View Full Version : Steel Shot Question

September 15, 2002, 12:47 AM
Odd as it may seem, since moving to Washington state over 26 years ago I haven't been waterfowling (Pacific flyway ducks slug-fed compared to grain-fed Midwest ducks):D anyway my attention was completely on upland birds. That may change this season, but I'm not familiar with using steel shot. My question is this: Can steel shot be used in a fixed full choke barrel? The reason I ask is that today I purchased a 870 Express for my son and when browsing through the Remington ammunition guide that came with it it said "Steel shot cannot be used in a fixed full choke". Recently I had bought a second barrel for my Remington 1100 that was a 30" fixed full that I had intended to use for trap and waterfowl shooting. Will I be able to use that barrel with steel shot?

September 15, 2002, 01:34 AM
I too have heard that steel shots should never be fired in any fixed choked barrel with choke tighter than "improved modified". I don't have a lot of experience with shotgun terms but I believe "improved modified" choke is tighter than "modified" but less than "full". Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Personally I don't hunt waterfowls and all my "hunting" shotguns have screw-in chokes so it makes no difference to me.

September 15, 2002, 08:45 AM
You can always have your 30" 1100 barrel reamed to a modified and use it for steel shot, "as long as steel shot can be shot out of a fixed choke barrel". Or you can have your barrel threaded for tubes.

September 15, 2002, 09:22 AM
I have an 1100 that was my duck gun for the first few years. It has a 28" fixed full and I shot 2.75" #2 steel through it. I shot a lot of it too, with ZERO problems. The guy I bought it from duck hunted with it for 15+ years, shooting steel up to BB through it with no trouble. It throws beautiful patterns with #2 and #4 steel too.

That said, it could bulge or even split on the next shot with steel.

What you have seen in the disclaimer from Remington is the result of the class action suit for bulged and burst barrels. Up until the suit there was no such warning.

It is my opinion that most if not all of the bulges and splits were caused by steel shot that had rusted into a lump. That lump will not pass through a full choke easily and the light contour of the 1100/870 barrel is especially prone to damage. Shoot that lump through a modern choke tubed full choke and it might damage the choke or the barrel still, but is less likely.

If I were you I would order a 30" "STEEL SHOT" barrel from Cabela's. It will give you a heavier contour, choke tubes, AND the ability to shoot 3" steel shot safely from your 2.75" 1100. Lead can still only be fired in 2.75" shells.