*Why are Lead Shots prohibited instead of Steel Shots?

Steel shots and lead shots are generally used for shooting birds like partridges, small animals, and many other uses like filling cavities for balance or weight.

They are both used for shooting purposes but in some aspects, steel shots are better than lead shots. Moreover, the latter are also banned in some countries due to waterfowl population health concerns.

In this article, we will discuss in detail these types of shots and, also which is better and why the lead shots were banned.

What are shots?

Shots are small balls or pallets which are generally made of lead or steel. There are usually made for shotguns or riot guns for shooting purposes.

Shotshells are available in many different pistol sizes following the birdshot, rat shot, or snake shot.

In shooting or hunting, the size of the shots is traditionally used for certain shooting games or certain situations.

What are steel shots?

They are metallic, made up of molten steel which is used for different purposes such as cleaning, stone cutting, hunting, shooting, etc. The main users of steel shots are the Metalworking Industries.

The process of steel manufacturing is not harmful and produces the least dust. Steel shots are also used to clean parts of big and heavy machinery such as engine blades, turbines, etc.

Process of steel shot manufacturing

  1. Melting and softening of steel scrap and alloy.
  2. Conversion of these steel scraps into fine particles is done by a high-pressure water jet.
  3. The next step is drying the converted particles.
  4. Separating the shots according to the sizes.
  5. Removal of irregular shots.
  6. Screening to check the quality of shots.
  7. Packaging

Advantages of steel shots

  • They give an excellent finish to the metal surface.
  • It is cost-effective.
  • It is durable.
  • Can be recycled.
  • It provides a completely clean surface.
  • It removes contaminated substances from the surface.

Why are they referred to as environmentally friendly?

Steel shots can be easily recycled. The range of recyclability of steel shots is between 1000 and 2000 cycles. Therefore, there is a high level of recyclability.

The manufacturing process of steel shots causes less dust and also generates very little wastage as compared to other metal shots. 

What are lead shots?

picture of lead shot

They are small metal balls used in guns for shooting or hunting purposes. The lead shots were manufactured by using wooden molts when it was first manufactured, but it resulted in a high cost of production and very expensive. Then, the lead shots were manufactured using less expensive shot towers.

Lead shots are harmful to the environment and therefore, many countries have banned their use. But in many countries, the hunters still use these for hunting upland birds. Also, the lead bullets are used by deer, moose, and bear hunters. Apart from this, lead shots are also used for different purposes.

Uses of lead shots

  • Lead shots are used for filling cavities.
  • They are used in the muskets and rifles to control the hardness of the shot.
  • They are also used as ballast in diving and scuba weights belts.
  • Large lead shots are used for fly fishing.
  • As the lead shots have a high heating capacity, they are used as regenerators in cooling systems.

Differences between steel shots and lead shots

  • The steel shots are less dense as compared to lead shots.
  • The weight of the pallets of steel shot is one-third less than that of the lead shot pallets.
  • The former retains less energy as compared to the latter.
  • The former is driven at high velocities whereas; the latter shot is driven at low velocities.

Why steel shots have been chosen over lead shots?

The scientists determined that lead is very harmful to the environment. According to scientists, even a small piece of lead could be injurious and cause harm to humans, animals being hunted, and the environment.

Whereas, the steel shots are recyclable and produce very less dust, and cause no harm to the environment.

The lead shots have been prohibited by the government agencies for the upland game also. This means that one cannot use them for hunting the turkey, quail, grouse, etc. in many areas. For hunting these birds one has to adopt the use of steel shots.

Moreover, the hunters were not at all happy about prohibiting the use of lead shots. There are reasons behind them not being happy as the lead shots are better than steel shots in hunting the animals. But to save the environment, everyone has to adopt the use of steel ones.