|02-20-2004, 08:25 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2004
Tell about switching from Cast Lead to Jacket/Plated bullets
It's been a couple of days since the latest post. I thought I'd start a new subject. A year ago, I had myself tested for lead. Much to my surprise, I discovered that my lead level was elevated. I decided to switch from Laser Cast 200 SWC to jacket/plated bullets for 45 ACP bullseye shooting. I tried a half dozen kinds with about that many different kinds of powders. I never found a combination that was as accurate as 3.8 Clays under the Laser Cast 200 SWC (COL 1.250", Remington cases, Federal GM150M). The best load was 4.7 Clays under the Hornady 185 target SWC (COL 1.190"). My scores dropped from 93-97 to 90-95 at fifty yards. The good news is that a year later, my lead levels have dropped significantly.
I attribute this to two changes. First is the change to jacketed/plated bullets (I was already doing things like using gloves and not breathing the dust from corn cob/walnut shell medium). The second is being very careful to not breath the dust (from primers?) when I sweep up my empties at the range.
There are two ways this topic can go. I'd like to hear about the experiences of others regarding lead and I'm always interested in hearing about accurate loads (capable of 93+ at 50 yards).
|02-22-2004, 10:04 AM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Well, I don't know what to tell you. I have never worried about lead, but that is because I thought I took the proper precautions. I used to cast many bullets. I find it hard to believe that you could suffer serious lead levels from simply handling cast bullets.
It would be interesting to compare lead levels between my self and my shooting friend. He and I used to cast bullets together, he would smoke contiinously while casting. I do not think that this is a good idea. He probably loads more lead bullets than I do, though I am increasingly going to cast bullets. (For economy).
As I understand it, children & women of child bearing age are the ones that have to worry about lead exposure. (Not that I mean us old time males can chew on lead paint!)
Primers would be my main concern with lead exposure. This would apply to indoor ranges. Indoor ranges without proper ventilation might present a problem with lead from the backstop. I seldom ever shoot indoors. I seldom ever cast anymore. Whatever loss of brain function I have suffered over the years I would tend to attribute to alcohol & old age.
The lead free primers have not been reliable for me. I do not trust them for serious purposes. Interestingly, my 9mm AR15 has given me failures to fire, while my pistols have not. Believe me, it is not because the AR has too light a strike!
I may be wrong, but until some one points out the error of my ways, I will say that it is lead dust, lead vapor, that causes problems. Solid lead, such as cast bullets, is safe to handle, with proper precautions. This is, of course, for adult males, and females past child bearing capability.
|02-22-2004, 05:23 PM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2004
I think I agree with you. When I switched to plated/jacketed, I really changed only two things. The first is that I'm really careful when I sweep up my empties not to breath the dust. The second is that the smoke from my own shooting is much less (presumably from the lack of lubercation). I've never avoided smoke before (in fact, I like the smell of gun smoke and Hoppes #9). I think that those changes, more than the handling of the bullets made the difference. However, it was a pretty big change. My lead level dropped to 1/3. I'm tempted go back to cast lead again but I think I'll give the plated/jacketed a second year (there is always another bullet/powder to try).
|02-27-2004, 03:00 PM||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2003
About ten years ago I was feeling a bit pekid during winter and saw my primary care doc who gave me a comprehensive physical. One of the questions he asked was, "What are your hobbies these days?"
I told him I had been doing a ton of reloading...especially bullet casting, thousands of bullets a week.
I was casting in a heated attic, in winter, with no ventilation, just sniffing in fumes and flux.
He was startled, and insisted on blood lead levels.
To my surprise, my lead levels came in BELOW normal. Now, of course, the type of lead exposure certainly may be different in casting than it is in bullet-bustin' in an indoor range. But I have casted about a trillion bullets since then, and have not had any side effects.
Just my own observation.
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