Non-Lead shot info

Shot gun’s non-lead substitutes.

The range of substitutes continues to grow as does experience among wildfowlers of their use.

Bismuth

Generally good ballistically and available in a wide range of loads up to magnum. No problem for guns. Available in fibre and plastic wads. Available loose from specialist reloading companies.

Steel

Cheapest and available in a range of loads up to 42g (31/2″), plus clay loads, from Eley, Lyalvale, Gamebore and Hull.

Available loose from specialist reloading companies. Care is needed to match steel shot cartridge with gun to ensure compatibility and safety according to CIP regulations.

Care is also needed over high velocity loads as these may increase risks to guns and could invalidate insurance claims in the event of damage.

Do not use in Damascus barrels or tightly-choked guns. Most steel shot comes with plastic wads.

Important information on steel shot use, especially High Performance steel, and CIP (International Proof Commission) regulations are available from BASC (Tel: 01244 573 000). Wildfowling steel shot loads typically are “High Performance” and to be fired only through Steel Shot-proved guns.

Tungsten based shot

Impact Tungsten Matrix is available from Gamebore. Loose tungsten based shot types are available for homeloading from Clay and Game Reloaders in a range of types and sizes, some suitable for wildfowling. Reports on performance are good.

Plastic wad usually recommended but others are becoming available.

Hevi-Shot

Dense shot supplied by Lyalvale. Impressive performance. Should not be used to extend shooting range, but to increase effectiveness at standard ranges.

Several other materials

Based on tungsten for its density, have been approved for use in the USA and are sometimes available in the UK. Contact BASC research team for further details or any doubts.

Homeloading/large-bore guns

For homeloading advice, equipment and shot contact specialist reloading companies.

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