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Are the new all-copper bullets as effective?

copper bullets

Copper bullets

Steve Bowers
There has indeed been a recent debate concerning the merits or otherwise of all-copper bullets, as opposed to lead core copper-jacketed bullets.

The main reason for their promotion is the alleged lead contamination of deer carcases, something which does not take place with the all-copper bullet.

There are only a few all-copper bullets available, and brands include Barnes, Hornady, Lapua and Nosler.

Choice is therefore limited when compared with normal bullets and if your rifle does not like the style or weight of these, you are in trouble.

In addition, copper bullets of the same weight as a standard lead-cored bullet are longer, as copper is less dense.

This means the bullets may not stabilise in the rifling twist rate of your rifle. Quite often a faster twist rate is needed to stabilise copper bullets.

Most copper bullets also cause higher pressures, as the bullets are solid and have little ?give? in them.

This is the reason some have a banded construction to reduce friction in the bore.

They are also a great deal more expensive than standard bullets.

If you do want to use a copper bullet, and you already fire a 130-gr lead-cored bullet, I would go down a weight to, say, a 110-gr bullet, to make sure it expands correctly and causes the correct impact on the deer.