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Originally Posted by Carl46
Non-toxic dove loads are steel #7 and #6. Texas Game Commission did a study around 2008 (managed by Tom Roster) that found an ounce of steel in either size killed the same percentage of doves per shot fired as 1 1/8 oz of lead 7 1/2, the most popular load. The study was double blind, which means neither the shooters nor the observers knew what they were shooting. The cartridges were identical in appearance.

I bought a flat of steel #7 from Bass Pro Shop for $100 last summer, to use in a public dove shoot area in which non-toxic shot is required. I don't shoot them in old doubles, of course. I have a modern gun with fixed IC choke for such occasions.

Carl, I'm not being argumentative and I understand that you are merely quoting the results of a survey done but ......... after 62 years of shooting doves from here to Cordoba, and some 30 years of shooting ducks with steel (after the previous 25 years shooting them with lead), there's no way I can accept Texas' results as being the "whole story". I shoot ducks with bismuth and can darn well tell the difference in how my bismuth kills as compared to steel. I know we're talking doves here but I'm extrapolating a bit. Hell, I can even see the difference in my nickel plated lead dove loads as compered to regular lead loads, same payload weight. The difference isn't always in the number bagged to number of shots fired. It's sometimes in the difference between doves hitting the ground graveyard dead, or being wounded and having to be chased down and dispatched. Surveys don't always indicate differences like that. If I can see the difference between nickel plated lead and unplated lead, I can't accept that I wouldn't see a difference between unplated lead and steel. JMOBOE.

Another question comes to my mind concerning their survey. If they didn't let the shooters know what loads they were shooting, then the shooters wouldn't have been able to compensate for the (much) tighter patterns that the steel shot would have yielded out of their guns, because they wouldn't have known to "open up" their choke. So, with the steel shot shooters shooting considerable tighter choked guns than the lead shooters, are we to understand from that, that tightening the choke doesn't cause more misses on a dove field? This makes me wonder if the "officials" asked everyone to use the same choke in their guns, or what?


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Originally Posted by HomelessjOe
Banning lead shot hasn't helped the duck populations.

Simply wrong. Again.

But you knew that.


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It's worse than that Stan.

Anybody standing off to the side can hear the difference.

Steel and lead loads sound distinctly different.

Roster has been known to dabble in alternative facts.


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These studies are nothing more than yet another tactic to greatly curtail and even ban hunting. Like others have posted the whole "Killing the Eagles" argument is nonsense.

I am 62 and have seen far more eagles in recent years than I ever did as a kid in the 1970's. The same can be said for hawks, buzzards, owls, and other predators. I can't say the same for ducks, however.

Bills were introduced last year in both Maine and New York to ban lead ammunition, and both were defeated. One of the arguments that the anti's were using in both bills was that non-toxic alternatives were both readily available and on-par cost wise with lead ammunition. This is partially true.

While steel shot has come a long way, is readily available, and reasonably priced the other non-toxic alternatives such as Bismuth and Tungsten-Matrix are not. As we all know, steel shot is not suitable for many or our vintage and or tightly-choked guns.

While also true that many manufacturers are producing non-toxic projectile rifle cartridges, they tend to be in the most popular or best-selling calibers. Not everyone hunts with a .270, .30-06, or 7mm. The guy who hunts with a .32 Special, .35 Remington, or say a .348 Winchester is out of luck with any ban on lead ammunition. It is doubtful that the major manufacturers will eventually load these older calibers with non-toxic projectiles.

What about the traditional muzzleloading hunter? And what I mean by traditional are those who use a flintlock or percussion muzzleloader using loose powder and a patched roundball. A lead ban puts them out of business as well. Yes, they produce a non-toxic projectile for the modern in-line type of rifles, but they are not suitable for the traditional rifles.

Factor in this crazy ammunition shortage and a lead ban puts a whole lot of hunters on the sidelines. Some outdoor writers have even jumped on the non-toxic bandwagon promoting it as "the right thing to do." It may be, but they are not thinking about some of the scenarios I mention.

Never give the anti's any sort of little victory. They will never stop. If it is not a ban on lead ammunition it will be something else. And if they get a ban on lead ammunition it will be something else.

We as hunters and conservationist have always done more for wildlife and habitat than the anti's ever have. We are also far more efficient at policing ourselves.

Eventually we will wean ourselves off of lead ammunition. It is inevitable. However, it should be gradual and voluntary, never mandated.

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Even if we disregard the controversial bullet and shot toxicity problem, I think wildlife deserves that we handicap ourselves a bit, especially since nearly all humans now hunt for sport or occasional table fare, not for commerce or survival. After all, wild animal escape mechanisms are unchanged, while our ability to kill them has steadily increased.

On the other hand, keeping traditional muzzleloaders legal with lead balls seems justified as they seldom lose weight on impact. I don't know if saboted solids are available, but they could be the answer for people who wish to keep hunting with calibers for which solids are not currently manufactured.

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I did not intend to say steel is or is not as good as lead, although the study would suggest that. I am saying that is what we will use when (not if) lead shot is banned and quoting a study that indicates we will still be able to shoot doves when it happens. Lead shot is banned now in California, and any cancer that starts there seems to spread across the country. The anti-lead (not necessarily anti-hunting) people consider the use of lead shot a process of mining heavy metals and distributing them evenly across the surface of the Earth. While I consider things like single-use plastics to be far greater factors in our poisoning of the planet, they are not entirely wrong.

We manage to drive cars without leaded gasoline, and we will manage to shoot without lead ammunition.

Rick Bin, the moderator of 24-Hour Campfire, is a California quail hunter. He is loading steel/TSS duplex cartridges (steel shot with a sprinkling of TSS, like a sundae) and reporting more effective, longer-range kills than with lead. Maybe that's what the future holds. Rick is, of course, not shooting Damascus barreled antiques.

Maybe we will shoot doves with TM. I started out scraping up the cash for a few boxes of cartridges when I was a teenager, maybe I'll be doing it again. If I can find any to buy.


Caution: Hunting and fishing stories told here. Protective footgear may be required.
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Hal, sabot copper bullets have been sold for at least 20 years. Barnes is one maker. The rifle needs a faster rate of twist than the 1:66 roundball rifle, but they work.


Caution: Hunting and fishing stories told here. Protective footgear may be required.
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Originally Posted by Carl46
....We manage to drive cars without leaded gasoline, and we will manage to shoot without lead ammunition....
What would you recommend be shot through the barrel of an original 1800's rifle, sabots? I don't have many of them, but they all get shot, and none of them will ever have a non full lead original approximation bullet run down them while I take care of them. My enthusiasm wanes, but I plan to cast up at least a few thousand matching lead bullets to the rifles, no touch for me, to pass along to the next person, if somehow they stay together. And, gobran donain't gonna stick 'em onhisregistry. I have come to appreciate that while I don't like some things that others do, the grabbers do not care. I doubt the round ball justification will hold up very well.

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The Anti's don't care.

They don't care that a blanket ban on lead ammunition would mean retiring your grandfather's Savage Model 99, or maybe your Remington Model 8. Both of which still see plenty of use around the country.

They don't care about the guys who reject the modern in-line "muzzleloaders" and continue to shoot their traditional percussion and flintlock guns.

They could care less about Parker, L.C. Smith, Fox, or Lefever.

They also don't care about the sporting camps and guide services who would also be impacted by a blanket lead ban.

I'm all for non-toxic alternatives provided that they are compatible, truly readily available and affordable.

Remember and always realize that their real agenda is no hunting period. Like I said, help them achieve a little victory and it will be onto another ban.

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Why would a lead ban mean retiring an M99 M8?


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