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For those who shoot on their property: Lead?

  1. For people who shoot firearms on their own property, do you worry about lead levels in your soil? Are there things to mitigate that?

    I have considered shooting in my backyard (we have a little over 7.5 acres). I just wonder about the lead getting into the streams and soil....
     
  2. Yes, I do 99.9% of my shooting on my property. I'm on what's left of my grandfather's farm. My family and others have hunted and shot here for over 80 years.

    I'm sure there is lead here, but no impact I can discern yet.

    As far as my shooting lead now, I use large blocks of firewood as my targets/ bullet traps. I shoot about 1k 45 per month. I cast my own lead bullets and reload. Once a year I will put out new blocks and burn the old to get my lead back to reuse. I do lose some, but I can get most back.
    My blocks are usually oak and about 3 foot diameter and 18 inches thick.

    Edit
    Just to note, I handle a lot of lead in my casting, reloading, and reclaiming it for reuse. I've had my lead levels checked and they are still in the low-normal range. Main thing to remember is common sense safety. Wash your hands, don't eat/drink/ smoke while handling it. If you cast or otherwise melt lead do it outside with ventilation.
     
  3. Lead is natural in the ground.

    A danger at an indoor range is the air born particles and lack of ventilation.
     
  4. Once lead oxidizes it doesn't migrate.

    wp
     
  5. I do not worry about it at all.
     
  6. I shoot on my own property and do not worry about any lead contamination to the land or any nearby water supplies. I feel there is already other things already present to worry about than the small amount I am introducing to the soil or water supplies in the area.
     
  7. Now that the EPA has had it fangs pulled, it shouldn't be a problem.

    The government has closed several public ranges due to lead concerns but I doubt if a private range would or if a private range would ever accumulate enough for it to be a health concern.

    I like the idea of a backstop that can be burned and the lead recovered.
     
  8. Last I checked, lead exists naturally in the soil.
     
  9. The first person I thought about when I read this was hickok45. LOL!

    I usually average 1,000 rounds a month in my back yard. I don't worry about it.
     
  10. Actually, there have been studies by the EPA on this subject.

    In the Northeast, there are police firing ranges that have existed for DECADES which have absorbed quite literally MILLIONS of rounds of ammunition.

    The study found that they did in fact detect elevated levels of lead in the top few feet of soil in the impact areas.

    However, they found no evidence even a modest distance down, and zero evidence of lead leaching into the ground water.

    What it came down to is... even the most basic of safe handling (don't eat the dirt) and there is virtually no increased exposure.

    In fact, there is higher contamination risk of handling the ammunition as opposed to firing it.
     
  11. I shoot on my property and have a well and a spring that get tested, never an issue with lead levels.
    If you don't have some natural backstop to place targets in front of, throw up a good berm to shoot into and you will localize the lead and can then remove that dirt someday if the need ever arises.
    I've found a few old musket balls in the dirt around Fort Ticonderoga in my youth and while oxidized and pitted, they probably could have been shot again.


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  12. No.

    I've been shooting in the back yard since 1967.
    In my opinion the hazards of lead are way overblown......unless it's ingested.


    I wonder just how many Government jobs have been created by the "hazards" of lead.


    .
     
  13. I shoot a bit on our place but use a sand filled plastic drum sitting on a stand made of treated wood to catch the lead. Once one side is shot full of holes I use a floor jack to pick it up and spin to a new side. After the barrel is shot out I sift the sand to catch as much lead as possible. Lead goes back in my stash and sand goes in new barrel.
     
  14. And I use it for fishing
     
  15. My family has lived on this creek in Kentucky for about 150 years. When you think of the lead that has been lost just by the lead sinkers for fishing it's amazing. I remember big egg lead weights on lines and nets used. I just think that lead in the air and ingested is bad. Remember how Prof. Plum killed that guy in the Study with the Lead Pipe? Well water used to be sent everywhere in lead pipes. I think if it was really that bad everyone would be dead from it long ago.

    I have a personal theory as to all this environmental stuff. Most of the strong environmentalist that I know also are drug users. I think its some kind of reaction to the fact they know they are poisoning themselves with these drugs so they try to "make up for it" by making a big deal of eating healthy (vegen) or exercising (jogging) and being strong about being anti "chemicals" (Roundup) even as they take dangerous stuff themselves. It seems to be a way of making drug use ok. "oh I'm so healthy in my life and environment I can get high tonight on whatever and I'll be fine in the long run because I have a healthy lifestyle".
     
  16. Unless you are shooting depleted uranium there are no worries.
     
  17. ^ I dunno about all that.

    I doubt many "hard drug" users give a crap about the environment, or anything else except getting their next fix.

    I do suspect that some environmentalists smoke weed, but doubt that they are "poisoning themselves" with it, as it's essentially non-toxic.

    If that logic were true, people consuming alcohol (a known toxin) would be statistically more likely to be avid environmentalists.

    (Just following logic, I don't consume any of it, including alcohol.)

    I worried some about shooting on my land, but looked it up and found that even very heavy lead use areas (skeet ranges, etc) had relatively little issue with lead leaching.
     
  18. Here in deliverance country we don't worry about it as long as it's a safe place to shoot.
     
  19. I asked a friend who works for the EPA about this. I have 13 acres and personal firing range. He asked if I'm shooting near a well that I use for drinking water. I answered "no." He answered, "Then there is no problem."
     
  20. I'm sure we all know by now that the anti lead rulings have really just been an anti gun harassment move the libs. And they got it passed through the courts with a bunch of lies and propaganda.
     
  21. No.
     
  22. Right. A family of four, or even 20, even if they were all shooters, are never going to accumulate enough lead to cause any problems. And the best thing to do is learn to reload and cast your own bullets, and shoot into a stack or two of old tires filled with dirt. Then when the tires get so many holes in them that you can't staple targets on to them any more, remove the tires and sift the dirt and recycle the lead.
     
  23. Lead affects to raptors and scavenger birds are not propaganda. Gut piles and animals left to rod can be devistating to them.
     
  24. Lead effects to waterfowl are also real due to how they process their food.

    However, I would opine that more ducks have been wounded and not recovered by hunters due to steel shot than any that were poisoned by lead. #steelsucks.
     
  25. Lead is not much of an issue. I can't shoot at my house. The range takes the lead out every year or so.
     
  26. I once had a job where I had to work with large amounts of lead - this was before lead joined the poison of the month club. I also grew up with lead based paint on the walls, lead pipe and God knows what else with lead in it. And all the ammo we shot was lead.
    I've been exposed to a huge amount of lead, breathing, ingesting (inadvertently) and I know a lot of other guys (old like me) who have done the same thing.
    Blood tests have never revealed any significant amount of lead in my system. And I've had quite a few looking just for lead.
    I believe this fear of lead is only to stop conventional ammo production.

    Consider this: There are still hundreds of miles of lead sheathed telephone cable around the country. One of the major problems with it is squirrel bites. Years ago AT&T did a study and found the squirrels eat the lead because something is missing in their diet.

    Environmentalists have lost credibility because of fear based policies and stratagems.
     
  27. This.
     
  28. I'm much more worried about that "waste management" facility dumping "treated" sewage a few miles up the road.
     
  29. That's a problem. More dangerous, perhaps, is your neighbor's burn barrel sending clouds of poisonous gases for you and your family to breathe. Everyone has to breathe.. who has the right to 'flavor' their neighbor's air with dioxins, etc?
     
  30. Only thing I have ever seen on the farm is dead trees being shot all the hell up for being in the way. :)
    We just cut them for woodburner heating as it s easier cut, split and seasoned to the point.
     
  31. Would this information be helpful?

    " Lead immobilization is most highly correlated with organic chelation. Metallic lead once on the surface of the soil does not break down."

    http://johnrlott.tripod.com/Marcusstudy.pdf
     
  32. Ha ha ha! We pretty much have the same set up in my area. Darn trees are always in the way! :dancingbanana:
     
  33. My well was originally an ag well with corrals adjacent to it. It is 350' deep with 100' of water. Now it supplies my house, which was built after the fact. The corral is still in use with horse and cow crap that is cleaned out with a skid steer once a year.

    I have had my water tested over the years with absolutely no evidence of any contamination. This, when the county has a minimum distance limit on having a well near a septic system. When asked about that restriction vs my situation, they said, "Good point. We haven't thought of that."

    I don't think I would be concerned about lead poisoning unless one favored gun range dirt for a diet.
     
  34. If lead was even a small fraction as dangerous as it's made out to be, NO ONE in my generation would be alive today (I'm 79).
    From birth we LIVED surrounded by lead. We ate it and breathed it. As babies our toys were lead, even our cribs and house was painted with lead.

    Some of us shooters shot lead bullets, in poorly ventilated indoor for YEARS.
    Some of us cast lead bullets for many years.

    Our cars ran on leaded gas.

    Etc, etc, etc,

    It's just common sense.
    My whole generation should have died out, at least by our 20's, if lead was actually anywhere near as big a danger as the Feds make it out to be.

    The only reason for the lead scare is to create jobs for the Feds.
     
  35. "The only reason for the lead scare is to create jobs for the Feds."

    And Job #1 for feds is to harness us infidels and believers in the US Constitution by any means possible.
     
  36. People are still finding fully intact oxidized lead balls from the Civil War. You have nothing to worry about.
     
  37. No worries about it at all...
     
  38. Thanks. These replies are reassuring.

    I'm just wanting to make sure I'm a good neighbor.
     
  39. wow...I def don't put enough rounds down range to have that thought pop up in my head, but its a legit question...

    My assumption is along w/ Ithaca: lead is natural and in the ground nature has its way of dealing w/ it
     
  40. The only thing I can think of that would cause me any problems is if I try to sell the farm to one of those CT or NYC retirees who would be totally DEVASTATED if they thought anyone actually fired a GUN on the very same land their little feet are planted upon. :cowboy:
     
  41. Don't let the EPA track down your IP address!!! I will cost millions. :)
     
  42. Yeah, that would be funny. :)

    I have a 25+ yard range in the back yard and a 115 yard range in the woods about 400 yards from the house.

    The fired cases that can't be reloaded, such as Russian steel cases that are shot on the longer range are just tossed into the woods.

    I joke that some future generation will find these rusted cases and fired bullets and think a hell of a battle took place here. :)
     
  43. That's funny, right there.

    There are piles of those Russian/Chicom empties in several places around here, so... I'll just tell any anti that 'there was a helluva battle here' during the WWII struggle. It would take an exceptional liberal to know better.
     
  44. Yes I shoot on my own property. No, I have no concerns about it contaminating the ground. It came out of the ground in the first place. When I first apprenticed at Ironworking, I started where everybody did, in the paint depts. and this was when we still used both Red and White lead. We would literally get soaked in the stuff from head to top of boots. Also, when I was young, all our houses, the woodwork inside them AND the baby cribs were painted with lead paint. Bet you've never seen a baby chew on his/her crib have you? hahaha.
    Just MHO but I think the whole thing is blown out of proportion about like Al Gore's Global Warming.
    BTW: This isn't lead but any of you like those white cream topped and or filled donuts? Read on the label of one of the 5 gal. buckets from the deli what makes that sugar & oil mix White! White PAINT Pigment and people gobble it up. Titanium Dioxide!
    All the steam heat pipes in the school (elementary) that I attended were insulated with thick coatings & wraps of Asbestos and to my knowledge, none of us has died from mesothelioma yet. We used to hammer on the pipes with out fist when the sun was shining brightly to see the clouds of "Stuff" poof out of them, that of course being powdered asbestos.
    I think a whole lot of this stuff is Way Overblown or else none of us would still be here. The population would have died off long ago.

    Oh yes, One more. When I went to school for electronic tech. they taught us to use our Third Hand when needed to hold the coil of solder while one hand held the component to be soldered and the other held the soldering pencil. That "third hand" was the teeth in our mouths & yes it was of course Lead solder back then.!

    I don't worry about the hand cast bullets I plant out back in the ground the slightest bit as far as contamination goes.
     
  45. And I bet you got Mercury from the school chem class and spent the day rubbing the Mercury on Nickels and Dimes with your fingers to make them Silver.

    Now if a Mercury thermometer breaks the Haz Met team is called out.
     
  46. GOLLY, dude, th' EPA gonna be huntin' you down. :cheers:

    Those commie environmentalists have always been heavily invested in scaring folks to hell and back. They rejoice when they can get our skins to crawl with their great warnings of imminent disaster and ruin. If it isn't lead, it's asbestos, if neither, then it's Man Made Global Warming... or vaccinations.. or who knows what else.
    There is, however, good reason to not want kids to be exposed to lead- Pb. Good, dependable studies show that lead accumulation in kids' brains lowers cognitive skills. aka.. IQ functioning.
     
  47. If you did have an elevated lead level in blood streams then eating italian/American food with tomato paste and garlic will take the lead out of your system especially shooting indoors ;-) More spaghetti and garlic n cheese bread is fine with me.
     
  48. Now why didn't I know that when I was in school.
    I could have blamed my poor grades on lead. :)
     
  49. I don't shoot on our property, because it's inside the City limits. We are considering moving out of town and setting up a pistol bay is one of the main incentives, so I have thought about this some.

    I would not be concerned about the lead having an adverse chemical effect on me or anyone else. But if we ever wanted to sell the property, a prospective buyer might be concerned (legitimately or otherwise) about contamination. I'm not sure of the complete mitigation scope that could come into play, but it could be pretty expensive, especially in the context of a private sale.

    I've worked on a few commercial and institutional development projects with decontamination involved, and it can be a big deal. You don't necessarily have to agree with the need for cleanup in order to be liable for it.
     
  50. Building a shooting box to hold sand for a backstop or just piling sand on a couple of thick rubber horse stall mats from tractor supply will give you an easy inexpensive way to localize lead for removal and make clean up easy in case of pending sale to snooty liberal anti gun vegan from city.


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