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Captain Bill Burt

Coated Bullets Question

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Since my former bullet supplier, Valiant, is out of business I'm trying out bullets from different manufacturers.  I'm currently trying some coated .38s and I like the way they load on my Dillon.  It makes sense to me that loading coated bullets would somewhat cut down on my lead exposure while loading, but I'm wondering what effect the coating has on lead exposure when the bullets are fired.  

 

Does anyone have any information, or conjecture on whether coated bullets reduce the amount of lead released when the bullet is fired?  Perhaps less lead accumulation in the gun and on the brass?

 

I suspect the majority of my exposure is when cleaning brass (from the dust).  Since my last lead test was a bit high I've gotten better about always washing my hands after loading, cleaning brass or shooting.

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My guess is, for OUTDOOR shooting in Cowboy matches, your biggest exposure to INHALED lead dust comes from, in order of most chance for severe exposure:

1) shotgun pellets breaking up into fine gray dust at the range when they hit targets that are as close as 4 yards or so

2) lead primer residue and lead dust that comes off of fired cases and expended primers as you handle them during case cleaning and preparing to reload.  (clean cases outdoors or with strong positive ventilation, or wet tumble and be careful of disposal of the waste)

3) lead primer dust carried out with combustion gases as the bullet leaves the barrel.

4) then fine fragments from solid bullets breaking up on close targets

5) then fine lead fragments that come off of uncoated bullets in the barrel due to friction and the cutting action from the grooves and lands in the barrel.

 

My guesses also are that mouth ingestion of lead is controlled VERY well by avoiding eating and drinking during case prep and loading, and washing well after doing those chores. That is the strong industry precaution, and they've got lots of experience.

 

I've never been worried about fine lead on fingertips getting into my body through any penetration or absorption process (because those generally require the lead to have been dissolved into a liquid before it can get into the skin).   

 

So, overall, I really don't see that using coated rather than uncoated bullets will make a difference in your blood lead readings.    If that is what you are asking.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Since we shoot outside-Lead exposure from firing is minimal.

The real exposure is from dry tumbling the fired cases in your garage.  Then the separation of the media from these cases.

You MUST wear a mask and plastic gloves when using the media/case separator.

With that said-The real benefit of coated bullets is the fact your seat & crimp dies stay clean.

OLG

 

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34 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Since my former bullet supplier, Valiant, is out of business I'm trying out bullets from different manufacturers.  I'm currently trying some coated .38s and I like the way they load on my Dillon.  It makes sense to me that loading coated bullets would somewhat cut down on my lead exposure while loading, but I'm wondering what effect the coating has on lead exposure when the bullets are fired.  

 

Does anyone have any information, or conjecture on whether coated bullets reduce the amount of lead released when the bullet is fired?  Perhaps less lead accumulation in the gun and on the brass?

 

I suspect the majority of my exposure is when cleaning brass (from the dust).  Since my last lead test was a bit high I've gotten better about always washing my hands after loading, cleaning brass or shooting.

PM-ed ya.

 

Waimea

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31 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

My guess is, for OUTDOOR shooting in Cowboy matches, your biggest exposure to INHALED lead dust comes from, in order of most chance for severe exposure:

1) shotgun pellets breaking up into fine gray dust at the range when they hit targets that are as close as 4 yards or so

2) lead primer residue and lead dust that comes off of fired cases and expended primers as you handle them during case cleaning and preparing to reload.  (clean cases outdoors or with strong positive ventilation, or wet tumble and be careful of disposal of the waste)

3) lead primer dust carried out with combustion gases as the bullet leaves the barrel.

4) then fine fragments from solid bullets breaking up on close targets

5) then fine lead fragments that come off of uncoated bullets in the barrel due to friction and the cutting action from the grooves and lands in the barrel.

 

My guesses also are that mouth ingestion of lead is controlled VERY well by avoiding eating and drinking during case prep and loading, and washing well after doing those chores. That is the strong industry precaution, and they've got lots of experience.

 

I've never been worried about fine lead on fingertips getting into my body through any penetration or absorption process (because those generally require the lead to have been dissolved into a liquid before it can get into the skin).   

 

So, overall, I really don't see that using coated rather than uncoated bullets will make a difference in your blood lead readings.    If that is what you are asking.

 

Good luck, GJ

That is what I'm asking.  I don't worry much about absorption through my fingers either.  My primary concern is during cleaning cases and then lead generated when the rounds are fired.  I was specifically wondering if the coated bullets reduced lead exposure due to your #s

 

2. lead dust off of fired cases when they're being cleaned

and 

5. coated bullets generating less lead dust in the barrel

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20 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

The lead from empty cases, comes from the primer compound.

 

Yep  - we use lead styphnate priming compound in most commercial primers - unless you are loading with the new non-toxic primers.    There's no apprecialble amount of lead coming off the solid lead bullets and being left on the cases.  If there were, you MIGHT be able to see a little gray smear inside the mouth of cases.   But I've never seen that happen.   It's all the black smokey residue from the primer going off.   If you want to see that lead styphnate ash - fire a shotgun hull with only a primer.  The barrel will be filthy, and I'd bet that ash is at least 20% lead.

 

22 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

5. coated bullets generating less lead dust in the barrel

I think that's minuscule, compared to whole slugs being fragmented and even worse, an ounce of shot pulverized every shotshell.

 

If you want to reduce lead intake, clean fired cases VERY carefully and maybe buy non-toxic primers (if they are available to reloaders).  And don't RO.

 

Good luck, GJ

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1 hour ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

They are in Australia. ;)

OLG

Email is inexpensive.  :D

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One of my friends found his lead level was getting high.  Found out he was introducing lead into his system while cleaning his revolvers. picking it up thru cracks in his hands in the cleaning solvent.  Started wearing gloves      GW

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1 hour ago, G W Wade said:

One of my friends found his lead level was getting high.  Found out he was introducing lead into his system while cleaning his revolvers. picking it up thru cracks in his hands in the cleaning solvent.  Started wearing gloves      GW

 

Excellent preventative measure!   We forget about cleaning being a potential source most of the time!   That might be one of the biggest concerns, actually.   It's just so hard to pin the "possibles" down and figure out which are the "likely's"  because it takes time for blood lead to change.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

 

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