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Steel shot vs lead in breaking power Neil Winston?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by bodybuilder, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. bodybuilder

    bodybuilder TS Member

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    since the club has commited to shooting champion targets, and they are like shooting rocks would it be better or worse to shoot steel #7? These are not registered shoots just leagues.
     
  2. Dr A C Jones

    Dr A C Jones Member

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    Steel pellets should be worse because they lose energy faster. Energy is what kills targets and the more retained energy down range, then the higher the probability of a target break. Playing around with pellet size doesn't make much difference. If you use larger steel pellets to retain energy, then there will be fewer of them.

    One big unknown is whether the harder steel pellets are better at cracking the targets. If you found out over many shooters and targets that the scores were the same, then you would have some tentative data that suggests hard pellets crack targets better. That would be a really interesting result that would imply hard lead is better than soft lead on a per pellet impact basis.

    As things stand now, I don't think anybody knows.

    Andrew.
     
  3. bodybuilder

    bodybuilder TS Member

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    Neil where is your answer to this ?
     
  4. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    It would be better if you used steel #6 which is comparable to lead #7.5. See chart below from an old Remington website - the top two lines. The pellet energy is nearly identical at different distances all the way out to 50 yards.

    I've switched to #6 steel for all my shooting at our steel only club. This size shot really hammers the targets with slow speeds around 1200 fps which I use for less recoil.

    The shot cup for an ounce of steel is much bigger than an ounce shot cup for lead. If the pellets of steel and lead are the same size, you will get more pellets in an ounce of steel, but less pellet energy per piece. What we really need to compare is the pellet count in an ounce of steel #6 with the pellet count in an ounce of lead #7.5. I'm sure there's a chart out there some where.

    I contacted the IL state ATA delegate last year to see if he would investigate allowing steel size #6 based on the chart. No answer yet.

    At the clubs that shoot lead, I shoot lead. If you must shoot steel, shoot the largest allowed. Guys at the club are speed crazy, but being slight in frame, I don't like the punishment and don't feel it's really necessary.


    joekuhn_2008_030329.jpg


    You can get #6 steel from Ballistic Products. Watch for sales and you'll save on the shipping.
     
  5. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Link above shows 1 oz of steel #6 to contain 315 pellets.

    1 oz of lead, #7.5 contains 350 pellets or 11 percent more.
     
  6. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    . . . And the 6's Joe likes do not fly any farther than lead 7 1/2's so there's no safety issue.

    I was asked to "officially" comment about Joe's suggestion - allowing steel 6's - but since I am no longer covered by ATA D&O insurance against getting it wrong, I had to pass.

    Neil
     
  7. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Darn. Was hoping Neil'd have something to say about this. Wait a minute, he did.
     
  8. gunfighter001

    gunfighter001 Member

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    Winchester makes 7s in trap
     
  9. bodybuilder

    bodybuilder TS Member

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    So here is my ? If you use a hard shot like steel at 1325fps will that not break the targets better? I do have the #6 steel so it is a bit larger. Anyone have a thought?
     
  10. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Switching to steel to solve the Champion target problem isn't your best solution. Even if you use larger steel pellets, wind drag comes into play on larger spheres in addition. Steel and long yardage targets isn't a good mix at all! If I were to shoot Champion targets with money on the line, I'd use Hevi-Shot!! It's really discouraging to hit a clay, sometimes changing it's course of flight and not break off a piece. I'm surprised they can even sell those cheap things??? Maybe make a 13 yard line to shoot them from and use them up from there?

    Hap
     
  11. bevolt

    bevolt Member

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    If I compare steel vs. lead in a 1 oz. load @ 1330 fps, the shotshell ballistics program gives slightly different values than cited above for retained energy at 40 yds,

    #7.5 Lead = 1.18 ft-lbs

    #6 Steel = 1.03 ft-lbs

    also, the pellet count for lead is higher,

    #7.5 lead = 347 pellets/oz

    #6 steel = 316 pellets/oz

    If this info is correct, it suggests a significant advantage to the lead load.
     
  12. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    targetmaster,

    You've asked, "If you use a hard shot like steel at 1325fps will that not break the targets better?"

    Better than what? I assume you mean better than lead loads across the aisle at Gander Mtn.

    I think you should buy some of each and go to the range and test it out. That's more fun anyway. Then when you've have an opinion, take the shells and run the numbers through a ballistics program on line like bevold did above. Maybe bevold can help with that. See if the numbers support your experience. By all means, let us know what you learn.
     
  13. bodybuilder

    bodybuilder TS Member

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    I am suggesting that some of the cheaper target loads you can buy have less than the hardest shot in them, In that case the steel would be much harder. You are correct I will have to test both and see what happens, I just figured there were some steel shot trap shooters on here that already knew the difference.
     
  14. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Steel shooters I know seem to prefer lead because of it's weight which is transferred into breaking power. Haven't studied hardness although I always buy magnum lead shot when I buy lead.

    Those Champion targets must be very hard. No experience there.

    Now that I think of it, I believe we do need Neil here because you seem to be asking a question about pellet hardness. When you have a hard target to break, is it better to have harder pellets or softer pellets? Stated another way, is it the hardness of the pellet or the weight that does the breaking? My guess is that it's the weight, because the shot is moving so fast, soft shot wouldn't make much difference.

    Joe
     
  15. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    what about copper or nickel plated shot?
     
  16. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    targetmaster, the question of hard vs. soft was answered in the middle ages by Italian cannoneers. Specifically, hard cannon balls bounced off castle walls doing little if any damage. I have forgotten who figured it out, but when they went to soft iron balls, the balls flattened against the walls and did massive damage. The reason is the soft balls transfer more energy to the wall than hard balls.

    The same is true for trap targets. The best target breaking pellet would be a Star or Eagle 7 1/2 lead pellet. They are softer than chilled shot. I haven't used either in 4 years, but Star shot was usually rounder than Eagle. I went through bags of it one winter breaking cold or frozen bio targets. They broke with authority.
     
  17. Dr A C Jones

    Dr A C Jones Member

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    Zzt, castle walls weren't brittle or pre-stressed. I think a better example of the difference between hard and soft is a JSP 357 vs. a soft 45 ACP on bowling pins, the latter of course being much more effective despite the 357 having more energy and about the same momentum. The jury is still out on pellets vs a clay though because the pellets are so small and have so little energy. The only way to find out is s bench test.

    Andrew.
     
  18. 548

    548 Guest

    Use a full choke with 7.5's. If it doesn't break; you missed. Repeat.
     
  19. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Barfin,

    Yes, I use a full choke with #6 steel. It's an 870 fixed full. When I shot a gun that used a screw in choke, I used a steel rated choke to avoid stretch in the choke itself, which I have seen.

    Bench test! I'm interested.
     
  20. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    548, usually but not always! Evidently you haven't shot many Cement Champion targets?

    Hap
     
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