On December 31, 2013, at the stroke of midnight, a factory closed its doors forever. This was no ordinary factory. In fact, it was the last of its kind. Except for the employees, who number 145, and the outside contractors, who number about 45, the Doe Run lead smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri, was the last place in this land that was able to produce refined lead from ore.
This closure bodes ill for most of us, and I’m not just referring to shooters when I say this. At issue here are new pollution standards set by the EPA and the security of our nation. As everyone knows, the majority of bullets manufactured today are at their core lead-based. Then they are enveloped in a thin layer of copper or some other material. Those like myself, who love the slow roar of a .255 grain round nose lead bullet coming out of their Single Action Army .45 are really going to be in hot water soon. Lead prices will soon soar to astronomical levels because all primary lead will need to be imported.
But here is the rub. Does this mean the military needs to begin contracting abroad to import lead for their small arms ammunition? Of course it does. What does this mean in a time of war or crisis? It means our ammunition factories will sit idle as the “winds of war” surround us.
For those of you who shrug your shoulders, remember this: lead is used in lead batteries for your car, roof flashings, nuclear energy storage, solar and wind power, cable coverings, and a host of other applications too numerous to mention here.
America uses 1.5 million tons of lead per year, and now the only avenue of obtaining primary lead economically has been closed. Next on the EPA list are the copper smelters, of which only three remain. Copper is the usual metal that encases the lead core of bullets, but now the bureaucrats have let it be known that the pollution standards for copper smelting have been raised, and it is unlikely that they will be able to meet those standards.
So now we are soon faced with the distinct possibility that our republic will not even possess the means to produce those bullets needed to defend this country.
Oh yeah—HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Image courtesy www.hobbygunsmith.com