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Can you shoot steel out of a 1100

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by pgaphillip, Oct 20, 2012.

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  1. pgaphillip

    pgaphillip Member

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    I have a early 1970's 1100 3 inch mag. I think it is a full choke, don't know if that makes a difference. Can I shoot todays waterfowl loads out of the gun.
    Dan P.
     
  2. Fergus

    Fergus Member

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    Dan, I have a couple 1100 magnums and regularly shoot 3" steel through them and have a couple duck hunting friends who do the same, HOWEVER, I have the fixed choke opened up to what amounts to about light modified before I do. Full choke with steel is at best lacking pattern wise and at worst, can damage the barrel especially with the larger shot sizes. I have seen ring bulges in an older 870 fixed full barrel from steel and also know guys who have hundreds or even thousands of steel rounds through their full choked 1100s with no ill effects. I just prefer not to risk it and believe the patterns are better with the chokes professionally relieved. I am certain other here will advise you differently but this is something that I have real life experience with just because I really prefer hunting waterfowl with 1100s and prefer the feel of the older non-choke tubes barrels.
     
  3. Texas Yankee

    Texas Yankee Member

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    When steel shot came out in the 70's the first thing they said never shoot it through a full choke. I had a 870 Wingmaster with a 30" full choke barrel and bought a 30" mod barrel to shoot steel. Since then they have been saying you can shoot steel with tighter chokes but I will not. A few years back I hunted with a man that shot a 3" BB shell through a Turkey choke, the choke is some place in the next rice field and the barrel was split back 4-6". Thank GOD no one was hurt.
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Steel shot through a fixed full choke was not a good idea when steel shot first came out. Since then the wads have evolved. They are thicker to provide more cushioning when going through a choke and also help prevent steel shot on bore contact.

    Remington does not exactly specify whether their fixed full choke 1100 barrels are OK with steel shot. However, their FAQ mentions that their Wingmaster HD load is similar to steel shot in hardness. If we use that as a baseline, then this sheds some light on it:

    <i>Q. What is the latest manufacture date of your firearms that you suggest using Wingmaster HD?

    A. Due to the hardness of Wingmaster HD and other tungsten based shot material, we do not recommend using Hevi-Shot in our firearms made before 1950. You should only use firearms that have choke tubes that are recommended for use with steel shot.</i>

    So it appears that the barrel steel was different prior to 1950. However, they say that steel shot should be limited to barrels with choke tubes rated for steel shot.

    So I'd say officially Remington is frowning on the practice. I know there are shooters using modern thick wad steel shot without problems other than cosmetic marks in the bore. I've used #4 birdshot steel shot in my Browning Model 12 20ga fixed mod choke with no problems, but I doubt I'd do so it it was a fixed full choke. The barrel is thinner than an 1100.

    Going further...

    <i>Q. Can I use my current Remington shotgun/choke with Hevi-Shot Turkey Loads?

    A. Yes. Remington has extensively tested Hevi-Shot® and Wingmaster HD through various Rem™ Chokes. You can safely shoot lead, steel, Hevi-Shot, or Wingmaster HD in the following Rem Chokes:

    Hevi-Shot choke<br>
    Wingmaster HD choke<br>
    Modified<br>
    Improved Cylinder<br>
    Skeet<br>
    Improved Skeet<br>
    Sporting Clays<br>

    In order to safely shoot lead, Hevi-Shot, Steel or Wingmastr HD in a Full Rem Choke the choke tube must state "For Steel or Lead Shot". Also, no larger than #2 should be used in the Full choke.

    Tighter chokes than .665” do not improve pattern percentages to any extent, and in fact, begin to produce more open patterns.

    Hevi-Shot can produce cosmetic rub marks in barrels and chokes, simply a change in surface finish. Over an equal number of rounds, this rubbing is similar to that experienced with steel shot. Both materials create more choke strain than lead shot due to a more solid payload, therefore we do not recommend Hevi-Shot or Wingmaster HD in chokes marked "lead only".

    With the Remington wad column, the Hevi-Shot and Wingmaster HD pellets rest on a cushioned pad in the shot container that allows the pellets to flow better through the choke. In addition, the Remington Hevi-Shot shot and Wingmaster HD container is much thicker than previous loaded rounds and
    that thickness minimizes pellet contact with the barrel or choke.</i>

    So even in their Full Rem Choke made for steel shot Remington says not to use pellet sizes larger than #2.

    Another issue... Steel shot usually patterns one choke size tighter than what the choke is rated at. I find most mod chokes pattern closer to full. This is because steel shot does not compress going through the choke like lead. The only real compression is that of the wad walls. So a full choke is going to pattern like an extra full. On the plus side I've found patterns with steel often are more uniform because the pellets do not deform.

    BTW, one other tidbit is in the FAQ...

    Q. My older Model 1100 magnum will not cycle 3-inch steel shot. Why?

    A. Steel shot does not produce the same muzzle velocity as lead shot. You may wish to purchase the Model 1100 steel shot barrel. For more information on ordering the Model 1100 steel shot barrel click HERE.

    Aside from the possibility the load won't cycle, depending on a lot of factors, this question does mention an "older" 1100 Magnum. How old is not specified. Older as in before Rem Chokes? I would think so, but now that Rem Chokes have been around for over two decades, who knows?

    The bottom line is... You roll the dice you take your chances.
     
  5. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Popping this thread open, I was sort of expecting another topic on using steel for trap... which would've been typically no issue.

    However, Big Steel, Heavy Loads, 3"... in this case, I'd follow along with Arizona and Texas here...

    NOW, if the gun is not particularly collectible (LH, embellished, etc...) and it has enough "meat", could you consider having a reputable choke tube fitter, make tubes for the gun so you can enjoy it in today's steel environment?

    Jay
     
  6. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    A couple of days ago, I was lucky enough to cold cock a big goose with #3 steel shot through my .020 choke tube. I was duck hunting but had the opportunity for a nice goose.
     
  7. pgaphillip

    pgaphillip Member

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    Thanks everyone. I have a few ideas now.
     
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