Which non-toxic shotgun shells are best in regard to pellet material?
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Thread: Which non-toxic shotgun shells are best in regard to pellet material?

  1. #1
    Member jonmyrlebailey@yahoo.com's Avatar
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    Question Which non-toxic shotgun shells are best in regard to pellet material?

    Steel?
    Bismuth?
    e-Shot?
    Tungsten-iron?
    Hevi-shot?
    Tungsten-matrix?
    Other?

    I want as little recoil as possible. I don't want non-tox shot material to add to recoil over lead which steel shot has been purported to do because of the much higher velocities needed for adequate penetration of this light material.
    I want no crippled birds.
    I don't want damaged barrels or chokes.
    Excellent patterns with little or no pellet deformation.
    Hard, smooth shot that cuts through the bird's skin clean without pulling feathers into the body.
    Shotgun shells can't be prohibitively expensive: $2 or more for one single shell is probably not acceptable to most shotgunners

    Ideally, thoughtful hunters want no-tox shot that ballistically rivals the performance of premium lead loads as closely as possible
    without lead poisoning, chunks of feather in side the breast meat bruised shoulders or gun damage.

    Shotgun ballistics are complex: which no-tox shot is as close to perfect as possible?
    Last edited by [email protected]; 07-08-2018 at 09:04 PM.
    "Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew and dog will have his day." - William Shakespeare

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    Your $2 limit puts a crimp in your choices.

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    Member jonmyrlebailey@yahoo.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canvsbk View Post
    Your $2 limit puts a crimp in your choices.
    This revelation pretty much then rules out any notions of my taking up duck hunting or upland hunting in areas where non-toxic shot is forced upon hunters by bureaucrats. I would only hunt in situations where I could still toss lead at critters and not get into trouble. Lead is relatively cheap and can still kill quite effectively while being gentle on shoulders and allow breast meat to be presentable on the dinner plate depending upon loading specs, pellet construction, gun, gauge and choke. Lead (chemical symbol Pb) is old-fashioned, time-honored and has been proven for centuries. Going from lead to something else is much like asking American motorists to go from gasoline cars to electric vehicles. There was a even a stink among some people in the 1970's when they took lead out of gasoline.

    All shotgun shells are pretty much CRIMPED anyway speaking of CRIMP. Roll crimp or folded crimp? Your choice.

    For duck hunters, the affordable non-toxic "magic BB" has yet to be discovered and marketed it seems.
    Last edited by [email protected]; 07-09-2018 at 12:15 AM.
    "Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew and dog will have his day." - William Shakespeare

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    This revelation pretty much then rules out any notions of my taking up duck hunting or upland hunting in areas where non-toxic shot is forced upon hunters by bureaucrats. I would only hunt in situations where I could still toss lead at critters and not get into trouble. Lead is relatively cheap and can still kill quite effectively while being gentle on shoulders and allow breast meat to be presentable on the dinner plate depending upon loading specs, pellet construction, gun, gauge and choke. Lead (chemical symbol Pb) is old-fashioned, time-honored and has been proven for centuries. Going from lead to something else is much like asking American motorists to go from gasoline cars to electric vehicles. There was a even a stink among some people in the 1970's when they took lead out of gasoline.

    All shotgun shells are pretty much CRIMPED anyway speaking of CRIMP. Roll crimp or folded crimp? Your choice.

    For duck hunters, the affordable non-toxic "magic BB" has yet to be discovered and marketed it seems.

    You will not find anywhere where lead shot can be legally used for hunting waterfowl. Are you really that naive?

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    Recoil is a function of shot charge weight and velocity. What type of shot makes no difference. 1 1/4 of lead at 1200fps, and 1 1/4 tunsten at 1200 fps will have the same recoil. You did not mention what kind of gun you have. Modern shotguns can handle steel loads without issue. If you are that recoil sensitive then I suggest you get a gas autoloader that has additional recoil aborption, ie Beretta A400.
    Lead poisoning of fowl is real. Since birds have gizzards they grind up the lead pellets and absorb the lead. Where as if you swallow a lead pellet it is likely to pass through your GI tract relatively unchanged. To shoot lead in an area where you might not get caught, is a detriment to the resource. I personally would report anyone I saw shooting lead. In fact you cannot even have any lead shells on you when duck hunting, even if you are not using them.
    Newer steel loads are much better than they used to be but will never have the ballistics of lead. You want excellant pattern then it is up to you to get to the pattern board and shoot patterns with various choke combinations to see what you gun likes best. No short cuts.
    No crippled birds, only shoot birds inside 35 yards and be a good shot, ie practice, practice, practice. A good shot, and centering the pattern is the #1 key to killing birds.
    If you decide not to take up duck hunting due to shell cost, then you will save a ton of money elsewhere. Duck hunting is one of the more expensive hunting sports there is, decoys, blinds, clothing, waders, boats, etc,etc,etc. I shudder to think how much I have invested over the past 20 years. Might be better you not start than get infected with the duck hunting virus!!

    But there is nothing like ducks coming to decoys when it all comes together. Does not happen that often, though. Don't believe the hunting videos that show bird after bird coming in. They throw away hours and hours of negative footage. Scouting and being on the X is by far the most important thing you can do to succeed.
    There are no short cuts, there is a ton of work to put in to have a chance, then, you hope they will come back one more time.
    Nate Baxter, DVM
    Clarksville, OH

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    Senior Member spaightlabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freezeland View Post
    You will not find anywhere where lead shot can be legally used for hunting waterfowl. Are you really that naive?
    I believe Mexico and Brazil still allow lead...
    Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

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    Junior Member pghduckhunter's Avatar
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    Well said Nate! Sometimes I wish I would never have started duck hunting. The addiction is real!!! Between running my dogs and hunting the money I spend is ridiculous. C'est la vie....
    E.J. Thorne
    Newbury, MA formerly of Pittsburgh, PA

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    Senior Member spaightlabs's Avatar
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    John:

    Shotgun shells are the least expensive component of a fowler's budget - even for high volume shooters shooting fancy shells. If you think duck hunting is expensive, stay away from goose hunting...not duck hunting because of the cost of ammunition would be like not having a retriever because of the cost of kibble.

    Modern steel loads are very high performance and you don't have to get pummeled by recoil.

    If you can restrict yourself to shooting 30 yards and under you don't have to have the higher muzzle velocities or payloads that contribute to felt recoil.

    I shoot a 20 ga o/u for ducks and geese a few times a year just to get the o/u out for something other than dove and upland and have no challenges at 30-35 and under -it's all about calling them close - then it's easy to kill them cleanly and without a beast of a shell.

    I shoot 2.75 inch loads for teal and early duck, virtually no felt recoil.
    Last edited by spaightlabs; 07-09-2018 at 10:14 AM.
    Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

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    I have tried all of the nontox shot options you have listed, except e-shot.
    What do I shoot? For ducks, 3" steel number 2 in the heaviest shot charge weight I can find.
    I will gladly sacrifice a few fps for a dense pattern any day.
    As Nate B stated, pattern your gun, do your homework, shoot 40 yds or less.

    The old lead loads, especially the 1.5 oz 2.75", 1 7/8 oz 3", 2 1/4 oz,10gauge 3.5" loads, would really rattle your teeth!

  12. #10
    Member jonmyrlebailey@yahoo.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freezeland View Post
    You will not find anywhere where lead shot can be legally used for hunting waterfowl. Are you really that naive?
    As I had said I've canned the hankering to hunt ducks because of the ungodly prices of steel non-tox substitutes. I never claimed that it was OK to toss lead at ducks anywhere these days. I read Gun Digest back in 1993 and gunwriters then bad-mouthed steel shot right and left. These gunwriters do a lot of field testing and range testing with loads and report back to readers.
    Last edited by [email protected]; 07-09-2018 at 12:46 PM.
    "Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew and dog will have his day." - William Shakespeare

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