Rottweil BI-Load and FE-Load: two new lead-free shotshells as an alternative for hunting waterfowl

For some hunters the memories of the last duck hunt are still very present and although the hunting season ended only a few weeks ago, they are already looking forward to the next season. Joint duck shooting is simply a wonderful type of hunting that promises the avid waterfowl hunter a challenging experience with the shotgun, combined with pure enjoyment of nature for all his senses. The characteristic wing flapping noise of the approaching feathered game alone makes the hunter's heart beat faster. If the dogs have done a good job and at the hunt's end there are plenty of ducks lined up, then the hunter's heart will laugh fully.  

Ultimately, ammunition is also a decisive factor in hunting success. In order to meet the new law requirements for hunting feathered game on wetlands, Rottweil has launched the BI-Load and FE-Load shot cartridges.

Before the time comes, however, some preparation is required. The hunt will only be successful if hunters familiarize themselves intensively with the "duck territory" beforehand. 

To do this, they must know which resting or grazing places the waterfowl prefer, how the flight paths run, and also where they find natural cover in the form of tall reeds or similar. A useful hint: ducks always approach a body of water, regardless of whether it is a pond, a stream or a river, downwind until they finally turn and then land upwind. 

Regular chirping at the water's edge prior to the hunt should increase the chances of hunting. However, local hunting and nature conservation rules must be observed. The fact that for water hunting useful retrieving dogs are of course also carried along needs no further explanation.

The law requires lead-free shot for hunting on wetlands – Rottweil offers a range of such cartridges

When changing from lead shot to alternative materials, a control shot to check the pattern is mandatory. Of course, this also applies when changing from lead shot to Rottweil's BI-Load and FE-Load lead-free shotshells. 

Of course, intensive shooting training and the selection of ammunition suitable for duck hunting are also part of the preparation process, so that we as hunters can also live up to our claim of a fair shooting of waterfowl. As of February 15, the REACH regulation banning lead shot within wetlands is now also in effect. We have already reported on about this EU regulation, which explicitly prohibits discharging and also carrying of lead shot within a buffer zone of 100 meters around wetlands

Therefore, despite this questionable EU measure, at least enough time remains until the next duck season, which the waterfowl hunter should also use intensively to familiarize himself with lead-free ammo. In any case, when switching from lead to steel or another lead-free alternative, a control shot should always be fired to check the pattern. Our tip for shooting with steel shot: use a wider choke (e.g. from ½ to ¼ choke).

Rottweil FE-Load and BI-Load: two lead-free and high-performance shotshells for waterfowl hunting 

This sectional view shows the design of the lead-free Rottweil BI-Load and Rottweil FE-Load, both of which are available in 12/76 HP Magnum and 12/70 HP. The longer Magnum shells are shown here to the left of the 12/70s.       

With the Rottweil FE-Load and BI-Load, however, Rottweil also offers a new series of lead-free, yet powerful hunting shot cartridges. Thanks to their properties, they are suitable for almost all common hunting distances and game species - whether duck or wild goose – and are also environmentally friendly since they are 100% lead-free. The BI-Load is loaded with two different shot types: in the front of the shot there are heavy, red shot made of bismuth (3.8 mm) for more energy and penetration, and in the rear there is lighter steel shot (3.5 mm) for better shot patterns and a higher hit ratio. Bismuth can be found in the periodic table of chemical elements under the abbreviation "Bi" and was the inspiration for the naming of the BI-Load. In terms of hardness and weight, it has similar properties to lead, but is heavier than the soft iron normally used in so-called steel shot. The FE-Load, loaded with two different layers of steel shot in 3.8 and 3.3 millimeters, offers 10% more payload than conventional soft iron shotgun shells and is thus currently the heaviest steel shotgun shell in its caliber. The aim is for the heavier part to provide a high shock effect, while the large number of soft iron shotshells is intended to provide a wide pattern. The designation "FE" here is derived from the chemical abbreviation "Fe" for ferrum, i.e. iron.

Both the BI-Load and the FE-Load are available in 12/76 HP Magnum with 40 gram payload each and 12/70 HP with 36 gram payload each. Rottweil has deliberately kept the case, shot cup wad and closing disc transparent to make the technology of the new cartridges visible. The red shot at the front is also intended to help the shooter see the pattern more easily.

For more information on the Rottweil BI-Load and FE-Load shot cartridges specially designed for hunting waterfowl, but also the other lead-free shot cartridges from the Rottweil range, please visit the product website.

This article is also available in this language: