Non-Toxic Shot for More-Efficient Waterfowling
There has been much ado in recent years about non-lead ammunition - and for good reason - it's a conservation conversation well worth having. Currently the conversation around lead-based ammunition is largely framed in terms of ecological and personal health in the big game hunting arena. For water-fowlers though, shooting non-lead has been a foregone conclusion for nearly 30 years.
Thankfully, renewed hunter interest has spurred ammo manufacturers into offering more options in bismuth, tungsten, and mixed-media duplex loads that promise more devastating downrange effects.
Only recently have the big ammo manufacturers began to broaden their use of these heavier-than-steel non-toxic options, making them far more accessible for the average hunter. Of course, these premium products garner premium prices, but are they worth it? If they’re actually more effective, then the answer could be a surprising yes.
Ambassador Tristan Henry, with help from Leland Brown of The North American Non-Lead Partnership embarked upon a grade-school style science experiment. They tested a range of shotgun ammunition and evaluate it for efficacy on two criteria: pattern density and penetration. Then, they would take our findings to the field where we could see if our expectations for terminal performance carried any weight.