Lead Round Nose (LRN) Bullets Explained

The lead round nose bullet is probably what most people think of when they hear the word “bullet”. These bullets have the round nose that was one of the first bullet styles created to replace the old muzzle loader weapons and it remains popular to this day. These bullets have a lot of properties that make them great for multi-purpose use. They are usually cheaper than other styles, feed well in a wide variety of weapons, deform on impact and are very accurate.

You can’t really go wrong with a LRN bullet for any occasion but they do have some limitations and these seem to be increasing every year. The biggest limitation is lead. Some places simply don’t allow it in any capacity whether it’s related to the bullet left on the ground or the small amount of lead particles that enter the air when you fire them. They are also notorious for being hard on gun barrels but a good cleaning routine can take care of that.

Lead Round Nose Features

Lead Nose – The lead nose for some reason isn’t very popular at the moment among shooting forums around the net. This seems to mainly be due to restrictions but it’s a very great feature for a bullet. The weight of the lead allows an amazing ballistic coefficient so they cut through the air extremely well, especially with a round nose. The lead also deforms on impact. Not as much as a hollow point would but enough that you’ll get a better wound than with a FMJ bullet usually. Lead is also simply easier to find and you can pick up lead nose bullets most everywhere.

Round Nose – Naturally, the round nose is a feature because it offers a tad more penetration than a flat nose but less expansion than a hollow point. It’s a good middle ground shape that’s very common for plinking and varmint control ammunition.

Lead Round Nose Advantages

Lead round nose bullets have the advantage of being commonly available and made for all kinds of different uses. Every major manufacturer will have up to a dozen special lines of this ammo with all sorts of various special uses and unique features to make them perfect for that use. You can find LRN ammo for hunting, defense, target shooting, match shooting, varmint control and backyard plinking. It’s also available in almost every caliber for pistols and rifles alike.

Lead Round Nose Disadvantages

This ammo type is so popular the main disadvantage is pretty much the lead. Some areas don’t allow it whether it’s public land, shooting ranges or even entire states. You should always check regulations before taking lead ammo with you these days to prevent trouble and possibly fines. The other main disadvantage with LRN ammo is some lesser known manufacturers don’t put a lot of quality control into their bottom-tier LRN ammo. If you find a ton of it for next to nothing, be wary. It’s usually recommended to use a brand you trust and are familiar with unless you’re using them for reloading purposes.

Overall, this is a popular bullet style that’s found in all kinds of ammunition. It’s easy to find, fun to shoot and does its job nicely. 

Written by Sam Jacobs