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Steel shot loading?!?!
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Deer Sniper
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

Just wondering how many of you guys reload your own steel shot loads for waterfowl...

Me personally, I shoot nothing heavier than 7/8 oz. steel loads, and always loaded in a Federal Gold Medal 12 ga. 2 3/4"...

Favorite shot sizes:

Wood duck and teal - #3 steel

Mallards - #1 steel

All geese - T steel

I'm working on a new BBB load that I need to test out on the pattern board, as well as run velocity tests and pressure tests on...

Two things you need to look at, is velocity first, then pattern density ie., percentage of pellets inside a 30" circle at 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards...

Depending on the bird and distance, say pass shooting Canada Geese at 50 to 60 yards, I'll go with my Remington 870 with a 34" Hastings Wadlock barrel, T steel load, and the choke that gives me the best long range patterns. There are only 48 steel T shot in a 7/8 oz. load, but I can shoot a 100% pattern at 50 yards and with a pattern like that, I am good to 60 yards with enough killing energy to bust completely through an 8 to 10 pound Greater Canada. Also, with "tight" long range patterns, with minimum pellet count, vs. those of 12 ga. 3", 3 1/2" and 10 ga. loads, you pretty much have a clean kill or a clean miss, which is how I prefer it, and it means far fewer wounded birds!

If I can get on my computer next week, I'll post some of my patterns and loading techniques, along with some of the components that I use when loading steel shot...

What are you guys shooting this year?

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

for me its steel size #2s (same as your #3s) that get the nod....normally an oz and 1/8th loading going somewhere in the 1500fps range
Ive done the loading thing in small way both 7/8th and 1oz and found they killed ok alot of guys over here use #4s but they were a tad hit n miss for me on the big water we shoot opening weekend....
3 of us shot on opeing weekend (1st in may) none of us had been out with shottie for months and we still kept average at about 4 shots per bird..... we got alot of "bangs for our duck" and had a lot of fun doing so.
with personal goings on I didnt get out for rest of season which is first time in 20 years that has happened...never mind lots of ammo left for next season.

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Deer Sniper
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

Looks like you've got the velocity, weight and payload to take ducks out Elvis. I'm sorry your hunting season got cut short. Hopefully things will get back to normal for you, and you get a chance to shoot up the rest of those shells on more ducks...

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

yeah mate...tis all good,plenty of time left ,im not old and decrepid yet.....well not that much LOL.
the #2s work awesome on Giant Canadian geese too.

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Deer Sniper
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

I have to admit that I have never shot #2 steel shot before. Lot's of #3 and #1 though...

Giant Canada Geese - I shoot nothing but a 7/8 oz. T steel for this, and after hundreds and hundreds of birds over the years, I don't know of a better shot size or load. 90% of my goose shooting is pass shooting, with more shots over 40 yards, than under 40 yards...

I know it's a futile point, but I am trying to come up with "1" steel shot load I can use for both ducks and geese, and is why I am working with a new BBB steel load. Because of the weight of this load, it uses a mylar wrap as well as buffer, with the 48 pellets used in this load...

Yeah, I know that there are not a lot of pellets in this load, but with the initial testing and pattern results, like I said before, anything out to a maximum distance of 60yards, depending on choke and shooting setup, any shot should prove to be either a clean kill or a clean miss...

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

try some #2s Mate...... if I could only use one load for everything it would be winchester #2 Xpert ...back in the days of lead it was winchester superX #2s we used them a lot for shooting wallabies....up to 80lb animals and under 75 yards they were leathal...under 20 and damage was very very messy.
with steel #2s MOST pellets are through n through so less in meat to shatter teeth. we have used steel #3s with good results but we prefer the 2s if paridise ducks and geese are likely to show up...Im surprised you arent using heavy shot of some sort as you can get the components....... the results of that stuff is mind blowing....little shot with same or better energy than the big steel stuff. even the wee .410 is more than enough for geese.

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Deer Sniper
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

I don't have any #2 steel shot and have 60 pounds of various sizes, but no #2...

I do however load magnum lead #2 for crows, since I was given a 5 gallon steel bucket full years ago. I load a fast 1 1/8 oz. load, which has exactly 100 pellets to the load, and at 1,500 fps., it will drop a crow as far as you dare shoot one! You definitely have to watch your backstop with these loads, and make sure there are no houses or public roads anywhere close by, as these pellets will travel several hundred yards...

I have looked at all of the Heavy Weight shot types and components on the market, and there is no way I would ever pay that much for shot! I have some amazing 40 yard shots from the little 410 and 28 ga. shotguns shoot on some of the Heavy Weight shot, and I'll have to admit that it was quite impressive!

Me personally though, I like and prefer steel shot! I have learned how to use it, and I have developed many loads for it. Even back in the very beginning of steel shot usage here in the states, I was shooting steel shot loads before the first factory box ever hit the shelves. I know that some "experimenters" were using pieces of garden hose fitted inside of regular wads, and stuff such as that, but I was enjoying my early steel shot loads, loaded with Crosman BB's, and I was killing ducks left and right with those early loads...

I prefer the bigger pellets, size 1 and larger, and even though I may not have the pellet count of larger loads and smaller shot sizes, I have learned how to use the bigger shot sizes to my advantage...

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Deer Sniper
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:58 am    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

My wife and I finished up our last load development on our steel BBB load after Church yesterday, and with the pattern, velocity and pressure testing complete, I'm going to make this my only load to use this year for both ducks and geese. My wife said she would shoot this load instead of using her 20 ga., so one load for everything sounds really good to me!

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

great stuff Mate.....I struggled to get components to load steel a few years ago and Vince was kind enough to post me a bag of wads....thanks again big fella.... with help from some other chaps from that great country of yours over on duckchat we put together loads that worked and worked well. airgun BBs were used as we couldnt source steel shot and then I went and asked nicely at local factory and got half a container of #4s about 4lb worth...we managed to shoot all that off and then components came available so purchased some #2s and more wads...ASteel powder and cheddite hulls were easy to get.
have fun and feel free to post photos of your patterns,Im sure Im not the only one interested in what works for you,its even more hotly debated than rifle loads at times LOL.

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Deer Sniper
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

Thank you Elvis!

I'm glad Vince and others were able to help get the ball rolling for you, and help with some components till it became available for you guys...

Yeah, this stuff can turn into quite a heated departed for sure, and that's usually when I bow out. What works for me may not work for anyone else, and that's fine. I don't shoot 3" loads and I'm gang sure not going to shoot a 3 1/2" load in a 12 ga., and while I do like the 10 ga., I'm not going to be shooting it either!

In "my opinion" light and fast is the way to go, and since "I" am the one paying for it, loading it and shooting it and hunting with it, it's my choice regardless of what anyone else thinks! Smile

If I can pick up my computer one day this week, since it went on the blink, I'll post some pattern pictures as well as some of my loading components used in my new load, and you can tell me what you think. As long as you're nice about it. Smile

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

I finished fluting a customers barrel today and got it shipped off before UPS closing time, plus I got another muzzle brake made and installed as well...

After working my fanny off doing what I do, I had just enough time to get a few shells loaded...

Since I don't use and don't like Steel powder, I use the following:

Blue Dot...

4756...

Herco...

Longshot...

All 4 powders achieve the same velocity with the steel loads that I am shooting -

Semi-auto / gas operated / 28" barrel / Muller 1" extended UFO choke tube / 1,510 fps.

Remington 870 / 34" Hastings Wadlock barrel / Hastings extended .700 choke tube / 1,610 fps.

The BBB load that I am loading, has 48 "stacked" pellets per load. The load in contained in a mylar wrap sleeve, inside of a CLBC wad with only "2" petals, not the standard 4 or more depending on wad design...

Ok, my BBB load is on the light side and weighs exactly 10 grains less than a full 7/8 oz. load. The 48 steel BBB weigh in at exactly 347.4 grains and the buffer, wrap and overshot card puts the weight up to 372.8 grains...

I took a few pictures today, and I'll get them posted as soon as I can. Work comes first...

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Last edited by Deer Sniper on Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

I wondered if you were slitting less...it does make a huge difference to how fast a pattern opens...as does making the slits only short...

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:21 am    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

I never loaded steel shot, but in the past I did some tests with buffers. Now I have 2 questions:
1. what's a P-R buffer?
2. did you never try to use mixed shot? (the use of a #7 or 8 between BB's came into my mind...

and no, I still don't like steel shot. But we are not allowed to use lead shot and in my opinion that's several steps back. With steel most game shot is much more bloody than with lead shot and a lot of game is lost.
But maybe loading your own cartridges with steel shot could help its performance. I never tried it and now I don't understand why I didn't think about loading my own with steel. Maybe I was a little bit afraid of the different pressure and velocity levels? Isn't steel using much faster powders?
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:43 am    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

yes faster powders....diferent to load but no more dificult...I only have a really old whackamole lee loader (you use a rubber mallet) and for the few load I did it was just fine,particulary easy when using brand new hulls.
as for preformance......the fast steel is nearly as good as our old lead loads I would even go so far as to say good steel is better than poor lead. P.R. ????powdered rusk maybe???

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Deer Sniper
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Steel shot loading?!?! Reply with quote

I tried shorter slits in the CLBC wads, but patterns were very erratic and not worth fooling with. With just 2 full length slits, patterns look much better and barrel scoring is also minimized because there are only 2 slits instead of multiple slits...

P-R buffer is Precision Reloading's buffer. You have to pay attention to any load that calls for buffer, and more specifically, the type of buffer that is called for in any load, as pressures can sky rocket to dangerous levels! P-R buffer is very "fluid" because of it's very small round granular shape, and it pours in and around shot just about as easy as water...

Mixed shot / duplex loads - yes I have loaded them and used them for a couple of years, but not any more...

Steel loading is in a totally different league than loading lead shot. But, like most things in life, common sense really comes into play here!

"ALL" powder charges are hand weighed on a balance beam scale!

"ALL" shot charges are hand weighed on a balance beam scale!

Everything is done one-at-a-time and is why I load using a wooden reloading block, as shells are always loaded 50 at a time and in sequence -

Hulls are inspected...

Hulls are primed...

Powder is weighed and dropped into each hull...

Wad is inserted into each hull...

Mylar wrap (when used) is inserted into each wad...

Shot charge is weighed, or in the case of larger shot sizes, stacked into each wad...

When used, buffer is added to all loads...

An overshot card is added to all buffered loads...

All loads are crimp started, then final fold crimp with a nice taper to facilitate easier chambering...

ALL shells are visually inspected, and any load that looks even slightly suspect is discarded...

Most all of your steel shot HUNTING loads, are loaded with SLOW burning powder, with Steel powder being most people's favorite. I personally don't like it or use it because it is very bulky and takes up a lot of space. I could change wads and hulls and change the load fitment, buy hey, I like what I like! Blue Dot is a very good powder, as is 800X, 4756, Longshot and Herco...

Me personally, I don't shoot any steel loads that are less than 1,500 fps.. If you can't bust through a birds feathers, fat and bones, then what's the point! If you shoot one in the head or neck, then great! But that doesn't always happen. I need a load that will kill what I am shooting, and not just bounce off the feathers like the early steel shot loads did, which is exactly what gave steel shot it's bad reputation...

Let me see if I can get on my wife's computer and post a couple of pictures. This will take a while, so hang in there...

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Last edited by Deer Sniper on Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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