Lead-free shotshells

How can I tell if my shotgun has been tested for use with steel shot?

You will see a lily next to the usual nitro symbol.

Can our Rottweil Copper Unlimited shells be used with firearms not tested with steel shot?


Which lead-free Rottweil shotgun shells can be used with shotguns not tested with steel shot?

The new Game Edition DUCK, the Steel Game and Steel Game Speed 28, as well as the sports shells Steel Skeet and Steel Trap.

Are there limitations regarding the choke when using Rottweil Brenneke and Exakt shotgun shells?

No. All shotgun shells from our range can be used with all CIP-tested combinations, including full chokes. However, from experience, we can say that more open chokes (cylinder, ¼ etc.) are more favourable for the shooting performance and/or deliver a better shot group.

What is the effective shooting range and the sufficient target energy with soft iron shotshells as opposed to lead?

In order to achieve a comparable effect, you will have to reduce the usual shooting distance by 5 to 10 m, and it is advisable to increase the shot number by two sizes.Example: Duck with 2.7 mm lead and with 3.25 mm soft iron, that means instead of no. 6 now use no. 4.

How do I determine that a shotgun is proofed for higher gas pressures and steel shot?

The proof marks tell you this (see the illustrations) and the barrel pair is marked with a lily in the area of the hook tang (drawing).

What is the difference between standard and high-performance shotshells in the case of lead-free shotshells?

Standard shotshells in 12/70 gauge have a maximum pressure (Pmax) of 740 bar, the shot size may not exceed 3.25 mm, the velocity at V2,5 is limited to 400 m/s and a muzzle impulse of 12 n/s. High-performance shotshells (12/70 gauge) are marked with the Pmax indication 1050 bar on the case and are limited to 430 m/s velocity at V2,5. The muzzle impulse may not exceed 13.5 Ns. The shot size has no upper limited.

Can I have a shotgun tested for suitability to use high-performance shotshells?

Yes, but this requires proof testing for increased gas pressure and testing of suitability for steel shot (lily). In any case you should have your shotgun evaluated before the testing, as it otherwise can result in damage in the muzzle area of the gun.

What are the features that distinguish a good soft iron shotshell from one that is not as good?

There are for sure differences. Among other things you will notice it from the price of the shotshell. A responsible manufacturer meets the CIP requirements with regard to the hardness of the soft iron shot with 100 HV on the inside. The intermediate material, i.e. the plastic wad is from high-quality material with stronger walls to protect the inside barrel – especially in the choke area. Of course, Rottweil meets the maximum permissible values for the muzzle impulse and velocity.

Is the shot patterning with soft iron comparable tot hat of lead shot?

Yes, with good shot you will also get good patterning. By avoiding surface wear of the shot (thick-wall plastic wad), there is less edge shot and the “shot expansion” is somewhat shorter than with lead and the concentration of the pattern is more centred, i. e. steel shot stays together somewhat better than lead shot.

Which alternatives are there to steel shot?

Aside from soft iron there are many materials that are suitable for lead-free shooting, e.g. tin, zinc, tungsten or even gold. These metals should not only be heavy but also ductile and above all affordable if they are to replace lead. Rottweil has chosen copper, bismuth and tin from the possible available candidates because they (including in combination with steel shot) present the optimal compromise between high weight, CIP-specified hardness and a good price-to-performance ratio.

How does steel shot perform compared to lead?

Thanks to the fact that soft iron shot is harder than lead shot, iron shot pellets deform only minimally and maintain their round shape in flight. This results in fewer stray pellets and a shot string that produces a tighter pattern than that of lead shot loads. A result of this is that the shot pattern has a concentration of hits that is clearly higher in the center and a greater number of hits per target segment than with lead shot. We must, however, warn of the increased danger from ricochets with steel shot. Since steel shot deforms less than lead shot, the reduction in velocity upon impact with a hard surface is significantly less than it is with ductile lead shot. The angle of deflection is also larger than with lead shot.

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