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Lead ammunition consultation to launch 6 May


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A heads up for PW members that on 6 May 2022 the Health and Safety Executive will launch a six-month public consultation on proposed restrictions for lead ammunition in England, Wales and Scotland.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that on 6 May it will publish its findings on the risks posed by the outdoor recreational use of lead ammunition for people, wildlife and the environment in England, Wales and Scotland.

Based on its findings, the HSE will launch a six-month public consultation on proposed restrictions with regard to the sale and use of lead ammunition in England, Wales and Scotland.

All outdoor uses of lead ammunition are covered by the review. That includes lead ammunition for live quarry and target shooting, i.e. airguns, pistols, shotguns, rifles and historic firearms.

This is happening because lead ammunition is being reviewed under the UK’s post-Brexit chemical regulations referred to as UK REACH. The regulations cover England, Wales and Scotland (but not Northern Ireland due to the NI Protocol).

The HSE has been tasked as the ‘agency’ under UK REACH to produce a report that outlines the risks posed by lead ammunition. Where it believes those risks to be unacceptable, it has also been asked to propose restrictions to reduce those risks.

The HSE proposals and consultation were due in April but have been deferred until 6 May, coming after the 2022 local elections.

If any restrictions on lead ammunition are legislated for as a result of the UK REACH process, they would be subject to appropriate transition periods, and its unlikely there will be any restrictions taking effect before 2025.

Wide-ranging restrictions on lead ammunition have been proposed in Europe as part of the EU REACH process and its possible that UK REACH will make similar recommendations.

Over the coming months, the UK REACH process will involve scientific scrutiny of the HSE findings and proposals through an independent panel of experts.

A draft opinion on the impact of the HSE proposals on socio-economic factors will follow later this year or early 2023, which will also be open to public consultation.

The review will culminate in recommendations being submitted no later than April 2023 to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for consideration.

A legislative proposal will be likely thereafter. This will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny and consultation with devolved administrations.

A key principle is that further legal restrictions on lead ammunition must not be imposed until effective and affordable types of non-lead ammunition are available in sufficient volumes to meet demand.

Depending on what restrictions are proposed, shooting organisations will need to seek exemptions where there is evidence that there are no viable alternatives to lead.

Similarly, derogations will be sought where socio-economic factors mean a transition isn’t appropriate, and for situations where lead can continue to be used in settings that present negligible or no risk to wildlife, the environment or human health.

I will post another update after the consultation launches.

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"A key principle is that further legal restrictions on lead ammunition must not be imposed until effective and affordable types of non-lead ammunition are available in sufficient volumes to meet demand."

Picked on this not so much as because it's yet to be met - the words by the way are 'non toxic' not 'non lead' - they're not necessarily the same thing - but because they've missed out the 'safe to use' criterion which was one of the original 'gang of four'. As an example of this, where steel shot might be used on the relevant MoD ranges the splash back distance was doubled. It's not difficult to realise that some thought will have, under the outdoor recreational use condition, to be given to clay pigeon ranges as a further example.

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On 01/05/2022 at 17:19, wymberley said:

"A key principle is that further legal restrictions on lead ammunition must not be imposed until effective and affordable types of non-lead ammunition are available in sufficient volumes to meet demand."

Picked on this not so much as because it's yet to be met - the words by the way are 'non toxic' not 'non lead' - they're not necessarily the same thing - but because they've missed out the 'safe to use' criterion which was one of the original 'gang of four'. As an example of this, where steel shot might be used on the relevant MoD ranges the splash back distance was doubled. It's not difficult to realise that some thought will have, under the outdoor recreational use condition, to be given to clay pigeon ranges as a further example.

My friend who is an RFD but also a very clever bloke and very aware of the bigger industry issues says this

Lead free centre fire ammo

 Forget it the market is too small for the manufacturers to be interested  and the importers to put up the money because the demand has collapsed.

22 lead free

Basically dead in the water. It's rubbish 

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On 01/05/2022 at 19:41, Westley said:

"We're all doomed Captain Mannering, we're all doomed"  !  🙄

Your not wrong. 

No alternative no time no backing. 

The clocks ticking. 

Were doomed i tell you doomed. 😭😭

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15 hours ago, Vince Green said:

My friend who is an RFD but also a very clever bloke and very aware of the bigger industry issues says this

Lead free centre fire ammo

 Forget it the market is too small for the manufacturers to be interested  and the importers to put up the money because the demand has collapsed.

22 lead free

Basically dead in the water. It's rubbish 

So is he calling it a day? 

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On 01/05/2022 at 17:19, wymberley said:

"A key principle is that further legal restrictions on lead ammunition must not be imposed until effective and affordable types of non-lead ammunition are available in sufficient volumes to meet demand."

Picked on this not so much as because it's yet to be met - the words by the way are 'non toxic' not 'non lead' - they're not necessarily the same thing - but because they've missed out the 'safe to use' criterion which was one of the original 'gang of four'. As an example of this, where steel shot might be used on the relevant MoD ranges the splash back distance was doubled. It's not difficult to realise that some thought will have, under the outdoor recreational use condition, to be given to clay pigeon ranges as a further example.

The wording should be non lead as it’s lead there proposing to ban 

otherwise they will say anything and everything is toxic and you will be left with cotton wool as ammunition 

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19 hours ago, Vince Green said:

My friend who is an RFD but also a very clever bloke and very aware of the bigger industry issues says this

Lead free centre fire ammo

 Forget it the market is too small for the manufacturers to be interested  and the importers to put up the money because the demand has collapsed.

22 lead free

Basically dead in the water. It's rubbish 

Is that apart from the ones that already make a non lead alternative? or are they going to stop producing it?

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11 hours ago, bluesj said:

Is that apart from the ones that already make a non lead alternative? or are they going to stop producing it?

No but the price of non lead is much higher than lead based ammo and the turnover comes from selling ammo and components to the target shooters who will go out and shoot fifty rounds in a morning on the ranges.

Not the deer shooter who may buy one box a year

Also the general view is that lead free ammo isn't accurate enough for target shooting when scores matter in a competition

The business is hard now, everything is in short supply as it is.

Edited by Vince Green
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1 hour ago, Vince Green said:

No but the price of non lead is much higher than lead based ammo and the turnover comes from selling ammo and components to the target shooters who will go out and shoot fifty rounds in a morning on the ranges.

Not the deer shooter who may buy one box a year

Also the general view is that lead free ammo isn't accurate enough for target shooting when scores matter in a competition

The business is hard now, everything is in short supply as it is.

Which shop is it? 

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1 hour ago, Vince Green said:

 

Also the general view is that lead free ammo isn't accurate enough for target shooting when scores matter in a competition

 

I have tried several brands of .308 copper ammunition and, without exception, all have been more accurate than lead.

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2 minutes ago, London Best said:

I have tried several brands of .308 copper ammunition and, without exception, all have been more accurate than lead.

That's interesting, what sort of distance are you talking about?

And what price ?

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1 hour ago, London Best said:

100 yards for zeroing a stalking rifle and bl**dy expensive.

Target shooting is much longer distances. Bisley goes out to 1200 yds although 600 is more popular. To be V bull accurate you really want to be grouping around 4 to 6 inches at 600 yds consistently 

Barton Road is the same

Millpool ranges are 600 yds but the cross winds are a killer  because its exposed.

That's the other thing, non lead bullets are longer because they are less dense. So crosswinds have more effect

People also say that rifles tend to be more fussy about copper bullets and loads have to be worked up 

A lot of our club shooters are not going to pay double or treble the price for their ammo. That's if they can get it which is also in doubt.

The way that copper or zinc bullets are made doesn't lend itself to high volumes of production. And they can't be made on the existing machines being used at present. So will supply meet demand 

Are the ammo makers going to spend the money on new machines and gear up?  Or will they just say the market doesn't justify it?

 

Edited by Vince Green
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47 minutes ago, Vince Green said:

Target shooting is much longer distances. Bisley goes out to 1200 yds although 600 is more popular. To be V bull accurate you really want to be grouping around 4 to 6 inches at 600 yds consistently 

Barton Road is the same

Millpool ranges are 600 yds but the cross winds are a killer  because its exposed.

That's the other thing, non lead bullets are longer because they are less dense. So crosswinds have more effect

People also say that rifles tend to be more fussy about copper bullets and loads have to be worked up 

A lot of our club shooters are not going to pay double or treble the price for their ammo. That's if they can get it which is also in doubt.

The way that copper or zinc bullets are made doesn't lend itself to high volumes of production. And they can't be made on the existing machines being used at present. So will supply meet demand 

Are the ammo makers going to spend the money on new machines and gear up?  Or will they just say the market doesn't justify it?

 

I agree with every word of your post, but personally I have zero interest in target shooting. I have never been on a target rifle range in my life.

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On 16/05/2022 at 22:51, Vince Green said:

My friend who is an RFD but also a very clever bloke and very aware of the bigger industry issues says this

Lead free centre fire ammo

 Forget it the market is too small for the manufacturers to be interested  and the importers to put up the money because the demand has collapsed.

22 lead free

Basically dead in the water. It's rubbish 

The end draws nigh. 

That's it I'll end my BASC membership at the next renewal. 

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3 hours ago, London Best said:

I have tried several brands of .308 copper ammunition and, without exception, all have been more accurate than lead.

Well as we may know from the rallying cry "Balle D et le revance pour Alsace Lorraine" (Balle D and revenge for Alsace Lorraine) the French in 1898 were using an all bronze bullet in their Lebel rifles. Known as Balle D the world's first spitzer miltary rifle bullet and at the time as revolutionary to war on the land as would later be the dreadnought battleship on the sea. Given that they issued the rounds into the millions I wonder if we've lost the knowledge of how to make monometal bullets in volume at cheap cost? As I am supposing that it wasn't merely a matter of low wages in ammunition factories being a factor?

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2 hours ago, Scully said:

I’m assuming this shop doesn’t exist then. 

No I'm not telling you because you will phone him up and start asking him questions.  I know what you are like, I've been warned about you in the past

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