August 29, 2012
New Ammo: Colored and Glowing Shotgun Pellets from Spectra Shot
By Phil Bourjaily
Tired of claimers taking your birds? Spectra Shot was invented specifically to settle duck hunting arguments. The shells contain colored pellets so you can determine, via autopsy, who shot that banded bird.* If waterfowl hunting is a team sport for you, as it is for a lot of people, you might be interested in colored pellets.
Spectra Shot was patented by Joe Authement, a duck hunter in Louisiana. As a kid of 10 or 11, he went along on duck hunts and never got credit for birds he was sure he shot. As an adult, a run-in with a claimer on a wood duck hunt who took birds Authement knew he had shot got him thinking again about a solution: If everyone in the blind shot different colored pellets, you would know for sure who shot what bird. Spectra Shot was the result.
The pellets are coated with colored Xylan, a non-stick coating that often applied to kitchenware through a powder-coating process. Currently SpectraShot comes in green, blue, red and yellow. Although ruled safe for human and animal consumption by the FDA for kitchen applications, the USFWS had to test the loads. They have been approved as non-toxic and are available through Cabela’s and several stores in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas.
The shells are loaded by Polywad in Georgia and the quality of the ammo is good. It will be interesting to see if they take off. I would think a big market for them would be as promotional shells. You could get them in school colors, red, white and blue, and so on, just like you can now order custom colored M&Ms. In addition to their 1400 fps steel waterfowl loads, Spectra Shot also offers colored target loads coated to glow under black light. You can see them in action in the video above.
*As a reformed claimer, I will admit to having performed autopsies on dead birds I brought home based on pellet size. Colored pellets would certainly make the job easier. On the rare occasion when I have shot the same bird as someone else, and knew I hit it, I yelled, “Nice shot!” and gave them the bird. Then I'd say: “All my pellets have my initials on them. You’ll know who shot it when you clean it.”