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  1. #1


    hi after escaping the lead ban here in n.ireland for this last few years it,s finally coming on september 1,i wonder if anyone of you guys in scotland can give me they,re opinions on what type off shell they found to be most effective on duck, i,ve been hearing alot off very different reports.
    i have been told that heavyshot is the way to go,whilst others say bismuth or even steel works well.
    thanks the scudd

  2. #2
    Hi The Scudd,

    I am from the South East of England did quite a bit of wildfowling last year obviously having to use non toxic shot, i started off using steel at the beginning of the year it was fine on ducks at short range but as you pushed out i felt it just lost hitting impact...
    Then i went onto using heavyshot, found this was much better and even when the duck got stronger and higher still did the job, only issue it will cost you more than steel...
    hope this helps...



  3. #3
    Hi Scudd

    This is a subject very close to my heart.

    If you load your own shells, no need to panic at all, if you don't, start now! I lived in Lincolnshire for ten years and had 2000 acres 5 miles inland from the wash to play about on, god how I miss it now I live in Gloucestershire, having said that I now have much more stalking, can't have it both ways. I strongly suggest that you get into homeloading then you can make the cheaper altenatives much better. Steel is obviously the cheaper option, unfortunately shop bought cartridges are crap, this is because in the UK steel shot is subject to CIP regulations including a speed limit, yes, you read that right, a speed limit because of the potential ricochets. Load your own and the problem goes away legally and steel becomes fantastically effective and by far the cheapest option.

    Bismuth was all the rage for a while and is indeed reasonably effective but horribly expensive. ITM (tungsten) is also very effective but very expensive and quite difficult to load yourself because of its elasticity, push it too hard and the pattern will blow, similarly, push bismuth too hard and it can shatter as it is quite brittle. Now, Hevishot, unbelievably dense, lethal to gun barrels and lethal to fowl, absolutely brilliant if you load it yourself (better than lead) not so good if you don't. The only other alternative I have used was tin, don't even go there!

    I do have a huge amount of experience with non toxic shot and loads and can certainly point you in the right direction if you need it, I even developed a 10ga wad and case specifically for non toxic, the wad went to market through claygame reloaders but we couldn't quite get the case right for reloading. Incidentally, if you start reloading and have some mates who use either hevi-shot or ITM, the cases reload very well, if you get what I mean. I know a lot of people who still ignore the ban but I won't be drawn into a discussion as to why BASC allowed the ban to happen.

    If you want to get into reloading the best place to start is Claygame reloaders in Boston, Lincs. There is nothing Ian doesn't know about non-toxic. If you want any further info please feel free to PM me.


  4. #4
    We managed to dodge the ban here in Wales for a while longer but it inevitably came around and then the arguments started! Tin, bismuth, and tungsten matrix were all tried in their turn and each had its supporters and detractors. Personally, I found tungsten matrix quite acceptable.

    If you read up on the subject you should find that the situation needn't be as bleak as it might first appear. The only real problem is that most of the guns we use were designed to shoot lead. Change to a more appropriate gun and your problems should be solved. I opted for an Escort in 3" magnum which seems to do everything I require (apart from hitting the damn birds, that is!).

    Look here for an intersting read

  5. #5
    second Hillbilly's suggestion, have a look at Claygame website or give Ian a ring. What he does with non-toxic shot (of all kinds) is magic. Pure witchcraft!

    I have used most of the alternatives. Steel & bismuth I wouldn't bother with but both work up to 30 / 40 yards. Try steel at clays, doesn't even break those properly at 40 yards..... Bismuth is the better one of the two.

    I use Hevishot or ITM (or in the lowlands bismuth if its all I can get) in the 12, bismuth in the 20 on the very few occassions I use the horrible little thing (mainly because I always forget to buy any corks until the last minute and my local man only has 20 gauge non-tox by Eley) and I reload ITM in the 28 and its dynamite on anything!

    In summary, ITM or Hevishot but if you can't get it occassionally go with bismuth.

  6. #6
    Steel is a complete waste of time and effort. Use only hevishot on geese and you can get away with bismuth for duck - if you're careful to let them come in closer.

  7. #7
    A lead ban in bullets is the next thing on the horizon..Its started in the US and one of the Scandinavian countries all ready.

    You might think it can't happen here because the circumstances and issues in those countries are different to ours, but makes no bones about it, this has nothing to do with science, but another back door way of attacking shooting...

  8. #8
    Using non toxic shot and bullets might be a bother and is bound to cause some disruption but at least we can still hunt. Its when they start demanding non lethal rounds we really need to start worrying!

    Anybody fancy starting a thread about copper bullets?

  9. #9
    i really enjoy a bit of duck shooting on the avon in the winter it really is a beautifull sport but i cant express my absolute discust to the lead ban it was the crullest act ever to be carried out apon wildfowl and i hate to think how many duck and and geese have been wounded since the ban (rant over) i use steel only because of the price and i know how crap it is but the only advice i can give is let the duck do one or two more turns when they circle above you than normal when they are pitching just so as they are that much closer but i know this is not much use when you are sat on a flightline and there not coming in

  10. #10
    Sorry to disagree chaps but if you load steel yourself you are not subject to CIP regulations and the speed can be increased without the pressure, why do the yanks use it so much? because they are not subject to stupid CIP regulations. I used steel for years at way beyond CIP regulations and regularly shot both ducks and geese at 35+ yards. If you need the data, ring claygame.

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