Non-lead rifle hunting ammunition: issues of availability and performance in Europe
Non-lead hunting rifle bullets were developed to make superior quality ammunition, and the need to reduce lead exposure of wildlife and humans. European and US hunters’ concerns about non-lead bullets involve perceptions of availability, costs, efficacy, accuracy, toxicity, and barrel fouling. These concerns are politically powerful and, if not addressed, could thwart greater use of non-lead ammunition. Product availability (i.e. that which is made) of non-lead rifle ammunition in a wide range of calibres is large in Europe and is suited for all European hunting situations. At least 13 major European companies make non-lead bullets for traditional, rare, and novel rifle calibres. Local retail availability is now a function of consumer demand which relates, directly, to legal requirements for use. Costs of non-lead and equivalent lead-core hunting bullets are similar in Europe and pose no barrier to use. Efficacy of non-lead bullets is equal to that of traditional lead-core bullets. Perceptions of reduced accuracy and greater barrel fouling must be addressed by industry and hunter organizations and, if verified, resolved. Non-lead bullets are made in fragmenting and non-fragmenting versions, but there is no advice to hunters yet given on the use of these two bullet types. The non-toxicity of ingested metallic copper, the principal component of non-lead bullets, is scientifically well-established.
KeywordsBullets Ballistics Concerns Efficacy Fragmenting Fouling
|Funder Name||Grant Number||Funding Note|
|15 Juni Fonden, Denmark|
|German Federal Ministry Food Agriculture, Bonn|