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Discussion Starter #1
I have a friend that tries to tell me that steel shot is bad for your barrel, and i tell him that he is retarded. What are you guys take on this?
 

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Its not bad on barrels....just certain chokes. If shot through said chokes it can be bad on your barrel by blowing then end off the barrel. At very least bulging the barrel and ripping the threads out of it when it blows the choke out the muzzle

God didnt make all men equal colonel Sam Colt did
 

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In the early days of steel shot a lot of fixed full choke barrels, and even a few modified ones, were ringed in the choke area by shooting steel shot through them. And more than one had the bore scored rather significantly as well. Since then, the barrel steels have gotten tougher in a lot of cases (read Browning for one), and the wads in the shells have gotten a whole lot better at protecting the barrels.
I still would think twice about shooting any larger steel shot through a fixed full choke barrel. Any choke tubed barrel with a tube that says it's rated for steel should be good to go.
The above is not to imply there was anything wrong with the older Browning barrel steels. They were fine for what they were built for, which wasn't steel. My '66 GTO isn't real fond of 87 octane unleaded gas either, so I'm glad there are solutions out there.
 

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"steel shot is bad for your barrel"
I have heard for all these years how awful steel shot is for barrels. I was running my gunsmith shop about the time when steel became mandatory. It was certainly good for my business. Customers had me open many full chokes up to modified, etc. But I have never seen any gun damaged in any way by steel shot. Nor have I spoken to anyone that has had their own gun damaged by steel shot. But I have heard from hundreds who know that steel ruins gun barrels(they just never had it happen to them!). So draw your own conclusion.
 

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There are many silver soldered barreled side by side and over and under shotguns that should not be fired with steel shot. I have a Churchill Windsor 10 Gauge that is choked full / full and does not have the screw in chokes. This gun, like many, was designed in the 50's and 60's, and produced well into the 80's without any design modifications. Firing heavy charges of steel shot can cause the barrels to bulge before the choke, (about 3 inches from the muzzle), and the barrels to separate.

When the first steel shot shotshells were designed, they did not have the development the newer shells have that are currently on the market. Many were just lead loads with the lead shot replaced with steel, and the powder charges adjusted accordingly. These offered little to no barrel protection, and as a result many older shotguns were damaged by these loads. While the newer steel and tungsten loads are much better, there are still a large number of older shotguns out there that should not fire these rounds.

For these older guns Bismuth loads are safe to fire. Bismuth is a non toxic metal that is very soft, and will pass through the chokes of these older weapons without causing any damage. The downside to these loads is they are very expensive, costing over $3.00 a round for some of them. But if you have a nice older shotgun it's a small price to pay to avoid possible damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My shotty has no choke so not worried about that aspect. He was telling that the steel shot going down the barrel would scratch up the barrel and cause slight grooves. I told him that he is as crazy as a sh!thouse rat.
 

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MrWray said:
My shotty has no choke so not worried about that aspect. He was telling that the steel shot going down the barrel would scratch up the barrel and cause slight grooves. I told him that he is as crazy as a sh!thouse rat.
Iv never seen a riot gun get a scratched up barrel and I have three of em. Two are 870 avenger 12 GA that I shoot steel through all the time

God didnt make all men equal colonel Sam Colt did
 

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He was telling that the steel shot going down the barrel would scratch up the barrel and cause slight grooves.
With the newer steel shot shells currently on the market, the shot does not even touch the barrel. The problems with steel shot is associated with compression of the shot payload as it passes through the choke restriction. Even today there are some "Super Full Turkey Chokes" that are engraved "For Lead Shot Only".
 

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Interesting. I was selling and fixing guns in the '80s and I saw quite a few ringed barrels. Of course I did live in a big waterfowling area.
 

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Virginian said:
Interesting. I was selling and fixing guns in the '80s and I saw quite a few ringed barrels. Of course I did live in a big waterfowling area.
The avengers are non choked riot guns

God didnt make all men equal colonel Sam Colt did
 

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Another big problem occurred early on with steel shot. The steel shot produced in the 70's had a very high iron content in an effort to keep it as soft as possible. Waterfowl hunters hunt in very damp conditions. Many kept their shells in damp, or even wet coat pockets. What they didn't shoot they saved for the following season. A lot of this shot became severely rusted, and in the process fused itself together. When it was fired it acted more like a solid mass than it did a load of shot. This caused severe damage to many guns back then.

Today steel shells are very well sealed, and the shot itself is coated with a food grade, rust inhibiting lubricant to both prevent rust, as well as add lubricity. Some even have a granulated plastic buffer added to aid in easier compression of the shot charge as it passes through the choke.
 

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Just make sure you get a choke that is designed to handle it and you'll have nothing to worry about.
 

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One lesson a buddy of mine learned, is to store steal shot in a DRY place. He stored his in area with humid air, and the shot rusted together. He now owns a Remington 1100 with a bulged barrel. Long story short, he shot an accidental slug through a full choke.
 

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billt said:
Another big problem occurred early on with steel shot. The steel shot produced in the 70's had a very high iron content in an effort to keep it as soft as possible. Waterfowl hunters hunt in very damp conditions. Many kept their shells in damp, or even wet coat pockets. What they didn't shoot they saved for the following season. A lot of this shot became severely rusted, and in the process fused itself together. When it was fired it acted more like a solid mass than it did a load of shot. This caused severe damage to many guns back then.

Today steel shells are very well sealed, and the shot itself is coated with a food grade, rust inhibiting lubricant to both prevent rust, as well as add lubricity. Some even have a granulated plastic buffer added to aid in easier compression of the shot charge as it passes through the choke.
Check out the last post I posted. I was about to read your post (the one I quoted) right after I posted it.
 
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