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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the whole shotgun thing. I am in the process (through layaway) of buying a Remington 870 Express. That really has nothing to do with my question really.

My question is - What is the difference (besides the obvious) in the different types of shot, like lead, steel, etc...???

Thanks
 

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Lead generally has more range and downing power to it because of its higher density. But for waterfowl non-toxic shot is required so steel is the least expensive choice. With steel 2 sizes larger shot is about equal to lead in performance but you don't get as many pellets either.
 

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Okay, I'll tackle it.

Lead is heavy, (specific gravity of 11 compared to steel at 7, various tungsten alloys between 9 and 10, and bismuth around 10) but it is not legal for waterfowl hunting in the U.S. Lead takes up less space in the shell. It also carries more energy per pellet than other materials in the same size of shot at the same velocity simply because energy is a function of pellet weight.

Steel shot is basically iron, and it and the tungsten alloys are hard enough to do damage to shotgun barrels without a plastic sleeve around the shot load. They tend to deform less in shooting than lead and bismuth.

There is more to know about shot as far as sizes, loadings, etc., but this is the basics of the difference in materials.
 

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Spacegold: I was not aware that bismuth shot was not legal in the U.S. I beleive that lots of waterfowl hunters are shooting KENT cartridge company. Bismuth matrix shotgun shells.
 

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tamccain, first off let me welcome you to SGW, Isee this is your first of many posting in the future. Its always nice to have new people in here.

Other than the obvious they all have thier place in the shooting world.

Lead- used for target shooting usually 7 1/2 down to 9 is the norm

it is also used for hunting upland birds and rodents i.e. rabbits, squirels and such

or for home defense

Steel, tungsten, bismith and all other non toxic shots are primarily used for waterfowl hunting.

Size of shot the higher the number the smaller the pellet size

Then there is the price difference which I am sure you are well aware of.
 

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tamccain said:
I am new to the whole shotgun thing. I am in the process (through layaway) of buying a Remington 870 Express. That really has nothing to do with my question really.

My question is - What is the difference (besides the obvious) in the different types of shot, like lead, steel, etc...???

Thanks
What are you planning on shooting? There's plenty of guys here that would be happy to give you a specific recommendation for ammunition (some of them might even be right :wink: ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bug Doc said:
tamccain said:
I am new to the whole shotgun thing. I am in the process (through layaway) of buying a Remington 870 Express. That really has nothing to do with my question really.

My question is - What is the difference (besides the obvious) in the different types of shot, like lead, steel, etc...???

Thanks
What are you planning on shooting? There's plenty of guys here that would be happy to give you a specific recommendation for ammunition (some of them might even be right :wink: ).
To begin with I am planning on hunting quail, but I would also like to try my hand at turkey hunting at some point in the future, so it looks like I am ok to stick with lead shot for these things.
 

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A500R said:
Spacegold: I was not aware that bismuth shot was not legal in the U.S. I beleive that lots of waterfowl hunters are shooting KENT cartridge company. Bismuth matrix shotgun shells.
Please note the use of parenthesis above; "Lead is heavy, (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) but it is not legal for waterfowl hunting in the U.S."
 
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