View Full Version : I Hate Steel Shot

October 1, 2007, 07:49 PM
Wow steel shot sucks and hevi-shot and the like are really expensive...what is a waterfowler to do?

I'm using 3 inch BBB and cant tickle geese unless they are so low that they blow my hat off with the wind from their wings. What a frustrating morning they were flying over just out of range all morning and even with my buddies 10 guage we couldnt get to them.

Wolf Lies Down
October 2, 2007, 12:42 PM
-Well, ya know, this outfit called Cheaper Than Dirt sells these military surplus steel fleshettes that the military folks decided not to use in bombs, artillery shells, claymore mines and the like, lest they be accused of war crimes.

They sell these things by the pound for about ten bucks a pound, so maybe you could, you know, "modify" your own artillery shells to send out a handfull of these things with each shot. 'Course there might not be any goose left after a good, solid hit. Another consideration is that your shotgun may blow up, taking your hands and eyes with it if you try this. Possibly, too, your local fish and game people might take a dim view of this idea. And, last, but not least, the flechettes are made of steel, so they probably suck, too. So, maybe this ain't such a good idea. Oh well, whataya gonna do?

Wolf Lies Down

October 2, 2007, 01:26 PM
I just bought some Federal Black Cloud goose loads. (3 1/2", but they have 3" also.) It is a mix of 60 % regular steel pellets and 40% belted pellets with a cutting edge.

I paid $18 for 25 shells at Gander Mountain. Lot better than $25 for a box of 10 Hevi Shot shells.

Anxious to hit a goose with one of these to see how they perform.

October 2, 2007, 02:13 PM
Wow steel shot sucks and hevi-shot and the like are really expensive...what is a waterfowler to do?

I have made some LONG (45 yards plus?) shots using Federal Classic Magnum "T" shot. I use 3.0 shells in my Benelli Superblack Eagle with a cylinder choke. I have also used the same shells in my 870 Express with a Modified choke.

October 2, 2007, 10:21 PM
I am not crazy about steel shot either, but it is the Law of the Land. Use it or give up shooting geese and ducks.

3 weelin geezer
October 3, 2007, 02:47 AM
This just plain sux! I went and got a box (10 rds) of 10 ga the other day just for duck season then I look in my book and I can't use it. Dammit!! I shoulda got a box of steel while there. Now, I gotta go back another hr. down the road as they don't seem to sell much 10 ga round here and certainly not in steel. :mad: :mad: :mad:

October 3, 2007, 09:14 AM
Here's what i'm doing this season. The first two shells are steel and the third is wingmaster HD (you get a 15$ mail-in rebate for each box in canada).

I'm not sure if it will work cause I havent seen so many ducks around here yet. Last year it was crazy, I was doing my limit in an hour every morning but this year it sucks.

October 3, 2007, 11:55 AM
I have to agree. When steel was first required there were all sorts of "experts" and gun writers sugar coating it's effectiveness most indicating if you just shortened your range a bit it was just as effective as lead. That is and always has been a crock. Since steel came out I have tried to keep my shots under 30 yards with most coming at 20-25 yet even with multiple hit the birds are rarely cleanly killed and the steel shot rarely seems to penetrate into the vitals. While I am not the best shot that I am able to dust clay pigeons with regularity with these same loads so making the hit does not seem to be the issue. Birds on the wing are a bit more difficult so I do experience more missed than I would like but even "hit" birds don't go down like they should. I do consider that non toxic shells at $1.50-$3.50 a pop are NOT and option for the average hunter. It's fine for those guys that go on an expense paid corporate hunt once a year but for us little guys we'd likely have to file for bankrupcy after a few outings.

Part of the problem may be that there is no commitment to the non toxics to justify lowering the price. They are still going to be higher priced than steel due to materials cost but if the production runs could number that of steel the shear volume should result in a cost reduction. Untill that time us peons are stuck with steel. One other note: While using non toxics is probably a good idea over water for environmental reasons I think for it's use in the field it is irrelevant and wish the USFWS would open field hunting to lead.

October 9, 2007, 10:24 AM
You have one of these problems.

- the geese aren't as close as you say they are
- You suck at shooting
- You are using a choke that isn't getting an effective pellet count on the birds

I have watched 114 honkers die so far this season and the vast majority have been shot with 3" BB 1 1/4 once shells that sell for about $11/box. Modified chokes are the least constriction anyone I hunt with uses. If you really want to whack them a patternmaster or drakekiller (drakekiller.com) choke is the ticket. With these chokes Ive seen big honks get absolutely pillow cased at 50 yards with said cheap steel shot. Of course this will make it harder to hit them if they are decoying really close.

What kind of hunting are you doing? Decoying, jumping, pass shooting?

October 9, 2007, 08:09 PM
When i used to hunt sky carp alot 99% of the people out there that shot a ton of ammo with no birds down were shooting at birds to far away. I spent a morning ranging geese with my range finder and it was crazy how far they were away. It was hard to do but what an education. also the people who say they hear the pellets hitting with no effect are hearing the sound of the shot echoed off of the birds not shot hitting them. If you see feathers fly you hit it if not probably not hit or too far away. Steel works just fine out ot 50 yards.

Triple J
October 9, 2007, 08:29 PM
I have hunted ducks & geese for several years, like you I was frustrated with steel I also got caught up with all the big advertising of miracle shot for waterfowlers ( Bismuth, Tungsten, ect. ) In short ended up spending alot of money for an empty game bag. So I got tired of it all together and started asking fellow hunters, they told me to take the gun you use ( I use a Remington 870 Supermag 3 1/2 in 12 ga ) and pattern it. So I started with different chokes, shot size, and yardage. And if you have time get comfortable with the shotgun, shoot clays or thown targets. The group I hunt with we usually shoot clays with the steel shot two to three weeks before season to get ready.To make a long story short I found the perfect set-up for my gun is Winchester Expert No. 2 steel shot 3 1/2 in. it's relatively cheap and it works great for me not saying its the one to use but give patterning a try. Number 2's give you more pellets for over decoys or the passing shot and when ducks come in your not blowing them away with bowling ball size shot.

October 10, 2007, 09:23 PM
Well given that I have been smoking ducks and hungarian partridges I know that my shooting is on, I think that my distance judging is off. I'm just used to shooting rifles more and like to stretch it out.

October 21, 2007, 03:29 AM
Those of us who grew up shooting 4 buck and #2 3" lead at geese hate steel even more than you do. IMO this stupid steel shot law has crippled and wasted more waterfowl than ever died from eating lead. There may be a few high use areas that they could have restricted to steel, but to blanket the whole sport was a terrible decision.