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roy reali
December 24, 2006, 09:54 AM
Here in Northern Nevada there are several places to bird hunt. One place I frequent is a state wildlife management area. Here you have to use nontoxic shot for all hunting. I also hunt in areas where lead is legal for upland game.

Now, everytime I go the wildlife area, I seem to do pretty good as far as hitting birds. I am not as great wingshot, but I have not been doing too bad. The other areas I go to I couldn't hit a flock of barns. This has been bugging me for some time. I have finally figured it out.

The steel shot I have been using is rated at 1375 feet per second. The lead shot is 1180 feet per second. I haven't been compensating for the velocity difference when I change hunting location.

I wonder if I should just stick to the steel shot? It is a bit more expensive, but missing is expensive too. I have also noticed that on smaller upland birds the steel shot seems to be effective. In fact, every bird I have recovered was dead on the ground.

Does a steady diet of steel shot have any adverse effect on a shotgun?

mete
December 24, 2006, 10:11 AM
As long as the gun is designed for steel shot there is no problem. The plastic shot cups with steel are thicker so the steel never touches the barrel. However the steel shot doesn't deform like the lead so the barrel and the chokes have to be designed for steel shot.

ILgunman
December 24, 2006, 11:04 AM
The difference you are seeing may be more of how the chokes for the two different shots work. The steel may pattern better than the lead. The velocity difference probably only changes your lead a few inches.

roy reali
December 24, 2006, 11:06 AM
Thanks, that could be it. Whatever the reason, I seem to shoot better with the steel shot. I have even made some shots that have surprised me.