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Thread: Lead free ammo for indoor range use

  1. #1

    Lead free ammo for indoor range use

    Can anyone recommend any of the brands that advertise “lead free” or “clean” 9mm practice ammo? I’m going to be shooting indoors a few times a week for the foreseeable future and I’m trying to limit my exposure as much as possible.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Site Supporter ST911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Speer Lawman or Federal Ballisticlean RHT lead free frang. Many pallets downrange.
    الدهون القاع الفتيات لك جعل العالم هزاز جولة الذهاب

  3. #3
    Depends on how far you wanna take it. A fully encapsulated bullet(TMJ) can eliminate lead vapor from the bullet base which is where you want to start. However, regular primers have lead in them and leave a residue on the brass and in the barrel. You can get lead free primers, but they can be a sh*t show. Lead free primers are hydroscopic, meaning that they draw moisture from the environment(even from inside the cartridge). So, they have a shelf life before they start to go bad. Reliability of lead free primers is hit or miss even from newly purchased ammo.

    Fully encapsulated copper bullets(total metal jacket TMJ), or polymer coated lead bullets are the way to go. Speer Blazer, CCI Blazer, Federal Champion are good examples. No FMJ. Also, most modern defensive hollow points are rolled from the rear of the bullet now days so that the bullet base is encapsulated in copper to prevent lead vapor. Examples of these would be Speer Gold Dots and Federal HST.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Federal Syntech fits that bill, too. Coated bullets and lead-free primers.

  5. #5
    Old man yelling at cloud OlongJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    "carbine-infested rural (and suburban) areas"
    I don't have links at hand, but there is research that shows the other metals in lead-free primers are actually more acutely toxic in the short term than the lead stiphnate in regular primers, so if you're shooting with ventilation that isn't good enough for lead, it's not good enough for lead-free primers, either.

    TMJ or JHP/JFP that doesn't expose a lead bullet base to powder is your best bet. Don't shoot without good ventilation.

    The ventilation on most indoor ranges sucks donkey balls. (Or is that bites camel balls?) I can't tell you how many indoor ranges I've been to that had all kinds of reviews online saying how good their ventilation is, and you'll have grey boogers if you stay in there for any length of time.
    Not another dime.

  6. #6
    Does Not Even Operate RevolverRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Baddest Part of Town...
    Federal Syntech would probably by my range fodder of choice, indoors.

    But you have broader issues than your ammo choice indoors. It's whether to ventilation at the range is sufficient, that's really the problem.

    If you're going to start shooting indoors a lot. Go to the doc and have your lead levels checked NOW, so you have a baseline. Then have them checked again in 6-months. If you're seeing elevations, start taking additional precautions.

    It's always a good idea to use D-Lead wipes, change your clothes, and shower after shooting at the range. And to use Nitrile gloves when cleaning/handling solvents.
    "P-f: I lurked for wonderful combat pistolcraft advice, but I ponied up cash for my daily dose of Dada." - Baldanders

  7. #7
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    West Coast
    I've shot the following without issue through Gen 3 Glock 17, 19s, and 43s:

    Lead Free Bullet:
    Winchester Super Clean NT 90 grain (>2000 rounds), low recoil, heavy metal free primer
    Polycase RNP sports utility 65 grain Frangible (~500 rounds), very low recoil, unknown primer

    Remington 115 Grain UMC Leadless FNEB (~500 rounds), heavy metal free primer
    PMC eRange 115 Grain EMJ-NT (>2000 rounds), unknown primer
    147 grain Winchester Super-X Winclean FMJ encapsulated (>2000 rounds), heavy metal free primer
    115 Grain Magtech Clean Range FEB (>1000 rounds), lead free primer
    Federal 115 grain Syntech TSJ (>1000 Rounds), my stock did not specify their primers, but are now come with lead free primers
    115, 124 and 147 grain Speer Lawman TMJ (>2000 rounds) - Note: only Clean-fire brand has heavy metal free primers

    Have not tried:
    American Eagle Indoor Range Training 9mm Luger, encapsulated, lead free primer

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ST911 View Post
    Speer Lawman or Federal Ballisticlean RHT lead free frang. Many pallets downrange.
    I thought frangible bullets ate barrels based on some FTO comments here.
    Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the responses. You guys have me researching respirators

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Depending on when/where you go, the amount of rounds you shoot at an indoor range will be a very small percentage of the total rounds fired there.

    Sadly, you cannot control what other people do at public ranges. From some of the things I have seen, lead poisoning will rank among the lowest threats...
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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