clay pigeon shooting

The future of lead shot: the threats that lie ahead

Many thought that by leaving the European Union the UK would be freed from the shackles of mega-state bureaucracy and win back the ability to set its own laws. In short, paddle our own canoe again. Well … Yes, small gains have been made since we cast adrift from the…

Lead pellet ban: BASC to fight lead airgun pellet ban proposals

In May, a six-month public consultation launched on proposals to restrict or ban the use of lead ammunition for outdoor recreational shooting in England, Wales and Scotland. This impacts on airgunning and every shooting discipline for live quarry and target shooting. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was tasked by…

Battle lines drawn as BASC rejects proposed lead restrictions

The association has set out a mixed position strongly opposing some elements of the proposals and less strongly opposing others. The HSE has proposed a phased withdrawal of lead ammunition over a time period between 18 months and five years. This includes lead used for shooting live quarry and targets,…

Burning questions about the end of lead shot

Is UK REACH compliance mandatory? If the proposals were to come into law next year they would be mandatory in England, Wales and Scotland. However, there is a lengthy scrutiny process ahead before any laws are drafted. The proposals and consultation are taking place under the UK’s post-Brexit chemical regulations,…

Lead-free pellets – how will the lead ban impact airgunning?

There has been talk for some time about the phasing out of lead in ammunition and going lead-free, but this is part of a drive to reduce lead pollution in general. A press release issued by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs back in March 2021 laid out…

steel vs lead cartridges

Steel vs lead cartridges: a pattern emerges

We now have the transition away from traditional lead shot that has served so well for so long and, I hope, will continue to do so, even if some areas are to be denied it. The topic chosen by Sporting Gun for me this month has been time-consuming, but it…

lead ammunition

HSE announces plan to effectively ban lead ammunition

The sweeping restrictions have been proposed in a ‘restriction dossier’ from the agency. Announcing the proposal, the agency said: “An unacceptable risk has been identified for both hunting with lead shot and from sports shooting.” They also said: “There are no realistic ways to limit the amount of lead entering…

Biodegradable shotgun cartridges – questions still loom

The move towards biodegradable shotgun cartridges, and wads and steel shot gets closer and closer by the day, but there are still some questions that need answering on the ramifications of the transition. I’ve been using the stuff on and off for years on shooting grounds that allow its use.…

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…