Steel shot as an alternative of lead
The question of finding alternatives to lead shot was first raised in the last century. U.S. scientists proved that lead was the cause of death of entire populations of eagles and waterfowl. Since then, foreign hunters were forced to use only non-toxic fractions. In the USSR the problem with such a fraction was considered not environmental reasons. Just at that time the Union lacked lead for the slaughter of fur-bearing animals in the industry. Anyway, lead is an expensive strategic material, which is more expensive every year.
Since 1932, began active experiments with the replacement of lead. The hunters tried to use cast iron, but in the end received only damaged the gun. Only thanks to the persistence of scientists from the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR method was developed for the production of cheap steel shot and new design of the wad container made of plastic. Further improvement of steel shot started C. Mitichkin, but the hunters were wary to novelty and continued to trust lead.
Experience has shown that steel shot was quite easy to use. Cartridges with this fraction proved to be excellent at shooting Skeet from the «Germanicus». Moreover, in some aspects even surpassed the steel lead. Perfectly flat scree satisfactory sharpness, high initial speed. About wads of containers, they do confront a contact fraction with the barrel. That’s just not known how to behave at low temperatures – this is not specified anywhere. In the field steel shot is also not disappoint. Over time, it was summed up a few snipe, ducks, three teterevka and four woodcock.
For this purpose cartridges # 5 and # 7. Hunters are advised to use these cartridges for hunting with a dog for field or bog-meadow game, as well as on the summer duck hunting. The distance should not exceed 25-30 cm. Unfortunately, it is not a secret that many «professionals» are unable to resist the temptation to shoot at a longer distance. In the end, this leads to multiple wounded and the decline of the hunting culture as such.
If you think about it, the cartridges with steel shot are not that environmentally friendly. Where do they go rusty pellets, wads and a spent shell casing? If we talk about truly environmentally safe ammunition, it should be mentioned here Rottwei. They really are rapidly degraded by microorganisms.
Unfortunately, we are hopelessly lagging behind in the production of steel shot. And the minuscule domestic fractions, that is not for export too expensive for the average hunter. Therefore, it remains only to buy imported alternative shells, which also are quite expensive (for example, a single cartridge with bismuth shot is around 3.5$). They say that in the near future Russia will be included in the AEWA Association, which includes more than 64 countries. This agreement provides for the rejection of toxic shells. In addition, it may be decided to use steel shot during a shooting competition. And that experience of our athletes is negligible.
Finally, I want to warn hunters that killed steel shot game in any case can not cook in the microwave for just a few pieces can literally kill your equipment. In addition, you need to be very careful in taking that meat in the food, as the steel can significantly damage the teeth — it is much harder than lead. It’s a shame that defending alternative cartridges, environmentalists completely forget about taking care of the household in a hunting family.