MaduroBU wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:16 am
The meta-analysis that I reviewed compared instructors using jacketed and cast bullets and found a small difference, but the n was only 2. For pistol, I load Hornady HAP, so no exposed lead at the base. I do pan to use FMJ for my carbine, so that vaporization may be an issue.
The thing that scared me was all of the outdoor shooters with levels over 10. I always assumed that shooting only outdoors relived the risk, but this data made me question that conclusion. To be fair, the studies are all over the place, but there are a lot of folks whose levels were too high.
You have a logical concern. My reply will only represent a sample size of 1: me. I very rarely shoot indoors. It's actually been several years since the last time I did. I get a blood test at least once a year and my doctor informs me about any particular level is high, And after 32 years of handloading my lead level is within the normal range.
I was never much into loading FMJ because the prices are just too close to JHPs. And, aerodynamically, JHPs have proven slightly more accurate and why Hornady introduced the HAP. But for those who do want to shoot FMJ, not all of them have open bases, you just have to look around. Since I've never loaded them, maybe that's how my lead blood level has remained within the norm.
For plinking ammo, I've always loaded hard cast lead bullets until a few years ago when poly-coated came along. That's all I load today outside of JHPs. The coating vastly decreases your exposure to lead and they are a good bit lower in price vs plated. That's not a knock against plated for those who like them. The article I mentioned elsewhere here was about 4 different 147 gr. Hollow-points I've been working with for defense loads. One of them is the Berry's Hybrid Hollow-point (HHP) where the plating gets bonded to the core. I've found that they work very nicely so long as you don't push them above 1000 FPS and my particular test load was 976 FPS.
Hopefully, you have been using a chrono log. And if you don't have a chronograph, you need to get one. Here's how I would conduct testing. I would compare average velocity, extreme spread and particularly Standard Deviation for identical loads using standard primers and compare them to the loads you make with the lead free primers, where the only part of the loads that are different are the primers. Velocity may not change that much, extreme spreads may and the most important stat will be standard deviation. If your lead-free primer loads match very closely, then your question is answered. There are also some new generation powders that might hepl with your testing process. For faster loads like self defense loads, Hodgdon CFE has additives to help it burn cleaner and help deter copper fouling. A couple of newer ones have come out more recently that are better suited to target loads and lower power factors typical of USPSA and IDPA. Those would be Alliant Sport Pistol and Winchester W244.