steel shot


December 29, 2012, 02:12 PM
I'm sure this has been asked before but a quick search did not reveal any answers. When it comes to shotguns and steel shot, is there a cut off date for gun manufacure that dictates whether you can use steel shot? For the most part, I have used an 1187 I got maybe 10 years ago for duck hunting using steel shot, but my father shot steel shot out of an 1100 he had since atleast the 80s and maybe later. Is there any unofficial rules for what you can use sheet shot? I'm talking about the gun itself not hunting laws etc. Thanks.

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December 29, 2012, 03:30 PM
Steel shot has been required since about 79 in most states. I would be hesitant shoot steel shot in any shotgun manufactured prior to then. I have several Winchester Model 12s and 42's and a 1962 Belgian Browning that will NEVER see steel shot. If your scattergun isn't a collectable you could try it but if I had a prized older gun that I HAD to take waterfowling you can shoot bismuth with no issues but it is kinda pricy. but it beats ruining a classic shotgun.

December 29, 2012, 04:01 PM
Remington said any barrel manufactured after 1950, any fixed choke modified or looser, and any shot #2 or smaller was okay. The RemChokes are marked. I believe Browning said the Japanese Brownings were okay along similar guidelines, but I am not positive about that. I don't know about other manufacturers. Any factory barrel with choke tubes where the tubes are rated for steel should be okay. I saw quite a few full choked barrels with a bulge in the choke area in the early days of steel. I am of the opinion those early wads were not anywhere close to as good as the ones the steel shells have today. And some have also postulated the early shells were not sealed as well and may have created a rusty mass that caused the damage.
If you are worried, tungsten matrix is very good stuff.

December 29, 2012, 04:55 PM
Athough many older guns were not specifically designed for steel shot, most of the common pumps and semi's with a modified or Improved cylinder choke should be OK. Never use it in any gun with a full choke. Even most modern full choke tubes warn against steel shot.

The primary guns that will give you trouble are some older doubles not made for steel shot. A lot of the older guns especially doubles had very thin barrels to cut down on excessive weight. These thiner barrels, along with the type of steel available at the time won't handle the steel. Your 11-87 will be fine as long as you use tubes rated for steel

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