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I went down the bismuth rabbit hole this season as well. with limited powder for my normal steel shot reloads available, I worked up some loads with No. 4 bismuth and what powders I had. There is no comparison in the beating they put on birds, first couple ducks were all but hamburger, and geese over deeks drop like bags of hammers. Next season I’ll be running 3s for geese and 5s for duck. Doubt I’ll ever use steel again unless the price shifts dramatically.
 

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All of it. Hiking is terrible without a gun or rod in my hands.
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One way to offset the cost is Look at Hevi Hammer, mix of steel and bismuth (may be tungsten matrix). I really like it. Bismuth is expensive, and man does it hit hard.
 

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Rob glad you had success!

Food for thought. Steel shot is 7.8 g/cc. Bismuth is 9.6 g/cc. That is only 1.8 g/cc difference between the two shot types. EMI advertises Hevi Bismuth being 22% denser than steel. EMI has never been forthcoming or very honest with their advertising.

It would be interesting to dissect one of your shells and check the actual density of the shot.
 

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Rob glad you had success!

Food for thought. Steel shot is 7.8 g/cc. Bismuth is 9.6 g/cc. That is only 1.8 g/cc difference between the two shot types. EMI advertises Hevi Bismuth being 22% denser than steel. EMI has never been forthcoming or very honest with their advertising.

It would be interesting to dissect one of your shells and check the actual density of the shot.
I may be missing something but if you run the calculation on the numbers you provide (1.8/7.8) you actually get a 23% increase in density. Where is the dishonesty in advertising?
 

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The way I figured it 1.8 ÷ 9.6 = 18 %
Just depends on how you calculate it. Bismuth is 1.8g/cc more dense than steel. A 1.8g/cc increase over 7.8g/cc is a 23% increase over steel. But, steel is 1.8g/cc less dense than bismuth, so steel is 1.8/9.6 = 18.8% less dense than bismuth.

Either way, 20 gauge 3" shells cost $33/box (Boss, 20 shells, $1.65/shell). The last time I bought steel I think it was $8/box (25, $0.32/shell). So, the 23% increase in density comes at a 415% increase in cost. But bismuth costs 516% what steel does. Or, steel costs just 19% of what bismuth does.

Overall, I'd guess that the average hunter kills one bird for every three shells fired. That means each bird costs ~$5 in ammunition alone for those who shoot bismuth. I like steel just fine, can't imagine paying $5 to kill a spoonie. Last time out I killed four GWT with $1.12 worth of shells. I like that.
 

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Numbers...there are so many of them.
Here's a few more. I put over 30# of goose breast in my freezer this year for about $15 worth of shells. But then you have to add about $650 for travel, motel, license, beer, etc. Figure ~$25/lb all told.
 

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Just depends on how you calculate it. Bismuth is 1.8g/cc more dense than steel. A 1.8g/cc increase over 7.8g/cc is a 23% increase over steel. But, steel is 1.8g/cc less dense than bismuth, so steel is 1.8/9.6 = 18.8% less dense than bismuth.

Either way, 20 gauge 3" shells cost $33/box (Boss, 20 shells, $1.65/shell). The last time I bought steel I think it was $8/box (25, $0.32/shell). So, the 23% increase in density comes at a 415% increase in cost. But bismuth costs 516% what steel does. Or, steel costs just 19% of what bismuth does.

Overall, I'd guess that the average hunter kills one bird for every three shells fired. That means each bird costs ~$5 in ammunition alone for those who shoot bismuth. I like steel just fine, can't imagine paying $5 to kill a spoonie. Last time out I killed four GWT with $1.12 worth of shells. I like that.
That's some interesting math. The main thing that has pushed me to shooting bismuth over steel is that steel is getting almost impossible to find locally for me, and it's massively overpriced when it is available. I haven't had to buy much steel in the past few years fortunately since I stocked up on a few cases in the pre-pandemic days, but my supply is getting low and I think Bismuth is the way forward. I did find a few boxes that were in the back of my gun safe from 2010 or so, marked $7 a box for 3" #2 Fasteel.....those days will certainly never return!
 

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Here's a few more. I put over 30# of goose breast in my freezer this year for about $15 worth of shells. But then you have to add about $650 for travel, motel, license, beer, etc. Figure ~$25/lb all told.
Don't feel too bad. I have a friend that went fishing for bluefins in CA last summer. He figured his cost at $56 per pound!
 

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Working with a reloading cost calculator. Loading a box bismuth shells with a 1 1/4oz load (at todays costs) would cost me over $43 a box. Bismuth from Roto Metals. Ouch!!

I bought some target load components yesterday. First time since the Obama administration. My cost to load a box of 7/8oz 12ga target loads is $8.12

Maybe its time to get back into fishing? What is the cost of post pandemic worms??
 

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Working with a reloading cost calculator. Loading a box bismuth shells with a 1 1/4oz load (at todays costs) would cost me over $43 a box. Bismuth from Roto Metals. Ouch!!

I bought some target load components yesterday. First time since the Obama administration. My cost to load a box of 7/8oz 12ga target loads is $8.12

Maybe its time to get back into fishing? What is the cost of post pandemic worms??
A trip to Strawberry for kokanee costs over $50. My trip to the coast last summer was cheap because I didn't tow my own boat for the first time ever and stayed with a buddy. Worked out to ~$10/lb for salmon, albacore, rockfish, halibut and sablefish.

But, I figure the fish and game I bring home is free. Whatever the cost, I count it as entertainment.
 

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Working with a reloading cost calculator. Loading a box bismuth shells with a 1 1/4oz load (at todays costs) would cost me over $43 a box. Bismuth from Roto Metals. Ouch!!

I bought some target load components yesterday. First time since the Obama administration. My cost to load a box of 7/8oz 12ga target loads is $8.12

Maybe its time to get back into fishing? What is the cost of post pandemic worms??
If you weigh your worms and do the math, it will be cheaper to fish with ribeye steak strips!
 

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This thread got me thinking so I pulled the trigger on a case of Boss copper plated bismuth, 2 3/4" 1 1/4oz #3/5. Also picked up a few boxes of their 3" 1 1/2oz #2s for late season geese, I'm excited to try them out! Bismuth seems to be the middle ground as far as performance to cost ratio goes, with steel on one end of the spectrum and TSS on the other.
 
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