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 Post subject: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:09 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:18 am
Posts: 27
I've been looking through the forum and the internet, and there doesn't seem to be a weath of information concerning using bismuth in reloading. A few tables, here and there, but definitely not the volumes of info there is with lead shot.

In perusing the forum, and internet, it seems as if lead shot is slowly being "phased out" for hunting and not only just waterfowl and migratory species. All small game and upland bird species.
My concern is that it when it happens there won't be much notice when it happens.
I was left with a small investment in Remington #2,BB, and Duplex, Nitro Express loads when it happened in the 90's. I would like to avoid that happening again.I'm considering beginning to "slowly" stock up on bismuth shot in preparation.
For the folks that live/hunt in states where non toxic shot is required, and who are reloading, what information are you using as a source for loading data?

Thank you in advance.




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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:20 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:43 am
Posts: 706
There has been more recipes listed in (most) reloading manuals to choose from , Lymans 5 th ,
Alliant and Hodgdon powder guides , along with some good ones from Tom Rosters manual .
Look these websites up or filter through BPI's load archives , you'll find what you need !


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:10 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3768
Location: UK, England, Britain
Bismuth is reloaded here with fibre wads. Certainly.
Its density is about 9. I would go up 2shotsizes compared to lead. For smaller species maybe 1.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:14 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5511
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
There is data online (Hodgdons & Alliant). There are manuals by Precision Reloading & others. Buffer helps a lot if you are shooting at extended range. I like 4's or 5's for ducks & have killed Canada geese & turkey on the wing at 50-60 yds. with #2's. I would go to BB'S in windy, cold conditions but I usually use tungsten alloys when conditions get rough. As noted above, Lyman has data in their manuals. I never hunted pheasant with anything but lead but 5's in bismuth should be fine. Buffer shouldn't be needed unless you are shooting wild flushing birds.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:13 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:11 am
Posts: 993
I think that you will be saving very little over buying loaded Bismuth ammunition.
The only advantage to Reloading that I see is independence from an unreliable supply chain.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:43 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Posts: 95
Location: SE North Dakota
NonTox is required for upland on WPA land in ND I loaded Boss copper plated 5 shot in 28 an 20ga and it did very well on Pheasant over dogs.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:47 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3768
Location: UK, England, Britain
i did an experiment ages ago,
i loaded up many shells but what i did was replace the shot with different nontox and lead. (i actually designed the load from a previous test.)

anyway i loaded x amount of powder and loaded up
25 gram steel shot (7/8oz)
28 gram pure copper shot (1oz)
30 gram itx 10 original
32 gram (1,1/8oz) niceshot and bismuth
36 gram (1,1/4oz) leadshot
42gram 1,1/2oz powershot "T12"

i sent them off for testing and most passed pressures here in UK. the latter t12 failed by statistics, not excess pressure.
theoretically i had a lead load, replaced the lead with bismuth shot, and it passed its by volume not weight. i in the future would have no qualms about loading bismuth in a lead load. bismuth beiing 0.88x the density of lead. the powder was a faster style, the manufacturer said its for 1,1/8oz lead loads, but i was really impressed with the 1,1/4oz load of lead.

with a single stage reloader, i can bang out "any" nontoxic type shot, soft-hard-heavy-dense etc. it my friend uses this for steel shot, and flutters between my original powder to a faster type (its all been tested.) for a little more speed, but way less cost. we reloaded bb and 2s , but stuck with 90% #2s in steel as an everyday cartridge. and bbs as a sunday best.

throughout all this, there is no magic formula, in the load i liked was the itx 10, which performed well above the digital model,
i used a steel rated wad. even with the lead load.

i would use bismuth and itx10 for guns that cant take steel (i`ve a few fixed silly choke guns).
i`d use steel for every other shotgun i have, and i would have a reduced payload 1,1/4oz, cartridge of "any tungsten" as a dedicated bigger target, not decoy (T12 is good enough) and guys it is T12 because its not hevishot, its a tungsten alloy blend.made ages ago.

i would reload itx 10


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:13 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:34 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Buffalo NY USA
I recall decades ago when they banned lead shot for hunting here in Upstate NY. After all the excitement and uncertainty died down, many reported good results by going up one shot size in bismuth, keeping everything else the same. Weight of the powder was the same, weight of the shot load was kept the same. People complained about the cost (and still do).

Others went to steel shot, and a few wrecked their guns with poor experiments. In the case of steel shot, most waited for published loads. Waterfowl hunters complained that steel was crippling birds instead of killing. Waterfowl hunting (and fishing) is a part of the local economy, and so their voices were heard.

Today, the state of the art is much more advanced and more effective, even for the reloader. Bismuth shot now has tin in it, and lots of published data. Steel is very well supported with lots of published data. I prefer to use either Hodgdon's website, or Alliant for reloading manuals. And of course, Lyman's 5th edition.

Lead #7-1/2 and smaller is still OK for target and competition shooting in my area.

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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:34 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:18 am
Posts: 27
Gentleman.

Thank you for the responses. they've sent me down a few more avenues.
I have Alliant and Hodgon's latest downloadable load data tables, andas of right now the 5th edition of Lymans reloading manual is difficult to order, but that should change.
The iTX10 was a nice find. Cookoff13, thank you for your response.
I don't know that I would be able to reload Bismuth cheaper than buying it, if I could find it to buy. Having the option to reload it removes 1/2 of that equation. I've seen bismuth in #2 for sale, but I haven't seen any upland bird loads for sale in bismuth in a retail store. Online they're not readily available either.

PeterAVanTassel
When Connecticut switched to steel for ducks we had a year's warning back then, so we bought the steel loads to get used to them. The first generation of steel shells were just awful. We would load a steel, followed by a #2 lead for coastal ducks over deke's in the season before the steel mandate. First shot kills were very rare. We seemed to always have to use that second shot. The steel would "push" the ducks off flight, but bring them down? Not unless they were really close. Open water ducks, like canvasbacks, were almost impossible to bring down.
Steel shot did get better as time went by, but steel, in 1991-92, was not a good replacement for lead.

Regardless though, if they do phase out lead shot, I just want to be prepared.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:48 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3768
Location: UK, England, Britain
you are welcome.

if you google my name, and search for european nontoxic data, i have put up a few posts. its european data, not saami.

my goal was to be able to fire any shot type. but that assay proved to really get the internal ballistics sussed. energy expenditure.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:53 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:08 am
Posts: 2421
Location: Central NH
cookoff013 wrote:
you are welcome.

if you google my name, and search for european nontoxic data, i have put up a few posts. its european data, not saami.

my goal was to be able to fire any shot type. but that assay proved to really get the internal ballistics sussed. energy expenditure.

Do CIP/European rated shells cause any more damage than SAAMI rated shells? :? :mrgreen:

I think not.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:08 pm 
Presentation Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:50 pm
Posts: 569
Location: The wilds of rural central California
I'm working up a 1-1/4oz bismuth load using Remington STS hulls, W209 primers, WAA12R wads and HS6 powder for quail and doves. HS6 is enroute and have everything else. Will report back once I get a few put together, run them across the chronograph and hit the grease plate. Found the info on Hodgdon's site.

tp

_________________
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12/30" Browning Citori CX White
12/28" 1978 Browning BSS
12/26" Franchi Affinity 3
12/26" ATI Cavalry (waiting >3 months now for a frikkin' firing pin)


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:47 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3768
Location: UK, England, Britain
painter* wrote:
cookoff013 wrote:
you are welcome.

if you google my name, and search for european nontoxic data, i have put up a few posts. its european data, not saami.

my goal was to be able to fire any shot type. but that assay proved to really get the internal ballistics sussed. energy expenditure.

Do CIP/European rated shells cause any more damage than SAAMI rated shells? :? :mrgreen:

I think not.


Probably not. But european High performance cartridges run at a max MAP of 1050bar or 15,220 psi. Not saami max.

Its just to put us all on the same page.

Knowing the results from those tests, put me better at guessing potential loafs to pressure test.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:33 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5511
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I am not an expert on CIP proof but I do believe guns rated for high performance loads are also designed & proofed for high performance loads.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:45 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3768
Location: UK, England, Britain
geometric wrote:
I am not an expert on CIP proof but I do believe guns rated for high performance loads are also designed & proofed for high performance loads.


I dont think they are. I think its just a slight increase in proof. There is no design. Because guns are made and sent to both proof systems.

Some exceed this. Fabarm of italy proof 1600bar, instead of the accepted 1370 (ish !) Bar.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:29 pm 
Limited Edition
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:19 pm
Posts: 366
Location: Everett, WA
Lyman's 5th edition has data for Bismuth. I wasn't impressed with BPI's "booklet" on Bismuth. I run a 16 and have Federal hulls...


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:27 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:43 am
Posts: 706
cookoff013 wrote:
geometric wrote:
I am not an expert on CIP proof but I do believe guns rated for high performance loads are also designed & proofed for high performance loads.


I dont think they are. I think its just a slight increase in proof. There is no design. Because guns are made and sent to both proof systems.

Some exceed this. Fabarm of italy proof 1600bar, instead of the accepted 1370 (ish !) Bar.


With shotguns being built and sold , then shipped to the UK doesn't mean they are
built stronger , it just means , the UK's way of proofing with the Bar system says
the numbers are higher , which doesn't translate to being better than SAAMI / Map
standards ! Why would it , when European standards are smaller than the USA's ?
It's like the conversion of PSI's to a Bar ?


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:27 am 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:35 am
Posts: 900
Location: Alabama
I suggest Tom Roster's Buffered Lead and Bismuth Shotshell Reloading Manual 3rd Edition with 2018 updates. Available from the Precision Reloading website. Load data for 28 gauge through 10 gauge. This includes loads with common target hulls and wads as well as 3" and 3.5" hulls. Advice on using the data with or without buffer; what primers and hulls can be interchanged with the data. Even contains information on building buckshot loads from the lead shot data presented.

Well written and well worth the modest tariff.


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:04 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:43 am
Posts: 706
RMc wrote:
I suggest Tom Roster's Buffered Lead and Bismuth Shotshell Reloading Manual 3rd Edition with 2018 updates. Available from the Precision Reloading website. Load data for 28 gauge through 10 gauge. This includes loads with common target hulls and wads as well as 3" and 3.5" hulls. Advice on using the data with or without buffer; what primers and hulls can be interchanged with the data. Even contains information on building buckshot loads from the lead shot data presented.

Well written and well worth the modest tariff.


Very informative !


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 Post subject: Re: Reloading with bismuth Shot
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:08 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5511
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Like I said from the "get go", I'm not and expert on CIP proof. I am always ready to learn more. I have done some reading on the subject & I do have some opinions. Maybe they are right & maybe they are wrong & are subject to change as I get better info. However, there is much more to proof than pressure, especially with non SAAMI proof. It all goes hand in hand to an extent but pressure is not the most destructive force, it is recoil! That is why some proof houses base proof ratings on pressure & the weight of the shot charge. With steel shot ratings, velocity & choke are a big consideration! I think it is highly possible that many guns are built to a higher standard than their rating would suggest. I haven't sorted out the bar to psi conversion numbers for my two Beretta model 410, 10 ga. guns but they have digested loads of over 16,000 psi without blinking. That was due to a dumb assumption on my part. I stick to SAAMI specs. always! I think Cookoff is correct. Proof pressure is only what a gun has been proofed for or stamped with & there is nothing to say it can't pass higher proof. Not to say it wasn't stamped with lower numbers than it was actually proofed with. From a liability standpoint, why would you rate a gun to a higher proof than the standard of the country you are sending it to? Guns firing heavy loads do have to be stronger than guns firing light loads or they will fail sooner, if not immediately.
I got so side tracked on the pressure thing I forgot about bismuth. I do have Roster's manuals (buffered lead & bismuth, Heavy Shot & buffered lead). I also have Precision's bismuth manual & other's. I do not have the 2018 update. I have also paid Roster to work up loads for me which was a failure. I prefer Hodgdon's data. I have trouble finding data I like. I want data that satisfies me, not what somebody thinks I need or want's to sell me. I have been successful finding what I want in most cases but there are still a few cracks to fill which may require paying somebody to test loads.




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