Steel Shot

Huede

Member
Steel shot is way high along with everything thing else. If you are even lucky to find it. I'm not seeing any breaks in the future pricing or quantity either. The Corona tail is still wagging hard along with the current leadership.
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
I don't like steel shot.I lost 15 roosters last season, mostly because of steel shot. Lead magnum are the ticket ya all.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
Even shooting 150, that’s 10%…I didn’t count my lost birds last year, I lost some, for sure…would have lost more if I was using steel more. I hunted pheasants close to 40 days, shot over 100 but under 200…I’m sure I lost 10, perhaps more? I can think of 3 right off the top of my head. Recovering 95% is probably not my average, but I think I’m above 90%. A lot depends on cover being hunted, gun/choke/shells being used, shot selection, dog power, etc. I usually am shooting a 12 gauge auto, #5 lead, IC choke…2 dogs at a time usually. Perhaps I take shots I shouldn’t? Likely.
 
When steel first came out, Tom Roster, that was doing most of the ballistics work and trying to make the case that steel will work for waterfowl, told us that for whatever reason, #3 steel shot seemed to outperform other sizes. I don't know if that is still true, but I've used a lot of #3 steel for both pheasants and waterfowl and have found it lethal. I use Kent Fasteel in both 12ga and 20ga. Sounds like a rifle going off, but it gets the job done. As most of us can use a little extra help shooting, I recommend 3 inch in both 12 and 20ga to add the extra pellets. We want clean kills, and the more pellets on-bird, the better. As far as your teeth, be careful. I have made a trip to the dentist after cracking a tooth on steel shot.
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
Even shooting 150, that’s 10%…I didn’t count my lost birds last year, I lost some, for sure…would have lost more if I was using steel more. I hunted pheasants close to 40 days, shot over 100 but under 200…I’m sure I lost 10, perhaps more? I can think of 3 right off the top of my head. Recovering 95% is probably not my average, but I think I’m above 90%. A lot depends on cover being hunted, gun/choke/shells being used, shot selection, dog power, etc. I usually am shooting a 12 gauge auto, #5 lead, IC choke…2 dogs at a time usually. Perhaps I take shots I shouldn’t? Likely.
Yeah, I tend to cut it loose with my a5 12, mag. shooting steel, it's a bad idea.
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
When steel first came out, Tom Roster, that was doing most of the ballistics work and trying to make the case that steel will work for waterfowl, told us that for whatever reason, #3 steel shot seemed to outperform other sizes. I don't know if that is still true, but I've used a lot of #3 steel for both pheasants and waterfowl and have found it lethal. I use Kent Fasteel in both 12ga and 20ga. Sounds like a rifle going off, but it gets the job done. As most of us can use a little extra help shooting, I recommend 3 inch in both 12 and 20ga to add the extra pellets. We want clean kills, and the more pellets on-bird, the better. As far as your teeth, be careful. I have made a trip to the dentist after cracking a tooth on steel shot.
That stuff is expensive.
 

Bob Peters

Active member
recommend 3 inch in both 12 and 20ga to add the extra pellets. We want clean kills, and the more pellets on-bird, the better.
3 inch in a 12 gauge could be a lot of different things. Go by ounces of shot in a description, that tells so much more than mentioning length of shell.
 

Hobie1026

Active member
Also, if you’re new to shooting to steel, do not shoot steel through anything tighter than a modified choke. Steel doesn’t compress like lead going through the choke. Use tighter than Modified and you’re looking at a stuck choke tube or worse, a damaged barrel.
 

gimruis

Active member
damaged barrel.
Make sure the choke is ok to use with steel too. It will indicate right on the choke if its "Steel OK." Since its harder than lead, it could damage the choke if the choke isn't designed for it. I have several chokes that are not acceptable to use with steel.
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
Make sure the choke is ok to use with steel too. It will indicate right on the choke if its "Steel OK." Since its harder than lead, it could damage the choke if the choke isn't designed for it. I have several chokes that are not acceptable to use with steel.
I thought all Remington chokes except full,were ok with steel.
 
I've recently came to realize that we may have to use steel shot this year on our hunting trip. What is best shell to use in 12 gauges? 2 3/4 or 3 inch? Shot size? I've never used steel shot on pheasants before. Any help would be appreciated.
Short story... About any 12ga 2 3/4" or 3" with 1 1/8- to 1 1/4-ounces of #3 or #2 steel will handle pheasant killing if you are choked for the distances you take your shots.

Here's some info that I've posted before on this topic.

When using steel on pheasants, it is best to go with loads that contain #2 or #3 steel pellets. Steel shot lethality research conducted on pheasants by Tom Roster showed #2 steel to be more effective (at all ranges) than either #6 or #4 steel. Yes, #4 or #6 steel loads will kill'em too, but a little extra pellet energy is a good thing on wild pheasants where shots are often taken at longer going-away angles. The research also showed #2 steel resulted in fewer cripples than both #6 and #4 steel; and Roster speculated that the #3 steel pellet would be a good compromise between pellet count and downrange energy.

Here are a few of my pattern numbers to give you an idea of how some #2 steel loads perform, in my gun/chokes!

Patterning results from a 12-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels using Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

12 GA 2 3/4" REMINGTON SPORTSMAN HI-SPEED STEEL LOAD
1 1/8 oz #2 steel (139 pellets) @ 1375 fps
30 YARDS – SK / pattern 116 (83%)
30 YARDS – IC / pattern 129 (93%)
40 YARDS – IC / pattern 111 (80%)
40 YARDS – LM / pattern 114 (82%)
40 YARDS – M / pattern 114 (82%)
50 YARDS – LF / pattern 100 (72%)
50 YARDS – F / pattern 106 (76%)

As you can see, there wasn't much difference between the IC, LM and M chokes with this steel load at 40 yards, and the LM and M both registered the same 5-shot pattern average even though the Mod. is .005" tighter! Obviously, the only way to really know how you load/choke combo is performing is to pattern it at the distance you intend to use it!

Good luck!
 

gimruis

Active member
I thought all Remington chokes except full,were ok with steel.
I wasn't specifically referring to a Remington choke/shotgun. I may have missed that part of the thread if that is what's being referred to. I was only trying to point out that its worth looking at the choke to ensure it can be used with a steel shot.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
True, some choke tubes should probably never be used with steel. Really, really tight ones. Super thin walled ones. But they write "No Steel" on many chokes simply because lawyers & insurance companies exist. Up to a certain shot size, you can safely shoot steel through most choke tubes (or fixed chokes). The more the constriction, the smaller the max shot size is. Modern steel shot cups are tough enough to protect barrel steel.
 
I've been shooting a lot of sporting clays lately to get ready, mainly because I shot terrible last year. I went from shooting and hitting 90 to 95 percent to 25 to 30 percent. That's on real birds too, not sporting clays. I tried a kicks full choke today and shot a lot better(on the sporting clays anyway) I just need to get the 25 percent on real birds back up. THAT'S TERRIBLE!
 
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