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First, depends on what you want to use your A-5 for. Currently, in many places lead is still allowed for clay, target, and general hunting use: upland birds, turkeys, and small game on most private ground and some public areas. Depending on the condition of the weapon you may want to have a gunsmith check it out to make sure that it is in good and safe condition and that it is not choked too tight if you plan on using steel shot.Ok, lets start here:"The only thing lead is not legal for is waterfowling" This is incorrect in that lead shot has been banned or restricted in several countries: Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, (in some of these areas even for clay target use), in Canada a complete lead ban was instated in 1999, after banning its use near bodies of water and on national wildlife areas earlier, in the US in 1991 lead was banned for waterfowl hunting entirely and has progressed to include the federal and many state public lands."The only reason there is so much steel out their is because companies have been trying to make improvements on it to make it as deadly as lead. The only way this is possible is to make it faster." Actually, it is reloaders that have paved the way for non toxic shot in areas of increase in speed and a demand for better components. Reloaders pushed the envelope with what was available and their work has slowly worked its way into the mainstream. One of the many reasons for the higher cost of steel shot is that the shot as found in most shells is made from steel wire that is cut to aprox pellet size and then tumbled to almost round. Coatings such as nickel, copper, teflon, and even plastic have been tried. The newer cheap sportsman steel shells are made from what looks like steel slag, although cheaper to make and appearing like hevishot it is ballistically poor. The development of specific chokes, wads, and powders for steel shot use and waterfowlers learning the ballistics of their shell/gun combo have also helped to increase kill ratios."not legal in some hunting preserves for upland birds, but that is only a select few." Not a select few, this is a nationwide ban on the 93-million acre national refuge system, if you wanted to hunt rabbits, squirrel, or upland birds where allowed you would have to use a lead substitute hence Federal's new release of the steel shot loads in the copper/brown box listed as pheasant loads. In some states such as CA there has been talks of banning it for clay/target use, a mandate for lead reclamation at ranges, and already the use of lead weights for fishing in some sizes is implemented in atleast 3 states."I wouldn't know what to do if lead was outlawed for hunting." I'm sure many hunters have felt that way across the years, when the use of live decoys was banned, or rifles prohibited in areas of high population/hunter densities, or when hunters orange was manadated. You just have to cope and work within the rules, in this case in an effort to help the ecosystem we have a couple of options...except it as just another factor in a hobby and pay for the higher cost which can mean either a decrease in the number of shells that we use or a decrease in the times that we go, or don't hunt. As society "progresses" what was allowed can be banned....look at the various places that have implemented dog hunting, trapping, or animal specific bans. It's a law that restricts what was once an excepted way to do things, our society continiously changes....sometimes at our expense. There is a fine line between hobby and insanity.Edited by: Rick618 at: 4/21/03 10:06:48 am
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