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Old 02-13-2011, 09:35 AM
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Default Stockpiling Survival Rifle Ammunition

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It was the last weekend of regular deer season, saturday night. A long time member of the deer lease drives up to the camp, and backs his truck up to the scales. That is usually a sure sign that there is a deer in the back of the truck. They get the doe weighed and are stringing it up to skin when I walk out there.

As the skinning of the deer proceeds, there are a few of us standing around helping and watching. The topic turns to the cost of ammunition and bullet performance.

Like a lot of hunters, I tend to buy the cheapest ammo on the shelf – and that is usually Remington Core-Lokt. Over the past 14,,,, 15+ years Core-Lokt is about all that I have bought and shot deer with. During that time I have had no complaints. There is usually a hole going in and a larger hole going out.

The guy who shot the doe goes on to talk about Remington Core-Lokt and how he has since switched to Winchester softpoints. The rifle the guy used was a 270,,,, I dont remember the exact make or model. After talking for a little while, the person who shot the deer said that he has not been happy with the performance of the Remington Core-Lokt lately and that he felt it may not be expanding like it should. So he switched to the Winchester softpoints.

I can say one thing about the doe that was being skinned, there was a massive amount of bruising, bleeding and tissue damage. It was like the whole area where the bullet went through had residual damage to the surrendering tissue.

Doing a mental comparison of the deer that was shot with a 270 and Winchester softpoints, and the deer that my son took a couple of years ago with a Marlin 30-30 and Remington Core-Lokt – the 270 caused more tissue damage – both rifles were shooting 150 grain bullet. The 270 travels at a higher velocity then the 30-30, but the 30-30 is a larger in diameter bullet.

Then there is a buddy of mine that shoots a 308 and only shoots Winchester Silvertips – which can get a “little” expensive. He feels that his 308 rifle gives the best accuracy with Winchester Silvertip as compared to anything else. Let say that your rifle gives 1.2 inches groups at 100 yards with cheap ammo, and .75 inch groups at 100 yards with expensive ammo. Is the $20 dollar price difference really worth it? If your making 400+ yard shots, then maybe .75 at 100 yards is important to you. But for “most” people, especially in the southern part of the US were we have pine forest and thick underbrush, your shots are going to be around 100 yards or less.

The idea of stockpiling 3, 4 or even 5 different types of ammunition for 1 caliber does no appeal to me. I do not want to have a box of Remington 150 grain, a box of Remington 180 grain, a box of Federal 150 grain, and some cheap off brand. If price allows it, then maybe 2 or 3 different types of ammo for the same caliber – but only if there is not a big difference in the zero of those calibers. Don’t buy one brand name that hits 2 inches different then everything else you have.

If you want to stockpile cheap target ammo and expensive hunting ammo, I suggest trial and error. Buy a few brand names and go to the range. Fire off a few rounds of brand A, then brand B, then brand C. Compare the results and see which ones hit nearest each other.

22 long rifle - My son and I are going through different brands of 22 to see which ones work well in the Marlin model 60 and the Ruger 10/22. It does not do any good to stockpile 22 long rifle ammo that works well in only 1 rifle. Not when you have 2 or three different 22 rifles.

During our test we have found that certain types of 22 long rifle does not work well in the marlin model 60. With the misfires and jams, its just not worth it to stockpile stuff that does not work well.

Types of 22 long rifle being stockpiled:
Remington Golden Bullet – 525 rounds
Federal Value Pack – 550 rounds
Federal Champion Value pack – 525 rounds
Federal Auto-Match – 325 rounds
Winchester Bulk Pack – 333 rounds

22 long rifle is probably the easiest ammunition to stockpile for a SHTF situation. 22 long rifle is cheap, its light, popular, goes on sale from time to time, has a low report, no muzzle blast and is very effective on small game like rabbits.

308 Winchester – For my DS Arms SA58 FAL and my nephews Remington bolt action, at this point and time all I am stockpiling is Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain. At $16 – $18 for a box of 20, Core-Lokt is not dirt cheap, but its not expensive either, and its very effective on deer sized game.

This past hunting season my nephew took a nice sized doe with his Remington Model 7 chambered in 308 Winchester with a 150 grain Remington Core-Lokt. From point of impact, the doe made it about 15 feet and hit the ground.

The 308 Winchester makes an excellent survival cartridge – its lightweight, popular, easy to find, accurate, low recoil, available in a wide variety of rifles – everything from bolt actions to semi-autos. Loaded with 150 grain soft points, the 308 Winchester should be able to take any non-dangerous game in North America.

Video of the DS Arms SA-58 FN/FAL in 308 Winchester / 7.62 NATO.

30-30 Winchester – My family has a total of 3 Marlin 336 30-30 rifles, so its important for us to stockpile ammunition that is effective, but does not cost a fortune. If some kind of SHTF situation happens, we want enough 30-30 stockpiled to be able to put all three rifles in the woods. If we bought the most expensive 30-30 on the market, the amount of 30-30 we could stockpile would be limited. Mostly what we stockpile is the Remington Core-Lokt in 150 or 170 grain – mostly 150 grain.

Monarch makes some low cost 30-30 ammunition, but I have not used the Monarch ammo to take a deer yet. So I can not offer any first hand experience on that brand name.

Types of 30-30 being stockpiled:
Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt
Federal Fusion 150 or 170 grain
Winchester 150 or 170 grain

Due to the way the 30-30 drops, the 150 grain bullets are the main ones we stock up on.

Whitetail buck taken during the 2010-2011 hunting season with a marlin 336 30-30

30-06 and 270 – The same thing as everything else, for deer sized game we are stockpiling 150 grain, and mostly in Remington Core-Lokt.

There is cheaper ammunition for just about all of the above listed rifles then Remington Core-Lokt, but a lot of it is steel casing, and I can not verify the performance in deer sized game. Until a round has proven that its effective, I see no reason to stockpile it.

In the 2011 – 2012 hunting season, I will probably try some other type of ammunition out besides Remington. It would be nice to get some real world experience with how well Federal or Winchester ammunition performs.

223 Remington – Stockpiling 223 for some kind of SHTF situation is a “get it as you find it” affair. Sometimes Wolf will go on sale, sometimes Remington, sometimes Monarch.

Just about all of my 223 is a mix of Monarch and Remington white box ammunition. Monarch is sold by academy Sports and Outdoors, so its easy to find. When I go to the academy in Beaumont Texas, I’ll usually grab 3 – 20 round boxes of Monarch 223. When 3 – 20 round boxes, that is 60 rounds, which is equal to 2 – 30 round magazines.

The problem is, when you start stockpiling 1,000+ rounds of ammo for 1 rifle, you better hope that rifle does not break – or you better have plenty of spare parts.

7.62X39 – As with the 223, the 7.62X39 is the same way. My personal stockpile of 7.62×39 is a mix of Remington white box, some Wolf, and lots of Monarch.

A couple of things about the 7.62X39 – SKS rifles are still cheaper then Ar-15s and AK-47s, the supply of 7.62X39 seems to go up and down. Retailers might be out of stock for a few months, get a shipment in, and then be out of stock again for a couple of more months. So if you see some 7.62X39 on the shelf, grab a few boxes while you can.
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Last edited by kev; 02-13-2011 at 10:09 AM..
Old 02-13-2011, 09:44 AM
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I would add reloading as a Another way to stock ammo with better accuracy, ballistics, an cost.. as advantages. Also 2 different Firearms in the same caliber can be loaded with what works well in them(Custom Loads) over trying to stock different ammo for each firearm.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:54 AM
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Bambi! NOoooooooooooo!!!!
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:07 AM
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Interesting concept along with that thinking I also use which rifles/pistol has been the most reliable for me. For example never had a jam, break or anything with my Sks I got no problem buying every box of 39 I see! Not to mention it will eat anything not like my ar.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:39 AM
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Buy it cheap, stack it deep.

It would be ideal to stock up on the same but not realistically possible for us common folk. In my opinion not really a big deal as long as what you have cycles and reasonably accurate. Russian .223 cycles fine in both my rifles and is combat accurate, so it's mainly what I stock up on whenvever there's deals. Ballistics leave a little to be desired but is MK262 worth 4 times as much? Chances are if I ever have to pull the trigger I'm gonna put a half a dozen into the threat anyways, so I'd rather buy 4-5 20 rounds boxes for general shtf stash vs 1 20 round box. I have MK262 for my bug out gear b/c in that instance I want excellent ballistics since I can't carry a truckload of ammo with me or the tactical wheelbarrow None us are really needing Camp Perry accurate.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:35 AM
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Kev, I have found through a lot of testing that CCI ammo(.22 rimfire) is the most reliable though not the most accurate but it is accurate enough from a 10-22 out to 100 yards. I also have shot Remington Core lok and Winchester power points and with 180 grain I have no real difference. I dont care for the .270 never did. I have a 32 special and we shoot the 170- grain power points out of that. No problems at all.

I am stocking all Winchester 180 grain power points for deer hunting. I have another rifle for defense that I am stocking the 150 grain power points for that one. I also have tons of cheap .22 in the form of Winchester Wildcats. These are for my new Marlin 981t botl action .22 for small game only. All of my Shotgun shells are Winchester.

My cold weather thread last year show me a big difference in cold weather use of cheaper .22 RIM fire. I had to get a bolt gun to shoot the 5 thousand rounds of Cheap ammo. My Ruger kept jamming due to light weak rounds which did not blow the action back or plain duds. Thunderbolts, bulk pmc, wildcats, and federal bulk pack all had various failure rates in extreme cold weather. CCI was flawless as was Federal Match and Aquila . I am sure there are many more good and bad. I know the Yellow jackets did not fail as well. It seems the higher end rounds are more reliable but more expensive.

As for 30-06 I can shoot either core lok or power points and see no real difference. Like you said a good hole going in and a much bigger one going out. Meijer stores carry the Winchester rounds close to home so we just go with that. Kingfish
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:22 PM
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The only problem I had was with some 22s that the lead bullet got cocked side ways in the Ruger 10-22 (wild cats) they started coming out of the case, used them in my H & R revolver..

No problems with any 308s in a Springfield M1A and my 30cal M1 carbines will feed anything I can fit in the mag. Only other main caliber is 9mm and We shoot Berettas and the CX4 they take everything also...

I agree with the bolt actions being good for possible bad ammo, I bought a 700 308 just in case.

Good thread to keep us thinking, hate to have cases of junk ammo and find out to late..
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:52 PM
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I used Hornady LeveRevolution for my 464 30-30. I took my first gun deer on 1/26/11. Knocked it flat on her side from 30 yards with iron sights. Large exit hole.

$22~26 a box. I stock up on what is on sale. I can get Federal SP for $11.97. It was $10.97 in the summer. (mad) I ended up getting a deal at D i c k's Sporting Goods by getting (1) at regular price and getting (1) at half price at Christmas. Core Lokt. (maximum of 6 at checkout counter)

Supprised me that I can find 125 grain in 30-30.

I am buying (1) or (2) boxes a week of SOMETHING. I need to prioritize and set a quantity goal for each caliber. (cut back on eating out, too)

My goal for the summer:
500 rounds - 30-30 (25 boxes of 20)
500 rounds - 308 win. (25 boxes of 20)
Old 02-13-2011, 06:11 PM
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i go with the other guy's strategy, buy it cheap and stack it deep. before the boating accident i had limited myself to 22lr pistols/rifles, 9mm pistols/rifles, and mosins for that high power punch. all selected for interchangeability and cost effectiveness. my weapons were not terribly expensive, and when i found cheap ammo i bought all i could afford. i did buy other weapons when good deals presented themselves so that i would have something to barter with, or offer to the govt in case of confiscation. but i never had any serious problems with the cheap ammo.its just a shame that i stored them on that darn leaking boat.but i thought i had my bases covered with those 3 calibers.
Old 02-13-2011, 10:26 PM
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I also subscribe to the "buy it cheap, stack it deep" philosophy.

For a SHTF situation, I have cheap "bulk" ammo, like Wolf or Monarch, but for hunting, I reload it all and have components for a few thousand rounds of several calibers.

I am an avid 308 shooter and own a few gun in the caliber, and I recently acquired a Springfield Socom 16. I have made a financial commitment to buy 500 rounds of "bulk" 308 ammo per week until I literally can't afford it. I have been shooting 150 gr Corelokts in it, but I hate having to "chase" the brass.

The observations Kev made on the meat damage of the deer is interesting. I have also found that a 270 does considerably more damage than a 30-30, and an interesting observation is that the few deer that I have killed with a 285 gr bullet from a 9.3x62 have the least of all the calibers I have ever hunted with.
Old 02-14-2011, 01:01 AM
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Maybe you should go with one .22 rifle (one type)

One caliber of deer rifle

Thought about reloading?
Old 02-14-2011, 02:43 AM
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What is a good starting hunting rifle for deer and smaller game?
Old 02-14-2011, 11:57 AM
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Antwan I would say a 270 but it all about preference.
Old 02-14-2011, 02:03 PM
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I can't believe people are stocking up on hunting rounds. I believe in stocking FMJ deep, and having a few boxes of your favorite hunting round.

To me, the reason of stockpiling is two fold - SHTF, and to ride out temporary price hikes.

Most types SHTF scenarios that would require lots of ammo will be low probability, high impact. Therefore, find a good, reliable round that you know will work well, but is also cheap. For my AR, i've been getting PMC ball at around $.28 / round. You cannot beat that, and you can also hunt with it if absolutely necessary.

For .308, I've been getting LC at around $.50 per round.

Why stockpile expensive hunting ammo when you can use those dollars for other preps?
Old 02-14-2011, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by evolve23 View Post
I can't believe people are stocking up on hunting rounds. I believe in stocking FMJ deep, and having a few boxes of your favorite hunting round.

To me, the reason of stockpiling is two fold - SHTF, and to ride out temporary price hikes.

Why is it so hard to believe? It ensures that you have the rounds you want, regardless of any new laws that come to pass, or shortages. Also, 'temoporary price hikes' become gradually rising prices. The materials that go into a round aren't getting any less expensive.

Why stockpile expensive hunting ammo when you can use those dollars for other preps?

The same thing is said of PMs, but it's not always this or that with some people. Some of us actually buy ammo and food. Purchasing ammo is not causing a hole in the preps for some. I doubt Kev is ignoring food and water in order to buy hunting rounds.

Comments in bold.

Also, consider that a .308 or other 'hunting round' could actually be used for self-defense.
Old 02-14-2011, 02:31 PM
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Great article Kev. I agree with you 100%

Originally Posted by Antwan23 View Post
What is a good starting hunting rifle for deer and smaller game?
In my opinion if you only have ONE firearm for hunting all game, it should be a shotgun. That said I believe that you should learn to shoot with a small caliber rifle like a 22.

As far as stocking ammunition - here is a post already on this board:

I wrote this a couple of years ago. But it seems worth sharing again, even if the prices quoted below have already doubled!

How much ammo should I have?

First and foremost I am a firm believer in “Buy it cheap and stack it deep.” I mean – c’mon, what other useful yet consumable item has 100+ year shelf life? Can you ever have too much ammo? Answer – of course not! And yet there are practical considerations. Most of us do not have the funds to buy ammo by the pallet for every cartridge we wish to keep on hand. Therefore, we must prioritize. Part of doing that is deciding how much of any given caliber (i.e. cartridge) is “enough” even if it is just “enough for now.” The basis for deciding how much is enough hinges on three questions:

* What is the intended use?
* How many people are you stocking ammo for?
* How long before you expect to resupply?

If you can answer these questions, then how much ammo to acquire and store will be obvious. Let’s eliminate the last question first. How long before resupply? Question: Do you think that an ammunition shortage or significant price appreciation is likely at any time in the future? I do. There is no political will to stop an ammunition manufacturing tax, or ammunition import tariff. I will leave that statement to stand on its own merits because I hesitate to give the gun grabbers any more confidence than they already have. Suffice to say that we shooters would vote the incumbents out of office during the next election. But even if we did so, governments are revenue sucking machines. No such tariff would ever be likely to be repealed. The domestic supply of cheap ammunition will evaporate over night just as it did for the steel core ammunition banned from import by executive order in the 1980s. Those cartridges which sold for 10 cents per round then, are now worth $1 each if you can find them.

Is it already too late? Popular 7.62x39 is already back ordered for up to six months at most suppliers. This backlog has been in place for months. I have not yet heard a reasonable explanation. If you agree that buying when a product costs less is better than buying at a higher price, or if you agree that a future ammunition shortage is likely - you probably want to store enough ammunition to last you at least a decade.

How many people are you stocking ammo for? Let’s start with yourself as the primary shooter and you can double the amount if you have a spouse who is an active shooter, triple if you have a child, etc. But for now, let’s consider just one shooter and let the rest of the math follow along in multiples of our one shooter calculations.

Now, what is the intended use? If you are the kind of hunter who fires only one or two shots a year, you probably aren’t concerned with storing ammunition anyway. If you are a recreational shooter (backyard plinker or competitive sportsman) you can calculate your usual usage based on how much shooting you typically do. Fifty cartridges per weekend might be considered a reasonable amount. Competitive shooters will easily burn through ten times that, but Jr. who goes through a box of 22 cartridges in an afternoon of tin can punching, or Joe who throws 50 shells on the skeet range is probably more typical. Some of us shoot more than that in one sitting (especially with high capacity magazines) but we may only shoot once per month. 200 cartridges one weekend per month works out to the same monthly total as 50 cartridges per weekend. So we’ll go with that estimate and you can modify the conclusion to reflect your own habits.

Fifty per weekend = 2,600 cartridges per year. A mere decade’s supply would be an unbelievable TWENTY SIX THOUSAND CARTRIDGES!!! But don’t be scared by the sticker shock when you start thinking about the investment required to put up 26,000 factory loaded cartridges for your 300 Win Mag. Chances are good that most of those cartridges will be pistol loads or 22 rim fire. In addition, reloading ammunition represents a huge potential cost savings. About half my shooting is done with 22 rimfire ammo. My son and I fire about 100 cartridges per month in one or two sittings. The total monthly cost for this is a mere $2 per month. I ask you – what provides more father/son entertainment per dollar? At a rate of one 550 round “brick” of ammo per paycheck it would take me less than a year to stockpile a full ten year supply of 13,000 cartridges. Let me say that again, if I bought just one brick of 22 ammunition per paycheck, I’d have a ten year supply of 22 ammo on hand before a year was up. As of this writing my local Wal-Mart has the best local price on 22LR ammunition. They offer both Federal and Remington brand hollow point, copper washed, loose packed cartridges in boxes of 550 for less than nine dollars per box including the sales tax. The grand total for a ten year supply would be $212 for twenty three 550 round boxes. That’s not a huge investment but you might get some unwanted attention if you take home that much ammunition at once. I’d recommend picking up one or two bricks per month and rotating your purchases between three or four stores. The remainder of my shooting is mostly centerfire rifle ammunition. For simplicity’s sake let’s assume that they are all 308 cartridges. If I buy in 500 round cases of full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition or reload soft point hunting loads the cost is less than 20 cents per cartridge ($20 per month). The current price for FMJ 308 ammunition is $100 per 500 cartridges. Buying in multi-case lots or reloading may lower your cost to nearly half that. Buying a case per month is an option, or even twice a year. If you buy a thousand round case above your daily use twice per year it would take six years to collect a ten year supply. If you have the financial resources to buy thirteen cases at once then you can be geared up immediately.

Before we leave the topic of intended use, consider that if (God forbid) your family needs to defend your retreat from armed attackers, you may exhaust an enormous amount of ammunition very, very quickly.

When can you expect resupply? In the case of continued price hikes, never at a better price. In the case of a ban, never at any price. There will never be a better time to buy.

Conclusions: If you can answer the three questions of: what use? how many? and how long before resupply? You can tweak the above examples to match your own objectives. They key concept is that stocking up now, to take advantage of a buyers’ market is prudent. The first step is recognizing that you have a need to store ammunition. The second is recognizing that this is the time to buy. The third is deciding how much you need.

What should we do? There is only one answer. Buy now. Buy for the ammo you plan to expend in backyard plinking. Buy for the ammo you plan to shoot or reload next year. Buy for the hunting loads that you plan to expend in the next few years to practice with for each season. Buy what you feel is prudent for self defense. Buy today, because tomorrow may be too late. If you don’t, who will arm the next generation of shooters – or for that matter the hunters coming of age in the next decade? We owe it to our children. If the sort shortage that I am talking about occurs, you will have invested in a commodity that has a hundred year shelf life at a fraction of the replacement value.

Reality check: Let’s take a moment to double check the reasonableness of my conclusions. Is a ten year supply of ammo really necessary? Is it worth the financial investment? Yes, if God forbid, you need that ammunition to feed or defend your family, you would gladly have paid ten times the cost in retrospect. But what if I’m wrong? What if I am running in circles yelling that the sky is falling? What if no ban or price hike happens in the next five or ten or twenty years? Will you lose anything at all by buying a commodity that you will use later? Quite to the contrary – if no change in the supply or demand for ammunition occurs, but inflation continues unabated (let’s assume just 2% inflation per year to be conservative) your investment appreciates 10% in monetary value in just five years. You probably would not earn 2% interest on funds in a savings account. If your salary did not go up every year you would be losing purchasing power. So even by this conservative estimate, you have nothing to lose. At the very worst, you invest money in a hobby that you love and retain the ability to defend those you care about. That sounds like money well spent to me – even if nothing happens.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyclark View Post
Bambi! NOoooooooooooo!!!!
That wasn't Bambi that was Ronno, Bambi's archnemisis.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
Like a lot of hunters, I tend to buy the cheapest ammo on the shelf – and that is usually Remington Core-Lokt. Over the past 14,,,, 15+ years Core-Lokt is about all that I have bought and shot deer with. During that time I have had no complaints. There is usually a hole going in and a larger hole going out.
Missed out on getting my licence in time for this past season, so 2011 will be my first hunting season.

In the meantime I've been doing a bit of reading - and I think I'm going to try a cartridge with an all-copper bullet... I may not have a lot of practical hunting knowledge under my belt, but I do know that I don't want my meat laced with lead.

Anybody else concerned with lead in their game meat?
Old 02-15-2011, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by HammerHand View Post
Missed out on getting my licence in time for this past season, so 2011 will be my first hunting season.

In the meantime I've been doing a bit of reading - and I think I'm going to try a cartridge with an all-copper bullet... I may not have a lot of practical hunting knowledge under my belt, but I do know that I don't want my meat laced with lead.

Anybody else concerned with lead in their game meat?
lol no not really.

We usually cut out the damaged portion and don't eat it. For the most part on deer, our rifle bullets sail right on through anyway.

Humans have shot animals with lead for 100's of years with no issues.
Old 02-15-2011, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ls1 View Post
lol no not really.

We usually cut out the damaged portion and don't eat it. For the most part on deer, our rifle bullets sail right on through anyway.

Humans have shot animals with lead for 100's of years with no issues.

Skip to 4:20-ish, of this video, then watch the second one (two parts of a three part video)

That's why I'm concerned about lead.
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