Shotgun Ammunition Explained – what is Birdshot?
Birdshot is a type of shotgun ammunition that is designed for hunting birds in the wild. Inside the shotgun shell contains tiny metal spheres that are all the same size. This allows them to be packed together nicely into a shell, so that many pellets can fit in there. Once the shell full of pellets is loaded into the shotgun and fired out, the pellets separate from the shell and spread outwards.
This is what is known as a birdshot because the spreading of the pellets makes it easier to hit a flying target, such as a bird. Birdshot contains the smallest pellets out of all the other shotgun ammunition types. They also cause the least amount of damage because of their small size, but they are still strong enough to kill birds and small animals. However, the birds don’t always die right away if there are not enough pellets in the gun to destroy them. Hunters that are looking for trophies will typically fill their shells up with fewer pellets in order to weaken the effect on the targeted bird. This results in the bird being immobilized and suffering to death from its injury. Many critics of birdshot call it inhumane for the animals because it doesn’t always kill them right away. But, tell that to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
You might be familiar with birdshot because of the incident that happened back in 2006 with Vice President Cheney. He was hunting quail with another hunter while carrying a shotgun loaded with birdshot shells. When he fired the gun he accidentally shot the other hunter, but fortunately he was not severely injured. The main reason why the victim survived was because of the birdshot shells. This ammunition was not meant for bigger mammals, like humans. They are only meant for birds, so the shells were not strong enough to kill him. If they were a buckshot or slug then it might have been a different story.
If you are new to shotgun ammunition then you can purchase birdshot shells directly from your local hunting supply store. You can also buy the pellets and empty shells separately if you are confident enough to prepare them on your own. Of course, you must abide by your jurisdiction’s laws surrounding the use of hunting in your area and using birdshot ammo. Even though birdshot is not necessarily deadly to people, you should always avoid shooting someone with birdshot because it could still cause permanent injury.