Biodegrad­able wads con­tinue move to eco-friendly shoot­ing

Record Observer - - Sports -

My usual New Year’s Res­o­lu­tions are to pay down my credit cards and to watch more Three Stooges shorts. This year I’ve added us­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly ammo.

No more trips to Wal­mart to buy hugs packs of tar­get load for me. There are man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer­ing shot­gun shells now that biode­grade quickly, in­clud­ing the wad.

Upon re­search­ing pur­chase op­tions, I came across GreenOps Ammo, founded by ma­rine sci­en­tists and hunters. The startup am­mu­ni­tion com­pany is de­vel­op­ing a line of shot­gun shells de­signed to min­i­mize en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. All GreenOps shells in­cor­po­rate a patent­pend­ing, Degrad­able In­ter­nal Cas­ing wad (aka the DICwad™).

This from the web­site (no, I’m not mak­ing this up):

“Our in­jec­tion-molded DICwads™ look and feel like tra­di­tional plas­tic wads, and most im­por­tantly, they per­form like tra­di­tional plas­tic wads in stan­dard­ized pat­tern tests and shot string per­for­mance. How­ever, un­like con­ven­tional plas­tic shot­gun wads, DICwads™ are fully biodegrad­able on land and in both ma­rine and fresh­wa­ter en­vi­ron­ments.” GreenOps says a full line of shot­gun shells will be avail­able this year.

As lead­ing con­ser­va­tion­ists, hunters are al­ways look­ing for ways to pre­serve the in­tegrity of the land. Mov­ing fully to non­toxic, biodegrad­able ammo is another great step in the right di­rec­tion.

As you no doubt al­ready know, un­like the cas­ing that can of­ten be eas­ily picked up and dis­posed of (it’s still trash, but can be re­cy­cled), plas­tic wads travel sig­nif­i­cant distances af­ter the gun is fired and can­not usu­ally be eas­ily re­cov­ered. Hunt­ing for wa­ter­fowl, the plas­tic wads are rou­tinely dis­charged into the wa­ter. Hav­ing learned more re­cently about mi­croplas­tic pol­lu­tion in our wa­ter­ways, I’m de­ter­mined to make sure I don’t con­trib­ute more to the prob­lem.

Ac­cord­ing to an ar­ti­cle in the Bay Jour­nal, an es­ti­mated 10 to 15 bil­lion plas­tic shot­gun wads are pro­duced an­nu­ally and they are one of the most com­mon items col­lected dur­ing beach cleanups. They’ve also been found in the stom­achs of al­ba­tross and other ocean for­ag­ing birds, the plas­tic pronged wads per­haps mis­taken for squid.

Let’s con­tinue the tra­di­tion of out­doors­men and women keep­ing the great out­doors great by switch­ing to biodegrad­able ammo.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers cur­rently of­fer­ing biodegrad­able shell com­po­nents in­clude

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

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