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 Post subject: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:44 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:21 pm
Posts: 30
I recently listened to Tom Roster on Marty Fischer’s Wing and Clay Nation. He made a comment about #6 steel being excellent for clay targets and providing more breaks than 7.5 lead, even at distance. I’m curious to see what other shooters have to say on this topic. I’ve shot a bunch of steel at ducks and geese but it’s usually #3-BB. I understand the difference in density and hardness. I just wonder if the larger, harder pellets provide a real world advantage, especially over softer lead shot. What do you guys think?



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 Post subject: Re: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:53 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 5859
I’m sure with proper choke for distance he’s right.

But many clay ranges specify max shot size of 7.5, with no allowance for steel.


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 Post subject: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:12 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:37 pm
Posts: 1043
Location: colorado
For the distances for most of the clay games, it probably works fine. I have often thought there is a market for a target steel wad. Steel shot should be less expensive than lead. The down sides are more recoil, need to shoot it a bit faster 100-150fps and it bounces/ricochets easily. With proper wads and chokes it’s not an issue in guns. Right now the only good steel wads are more expensive than a standard target wads.

I do like heavy non toxic shot for hunting, but it’s far too expensive for targets.


Last edited by slotracer577 on Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:13 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:58 pm
Posts: 1409
Location: Oklahoma
Trent -- Not sure about any "real world advantage" from the larger and harder #6 steel shot, but I would imagine, if you put the pattern on the target then #6 steel will break'em!

Here are a few of my pattern numbers comparing a 1-ounce #6 steel load to a 1-ounce #7.5 lead load to give you an idea of their patterning performance.

Patterning results from a 12-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels using Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER XPERT GAME & TARGET STEEL LOAD
1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) @ 1325 fps

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA XTRA-LITE TARGET LOAD
1 oz #7 1/2 lead (344 pellets) @ 1180 fps

30 YARDS
Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – CYL / 184 (60%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – CYL / 194 (56%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – SK / 234 (76%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – SK / 248 (72%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – IC / 261 (85%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – IC / 288 (84%)

40 YARDS
Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – LM / 220 (72%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – LM / 260 (76%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – M / 222 (73%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – M / 272 (79%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – IM / 227 (74%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – IM / 255 (74%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – LF / 229 (75%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – LF / 271 (79%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – F / 234 (76%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – F / 275 (80%)

50 YARDS
Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #6 steel (306 pellets) – F / 162 (53%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 ½ lead (344 pellets) – F / 183 (53%)

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:55 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:21 pm
Posts: 30
Joe Hunter that’s exactly the kind of info I was interested in! I currently shoot 1oz 7.5s middle of the road Rios that the club sells. I like to explore and experiment with shell/choke combos but realize it’s a small part of the equation. I doubt I’ll change anything but I found Tom’s comment interesting and can see the logic behind it for sure. It’s really interesting that neither load really showed much difference in pattern percentage from M-F.

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 Post subject: Re: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:57 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:02 am
Posts: 2470
Location: KS
FWIW, If we live long enough most of us will probably gain practical experience with #6 steel for clay targets.

Lead is already being banned in CA, ostensibly for reasons of environmental toxicity, and I suspect that the rest of the country will follow eventually - either because of federal legislation or, more slowly, state by state.


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 Post subject: Re: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:46 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:58 pm
Posts: 1409
Location: Oklahoma
Trent -- Glad those numbers were helpful. For clays inside of 40 yard, the #7 steel pellet will give you better pattern density. I've shot a good deal many of the #7 steel load at Skeet, 5-stand and sporting over the years. Here are a few of my pattern numbers comparing the #7 steel load against a #8 lead load.

Patterning results from a 12-gauge Browning Citori with 28" Invector-plus barrels using Briley flush chokes (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER XPERT GAME & TARGET STEEL LOAD
1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) @ 1325 fps

12 GA 2 3/4" WINCHESTER AA XTRA-LITE TARGET LOAD
1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) @ 1180 fps

30 YARDS
Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – CYL / 231 (53%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – CYL / 218 (55%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – SK / 319 (73%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – SK / 256 (65%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – IC / 363 (83%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – IC / 305 (78%)

40 YARDS
Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – LM / 278 (64%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – LM / 251 (64%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – M / 286 (65%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – M / 292 (74%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – IM / 300 (69%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – IM / 295 (75%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – LF / 306 (70%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – LF / 294 (75%)

Win Xpert 2 3/4" 1 oz #7 steel (437 pellets) – F / 299 (68%)
Win AA 2 3/4" 1 oz #8 lead (393 pellets) – F / 288 (73%)

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: #6 steel vs #7.5 lead
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:33 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:27 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Kansas
My local ranges don't allow anything bigger than 7.5, so my experience is non-existant here. Finding a steel / non-toxic load in 7.5 or smaller is darn near impossible in this part of the country without spending a million dollars. Not to be hyperbolic or anything.



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