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Old September 20, 2004, 09:33 PM   #1
eno801
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Steel Shot Vs. Lead Shot.

what is the difference in steel shot over lead shot any advantages? also can you shoot it thru any old barrel or does it have to be a special type of barrel? I don't wanna go and screw my shotgun up.
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Old September 20, 2004, 10:46 PM   #2
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Lead is softer than steel. Older shotguns can't use steel without damaging the barrel. I'm not sure about the cut-off for that. There's other differences that effect the way they behave in the barrel, but I don't know much about that. If I recall correctly there's about five more metals used for shot.
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Old September 21, 2004, 04:49 AM   #3
Dave McC
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Steel and the other non toxic metals like bismuth and tungsten are used in loads for waterfowl. Ducks and geese were eating lead pellets and dying.

Unless it's mandated that non toxics are to be used, stick to lead for general use.
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Old September 21, 2004, 08:00 AM   #4
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There are several differences between steel and lead shot. One of them being that one is steel, and the other is lead, as well as the aformentioned toxicity.

But as far as how it preforms you will notice several differences.
Lead shot deforms, while steel does not, and steel shot is lighter than lead shot.

THis means that:
1) A steel shot pattern is going to be tighter than a lead pattern.
2)A steel pattern will be shorter than a lead pattern
3)You can get more weight in the same size (and number) of lead pellets.


For deer hunting, (for example) I tend to like lead pellets, because i hope it will expand somewhat. As long as shots are kept down to a resonable distance, its all good.

That's about the limit of my knowledge. I know there are people here who know it all.
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Old September 21, 2004, 11:48 AM   #5
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I would take the advice that Dave made, don't use steel unless you are required to do so. I would have to argue that steel patterns better than lead, I have found just the opposite. Then again I usually shoot lead with very tight chokes that aren't recommened for steel shot.
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Old September 21, 2004, 01:12 PM   #6
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Just as a note optilink, i was talking about out of the same choke.
I agree with you guys. If steel was really that much better than lead, we wouldn't have all of these non-toxic lead substitutes. I always use lead (Never duck/goose hunted, so i've never had to deal with those regs.)
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Old September 21, 2004, 07:08 PM   #7
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The reasons for the move away from lead are centred around the build up of lead shot in wetland areas where they may leach lead salts (and thus contaminate sediments, plants, fish, animals, etc) or be picked up by feeding waterfowl where they are retained in the birds gizzard. Birds use stones, etc in their gizzards to grind plant material to aid digestion. Grinding of lead pellets in a birds gizzard results in the release of lead and subsequent uptake of lead into the bird and subsequent lead poisoning.

Steel is an alternative shot type and of the non-toxic shot available is probably the cheapest, however, steel shotshells tend to be more expensive than lead shotshells. Being harder than lead, steel does not deform during firing like lead will, however, it is harder on barrels and chokes. Because steel resists deformation it patterns tighter than lead so a mod choke tube with lead shot will produce a wider pattern than a mod choke tube with steeel shot.

Steel is less dense than lead. That is a steel pellet of the same size will be lighter than a lead pellet. This means that a steel pellet will not retain its momentum (and therefore killing energy) like a lead pellet will. For this reason, it is generally advised that you increase the shot size two sizes for steel. For example if you normally use #4 lead shot for ducks you should use #2 steel shot to get approximatley the same pellet energy at the same ranges.

Larger pellets take up more space than smaller pellets so in order to retain the same pellet energy you compromise on the number of pellets in a given shotgun shell. That is why many people use 3" shells when using steel shot ... this allows them to increase the number of pellets back up to around the same as a lead shot 2 3/4" shell.

To summarise, use steel where you have to by regulation, but most people use lead if they have the choice (because its cheaper, not as hard on their gun and retains its energy better). Because steel shot is less efficient than lead shot when you use steel shot conventional wisdom suggests you use larger shot sizes and 3 or 3.5" shells.
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Old September 21, 2004, 10:30 PM   #8
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I remember hearing that you don't use steel shot because of the damage thing mentioned several times here. However, a good while ago I was told(or read, it's been a while) that newer shotguns had barrels that were hardened or whatever to take the steel shot without trouble. Anyone know the truth of this, and if it is, where's the cutoff?
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Old September 23, 2004, 02:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
...newer shotguns had barrels that were hardened or whatever to take the steel shot without trouble. Anyone know the truth of this, and if it is, where's the cutoff?
on my Win 1300, the manual (p.5) states that it's okay to use steel shot.
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Old September 23, 2004, 05:35 PM   #10
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I've been fireing steel shot from my mossberg 500 for a few years now and haven't had a problem yet.
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Old September 27, 2004, 09:29 AM   #11
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Older shotguns, i.e. those made before "steel shot" was required for waterfowl, are probably NOT approved for steel shot. (about 1986/87 or so, brain is fuzzy on the exact date)

Contact the maker of your shotty w/serial number for verification on its 'steel shot' capability.

I found that I had to go up about 2 sizes to have the same effect on waterfowl. I had been using #4 for ducks for years, but when I had to switch to steel stuff, I though the ducks had grown Kevlar Feathers.
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Old September 29, 2004, 04:48 PM   #12
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are there any 00 buckshot load that has steel instead of lead? not really for hunting deers, but for close range purposes.
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Old September 29, 2004, 05:09 PM   #13
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I think the biggest steel shot is "F" and I'm not sure what the diameter is.
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Old September 29, 2004, 05:24 PM   #14
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Steel is used.....

Steel is used in hunting for enviromentl reasons. Like bird where being posind because of shot gun spread bbs. I am dislesick. Please deel with the spelling I am working on it.
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Old October 17, 2004, 10:47 PM   #15
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Steel damage to barrels

I believe the integration of the choke tubes was at about the same time as steel shot bring used. I have a Rem 1187. It is along the same therory of what a slug will do to a full or mod choke. So, the choke tubes are replaceable where a fixed choke is not. That is a summary of the information I have gathered on this subject.
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