Weird, Malformed Steel Shotshells: The Reinvention of the Spreader Load


A well-known and completely settled matter is that perfectly spherical shot is the best performing shot. The Shot Tower in Taroona was built in 1870 by Joseph Moir; it still stands today. For four years it was the tallest building in Australia and Tasmania's tallest structure for over a century. Sorting, grading shot, adding antimony and arsenic was common practice over 140 years ago: everyone knew that round shot was the best shot.

Apparently, we will buy most anything stuffed into a shotshell, regardless of what really works. Non-spherical, deformed shot, well-known as defective and undesirable, is now sold as an “advantage” and a premium is charged for it. It is hard to believe. One of the few good things about steel is its form factor and its ability to retain sphericity after firing. There is only one reason to screw that up, that being if you want a spreader load.

One company does that, and actually calls it what it is. That company is Rottweil and the product is the “Rottweil Steel Game Disperseur.” It is considered useful at up to 20 meters (21.87 yards) for “Snipe, Common snipe, and Partridge.” This is American skeet maximum distances.

We didn't get the memo in the United States, however, as deformed shot is somehow sold as being a good thing at waterfowl hunting ranges. It is odd to seek poor flying, poor patterning, aerodynamically embarrassing shotshells. It is odder still that we would actually buy them, bewildering that we would actually pay a premium for them. The truth really can be stranger than fiction, though, and this is one of those times.



Copyright 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.




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