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Why is lead ammunition being banned?

The HSE consultation period here in the UK has ended. They have made some revisions to allow certain athletes to continue to shoot lead ammunition for target shooting. One has to ask, which manufacturer will continue to make this ammunition in such small quantities? To produce it will no longer be commercially viable surely? Air guns have escaped the ban. However, lead shot for use in shotguns and lead ammunition for hunting will be banned in the UK. Europe are following suit in a slightly different guise.

The argument against the ban has hinged predominantly on the commercial viability and the lack of ‘credible’ alternatives being available. This isn’t a new argument and has been used to great effect for the past twenty years, each time a ban was approached the same excuse was used. Each time the various government bodies backed down with a threat that an alternative needed to be found. We’ve been asked several times why/how we’ve come up with an alternative with our new patent pending alloy, Hortonium, when the large ammunition manufacturers have not? It is simple, they didn’t want a credible alternative as that would have destroyed the main arguing point. Can you blame them? We certainly can’t. Imagine being in a position where your business utilises a commodity that has been $2,600 per ton for 20 years that no one else wants!! Ka-Ching!

When shooting lead over water was banned twenty years (give or take) ago in the US, a very wealthy man called Robert M Lee suggested to the shotgun cartridge manufacturers that they use Bismuth, they ignored him due to the fear it would speed up a lead ban. So, this isn’t a new thing. He got fed up of nagging those various companies and ended up setting his own cartridge company up to produce Bismuth shot shells. They ended up following suit anyway.

The lead ban isn’t an attack on shooting in our view, every other industry has already had a ban on lead. Did BASC and others organisations throw an industry under the bus by coming up with a voluntary move away from lead? Or have they given us time to transition? Remember the US has 7 states already under a lead ban and 10 more on consultation, many of them didn’t get any stay of execution.

Regardless of what we think, below is a report from Thermo Fisher Scientific on Lead shot (Lead, Antinomy and Arsenic) which clearly states the potential risks on the use of lead shot. Hortonium, if you were wondering has been classified as non-toxic and meets all Defra requirements, we will publish that report in the first quarter of next year when all patents are in place.



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