US Army Switches to Ineffective Environmentally Friendly Lead-Free “Green” Bullet


A lot of people in the military must be looking back fondly at the Carter and Clinton eras. As bad as those were, they didn’t involve turning the military into a gay rights and green energy clearinghouse while destroying its ability to wage war.

Lead is bad for the environment. So if we’re going to shoot people, we should do it without polluting.

The U.S. Army is taking the expression “get the lead out” quite literally and switching to lead-free, environmentally-friendly bullets.’

The Army has been looking to “green” small caliber ammo for some time now. In 2010, the Army switched to the greener 5.56 mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round.

“The EPR replaces the lead slug with a copper slug,” said Lt. Col. Phil Clark, product manager for small caliber ammunition in the Program Executive Officer Ammunition. “This makes the projectile environmentally-friendly, while still giving soldiers the performance capabilities they need on the battlefield. So far we have eliminated 1,994 metric tons of lead from 5.56 ammunition production.”

Why are we making environmentally friendly ammo? Because Obama, that’s why. And like most “Green” products, the green bullets work badly, which is a problem because while environmentally friendly washing machines and diswashers that don’t clean don’t cost lives.

Bullets that work badly do.

Fox News reported that Army officials conceded that the M855A1 “has not been providing the ‘stopping power’ the user would like at engagement ranges less than 150 yards” in a 2005 briefing.

But at least it’s Green. Who needs bullets that draw Red anyway.

  • tagalog

    So what’s the Enhanced Performance that the new cartridge gives?

    “Enhanced Performance Round,” that’s rich. Ayn Rand must be laughing her butt off, wherever she is.

  • popseal

    Political hacks that weasel their way into generalships and land in the Pentagon should have to go into “hot zones” carrying this crap. As little regard as I have for the current administration, I have even less (for what it’s worth) for those weasels already described.


    Think of running the best aircraft-carrier warships in the world with chicken fat advances from restaurants, at $26/gallon. That instead of the $0.5/gallon that the army gets gasoline in gross.

    • omgshrimpz .

      The bullets are copper, they’re not useless. Money is no reason to throw safety out the window. If you didn’t know lead is poisonous to humans. Anyone coming into contact with lead bullets risks being poisoned.

      • Random

        That’s a fascinating claim.

        • omgshrimpz .

          You probably ate lead paint as a child so you should know about lead poisoning.

      • Robert Boyer

        Really? I use jacketed bullets. Anyone who comes into contact with one of my rounds, will have other problems than poisoning. What an idiotic comment.

        • omgshrimpz .

          That lead goes somewhere and I doubt they all hit the target. Not sure what effect the lead has on wildlife but it’s probably more of the issue than human safety.

          I don’t know if you heard about this environment thing that we live in and can’t do without.

  • Gee

    The 5.56mm round was not very good at stopping power – has a short range – cannot be used in thick brush. In short is has never had much combat ability and now it is even worse.

    The 6.8mm or 7.62mm are much better all around and superior to the 5.56mm in every category.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      I guess what this means is that soldiers will need to reach for heavier weapons, if we ever get serious about winning again.

    • Vunderkint

      God for bid our soldiers having to rely on captured enemy weapons, yeah I’m sure the Russians, North Koreans and Chinese can’t wait to go green ammunition. Does anyone else get the idea that the world is laughing at us?

  • ziggy zoggy

    So greenie rounds provide stopping power at ranges greater than 150 yards but not point blank? WTF?

    • TienBing

      A projectile has an envelope of optimum performance. I am not familiar with this round, but the “poor” performance at under 150 yards, might be that at closer ranges the hard bullet material/composition and the high velocity means the bullet punches a small .22 caliber hole straight through the target without transferring any energy to the target via what high velocity fans refer to as “temporary wound cavity,” “energy dump” and “hydrostatic shock.”

      Big bullets do it by making big holes (large permanent cavity) to cause rapid bleed out, crushing and breaking flesh and bones. But they are more expensive and heavy.

      • 111Dave111

        So if you could make the copper bullets softer (like lead), the woul

        • TienBing

          Yes, but then they would be less effective against body armor and obstacle penetration like walls.

      • Jim Schwalbe


  • OfficialPro

    Bismuth is the closest thing to lead, and has been used in shotguns, though I hear the performance isn’t as good, either. And this is because there actually is a serious problem with geese getting lead poisoning from swallowing (not being hit by) lead shot and using it as “gravel” for their gizzard.

  • Smoking Hamster

    I would put depleted uranium in the rounds. It would be able to pierce just about any personal armor.

    Plus it would send a great message to all of the Green Party members…

    • George Williams

      That would require you to have a license from the Department of Energy. DU is slightly radioactive and has to be monitored for its potential to contaminate the environment. :)

  • Vunderkint

    Sorry but the reason washing machines and dishwashers don’t clean as well as a used to is not the machines fault but due to the fact that the phosphates have been removed from our detergents rendering them practically ineffective for getting things clean, more green bull except this time the detergent companies willingly complied not because of regulations, I guess they were trying to stay one jump ahead of the EPA. Just work around the problem add the phosphates back in by using trisodium phosphate (TSP) add a teaspoon with your detergent in your washing machine and there are dishwashing detergents out there that have answered the call by consumers and have put the phosphates back in you’ll need to search for them, we have found the source for dishwashing detergent and the difference between the phosphate free and the good stuff is very apparent.

  • Lito Young

    In a fight we have to have weapons superior to the enemy in order to win. Thinking green, it is green to surrender, maybe less or nothing in the environment will be destroyed, but for sure we end up tortured by the enemy. I think it is a good experiment to have volunteers and its proponents fight a war first; then if they win with this weapons, we will mass produce and use them.

    • omgshrimpz .

      Gotta defend America from those scary robe-wearing terrorist with their lack of airforce and navy. War with Russia would possibly be the last war we have.

  • FightTheGoodFight

    Hitler didn’t make guns illegal, he took all of the ammunition rendering the people helpless.

  • sick of conservative bigots

    If you hate gay people so much, then move to Russia,

  • Facepalm

    I suggest you losers go watch this

    • Sleeper_6

      Seriously, Watch it, you’re all a bunch of idiots for buying into this crap without doing any research.

      • Joshua Wilson

        The profanity was unbearable and unnecessary. I couldn’t

    • Random

      Brilliant way to establish common ground with a hostile audience, genius.

  • Michael

    The main reason why the military is switching over to “green” ammo is because of lead pollution at military firing ranges. As someone who is intimately familiar with military types of firearms and has had personal experience with lead poisoning from shooting, I think that your article makes it very clear the level of ignorance you have on this subject. Lead-free ammo is in the future, whether you like it or not – it has to be, for sustainability reasons if nothing else. While the technology behind it isn’t as mature as FMJ lead ammo techology thats been around for over 100 years, it will catch up. In fact, lead free bullets from Barnes are some of the best preforming rifle bullets on the market and have become very popular with hunters. The biggest hurdle is to come up with lead-free primers that are stable and have a long storage life.

    • George Williams

      The only problem is that it has a much longer range, requiring larger safety zones on outdoor ranges. is subject to ricocheting and presently cannot be used in indoor firing ranges due to its ability to penetrate the back stop and destroy the concrete behind it.

  • John Anon

    This post is horrendously misinformed.that isn’t even what the bullet looks like. Credible sources and tests have confirmed the bullet works better than lead, too. This page is just a bunch of anti-Obama lies and bullshit.

  • Quagzar

    That was in 2005. They were not deployed until 2010. Worked great in 2012 for me. They changed the powder to increase velocity and made a few more improvements, including the primer since then. That’s five years of development until fielding. I think we have something with these “green” bullets. Especially given we have seen good performance from the rounds, and they’re shutting domestic lead production down anyway. If we can get on board we can keep up the ammo supply, all with better ballistics, and we win with this. Hell, we can use scrap metal to potentially make low-cost, effective ammunition. Go learn about ballistics and what makes a round work. There’s no reason to fear new technological developments. Let it work against those dumbass commies. If it kills better, it kills better. It works. We have to look at things objectively, not through a constant lens of bias. Through bias we will never find ways to turn the tables to our advantage.

  • George Williams

    The projectiles are not copper but made of steel Copper jacketing is used along the bourrelet, the part of the projectile in contact with the lands and grooves of the rifling. The projectile from an M855A1 is said to have the penetration of the Army’s standard lead projectile of 7.62mm caliber. It’s only disadvantage is that the exposed part of the steel is zinc plated and early production was subject to corrosion. Even if copper was a useful metal for the bulk of a projectile, the costs would be prohibitive. Have you priced copper lately.

  • Michael

    Why did he use a gel cap jabbed into a bolt case. now that’s just dishonest.