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Old November 27, 2002, 09:47 AM   #1
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Steel shot for skeet/trap?

I have a question for the shooting games crowd.

My local range has stations that fire over a lake which is part of a state park, as a result they have a "Steel or Bismuth ONLY" policy. Can anyone recommend a steel 12 ga. shell produced by Remington/Winchester/Federal/??? that would work for trap and/or skeet?

Since I am new to the shotgun world, I was also going to ask about the relative merits of a 500 or 870 pump gun vs. a Lanber or Fausti o/u, but I thought I'd start with the easy question first.

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Old November 27, 2002, 11:37 AM   #2
Warren Kent
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No steel for me

Steel and other non toxic shot will be a death blow to serious clay target sportsmen and women. I am primarily an ATA trap shooter registering in excess of 10,000 targets annually. Lead contamination concerns are closing many clubs and several that have tried to comply with a non toxic program have turned toward more social clubs than shooting ranges.

One club for example, the Napperville Gun Club in the Chicago area had to resort to steel. They have found a Winchester factory load that they sell on site for in the $6.00 a box range. Forget any serious handicap shooting with these. Forget the big puffs of black smoke you wish for when you center a 16 yard target. The club shoots games now because of the cost of shells prevents any real serious practice or competition.

Few clubs that I have been too are really layed out for lead recovery. Too many have shot falls into ravines, woods and waterways. Unfortunately their end is near.

Enjoy the sport while you can.

If you just want to shoot trap find a good 870 TC in the $400 range. If you will be doing more skeet an O/U or semi auto will be better than learning to be a fast shucker. Remember if you use steel pay attention to what choke you will be using. Use less than what you would use for lead.
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Old November 27, 2002, 12:33 PM   #3
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Wait a few years an the major manufacturers will have non toxic loads to replace lead at close to lead prices. Probably tungsten matrix or some such. New substitutes show up all the time. The Brits are working on several types of shot one of which used industrial waste materials in some kind of polymer.

Steel is on the way out, it just plain stinks as a substitute for lead.

Too much shootin goin on not to develop a substitute that works.

I have shot steel target loads at the local duckboat and decoy show. Steel rots
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Old November 27, 2002, 12:49 PM   #4
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Steel isn't bad if it's going fast enough. I've used fast steel (1500fps+) on geese with some success. Some guys are experimenting with reloads in the 1700fps range. I think that those who are shooting steel on the trap and skeet range simply need to get away from the slow "Sportsman Steel" crap that is out there. The old limitations on shot size should also be reviewed when switching a range to steel.
I'll start buying lead substitutes when they come in at less than $10 per 25. Heck, you can't even reload Bismuth or Heavishot for a decent price!
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Old November 27, 2002, 07:56 PM   #5
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Just about everyone makes a steel load with 6, 7 and 8 shot. They are a tad hard to find, and expect to pay about $6-9 a box for them. For targets they work fine out to about 35 yards, the target will break but it will not be a puff as was mentioned.

I cannot afford to shoot with steel shot at targets, my reloads cost me less than $2.25 a box, triple that and I would just be a "once in a while" type shooter. I also refuse to shoot at non-toxic only clubs.
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Old November 28, 2002, 02:40 AM   #6
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Wow. I take it that it's pretty much ixnay of the eel-stay, as far as target shooting is concerned.

The steel-only range is 10 miles from where I live, but there is another range that has no limitations about 30 miles away. Guess it's a better deal to drive farther and shoot lead.

Thanks for the advice.

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