Bismuth Shot

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Rick Todd, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Roper and I are meeting to hunt some upland birds in the Okanogan on Friday. We were talking about non-toxic zones and he mentioned he reloads with bismuth. I have a really nice fitting 28 GA and in the non-toxic areas I have swallowed hard and bought either Hevishot or Bismuth since I have little confidence in steel in such a small cartridge. It is pretty expensive! I was wondering if many of you are reloading with bismuth. How is it working, and is bismuth shot readily available? I used to reload years ago and am thinking of getting back into it. Thanks, Rick
  2. Rick,

    I'm sure 28 ga is worse than 16 when it comes to non-toxic loads - price and availability. Hence why I've have started to reload too. I went with NICE shot since it performs almost identically to lead; which is a good benefit since you can utilize lead load data and swap the shot (advertised and confirmed by NICE Shot); which there are gazillions of recipes for. Bismuth and all other non-toxic shot require you to weigh, use a wad that covers the entire shot column, and require specific load data. What this does is simplify components...I don't need to invest in multiple wad types, powder types, etc. I've figured that I'm just under $2 per round; which is maybe at best a $1 savings when it comes to non toxic. I save more money reloading plain jane lead.

    If you go this route let me know since I'd be interested in buying bulk shot.

  3. Hey Rick, I looked at reloading non-tox a while back as well. Bismuth is available but it's not cheap. I don't like using steel either although I did buy some for my newer 12 ga. gun. After much number crunching I came to the conclusion that it would be better just to buy some ammo. Based on the amount of time I would actually have to use it and the number of shells I would actually shoot while hunting it just wasn't worth setting up to reload. Plus, I would have to change out one of my loaders that are already set up for lead and I'm just to lazy to mess with it. That being said, I don't hunt a lot in the areas that non-tox is required, as most of the time I am in the Nat. Forest chacing grouse. It is difficult sometimes though finding bismuth ammo. I think at one time Roper was looking at a group order of Bismuth. I don't know if that happened or not because I'm old and senile and don't remember. Have a good hunt!!
  4. Rick, we can talk a lot more about this on Friday, but I reload using both Nice Shot and Bismuth. I load 16 and 28 gauge with little problems beyond playing with bars a bushings to get the right results. When you take a serious look at non-tox reloading, it only makes sense if you are already set up to reload. Otherwise the investment in a loader and accessories is substantial. One could buy a lot of commercial non-tox for the same price. When you look at the number of shots taken on average, it's not a great expense.
    A fellow I know was dropping his own bismuth and selling it to group buyers. I'm not sure if Phillip is still doing that or not.
    There is a site (Cast Boolits) that organizes group buys for all things reloading from bulk lead to bullet molds. One might try that or some of the shotgun/bird hunting sites.
  5. I used to have all the stuff to reload 12 GA shells, but somehow, in a divorce 15 years ago, the stuff went missing! As I look at a partial retirement in a year or so, I would enjoy doing some reloading. It is one of those things that is probably not cost effective, but my Dad has given me a pretty big gift certificate to Kesselring's, so I might do it more for fun rather than cost savings. Also, I provide guns and shells for my son-in-law, so I have a couple shooters to make shells for. Rick
  6. Take a look at a MEC Sizemaster, I have 3 in different gauges and they do all I could ask for shy of being progressive. Kesselrings, the big boys toy store...:clown:
  7. "...Also, I provide guns and shells for my son-in-law..."

    My father-in-law would lose his 'outlaw' status very quickly if he followed your footsteps!:clown:
  8. Bismuth shot appears to be pretty pricey at $174 for 6.6 lbs at Precision Reloading. Is there a better source?
  9. I did a little checking around and there is another option called ITX shot that is somewhat cheaper than bismuth & NICE. It does need to weighed out as does the bismuth. If you're not to worried about cost, I think the NICE shot would be the way to go because of the ability to just substitute with lead recipes. If you want to start reloading as a hobby then I would say go for it as it is a lot of fun. The non-tox loaded ammo is pricey and you will save a little money over time. It's just the initial equipment cost that is a big bump, but it is a very enjoyable and rewarding activity. Much like tying your own flys. Pick Roper's brain, he's the "zen master" of the non-tox stuff.
  10. I was 'gifted' my reloader since my buddy got tired of me bitching about shell prices and availability for my beloved 16 ga. He bought me a Lee Load All II; which I'm sure everyone knows it's the bottom shelf when it comes to loaders, however, for $50.00 it provides me what I need...a case of shells a season. I shoot maybe 3/4 of them at the range and the other 1/4 are my field loads. As for crimps...I can honestly say it cranks out just as nice of folds as a upper shelf would. My biggest complaint is that you can't change shot or powder unless you completely empty both hoppers. I don't think they make one for 28 ga.
  11. You may want to check out The non-tox shot products that they carry include "Tungsten Iron", "Hevi Shot", and "ITX". All seem to be well priced. They also carry anything else you need for reloading.
  12. If you happen to want/need 16ga factory loaded Bismuth shells, check out They are running a closeout deal on 25 round boxes of 16ga Bismuth....
  13. The most important thing pending is....did you guys get any birds on Friday!!
  14. Hi Steve-I managed to scratch one quail out of the sky. We saw a couple coveys but they flushed out a ways and my quail was the only one! Still a great day with a really good guy. Weather was calm and not too cold, and we covered a few miles! Rick
  15. Yup, slim pickin's for birds, we could have hit more with our vehicles...:clown: It seems the areas have been hunted hard and birds are hiding in the orchards...:hmmm:

    Rick tagged one right away, one for one. Then we found out that neither dog was interested in finding a dead bird...:rofl:

    Rick was gracious and showed me some new areas that I'd never hunted before. We walked and talked a lot and had a good time watching the dogs work. Great company for the day.

    On Saturday morning Sasha and I headed out on our own down in the valley south of Oroville, a put and take area for pheasant and it holds a lot of quail some times. Well, the quail must have gone to town for breakfast, they sure were no where to be found. Sasha was deep in some sumacs and brush when I heard the cackle and flutter of wings, but no bird rose out of the thicket. Sasha barked a few times and the bird cackled again, this time coming high and fast out of the tangle. I was so dumb struck that I just watched the rooster fly fast and hard to the left, I finally woke up and threw a hail Mary at it to no avail. Oh well, that's why they call it hunting...
  16. Rick I'm glad you saw birds...when I took by BIL out to those few places you gave me to try we only saw pheasants; which were not in season yet. I'm gonna need a hunting fix after Turkey day...I've got my outlaws coming out until 11/30 and he doesn't hunt.bawling:
  17. Good thing I don't hunt those areas which require it! I do have a few pounds of bismuth for loading in my 20bore muzzleloader if I were hunting for ducks, though. Got it at Cabela's for about 70 bucks, but that was a LONG time ago!
  18. Sounds like you guys had a good time. Even with a low bird count (or in my case a NO bird count) it is still enjoyable stomping through the woods or fields.
  19. Try the supplier for RSI they have Eco shot. heavier and softer than heavy shot and lead. It is soft and very responsive to chokes. It can be loaded with alot of different recipies or data. #4 shot 7/8 ounce of Eco shot is 105 pellets lead #4 is 118 pellets. 10# is about 180$ $4 Eco shot levels the playing field for the 20 gauge with the 10gauge firing steel shot. You shells will be around a $1.50 each and no complaints. Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions.
  20. Thanks Kirk. I'm having trouble with the web site. (It is I get to the home page and can't get any farther. Maybe I will call them when I get my reloader. $1.50 per shell seems like a reasonable amount for non-toxic! Rick

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