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870 Question. Please help!

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by zblack, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. zblack

    zblack TS Member

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    I have an older 28 inch ribless field barrel for my 870. The barrel has a fixed modified choke and is 2 3/4" only. I also have a light target contour barrel 2 3/4" only with screw in chokes. Is it safe to shoot steel shot through either of these.Thanks
     
  2. 51mgb

    51mgb TS Member

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    If you get the proper choke tubes rated for steel the light contour will work. The older barrel will work also. Steel shot is hard on barrels. It really isn't a safety issue as much as a way to inflict damage on the barrel. It the barrel is in good condition, it won't blow up (or at least shouldn't). You can get steel shot in 2.75" rounds. The reason 3" is more popular is that you have to chuck more shot at a waterfowl than you did with lead.
     
  3. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    What steel shot loads are you going to use?
     
  4. zblack

    zblack TS Member

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    The shells I will be using are 2 3/4" Kent upland fast steel numbers 5's 1400 fps. Also Kent fast steel waterfowl number 2's 1550 fps.
     
  5. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    The way I've "heard it" is a mod. choked barrel for lead turns into a Full Choked barrel for Steel shot. So a Skeet barrel will turn into a Mod barrel with Steel. You need to make sure your current removable chokes are rated for Steel shot. Many chokes are marked Lead only. If your not sure buy a choke that you know is rated for Steel and for the proper distance you want to hit birds at. Good Luck and break em all. Jeff
     
  6. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    That's pretty large shot and fast speeds. Better get some steel rated chokes. In terms of what constriction to use, I certainly wouldn't know. I'd buy at the tight end and pattern them to be sure of what you're shooting.
     
  7. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy Member

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    Our club switched to steel about 2 years back; most people shoot the steel target loads out of modified barrels and chokes, without issue. Some use Improved Modified.

    We have many thousands of rounds out of a variety of guns, with no problems relating to chokes, etc.

    Steel does then to pattern more tightly, so pattern you gun before you go out to murder Daffy and/or Donald.

    Good hunting.
     
  8. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The only choke tube that you need to worry about is Full.

    Do not use a Rem Choke Full that is silver. These are for lead only.

    Full Rem Chokes for steel shot have a golden hue to them. This is due to the heat treat process. They are also labelled as being for steel shot, but sometimes this is worn off.

    As a general rule of thumb, steel will pattern one choke size tighter than the choke it is being fired through. So a Mod with steel shot will typically pattern as Full. And a Full with steel shot will typically pattern Extra Full or even Super Full, but sometimes the pattern gets ragged. Patterning your shells and choke will tell.

    As for the fixed mod barrel, keep in mind that the larger the shot size, the more there might be an issue with steel shot. I use 4 birdshot for upland in a Browning Model 12 20ga which has a mod choke, and the barrel is much thinner than an 870. But I will not risk BB or T size shot in it. It's an upland gun anyway, not a goose gun.

    Also, steel shot in ANY barrel may leave cosmetic marks. This is from direct steel pellet on steel barrel contact. Usually caused by either shot rubbing through the wad, or being shoved through the slit between the wad fingers. Modern wads are much better at preventing this than early steel shot wads, but it can still happen. The bore is not damaged, but nevertheless it may show a mark.
     
  9. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    If I remember right, Dr. Andrew has some research that shows steel actually patterns slightly looser than lead. I believe somebody in the manufacturing end of our industry tried to lower their risk by recommending looser chokes when steel was first introduced years ago. The interpretation is that since you "should use" one level less constriction, the patterns would be the same. Not sure that is true, but I don't have the good doctor's book and I haven't done any research myself. I shoot a fixed full choke in my 870 with steel #7 and #6 shot at around 1200 fps. Never had a problem. I use factory 1325 fps target loads as well with no problems. The larger shot and faster speeds warrant caution. I'd listen to Brian on the golden hued chokes.
     
  10. zblack

    zblack TS Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice.
     
  11. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Let us know what you learn...