Lead contamination from shotguns on property I am considering to purchase

I am evaluating a potential property to purchase. It is an ideal property in many ways, the only concern is that it has been unoccupied and people have been using it as a shotgun shooting range. If there are shells on the ground, I assume there is lead shot pellets in the soil. So far I have found about 50 shotgun shells on the ground; I will be visiting it again soon to find an exact number for the entire property.

The property is over 150 acres, thick vegetation, undulating wavey topography. In these conditions I dont think shotshell pellets would travel far. So I am optimistic that worse case scenario only a few acres would be contaminated, and the majority of the 150+ would be fine.

This property would be used for permaculture, lots of fruit trees and possibly also a hemp farm. If you were looking at land for this purpose, would shotgun shells be a deal breaker, or something that could be worked around? I would also appreciate any tips on lead soil remediation strategies. My first thought was to use a metal detector to remove as many pellets as possible to stop them leaching into the soil.


Well seeing as how steel shot exists check to see first if they used primarily steel shot. At the shooting range I frequented up north for trap shooting and rifle they had vegetation galore and people constantly popping lead off. My guess is no? Seeing as how its not a lot and a lot of people also use steel shot specifically for this but more for animals. My grandpa gave me tons of steel shot I still have.

And its only 50 shells… personally I’d be worried if it was used for decades, to centuries for this… not 50 shells but this my unprofessional opinion


See if you can just take a few random soil samples for cheap just to see if it is something you should even worry about. Me personally it wouldn’t be for me, heavily wooded most are probably in the trees. 50 shells even 500 isnt a ton of shot anyway by weight


Yea 50 shells isn’t a lot at all lol… I remember trap shooting AT LEAST 200 shells a night lmao

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There could be much more than 50. Thats just what I found on my first visit. Also they were found near the border of the property, not in the center which is good. Thanks for the advice so far.

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Anytime but as we said, 50, even if its 100-200 isn’t a lot… as I said I was shooting 200 shells a night sometimes and that was just me… add in another 10-20 people, and thats an easy 1000+ shells a night or even an hour… and vegetation and wildlife was fine…

I do understand your worries. As @Concentrated_humbold said get a soil sample tested

It seems like there would be no reason to use lead when target or skeet shooting.

From what I can find, this issue gets political between the environmentalists and gun owners. Here is a link from a gun owner perspective


Thats why steel shot exists. So environmental cucks don’t start blowing ass farts at gun owners trying to hunt to survive. Steel shot is just there if people are worried about long term lead leaching

What are environmental cucks?
Is this something you would say to an environmentalist on a dirt road in Oregon with no camera or cell service?
That’s pretty disrespectful, and something that you’ll wake you up if you were to say things like that in person
Some people can think for themselves, and guns and the environment are two things the same person can support!


And actually, someone who does not support my rights to like the environment and support gun rights, they, in fact, are the cuck

Imo this is nothing…and for the most part I only ever used lead shot for upland game. Always used steel (or some sort of lead free type) shot for water foul or if we are hunting anywhere near water.

In no way would I be worried or let this be a deal breaker

Unless it’s a literal gun range, I think you are good…

My family farms alfalfa and we have shot trap and hunted in these same fields for 5 generations.


This yea. Its right to be skeptical, I would but its not like it was an active war zone. If worried get soil tested but would be a waste imo, as years of lead at the rod and gun club we went to are fine.

Making me want to go shooting now, havent been in a while…

As a city dweller I was imagining some warehouse in east downtown for a ins/lab space that was previously used for sawed off shotgun practice.

I was like bro people got murdered there don’t come back lol

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@Concentrated_humbold has the best idea here. Take random soil samples.

If there is a potential issue, gypsum and humates with a negative ionic charge are an easy way to remediate contaminated soil quickly.


Turns out there was a lot more than 50 shotgun shells, more than 5,000 over 100+ acres. Plus a bunch of christmas lights and random trash dumped. So I passed on that property.

The properties I am looking at are all in Puerto Rico and most of them have shotgun shells to some degree. I realize that hunters often use lead free shot, but these are not from hunters, just people who are too lazy to go the gun range.

@AgTonik Thanks for the advice.


Doesn’t hemp remediate lead From soil anyways?


It does, by absorbing it in to the hemp. It will remediate nuclear contamination in soil also according to some studies done in the Chernobyl area.


Yup! It will turn brown ground into viable soil within 18 months with crop rotation.

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same as radium/polonium and tobacco… especially since it’s a contaminant in the apatite fertilizer they use.


It will definitely leech depleted uranium In the soil. Which is the major worry with import hash