Production of Alternative Ammunition

    RUAG Frangible Lead-Free Ammunition

    Last year the Governor of California signed into law a bill that will ban all hunting in the state with lead-based ammunition by mid-2019. Because of this ban, the NSSF has been investigating the production of non-lead ammunition. They have just published a report into US production of  alternative (non-lead) ammunition. I found the following chart very interesting. It shows percentage-wise the amount of leaded hunting ammunition consumed in California verses the amount of alternative ammunition produced in the USA. For all but the three most common medium-sized game hunting calibers (.30-06, .308 Win and .270 Win.), Californian demand will far outstrip domestic supply:

    ammunition production


    What exactly this could mean is discussed in the report, but ultimately it is not known. It may mean increased imports (although I don’t know how many manufacturers worldwide are interested in producing 8mm or .204 copper bullets), it may mean that hunters just stop using certain calibers in California, or maybe the gap will be completely fill by domestic manufacturers by 2019. I think the most likely scenario is that Californian hunters will abandon niche calibers and only shoot the popular calibers with affordable non-lead ammunition available.

    * Disclaimer: I am a Media Member of the NSSF.

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!