View Full Version : Steel Buckshot

January 20, 2001, 08:58 PM
Most HD guns are choked cylinder or improved modified and often give pretty wide patterns with standard lead buckshot at 25 yards. However, what about harder buckshot, even steel, to makes those patterns tighter? I know that the Federal LE low recoil buck is copperplated and the combination of harder pellets and lower velocity does make for tighter patterns than soft lead. Is steel buckshot the answer for tighter pellets at longer distances? Are there any potential disadvantages to steel buckshot?

January 20, 2001, 09:30 PM
Boing! Boing! Boing! Could you imagine what would happen to steel balls bouncing off of a brick or concrete wall?

Actually, steel buckshot might shoot good patterns if it doesn't bunch up and bulge the muzzle of a choked barrel.
Even hard lead shot gives a little.

One of the problems I have found with buckshot is that the many of the balls are not round to begin with. Cut open a shell and take a look at the shot. You might be surprised at how many of them have flat spots. A ball with a large flat spot will not fly very straight.

Dave McC
January 21, 2001, 09:30 AM
Steel loses velocity faster than lead,being lighter,and is not a good choice for buckshot, which depends on multiple hits with lots of energy to be effective.

Steel also does not deform on contact, thus is worse at transferring energy, and may overpenetrate at close ranges.

If the mission requires hittng something past 25 yards, one can get into plated shot, special chokes, overboring, load development, etc, or one can grab a rifle...

January 21, 2001, 11:10 PM
Steel JACKETED buckshot might be a neat trick.

The pellets would not get deformed in the barrel, yielding tighter groups.

Not deforming on contact would also give greater penetration, and thus more tissue crush cavity damage. (A round ball at 1300-1500 feet per second has little chance of exiting the body, so overpenetration should not be an issue.)

Some of the reasons that the Fed Tactical is so superior is that:

- They are smoother/rounder to start with
- They are a harder mix of lead
- They are copper plated
- They accelerate less brutally

This adds up to *both* tighter groups and deeper penetration than standard velocity lead loads with the same pellet size. So steel plating (or whichever process proves most productive and cost-effective) may be a useful avenue since you might be able to get Tactical-size groups with full-speed ammo, which would work better at extended ranges.