Lead free turkey loads

Reviews and discussion of shotgun ammo.

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polymath
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Lead free turkey loads

#1 Post by polymath » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:42 pm

I'd like to stay lead-free, which basically leaves me with steel (light but inexpensive, around $1/shot or less), bismuth (lighter than lead but better than steel, kinda expensive) and tungsten or similar (expensive, $5/shot or more). Any thoughts on if the pricey stuff is worth it? I won't go through much of it (basically just patterning and then maybe a couple of rounds for a trip, assuming I see a turkey), but if steel works about as well...

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CDFingers
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Re: Lead free turkey loads

#2 Post by CDFingers » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:01 am

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Mason
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Re: Lead free turkey loads

#3 Post by Mason » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:12 am

It’s all about pattern. Buy a few boxes of different stuff and see what patterns best with your shotgun and turkey choke. You might get lucky and find the cheap steel stuff works best. Sorry about your shoulder!
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NuJudge
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Re: Lead free turkey loads

#4 Post by NuJudge » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:36 am

If you're using a shotgun, you need to put a good many pellets in the head & neck of a Turkey. I've shot a lot of Turkey, but not with Lead-free. I have shot a lot of ducks & geese, with Lead and with Lead-free. The Tungsten/Nickle/Iron shot called "HeviShot" is much more expensive than Lead or Steel, but kills a duck or goose at much longer range, and I am sure it would do the same on a Turkey. With Lead-free steel shot, on a duck or a goose you must hit the bird in the head/neck to reliably bring a bird down. With Lead-free alternatives such as Bismuth it does a little better. With Lead-free Tungsten-based shot, I have killed ducks with body hits, and at longer ranges than I ever did with Lead.

The economics of it are not hard to calculate: how many rounds of really expensive ammo are you going to fire, both in prep, and actually shoot at Turkey?

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Re: Lead free turkey loads

#5 Post by MikeRossi » Fri May 17, 2019 5:43 pm

For turkeys use one of the tungsten matrixes (blends). For all other game use steel, even if not required by law. It is not worth the cost, nor do you get better results with tungsten over steel for game other than turkeys, I like the Tung blends for turkey because I never used anything else, so I don't have any real rationale except I am anti-lead ammo. Steel works great for waterfowl and all other game , better than lead in my experience. I never used bismuth. I tend not to believe what I read/hear in gunning circles, because decades of experience seldom cooperates with it. But what I heard/read is probably the same as you have - expensive, and softer than tung, so better in vintage shotguns. I don't know, that is what "they say". If it matters, they also say tung is harder than steel too. I am not a chemist, IDK / DC... I do know what works from a hunting perspective. Another note on cost - I am unaware of any states that allow you to take more than 3 turkeys per year. Seldom do you shoot more than one round at a turkey either. Misses occur, but since you are shooting at them stationary not to the extent of flying game. The Tung blend usually come in boxes of 5 and 10. That many lasts for a while. Some hunters use a scope and may need to sight in every year - that is another story, but not one I am knowlwdgeable about. Sighting in uses ammo, thats my point with that. You dont need a scope for turkey, I can attest to that, and I doubt there is much positive gain from their use, but as said, IDK about scopes for turkey dont use never did for turkey.

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