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 Post subject: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Today I ran out of my normal shells so, I opened up a couple boxes I've had laying around. These were loaded with steel shot instead of lead. I've never used steel before.

They were Rio, 2 3/4", 1oz, steel, 1325FPS loads.

The first round was just abysmal. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. Took the whole round, but the POI with these was at least 2' lower than I'm used to.

I raised my comb for the next round and it was much better.

I had no idea, or at least don't understand why, that these would change the POI that much. Live and learn. Don't think I'll be using steel anymore.



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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:10 am 
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Waterfowl hunters learned this lesson years ago. We were forced by law to quite using lead shot and convert to steel. The first ammo available was slow with slow poor performance. Had a hard time hitting and killing ducks past 35 yards. Steel loads have vastly improved in performance over the last decade, although these changes had to be learned and relearned a faster delivery.

Today, I wouldn't go back to lead loads for waterfowl, but it was a frustrating journey. The sport lost a lot of lifetime duck hunters to the frustration.

Maltz

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:23 am 
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I can't think of any good explanation as to why steel would shoot that much lower than lead. I know that in a .44 magnum revolver, 240 grain bullets have a much higher point of impact than 180 grain bullets, that's because the 240 grain bullet spends more time in the barrel as the recoil lifts the barrel.
But, one ounce is one ounce whether it's steel or lead.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:17 am 
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I would think the steel slows down faster since it has less mass compared to a pellet with the same size & surface area, so maybe it dropped a bit faster. I'm probably sounding dumb on this topic already, so I'll leave it to those more knowledgeable who have done the research.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:52 am 
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DallasCMT wrote:
I would think the steel slows down faster since it has less mass compared to a pellet with the same size & surface area, so maybe it dropped a bit faster. I'm probably sounding dumb on this topic already, so I'll leave it to those more knowledgeable who have done the research.


In order to drop two feet, you would need a time of flight of about .35 seconds. I don't think steel slows down that much. Even #9 lead shot at 1150 fps muzzle velocity has a .151 second time of flight to 40 yards, with a residual velocity of 605 fps.

With most shotgun loads, you run out of pellet energy and pattern long before bullet drop becomes a factor.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Doug,

I had the same experience. I typically shoot 24s and 25s with an occasional 23 thrown in. One of my clubs, Winchester Canyon, was required to go to steel shot. I showed up to shoot trap league and posted a 19 from 16 and a 20 from 21 after raising my comb. I went out to my other club and took my patterning set up. At 13 yards steel was 2 inches lower and instead of a hole in the paper that my IM choke makes, I got a pattern. I only shot league a couple of more times and even taking the comb up never did post a decent score. This is a league I had won the previous 2 years with about a 47 average.

If I shoot league this coming year I think I will pull out another gun and see if I can get it set up to shoot the same sight picture as the Perazzi with lead.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:50 pm 
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The 2' comment was not really a quality measurement. More born out of frustration.

I was using an IC choke with the steel loads. So, I was probably using a much more open pattern than normal. I usually use a F choke with lead.

I really had to center these targets. I probably only moved my actual pattern up about 4" and I had to just cover the target. My last round was a 22 which is OK. I'm normally 23-25 and had run 50 straight just prior to going to the steel loads.

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:39 pm 
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It can depend on how you shoot. A slower load will shoot lower if you hold a higher gun with little vertical movement. However, if you swing through the target- which is what I do-the slower load will shoot higher because the barrel will be farther past the target when the shot leaves the barrel.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:07 pm 
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While I think I understand why you might say that dickgtax, I don't think it makes a difference.

These times are dependent on a 34" barrel. With a shorter barrel the times will only be smaller.

1290FPS muzzle velocity = .0022 seconds before the shot exits the muzzle
1150FPS muzzle velocity = .0025 seconds before the shot exits the muzzle
This represents a reasonable range of Trap loads.

That means there is a .3 millisecond difference between the times the shot leaves the muzzle. The amount you move the muzzle in that time is insignificant to POI. So, no, I don't think a slower muzzle velocity will shoot higher because you swing through the target. This is similar to a skeet shooter saying they can spread the shot by swinging through the target; doesn't happen.

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:23 pm 
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No matter what anybody says about “improvement” in steel shot; it still sucks in comparison to lead, tungsten and bismuth.

The only way that overcome this (at least for waterfowl hunting to which I am specifically commenting on), is with much higher velocity and payloads; which punish both hunters and any older gun barrels.


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:01 am 
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Rastoff wrote:
That means there is a .3 millisecond difference between the times the shot leaves the muzzle. The amount you move the muzzle in that time is insignificant to POI.

Have to agree with that: three ten-thousandths of a second is a very short period of time. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:09 am 
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It probably had as much to do with using an IC choke. Small #7 pellets of steel still need a tight choke. Try a IM or a steel rated full choke.

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 Post subject: Re: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Since you bring up chokes... Lets see what the pattern board said about steel vs lead target loads, in my gun/chokes anyway!

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: What a difference a shell makes.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:08 pm 
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maltzahn wrote:
Waterfowl hunters learned this lesson years ago. We were forced by law to quite using lead shot and convert to steel. The first ammo available was slow with slow poor performance. Had a hard time hitting and killing ducks past 35 yards. Steel loads have vastly improved in performance over the last decade, although these changes had to be learned and relearned a faster delivery.

Today, I wouldn't go back to lead loads for waterfowl, but it was a frustrating journey. The sport lost a lot of lifetime duck hunters to the frustration.

Maltz

I’d go back to lead for ducks and geese in a heart beat! Well if hunt out west where we don’t have the same soil.



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