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Ammo for the Dove Opener

Limited Out

Well-known member
Load S-65.jpg A couple of you guys asked what "The Limit Out" crew was shooting in the way of non-toxics for the Dove opener. Here's the Long Range Load components for 40+ yards. Hull/Shell- Federal Gold Medal + Federal 209A Primer + Allaint Steel Powder + BP Gas Seal + BP-12 Shotcup w/ 2 Slits/Pedals + 3mm Foam Filler Wad + 1 oz. #5 Zinc Plated Steel Shot + 8 Point Crimp. 1485 FPS with 8500 PSI and 1/2" Gel Penetration @ 59 yards and 63% Pattern in a 22" circle @ 40 Yards. We also have some Mid and Close Range stuff loaded up.
 

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Brnsvllyjohn

Well-known member
What loader are using? I still have a couple of Ponsness Warrens and an old Pacific. Back in the day the Ponsness didn't like steel when I first tried it for waterfowl. The Pacific is slow but we could load anything on it. Of course the loaders are for 2 3/4" shells. Still have a thousand AA once fired hulls. I am down to about 100 pounds of shot since I have been trading it to fishing guys who need lead. Lead shot is useless now unless you are only shooting clays.
 

Limited Out

Well-known member
I'm using a MEC Sizemaster without the steel conversion kit. I have had this machine for years. It is the perfect reloader for me. It is ideal for small run hunting reloads using an adjustable charge bar. It handles the smaller size steel OK, I have noticed these #5s bridge and hang up in the drop tube once in a while. I'm sure this problem would increase using #4s and larger sizes without the conversion kit. The Ponsness Warrens are good reloaders, much better than my MEC. I think they could handle steel if you could figure out a way to increase the inside diameter of the drop tubes. It might be simpler to modify those machines than standing in line for a half an hour, paying a bunch of fees, and putting up with all the other associated hassles related to buying store bought ammo.
 

Brnsvllyjohn

Well-known member
My son has had good success with the 28 gauge P&W with steel in size 7. I never could get the 12 gauge to load steel number 4 (duck loads) or larger. The Pacific will do it. I never tried steel 7s or anything for upland in it because when I was loading I used 7 1/2 lead for a lot of upland and occasionally some # 6. Obviously that lead shot is no longer useful to me. We may try loading 12 gauge small steel shot in a P&W.
 

Limited Out

Well-known member
I think the #6 steel should fill the bill for the majority of situations. I only plan on using those steel #5s on the those days when the Doves are flying up in the 50+ yard range. Some days those birds fly zig zags close to the ground where steel #7s will work well. Other days they are flying high on a beeline, those #5s are the way to go. Same spot different flight patterns most days, I have no idea why! It pays to have a little bit of everything if I want to out shoot your my hunting partners on these Ballistic Golf Contests. That zinc plated steel shot is high quality stuff, sure is round.
 
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dogwillhunt

Active member
Dumb question here....
How do you prove to the guy in the green truck that your hand load if Non Toxic? Ive been wanting to load my own now more then ever, but that has been a hang up for me.
 

Limited Out

Well-known member
as Sarg says, "They Got a Magnet". My guess, they'll be using it a bunch this opener in California. The second question right after let me see your license, are you shooting steel? Followed by the magnet test, then how many bullets does your mag hold. It might be wise, and less expensive, to save the lead for the trap range.
 
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dabob

Well-known member
Most game wardens will test your shell for lead shot using a Hot Shot device. But the Hot Shot doesn't work on some legal Lead Free shot types.

Open the crimp up for the game warden, you don't have to cut a shotgun shell and destroy it to get to the shot. After you open the crimp to test the shot pour the shot back into the shell and push the crimp back down. The game wardens should have a rare earth magnet and pliers to test your shot if the Hot Shot shows it is lead.

This below is from the Hot Shot disclaimer.

Although the HOT*SHOT has been found by law enforcement to be a very useful device, it should only be used as a tool to aid and augment existing practices when identifying the metal in a shotgun shell. Because of the many different shots available and the constant change in composition of these shells, Stream Systems cannot guarantee that the HOT*SHOT will read every shot correctly. Therefore the HOT*SHOT should not be relied on solely for determining the contents of a shell - this includes issuing citations, seizure of equipment, arrests, or any other legal activity based on using the HOT*SHOT. Should the HOT*SHOT produce a reading that indicates a violation and the results are challenged, we recommend that you send the shell to a forensic lab for further analysis and verification to prove your case. These facilities have very expensive equipment that can accuracy identify the shot metal.

This below is from the California DF&W web-site.
All ammunition in a hunter’s possession may be inspected by wildlife officers. In some cases, if a wildlife officer suspects a hunter is in possession of lead ammunition and cannot prove otherwise in the field, he or she may seize a cartridge or bullet for further analysis. Hunters are encouraged to assist in confirming compliance by retaining and carrying in the field ammunition boxes or other packaging.

After being hassled by a Game Warden at the Kern refuge a few years ago I made copies of the legal shot types from the USF&W service web-site. I also have copies of the Hot Shot instructions and Hot Shot disclaimer and a copy of the "and cannot prove otherwise in the field". I keep these copies with me while hunting waterfowl and in my truck at all times. I also have earth magnets while hunting waterfowl and in my truck. I also have a copy for HW13 shot showing that it is Tungsten Bronze shot an that it is USF&W approved for waterfowl hunting.

So the game wardens should know the instructions on how to use the Hot Shot, know about the disclaimer on the Hot Shot and know he should try to prove "what shot type you are using in the field" before he takes your ammo away from you to be tested.

I have lots of shot gun ammo loaded with HW13 shot that is a Tungsten Bronze type of shot. It shows that it is legal on the USF&W web site on the Legal Shot Types for Waterfowl. It also shows that the Hot Shot does not recognize HW13 shot and that a rare earth magnet should be used to test it. Check out the below link.
https://www.fws.gov/birds/bird-enthusiasts/hunting/nontoxic.php

The more we know about the laws on shooting Lead Free shot in California the better off we will be. The Game Warden I had a run in with assumed he could decide to make a decision in the field about how he was going to handle the situation instead of going by the law and rules and the directions for the Hot Shot device he was using.

So a game warden should let you take the shot out of the shell and test if for lead with pliers and a rare earth magnet before he takes ammo from you to be tested elsewhere or write you a citation.

HW13 shot is just barely magnetic the shot has to be taken out of the shell to be tested with a Rare Earth Magnet.
 
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Limited Out

Well-known member
With all the approved types of non-toxics it might be extremely difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were shooting something other than non-toxics by doing a simple field analysis. I think you are still innocent until proven guilt! As with most law enforcement personnel it rarely pays to fail the "Attitude Test". The last time I was checked was in Arizona, the warden simply asked and that was good enough, no physical checking. They also asked if I had a mag plug, again no physical check. I was checked twice during this weekend of waterfowl hunting and it was the same approach with both wardens. I think this approach is much better and promotes that we are playing on the same team. This was a lot different than California where the wardens almost always assume you guilty.
 
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ChrisAMX

Well-known member
I had Warden check me two years ago when I left Carrizo on a Quail hunt. They looked at my license, shotgun and then looked at my shells, I had Bismuth and Steel. I had a couple sabots with my gear. He asked what that was for and I told him pigs. He then asked to see my pig tag, which I showed him. I think that as long as the shells are plainly marked, then there probably wont be too much trouble when it comes to checking, however, since this is the year of the full scale law then maybe they could be looking a little harder?
 


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