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Steel Shot for Trap

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Lewis Wetzel, Mar 29, 2008.

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  1. Lewis Wetzel

    Lewis Wetzel TS Member

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    If they can use steel shot for duck hunting why can't we
    use steel shot for clay target shooting (trap).
    Has anyone tried? Think about it.

    Compaired to duck loads,trap load with steel would be less
    shot weight, powder charge/pressure would be less.
    Instead of 7-1/2 size shot you may have size 7.0. For 8's you
    may have 7-1/2. Food for thought. Good comments please.

    Lewis
     
  2. redhawk44

    redhawk44 Member

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    I think the reason that steel shot is more expensive than lead is because of the amount of steel shot being produced vs lead. If we all started using steel, the price would probably be less pr. pound than lead---especially at todays lead prices.

    But it is not quite as simple as it looks in terme of load development.

    You need a steel pellet that is from 1-1/2 to 2 sizes bigger than lead in order for the downrange ballistics to equal lead.

    Then if you want the same pattern density, you need the same number of pellets, so by the time you do that, a steel load that is equal to 1 oz of 8s lead, will be about 1-1/8 to even 1-1/4 oz of steel and it will be no. 6 size or perhaps 6-1/2.

    On the skeet side, it pretty much takes the 410 out of the game.
     
  3. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    Lewis, there is limited usage at this time with steel and trapshooting. There are a few ranges scattered across the U.S. that require such inorder to continue the facilities usage. Trap loads using steel are available on a somewhat limited bases in most areas. Most that I've seen available is loaded with 7's.
     
  4. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

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    Only advantage to steel that I can see is you can pick it up with a magnet when you have a reload inccident. Maybe instead of shooting 16-27 move the field in a few yards to accommadate steel shot. Skeet is another matter all to gether.
     
  5. scott calhoun

    scott calhoun Well-Known Member

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    Lewis -

    With all due respect to the first few posters, they really don't know what they are talking about.

    My "home" range, Naperville Sportsman's Club in Naperville, Illinois has been required to use steel shot since shortly after 2000. I'd wager a guess that our club has more real-world experience with steel shot for clay target games than anyone else - at least anyone else that we've been made aware of.

    We are a trap-only facility and you will find a large selection of trap guns on the line. Browning Citori's of all varieties, BT-99's and 100's, 90-T's, KX-5's, Beretta's, Perazzi's, and Kolar's. Since shooting steel for over 5 years we haven't had one issue with steel shot thru a trap gun.

    Steel shot is, at this time, way cheaper than lead. Our club has an active steel reloading program and our cost for steel shot is around $.93 per pound. My total cost for reloading a box of 1 oz steel is around $4, but is creeping higher as powder and primer costs increase. On the other hand, our cost for steel has not increased in 3 years. We also purchase wads in bulk to keep the price down (nearly half a million at a time).

    There's no argument that steel isn't as effective as lead, especially as distance increases, but it's not nearly as ineffective as everyone would lead you to believe.

    Redhawk - I'd like to better understand your comment about pattern density. There are more pellets in an ounce of steel than in 1 1/8 ounce of lead, so why would you expect the pattern for steel would be less dense?

    At our club we look at it this way - we'd rather be shooting steel than not shooting at all.

    Scott
     
  6. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    Scott,
    Years ago when I shot at Lincoln Park Traps and we shot over Lake Michigan) we were required by agreement with the EPA to use a biodegradable fiber wad (called a mono-wad) instead of plastic wads which would wash up onto the beach.

    Winchester did a run of shells with the monowads for us as a special order. Is anyone currently manufacturing steel target loads at a reasonable price; or willing to do so if the demand were high enough?
     
  7. Lewis Wetzel

    Lewis Wetzel TS Member

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    Thanks for the productive comments about using steel shot
    for clay target shooting. I knew the information was out
    there to make using steel shot work. Now if we can get
    some ammunitions manufacture to give it a shot and make
    some shells.
    When you get enough good minds working you can
    find an answer. Now we need the ATA to look into
    steel shot.

    Lewis
     
  8. berettaman7

    berettaman7 TS Member

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    I visited the Bass Pro Shops store in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca looking to buy lead shot, their price for the 25 lb bag: $64.00 before Ca sales tax. Wow. Not only that, their price for a box of Winchester AA trap loads $9.49 plus tax.

    Berettaman7
     
  9. tomk2

    tomk2 Member

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    Jim -

    No.
     
  10. berettaman7

    berettaman7 TS Member

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    Can I safely shoot steel No. 6 from an old SKB Ithaca Century Trap?

    Berettaman7
     
  11. scott calhoun

    scott calhoun Well-Known Member

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    Jim -

    The info you provided is one of the reasons that most of us use a load around 1300 fps, and we are loading #7 steel. That provides a little more energy for breaking a target at longer yardages.

    We also use a wad specifically designed for steel shot, which really means it's just thicker plastic with no gaps between the petals in order to protect the barrel. We have also tested some loads using lead wads (such as a standard Win AA) and have found that the wad is perforated after it's been fired.

    Our club made up a series of loads, about 25 different recipes if I recall correctly, and had them pressure/velocity tested by Tom Armbrust here in northern Illinois. We now have load data with a couple of different off the shelf powders, using standard hulls and primers, that we know are safe from a pressure perspective. We have data on how fast we can push the steel and still maintain safe pressures.

    Scott
     
  12. slowdp

    slowdp TS Member

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    According to data found at http://www.precisionreloading.com/faq.htm you get 393 lead 7 1/2 pellets in a 1 1/8 ounce load. With steel using #6 you would get 327 pellets. Using steel #7 you would get 508 pellets. In other words if #6 steel was needed for distance you would have about the same pellet density in steel as a 7/8 ounce load of lead 7 1/2's. All in all it is doable. If everyone was required to use steel the tables would be level and the best shot would still win. That is the way we may have to do it in the future.

    Your kids would tell about the good ole days when people shot lead and ran several hundred straight.
     
  13. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I would prefer to switch to three hole targets rather than switch to steel. I may have to make one of these changes in the future.

    Pat Ireland
     
  14. Bombero

    Bombero TS Member

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    Scott, could you post more information regarding steel shot. Here in SoCal the price of lead is hovering around $50 a bag and steel shot is looking better all the time. The eco folks are banning lead all over the state and it probably won't be long before it's gone or too expensive to buy. I understand your club may be worried about the legality of publishing loads and components. I just don't want to reinvent the wheel. If you think it would be better to pass this information along privately, let me know and I'll give you my email addy.

    I'm not even sure where to buy steel shot in SoCal.

    Clyde
     
  15. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    All this information is important to all shooters, Thats whats good about this site we all have a common interest . Lets get all this stuff out so shooters can deal with it as it arises. Its just a matter of time I'm afraid.
     
  16. redhawk44

    redhawk44 Member

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    Scott, to amswer your question....

    "Redhawk - I'd like to better understand your comment about pattern density. There are more pellets in an ounce of steel than in 1 1/8 ounce of lead, so why would you expect the pattern for steel would be less dense? "

    The reason I say that is because it is necessary to shoot a larger size shot if shooting steel than you would if shooting lead. Someone above pointed out that the energy level at 40 yds is about 1/2 that of lead if the same SIZE shot is used.

    So, if one goes to a larger size steel shot that is large enough to yeild the same energy level at 40 yds as let us say a number 8 lead shot, the steel shot (probably a size 6) winds up being heavier than the lead shot would be.

    Therefore X number of appropriately sized steel shot will be heavier than X number of appropriately sized lead. (size 6 as compared to size 8)

    That is not to say that one necessarily needs to use #6 steel to shoot trap, but then, I have seen people shoot #9s lead shot on trap too.

    What is certain is that IF one want's to have a steel load that is perfectly equal to a lead load at reasonable trap ranges, he will be shooting larger steel shot each of which is a little heavier and the charges will also be heavier.

    It is also a fact that 7/8 oz of lead shot in 8s or 7-1/2s is a very effective load right back to the 22 or so, so we just MAY have been shooting loads that were heavier than necessary anyway

    Now, this is not carved on a mountain anywhere, but that is about what it comes down to.
     
  17. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    Lewis, the info has been available for quite a number of years thru ballistic products and precision reloading. Both have printed material available. Ballistic products is more extensive in selection of the two. They will also be able to help you with factory loaded ammo for clay shooting as it is already in production.
     
  18. scott calhoun

    scott calhoun Well-Known Member

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    If anyone would like more information I'd be happy to provide what I can via email (above).

    RedHawk - I agree with your last post, but what you posted doesn't really address pattern density, which I take to mean the number of pellets in a specified area (30 inch circle?). You are addressing the energy question, which is probably the most relevant aspect of shooting steel.

    Scott
     
  19. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    There are recipes online. Check out the above URL. It's about as far as you need to go to get a good recipe. Strong hint...

    I wonder if you can see thru any of those Federal wads after having shot steel with them. Hold them up to the light and see. If you can see little pin holes, take a good look at your barrels. You might reconsider.

    Many guys tell what they know about shooting waterfowl with steel, but trap is a different situation in alot of ways. Suppliers of components are pricing for hunters and not considering the volume and lower prices needed to make it worth while for trap shooters.

    We're hoping an America wad maker will pick up the baton and produce a wad suitable for steel that isn't priced like hunting wads. Discussion here can only help that cause.

    Guys at Naperville have mentioned an STS steel load with #6.5 shot, 1-1/8 oz (I think). They say it was a great handicap load. Personally, 1200 fps is enough for me and then I go up a bushing for yardage.
     
  20. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Remington had manufactured both a #6.5 and #7 Steel load in their STS series. We bought a bunch of both and I think cleaned out Recobs at one point! - going back a few years.

    Federal and Remington are selling a target-load equivalent, within their hunting/sportsmen lines of ammo, but nothing specifically targeted to the clays audience. #7 steel is an approved shot size/material for registered shooting, but it does have some limitations at yardage.

    At Naperville we really have pushed the envelope to develop steel recipes. We use readily available powders, primers and wads.

    As plinker, my personal recipe is loading .74oz pushing 1200fps, with only 6000 psi - next to no recoil; but its inconsistent out at the back yardages (maybe its really me?!). But my ability to shoot made the choice to shoot steel easy. My ability to shoot cheap (<$3/bx) keeps me shooting steel.

    Keep your options open.

    Jay





    We've loaded
     
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