my carry guns when I came to the mathematically realization that I was basically pushing a souped up .380 downrage, when I could be pushing a 158 grain slug at 1100 fps with magnum loads. However, if you’re interested in top-shelf, lead free ammo, I would recommend MagTech First Defense.
There you go, that’s pretty much the sum total of my knowledge about lead-free/non-toxic ammo. Ya’ll feel free to add your two cents in the comments.