Kent Bismuth & Pheasants?

peashooter

New member
Hello, first post to the forum. I'll be taking my first trip to South Dakota for Pheasants this year. Will probably take some #2 or #3 steel along as cheaper backup, but want to try some of the "Like Lead" alternatives too.

I like the price of the Kent Bismuth loads as well as a couple of the loads they load it in. I've read some mixed reviews of it being great and killing like lead, and a few that weren't so excited about it. Also read that by itself, Bismuth is brittle but Kent has improved it (guessing by adding something to it?).

Long story, has anybody hunted with the new Kent Bismuth? How well did it kill birds? Thinking I'd go with one of the #5 loads somewhere around 1350 fps.

Thank you,

Tucker
 

quail hound

Moderator
I've never used the Kent stuff but I have had good experience with Rio Bismuth. I think the shot is alloyed with tin to help the shattering problems of straight bismuth. I'm sure the Kent stuff is as good as the Rio and if so it'll kill them dead.:cheers:
 

Deweybagger

New member
I'm working on some patterning with the 2 3/4" Kent bismuth 1 3/8 #5's, our first tournament this year is nontoxic only, I should have a good idea how it flattens bird by the next week or two and I'll report back.
I'm guessing it's going to be a great nontoxic alternative to their 1.5oz #6 lead that I'm using when nontoxic isn't required.
 

peashooter

New member
Thanks for the replies so far. One thing I forgot to ask: Do I need to upsize one shot size compared to lead, or can I use #5 bismuth where #5 lead would be used?

We'll be in SD the week of Thanksgiving, so I'm wondering if I need to go with 4's or if 5's will be plenty for pheasants out to 40 yards (hopefully 40 at the max).

Dewey, I'll look forward to hearing your results with the Kent bismuth.
Thanks much,

Tucker
 

quail hound

Moderator
Imo opinion 5s will be fine but I think generally one size up from lead is recomended. I killed plenty in SD a few decembers ago with 3/4oz of 5s.
 

Deweybagger

New member
I made it out to start testing the Kent Bismuth, the gun I was using is a Benelli Ultra Light 26" barrel, Brileys Spectrum ported Skeet choke. We also took a few shots with the 828U 28" barrels with a non ported Brileys Skeet in the bottom with almost identical results.

I had many other chokes with but most of my tournament shots are 20-25 yards over a pointing lab, so I was testing with that in mind.

I was rather surprised at the tightness of these patterns with such an open choke, when I have more time I might even try a cylinder.

We tested all 2 3/4" (tourney rules) #5's and 6's tungsten matrix and bismuth in 1 3/8 oz #5's and 1 1/16 oz #6's
Bismuth @ 1350 and tungsten @ 1375 fps

All shots taken from 25 yards....I would think based on what I seen I would think with a light mod or mod you'd smoke late season bird at 40+ but destroy or miss cleanly a tight holding bird.

Obviously I can't judge how hard it hits but back when I believe Active had the original bismuth/tin I know my dad and uncle we folding geese at 50-60 yards, I can't remember if it was 3" or what shot but I do remember them being impressed as they were hunting ducks when lead was legal, then couldn't kill anything with the early steel.
 
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roadscholar

New member
I agree, those patterns are surprisingly tight at 25 yds through a skeet choke. Looks great to me.
I used the Rio bismuth last year, and was happy with them. I ordered several boxes of the Kent bismuth when they first appeared on the Cabela's website a couple of months ago. A mixture of 12, 16, and 20 gauge. Both the Kent and Cabela's websites show the 16 gauge loads to be 1200 fps, but the boxes definitely say 1300. (20's are 1200)
Looking forward to finding out how these perform in SD in Nov.
 

peashooter

New member
Thanks for the feedback and pattern pics! Surprised those are shooting tight but that's probably not all bad for when we're going. Hunting with our Springer Spaniel that isn't exactly a field trial winner, and being later in the season I'm anticipating a few birds getting up a ways out there. :laugh:

Let me know if you knock some birds down with them. I'm anticipating they've taken care of the shattering issue by adding the tin alloy, but that's about my only concern.

I may also pick up some Kent Tungsten Matrix too. Sounds like that also pattered pretty tight for you?

Thanks!

Tucker
 

Deweybagger

New member
Thanks for the feedback and pattern pics! Surprised those are shooting tight but that's probably not all bad for when we're going. Hunting with our Springer Spaniel that isn't exactly a field trial winner, and being later in the season I'm anticipating a few birds getting up a ways out there. :laugh:

Let me know if you knock some birds down with them. I'm anticipating they've taken care of the shattering issue by adding the tin alloy, but that's about my only concern.

I may also pick up some Kent Tungsten Matrix too. Sounds like that also pattered pretty tight for you?

Thanks!

Tucker
I forgot to mention how the tungsten matrix was....
That also was 2 3/4" 1 3/8 oz of #5's, this load and choke combination was not good at all, it might be worth trying different chokes but the bismuth looks so much better I just put the tungsten away. I'll get a picture of that pattern
 

peashooter

New member
Interesting. The TM seems to be pretty highly rated overall. That's a good lesson to not buy too much of any one thing before patterning it.

As long as the Bismuth works well on birds I sure like the price of it more.
 

Deweybagger

New member

I'd say it's got potential but with everything starting the same I was impressed with the bismuth, and I think it's way cheaper.


Tighten up the choke and I bet the matrix would be fine, but at the same price as hevi shot

Has anyone tried Kent 1 1/8 oz #6's Upland Fast Steel?
 

KSBrittman

New member
I shoot the kent upland steel in 20 ga 7/8 oz 5 shot published 1500 fps . Early season ducks and pheasant and quail .

Pattern really nice tough on woodies and teal . Upland hunting I use 5's in the Ic barrel and 3 " 3's in my mod barrel .
 

Deweybagger

New member
Well we finally got out this AM to run the dog and test the Bismuth on some birds. Long story short, 9 of 10 chukar we had the dog grabbed so the last one we returned to the game farm guys. The bird guy wasn't happy they didn't perform so he set us 5 pheasant.

2 phez were also caught, one we were able to throw and it shot out like a jet, the bismuth 5's smoked it at about 25 yards.
The next rooster was pointed and flushed about 5 yards off the muzzle, I let it get out about what I guessed after to be 35 yards and it dropped it like it was hit by lightning.
Another the dog and I put up in from of me I yelled to my son to shoot first even though it was flying straight away from me, a quartering away left to right shot for him about 40ish yards, poof of feathers, BOOOM! Again smoked.
Last one was pointed, flushed and shot at a normal speed, about 20 yards and down it went.

Loved being back in a field behind my lab and with my new go to nontoxic shell for upland, I know it's only 4 birds but there was no kicking birds delivered to hand.

The last few years I've been shooting 3" 1 1/4 oz. black cloud close range and 3" 1 1/8 oz. prairie storm steel both in #4's with great results, now I've got a 2 3/4" shell with a heavier payload and a reasonably close velocity to my favorite lead load and great patterns without having to drop down to 4's.

We are going to get out a few more times in the next week and a half, I'll post if we see anything other than what I've seen so far.
 

roadscholar

New member
Good report, Dewey. Sounds like the Kent Bismuth performed well. I ordered a few more boxes a couple of days ago, can't wait to try them out in SD in Nov. Plan to shoot a few ducks with them in Dec/Jan too.
 

peashooter

New member
Thanks for reporting back Dewey! Glad to hear they performed well for you. I've actually been considering buying some Heavyweight-13 shot and loading my own shells, but it sounds like it can be a pain to reload the tungsten stuff and there seems to be limited recipes for it.

If the Bismuth is really behaving like lead it's even cheaper than I could reload the heavyweight stuff (plus I'd need to buy a press!).

Good to hear the report. If you have anything else to add I would be interested in hearing it, but think I'll have to buy a box or two to pattern soon.
 

peashooter

New member
I sent an email to Kent a little while ago asking about how the Bismuth compares to lead (asked if #4 or 5 would be closest to #5 lead and what they would recommend for late November pheasants.

Also asked what they improved about their Bismuth load, and finally how the Tungsten Matrix would compare to lead.

Below is their reply. I thought it was a pretty good, honest reply from them:

Our Bismuth shot has a density of around 9.3

#4 may be your best bet?

What is different on the shot is the recipe that doesn?t have it shattering as easy as previous Bismuth had a tendency to do

Tungsten Matrix is very lead like and has great energy, take down and performance. Our shot size in Tungsten Matrix is the same as in lead.
 

Slidertom

New member
Rio

quail hound,
Where do you find Rio Bismuth? I cannot find it at Ammoseek, my normal go to place. I wouldn't mind trying it. Got to be better than steel. Thanks.
 

quail hound

Moderator
Last time I ordered it I got it from ableammo, just checked and their stock is pretty low but they do have some.
 
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