Thanks to EPA regulations, state regulations, and military goals, traditional lead ammo is on its way out and “green bullets” are on their way in.
As Breitbart News reported on December 1, EPA regulations led to the closing of the Herculaneam lead smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri, which is expected to push up prices for traditional lead ammo.
On top of this are regulations like the recent statewide lead ammo ban in California. Signed by Governor Jerry Brown (D) on October 11, this ban forces hunters to seek out nontraditional alternatives for their ammunition. In this way, the ban mandates “green bullets” by default.
Moreover, as Fox News reports, the military has set 2018 as its target date to have troops operating lead-ammo-free. “Green bullets” have been under testing at Picatinny Arsenal since 2010, and the Army plans to issue “a lead-free version of the 7.62 mm rounds fired from M-14 rifles… in 2014.” The Army already switched to a greener 5.56 mm “enhanced performance round” in 2010.
With the military committing to the switch, the EPA making smelting a tougher business, and governors passing state-level lead ammo bans, experts say “lead bullets will be all but phased out within a few years in favor of so-called green bullets.”
Does the new ammo perform as well as the old? That is one question that has yet to be answered.