Lead free bullets

Ronin

Distinguished Member
Used lead free lathe turned solid s for the last ten years

Superb results with the brand I use

Excellent accuracy and terminal ballistics
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
I have been using them for the best part of 20 years with great satisfaction. In my hands I get more deer drop on the spot than with lead bullets and I get less meat damage. In General it seems best to maintain muzzle velocity higher (>3000fps is a good starting point) by using a lighter bullet such as a 130g or less in 308, a 100g or 120g in 6.5 and 110g in 270. Don't worry you won't lose more meat as the bullets often don't come to bits like lead bullets do. Beware of the factory ammo designed for large overseas game like the 308 win federal with the 168g TSX as the velocity is too low to force expansion on our smaller UK deer.
 

mathieson

Well-Known Member
been testing lead free in my 7x57 recently useing geco eco and reloading fox bullets both have been very effective accuracy is good with the geco factory loaded but better with the home loaded fox bullets both have worked well on fallow which is all Ive used them on so far the down side with factory ammunition is the cost being more expensive than the equivalent in lead reloading tho makes more sense edinburgh rifles are able to supply fox bullets for reloading in most calibres as well as factory loaded ammunition
 

ChanonryMac

Well-Known Member
Fox bullets.

Test results were complete bloody rubbish. Never got to deer. Bullets were so far apart I could not describe it as a group. Never seen anything like it out of a 308. Hand loads have always been between 0.75 and 0.5 moa. This stuff was 6" @ 100 at least. All vertical. Identical load but with lead bullet same day etc etc - 0.5 moa.

Velocities were ~200 fps slower than "suggested". Could not replicate the suggested load on Quickload never mind in the real world.

Clearly others are happy, but certainly not my experience. Disappointing to say the least.
 

Erik Hamburger

Well-Known Member
I have been using Barnes, RWS and also Lapua Naturalis, lead-free. They work just like any other bullet: If you hit a deer in the right spot it dies. Only problem is they are expensive compared to lead bullets.
There are some old-wives tales going round that lead-free bullets don't expand, and as a result wounded deer may run much further. Some very solid research has been done in Germany, (no doubt somebody would like to dig that out and post it on here) and the conclusion of that research was that there is no difference in killing power or wounding rate when you compare lead and non-lead bullets. To me it appears that non-lead bullets expand as well as lead, but retain most or all of their mass, therefore it is reasonable to conclude there will be less contamination of metal fragments in the meat. I also seem to notice less meat damage but in all fairness that is not a solid conclusion as I haven't shot sufficient or kept proper records.
The one and only good reason to favour non-lead over lead is if the landowner requires it - and quite a few now do.
 

Edinburgh Rifles

Well-Known Member
That is disappointing to hear.
You are correct that they are working and very accurate on the hole, we supply 5 regions of Forestry Commission and numerous estate with volumes that are now over 20,000 rounds in the last 12 months

The .308 130gr factory round is printing 1cm groups at 100m and 3cm in factory ammo form in tikka, sako, ruger, howa, blaser and remington factory rifles to name a few that we have tested or had results back from shooters.

The targets attached are .308 130gr factory, (target provided by FC ranger, Tikka t3), .270 130gr factory ammo (sako AV), .243 factory ammo (ruger m77).
The roe deer had his eyes added by me at 135yds with 150gr factory ammo (tikka t3)

Can I ask what load data you used and in what rifle?

I would be happy to help you fix the problem with some known data as the bullets have been proven to work in so many cartridges and rifle combinations now its hard to see how you would be getting 6" groups without some major issue in the load or rifle?
Vertical stringing at 100m is not usually associated with missing the accuracy node in the rifle's harmonics, it would be more common to shoot a larger group than normal but in and around the point of aim

Please feel free to contact me directly on ed@ersg.com

The load data for the factory 308 is:
130gr 45gr N135 COL 69.5mm
150gr 45gr N540 COL 69.5mm
165gr 44.4gr RS50 COL 69.5mm

Fox bullets.

Test results were complete bloody rubbish. Never got to deer. Bullets were so far apart I could not describe it as a group. Never seen anything like it out of a 308. Hand loads have always been between 0.75 and 0.5 moa. This stuff was 6" @ 100 at least. All vertical. Identical load but with lead bullet same day etc etc - 0.5 moa.

Velocities were ~200 fps slower than "suggested". Could not replicate the suggested load on Quickload never mind in the real world.

Clearly others are happy, but certainly not my experience. Disappointing to say the least.
 

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stevenedwards

Well-Known Member
Fox bullets.

Test results were complete bloody rubbish. Never got to deer. Bullets were so far apart I could not describe it as a group. Never seen anything like it out of a 308. Hand loads have always been between 0.75 and 0.5 moa. This stuff was 6" @ 100 at least. All vertical. Identical load but with lead bullet same day etc etc - 0.5 moa.

Velocities were ~200 fps slower than "suggested". Could not replicate the suggested load on Quickload never mind in the real world.

Clearly others are happy, but certainly not my experience. Disappointing to say the least.
I have had some disappointing result with copper bullets in my 6.5x55 M03 the groups were not as good as hand loaded lead rounds however in the 243 which has a 1:8 twist rate its another story. The groups are equal to the best performing lead rounds. I think the twist rate is the issue. Mauser/Blaser 6.5's have a 1:8.7 twist which may not be fast enough. Feed the thing with Fox 100gr and it seems able to stabilise the shorter projectile and give good results but the longer 120 gr plus bullets pattern rather than group in my barrel. I am about to put the first 120 gr copper loads through the 6.5 Creedmoor which is 1:8 twist, we will see.

I didn't get to 6" but GMX were the worst at around 4.25 inches and fox the least bad at around 2.5" 80gr copper out of the 243 is really good so it can be done given the right gear.
 

Treedave

Well-Known Member
I’ve used a variety of copper bullets, in both factory and home load, across a few calibres for over 15 years. They all work well when their particular limitations are worked with eg drop the weight (95 gr GSC for the 6.5), external ballistics (sub 200m for 130 gr fox factory and sub 300m for 120gr GSC - both for 7-08), keep it fast (3100 fps m.v. for 6.5)

Just like any bullet, lead free or otherwise, find the one that shoots in your rifle. If you’re loading them they may need a different approach than the leaded versions, but then if you change 25% of the formula, why do you expect the answer to be the same.

As for the cost situation, last time I checked I only use one bullet per deer. Does it really matter if I spend £2.50 or £3.50 to harvest £30 of venison?
 

Rutland lad

Well-Known Member
I have had some disappointing result with copper bullets in my 6.5x55 M03 the groups were not as good as hand loaded lead rounds however in the 243 which has a 1:8 twist rate its another story. The groups are equal to the best performing lead rounds. I think the twist rate is the issue. Mauser/Blaser 6.5's have a 1:8.7 twist which may not be fast enough. Feed the thing with Fox 100gr and it seems able to stabilise the shorter projectile and give good results but the longer 120 gr plus bullets pattern rather than group in my barrel. I am about to put the first 120 gr copper loads through the 6.5 Creedmoor which is 1:8 twist, we will see.

I didn't get to 6" but GMX were the worst at around 4.25 inches and fox the least bad at around 2.5" 80gr copper out of the 243 is really good so it can be done given the right gear.
Hi Steve I'm just playing with a load for my 6.5 x 55 MO3 using Barnes 120 grain TSX. Group is currently less than a 1p piece at 100 yds. I'm confident I can improve that by playing with the seating depth, but it's certainly good enough to go deer stalking. With my .300 Winmag barrel on shooting 180 grain TSX I can get three rounds in the are covered by a 20p piece as shown on the left. Don't give up on the copper, I am exclusively lead free on my permissions and they do work very well.
 

Pete6.5

Well-Known Member
I'm planning on using the120gr ttsx out of a 6.5x47 so any reloading data would be greatly appreciated (and I would prefer to use vit powders if possible thanks again every one for adding to this thread. I can only see this sort of thing getting more important in deer stalking.
 

Davee

Well-Known Member
I've had no problems with Fox 123grn in 6.5x55, best 5 shot group 14mm -at 100m- the rest sub MOA. I used the load that Ed suggested 42grn N550 with OAL of 74mm, runs at 2855 fps which is 70 fps faster than QL predicts.
 

stevenedwards

Well-Known Member
Hi Steve I'm just playing with a load for my 6.5 x 55 MO3 using Barnes 120 grain TSX. Group is currently less than a 1p piece at 100 yds. I'm confident I can improve that by playing with the seating depth, but it's certainly good enough to go deer stalking. With my .300 Winmag barrel on shooting 180 grain TSX I can get three rounds in the are covered by a 20p piece as shown on the left. Don't give up on the copper, I am exclusively lead free on my permissions and they do work very well.
Appreciate the encouragement, as Grandad said, persistence pays, so I will keep trying as I would really like it to work.
 

mathieson

Well-Known Member
Fox bullets.

Test results were complete bloody rubbish. Never got to deer. Bullets were so far apart I could not describe it as a group. Never seen anything like it out of a 308. Hand loads have always been between 0.75 and 0.5 moa. This stuff was 6" @ 100 at least. All vertical. Identical load but with lead bullet same day etc etc - 0.5 moa.

Velocities were ~200 fps slower than "suggested". Could not replicate the suggested load on Quickload never mind in the real world.

Clearly others are happy, but certainly not my experience. Disappointing to say the least.
6 inch stringing seems excessive all I can say is reloading with fox bullets accuracy has been good through my heym as for quoted velocity of factory ammo Ive never found any yet that achieved their quoted figures attached photo is fox 123g 7x57 loaded over 42grns of vit N140 at 100 yrds
 

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