birdshot penetration in wood?


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HankR
April 1, 2013, 01:50 PM
I have a question on birdshot penetration into living trees. I'm not a shotgunner (at all, but I'm willing to learn). My son is getting interested and we have room for a safe range. If he is standing about 75 feet from the tree row, will birdshot (7 1/2 or 8s, most likely) embed in the trees when he takes low shots? I'm not worried about leaf damage (on these particular trees and as often as he's going to shoot) but dead trees on our property end up in the woodstove and I don't want to damage a chainsaw or coat the inside of the chimney and our lungs w/ lead.

I could move him back to 125-150 feet from the trees, but it wouldn't be real easy. I hate to limit him to high shots. Any other options?

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herkyguy
April 1, 2013, 01:52 PM
at those distances, you might end up with some shot stuck in the trees. but why not give it a try and see for yourself if they penetrate?

Arkansas Paul
April 1, 2013, 01:59 PM
I'm not worried about leaf damage (on these particular trees and as often as he's going to shoot) but dead trees on our property end up in the woodstove and I don't want to damage a chainsaw or coat the inside of the chimney and our lungs w/ lead.

I can't see a few pieces of 7 1/2 or 8 shot damaging a chainsaw. I could be wrong about that though.

HankR
April 1, 2013, 02:13 PM
but why not give it a try and see for yourself if they penetrate

He and some friends shot about 100 rounds last week. I couldn't see any damage, but not all of the birds were low and I didn't know exactly where to look. I was going to throw a scrap of plywood out there next time they shoot and have them shoot at it once or twice, but I thought you guys might already know.

I can't see a few pieces of 7 1/2 or 8 shot damaging a chainsaw

Maybe not. The folks we bought the place from had tree forts/deer stands in that corner of the property. Kids use lots of nails in that application, and those sure will mess up a chain. Looking at that shot it's probably small enough the blade would just strip it out of the log w/out damage.

Thanks all,

Zoogster
April 1, 2013, 02:14 PM
Some will embed, small lead shot won't damage a chainsaw.

Trees are not good backstops if you don't want them to die, or become sickly and lesss healthy.
Occasional hunting is one thing, but what amounts to a backstop for target practice is going to destroy trees.

rcmodel
April 1, 2013, 02:17 PM
Nails are made out of the same stuff chainsaw chains are made from.
Steel.

Lead shot is made from --- ehhhhh - lead.

And it is too soft to harm a chain saw blade.

Tell them not to shoot any steel shot and you won't have any problems.

rc

oneounceload
April 1, 2013, 03:09 PM
We have one sporting clay course where trees have literally had the bark obliterated and removed. On others it looks like a thousand woodpeckers hit the trees for a week - and these are at the distance you are talking about

HankR
April 1, 2013, 03:52 PM
Tell them not to shoot any steel shot and you won't have any problems.

I will mention it, but I suspect their wallets will explain that part to them

Trees are not good backstops if you don't want them to die, or become sickly and less healthy.

Thanks,

"eventually" I'm going to put a decent berm back there for a rifle range. The existing trees (ash, elm, boxelder) are already sickly and I have already planted (teeny tiny) trees back another 50 yards (along the fence line, behind where the berm will sit). I think the existing trees may be on top of where some buildings were razed and covered with shallow, poor, fill dirt. Trees get only so big there, then die. As I mentioned, they are trees that are susceptible to local diseases, so maybe that's it (but the soil is also much poorer than anywhere else on the property, so all else being equal I'd rather the pellets land there. It's also a good distance from the house, and on the other side of the barn, so noise will be minimized for the summer when the windows are open).

bubba in ca
April 1, 2013, 11:49 PM
Try the plywood thing and see. If there is penetration, it seems the trees are expendable so whack them now for firewood before they are contaminated. You are right about not wanting lead smoke settling down on your house and yard.

rcmodel
April 2, 2013, 12:00 AM
I could move him back to 125-150 feet from the treesRegardless of all that.

125 - 150 feet is 42 - 50 yards!

The safety zone behind a trap or skeet field is 300 yards.

Whats behind the trees if the trees aren't there to stop every little piece of shot??

Lots of info here:
http://www.sksc.org/bod/Facility%20Planning/Current%20Trap%20and%20Skeet%20Fields%20110220.pdf

rc

HankR
April 2, 2013, 11:31 AM
As mentioned above, I do believe that we have enough room for safety.

Right now he is about 75 yards from our property line. After that it's about 3 miles to the nearest house (which is out of sight, over a slight hill). I would prefer for most of the shot to land on my property, and we will alter our positions if we detect any leaving the property. I would also like to be very sure that no shot is leaving with enough momentum to embed in the corn that will be in that field in a few months. Given the terrain, we can see if the neighbor is working in the field (and would not shoot when he is present--he is aware that we shoot back there, and in which directions). Once the corn is high we would not be able to see somebody sneaking around in there, but we are the only house on the section, quite a ways from the road, fenced etc.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, or point out any possible improvements!

481
April 2, 2013, 01:08 PM
We have a lot of trees (mostly pine, some hickory and a few oak) on one side of our clays range at the 80 foot mark that get hit regularly with 7 1/2 and 8 shot on low shots. At that range, the shot lacks the ability to penetrate the trees.

I know it is a tad farther than what you are shooting, but those little pellets really slow down rapidly and their ability to penetrate even thin bark at that range is very meager.

Sav .250
April 2, 2013, 01:47 PM
Hang an old carpet up . Use it as some sort of back stop. Along with your other stuff as well.

Or,cut down a few trees for a clear path to your target area.

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