Monday, 20 September 2010

Do Lead Bullets Continue To Be A Hazard After They Land?

I new I had this tucked away somewhere safe. In view of the recent and on-going investigation into lead and its use for bullets and ammunition in general, this article researched by Virginia Tech University contains relevant information and should help to combat the misinformation being flaunted as fact.
The use of lead over and around the sites of waterfowl has been banned for many years after research found high ingestion rates in the waterfowl. The reason for this is that waterfowl need gravel and other small hard items to help grind up food in their gizzard. When lead is taken up in this process the lead is, being soft, also ground up along with the plant material. The small lead particles are then absorbed into the blood stream and circulated around the body and eventually causing lead poisoning to the unfortunate fowl. There is however, no evidence to suggest that an animal or fowl shoot with a lead projectile is poisonous.

The following is an outline of the news release from Virginia Tech University:
Source: Virginia Tech

Do Lead Bullets Continue To Be A Hazard After They Land?Blacksburg, Va., November 3, 2004

-- There were 20 million metric tons of lead bullets fired in the United States in the 20th century. Is that lead having an environmental impact?
Not at or near the U.S. Forest Service firing range near Blacksburg, according to research by Virginia Tech geological scientists. Donald Rimstidt, a professor in the Department of Geosciences, College of Science at Virginia Tech, will report the conclusions of a five-year study at the 116th national meeting of the Geological Sciences of America in Denver Nov. 7-10.
There are 9,000 non-military shooting ranges and a lot of military ones in the United States. Some 60,000 metric tons of lead are expended by shooting (A metric ton or "long ton" is 2,200 lbs.). "So, there is lead shot and bullets everywhere," Rimstidt said.
"We were invited by the U.S. Forest Service to look at the shooting range in the National Forest near Blacksburg."
The researchers'' survey found 11 metric tons of shot in the shotgun range and 12 metric tons of lead bullets in the rifle range. "These ranges are 10 years old. Most of the lead shot has accumulated on about four or five acres. Some shots have been into the woods, which cover hundreds of acres," Rimstidt said.

Professor James Craig, now retired, and Rimstidt looked first at lead corrosion and whether lead is leaching into the water table or streams. "Lead metal is unstable when it is in contact with air and water. It corrodes and forms hydrocerrussite, the white coating seen on old bullets in museums. That slows corrosion," Rimstidt said.
However some lead escapes, he said. "But we learned that it is absorbed in the top few inches of soil and does not migrate beyond that," Rimstidt said. "Lead is not very mobile. It does not wash away in surface or ground water."
Another finding is that there are large amounts of lead in the trees near the shooting range but not in a large percentage of the trees, Rimstidt said. "If and when those trees are harvested, they would be contaminated with lead”

Fisheries and Wildlife Professor Pat Scanlon was an investigator on the project until his death in 2003. "He found no evidence that birds were eating shot, but this portion of the research was not completed," Rimstidt said. "We are not saying that wildlife would not ingest lead, but it does not appear to be a problem on this range. Other shooting ranges may be different."
Rimstidt will give their recommendations to the Forest Service representatives so they can develop best management practices. "They already knew to put lime on the range to limit corrosion, to take measures to prevent soil erosion, and now, to keep track of the trees if they are cut. They are the experts in management. I will give them the facts, and they will make the decisions," Rimstidt said.
Rimstidt’s conclusion is that shooting on controlled ranges reduces the overall risk to the public from lead in the environment.
He will present the paper, "Lead behaviour at National Forest Shooting Ranges," by Rimstidt, Craig, and Caleb Scheetz at 11:15 a.m., Nov. 8, in rooms 709/711 of the Colorado Convention Center as part of the Environmental Geosciences session. Scheetz, of Lemont, Pa., recently received his masters in geosciences from Virginia Tech.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech+óGé¼Gäós eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrols more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.

Editor's Note: The original news release can be found here. (Link has now been disabled)
This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Virginia Tech.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Just in case you thought that the B.B.C is not a politically run organisation.

As there has not been a lot to report in the on going review, the B.B.C thought that it would be helpful to rehash old news by combining two stories into one. "Young children "Granted" guns, MP's told they then proceed to associate the legal and lawful pursuit of these youngsters with the implication by association that in years to come these same youngsters will pursue the same path as the others mentioned in the story.But why let the facts get in the way when you are pursuing a pre-determined agenda.

Those youngsters who are possession of either shotgun or firearms certificates will not be found taking drugs, drinking under age and the many other anti-social activites that should concern us all. They will, however, be out in the countryside taking exercise, pursuing their chosen sport and all under the supervision of their parent or guardian. Who by the same token is fully aware of where their child is and what they are doing.

These young members of our society to a one, are responsible, respectful of others, have better than average manners, are polite when in company, willing to be instructed and accepting of criticism when applied. Sure they get frustrated, especially if they miss an easy clay or just miss a possible 100 by scraping the bull ring. But, unlike those in other sports, who may say miss the goal or or hit the ball just over the line, they will not punch a fellow player or become violent, they will control the feeling and use that energy to their addvantage.

So do your bit and help all shooters by submitting your response to the review through one of the many shooting organisations who are there on our behalf.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Investigative journalism, not.

Now that the process as started, the mass media has passed its all knowing, all seeing conscience over the the latest stage of the firearms law review.
The item following, 10-year-olds granted shotgun certificates in the Independant, is the first to try to deflect the masses from the issue at hand. Further items in the News and Star MPs debate if gun laws 'fit for purpose' and on the B.B.C Killings in Cumbria and Tyneside spark gun laws review along with this item in the Daily Mail MPs to review gun laws in wake of Cumbria killings and Raoul Moat all talk about the same subject. All appear to, if you only read one story, pass an independant point of view. But in this age of "Cut & Paste" journalsim they do not have an independant point of view or even an original story. The story in all is the same and very nearly word for word. Do not take my word for though click the links. Whichever story you pick first means that you will not have much to read in the others that you have not already read.
So whilst the press is able to mould the thoughts of its many readers, viewers and listeners in its efforts to rid this country of law abiding members sport and hobbie, what are shooters doing? Well, so far it would appear not a lot.
As a gun owner and shooter you are an ambassador for your sport every day, to all the people that you meet that do not shoot and enjoy your sport, and I for one let people know. As individuals we cannot hope to reach out and touch as many people as the mass media, that is why we have associations and organisations. This is a time for all shooters to let their feelings be known so that which ever one they belong too, B.A.S.C, C.A, C.P.S.A, N.R.A, N.S.R.A or others, can marshall an argument on all our behalf.
So if you haven't contacted one of these organisations with your thoughts and ideas you still have time. And Don't forget that " the freedom of the press is only available to those who have a press".