skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 228446 Find in a Library
Title: Getting the Lead Out: Green Ammo
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:36  Issue:8  Dated:August 2009  Pages:30,32,35
Author(s): Tabatha Wethal
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In this article, bullet and cartridge manufacturers and shooting range compliance specialists discuss the “green” (environmentally friendly) trends in ammunition, which does not contain lead or has limited use of lead in its bullet, shot, or primer.
Abstract: High levels of lead can cause “brain or nervous system damage, behavior and learning problems … slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches,” in children, according to an EPA fact sheet. In addition, lead poisoning can cause adults to have “reproductive problems, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain." There are various problems with the long-term use of lead ammunition on shooting ranges, as well as complications associated with an abrupt change from lead to training rounds composed of other materials. The chemical changes that can occur after “green” ammo materials change the pH of the soil in an outdoor range can cause the lead preserved in the soil to leach more quickly, increasing the pace of ground water poisoning. Under such a circumstance, change to a lead-free bullet after a range has been using lead bullets for some time can be more hazardous than maintaining lead rounds on the range; however, using lead-free ammunition from the outset of a range's construction can reduce the costs of range clean up and ease recycling efforts. This article notes some of the precautionary measures that must be taken into account when using “green” ammunition such as copper-jacketed bullets and steel shot. In addition, alternatives to lead ammunition are all more expensive. Despite current market conditions, however, manufacturers and veteran shooters expect ammunition to proceed further down the lead-free path within the next decade.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Ammunition; Cost analysis; Environmental quality; Firearm ranges; Police facilities
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.