Question for Dopers who own Glocks

The pandemic does strange things: My mother, of all people, has suddenly gone out and bought two Glock handguns (but not ammo yet.) I am concerned about the lead primer oxide and lead bullets in general and want to see if I can buy her copper or any non-lead bullets instead. Is it legal to buy them online? How hard is it to find non-lead ammo in general, especially nowadays?

Don’t be so paranoid.
First of all, unless she is eating the bullets, the amount of lead she is going to get in her body is negligible (unless she shoots herself).
You can reduce some of the lead contamination by shooting jacketed bullets, and shooting outside.

But really - Lead is a developmental poison. Once you are mature, it’s not nearly as dangerous.

Two? Is she in the habit of misplacing things?

the bullets are less of a concern, since most jacketed hollowpoint/softpoint bullets are copper all round the back of the bullet. just look for “lead free” ammo which uses something like DDNP.

Unless your mom is working at a bullet manufacturing plant or a shooting range, green bullets probably aren’t necessary.
Also FWIW, this is more a bullet question than a Glock question.

Please have her get shooting lessons.

Besides fully lead free bullets (metallic or nonmetallic) there is also what is called total (as opposed to full) metal or total synthetic jacketed rounds, where the entirety of the lead projectile is encased in the jacketing metal or polymer, which also reduces lead contamination.

As you mention in the OP there is also the matter of lead in primers. So one thing to be aware of is that lead-free is not necessarily “non toxic”, you may wind up with other sundry heavy metals in the round, primer or charge so one would need to do their brand research.

Even this pro-gun site leans on the side of don’t panic but DO take reasonable care to avoid unnecessary excessive exposure. This journal article goes more in depth from an acedemic scientific side on the various possible exposures and concerns about them.

It is not out of place to be cautious. For possible toxic exposure, gloves and keep fingers off of mouth and eyes until you’ve cleaned up after firing/servicing; ranges these days are doig the facemak thing as well (I suppose depending on local ordinances and philosophical leaning). Get mom a nice gift of a box of decon wipes for the end of any range visit. But biggest contribution to keeping her safe is what Beckdawreck said, find a good reputable training source.

Seems the biggest risk of lead exposure would be doing A LOT of shooting in a busy indoor range where the HVAC and HEPA filters may not be up to it and the guy in the next lane over may have several 50-round mags of sloppily made home reloads.

As far as I can tell the lead-free or nonmetallic ammo can be bought online but, as all types are, always subject to such legal restrictions as you’d have in your state/territory of jurisdiction. They seem to be subject to the same inventory issues as the other types in this time period, with the added complication that they were already less abundant and costlier to begin with.

Right, but I’d read that Glock handguns for some reason are not compatible with lead bullets (that they’d damage the barrel or something.) So I thought the issue might extend beyond mere toxicity.

She actually wanted to buy three - she lives with my sister and thought I might move into the house and worried we might face off a mob. (The pandemic and recent riots and she has a prepper/survivalist mindset).

Thanks, yes, she had one with an NRA instructor.

Unjacketed bullets can get more easily banged up and are very slightly more prone to jamming in semiautos in general. My glock19 is not a finnicky eater at all.

Glock does not recommend use of un-jacketed bullets in their firearms. They use a shallow polygonal rifling scheme which does not grip un-jacketed bullets well.

And in the case of semiautos, the majority of the common ammunition for commercial sale in the US market (most likely 9mm or .40cal in this case) is jacketed, rather than bare lead.

They are “not compatible” because they use polygonal rifling instead of the more traditional lands and grooves. This results in what is necessarily a tighter fit, so if unjacketed lead is used and it builds up it can create an over pressure event.

In my experience (I have two Glocks and a few other polygonal-rifled handguns), as long as you clean them every time when you’re done it’s no problem. But you have to be diligent, because if you forget this time, and the next time, and the time after that, you might be fine, but sooner or later KABOOM. It is best not to tempt fate.

As a rule, you ought to use the ammunition they recommend with the firearm. It’s like anything else, if you follow the recommendations the manufacturer provides you’ll very likely have no problems.

I have a glock. It’s only a cheapo one I got at the music store, so it doesn’t have the same range as a professional orchestral one.

Oh, we’re not talking about glockenspiels? Okay then.

I would think you could hold off quite a large angry mob with glockenspiels.

Well I did once see a video of a band consisting of just drums and glockenspiels, and it sounded like music that Satan would provide as entertainment in Hell. So you could be right.

I would think you could hold off create quite a large angry mob with glockenspiels.


You play glockenspiel and I’ll play drums (Beautiful South)

A good guy with a Glock is the only protection against a bad guy with a glockenspiel. Well, or maybe a good guy with a bag of earplugs.