lead free shot


February 10, 2013, 05:21 PM

If you enjoyed reading about "lead free shot" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 10, 2013, 05:51 PM
Maybe we should leave all that lead in the mines, where it isn't harming the Earth for some reason.

February 10, 2013, 06:07 PM
Folks, we do try to be civil here, remember?

If you have an answer, answer politely like a gentleman.

If you have an insult -- go shout it at a mirror.

February 10, 2013, 06:13 PM
Well, steel shot is supposedly less harmful, but unfortunately, is much less effective for bird hunting - less energy per projectile, shorter effective range etc.

So maybe you can make the 'feathers fly' but you'll have more maimed birds and flyaways.

No thanks, I'll stick to lead, other than where it is banned by law.

February 10, 2013, 06:17 PM
I admit, I really like some the older models such as the Winchester 12. It ruins their barrels. A bit of a conflict with me. I have seen firsthand the effects of lead poisoning to eagles and it's pitiful.

February 10, 2013, 06:20 PM
I'll stick with lead where legal as well. It gets really old chasing crippled birds all over the place in the boat. I really don't want to be chasing birds in the field.

February 10, 2013, 06:21 PM
Nice thing is that the market has come up with a number of really good alternatives for use in sensitive areas where the lead can affect the eagles. They're pricey, but you don't usually need THAT many shells for a successful day of duck or goose hunting, (and the sports tend to be bloody expensive anyway! :))

So the issue really is a declining one.

February 10, 2013, 06:26 PM
I stopped waterfowl hunting when lead was outlawed back in the early 80's. I shoot too much at targets to go with something more expensive and not as good for the task at hand

February 10, 2013, 08:08 PM
I could live with it...

February 10, 2013, 08:15 PM
You may have helped restore a little faith that Americans might sacrifice a tiny bit today for the better tomorrow.

February 10, 2013, 08:35 PM
"how many are willing to use lead free shot for all shotgun shooting?"

I can afford to if it's proven to be necessary for all shotgun shooting. If. There is more to the science of lead than meets the eye.

I spent the money for Hevi-Shot for many years when I hunted ducks and geese. I wouldn't want to spend that kind of money shooting multiple rounds of clays every week, so steel might have to do.

I have a question for you. What have you given up; do you shoot only lead-free shot?


February 10, 2013, 08:49 PM
Fair question. I don't bird hunt nowadays. If I did again, I would avoid lead shot on upland game. Not interested in waterfowl. On a fishing forum I asked about people's opinions of using a biodegradable line Eagle Claw tried but pulled a few years later. I think it wasn't marketed well as many people I asked about it never saw it but like the idea. If we really value our outdoors, we may have to change some habits of different activities or our concern is in vain.

February 10, 2013, 09:51 PM
I don`t use steel, I try & use Bismuth when I am hunting in a lead free zone..............

February 10, 2013, 09:57 PM
Where I shoot, we mine the fields regularly, so the shot is reused again and again - I think that is doing a great job of taking care of the outdoors

February 11, 2013, 06:24 AM
The local trap and skeet range actually requires the use of lead shot. I think they reclaim it.

A quick google search suggests the next closest trap and skeet range is maybe 80 miles away. Mostly city driving. And I didn't check if they allowed the use of lead free shot either.

It's also too expensive and I suspect my older full choked shotguns can't safely fire it.

February 11, 2013, 06:34 AM
I can tell you that Hevi-Shot is great for turkey hunting. Kills at 50+ yards multiple times with my SP-10. Gotta pattern you gun to see what it likes. Mine blew out the center of the target at 40 yards.

As noted, it would be too expensive for a round of clays

February 11, 2013, 06:43 AM
In the light of evidence of the toxic effects of lead shot,

The science behind the "evidence" is questionable at best. I use non toxic shotshells for waterfowl because it is required by law. I will continue to use lead for everything else until someone develops something that proves to be cheaper and or better.

I do somtimes use non-lead big game bullets, not because of environmental concerns, but because in some applications they have poven to be better than lead bullets.

February 11, 2013, 06:52 AM
How do you know it was lead affecting the eagles and not some other compound? Back in the early 70s we saw an eagle - just one - at the swamp where we duck hunted a lot. So did a lot of other people hunt there. I said "don't say anything, they are liable to ban hunting." That place is now lousy with eagles. Up on the river where we goose hunt, and so do tons of other people, there are eagles all over the place and they have been there since well before the lead shot ban. If you cripple a goose they will race you for it. Also, eagles, being carrion eaters and carnivores, do not rely on grit and a craw to digest their food nearly as much as birds that eat seeds and such, so they should be far less liable to the effects of any lead shot. The silly tests on ducks used ducks fed exclusively corn and lead pellets; hardly a real world scene.
I am afraid that since the environmentalists seem always ready to jump one way at the drop of a hat, I am ready to jump the other way. Just once before I die I would like to meet an "environmentalist" who is FOR something. I'm also afraid there are just too many of us to go out and subsist on nuts and berries with the ghost of Ewell Gibbons.

February 11, 2013, 08:26 AM
They don't know. The science is iffy at best. Meanwhile, we're being challenged - dared even - to change our ways and explain why we're such bad people.

I'm trying to be polite. :)

Sav .250
February 11, 2013, 08:45 AM
It`s not a big issue with me. They say use steel shot........Ok with me.

February 11, 2013, 11:25 AM
I think I would take the opinions of vets and scientists who work on wildlife and diagnose their health problems to treat them. I'm also a little put out over Americans who complain that their national symbol is increasing their population to thrive when we nearly exterminated them, some Americans in past decades shot them down for no more reason then to watch them drop. I have shot a lot of guns and thrown a lot lead everywhere and realizing the toxic nature of lead prompted me in making some changes in my habits to help prevent further problems.

February 11, 2013, 07:04 PM
So... inquiring minds want to know, what do you shoot now?

February 11, 2013, 07:48 PM
I think I would take the opinions of vets and scientists who work on wildlife and diagnose their health problems to treat them.

That would all depend n who is paying their salaries - if it is the CDC, a major University, or the Federal government, I would have serious doubts about their methods, data, and results - not like they haven't used skewed data and bias slants on things like global warming and other environmental issues.

If you are that concerned about the environment, does that mean you only ride a horse or bicycle? Auto smog poses a greater risk than all the lead in the world

February 11, 2013, 08:54 PM
I'm starting to look at lead a little differently. I would never argue in favor of a lead free ammo mandate or anything like that, but I'm in the process of switching to completely lead free for all hunting.

The way I see it, I wouldn't add a few granules of lead dust to my steak or pizza, so why would I do that to my wild game?

Trace amounts of lead in what a person eats may or may not have a huge effect on a person, but it doesn't sit well with me. I also worry a lot about mercury in fish.

February 11, 2013, 09:20 PM
And we took lead out of paint because ghetto babies were eating the chips. Took years and lots of rusty cars before the paint industry recovered. We are the only country with all the child proof bottles and warning labels out the ying yang on everything. I want to get some bumper stickers made:

February 11, 2013, 11:01 PM
I doubt the vet working the wildlife rehab here is involved in a conspiracy. What does driving a car have to do with shooting a gun? Remember leaded gas? And the foul air pollution so prevalent back in the 80s? Tightening emissions and so forth improved air quality. Every change, even small can make a noticeable difference.

February 12, 2013, 06:02 AM
I also worry a lot about mercury in fish.Good point. I do refuse to shoot any fish with mercury ammo.

February 12, 2013, 06:42 AM
I don't know if your vet is involved in a conspiracy or not. I don't know him. Is he a member of PETA? Look at all the doctor's with no gun signs on their offices. People all have an agenda that may or may not be related to their work. Please don't tell me you watch CNN or MSNBC because they are unbiased.

February 12, 2013, 09:13 AM
I despise the 'unleaded' shotgun ammo. First year we all had to use it for waterfowl, I thought the ducks had grown Kevlar feathers......

February 12, 2013, 10:44 AM
Steel has come a long way since the 80's its much better now, than it was back then!
With that said; I will continue to shoot lead (where legal) until the Tree Huggers and Whale Savers get their way!
I will not give up on persuing a sport I love because of an ammunition mandate, unless I just can't afford the ammo!

February 12, 2013, 01:57 PM
What is your opinion on using lead free shot for predator hunting? (Coyote, fox, bobcat.) What would be the best load and shot size?

February 12, 2013, 04:56 PM
What does driving a car have to do with shooting a gun? Remember leaded gas? And the foul air pollution so prevalent back in the 80s

SERIOUSLY? YOU are comparing the environmental damage done from folks shooting lead to something cataclysmic, (which it isn't) and you seemed genuinely overly concerned about the environment - to me, that would mean that you should be leading by example and not using a car (of course with only 29 posts I suspect another agenda) as to the lead in the air from exhaust - MILLIONS of gallons of gasoline vaporizing the lead into a small congested urban area, versus a few folks hunting with a solid metal in wide open urban areas - YOUR correlation doesn't wash I am sorry to say.

The whole non-lead waterfowl thing came about because of Ducks Unlimited. The Feds wanted to shut down waterfowl hunting for one or two seasons on the Atlantic Flyway to see if there were any differences. DU protested, so they just banned lead. ( This told to me by a major gun writer who was heavily invested time and money-wise at the time with these studies and with DU)

The impact of hunters using lead on the environment is so miniscule as to be not measurable. The impact of off-road ATVs, gasoline powered watercraft of every size, cruise ships and coral reefs, etc. pose a far greater risk top the planet and everyone's health.

February 12, 2013, 06:06 PM
Good point. I do refuse to shoot any fish with mercury ammo.


February 12, 2013, 06:13 PM
At the risk of going way off topic, I'll never understand the seething contempt that many outdoorsmen have for environmentalism.

Anything taken to an extreme is a bad thing, but you can't hunt or fish a toxic waste dump. Well, I suppose you can, but the results will either be sad (spending time in a barren wasteland where a forest once stood) or terrifying (realizing you don't have enough ammo to fight off the horde of sewer mutants now inhabiting your former hunting grounds).

February 12, 2013, 06:38 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioaccumulationDude, seriously...

I still won't shoot a fish with mercury ammo, though! :D

February 12, 2013, 06:59 PM
The lead battery used in automobiles is one of largest user of lead. I believe that lead batteries are a responsible for a huge amount of the lead pollution we are experiencing. A couple examples;
1. Take a look at how old batteries are stored and handled. They are out side in a fenced in area exposed to the elements, piled on a pallet every which way. some upside down, some on their side. They are dead batteries susceptable to freezing, and bursting the case. They pile them there waiting for the price of lead to go up before they will sell them. The lead acid leaks out and is washed away and soaks into the ground to leach into the ground water. Lead acid solution is very toxic.
2. In the event of a auto accident the chances of a battery surviving is slim at best. All that lead acid leaks on the ground and into the ground water.
IMHO lead from shot or bullets is minor compared to batteries. Just as steel and copper are alternatives to bullets and shot, there are alternatives to lead acid batteries. They very expensive and people don't want to, and they aren't willing to pay the cost. They choose to look the other way. So if we have to change the whole lead usage consumers as a group must change. must change. Not just the paint,ammo and fishing tackle industry.

February 12, 2013, 08:59 PM
Lead is an inert metal. Solid lead, like batteries, will not vaporize and go anywhere, and the chunks are to big for even the California Condors to eat. I am sure Lithium will be much better. Just ask Boeing.
I have a contempt for environmentalism because I see the zealots twisting everything to try and get their way. Phoney science out the wazoo. CNN purporting that global warming is responsible for asteroids no less. Mars has warmed up more than Earth over the same period. Think maybe the Sun has something to do with everything? And most of it is about money. So many people think they are all so altruistic - heck they are a profit free organizations. Yeah, they are profit free because they pay their top officers HUGE salaries.
Ducks Unlimited was NOT the driver on steel shot. John Olin - I suspect Alzheimer's - conducted a bunch of tests using mallards and corn and shared the data with the EPA and that was the impetus they needed. The real agenda was they were hoping it would kill duck hunting, but we had more perseverance than they had imagined.

February 12, 2013, 09:18 PM
Eagles and Condors don't eat carrion with lead battery parts, they eat meat with chunks of lead shot or bullets. Birds often eat the same as well as fishing weights in the environment mistaking it for grit for digestion. It takes a grain of rice-sized piece of lead to kill an adult eagle. Looks like Virginian is convinced that every act to eliminate pollution in the natural world is a conspiracy to eliminate his outdoor activities. Wildlife agencies are seeing their efforts to restore America's largest bird(California Condor) being frustrated by lead poisoning. Do a little research on the web, youtube. The evidence and the consequences is knee deep with examples. Jason is right that too many people think of the outdoors as something to exploit without acknowledging any consequences of their actions. Those who would enact laws to ban entirely all fishing and hunting see the refusal to change habits in the face of evidence as self-centered. There are other living creatures in the outdoors to be considered besides the ones you can lay in the back of your pickup truck or stack up for a photograph.

February 12, 2013, 09:28 PM
Right now for the foreseeable future I don't think we have much choice of what type of shot we use. 100 rounds of just dirt cheap birdshot has jumped from under $20 to close to $30. A shooting club that I frequent places massive orders for AA shotshells. Distributors won't even accept their orders. Just this summer distributors sent a salesman to their ammo order meeting to pitch other products. We are talking about a club that has an FFL and they buy 100's of cases of Winchester AA ammo every month.

If the ammo industry doesn't attempt to meet demand when the panic is over they will never recover all the shooters who have found other hobbies.

February 12, 2013, 10:46 PM
If I hunted I may or may not, I dont know enough about how the shot works on the target. But for trap I just cant afford it, it cost 2 more bucks a box. So currently no

February 13, 2013, 07:37 AM
By the way, I have probably spent well over $200 million dollars installing industrial pollution control equipment. It was entirely justifiable. I have no problem with dealing with real issues. But just for example, the environmentalists are against oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, geo-thermal, hydro, just about ANY energy source you can imagine. The fact is with NO population control we are just going to keep needing more energy. And every cause is soliciting money from the uninformed.
My point about carrion eaters was that they do not have a craw quite like seed eaters. The seed eaters craw, with the gravel they pick up, grinds the food and lead, if there is any, that can get in the blood. They are also much more selective about what they pick up and eat, except for billed species like ducks.
The phoney animal lovers like PETA will be the end of wild animals. If we would allow licensed hunting of the leopards, and charge enough that they are worth more via a tag than to a poacher, THEN we might see some progress. When an African farmer can raise crops and make MORE money letting the elephants eat it and hunter's shoot a regulated number than he can for tipping off poachers, then elephant poaching will go away. Unfortunately, in the real world, money - and votes which are just a road to money - is the driving force for just about everything.
I flat out do not believe a lot of the "claims". I have seen way too many eagles eating geese shot with lead without seeing one dead eagle to believe one shot pellet in a real world setting is gonna do it. When they analyse the tissue in a dead Condor and find lead, do we KNOW it came from a bullet, or accumulated car exhaust or something else? I am highly dubious. I do not think that every effort is aimed at eliminating my outdoor activities. I do believe the zealots are anxious to do anything they can think of that they think might help things, as they see it, without regard to the consequences to anything else. It doesn't have to be proven technology, if it might be better then do it and to hell with everything else. They operate on fear tactics just like the whole advertising world. If we don do yada-yade we won't have any more Bald Eagles. Bull. When they stopped using DDT all the raptors rebounded. There are hawks sitting all over the power lines these days and millions of LEAD shotgun shells fired at doves don't seem to be hurting them one iota. A lot of them do seem to be getting hit by cars though. Maybe we need to reduce the speed limit to protect hawks. Whoops, nope, too many voters won't like that one much. By the way, if malaria had been a big issue in the United States, the raptors would probably be gone, because we would probably never have banned DDT.
The owls needed 2,000 pristine acres per pair to survive, and we were able to kill a lot of logging, which they hated anyway. And then we found the same owls living happily right in housing developments in Northern California. Too much junk science and personal agendas. I do not trust them, at all.
If they can show me hard evidence, that I can believe, then I will listen. Otherwise we are at odds.

February 13, 2013, 11:25 AM
You take blood and measure the level of lead in it. You do an x-ray scan and see the chunk of lead in it's belly. Virginian, do you think PETA has taken over every aspect of society? Sounds more like paranoia. I mentioned the biodegradable fishing line that was introduced a few years ago. It was pulled because the demand wasn't what they hoped for. However, people I mentioned it to, never heard of it nor saw it but though it was a great idea. I'm trying to persuade the company to reintroduce it with a better name and marketing. Its more expensive but what price do put on a land you claim to love?

February 13, 2013, 12:08 PM
There's a whole discussion about trade-offs that needs to happen. Recently there has been some conversation about lead and eagles/raptors, but the source was not shot; it was bullet fragments in deer. The source of the story was reasonably credible, but the underlying political position was something like "if it would save just one bird..." as opposed to "here's what we know we can prove and here's what we think this means."

The ecological and economic reality (and these are linked) is our environment is cleaner, more diverse, and more productive now than it was 100 years ago. There are more trees in the US now than there were 200 years ago, by a significant margin. There is *much* more productive "edge habitat" than there was 200 years ago as well. Modern forestry practices encourage this, and deer hunting today is more productive, meaning more hunters and more animals, than ever before in this country. Wetlands are recognized in many states as something of value that needs to be preserved, not as a swamp that needs to be filled. Much of this result is directly due to sportsmen via licenses, excise taxes on guns and ammo, and sportsmen funded groups such as Ducks Unlimited and Whitetails Unlimited.

The research and conversation that is not happening is centered around what we know, what we think we know and need to prove, and what is acceptable. Those need to be rational discussions and analyses, not emotionally driven conversations. Emotion here will only lead to undesirable unintended consequences. Please try to think in these terms. It's really in everyone's best interest, even the hardcore environmentalists that react in horror at the horror of it all. :rolleyes:

February 13, 2013, 12:23 PM
I burn five boxes of dove loads most opening weekends. Politely, not no, but HELL no! If lead dries up, I'll just have to quit hunting doves, I guess. Limits on ducks are lower and I rarely ever sho0ot more'n 15 or 20 rounds a morning. I have put up with steel in the marsh. Fasteel has stopped the crippling that was a problem in the past, made the stuff more effective. But, I still long for the lead shot days, 5s from a 20 gauge 2 3/4" were deadly on ducks. Now days, I leave the 20 at home and 12s in 2 3/4" is all I use on ducks, number 2 or 3 fasteel 2 3/4". I've not yet found a 3" 20 that patterns worth a toot with biggish steel shot. Takes a 12 to push enough steel in a good pattern to take a large duck consistently. Geese, I've gone to 10 gauge. I just bought a 12 gauge 3.5" last year, but haven't gotten around to buying some 3.5" steel T to pattern in it. I ain't got much hope of it out-patterning my 10, though. That thing is amazing with the big bowling ball T stuff.

Bismuth, forget it, I'd just sell my shotguns. I ain't that rich, not even for ducks and geese. I'd just stick to deer hunting, I guess. Now, trap and skeet shooters shoot a LOT of rounds, a box per round. It would stop many a working man for participating if you tripled the price of a box of ammy, I'm betting. The .410 and 28 bores would likely disappear as they would be useless with steel, the only half way affordable non-toxic.

Nope, I vote no. Of course, I bet there'll be a push considering the current state in DC, wouldn't surprise me, anyway. Just fact, if they did it and I could still get lead dove loads or lead shot to reload, I'd probably just break the law. Heck, the lead is falling on MY land, anyway and I've never been checked by a game warden while dove hunting on mine or my buddy's private land. I don't hunt public land for doves. Some laws are made to be broken or ignored. That may not seem high road to you, but it's how I feel about THIS particular subject, and gun control for that matter.

February 13, 2013, 12:29 PM
An observation on current non-toxic laws. I can hunt the same field iin September for doves using number 7.5 lead dove loads that I must use STEEL SHOT or some non-toxic over for geese in November. I never figured out that stupidity. Most such laws are agenda driven and rooted in stupidity. If lead is mandated for all shooting, you can bet PETA will be happy. Who's agenda do you think is driving it.

I've often though if the 10 percent of the duck population is being killed off by lead, which I'm VERY skeptical of, then why not drop the limits by 1 bird and allow lead shot? The "if just one bird" argument sickens me. Lots of birds were crippled in the 80s and 90s, lots more than would have died of lead, I'm betting, by ineffective steel shot. I learned to up shot size and go to 3", seemed to work better, but it's fasteel that really made the difference. Again, I use it on ducks, but I ain't goin' there for doves. It would be cost prohibitive.

February 13, 2013, 07:40 PM
Flyingfeathers, what do you shoot?

February 13, 2013, 08:21 PM
I would not trust the government if they said day was light and night was dark. They are the lowest of the low in my book. It's one huge self preserving bureaucracy, and Everything goes back to some politician's agenda. The Insurance Safety Institute's "safest cars" is BS. Last week some group published the list of vehicles that averaged the lowest total accident costs, including medical bills. Shocker - full sized pickups and SUVs came out on top. 6,000 pounds is better life insurance than 3,000 pounds makes perfect sense, but how will that encourage people to buy smaller cars ! One night in an ICU will pay for a Porsche these days. Maybe I am paranoid, but I don't trust anything anymore unless I see the raw data, or I know who came up with the conclusions.

February 14, 2013, 10:55 AM
Everything goes back to some politician's agenda.

Maybe I am paranoid, but I don't trust anything anymore unless I see the raw data, or I know who came up with the conclusions

AMEN to that!

February 14, 2013, 10:58 PM
something is smelling phishy here. OP doesn't answer questions, just wants to preach.

Remnds me of a recent visitor named Timmy.

If you enjoyed reading about "lead free shot" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!