Course LogoFirearm Examiner Training
Print Page Previous PageNext Page

Lead-Free Bullets

Home > Small Arms Ammunition > Projectiles > Other Jacket-forming Technology > Lead Free Bullets

Health and safety concerns over lead have necessitated the development and production of bullets that do not contain lead. This is a matter of concern for all firearms users, including those who use indoor ranges, hunters, and the military.

All-copper bullet

Image courtesy of Taurus International

All-Copper Bullets

Unlike traditional jacketed bullets, all-copper bullets (formed through impact extrusion) do not have a lead core. Hunting bullets of this type have hollow points to permit expansion, as required by hunting regulations. Although expanding solid copper bullets can be manufactured in one step, they are commonly processed in a number of steps that promote bullet expansion.

Hybrid Bullets

Hybrid lead-free bullets typically combine a metal heavier than lead (such as tungsten) suspended in a matrix of polymer thermoplastic. Heavy metals help to reduce the weight gap between lead or lead-core bullets and all-copper bullets. Hybrid bullets are the best alternative for semiautomatic firearms and provide a more realistic training experience.

Frangible Bullets

Frangible bullets are designed to crumble into small pieces on impact with a rigid target or backstop. The most common process for producing frangible bullets is sintering. For example, sintered powders of copper mixed with other metals (such as tin) and binders will crumble as required.

< Previous Page  ::  Next Page >

Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners logo
Submit Change Request