Winchester Releases Two New “Super Clean” Lead Free Loadings

One of the biggest challenges for ranges is dealing with lead. While individual shots and rounds are tiny, the sheer amount of shots over time creates a unique challenge for air and ground. To avoid this, many ranges are moving towards lead-free loadings where possible, but progress has been slow due to few low-cost lead-free loadings.

Winchester Ammunition is out to help with the issue. Stating “The number of target shooters in the United States doubled between 2009 and 2014,” they have announced two new loadings of their Super Clean line, which is both airborne and downrange lead free. As a lead substitute, the loads are zinc core full metal jacketed.

The new Super Clean loads are directed at two common calibers for both range and target shooter training.

  • 9mm Luger, 90-grain ZFMJ load with a muzzle velocity of 1,325 fps
  • .40 S&W, 120-grain ZFMJ load with a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps

Velocity for the caliber is relatively high due to the lead substitute. Few materials are as dense as lead, which is typically why lead-free loads are light and fast. However, higher veolcity means flatter trajectory, good for target shooters.

Winchester states the new loads “are offered at affordable price points, which will allow for even more high-volume training.” For those looking to reload lead-free at home, no word on if the bullets themselves will be available as individual components.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Anonymoose

    Coming soon, to a California near you!

  • Bill

    “Affordable price points” would be a good thing, lead remediation is wicked expensive, as is trying to find someone who can translate the EPA and NIOSH rules into English. But when you start to multiply 115 grains times the thousands upon thousands of rounds fired over the course of a year, then the in buckshot, slugs and rifle rounds, it can add up really really fast.

    I just consider my outdoor range as a reverse lead mine: we are returning a naturally-occurring element to the ground from whence it came. The .gov does not share my viewpoint. We also have a lot of groundhogs and other woodland creatures with learning disabilities and neurological deficits.

    • If you have enough lead, there are companies that will remove your berms. Extract the lead, and put the berms back up. The cost is often free as they resell the lead. In fact it is quite common for outdoor ranges to do this every few years.

      The NRA has a good book on how to build ranges, and removing the berms to mine out the lead is a consideration in their design. When I build my range in the next couple of years I am going to follow as many of their recommendations that make sense for my range.

      • Austin

        I’ve seen a shot reclaimer in action, it dug up about a foot of dirt sifted the shot by size and dumped out the “cleaned” dirt right where it was initially. It was a very interesting machine to watch.

    • Anonymoose

      “We also have a lot of politicians and bureaucrats with learning disabilities and neurological deficits.”
      Fixed that for you.

  • John Yossarian

    “The number of target shooters in the United States doubled between 2009 and 2014.”

    So you’re telling me that making a racially-motivated decision for president didn’t bring a final end to divisions between the people of the United States?

    • Which has nothing to do with people shooting. I got into shooting because it is fun, heck much of my involvement today is because it is fun. Only about 10% of the time I spend shooting has any direct relationship to defensive shooting.

  • Surprised they didn’t go with solid cast zinc (similar to Z-clean) given that it would be substantially cheaper and simpler vs. a copper TMJ.

  • gunsandrockets

    Excellent! Do they offer this in other calibers? .38 special? .44 Special? .45 ACP?

  • Spencerhut

    The war against lead takes another step forward. I’ve been casting, shooting, recovering and repeating for many years. I have perfectly normal lead levels in my blood. This zinc junk is nothing but a progressive step toward less and less effective civilian ammunition.
    Have you shot any of the zinc .22LR? Complete garbage. They need a jacket on these new Winchester rounds or else the zinc would strip off in the bore, and removing zinc from a barrel makes removing lead look easy.

    One more reason indoor ranges suck.

    • SignalFromTheRim

      Your paranoia has reached clinical levels. I suggest seeing a mental health professional at your earliest possible convenience.

      • Spencerhut

        I suggest you shove your head back in the sand.

    • LG

      Zinc deposits can totally ruin a target barrel, no matter how well the cleaning is performed. Also remember, with less dense materials in bullets, in order to achieve the same bullet mass, it must necessarily grow in length. So if one wants the same mass bullet, a longer slug is needed necessitating faster rifling for stabilization. Alternatively a lighter slug of the same length will not perform as well with external ballistics or terminal performance.

  • Ben Pottinger

    What concerns me about some of this stuff is longevity. Especially the primers. I don’t know if it’s still a problem but lead-free primers used to have a shelf life of 5-7 years or less. I’m only 38 and yet already have primers from 2004 on my shelf. I just loaded up some 45 and 9mm using primers from the early 70s that had been passed down to me and they work flawlessly. Primers older than me!!