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Steel Shot vs Lead

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Marplot, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. Marplot

    Marplot TS Member

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    I recently shot 5 stand over a 15 acre lake at a local club. This is part of a 600 acre spread. Beautiful and lush.

    However the owner only wants us shooting steel shot which he provides at a fair price. Cost is not the problem. I just don't like the way steel shoots. But this was the first and only time I have ever shot steel.

    I guess there is an environmental impact with lead, but is it really all that bad?

    Bill
     
  2. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Bill,

    What's your opinion after having used steel shot?
     
  3. Marplot

    Marplot TS Member

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    Joe,

    I was shooting the 5 stand there with regular lead shot because the management had not made it clear that steel shot was preferred. I shot 23 and 24 birds.

    This was not a very difficult five stand. It was set up to make new shooters feel good about breaking some birds.

    The management was very nice and offered me several boxes of steel for free. My scores dropped to 17 and 16. Did not pay close attention to the loads and powder amounts, could have been different from my normal shells. The shot size was 7 1/2, the same as my lead shot.

    An expert shooter was with me and he did a lot of complaining about how steel shot so much differently. His scores were lower also.

    They said that "average" shooters were happy if they broke ten.

    I know that I like a certain brand and load. My gun seems to digest these best for me. I think that most shooters have developed favorites that shoot well.

    I was shooting a Perazzi MX3 with 32" barrels.

    Bill
     
  4. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    Steel shot is not as good as lead. Just a fact. Lead is denser. To get steel to come close you have to go up 2 sizes and increase velocity and payload, more recoil.
     
  5. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    On the water duck hunting a friend used steel to stay within the game laws and he went back to lead and fast. The lead killed the duck and did what it was suppose to do. The steal would not. He said alot of ducks would be crippled and die someplace where you couldn't get them. When you did get a duck down you could hold the duck by the neck and shake it in the boat. You could hear the steal shot falling out of the feathers onto the boat.
     
  6. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    You have to learn with steel shot for ducks that your range is restricted and you will be wounding more ducks. If you want an eye opener use steel on a few hunts then use something as heavy as lead like tungsten matrix or hevishot. No comparison. I have been on several hunts where I shot bird for bird with my 20 gauge and one of these better alternatives while my friends were using 3 1/2 inch steel in 12 gauge. That is a fair comparison. After using a lot of steel in 12 gauge last season I used 2 3/4 inch no. 5 hevishot on my last few hunts. I couldn't believe the difference. Birds that were out of range were suddenly falling from the sky. I do think that steel shot has contributed to more ducks. Not because there are fewer ducks ingesting lead, but because steel shot is such an inferior duck killer.
     
  7. dzeh

    dzeh Member

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    There have been some studies performed in Floria that showed lead will leach into the watershed. One lead shot pellet was placed into a water sample (slightly acid to mimic a wetland environment) and the water was then analysed. Results showed the amount of lead was above the acceptable level of drinking water. Since most of Florida's drinking water is drawn from the ground I assume it's great concern to them. There've also been tests on the amount of lead pellets being injested by ducks and lead levels found in them. I shoot SC's at Nemacolin in PA and some of their stations are over water. I'm surprised that the PA DEP hasn't said anything about it or maybe they don't know. In a years time there must be hundreds of pounds of lead going into that stream there. I haven't tried steel yet. I've also heard things about plated shot not leaching. Don't know much about that.
     
  8. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Answering your last question first - no. There is some really good science about lead migration and mobility.

    With regard to shooting steel for clays - unless you make an effort to shoot with it... inconsistency will rule.

    If you expect to shoot with steel in the future - understand how your gun uses steel shot - pattern the gun to determine which chokes work best - even a "full". Then shoot the gun with enough consistency to shoot it well.

    Lots of naysayers about steel, but if I can break 99/100 with 3/4 oz of #7 steel pushing it 1100 fps at 16 yards and 90+ from 21, you can break a fairer share of 5-Stand targets using 1oz+ with "some" practice...

    Pattern and practice to get your scores up!

    regards all,

    jay
     
  9. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    As with Global warming, steel is here to stay. Sad to say!

    Forcing the shooting world to steel has the same science behind it as does Global warming!

    "Acceptable Levels" again, Government Set! Alar scare ring a bell with anyone?

    A friend of mine who is a avid duck and goose hunter, has only found one steel shot that "works"(his opionion) Its made in japan and costs $36 for a box the size of about 3x3x1!

    Lead will alway work better in Killing, what you shoot at.

    Be careful in what you read and beleive when it has Science attacted to it these days!
     
  10. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    They say with steel to go two sizes bigger to equal lead. But let's just go 1 1/2 sizes. Compare your no. 7 steel to no. 8 1/2 lead. Your 3/4 ounce steel load has 316 pellets in it. That compares to 363 pellets in a 3/4 ounce load of 8 1/2 lead. So yes you can use steel. It would be just like using a 3/4 ounce load of lead no. 8's, or a standard 28 gauge load.
     
  11. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    I agree with the above. I put the lead shot scare right up there with global warming. All they have to do is say the sky is falling and we fall right into line.
     
  12. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    I went on line to read the symptoms of lead poisoning in birds. I hunted for years every season when lead shot was legal. Even with dogs we never found any birds with these symptoms. I am reading the same thing about doves now. But, just like with ducks, not finding the evidence on my trips to the field every year. Typical of the government they take some worst case scenario then exaggerate it to take away a freedom. Like I said before, I do think steel shot has been beneficial to waterfowl. But only because it is such a pitiful substitute for lead shot when shooting ducks. The ban never made any sense beyond a very few very heavily hunted areas.
     
  13. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    I agree, lead poisoning is not a Myth, the key word is "ingested". A little histroy lesson, at the beginning, the government was agaist it, but "caved" to the arguement of:

    Bottom feeders were ingesting lead shot and becomeing poisoned, then our National Bird the Bald Eagle was ingesting the dead bird as food. Thus killing our protected bird from lead poisoning. WE can not tolarate that! Hince we now have to use steel shot for waterfowl, soon to be ALL game birds!

    I personally seen the reports at a Federal operated fish hatchery over the governments fight against steel. They had compiled the reports for and against going to steel. Even the report on the Bald Eagle. Which showed "NO" eagle turned into the game departments were proven to have died from "lead" poisoning. What it did show was the morjoity died from "aburpt trauma" WHAT?

    They died from flying into; tall buildings , power lines, and the last if not least - They flew into other EAGLE's (sex! for those who don't know about the birds and the bees)
     
  14. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

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    Lets see.... We have fewer ducks now then ay any time since I have hunted them. This has occurred since steel shot became the law of the land. Our local branch of the Oregon Dept of Fish& wildlife claimed that 10% of the birds they examined ( cleaned out the gizzards) contained lead shot. That same year I cleaned the gizzards of over 200 mallards and I found 1 piece of lead shot and 2 pieces of steel shot. I watched them clean the gizzards... No big scientific study... just like panning for gold. They run water over the contents until all the light mater washed away with the water, the rocks. lead and sand were left behind. It's was complete and utter bullshit and I told them so. We also heard the argument about these sick birds that went off a died in the weeds. They must have been more of those magic birds with the lead in them. Magic in that they left no scent behind as our dogs never found them. Funny thing... when our dogs did find birds that we had not shot that all had lead poisoning in the form of holes in them. Usually from steel pellets. They did manage to get a whole bunch of guys to quite duck hunting for fear of hurting their guns. Back door Gun control perhaps?

    I know one thing for sure... It sure hasn't helped the ducks any. The Eagles have been taken off the endangered species list though. So it's been a huge success at the cost of lost hunters dollars that would have been used for conservation of more ground for ducks and Eagles. Every act has a consequence on every other.

    If you must use steel for ducks... Use at least 3 sizes bigger and shoot it at 1400FPS or faster. It can take the speed without deforming. Jeff
     
  15. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    For the majority of hunters (bunny busters, skybusters & pilgrims), steel should be outlawed. They rarely practice and have no clue as to how their guns pattern with different loads, etc.

    Steel can be very lethal when used by someone that knows what they're doing.

    Curt
     
  16. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Your right Curt, about practice, practice, practice.

    My dad could knock down waterfowl with a 410, seen him do it. there is a art to everything. Lead is just more efficent then steel.

    And yes, steel should be outlawed!
     
  17. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    What steel did was give everyone a 20 gauge. A 20 gauge with lead equals a 12 gauge with steel. You could always kill ducks or pheasants with a 20 gauge and lead, shooters had to learn that a 12 gauge with steel has the same limitations as the smaller gauge with lead. Once you learn your limitations they can be effective. In target shooting it doesn't really matter as long as everyone is equally handicapped.
     
  18. Marplot

    Marplot TS Member

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    My original question was lead bad for the environment?

    We are shooting clay. Some of this is over water. Some is over land.

    Does the lead poison fish, the water, or other critters that have not been shot, but might eat it? Or the plants from having the clay in the soil?
     
  19. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Tests of water run off in the pond next to our club turned up negative for lead. Park District has to test it every time there's run off.

    Do know that steel rusts.
     
  20. scott calhoun

    scott calhoun Well-Known Member

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    Jay -

    I was trying to keep this kind of quiet, but now that you are on here bragging about your 99x100 with .75 oz of steel I'm going to have set the record straight . . .

    We had a guy in the traphouse shooting all of your targets as they came out of the house - HE only missed one!

    Scott

    (It's 3:30 am on Saturday, I'm at work, and will probably be here until 6 pm). I need to do something for entertainment).
     
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