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Lead shot ban, pah! Old news

Horton & Sons have been testing and investigating many different ways to solve the lead shot alternative conundrum enforced upon us. One such method involved molecularly changing the elements that make up a barrel. Hocus-pocus? Nope, proven method of improving landing gear durability amongst other things. While this has proved successful in a number of tests, the starting point varies so much and with very little knowledge of the molecular starting point, it renders the end result as sporadic as the input. The old adage of, crap in, crap out applies. In theory it should make the metals both harder, corrosion resistant and have an inherent memory within the steel itself. Steel on steel is not a great combination for longevity, so the theory being how can we make the barrels harder and more resilient than the propellent used (steel shot). The findings were fantastic, while barrels may bulge they would return to the original state. Also dents were almost impossible and a light tap with an hammer would relieve any dent even if the barrel were hit incredibly hard in a test with a brummagem screw driver (a hammer if one was not familiar with the terminology) . We endeavour to continue with this testing as we believe it will materially change the production methods employed in new rifles and shotguns at the very least.

In conjunction with these tests, we have been looking into lead alternative ammunition. YES, we acknowledge that we have steel, Bismuth, Tungsten and others but it is widely acknowledged they are lacking in some way. That is purely the shotgun ammunition, once you delve into the firearm ammunition the choices open up into other alternatives that also lack in one way or another. We name just a few below to save boring the hell out of the normal person;

  • Bismuth while it is non toxic, it has massive limitations when it comes to shooting, namely under oomph and/or impact it will shatter into small pieces meaning any game bird  shot with such ammunition is a difficult bird to sell by game dealers.
  • Steel is inherently lighter than its intended counterpart, doesn’t deform upon impact etc. If anyone has shot steel, you will know it is bloody awful in relation to lead.
  • Tungsten: you need to mortgage your granny every time you shoot it! We jest, but by Christ, it is expensive. Why? in addition to the the actual material cost, the melting point of Tungsten is really high so it naturally cools much quicker. Therefore, the production costs of such a shotgun cartridge become ridiculous.
  • The so called green bio stuff is made of elements that fall apart under any excessive pressure, so it has as much velocity as my youngest son can generate throwing a tennis ball for Miya, our GSP.. It is like having a round that pokes its prey with moderate aggression.
  • Copper jacketed bullets are inherently light so simply don’t work very well at all. Also, while they are not working very well they will ruin the rifling on your barrel. No rifling, no twist, no accuracy.. I can lend you a tennis ball if you have a good arm?
  • Zinc. Yep one of the lightest elements known and the most toxic metal known in regard its cancerogenic traits. I’ll cut that short to save a law suit but it is ballistically rubbish in our opinion.

So while other people have just resided themselves to the fact that lead is banned, we at Horton & Sons have been working on a lead alternative, non toxic ammunition. Not only for shotguns, but also firearms ammunition. In regard firearms, we’ve tested .22, .223, .308 and 9mm pistol at various distances with superb results (accuracy, penetration, velocity and overall effective range) compared to all alternatives on the market today. The shotgun cartridges have been tested under a high but ‘normal’ lead velocity load and pattern really well. It behaves exactly like lead shot, it does not shatter, it deforms upon impact which gives that hitting power that lead has.

Shotgun cartridge prices should sit between traditional lead and Bismuth. Firearms ammunition will depend on its application but on its own, it will not foul any rifling and as with the shotgun cartridges, it performs exactly like lead, for example a .22 round shoots half inch MOA at 50 metres exactly like a Eley 10X.

So what is it made of? That would be telling as the patent will be filed in the next few weeks, at that point we will be open to discussions with all major ammunition manufacturers on a non-exclusive basis. Why? We believe this product will allow shooting to continue and guns that are becoming redundant due to the lead ban will be given a new lease of life as a result.

We will keep you updated with progress.



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  • Bruce Teague says:

    Thanks for information. Looking forward to reading and learning more about this non-toxic alternative for my vintage SxS doubles. This news is exciting!

  • Simon Mansell says:

    If your non toxic offering is as good as suggested you could shortly become a very wealthy man. Good luck.