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Bismuth is a brittle, heavy metal that occurs naturally. It's the only "heavy" metal that's non-toxic, and that means it has become one of the key ingredients in the shot made for non-toxic waterfowl-oriented ammunition.

This metal is used in the cosmetics industry and in other industrial applications (such as in solder), but its use in quality shotshells is still only a tiny fraction of those shells that are loaded with traditional lead. This means that a box of good bismuth-based bird ammo is going to cost you a lot more than your usual game loads. Of course, the cost of not complying with your state's regulations will be a lot higher if the game warden catches you shooting lead out over the wetlands.

120 x 90 Hunting / Optics BannerSome shooters are also a little confused when they hear "Bismuth" because there is also a famous manufacturer of non-toxic shotshells called Bismuth-NoTox. Their ammunition is a real step up from non-toxic steel shot, but is a little hard to find. Still, you might as well try to save some money: we've yet to find better prices and quicker delivery on some hard-to-find shells and manufacturers than at good old Cabelas.

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