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As much as I don't like this idea, perhaps it is time ATA/NSSA/NSCA set a date to require non-toxic shot at their shoots. I'm talking setting a date several years out, say 5, 7, or 10 years.

That day is coming no matter what we do. But we are losing too many clubs to lead issues. And the rate of loss is accelerating. If we wait too long, there will be too few clubs to sustain the critical mass needed for the games to survive.

ATA will have to take the lead. It's the Senior Service of the shotgun sports. NSSA will balk because of their multi-gauge format and wide-spread use of aluminum tubes. But skeet and sporting will have to follow if trap leads. They'll have no choice.

We have to make the change while we still have the clubs, and their shooters. If we wait too long, it will be too late. They'll be too few clubs and shooters.
 

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And how many shooters do you expect to lose from the increase in cost of steel shot vs. lead shot? Trap is already expensive enough as it is.
 

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If the switch is made to mandatory use of steel, you won't need the clubs because you won't have the shooters. Besides the cost, many will refuse to use steel as a matter of principal and many won't use it in their high priced guns and ruin the barrels.
 

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Somewhat off tangent to the point of the original post, but I believe the high cost of steel shotgun shells is somewhat artificial. Steel is far more abundant than lead, and the market price is lower, and it is also the most recycled metal of all.

I suspect it has to do with the relative percentage of shotgun shells made with steel shot versus lead (somewhat akin to why .410 and 28 gauge shells are more expensive than 12 gauge, despite the fact that the material costs are much lower.)
 

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Hey action plans are great. No need to throw stones. Better to be proactive than reactive. If not the steel shot requirement at least having clubs on a lead recycling program, to pick most of it up, would be second best. Dave T.
 

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It was in the Sunday paper (St. Louis Post Dispatch) that the nations largest lead smelter may be closing. It is Doe Run in Herculaneum, Missouri. They have had many polution/lead contamination problems in the past. They are looking into a new lead smelting process but it would require building a new facility. Where, when & if become a big issue. Article states if the closure occurs the U.S. would be dependent on countries like (ready for this?) CHINA
for our lead needs. IMO, if this would occur our lead shot will go way up anyway & some form of non-toxic shot may become advantageous all of a sudden.
I'm old & it probably won't effect me but the question is "What does the future hold?". Get your lead shot & ammo while you can. Colonel
 

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<blockquote><I>"And how many shooters do you expect to lose from the increase in cost of steel shot vs. lead shot? Trap is already expensive enough as it is."</i></blockquote>Not to mention that reloading presses will have to either be replaced or be converted to drop steel shot!

MK
 

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From what I've witnessed in my time, civilization enchrochment in areas of existing gun clubs will ban trapshooting before lead issues accomplish the feat...
 

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Lead is now considered an important environmental health issue. A quick glance at history reveals that these issues often take care of themselves. In 1900, the major environmental health issue was horse manure. Think about the problem New York city had with about 1.5 million horses doing what horses do on public streets. The city faced the environmental problem of around 5 million drops on public streets every day. The situation did create jobs but the stuff had to be carried to landfills by other horses that made more problems. In 1900 people walked around in horse manure and were most likely to die of tuberculosis. Things changed.

Who knows what the current lead issue will look like in 10 years. Requiring a change to steel shot may not be wise. Now, carbon filament material is lighter and stronger than steel. In the future, we might not even make steel anymore.

Pat Ireland
 

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It's really no big deal to shoot steel! We have been shooting if for years at the Sportsman's club in Naperville as part of the agreement to keep the club open. Many of us reload and it's really not as bad as you think. You can still break targets from the 27 and beyond without a problem and there has not been one case of a barrel being compromised due to shooting steel and there are guys shooting K-guns, P-guns etc...If you have to shoot steel or not shoot at all give me steel!
 

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I only tested one steel shot shell because steel is pretty uncommon here, in fact some places ban it because of ricochets.


What surprised me is that (counter to common belief) the steel shot patterned wider than lead. If you take into account the lower retained energy it's poorer again relative to lead.


Steel shot will markedly alter the longer range clay shooting games.


Lead recovery is the future. As lead gets more expensive (which it will with only 10-25 years or known supply left), recovery will get ever more attractive. Trap is ideal for lead recovery, skeet less so, and sporting clays a bit trickier, but not impossible. The other thing about lead recovery of course is that it means the net lead pollution is very low.


(Also counter to common advice is that the full choke gave tighter patterns than the oft recommended modified. In fact, of you were restricted to modified because of gun durability issues trap shooting wouldn't be a lot of fun at all.)


Andrew.
 

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MRSKEET410,
Absolutely would end my participation in ATA registered shoots. My expensive gun barrels will not stand up to steel without suffering damage. And the cost increase will kill more than 50% of the present shooters. Just like $4 to $5 gallon gasoline prices would also. Bad suggestion.....steel shot.
Madder than hell,
Jet Boat Bill (100K + Targets with lead shot)
 

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BTW it takes 10,000 years for a #8 shot to disintegrate. Given ideal conditions. Acid from rain/Oak leaves excelerates the process. Dave T.
 

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If the wackos weren't complaining about lead shot, it would be something else. Rusting steel shot would be holding too much oxygen in the rust covered pellets all over the countrysides not to mention our little kids need more oxygen? Times are changing but only because we allow the few to rule the many? Just like the problems mentioned by Pat I. above, it's all HS and it stinks! There's an ulterior motive here and we're buying into that HS?

Hap
 

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Given the reduced performance of steel shot, perhaps making the 27 yard shooters switch to steel would not only solve the lead issues, but also solve the handicap issues that so many people say we have.
 
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