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  1. The sale of game has never been high - my belief is large bags are obscene and guns should each take a quota for their own distribution. T SO YOU WANT SCIENCE? Here is a story worthy of note. You could headline it: “Ducks health of greater importance than humans”. There is so little science surrounding lead and steel shot that the following real evidence issue jumped out. I read a letter in the shooting press about a Dr warning a patient that they picked up some lead shot following an MRI scan but had it been steel shot ingested from game meat then the MRI scan may well have killed him! The “magnetic” field from the scan affects steel and some metals (not lead) and therefore can cause any metal inside your body to move as it is attracted to the “magnetic” field, with potentially fatal consequences! This is why it's important to tell your radiographer (a health professional trained to perform imaging procedures) if you have any metal in your body. Of course anyone who has eaten wildfowl and ingested steel shot would be unaware of this and so would not be able to disclose this fact and avoid this potentially fatal health risk. Thus is it better for a duck to ingest lead or a human to ingest steel?
  2. Sadly lead is dead but I would like to offer up this eulogy at its funeral: there is no UK evidence that spent Lead shot pellets are available to the natural feeding patterns of UK wildfowl, other than by human intervention by the researcher’s engaged by the UK conservation bodies. There is however, evidence of concerted attempts to subvert the scientific process. No evidence that would stand up in court has been presented to support the claim that wildfowl pick up spent lead shot pellets in the wild in the UK. Not a penny of the £20m annual funds flowing to our representatives has been spent on forensic investigations of the false claims against Lead. BASC (around 1998) pledged to the WWT, the RSPB and DEFRA, that it would adopt the recommendations of the AEWA and together they urged the government of the day to sign up. The implementation of the AEWA banned lead ammunition over wetlands. This is where a bond of compliant allegiance, between our representatives, a dutiful shooting press, and the Conservation industry, has led us. The nods and winks between the consenting parties have been largely covert. But together they have placed shooting in a political cul-de-sac at the government’s pleasure. Implicit in the acceptance of the AEWA protocol was, that over a period of 20 years or so, BASC would endeavour to promote non-lead ammunition alternatives with a view to completely replacing lead by around now. Their performance (especially) over the last 7 years have underwritten this intention. Is this the reason being that such research has not been conducted in the UK? The architect of this pledge was the recently retired CEO of BASC who tireless laboured behind the scenes for 30 years to bring the pledge to fruition. He has retired to FACE EU to continue his ‘international’ work. He is now embedded in the EU via his position as treasurer of FACE EU. The pledge will now be pursued in secret within the EU Commission. He and they will not give up. The entire debate over Lead ammunition in the UK has been conducted under a shadowy haze of political manipulation conducted by the Conservation industry. Unfortunately, a section of the UK shooting representative class has acted as surrogate to the conservation lobby in the matter. They have never called for the research programme described above. Until professional, disciplined, transparent, independent, protocols are determined in order to commission UK research, any imposition of controls over lead ammunition must be viewed as simply dishonest. The shooting public are fully aware of the deception. The message to the representatives classes is ‘get it right or go away, you are a danger to us all’. The abject failure of the ‘Pledge’ gambit has made this plain. It has made equally plain that the 'cry' for unity and forming one body is pure rhetoric. Each time the shooting bodies have acted in unity in the recent past it was in secrecy and wrong. I am thinking in particular of the FACE UK debacle. We assume that our representatives are intelligent people, yet what they are doing does not make sense, begging the question; what are they not telling us? Worst of all, perhaps they do not know themselves. Until complete openness displaces the back room machinations of the last 30 years any cry of ‘unity is strength’, will be seen as cover-up tactics leaving the individual shooter with nowhere to turn. BACKGROUND DOCUMENTATION OF INTEREST No 1 Quote from: - DEFRA First report period 1999 and 2002 - Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds. “The UK, through BASC, supported the AEWA/Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU east European workshop (October 2001) on lead shot replacement, through participation, advice and demonstration.” *Management of Human Activities (4) - Page (28) 30 – (top) *See the attached DEFRA AWEA report Pdf. File. BASC have been an active participant in the group-think against lead lending uncritical support for the AEWA and implicit support for the eventual ‘phasing’ out of any use of lead ammunition and its replacement with steel. THE BRISTOL CLUB Over the last 30 years or so, a rather stealthy club has coalesced. Its group think formed the anti-lead agenda and anointed the junk science that favours its objectives. They work together and socialise together. They have worked un-molested on the fringe of mainstream Government policy, seen only as bottom feeders in strategic terms. Useful nevertheless as 'feel good' fodder for voters. The have a triple-lock on DEFRA’s wildlife policy and are the gatekeepers to the decisions for conducting research and the flow of grant money. There are some thousands employed in administration and supervision roles, and if you include the grants paid to fellow travelling NGO's this is a very significant cost to taxpayers. I call it the Bristol Club. Its members are: - Tim Andrews/DEFRA - Temple Quay House, Bristol, Wildlife division. He is also official DEFRA observer of the Lead Ammunition Group The other main members are: – AWEA – BASC – RSPB – WWT Natural England is of course a welcomed resource it can rely upon when in need of support to protect against any 3rd party threat on the flanks. Also in the frame is the BBC Wildlife dept. Bristol. Most useful in presentational matters. BACKGROUND DOCUMENTATION OF INTEREST No 2 By Bert Lenten, Executive Secretary – AWEA – opening Address [AEWA – HARRADINE Pdf. “However, an important - I would even say - the most important, step in this development is moreover the agreement that has been reached with the hunting community on the need of phasing out the use of lead shot in wetlands, an issue which used to be opposed by most hunters and regarded as a threat for hunting in the past, and which is meanwhile considered as the hunters’ contribution to conservation. Much awareness is raised by the hunting organisations themselves, which are active in the process of phasing out the use of lead shot in wetlands; thus hunters in several countries have accepted the change towards using lead-free ammunition” The quote above is reflective of John Swift’s and John Harradine’s UK policy and indeed, they have both worked consistently and unchallenged in their quest to eliminate Lead Ammunition. Those who take the trouble to read the entire document will get the message. Arnold Chapkis Sept. 2013 This email is sent privately to a number of receipiants, however do feel free to pass this on to those of like mind. Please send your email address if you wish to be added the mail list.
  3. I'm sure technology will offer up a solution. I'm not defending lead rather sceptical over steel which is being pushed by the shooting organisations perhaps in compensation for their shameful lack of consultation with cartridge manufacturers. I have found several plastic wads with a steel shot embedded deep in the wad and deep enough to contact the barrel. This is especially a risk at the separation of the wad petal which is where the wad is at its weakest. Gamebore have developed an approach by cutting their wad at a 45 degree angle so the wad petal overlaps at this point.
  4. Once shooting organisation said no lead ban without new evidence. There is no new evidence and yet we now face a ban on lead. I have watched with a degree of scepticism the pro steel lobby but felt this to be rather one sided. I wish I was wrong. I have found this from an American gunsmith: Long-term use means you will likely have to buy a barrel. When you use steel (today’s steel loads are normally Chinese made) you are using a product that is harder than old barrels and nearly as hard as modern barrels. Eventually, you will get some scoring and scuffing in your bore. Ammunition manufacturers have fought to try to find ways from keeping steel and other very hard nontoxic products from embedding themselves into the wad and contacting the bore through wad slits. Their success has been limited. Buffering helps, reducing velocity helps, lowering shot size helps. Large non-compressible pellets slamming into your choke at 1200 – 1500 fps is a huge amount of stress to expect your barrel to absorb over time. Steel is so much less dense than lead that larger shot sizes and higher velocities are the only way to get it to perform acceptably. This is the exact thing to which we don’t want to subject our barrels. The problem is more pronounced with good stack barrel and side-by-side shotguns, which use thin wall barrels to save weight. Steel is not a huge safety issue, but there are some concerns. Steel rusts and attempting to shoot a welded together mass of pellets through your gun could mean a ringed barrel. Steel is also a problem if you bite into a pellet at mealtime, a boon to dentistry. Steel pellets embedded in trees have not found great favor with the timber industry, either. Browning has this to day about steel shot damage: “DAMAGE: In not all, but a number of instances a very slight ring will develop about 1-1/2" to 3" rearward of the muzzle. This ring is about .005 of an inch above the plane of the barrel, completely encircling the barrel. From our tests, we could determine no adverse effect on pattern or shot velocity because of this ring. Our conclusion is that the most significant objection, the slight ring, is entirely cosmetic. This 'ring' effect does not affect the function or safety of the firearm.” I cannot speak for other individuals, but I know I have no interest in buying or shooting a shotgun with a ringed barrel, cosmetic or not. Steel and fine shotguns do not mix well; steel and vintage shotguns do not mix at all, as far as I’m concerned. With the intermittent, unreliable availability of bismuth, there are only two viable choices for those seeking to protect vintage barrels while using no-tox shot today. They are Kent Tungsten-Matrix shotshells and the recently introduced Hevi-Shot “Classic Doubles” loads. Of the two, the Kent loads are closer to lead in density, 10.8 g/cc (lead considered 11.0 g/cc, showing as 11.35 g/cc on the periodic table). Both shotshell types are reviewed elsewhere, with the Kent shells being the current best of breed. This is not meant to dissuade you from steel shotshells in modern screw-choked shotguns specifically designed for their use. Hopefully, it should give you a little food for thought before stuffing steel shotshells into an older, fixed choke shotgun that you want to keep in top condition.
  5. The art of pigeon shooting is to get under a flight line. For me mobility is therefore more important than kit. To carry large amounts of kit requires a quad bike or a 4X4 which will do more crop damage than the pigeon. Your farmer will be greatly relieved to see a pair of boots in preference to a set of tyres. I'd leave the 100kgs yomps to the SAS and unless you fancy two or three trips by 'Shanks's Pony" with the additional prospective weight of a further 50 - 100 dead pigeons, then I'd avoid too much stuff. Remember, many shooters are OCD over kit and this obsession is targeted by suppliers of kit. One gun, cartridges, hide, seat and a dozen decoys. Two days recognisance in ratio to one days shooting. Find the flight line and get under it.
  6. I am already a syndicate member so thank you for the kind offer. It is a little out my area also. Very good luck with your new venture. Best regards Towngun
  7. Increasing evidence links footballers brain damage with heading footballs. But what of shooting sports? If you watch video evidence of the impact of shogun recoil on the head or perhaps you have taken an iphone video of someone shooting and then slow the video up, you will notice considerable head movement. I would suggest there is cause for concern (research) and perhaps this adds weight to the suggestion that lighter loads should be considered i.e. 24 grams or 21 grams on health grounds? The most common immediate symptoms of a concussion are headache, confusion (fog like feeling), amnesia, seeing stars/dizziness, ringing in the ears, slurred speech. Later they may be light sensitive, have vertigo, memory complaints, irritability (common in many clay shooter without a concussion). But consider the longer term impact?
  8. Yes a fight pond is an excellent shooting proposition. Two automatic feeders and a modicum of water and duck will find you. Shoot the pond ever two weeks, fill feeders and replace battery. Try google/earth maps and follow the river severn up, looking for pools – approach farmer. Let me know if you are forming a small syndicate?
  9. On the subject of the Eley statement via Guns on Pegs: "Our lead shot for game cartridge contains 2% Antimony. This hardens the shot slightly helping reduce deformation during firing and as it travels down the barrel but means it is still malleable and will deform on impact thereby delivering very effective knockdown performance on game. Higher levels of Antimony, such as 5% used in premium clay cartridges, are ideal for breaking clays but harden the shot too much making it generally unsuitable for game shooting." And yet The new Eley Zeneth: Copper is electroplated to the lead to reduce pellet deformation as the shot goes down the barrel and through the choke of the gun. This ensures it maintains a superior pattern during flight, with more shot on target. Copper plated shot increases the impact power of the shot on the quarry. And so would this latter statement contradict the former?
  10. Packham heads up the RSPB Under his animal rights agenda The RSPB has forgotten about the birds! The RSPB estimate that UK cats kill 275 million UK prey items a year, of which 55 million are birds. This does not accounts for many more animals caught but not brought home. With an eye to their fee paying subscribers the RSPB go on to claim that despite the large numbers of birds killed, there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats having any impact on bird populations UK-wide! Of course this is the same organisation that blocked the Hen Harrier Joint Recovery Programe and then blamed grouse shooting for the Harriers decline! An over simplistic anti shooting agenda brings in the fees! The common housecat pays no syndicate fees, funds no conservation programe, plants no cover crops, feeds no birds, obeys no seasons, and does not utilize what he kills. It would be negligent to overlook the crop damage from birds, especially pigeon where in excess of 10% of the cerial crop is consumed before it can get to a vegitarians plate. The RSPB supports Wind Farms & yet The American Bird Conservancy estimates that up to 440,000 birds are killed by wind turbines and that number is expected to exceed one million by 2030 as the number of wind farms grows to meet increased demand. They have a greater inpact on birds of prey i.e. the Hen Harrier. Of course wind farms are promoted by the same conservationalist who attack field sports so it would just not "do" for Packhams RSPB to highight this issue!
  11. In order to get a kill, we necessarily must hit vital organs! It is often said an average of 3 to 6 pellets is necessary. At the limit of normal ranges the pattern will fail before the shot penatration. Pluck a pigeon and you will see just how small a target the bird represents. On a small target a more dense pattern higher pellet count will increase the chance of hitting a vital. On this basis No.6 shot, No.7 and even 7.5 has a greater chance of hitting a vital at sensible ranges. I apply this to pigeons, partridge but not pheasants which are a larger target. On the subject of Antimony in lead shot, it is said a softer shot deforms on impact and therefore has more "shock" leathality. I'm not convinced because:- a) You need penatration to hit a vital b) You need a good pattern c) Soft shot deforms in the barrel impacting on a) and b) above. d) Soft shot deforms more so in fibre cartridges & if your not using fibre then you should be Additional factors: 1. Don’t shoot at extreme range 2. Don’t shoot beyond your capacity to hit 3. Practice on clays 4. Remember, the art of decoying is to bring your birds to you so that you can kill those you shoot at whatever your catrridge or shot size 5. Remember, these are living creatures that deserve humane dispatch.
  12. The modern cartridge is better than the man behind it! 28 grams of No.6 shot will kill any pheasant that you "should" be shooting at, out to 40-50 yards. Clay shooting technology leads the way and Antimony Content in Lead Shot makes the shot harder with less deformation when it exits the barrel. This means better patterns with less deformed flyers. It takes around 6 to 8 pellets to kill a pheasant so the better and more even your pattern the greater its capacity to kill. So too with the Wood Pigeon. I doubt that shot reaching a pheasant/pigeon at 40 yards has sufficient energy to deform on impact and in any case the pattern must reach the bird with the prospect of a 6 - 8 pellet strike i.e. a good pattern without flyers. Example: Eley Zenith are Copper plating Game Shot to avoid deformed shot and these cartridges are flavour of the game season because of their hard shot and superior patterning. CSP are an excellent cartridge with high antimony and patterns. They are in fact Gamebore Whitegold, arguably one of the best clay loads availble and when loaded with 6.5 shot size, are suitable for live quarry. These days it is the clay world that is developing the technology for the game world to follow. Fashion plays a part in game shooting and many game shots are happy to pay a premium just because they can and just because they percieve "value" in "cost", for a cartridge that looks good and is marketed to appeal. Allowing for humain shot size, the worst cartridge available is better the man or women behind it!
  13. Pigeon Watch is awash with fantastic kit, and fans of fantastic kit but once you transported all this on your back across a muddy field or three you’ll soon decide "less is more". If you have done your reconnaissance (a ratio of two days to one day shooting) and are actually on a field that they want to feed on or under a flight line enroute to their feeding ground, its surprising how little kit you need. Conversely so, I think because many shooters do not have extensive permissionsand end up on crops or land where the pigeons are not! In which case technology is employed to bring the birds other than to where they want to be. In my experence no amount of kit will bring them in. I still feel the way forward is to travel light and spend more time behind your binoculars in preference to your gun.
  14. There are no overages and the bags estimate is between 70 -100 birds. We are situated on the Croome Estate and 30 minutes from Worcester, close to Pershore. UPDATE: Saturday 21st October Let Day = We have two remaining pegs Saturday 25th November Let Day = We have three remaining pegs Saturday 2nd December Let Day 3 = Fully subscribed
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