Birdshot is metal shot used in shotgun shells for hunting birds and large game. It can be made from lead, steel, tungsten, or other materials. The shot size is customized for different game, and too large or small can be inefficient or inhumane. Birdshot can also be used as a deterrent. It’s important to understand proper use and practice firearms safety.
Birdshot is a type of metal shot designed to be used in shotgun shells. It consists of metal balls milled to be the same size so they can be packed together in a shell. When the bullet is fired, it separates, allowing the bird shot to fly towards its intended target. Classically, birdshot is made from lead, although shooting from steel, tungsten, and other materials has become more popular due to environmental concerns about lead.
This style of shooting is so named because it is designed for use in big game hunting. The larger shot is known as a “bullet,” in reference to the fact that it can be used to hunt deer, hogs, and larger game. The shot is packed in a cartridge with padding and gunpowder for the purpose of being loaded into a firearm and fired.
The various birdshot sizes are customized, as you can imagine, for different sized game. The hunter’s goal is to be able to shoot from a reasonable distance and gain enough penetration with the shot to kill or at least stop an animal. If too large a roll is used, it can cause serious damage, making the game useless for the table or trophy room. Too small a shot can inflict injury, but it won’t be effective enough to actually kill the animal. Besides being inefficient, small shot can also be inhumane, as the bird can suffer considerably from the shot wound.
While birdshot is designed for birds, it can certainly injure larger animals, as US Vice President Dick Cheney demonstrated in 2006 when he accidentally shot a hunting partner while men were chasing quail. Although Cheney’s victim was not seriously injured, the condition caused pain and later medical complications from a piece of a migrating bullet that impinged on his heart. Birdshot has also historically been used as a deterrent to poachers and intruders by landowners.
Many hunting supply stores sell bird shot or shotgun pellets that are packed with shot ready to use. As with any type of ammunition, it’s important to understand the proper uses for birdshot before using it, and you should always practice basic firearms safety when working with ammunition and handguns. As a general rule, don’t aim your gun at anything you don’t want to shoot, as even light ammunition can cause eye and facial injuries.