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John Singer
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:48 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 03 Sep 2014
Posts: 107
Location: Brooklyn, MI

This may be of interest to some when it comes to using steel or hevishot for game:

http://nrd.csktribes.org/images/tomroster2016-17.jpg

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16gaugeguy
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:11 am  Reply with quote
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Comparing Hevi-shot tungsten/nicke/iron alloy pellets to steel pellets is like comparing a horse and buggy to a modern automobile IMO. The original Hevi-shot alloy has a higher specific gravity than lead, so it carries up and penetrates better than lead. It is harder and does not flatten out on impact which also helps the penetration and breaks bones better. Smaller Hevi-shot pellets at more moderate velocities will cleanly kill at least as good as bigger lead pellets. Steel shot isn't even in the running here.

Also keep in mind that both Remington and Federal have developed their own heavier than lead alloy pellets. Competition in the market place is usually a good thing for us consumers. I'd look into these newest offerings to see what's what.

Of course, if we can still use lead pellets where we hunt for upland birds, then by all means do so. Lead shot has been cleanly killing pheasants and other upland species for over three centuries. That's an excellent track record.
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John Singer
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:52 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 03 Sep 2014
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Location: Brooklyn, MI

16gaugeguy, Do you have any experience shooting 16 gauge steel shot for pheasants?

I have no basis to disagree with you that bismuth and hevishot or some tungsten-iron shot will kill pheasants. I have no experience with any of those.

I have some extensive experience with lead shot and steel shot for both pheasants and ducks.

As I stated earlier, I have killed pheasants with my 16 gauge using #4, #3, and #2 steel. Most of the birds that I shoot are engaged at ranges between 25 and 35 yards. Within that range, a 16 gauge gun, properly choked will kill pheasants with steel shot.

I use my 16 gauge gun with #3 steel and #1 steel to kill ducks regularly. I also use #2 steel at times. Most of the time, I shoot as well or better than my hunting partners using 12 gauge guns.

The chokes on my gun are modified and light modified. I have no reason to carry an 8+ lb 12 gauge gun in a pheasant field.

As you stated, lead shot has been used to kill pheasants for many years. But realize too, hunters have wounded and lost pheasants with lead shot for...oh the same number of years that they have used it to kill pheasants.

I have never said that steel is as effective as lead. One must use larger steel at higher velocities and closer ranges than lead. Within those limitations, steel is effective.

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AmericanMeet
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:53 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 26 Apr 2010
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Location: NCWa

I was talking to a Dept of wildlife biologist yesterday and discussed his observations of pheasants v steel shot. He said that he had checked hundreds of pheasants that were shot on game dept sites where no-tox shot is required. The results showed that steel #4 was the least effective shot size. this was due to most pheasants being hit from the rear and the 4s didn't have enough push to carry the ball of feathers up into the birds vital organs. #2 steel shot did have enough push to make it a killing shot; also #6 steel shot, while not having potential to make it to the vital organs, had significantly more shot in the pattern making a head shot more likely. So it was go big or go many, but don't split the difference.
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16GAwaterfowler
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:30 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2005
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AmericanMeet wrote:
I was talking to a Dept of wildlife biologist yesterday and discussed his observations of pheasants v steel shot. He said that he had checked hundreds of pheasants that were shot on game dept sites where no-tox shot is required. The results showed that steel #4 was the least effective shot size. this was due to most pheasants being hit from the rear and the 4s didn't have enough push to carry the ball of feathers up into the birds vital organs. #2 steel shot did have enough push to make it a killing shot; also #6 steel shot, while not having potential to make it to the vital organs, had significantly more shot in the pattern making a head shot more likely. So it was go big or go many, but don't split the difference.

Big reason is a lot of people use upland or game steel loads for nontoxic area use, which most of them are on the lame side when it comes to velocity and downrange killing power. If people used High Velocity waterfowl rounds they would not be having the amount of problems they are with other game such as pheasants, it's not the 1960's anymore and 1300 fps steel rounds will not kill out to extended ranges. After hunting with steel for close to 20 years on ducks and geese I can verify that part.
Here's a 16 gauge 7/8 oz #3 steel at 1600 fps @ 35 yards, it kills large fat mallards out to 45 yards, I would have no problems using this on pheasants.
[URL=http://s1218.photobucket.com/user/Joe_Speroni/media/IMG_0007_zps75d5a4bb.jpg.html] [/URL]
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John Singer
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:54 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 03 Sep 2014
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Location: Brooklyn, MI

AmericanMeet wrote:
I was talking to a Dept of wildlife biologist yesterday and discussed his observations of pheasants v steel shot. He said that he had checked hundreds of pheasants that were shot on game dept sites where no-tox shot is required. The results showed that steel #4 was the least effective shot size. this was due to most pheasants being hit from the rear and the 4s didn't have enough push to carry the ball of feathers up into the birds vital organs. #2 steel shot did have enough push to make it a killing shot; also #6 steel shot, while not having potential to make it to the vital organs, had significantly more shot in the pattern making a head shot more likely. So it was go big or go many, but don't split the difference.


I have a question. What killed the pheasants that this wildlife biologist was checking?

It sounds like this biologist was parroting the work that was published in a study by Tom Roster on the lethality of steel shot on pheasants. In that study, 12 gauge 1 oz loads of #6, #4, #2 steel shot were used. I think the velocity of these rounds was about 1375 fps.

I printed a hard copy of this study several years ago and it is now in storage as I am moving soon. I recall a discussion of the effects of shot entering the backside of the birds and balling up with the marabou like feathers.

I am having difficulty finding a link but here is a quote that I could find.

"At distances of less than 40 yards, where the hunters in this test, when not constrained to fire at certain distance increments, took most of their shots, 86.5 percent of birds bagged with No. 2 steel were B-1, dead or immobile within 30 seconds. At less than 40 yards, No. 4 produced a 73 percent B-1 rate, and No. 6 produced a 75 percent B-1 rate.

What that means to hunters who need to make a choice between steel shot loads is that of all birds bagged, No. 2 steel produced a higher percentage of clean kills than the other two steel shot sizes tested.

The other side of the equation is wounding loss...
Of all birds struck with the No. 2 steel load, 108 were retrieved and 10 were lost, an 8.5 percent wounding loss rate. No. 6 steel produced a 13.6 percent wounding loss, and No. 4 steel came in with a 14.3 percent wounding rate."

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16GAwaterfowler
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:48 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2005
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Quote:
sounds like this biologist was parroting the work that was published in a study by Tom Roster on the lethality of steel shot on pheasants. In that study, 12 gauge 1 oz loads of #6, #4, #2 steel shot were used. I think the velocity of these rounds was about 1375 fps.

Sounds about right it's the only thing most of them have to go on, 14 years ago when I was doing some steel shot work for our state game department, I brought the chronograph to the range to show some of the hirer ups what could be done with steel loads. They couldn't wrap their heads around 1700 fps steel loads back then, obviously things haven't changed much.
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A5Mag12
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:32 pm  Reply with quote
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I don't think anyone is saying you can't kill pheasants with steel shot. But I will say if you are going to get consistent kills with steel it needs to be the fast stuff. Don't waste money on slow steel. 1300 fps steel should not be used unless you know your shots will be in the 20 yard range. 7/8 oz of steel 3's going 1550 fps plus should work well enough with some adjustment on the shooter. It aint like shooting lead. Leads will have to be adjusted. Up close you're getting there faster than lead but farther out you are getting there later than lead. And even though it's a light shot charge by old standards it's speed can still makes it a harsh shooting load. And still not safe in most of the finer 16's out there.
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16GAwaterfowler
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:38 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2005
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Location: missouri

A5Mag12 wrote:
I don't think anyone is saying you can't kill pheasants with steel shot. But I will say if you are going to get consistent kills with steel it needs to be the fast stuff. Don't waste money on slow steel. 1300 fps steel should not be used unless you know your shots will be in the 20 yard range. 7/8 oz of steel 3's going 1550 fps plus should work well enough with some adjustment on the shooter. It aint like shooting lead. Leads will have to be adjusted. Up close you're getting there faster than lead but farther out you are getting there later than lead. And even though it's a light shot charge by old standards it's speed can still makes it a harsh shooting load. And still not safe in most of the finer 16's out there.

Biggest problem is so many are using older thin walled barrel guns which are not steel shot capable in most instances. Modern 16 gauge guns that have choke tubes and can take higher pressures are few and far between, if you do have one and can use modern high pressure ammunition the difference is very clear.
For my duck gun I use one of the 1100's built on a 12 ga frame, it's heavy for a 16 but it has a very thick walled barrel, choke tubes and gets the job done nicely with all steel shot loads.
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16gaugeguy
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:24 am  Reply with quote
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16GAwaterfowler wrote:
A5Mag12 wrote:
I don't think anyone is saying you can't kill pheasants with steel shot. But I will say if you are going to get consistent kills with steel it needs to be the fast stuff. Don't waste money on slow steel. 1300 fps steel should not be used unless you know your shots will be in the 20 yard range. 7/8 oz of steel 3's going 1550 fps plus should work well enough with some adjustment on the shooter. It aint like shooting lead. Leads will have to be adjusted. Up close you're getting there faster than lead but farther out you are getting there later than lead. And even though it's a light shot charge by old standards it's speed can still makes it a harsh shooting load. And still not safe in most of the finer 16's out there.

Biggest problem is so many are using older thin walled barrel guns which are not steel shot capable in most instances. Modern 16 gauge guns that have choke tubes and can take higher pressures are few and far between, if you do have one and can use modern high pressure ammunition the difference is very clear.
For my duck gun I use one of the 1100's built on a 12 ga frame, it's heavy for a 16 but it has a very thick walled barrel, choke tubes and gets the job done nicely with all steel shot loads.


Based on my experience, the other big problem is trying to get shot bigger than #5 to pattern well in the average 16 bore. Getting effective patterns w/ #4 shot at moderate velocities up to about 1250 FPS is iffy at best and depends more on the actual bore size of the gun and the selected choke constrictions than anything else. Speeding up #4 shot loads makes it even harder to do regardless of actual bore or choke sizes, so there's that limit too.
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16gaugeguy
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:56 am  Reply with quote
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John Singer wrote:
16gaugeguy, Do you have any experience shooting 16 gauge steel shot for pheasants?...


Steel shot for pheasant no (thank god). Teal yes. I hunted teal in the federally regulated areas in Florida between 1979 and the 1982-1983. Steel was first mandated for federally regulated hunting areas in Florida in 1982. Before that, I used only 12 gauge lead shot loads. I quit hunting teal after my experience w/ steel shot loads. It became more of a pain in the butt than enjoyable and fulfilling. I was far from alone here. I think that has always been the point of forcing hunters to use steel shot in the first place. I suspect the feds and their state political hack buddies will eventually find some excuse to outlaw hevi-shot and other similar loads in the future. It's what they do, and we know why too.

But back to the question at hand. I have found both birds to be about equally tough to kill under similar conditions. Both can be cleanly killed with comparable lead shot loads from #6 to #4 at similar ranges out to 40 yards or so. Teal are almost impossible to cleanly kill with #6 steel shot at even close ranges as they are settling into a spread of dekes. Way too many would flap and swim off to parts unknown before I could paddle my lay out boat(a camo net covered canoe)out to fetch them (and blowing my cover in the process). I didn't have the assistance of a good retriever for obvious reasons. Teal are tough kill with any size steel shot when ranges get out past 40 yards, but that's also because cleanly hitting the little speed balls when pass shooting can be tough to do at even closer ranges.
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John Singer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:06 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 03 Sep 2014
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Location: Brooklyn, MI

16gaugeguy wrote:
Based on my experience, the other big problem is trying to get shot bigger than #5 to pattern well in the average 16 bore. Getting effective patterns w/ #4 shot at moderate velocities up to about 1250 FPS is iffy at best and depends more on the actual bore size of the gun and the selected choke constrictions than anything else. Speeding up #4 shot loads makes it even harder to do regardless of actual bore or choke sizes, so there's that limit too.


What you are stating here is simply not true when it comes to steel shot. While it may be applicable with lead shot, it does not apply to steel.

Look at the patterns that 16guagewaterfowler have posted. Those pattern show #4 steel at 1450 fps and #3 steel at 1600 fps. Both are fired through a 16 gauge gun.

With steel, it has been my experience that:

1. Larger steel shot patterns tighter than smaller shot. Through a give choke smaller pellets have their patterns bloom at shorter ranges than larger, heavier pellets. I have not observed this with lead. It is readily apparent when patterning with steel.

2. Higher velocity steel shot loads tend to pattern tighter than lower velocity steel shot loads. With lead pellets, higher velocity and its set-back or obturation forces deform the pellets resulting in a less true flight. Steel does not deform and at higher velocity and the pellets tend to fly truer to the point of aim.

Some of the rules of thumb that apply to lead shot simply are not true with steel shot.


Last edited by John Singer on Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total

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John Singer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:15 am  Reply with quote



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16gaugeguy wrote:
John Singer wrote:
16gaugeguy, Do you have any experience shooting 16 gauge steel shot for pheasants?...


Steel shot for pheasant no (thank god). Teal yes. I hunted teal in the federally regulated areas in Florida between 1979 and the 1982-1983. Steel was first mandated for federally regulated hunting areas in Florida in 1982. Before that, I used only 12 gauge lead shot loads. I quit hunting teal after my experience w/ steel shot loads. It became more of a pain in the butt than enjoyable and fulfilling. I was far from alone here. I think that has always been the point of forcing hunters to use steel shot in the first place. I suspect the feds and their state political hack buddies will eventually find some excuse to outlaw hevi-shot and other similar loads in the future. It's what they do, and we know why too.

But back to the question at hand. I have found both birds to be about equally tough to kill under similar conditions. Both can be cleanly killed with comparable lead shot loads from #6 to #4 at similar ranges out to 40 yards or so. Teal are almost impossible to cleanly kill with #6 steel shot at even close ranges as they are settling into a spread of dekes. Way too many would flap and swim off to parts unknown before I could paddle my lay out boat(a camo net covered canoe)out to fetch them (and blowing my cover in the process). I didn't have the assistance of a good retriever for obvious reasons. Teal are tough kill with any size steel shot when ranges get out past 40 yards, but that's also because cleanly hitting the little speed balls when pass shooting can be tough to do at even closer ranges.


To paraphrase an earlier post of yours: Comparing the steel shot loads from the 1980's to the steel shot loads of today is like comparing a horse and buggy to a modern automobile IMO

The steel shot loads available in the 1980s were of rather low velocities 1200-1300 fps. Modern loads are much faster and consequently perform much better on game.

I hunt teal with my 16 gauge using #4 steel at 1550 fps. I do not recall losing a single cripple in the last 3 years.

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16GAwaterfowler
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:06 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 15 Dec 2005
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There's always Hevi Shot,
16 gauge 1 1/4 oz #6 Hevi Shot- 1290 fps @ 40 yards. This will do the deed on anything that flies.
[URL=http://s1218.photobucket.com/user/Joe_Speroni/media/IMG_0041_zpszkrnrcmn.jpg.html] [/URL]
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A5Mag12
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:10 pm  Reply with quote
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Hevi-Shot is good. Shot a lot in 20 and 12 gauge and a little from the .410.

The 16's I hunt with most is a '55' Sweet with either full or mod fixed choke barrel. Or an older Model-12 so I shoot these.

[URL=http://s167.photobucket.com/user/A5Mag12/media/IMG_20160114_094020_5861_zpsjxpba5mp.jpg.html] [/URL]

Don't have no pattern board shots with them but just remember what the best lead Super X's or Remington Express loads did back in the day and you get a pretty good idea.
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