Green Bullets to Help Environment; Deer Still Out of Luck

Allison Loudermilk

If you have trouble deciding whether your perfect day is spent stalking and slaying wild animals or recycling and reducing your carbon footprint, then there's a weapon you need to get your camo-clad hands on: "green" bullets.

Green bullets are made of copper or other less toxic materials -- and they're starting to make in-roads with the lead ammo crowd. Take, for instance, the U.S. Army. According to a Kansas City Star story, the biggest producer of small-arms ammo just sent 600,000 rounds of green bullets for U.S. troops to test in fall 2008. The cartridges in question were made with brass casings and bismuth slugs, as opposed to lead.

It's hard not to chuckle at the idea of hunters mingling with the granola crowd, but maybe it's not so crazy. Hunters, after all, tend to support the idea of land conservation. They just like the idea of enjoying the outdoors in a tree stand with a high-powered rifle.

According to a March 4 CNN story, the NRA has come out against efforts to ban lead ammunition, arguing that the additional cost of green bullets will drive people away from the pasttime. Not surprisingly, public health officials and hunters are hotly divided on whether eating lead-shot game is bad for you. One poster by the name of BBQ.Uncle, over at New England's Premier Shooting Forum writes, "Somehow, the phrase 'Eat Lead' just sounds cooler than 'Eat an environmentally friendly green bullet.'"

So one question: If green bullets become more popular, does that mean we'll all be eating green eggs and ham?

For more guns and green, explore these articles at HowStuffWorks.com: How Lead Works How the NRA Works Where's the best place to take a bullet if you get shot? How to Conserve Hunting Habitats