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Steel shot cartridges

1041 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  astomb
How good are they? Are they a viable alternative to lead?Noisier? Punchier? What about Timber damage? Environment pollution (rust in the water course)Cheaper?
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Swamp Yankee is mostly right. Lead is not nearly the environmental problem it once was. When it was in gasoline and paint it was ingested by people at an alarming rate and caused problems.

Lead is a problem for waterfowl and other birds if they ingest it thinking it is a seed. Lead is soluble in low AND high pH water and it can move in the few streams that have these types of water.

Shooting should not occur where the shot fall is over shallow waters. If you make the water 6 feet deep or deeper no waterfowl can get the shot. It can be shot over. We should phase out stands where shooting is over shallow water. There should not be a lead shooting ban, but we need to do our part to manage shot fall and reclaim it when possible.

I have shot steel #7 and 6 shot at clay targets and you get good breaks.
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Here are some answers for you.

How good are they? patterns tighter no flyers and good to 35 yards.

Are they a viable alternative to lead? yes, but lead is not a real problem in most places.

Noisier? about the same.

Punchier? Huh? you get good breaks with #7 to 40 yards.
What about Timber damage? less than lead but if the tree grows around the injury I bet it gives fits to chainsaws.
Environment pollution (rust in the water course) not a problem Cheaper? nope about 2.5 X the cost of lead loads. and hard to reload.

I hope that helps.
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Deadpair, you are dead wrong on this one.

Getting lead shot out of the marshes was one of the best things that has been done. I have read the original published work by Dr. Frank Belrose and others and subsequent studies on lead posioning frequency in eastern Kansas. The problem of lead poisoning was real, widespread and a significant motality factor. 6% of ducks stopping at eastern Kansas duck clubs and a public marsh in the fall had lead pellets in their crops or gizzards. Many of these pellets were thought to have been picked up on site.

There is no need to bring up the crippling loss issue; it was shown to be a bogus issue in the mid 80s. We have had to use steel shot for almost 20 years now. it is time to give up these specious arguments and get over it.
Brister wrote about barrel damage after using very early versions of steel shot loads. They are much better now. Most guns of recent manufacture can safely shoot steel loads. About 8 years after he wrote the book Brister came out infavor of the lead ban for waterfowl hunting.

You do not see the birds that become ill they often stay in the heavy cover and do not fly once they become ill. I have seen only two lead poisoned birds in 50 years, but I have seen Frank Belrose's data and video and seen the data taken in eastern Kansas.

Recoil and noise are much the same and you get more pellets in the pattern as Chris Ferres pointed out. The price of light steel loads has come down a lot in the last few years.
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