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Steel shot

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by dwo357, Jun 18, 2013.

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  1. dwo357

    dwo357 Member

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    Well the time has finally come. I live in the state of Washington and have been wing shooting with lead all my life and we now have the toxic shot ban pretty much state wide. I have a 20 year old Ithica 37 3" mag , 28" modified choke and a 12 year old Rem 870 Wingmaster 30" full choke and I reload for both. What do I need to reload steel for these guns and do I need to get a modified for my Rem. And any suggested loads would be welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. dawei

    dawei Member

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    What gauge please? Fixed choke or choke tubes?
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Steel shot patterns a lot tighter than lead. I only use it for waterfowl and IC shoots steel plenty tight enough for my needs. A modified tube will pattern almost like an extra full in your 870. Assuming you don't have a fixed choke. I don't think a 12 year old gun would. I'd buy both an IC and Modified tube, maybe even a skeet tube. I don't have any experience with steel in the smaller shot sizes normally used for small game, so the difference might not be as dramatic there.

    The Ithica I'm not sure about. Steel shot has been mandatory for waterfowl since 1989 I think, so most guns made since then should be safe as long as you don't use a full choke. My guess is that it may be safe, but less than ideal if it is a fixed choke gun.

    There are other non-toxic alternatives that would be safe in any gun. They are more expensive than steel, but the only option for those who want to continue to use older guns.
     
  4. dwo357

    dwo357 Member

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    12 gauge. One with full choke the other with modified choke.
     
  5. dawei

    dawei Member

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    If you have various choke tubes: CYL, SKEET, IMP CYL, or MOD; you should be fine shooting steel shot. I wouldn't shoot steel through a choke tube marked FULL or tighter. I would NEVER SHOOT STEEL through a fixed FULL choke, EVER.

    For Pheasant hunting (WA like you), I use Federal® Prairie Storm™ Filtestopper Steel #3, 4; through an IMP CYL choke tube. I cleanly harvest birds, out to 40yds with these loads; and that is with a 20ga!
     
  6. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Get a Ballistic Products catalog. Anything you want, they probably have it.
    In my experience, steel patterns exactly like GOOD lead loads, you just get a few more pellets in the pattern because of less pellet deformation. I stopped shooting steel since tungsten came along. Didn't have that great a results with Bismuth. Haven't tried Nice Shot, but Kent Impact is great stuff, as was the original (high density) Hevi-Shot.
     
  7. b.thomas

    b.thomas Member

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    With the Wingmaster you need at least a mod choke................but if it were me and I was shooting ducks over decoys, I go with a IC choke.:D
     
  8. chas08

    chas08 Member

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    Ive shot steel and tungsten through my model 37 16 gauge with no ill effects. It too is fixed modified. Remchoke barrels are relatively cheap for an 870 you might want to consider buying one. It wont hurt to shoot steel through your fixed full on the 870 but it may not pattern worth a darn with larger shot like #2. Steel and lead reloading components are worlds apart and should never be interchanged! Specifically the shot cup!
     
  9. dwo357

    dwo357 Member

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    Alright guys. thanks for all the input. Now can I use my MEC SizeMaster to load something other than lead?
     
  10. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    MEC makes a steel reloader and they say you can't use the regular ones. I am not familiar enough to dispute their claim

    For the Remington, have Briley or similar install choke tubes. That way you can use it for a variety of applications
     
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