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Bump's Bismuth Banging

933 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  MSUICEMAN
Backstory-
A few years ago when my son started duck hunting, I was fascinated with building him the perfect sub gauge waterfowl load. Accumulated 22 pounds of bismuth shot, four Mec 600 jr's, a pile of charge bars and bushings along with a menagerie of powders, wads, primers and hulls. And then never did anything with it. He turned into a "winchester man" shooting xperts and everything just kinda sat in the house ever since.

Until Thanksgiving when I decided to go for it.

First recipe ever (from Hodgdon website):
Remington American Clay and Field Hull
Longshot Powder
1 3/8 lead charge bar
27 bushing
Winchester 209 primer
Bismuth #5 shot
Winchester WAA12R wad

With only doing 5 shells for the first time ever, I decided to weigh every step on every shell.

This combination dropped 1.19-1.21 ounces of shot, within the 5% variance I was told to stick with. This was also constent with what Google searches said to expect using this specific lead charge bar for bismuth. I did not top the shot off by hand, but may next time. The 27 bushing consistently dropped 26.9-27.1 grains of powder. Lower than what the charts said it should drop, but also consistent with what I was reading on the interwebs.

This combination per Hodgdon should give me roughly 8,300 psi/1275 FPS. Their recipe with exactly 1.25 ounces of bismuth and 26.5 grains of longshot was 8,000/1250.

Hand Fluid Finger Thumb Nail

Font Cylinder Gas Handwriting Plastic


Should have test fired them, put them on a patterning board, etc. But nah. Instead I drove 2 hours to hunt with a friend yesterday. I did take a spare shotgun and other shells just in case lol.

Bird Beak Bat Hunting Feather


Initial random thoughts-
If I squeezed, the bird caught at least a little something. The #5 bismuth did not penetrate as well as #2 steel, but nothing made it out alive that I squeezed on. I'm not a great shot, so the added pellets come in handy. The last couple years I've been shooting 1 1/8 #2 steel (140 pellets roughly). The 1.20 ounces of #5 bismuth should have 245-250 pellets. Yesterday I had the #5's in the chamber, with other shells chasing. Nothing straight folded on the first shot which is discouraging, but everything caught a little something allowing a controlled 2nd shot. #5 bismuth be a wicked early season little duck load.

And...in the words of my kids
YOU DIDN'T BLOW UP DAD!!!

I have a truckload of supplies left. Figured I'd start a thread as a log to keep track of what I'm rolling.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
i have loaded up 100rd of #4 hw13 shot. dang stuff is so dense it easily fits in a 2.75" shell. all 3" loads needed lots of felt spacers and/or cheerios to take up volume. at that point i realized that commercial duck loads are more marketing than substance.
I rolled up 5 more tonight. Changed the bushing to a 29, Drop kinda freaked me out a little at 31.3 on the high side. Load allows for a 31.5 at 11,200 psi so I have some wiggle room but still. Also topped off the hulls to 1.25oz tonight vs running them at the 1.20oz. I'm sure I'll get out another time this year to test them before things are done.
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I struggle to see the value of HW in commercial duck loads. Not that I wouldn't load it if I could get my hands on it cheap. But it's not super high on my list. I tend to not shoot long/tall. Most everything I shoot is tight and close. I want a load with a higher quantity of pellets that create a larger but still lethal spread. Thus the Bi 5's.
i have loaded up 100rd of #4 hw13 shot. dang stuff is so dense it easily fits in a 2.75" shell. all 3" loads needed lots of felt spacers and/or cheerios to take up volume. at that point i realized that commercial duck loads are more marketing than substance.
yeah, i got 7lbs of HW13 for (relatively) inexpensive. still costs 2.75 a trigger pull IIRC, but still wayyyy cheaper than commercial loads. and with #4s and being more dense than lead at high velocities, it puts geese down pretty damn well too.

I'll probably load bismuth and possibly nickel or copper plated for upland/rabbits. sometimes bismuth isn't too badly priced.
I'd love to try some HW13, but refuse to pay the prices that most people want for it currently. Watch these guys dusting Geese a mile high is insane. I do shoot it in Turkey loads, but those are factory rolled not home cooked.

Plus I don't have the wads for it right now. Whereas Bismuth can be loaded with common RP12/WAA12R stuff that I found pretty easily.
yeah, i got 7lbs of HW13 for (relatively) inexpensive. still costs 2.75 a trigger pull IIRC, but still wayyyy cheaper than commercial loads. and with #4s and being more dense than lead at high velocities, it puts geese down pretty damn well too.

I'll probably load bismuth and possibly nickel or copper plated for upland/rabbits. sometimes bismuth isn't too badly priced.
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2nd batch of #5 bismuth anchored a nice drake tonight on a 50 yard snap shot. Set a camera on a very tough to access creek back in September. Decided to go in today and get it on a little armed recon. Duck needed some followup work but wasn't going anywhere.
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Is this stuff better than the BOSS 2 3/4" bismuth loads? I looked at doing my own bismuth but I just can't compete with BOSS performance or price. BOSS sells a 1 1/4 oz load that is 1350fps at $1.75 per round.

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i have loaded up 100rd of #4 hw13 shot. dang stuff is so dense it easily fits in a 2.75" shell. all 3" loads needed lots of felt spacers and/or cheerios to take up volume. at that point i realized that commercial duck loads are more marketing than substance.
  • Like
Reactions: scrriverrat
yes, it definitely carries quite a bit more energy than copper coated bismuth like BOSS uses. that being said, even rolling your own, its not cheap. i got some on sale and thats the reason i have a couple hundred shells of them. i keep them for geese/ducks, as i like shooting copper plated lead elsewhere (where non-tox isn't required). BOSS isn't bad, i just like mine a bit more.
Is this stuff better than the BOSS 2 3/4" bismuth loads? I looked at doing my own bismuth but I just can't compete with BOSS performance or price. BOSS sells a 1 1/4 oz load that is 1350fps at $1.75 per round.

Sent from my SM-S901U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
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