Phase out of lead for sports shooting, ammunition buy-backs, Hunter/shooter indoctrination, oops, I mean education. Blah, blah, blah. NA shooters better pay attention because it’s coming our way. Until then send all those old guns here. We’ll shoot them for a while longer. Hopefully thin walled choke tubes can prolong the use of the old guns but at $350-400 a tube it will be a financial challenge
The British already produce steel shot loads suitable for use in guns that have not passed steel shot proof. However, those loads are restricted in terms of velocity and pressure. Also in shot size (limited to no larger than English 3.) English 3 are slightly smaller than US 4, which Tom Roster's steel shot tests on pheasants determined were not a very good choice on birds beyond 35-40 yards. Which means that those Brit steel loads wouldn't work on high pheasants, which would require heavier loads of larger steel shot. Or better nontoxic options like tungsten matrix.
I picked up a half dozen flats of lead shot cartridges this week in the UK and the seller told me that lead shot will still be in use on the smaller local shoots but steel will be required on larger shoots that sell the birds into the food chain.
The Game Dealer's Association have said that they will not purchase game from shoots that have been shot with lead from mid 2022; so by next game season. The reason being is that export to Europe is very difficult and most of the U.K, Supermarkets won't stock it either unless shot with non-lead ammo. There is a voluntary phase out by 2025 to allow ammunition companies to come up with alternatives. Bismuth is the safe alternative in older guns but expensive; Tungsten Matrix is good but extortionately expensive. Lead will still be permitted at clay shoots, especially those with contained areas for shot fallout. That is until some new Government thinks they can get a few extra votes from the 'Greens' by banning it completely.
I live in the county of Derbyshire in England where lead is prevalent in the ground through about 25% of the county. It has been mined for thousands of years and in fact the Romans made a big thing about lead mining there. It naturally occurs in the ground in huge quantities still. A shooting ground I go to in a rural setting has been going for over 50 years and I go once a month with a small group to shoot vintage guns and muzzle loaders etc. when the main body of recreational shooters haver gone home. It is normal to see pheasants and rabbits feeding about on the ground sometimes with clays falling around them and shot going over as they are more or less used to it. The owner of the ground is yet to see any dead or dying birds from lead poisoning. Lagopus.....
Lagopus, the Romans mined lead in Derbyshire. Go to Tiktok and see some very opinionated people state categorically that there never was a Roman empire, it is all a construct. From there to making up stuff about lead or anything else is a short step.
What have the Romans ever done for us? Evidence: :-)
Plenty of evidence here in the U.K.; roads, walls, baths, buildings and I tend to find coins that they dropped. I'll invite any of these TikTokers to come for a trip out with me and I'll prove it! :-) Lagopus.....
This will not help sale prices, for guns, at auction. Box Locks were already a bargain to me and will only become more so, but how many can a man own? Will see, I suspect. Hammerguns recovered from lack of interest a couple decades ago. I do not think box locks ever will. Fashion trends being O/U as in and now reduced uses for lead shot might be the real end for 95% of them.
Quality will always have a home, while working man's guns, which most box locks are, will be almost name your own price. Pity importing has gotten so expensive, or buyers in the US could gobble up a ton of them. I wonder if Holt's might consider staging an auction in the US, to bring in a large number of them to get fair value out of them while they can. Blixt & Co. and Holt’s had a joint auction in 2016 so there is a history of making it work. Once the market goes total bust in the UK, it will never recover I am afraid and they will have more value here than there, already do. Would come down to economics I guess. Might need 500-1,000 guns to make the numbers work. But importing them in bulk would save the buyer a lot which in turn could become purchase prices.
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