Monday, February 25, 2013

Get the Lead Out!

Is this the future of ammunition?

C.O.P copper only projectile
All copper bullet called  C.O.P made by Rare Ammo.
It’s a solid copper hollow point bullet.  No lead at all!

It’s been proposed by various members of the shooting community that the attack on firearms will be directed at ammo.  The attack, they suggest, will come from the EPA and leveled at individual shooters and not ammo manufacturers.  It will be legal to make lead ammo and to own lead ammo, but illegal to shoot lead ammo.  This is a similar attack on lead shot used for bird hunting. 

Copper, of course, is expensive as compared to lead.  It’s also harder to work with.  Lead melts at 621 degrees F but copper melts at 1981 degrees F.  You will not find too many people casting their own copper bullets.  The increased temperature will make that difficult.  Besides where would you find cheap copper?  Even pennies aren’t made of copper anymore.

different view of C.O.P. HP
It's a hollow point but you got to lose the jacketed part in its description.

You can have all the guns you want but if you can’t get ammo for them….

Rare Ammo Company is making a cartridge called COP, Copper Only Projectile.  The rounds come in several weights and velocities.  For example, I could get 9 mm 115 gr with velocities of 1123 or 1242 ft/sec or I could have gotten a 95 grain bullet at 1250 ft/sec.

The density of lead is 1.2X that of copper so the all-copper bullet must be 1.2X bigger to have the same weight as a lead bullet.  The small extra length probably will not make any difference in spin stabilization or resonance time in the barrel.

These bullets are flying ash trays, with a deep hollow point and internal scoring to assist in full expansion.

the hollow point is pre-fragmented for max expansion
Do you know what this reminds me of?  Look below!

This is a large mouth Lamprey Eel.  I know I'm going have bad dreams tonight!

That’s all well and good, but will it work for stopping a VCA?

Here’s part of the sales pitch:

These bullets are being carried by several police forces because they provide high stopping power with limited penetration as to not endanger the people behind the target.  No over penetration, even at high velocities and weight.

side view of all copper bullet showing internal expansion cuts
Do you believe in magic?
Sounds like the magic bullet.  The question to ask is, over penetration compared to what?  Full metal jacketed lead, steel-jacketed Wolf ammo or pre-scored performance ammo like Winchester Ranger SXT or Federal Hydra-Shok?

I have no answers to these questions.

Part of the sales pitch was also the environmental soundness of lead free bullets.

My insight?  Environmentally, I don’t know.  Some drinking water limits:

Copper  1.3 mg/liter

Lead     0.01 mg/liter   That’s a lot lower than copper.

It would seem copper is less harmful in your water.  Seems reasonable, we have copper pipes and lead-free solder.

The question then becomes how reactive is copper and lead to environmental conditions.  Again, I don’t know.

So what do I know?

I know that both guns and ammo chosen for police departments are not selected based on performance, but on some bean counter’s financial analysis of the gun, ammo and potential legal damages.  If you could convince the accounting department that the officer on the street could get the same performance they have now with reduced operating costs and reduced legal settlements, the cops would be carrying slingshots and shooting paper clips dipped in nitroglycerin.

I’d stick with proven performers.

PS:  I also know the Rare Ammo website has been down for 2 days.  Maybe they have skipped town.

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