Difference in steel shot

Discussion in 'Shooting - Reloading Forum' started by Dr Duk, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Joe Hunter

    Joe Hunter Senior Refuge Member

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    The only way to REALLY know how they perform is to pattern them with your choke and at the distance you intend to use them!

    Here are a few of my pattern numbers for your consideration.

    Patterning results from a 12-gauge 3-inch Remington 870 Special Purpose with a 28-inch barrel and factory flush Rem-chokes (pattern average of five, 30-inch post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, in-shell pellet count average of five, and true choke constriction from bore gauge).

    40 YARDS Mod. (.018” const.)
    Remington Sportsman 2 3/4" 1 1/8 oz #4 steel (218 pellets) pattern 164 (75%)

    Winchester Xpert 2 3/4" 1 1/8 oz #3 steel (162 pellets) pattern 111 (69%)
    Federal Speed-Shok (old) 3" 1 1/4 oz #3 steel (186 pellets) pattern 128 (69%)
    Remington Sportsman 3" 1 1/4 oz #3 steel (193 pellets) pattern 146 (76%)

    Winchester Xpert 3" 1 1/4 oz #3 steel (195 pellets) pattern 131 (67%)

    Remington Sportsman 2 3/4" 1 1/8 oz #2 steel (139 pellets) pattern 116 (83%)
    Remington Hyper-Sonic 3" 1 1/8 oz #2 steel (141 pellets) pattern 78 (55%)

    Federal Speed-Shok (old) 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (154 pellets) pattern 115 (75%)
    Federal Ultra-Shok 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (147 pellets) pattern 109 (74%)
    Federal Black Cloud (old) 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (144 pellets) pattern 92 (64%)
    Fiocchi Golden 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (156 pellets) pattern 115 (74%)
    Hevi-Metal 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 / #5 (164 pellets) pattern 93 (58%)
    HEVI-STEEL 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (148 pellets) pattern 100 (68%)
    Kent Fasteel 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (155 pellets) pattern 103 (66%)
    Kent Silver Steel 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (153 pellets) pattern 112 (73%)
    Remington Sportsman 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (152 pellets) pattern 110 (72%)
    Remington Nitro Steel 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (151 pellets) pattern 117 (77%)
    Winchester Xpert 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (146 pellets) pattern 106 (73%)
    Winchester Drylok Super-X 3" 1 1/4 oz #2 steel (162 pellets) pattern 121 (75%)

    Winchester Blind Side 3" 1 3/8 oz #2 steel (176 pellets) pattern 104 (59%)

    Remington Sportsman 3" 1 1/4 oz BB steel (85 pellets) pattern 70 (82%)

    Now you can be the judge!
     
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  2. Ravenanme

    Ravenanme Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks Joe this is good info to analyze but one needs to shoot , their chosen load at the distance they shoot birds , on a average , and see how many holes
    there are in the patterns ! Steel Shot that's true to size , polished smooth , flies straighter and develops more consistent patterns . With loading my own
    ammo I can see the difference , along with the patterns I shoot . This is more so important with loads that are being pushed much faster ( Velocity ) , with
    any imperfection or roughness in the shot , air resistance changes its course of flight !
     
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  3. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    I think you'd be pleasantly surprised if you shot the Remington Sportsman or the Federal Speed Shok (the "cheapies") being made today. I've been shooting them for the last ten years, in temps down to below zero Fahrenheit (that includes LOTS of days of single-digit temperatures) and have never had a blooper.
    I've also never had a rusting problem with the shot in either of those, even though neither has plated shot. Take reasonable care of your ammo and even unplated shot will perform quite well after five or six years in the ammo closet.
     
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  4. Fogie

    Fogie Elite Refuge Member

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    When I did shoot the cheapies maybe 20 something ago, a face full of unburned/burning powder and an unsatisfying pop was what I got, even worse below 0...cardboard discs flying about. Drylocks or Express were the preferred for sure, think Sportsman was the worst.
    Our ammo and guns don't rust in storage here, they keep forever with no care, special dehumidifiers or whatever. Its nice, considering what I hear from elsewhere.
    Remember the red Activ steel shells? Lordy....poop, couldn't wait to burn the last of those.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  5. oleww

    oleww Elite Refuge Member

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    I think any of today’s cheap promo loads will best any off the older premium loads.
     
  6. stoneyhu717

    stoneyhu717 Senior Refuge Member

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    I tend to stay with the less expensive ammo. Last season I mainly used Rio, because it was the least expensive ammo available. I bagged more birds than any of the guys hunting with me. This year I’ll likely shoot whatever I can get my hands on due to the shortage. I’ve currently got a hodgepodge of ammo stocked up. My daughter and GF will get the 3” ammo I’ve got saved. Unless I can find some more 3”, I’ll likely have to settle for shooting the Fiochi and Kent 3.5” #2s I had saved for Snow Geese.
     
  7. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    How cold does it actually get where you duck hunt?
     
  8. Fogie

    Fogie Elite Refuge Member

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    been in 10-15 below at Sunnyside, below zero was standard in those days. Used to hunt there the whole season when I was much younger and back before/during the transition to steel.
     
  9. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    Interesting, didn't think it got that cold in the waterfowl areas there. I've noticed a general reduction in performance when temps get in the negatives, but I've not noted it being worse with Xperts than other brands. Except when I run out during a trip, Xperts are the brand I usually shoot due to both price and availability. Your favorite brand is a good one too, but they aren't as commonly available here as in some other areas.
     
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  10. Fogie

    Fogie Elite Refuge Member

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    yes...all of the cheaper were weak, it seemed. I shot steel to see what was up before we were mandated, was curious and it was very bad. The good stuff was much better, even then, imo.
    White River Valley is a brutal place, hot in Summer and crazy cold in Winter...my Pop always refused to go there except in Spring and Fall.
     

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