US Army switching to ‘green’ bullets — ‘“This makes the projectile environmentally-friendly’

The Daily Caller reports:

The U.S. Army is taking the expression “get the lead out” quite literally and switching to lead-free, environmentally-friendly bullets.

The Army’s Picatinny Arsenal is working on a “green” version of the M80A1 7.62 mm bullet, which troops are supposed to start being issued in 2014, according to an Army press release.

The Army has been looking to “green” small caliber ammo for some time now. In 2010, the Army switched to the greener 5.56 mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round.

“The EPR replaces the lead slug with a copper slug,” said Lt. Col. Phil Clark, product manager for small caliber ammunition in the Program Executive Officer Ammunition. “This makes the projectile environmentally-friendly, while still giving soldiers the performance capabilities they need on the battlefield. So far we have eliminated 1,994 metric tons of lead from 5.56 ammunition production.”

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20 responses to “US Army switching to ‘green’ bullets — ‘“This makes the projectile environmentally-friendly’

  1. As far as I know, solid lead is inert in the environment. Now, if the bullet has better ballistics or is cheaper, yay team. But “greener”? Surely we jest.

  2. Copper exposed to acids from rotting foliage is no different than lead exposed to the same acids — that’s why East Coast shooting ranges sprinkle lye on the soil. Don’t throw pennies into a Koi Pond!

  3. Of course copper is less dense than lead, so the bullets will have less energy, shorter range and penetrate less. Way to fuck your soldiers over with less capable weapons to promote your political agenda. But at least you to protect the environment…

    - one time 11B 3/27 INF (Wolfhounds)

  4. Tungsten is really, really green.

  5. Not so fast on the lethality of copper bullets…accuracy with copper bullets is superior to lead. As far as the greening of the military, bah…a properly utilized military completes its mission, then USAID comes in to clean up the mess.

  6. Being Green is its own reward.

  7. Our local trap club has a lead-recovery project going on right now. Salvager digs up a few inches of topsoil, sorts out the lead pellets, puts the dirt back and puts the lead to use. Not practical for a combat environment. I’ve also recycled lead from a shooting range dirt berm; when we melted the metal mix for the lead, we skimmed the copper jackets off the top.
    The point of operational ammunition is to stop the enemy. There’s something to be said — there’s a lot to be said — for good stewardship of the training areas and fixed bases but a firefight is no place for that kind of thinking.

    • Also, a shooting range has far, far greater density of lead than a battlefield. A few thousand bullets in a football field versus a million bullets across half a country. No contest.

  8. Dead bodies are green–they fertilize the soil, with lead or copper bullets. Ammonium nitrate, used in explosives, is also a good source of nitrate.
    All the military should be concerned with is lethality and cost.

  9. I know a few people who have been living with lead fragments in them since WWII. They are doing fine. I guess the real grave concern is what will happen to that lead after they’ve died. It will contaminate the Environment! Lead being a man-made substance, that can’t be allowed.

    On the other hand, maybe lead is getting scarce and this is just a façade for a more serious concern.

  10. The agencies receiving the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition should be required to go green first since all those rounds will be released within the states. That would free up all those rounds of regular ammo for the private gun owners.
    We went through this years ago with the shot in shotgun shells. So much lead was being deposited in our waters that ducks were ingesting it (that was the story). Anyhow, these issues of insanity tend to run in cycles.

  11. Artillery high explosive rounds were (olive) green and you had your choice of green (bag) or white (bag) powder. Shell casings were steel, so you had no lead or copper to worry about.
    My job as a Field Artilleryman was to deliver timely, accurate and devastating fire without first filing environmental impact statements, publishing notices and have conferences with stakeholders. The only environmental impact I wanted was 18 rounds (battalion fire) landing on the same target at the same time. I probably wouldn’t fit into today’s action Army.
    I am very concerned that the current government playing this PC game with green fuels, green ammo, renewable energy and social engineering is going to unnecessarily get soldiers killed. Too bad our military is in the yessir, nossir, three bags full with this idiocy.

  12. Does this mean no more depleted-Uranium rounds for our tanks? That’ll really boost morale when our rounds fail to penetrate/disable the enemy’s tanks.

  13. Nerf warfare doesn’t really work. It gets your guys killed. Prove to me that these copper rounds are legitimately lethal and I’ll buy it. Not until them though.

  14. Shhhh, copper is toxic, too. As it oxidizes, just like lead, it forms toxic salts. We use copper-based paints as antifouling paint on boat and ship hulls. Shhh, they are too stupid to figure this out.

  15. Have they asked if our enemies are going to do so, too, so we can all play fair. I say, use green bullets, but jack up that caliber big time, that ‘s the only thing that’s going to make a difference.

  16. One way to be green is never go to war. But reality steps in at some stage.

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