small bore shotguns

Small bore shotguns: threatened by the demise of lead?

For the majority of us, our shooting journey is punctuated by different bore sizes. It is perhaps an accurate representation of our growth and development through life; we tend to strive to achieve bigger and better until old age sets in and we retract to comfort and contentment. Many young…

fleur-de-lys and CIP marks

Steel shot in old shotguns: time to make a decision?

I’m sure that by now most of you will have read at least one article regarding the demise of lead shot and its replacement with steel and other alternatives. And you will certainly have heard many opinions about the change, a change that is under way whether we like it…

Shot pheasants

Non-lead ammunition works well

A few weeks ago, I said I would report back from a day I had been invited on where most of the Guns had decided to use non-lead ammunition. (Read more on non-toxic shot.) I am happy to report that everything went exactly as planned and that the steel shot…

lead shot deadline

Why the lead shot deadline should be extended

One lesson most of us learn pretty early in life is to not make promises we can’t keep. Doing so risks credibility and trustworthiness. Failing to deliver on a personal assurance is always bad enough but nowhere near as bad as stupidly making one for other people. Yet that’s exactly…

stalker with deer

Toxic ammunition: the truth about lead

The move to phase out lead ammunition is one of the most divisive and inflammatory issues in modern fieldsports. Yet, despite the wealth of coverage and the emotion the topic of toxic ammunition evokes in many quarters, the open-minded hunter looking for sufficient information to form their own opinion can…

Steel cartridges in shotgun

Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association reaffirms opposition to lead shot ban

The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) has restated its opposition to a transition away from the use of lead shot. Now in a message encouraging members to engage with the Health and Safety Executive’s lead ammunition consultation, the Association has restated that position. The message said: “Some countryside shooting organisations, led…

shotgun cartridges

DEFRA document raises fears of blanket ban on lead ammunition

In a move that suggests it is looking to bring forward a ban on the use of lead ammunition, Defra has launched its online consultation on the substance and its alternatives. The UK appeared to have dodged a requirement to ban lead ammunition under the European Union Reach framework. Earlier…

Venison chops with blueberry sauce

Recipe for venison chops with blueberry sauce

Venison is often overlooked in the barbecue season, but venison sausages, steak or delicious slow-smoked shoulder can be tasty choices and muntjac makes exceptional venison burgers. The venison chops I used for this recipe were from a memorable stalk on a fallow buck nearing the end of the season. The…

Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco

Steel shot vs lead – why I switched a while ago

Steel shot vs lead I suspect that most shooters realise that lead is dead. It’s only a matter of when. I am not going to reiterate the arguments for steel shot vs lead, they have been done to death. The inexorable tightening of the legal noose around lead was widely…

end of high birds

Is this the end of high birds?

Could the ruling on lead mean the end of high birds? In the early 1990s, when we had a voluntary phase-out of lead for shooting over wetlands, my old mate Charles Nodder and I had a little try with some steel cartridges out on the Medway mud. Being young and…

Large Munsterlander

Fieldsports organisations back move to end lead-shot game

The announcement by the The National Game Dealers Association (NGDA) that its members will not accept lead-shot game from next year has been welcomed by fieldsports bodies including the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Countryside Alliance (CA), British Game Alliance (BGA) and Game Farmers’ Association (GFA). Retailers had…

lead shotgun cartridges

Government plans to phase out lead ammunition

The government is now considering a lead ammunition ban under the UK’s new chemical regulation system – UK REACH– and has requested an official review of the evidence to begin today with a public consultation in due course. Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Addressing the impacts of lead ammunition will…

Shotgun cartridges

Shooting groups defend progress on lead transition

Non-toxic shot progress Shooting organisations have defended the progress of the five-year transition away from the use of lead and single-use plastics in shotgun ammunition. The plan to make shooting more sustainable and to head off Government regulation has come under attack for not making enough progress after a study…

Shotgun pellets

Bill calling for two-year phasing out of all lead shot defeated

A proposed amendment to an Environment Bill calling for a two-year phase out of all lead shot has been voted out by Defra. The amendment was led by Labour MP Fleur Anderson but Defra minister Rebecca Pow said that it was unnecessary, due to positive action by shooting organisations to…

lead-free bullets

The pros and cons of lead-free bullets

There is a growing push towards lead-free bullets. But what are the pros and cons of lead-free bullets? These are the advantages and disadvantages as I see them and of copper bullets. There are serious considerations for both but lead shot is, of course, being phased out over a five-year…

lead shot deadline

EU votes to restrict lead shot from 2023

The proposed EU REACH committee restrictions against lead shot voted through on 3 September will be ratified by early 2021 and become law in 2023 in EU member states. The UK government may decide then to adopt the regulation depending on how it decides to legislate for REACH related laws.…

Pheasant shooting in New Zealand

How have other countries coped with the lead shot ban?

For advocates of lead 
ammunition, the arguments 
have become academic. The 
leaders of our major shooting and countryside organisations have 
signed a statement in support of the 
removal of lead — and single-use 
plastic — from all ammunition used 
for hunting game, within five years. Critics will not see this…