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Manufacturers of Non-lead Bullets

Luckily, alternatives exist that are made of either 100% copper or copper alloys (gilding metal - 95% copper & 5% zinc) that expand similarly to lead-core bullets, but without all the fragmentation. These non-lead bullets give you the stopping power of lead, as the rapid expansion provides the hydrostatic shock needed to give a quick kill. But because they don't break apart, non-lead bullets continue to travel through the target further disrupting tissues and breaking bones adding to the stopping power. In addition, the non-lead bullets typically will pass through the animal leaving an exit wound close to twice the diameter of the entrance wound. This results in greater blood loss and a better blood trail.

Barnes Triple-Shock (left) and Nosler e-Tip (right) are two non-lead designs that both show similar expansion of nearly twice the bullet diameter.

Many companies now produce non-lead center-fire rifle bullets including Barnes, Hornady, Remington, Winchester, Federal and Nosler.



Find Bullets

We understand that finding ammunition for a particular rifle can be difficult, especially so with hard-to-find calibers.  While HWNL does not endorse any manufacturer or retailer over another, here are a few helpful tips to find ammo:

» To find common cartridges, use a search function such as gunbot.net or ammoseek.com.

» If it isn’t found by using a search function, find a custom ammunition loader.  Custom loaders can make any known cartridge, and some will use once-fired brass from the client to reduce costs.

» Visiting your local gun store and asking for non-lead ammunition may be the most convenient way to purchase non-lead ammunition. Knowing what brands and bullet models are available in non-lead before going to your local store is always a good idea.

» Bullets are widely available and we have found 293 cartridges loaded with non-lead bullets made by custom loaders. 

» Lastly, email nonlead@iws.org and use our experience to help you find the cartridge for you.


California DFW List of Certified Non-lead Ammo


  EMAIL US nonlead@iws.org