William Watts training and business experience would give him a sound knowledge of the properties and uses of lead, especially in building work, but there is no evidence to suggest that Watts had any specific connection with lead shot. However, since Bristol was a centre of lead manufacturing it may be that Watts was aware of the problems involved in the manufacture of small shot from acquaintances in the city. The traditional account is that, after experiencing opposition to the process at Bristol, Watts left the industry and sold his patent to the Walkers' lead partnerships for £10,000 in 1787. Fishwick's concern is understandable. If patent shot were successful it would break a production link for his firm and it would provide the basis on which the newcomers might extend their range of production of lead goods, thus competing further with existing firms.