1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Lead vs. Steel-thoughts and advice wanted

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Sgt. Mike, Jan 16, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sgt. Mike

    Sgt. Mike TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    301
    With lead being so expensive some have turned to steel shot for their needs. What do you find the differences to be? Choke advice for 1 oz loads? What size of shot would you recommend from the 16 yard line? Any other help regarding the change over would be helpful. Any particular brands of steel recommended. Please feel free to expand on what you have experienced in your trapshooting arenas. All help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Michael
     
  2. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,167
    Mike -

    The differences? That's an important question to answer. We think they break targets just fine, even at yardages. I go up a bushing with the powder beyond 16 and that's it. 1200fps loads seem fine. Let us know what you think...

    Choke for 1 oz loads - full, just like lead. Anybody who tells you a more open choke is needed is working from old info. Check the patterns. We don't see much of a difference.

    Size 7 shot works great at 16 yards.

    We get our steel by the ton which is really the only way to go. Some of our guys went up to Irwin Industries and got to know the guys up there. Comes in a big barrel and we take a couple of hours rebottling it and storing it in our club's shot cabinet. 10 pounds per bottle for ten dollars. Size 7. I think we're on our third barrel this year.

    Then, of course, you're going to need wads. We buy ours from Vagner Plast in Denmark. We order 3 pallets of 12 cases each. 6K wads per case. We have a friend in the shipping industry that helps us keep our cost down which ends up at 2 cents a wad. Without this, I'm sure it would be 3 cents a wad. Our second order just went out to Ivan Vagner.

    I've heard that Downrange is going to be marketing wads for steel hunting loads. If we ask Kevin real nice he might try making them with a cheaper material for us trap shooters. I have a sample coming in the mail. I hear he's building himself a slicer for the petals.

    Recipes can be gotten from the Hodgdon site. See above. Their Universal Clays load is a favorite. We have others that we've tested with Longshot, but it's a little dirty. Mr. Tom Armbrust does the testing. Search for him here on ts.com and you'll find some old posts by yours truely. The Hodgdon site doesn't include the Vagner wads, but they're a great starting point.

    Note the price of steel has not changed in the 3 years that I've been shooting. I still shoot lead at other clubs. What club are you shooting at?

    Joe
     
  3. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,226
    I have never seen steel shot for sale ever, around local. Massachusetts.
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,252
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Is there any savings with steel including all the required components?
     
  5. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,362
    Location:
    Prairie State
    You can take steel out to most handicap yardages without issue. Out at 27 yards, the pellet energy suffers a bit, but when we're shooting games at 70+ yards for a couple of our quartering shots - enough of them get broken to keep the guys/gals moving to the next position!

    Joe Kuhn has been a big resource for many of the club guys who reload, so take what Joe says to heart. But, some of us are also using traditional lead wads and powders for our lightest practice loads.

    AA, WT12, Claybuster or Blue Duster wads can take 3/4 oz of steel 7s (using a 1 1/8 oz bushing), dropping 15-16 grains of Clays into an original AA, Premier, STS/Nitro hull for an unbelievably light load w/o recoil for a reloaded price of less than $2.75/box and that is only pushing 6500 psi!

    The only thing that you will need to do, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is pattern your firearm for choke. Many of us now use full choke, because as Joe mentioned, traditional thinking on steel involved large size pellets and hopped up velocities to get the ducks and geese - so start open and see how your firearm performs as you tighten.

    Good Luck and we are here to answer any questions on steel you've got.

    Jay Spitz
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,252
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Are steel 7's ATA approved for competition?

    Why not use steel 7-1/2's? Do they have sufficient pellet energy for handicap?

    My club specifies 7-1/2's only, which is why I ask.
     
  7. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,252
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Let me rephrase - nothing larger than 7-1/2's.
     
  8. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,362
    Location:
    Prairie State
    We made a specific inquiry to the ATA through our ATA delegate on that very issue as the rulebook specifies nothing larger than 7-1/2s. We were told that if we pursued holding registered events, #7 steel would be meet the ATAs criteria.

    Jay Spitz
     
  9. Sgt. Mike

    Sgt. Mike TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    301
    Thank you to everyone for the help. I thought a person had to change choke sizes but I guess new technology has changed that. Thanks again. Michael
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,263
    Spitter,

    How is it going with your .410 + steel shot experiments? Also how are the gun barrels holding up with the regular use of steel shot?
     
  11. Luckyman

    Luckyman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,035
    I have been shooting steel at Sportsman's for years and there is no long term effect your barrel....You will even see people shooting steel through their Krieghoffs and Perazzi's out at our club....No issues what-so-ever....
     
  12. tomk2

    tomk2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    320
    Don't use steel because it is cheaper, pay the extra money for the better performance lead gives you. You will have to work hard to get the cost of steel reloading down anyway, and you most likely won't be able to do that unless something forces you and the rest of your club to quit using lead. However, if it is a choice between shutting down or switching to steel, by all means start shooting and reloading steel. Much fun can be had with steel.
    But realize that out of all the steel shooters and reloaders that I know who also shoot ATA, not one would choose steel for an ATA shoot.
     
  13. tim mitin

    tim mitin TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    14
    Jay, have you seen any barrel damage from the use of conventional wads when shooting those 3/4 oz loads? Tim M
     
  14. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,362
    Location:
    Prairie State
    Wolfram...

    To be honest, I haven't loaded some up in a while due to the holidays, but I just finished cleaning out the reloading area in my storage room and I plan on getting back to business loading - I will say I've got to find a better way to load larger shot for .410, but if I want to shoot it, I'll make do! The little we have shot appears to have done nothing to the barrel or the fixed chokes.

    TimM...

    I load very light and when I've retrieved the wads, while they are pretty beat up, they are surprisingly well intact. In examining the barrel of my '74 Pigeon BT, I thought I had seen a number of striation marks in the forcing cone and running down the barrel, so I had some concerns, stopped using this particular gun and decided to have the barrel honed.

    I recently took the Pigeon up to Kolar in Racine to leave it, but upon examination by Jeff, he thought it was severe fouling (I have to say I was somewhat mortified how filty the gun actually was - I forgot to really clean it!). He took it into the shop and in about 15-20 minutes a tech came back after simply polishing it and said whatever may have looked to be there was nothing and the barrel came back sparkling from chamber to choke without a mark in it!

    Now, in my 425 and more recent vintage BT ('92 gun w/chokes) there is nothing remotely looking like what I thought I had seen in the Pigeon (maybe I clean it better?! lol) And, I shoot many more rounds in these two than the Pigeon ever saw.

    Now just to understand my methodology - I fill the wad cup and no more. If I shot faster/heavier loads, the higher pressure might well perforate the wads to the point where steel may come into complete contact with the barrel. I have used this same methodology to develop my 20 gauge and .410 loads. One thing I can say is that Clays is just as clean in this light steel load as it is in my lead loads as compared to some of the slower steel compatible powders.

    Let me know if I can be of further help!

    Jay
     
  15. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,167
    I have to say that we've seen some of Jay's lead wads after they were shot with steel and we did find a few tiny holes where the light was visible through the petal. They were very small, so whether any damage was done, I don't know. Jay's soft loads are very much towards the light end - less than an ounce in 12 ga. which I don't care to shoot. I'd rather pay the 2 cents and go with 1 oz.

    Steel is cheaper than lead but the wads are more expensive so it's a wash compared to lead. I still shoot lead at the other clubs and admit that I would at Naperville too, if it was allowed. The real benefit is you shoot the load you like over and over again instead of factory 1300+ fps bombs. House shells (steel) are something like $5.65 now.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.