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 Post subject: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:13 am 
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I recently purchased two shotguns...one is a 12 gauuge by Marlin, Model 200 (single shot break barrel H&R style...think it's only shotgun Marlin ever produced if my info is correct) and the other is NEF 20 guage Pardner SB1 (also a single shot break barrel).

As far as I know the Marlin could only have been manufactured in 2000 marking when Marlin bought H&R 1871, LLC...only production run done with gun bearing the Marlin name.

The 20 gauge however I have yet to determine manufacture date but think if I find the right website I should be able to decifer the date from the serial number...still working on that.

Why do I care?...well that brings me to the the reason for the post.
Lead vs Steel loads.


Heard "older" shotguns not recommended to shoot steel loads...apparently not manufactured with steel shot in mind and therefore the less forgiving load material would be abusive to the gun and substantially reduce it's usable life.

Makes sense....but what is considered "older" shotgun?

If I knew that and can nail down the date of manufacture on both my newly acquired guns I'll know if steel is advisable or I should avoid it all together in the guns in question.

Anyone shed some light on this issue for me?....

Thanks in advance.
-Tom




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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:26 am 
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sportshooter wrote:
I recently purchased two shotguns...one is a 12 gauuge by Marlin, Model 200 (single shot break barrel H&R style...think it's only shotgun Marlin ever produced if my info is correct) and the other is NEF 20 guage Pardner SB1 (also a single shot break barrel).


Hello Tom,

No, Marlin has made many, many models of shotguns over the years going back to the 1898 pump, many other pumps (the Model 120 was one of their best efforts), the Model 90 O/U, and endless variations of the Model 55 bolt action.

The "200" is an H & R Topper with the Marlin name on it. As far as steel shot, the simplest answer is that a shotgun is approved for steel shot only when the manufacturer says it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:23 am 
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Well that makes the issue clearer....thanks.

Just have to seek out manufacturer specifications on my two guns and I'll have my answer.

You wouldn't happen to know the particulars on 12 gauge Marlin 200 (a.k.a. H&R Topper) or the 20 gauge NEF PArdner SB1 would ya?

If not no problem...the information you gave me already was very helpful.

I already bought some lead rounds to be on the safe side but would just like to know if steel is an option for me with these two guns.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:42 am 
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Topper Manual: http://www.hr1871.com/documents/manuals/new/Topper.pdf

Pardner Single Shot manual: http://www.hr1871.com/documents/manuals/New/pardner-single-shot.pdf


Neither factory manual is particularly informational. Likely, you "can" use steel shot but steel is not beneficial for any shotgun barrel. Marlin / H & R has to tell you either way, though. Personally, I avoid steel shot for the most part anyway, unless there is some overwhelming reason to use it. Of course, you'll hear that some folks shoot steel out of everything and they don't care.

Steel shot does not improve the bore of any shotgun, nor does it extend the life of any shotgun forcing cone or barrel.

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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:44 pm 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
sportshooter wrote:
. As far as steel shot, the simplest answer is that a shotgun is approved for steel shot only when the manufacturer says it is.

Not sure about that-
http://www.chircuprodimpex.ro/produse/a ... nition.pdf
Standard steel shot can be fired in normal proof guns. Plastic cup protects the barrel.No more than 1/2 choke


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:05 pm 
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We don't not use CIP proofs or CIP standards in the U.S.

The U.S. is not a signatory to the CIP and never has been.

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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:21 pm 
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Given a choice, use something other than steel. Overall it sucks as a projectile whether you are hunting or shooting clays. IMO more waterfowl have died a slow death and lost as a result of steel shot than have died of ingesting lead. I can't prove that but neither can they prove lead kills a significant amount of waterfowl. Kind of like the global warming garbage. EG


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:04 pm 
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I know this is an old thread but after reading it I couldn't help but feel sorry for the person asking the question. I'm thinking some people need educated on waterfowl loads. Even if you don't hunt waterfowl you have access to plenty of studies that have been done. Steel shot offered by manufactures today is very effective on both ducks and geese. Yes, HD may work better in some cases but you have the same issues as to what it can be fired through.

Funny thing occured in a triple blind study. Those recording shots fires and measuring distances found steel worked a little better than lead out to 50 yards.

As to the H&R guns, I agree a call to the manufacture is the best bet. You'll learn the single shots made in the last 10 years are safe to use with steel shot. That said they do recommend if yours is fixed full you should stay with shot sizes #2 or smaller. You'll also find steel shot sized #2 and smaller pattern like lead where shot sizes larger will likely pattern as though a tighter choke was used.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:50 pm 
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cultivateitnow wrote:

Steel shot offered by manufactures today is very effective on both ducks and geese.


Do you mean that steel is "very effective" in comparison to lead!!???
PLEASE offer the whereabouts of the "studies" that would indicate this is not a total pipe dream on your part.

cultivateitnow wrote:
Funny thing occured in a triple blind study. Those recording shots fires and measuring distances found steel worked a little better than lead out to 50 yards.


Again Please offer up the info on the "triple blind study" that shows steel is BETTER than lead........Anybody that believes steel is, as good as, equal to.....or BETTER than :lol: :P :roll: ...Lead shot, hasn't used both for waterfowl or has used them very little.........

Thankfully the U.S. isn't real big on "Permanent International Commissions" (CIP).........Art

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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:01 pm 
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cultivateitnow wrote:
I know this is an old thread but after reading it I couldn't help but feel sorry for the person asking the question. I'm thinking some people need educated on waterfowl loads. Even if you don't hunt waterfowl you have access to plenty of studies that have been done. Steel shot offered by manufactures today is very effective on both ducks and geese. Yes, HD may work better in some cases but you have the same issues as to what it can be fired through.


Steel shot has never been close to lead, much less higher density materials. In the case of five materials, Kent Tungsten Matrix, Fiocchi Tundra, Hevi-Shot Classic Doubles, Bismuth, and Nice Shot-- they can all be fired in barrels designed for lead. They are all easier on forcing cones, chokes, and barrels than steel--------- in all shotguns.

In terms of performance, steel is horribad: http://randywakeman.com/The_No_Tox_Shotshell_Problem.htm. There is no way to rationally compare it with lead or denser no-tox materials, it isn't remotely close.

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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:54 pm 
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First both of those guns are steel safe.

Now Randy, I've always had one question about that article you wrote, Why such a fast 'Lead Load' compared to a medioca 'Steel Load'? I know where your coming from with the density thing and all, I'd use lead in a heart beat if it where legal, but price wise I keep resorting back to steel versus some of the newer heavy weights. Mainly for winter time predator hunting in some frozen wetlands. In lue of lead was using some Dead Coyote shells until after looking at it ballisticly on paper that steel T's propelled at 1800 fps was putting more energy into the pellet under the 50 yard mark then was being produced in the Dead Coyote shells. By about 30% dwindling to comparable energy pellet for pellet at about the 45 yard limit. Mind you much beyond that the steel doesn't have the mass to retain the energy that heavier substitutes do. So far in use the steel T's have been performing superbly at the 30 so yards there being used at, or atleast the coyotes don't notice the differance.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:06 pm 
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McDerry wrote:

Now Randy, I've always had one question about that article you wrote, Why such a fast 'Lead Load' compared to a medioca 'Steel Load'?


It isn't.

The lead load is common hunting fare, the nominal 1330 fps load used for several decades. Velocities aren't what most people think. A stated "velocity" is not muzzle velocity at all: it is a "3 foot" muzzle velocity. Round or nearly round pellets are very poor aerodynamically, losing velocity immediately. Also, choke increases velocity due to the Venturi effect. A 1330 fps lead lead load through a nominal full choke has an actual muzzle velocity of about 1423 fps. It is still the same 1330 fps 3 ft. instrumental velocity load that has been standard for the last 50 years.

The steel load described is just as typical as the lead load is: 1450 fps 3 ft. velocity, a common area and 120 fps faster than the lead load. Actual MV of the steel load is 1523 fps. Neither the lead or the steel load compared are anything out of the ordinary, it is a very common standard type of comparison. Make more sense to you, now?

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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:47 pm 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
McDerry wrote:

Now Randy, I've always had one question about that article you wrote, Why such a fast 'Lead Load' compared to a medioca 'Steel Load'?


It isn't.

The lead load is common hunting fare, the nominal 1330 fps load used for several decades. Velocities aren't what most people think. A stated "velocity" is not muzzle velocity at all: it is a "3 foot" muzzle velocity. Round or nearly round pellets are very poor aerodynamically, losing velocity immediately. Also, choke increases velocity due to the Venturi effect. A 1330 fps lead lead load through a nominal full choke has an actual muzzle velocity of about 1423 fps. It is still the same 1330 fps 3 ft. instrumental velocity load that has been standard for the last 50 years.

The steel load described is just as typical as the lead load is: 1450 fps 3 ft. velocity, a common area and 120 fps faster than the lead load. Actual MV of the steel load is 1523 fps. Neither the lead or the steel load compared are anything out of the ordinary, it is a very common standard type of comparison. Make more sense to you, now?


Makes perfect sense now Randy. I've gotten use to seeing the muzzle velocity listed at the 3 foot mark on most available data and not the actual muzzle velocity at the muzzle. I was confusing the 1523 fps steel load as being in the same league as a 1550 fps measured at 3ft steel load. Now knowing that at 3ft its a 1330 lead compared to a 1450 steel, a very common velocity, I can see why one would say the steel hasn't a snow balls chance. At that speed the steel shot doesn't have enough energy to be making up for the density differance.


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 Post subject: Re: Steel Shot vs Lead Shot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:57 pm 
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That's it: a 1330 fps 3 ft. instrumental velocity load (#4 lead) directly compared to a 1450 fps 3 ft. instrumental velocity steel load, larger #2 steel shot.

It isn't even close, despite the larger diameter and faster steel compared to lead. No contest. The penetration data is the most important. Lead #4 is a proficient duck-whacker at 50 yards; faster, larger steel runs out of gas a bit past 30 yards.



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