Non-toxic garden defense

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Carbon 6

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The barrel is modern, made by Ed Rayl (so, not an antique yet!). If I use steel shot, would I need to use a shot cup or paper cartridge to protect the barrel, or is it fine just to use traditional card/cushion/shot/card?
Steel will penetrate paper and most plastic wads that I have seen, I have just come to accept that steel shot is going to make my barrel look ugly on the inside.
A nice Ed Rayl 4 bore might as well be an antique.
I'd look for a cheap beater import gun or have a T/C bored out smooth and make it your dedicated steel shot garden gun.
 

Carbon 6

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I guess there’s another detail I forgot to mention, but the garden is accompanied by a yard of chickens and guinea fowl. Weasels and possums have been a major hazard for them. It’s another reason to avoid lead; it would be unhealthy for the birds to pick it up.
That does complicate things.
 

Carbon 6

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I tried rice, Might as well be confetti. Couldn't kill a sparrow at 10 feet.
 

Britsmoothy

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Made at home ?
I've tried store bought traps with little success.



Probably like me and doesn't want pounds of lead shot accumulating in his garden soil.
Pounds! How many varmints is there, ain't going to be much vegan friendly food left if your shooting pounds of lead!
Besides has anyone had a documented health issue from lead in the garden?
I remember breathing in from vehicle tail pipes as a kid, not bothered me yet.

You know what, me thinks a particle of radio active material is far more dangerous and it's out there. Then there is mercury tooth fillings!
How about heart disease, obesity, diabetes? But for goodness sakes don't use lead shot in the garden! :doh:

Get an airgun, they do non lead pellets now.
 

SandWatcher

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Steel will penetrate paper and most plastic wads that I have seen, I have just come to accept that steel shot is going to make my barrel look ugly on the inside.
A nice Ed Rayl 4 bore might as well be an antique.
I'd look for a cheap beater import gun or have a T/C bored out smooth and make it your dedicated steel shot garden gun.
Your suggestion is quite prescient! I actually ordered a “beater import” for this exact purpose last year from MVTCo. ...but the order was taking so many months to fulfill that I grew impatient and just started building one.

I do have to say that the Rayl barrel I have is absolutely exquisite. I think it’s shaped even better than most historical examples I’ve seen.
 

ppg1949

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Carbon 6, agreed it would not kill very well at ten feet. I was using it as a non-lethal deterrent in an unmentionable smoothbore. Probably because of the light weight, it shed velocity quickly. I doubt I'll ever need it again because now I live in a town. Back then I lived in the country and used it on possum eating at the outdoor cats food bowl. And your right about their needing to be shovel close. But if there ever is a next time, I'll load some popcorn. Thanks
 

Carbon 6

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Pounds! How many varmints is there, ain't going to be much vegan friendly food left if your shooting pounds of lead!
If i were shooting lead, at an ounce per shot that's one pound every 16 shots. I shoot over a 100 critters a year out of my garden, that's over 6 pounds of lead each year, multiply that over the years and it really adds up.
Many vegetables are capable of up-taking lead in the soil.
That's why I don't use lead at home for critter management.
 

Carbon 6

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Carbon 6, agreed it would not kill very well at ten feet. I was using it as a non-lethal deterrent in an unmentionable smoothbore. Probably because of the light weight, it shed velocity quickly. I doubt I'll ever need it again because now I live in a town. Back then I lived in the country and used it on possum eating at the outdoor cats food bowl. And your right about their needing to be shovel close. But if there ever is a next time, I'll load some popcorn. Thanks
Sand doesn't work either, in case anyone had that idea.
I've tried just about everything you can think of, got tired of messing around and settled on steel.
I'm happy.
 

Britsmoothy

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If i were shooting lead, at an ounce per shot that's one pound every 16 shots. I shoot over a 100 critters a year out of my garden, that's over 6 pounds of lead each year, multiply that over the years and it really adds up.
Many vegetables are capable of up-taking lead in the soil.
That's why I don't use lead at home for critter management.
Ok.
Peppercorns?
Dried peas?
 

David Veale

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I guess there’s another detail I forgot to mention, but the garden is accompanied by a yard of chickens and guinea fowl. Weasels and possums have been a major hazard for them. It’s another reason to avoid lead; it would be unhealthy for the birds to pick it up.
We've got chickens and ducks who will all pick up lead shot if I used that myself. I find that Walmart carries some nice 12 gauge varmint loads (7&1/2 steel shot) that are pretty cheap... I know that doesn't help with the muzzle loader idea, but for the yard it seems to me like a better option. I'm always amazed at how little people know about lead toxicity. It's pretty damn serious based on what I've learned, and I don't want my chickens full of it when I'm eating them and their eggs!
 

mushka

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Small unmentionable with CCI quiets. All that other stuff is just silly. CCI
 

Eterry

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When i worked 3rd shift about twice a year my Lt would call me in, hand me a couple boxes of CB Longs and say "Animal Control Is getting lots of skunk/varmint calls. Be careful and I don't wanna know."

A few days later Animal control started getting calls of dead critters in alleyways and in front yards.
Strange how that works.

100 critters times 29 grains = 2900 grains, less than half a pound.

What i use in MY garden is a pellet rifle with pellets. Seems to work well.

Btw, rock salt is USELESS, and if rice is fatal for birds please explain what all the millions of birds, big and small, are doing in the rice fields along the gulf coast in Texas? If it was fatal there wouldn't be a snow goose problem.

I understand the myth of rice toxicity was started by a pet shop owner, who sold birdseed, but not rice.
 

Carbon 6

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Small unmentionable with CCI quiets. All that other stuff is just silly. CCI
That works for some, but won't kill others. I want them dead on the spot so they don't crawl under a woodpile or shed and stink up the place . Nothing worse than a dead critter in 90 degree heat.
 

theoldredneck

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Have used sand, rice, okra seeds, etc shooting wood bees at home because of the very limited range to keep from doing damage to buildings etc. Here in town after trying lot of different things with a very low noise level settled on a crossbow. Was having problems with armadillos digging up yard and shrubbery. Bought cheap bolts/arrows and broadheads. Zeroed scope and it does an excellent job. Sometimes they will run off if shot isnt perfect. So putting underpinning around buildings things can get under is wise. Did that after spending 1/2 a day getting armadillo out from under my shop. Murphy's law requires anything like that to crawl at least a foot past the maximum distance you can reach with anything. Forgive me for getting off muzzleloaders
 
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