Pros: Reduces your exposure to lead and heavy metal
Cons: More expensive then other ammunition
As a firearms instructor I spend a lot of time at shooting ranges either practicing myself or running classes for students.
Unfortunately, the more time I spend at ranges, especially indoor ranges, the greater the risk I run from combined exposure to lead and other heavy metals. These risks associated with lead and heavy metal exposure from ammunition are well known among the firearms training community.
The problem is that most conventional small arms ammunition uses lead sulfuric primers and bullets that are either all lead, or if they are jacketed, have exposed lead at the base. When these types of rounds are fired the lead and other chemicals in the primer, along with the exposed lead at the base of the bullet, vaporize and can be ingested by the shooter.
These airborne lead and chemical particles do not pose a significant risk to the occasional shooter, but anyone who spends a significant amount of time at the firing range, this chemical exposure is a concern. Lead and heavy metal exposure can lead to serious health problems and, if enough is ingested, even death.
This problem is especially acute when shooting at an indoor range. Many ranges have older, outdated, ventilation systems that do not adequately clear and recirculate the air. This increases the exposure. Even newer ranges are still in enclosed spaces and do not have as much air movement as you would experience when shooting outdoors.
The Winchester Win Clean line of ammunition is designed to reduce the reduce the health concerns of prolific shooters.
The cartridge design uses a non-sulfuric and non-lead priming compound. This eliminates the primer as a source of lead and heavy metal exposure. The bullet itself has a full copper metal jacket that actually encapsulates the complete projectile. That means there is no exposed lead at the base of the bullet to atomize at the moment of ignition and then be inhaled by the shooter.
In all other respects this is typical handgun practice ammunition. The performance is the same as any other Full Metal Ammo. I have found it to be reliable in use and as accurate as any FMJ in this price range.
There are two downsides to this ammo: The first is that the lead-free primers have a shorter lifespan then conventional pistol primers. While the conventional primers will work after literally decades in storage, I understand that lead free primers have a shelf life somewhat under a decade before they become unreliable. Since I never let this ammunition sit this long before use, that has never been a problem for me.
The other disadvantage is the cost. The Win Clean line of ammo is noticeably more expensive then other equivalent target ammo. If you are only buying a box or two at a time, you might not notice, but if you buy in bulk as I do, the price difference is significant.
Still, whenever possible, I prefer to use Win Clean ammo when shooting at an indoor range. With the amount of time I spend at the range, and the real health concerns associated with heavy metal poisoning and lead exposure, I consider it money well spent.
Here are my other ammunition reviews.
Personal defense ammo for semi-auto pistols:
Winchester Ranger SXT RA9TA 9mm Luger 127 gr +P+ is a top defensive load
Federal C9BP 9x19mm 115 gr JHP is a great standard pressure defensive load
Winchester 9mm Luger 115 gr Silvertip is a good standard pressure load
Winchester .45 ACP 230 gr JHP for target shooting or self-defense
Personal defense ammo for revolvers:
Speer .38 Special +P 135 gr GD SB - Ammo for snub revolvers
Winchester .38 Special +P 125 gr Silvertips are not for Werewolves
Winchester .38 Special 110 gr Silvertips is a good standard pressure load
Blazer .357 Magnum JHP's for inexpensive target shooting with Magnum Force
Economical target ammo:
Blazer 9mm pistol ammo: Blaze away with cheap bulk ammo for target practice
Winchester White Box 9mm 115 gr FMJ ammo is good, cheap target ammo
Remington UMC Mega Pak 9mm ammo is good bulk ammo
Blazer Brass 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, cheap ammo for shooters on a budget
Sellier & Bellot 9mm Luger ammunition - An OK plinking round
Federal American Eagle 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, economical bulk target ammo
Winchester White Box 9mm FMJ ammo is 50 rounds of good, cheap practice ammo
American Eagle 9mm 147gr FMJ FP for target shooting
American Eagle 9mm 147 gr TMJ ammo reduces the risk of heavy metal poisoning
Blazer .45 Auto pistol ammo for 1911 pistols or other .45 ACP guns
American Eagle .45 Auto (.45 ACP) for the classic American 1911 pistol
The Winchester .45 ACP 230 gr FMJ load is a good budget ammo choice
Blazer Brass .45 ACP 230 gr ammo is good, inexpensive fodder for semi-auto pistols
American Eagle .45 ACP 230 gr TMJ ammo reduces toxic chemical exposure
9x18mm Makarov FMJ ammo by American Eagle for the pistol of the Russian Bear
Wolf Military Classic 9x18mm Makarov ammo - Avoid at all costs
American Eagle .38 Special 130 gr FMJ ammo for revolver shooters
American Eagle .38 Special 158 gr LRN: Good cheap ammo for revolver shooters
Winchester .38 Special FMJ Q4171 - You can do better
Winchester Super-X .22 LR target ammo for .22 plinking