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Biodegradable?


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#1 notchent

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:39 AM


For me, one of the most enjoyable things about slingshots has been comparing all the different types of frames, bands, ammo, targets, etc. I think I've tried every single type of ammo described here on the forum, and the most biodegradable option that I actually enjoy shooting is gumballs. In Walmart a couple months ago I bought a couple boxes of "biodegradable" 6mm soft shot pellets, expecting that they'd be a nice option to shoot into the woods behind my house.

I really do not enjoy shooting the small plastic (they're too light to be accurate, and they don't make any satisfying sound), but I would have continued to use them occasionally, if only they appeared to actually be biodegradable at all.

As a test, I put 6 of the biodegradable balls in the woods, along with some copper BBs, steel BBs, and regular plastic 6mm soft shot. Over the past 2 months, they've been through hurricane Irene, some of the worst flooding rains we've ever had, hot sunny days, etc., and they don't appear to be any more deteriorated than then the regular plastic shot. The metal BBs are corroded so much that their surfaces have worn into less than round shapes - especially the ones that have worked their way into the dirt.

I'll keep this test going as long as it takes to see the metal and biodegradable shot dissolved, but I'm curious if anyone else has tried similar tests - especially if you know how long it takes a normal .177 BB to rust away to nothing. Do copper covered BBs erode more quickly than plain steel? Could I put any sort of chemical on them that could speed up the deterioration process? Thanks for any info and ideas :)

#2 orion the hunter

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:59 AM

It would seem from your desription that the metal bb is degrading much quicker. The thought i have is about their true composition.The metal being much closer to its natural elemental state should predictably break down at a reasonable rate. The plastic however could be made of god knows what kind of composite, so it degradation is by no means predictable.

#3 Charles

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:10 AM

Even so-called biodegradable plastic bags do not just compost down. All that happens with them is that they break up into a real mess of small pieces of plastic that are hard to pick up but easy to see ... in short, they just make a mess. If you want something that is really biodegradable, stick to candy balls or steel.

Cheers ...... Charles

#4 Imperial

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:32 PM

youll be waiting for a long time for it to decompose into nothing. tin cans cant take up to 50 to 100 years to decompose. aluminum can take up to 80 to 100 years. so it appears that metal is around the 100 year mark. plastic coated milk cartons about 5 years, plastic bags 500 years . at least your not experimenting with glass, that takes 1 million years. for a second there i actually started to reconsider my shooting of marbles.

#5 NaturalFork

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:55 PM

Glass may take 1 million years to degrade but then again they are not harmful to the environment either ... unless birds are eating them or something.

#6 -SRS-45-

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:25 PM

dude, clay is pretty much the most envirnomentally friendly shot I know, I origianlly shot 14mm clay which weighed the same as 9.5mm steel, now I like heavier clay so I've uped it to about 20mm (not measured properly yet) which is about the same weight of a .45cal steel (11.6mm).

It can be very powerful ammo and It is also almost costless if you blag offcuts of potters.

Edited by -SRS-45-, 07 October 2011 - 03:27 PM.


#7 wombat

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:06 PM

yep definitely go for the clay. it takes me about 30 mins to roll up 50 and at $5.00 for 1/2 a kilo i don't think you'll find anything much cheaper. the first bit of rain and they're gone.

#8 Charles

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:19 PM

Glass may take 1 million years to degrade but then again they are not harmful to the environment either ... unless birds are eating them or something.


Glass tends to shatter, which can mean cut feet for all sorts of animals, including humans (and my dogs). Also, curved glass is a good magnifier and in the right place at the right time can start a fire. I am not fond of glass myself.

Cheers ...... Charles

#9 Charles

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:24 PM

youll be waiting for a long time for it to decompose into nothing. tin cans cant take up to 50 to 100 years to decompose. aluminum can take up to 80 to 100 years. so it appears that metal is around the 100 year mark. plastic coated milk cartons about 5 years, plastic bags 500 years . at least your not experimenting with glass, that takes 1 million years. for a second there i actually started to reconsider my shooting of marbles.


So-called tin cans stand out in the environment, but steel balls will not. Once they begin to rust, you will never see them. And in places with foot traffic, they tend to get trodden into the ground. Iron makes up about 4.5% of the earth's crust ... steel is just iron with a bit of extra carbon and perhaps a very small amount of other trace elements.

Cheers ..... Charles

#10 Hrawk

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:24 PM

I never use marbles when out on the farm. As Charles states, they can be a big potential fire hazard.

Also the owner does not want his cattle eating them. He is not concerned about the steel though. Cant work that one out.

#11 Charles

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:30 PM

I never use marbles when out on the farm. As Charles states, they can be a big potential fire hazard.

Also the owner does not want his cattle eating them. He is not concerned about the steel though. Cant work that one out.


All the farmers around here use "cow magnets". These are large magnets made to be swallowed by cows. They sit in the stomach and collect bits of metal that the cow might swallow, thus preventing them from passing through the gut and possibly causing a puncture.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Cow_magnet

Cheers ....... Charles

#12 Hrawk

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:37 PM

Thanks a bunch Charles. That's very interesting. I have never heard of that happening here. I'll ask about it when I'm out there next.

Cow magnets, trippy.

#13 wombat

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:25 PM

cow magnets!!! haha well that explains why you always see cattle huddled up against a fence.

#14 Hrawk

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:26 PM

cow magnets!!! haha well that explains why you always see cattle huddled up against a fence.


ROFL!

Give this man a cookie!

#15 Imperial

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:56 PM

but i always thought magnets repelled each other when like ends touch, maybe thats why you always see them head to ***.

#16 -SRS-45-

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 12:50 PM

yep definitely go for the clay. it takes me about 30 mins to roll up 50 and at $5.00 for 1/2 a kilo i don't think you'll find anything much cheaper. the first bit of rain and they're gone.


hehe my system I can get about 300 in an hour now depending on my concentration :) ... I use a boilie roller to help

#17 wombat

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 05:19 PM


yep definitely go for the clay. it takes me about 30 mins to roll up 50 and at $5.00 for 1/2 a kilo i don't think you'll find anything much cheaper. the first bit of rain and they're gone.


hehe my system I can get about 300 in an hour now depending on my concentration :) ... I use a boilie roller to help


i just watched a video of one. whoa! i've got to me one of those. but do you have any problems with the clay sticking?

#18 -SRS-45-

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 02:26 AM



yep definitely go for the clay. it takes me about 30 mins to roll up 50 and at $5.00 for 1/2 a kilo i don't think you'll find anything much cheaper. the first bit of rain and they're gone.


hehe my system I can get about 300 in an hour now depending on my concentration Posted Image ... I use a boilie roller to help


i just watched a video of one. whoa! i've got to me one of those. but do you have any problems with the clay sticking?


Nah so long as you keep your clay not to wet. There are some tricks though, you also need a sausage roller, but need to make sure its a couple of mm bigger than the boilie roller. And you still have to give them a couple of rolls by hand to finish them.

Edited by -SRS-45-, 11 October 2011 - 03:56 PM.





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