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#12069257 - 06/03/17 Non toxic shot  
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websterparish47 Online content
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I guess I was asleep at the wheel when this stuff can out. Know a little about "steel" shot but this other stuff is new to me and I can't find much back ground data on it. Seems Titanium is slightly heavier than lead and lethal at lead velocites while heavy shot is a little lighter than lead and requires more velocity to equal leads lethality. Have I got that right? Are shot sizes the same regardless of shot make up? Educate me.

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#12069453 - 06/03/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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rondrews Offline
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Steel is considerably faster than lead. It slows down soon also because of less density. I was on the bandwagon when it first came out and in some areas it was the law. So I used different loads and found steel to be effective only in a larger size BB. I was a #4 Lead fan for ducks and a #2 Lead fan for geese, but I found the best steel BB's for ducks was #BB and for Geese BBB. I have tried a lot of the newer shot sizes, but lead is my favorite and steel is second. The cost of some of the new shot turned me off when I could buy a Box of 25 lead or steel for the same price as a box of 10 Hevi-Shot. As far as lethality goes, that is a different subject altogether. Now you are into Gauge, Choke, 2-3/4", 3", 3-1/2" and most of all what kind of a hunter are you. Do you skybust Geese? Do you Arkansas Ducks in your decoys? Do you field hunt over a pointing dog or a flushing dog or no dog. All these factors add up to "Lethality"
Now I hope you will get more info from those who are more knowledgeable about Tungsten and Hevi-shot or any of the newer products. I will stick to lead where legal and steel where it's required.


Better to be over the hill than under it.
#12069527 - 06/03/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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Thanks for your response.

I'm out of the duck hunting now. Haven't hunted them since non toxic became the law.(except for a single hunt about 5 years ago) Have never hunted geese. I still have an interest in shot shells and reloading. 12ga is my all around gun and although it has a three inch chamber I've only purchased one box of three inch shells and that was for turkeys.

For your interest, Dad called the decoyed ducks in and landed them. No one was allowed to shoot until the ducks were flushed.

#12069959 - 06/03/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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erich Offline
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I believe you are referring to tungsten instead of titanium. There are many non-toxics available and I will try and give you a quick synopsis of what is available.

1. Steel, the most cost effective non-toxic shot and is quite effective within it's limitation, it loses energy fast due to the fact it is light, lighter than lead but it works well for decoying ducks. I use #3 and #4 as I shoot just decoying ducks. I'm old and hunted ducks for a number of years like nearly 30 years with lead and my goto load was 1 1/8 oz of 7 1/2's early and 5's late in the season. Steel is hard and need barrels that are steel rated or very open fixed chokes.

2. Tungsten and tungsten related alloys, Hevi Shot, ITX-13, Hevi-13, Hevi-18 and TSS, all are close to lead in weight or heavier, they hold energy very well and like steel they need special wads and powder to load and are even harder than steel and again for shotguns designed for steel, they are also very expensive but effective for pass shooting and on large geese.

3. Soft non-toxics such as Bismuth, ITX-10, Tungsten-Matrix(powdered tungsten with a polymer binder to keep it soft) they are heavier than steel and very close to lead in weight again expensive BUT unlike steel and tungsten based shot these can be fired through old shotgun with fixed chokes, thin soft steel barrels even Damascus with the appropriate loaI shoot the soft non-toxics just because of my love for old sxs shotguns, if I shot a modern shotgun steel would work fine for me.


After the first shot the rest are just noise.
#12070320 - 06/03/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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Yes, I meant tungsten, thank you. You've given me a much better idea of the various non toxic. Thank you for your time and effort.

#12084640 - 06/11/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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DakotaDeer Offline
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Great summary from erich.

In a modern shotgun, the #2 category of shot is where it's at. From ducks/pheasants to geese and turkeys, everything is better about Tungsten Super Shot.

#12094786 - 06/16/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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George_De_Vries_3rd Offline
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I am by no means an expert or have even used all the different flavors of the "unleaded." But being an occasional watefowler and with more and more public land allowing non-toxics only even for upland hunting, I've sorted through a few of them. In spite of the price I've settled on Kent tungsten-matrix because it's density is 10.60 gms/cc compared to lead at 11.10 so it's very close and I can rely on five decades of brain-memory, shot judgement because it flies and kills like lead as far as I can tell. Not insignificantly, I have two SxS with fixed chokes so I can use them with this shot without worry of scored or bulged barrels.

I also found Bismuth to work quite well on ducks and pheasants but would do a mental, acceptable, range-reset to 90% of what it would be with lead.

My most unpleasant memory involving early (for me anyway) then appropriate-sized, steel shot was pass shooting geese in the 90's with steel where even at 35-40 yards we saw hits and even heard hits that geese "flew through" or coasted off hundreds of yards before hitting the ground. Granted, no doubt steel shotshells have come a long ways in two decades but because of the two guns mentioned above and even in several autoloaders I refuse to use it in the gunning I do.

Last edited by George_De_Vries_3rd; 06/16/17.
#12099278 - 06/19/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: George_De_Vries_3rd]  
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websterparish47 Online content
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" I can rely on five decades of muscle memory"

That was exactly the point I was trying to make on another thread where I got flamed pretty good. My lack of knowledge on current non toxics left me helpless to respond. I've seen non toxics advertised with MV of 1500 to 1700fps. I can't see how lead wouldn't be affected.

Last edited by websterparish47; 06/19/17.
#12104233 - 06/21/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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mart Offline
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I've played some with bismuth and ITX in my old guns and been well pleased with it. I tend to hunt small water with only a handful of decoys and keep my shots close, regardless of the gun and ammo choice. Bismuth 6s on close in, decoyed ducks is very effective but I haven't tried any long shots with it. I tried 6s because that season none of the suppliers had 4s or 5s in stock. I have a good supply of ITX 2s, 4s and 6s to load this year and am going to order some bismuth 4s as well. The ITX 4's really crush ducks well. I found its performance very similar to lead 4s though I know it's a bit lighter. Of course it's been 30+ years since I've fired a round of lead at waterfowl so my memory might be suspect on that. I haven't used the ITX 2s or 6s yet.

I like that either will get my old guns back in service, even if it's just for a couple of hunts. I have my Browning Sweet 16, a Lefever 12 gauge, a Thomas Bland 2 1/2" 12, an Ithaca Lewis 10 gauge 2 7/8" and my Dad's Ithaca 37 20 gauge. While I don't get each of them out every year for a hunt, it's nice to know I can grab anyone of them and put them to work in the duck blind.


"a large number of red blooded Americans have been striving to make us a Nation of Rifleman. We have succeeded. May we ever remain thus, for the privilege to bear, and the ability to use weapons is the greatest guarantee of Liberty." Townsend Whelen
#12116157 - 06/28/17 Re: Non toxic shot [Re: websterparish47]  
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k22hornet Offline
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I've used Hevi-Shot (Tungsten) since about 2002. Very lethal stuff.

Having shot my first duck about 1965 or so, I have used lead, steel and now Hevi-Shot. In my experience, HS is noticeably better than same size lead, so I step down one shot size from lead. HS 6 will kill Mallards very well out to about 45yds, and when using HS 4's, it usually penetrates through Mallards at 45yds, and kills geese in excess of 50yds cleanly.

When I run out of HS, I'll try some ITX shot from Ballistic Products.


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