Non-lead Ammunition: Why I Made the Switch

Lead toxicity is a significant cause of admission for Bald Eagles at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Eagles and other avian scavengers ingest lead as they scavenge the carcasses or remains of animals left in the field by hunters. When shot with lead ammunition, game animals can contain very small pieces of lead, which fragment upon impact with the target. We’ve asked hunters who have made the switch to non-lead ammunition to share why they made the switch, and how it’s working.

I made the switch from a lead slug to a solid copper slug for deer hunting. My wife asked me to switch after reading about lead poisoning in eagles on the Wildlife Center of Virginia website. I shoot a 20 gauge slug gun for deer. I found Federal Premium Trophy Copper Sabot slugs. They shoot great out of my savage slug gun, I can shoot one and a quarter inch groups at one hundred yards. I’ve shot six deer with these slugs with great results; one deer only took three steps after being hit.

The bottom line is, the solid copper slug shoots great and has excellent stopping power. They don’t cost any more than any other premium ammo. If it can save an Eagle, it’s well worth switching from lead to copper.

—Ken W., Virginia Beach, VA