Why Copper Bullets

Copper bullets have provided an alternative to toxic lead core bullets, but the copper offerings on the market have several limitations. One is low ballistic coefficients, which limits their effective range and ability to expand.  Also, because copper is less dense than lead, heavier bullets have to be longer and at times require tighter twist barrels to stabilize them.

With these disadvantages, why would anyone attempt to market copper bullets? Because copper is superior to lead as a hunting bullet material. What?!


Copper has the right combination of ductility, hardness, and machinability that allow one to machine dimensionally very accurate bullets creating unique profiles that maximize BC and thus impact velocities. Using CNC Swiss lathes, computer aided design (CAD) software, computer aided machining (CAM) software, a designer has much greater freedom to design an optimal bullet profile and hollow point shape such that the BC and bullet expansion exceed that achieved by swagged copper or even lead core jacketed bullets. That means that a machined copper bullet will be more uniform in its dimensions than a swagged copper or swagged lead core bullet.  The optimum hardness of copper means it is tougher than lead, will penetrate more reliably, and will not splinter at high impact velocities like lead core bullets will scattering lead fragments for considerable distances around the wound channel.  The non-toxic property of copper also makes this type of bullet legal in all 50 US states and throughout the world. With copper a through the shoulder shot is the most effective shot in that the target will drop right there or will collapse within a few yards.  Hunters using lead core bullets will frequently take lung shots to minimize meat damage. Although highly lethal, many lung shot animals will not collapse immediately and will need to be tracked, increasing the risk of not finding the animal since it could run several hundred yards before collapsing.  As a personal experience, I once shot a Black Wildebeest with a 180 gr lead core bullet from a 300 WSM through the lungs at 340 yards. He ran over 1000 yards before dropping, and when found had a Dollar sized exit wound.