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Thread: Old shotguns versus steel

  1. #1

    Default Old shotguns versus steel

    I have older shotguns with set chokes (not choke tubes). I have a remington 870 in a modified choke and a remington 1100 in a full choke.

    My question is, will stell shot damage these barrels? I have searched past input but found only one comment.

    Also, In the old days with lead, it use to be said that you use the modified for medium ranger and the full choke for long range, does this still apply with stell shot?

  2. #2
    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Maryland...not by choice


    I have always been told that set full chokes in those older guns don't handle steel too well. Supposedly it will cause the barrel to balloon out by the choke. The 870 with the modified should be fine though. I shoot steel shot through a modified all the time, and never had a problem. As far as using a full choke to shoot farther, I would think that the tighter the choke the farther you can shoot rule still applies to steel. Although you will not be able to get as far as you would with lead. Anyway I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Got time to pattern?

    The steel shot is going to pattern tighter than lead. I would recommend patterning your gun if you have time. Just in case you don't have a choke pattern chart, check out Chart 1 on this site:

    I'd use the 40 yard values, otherwise it gets tough to count individual pellet holes. So get a large sheet of paper or a large cardboard box, preferably 4' square or larger, use a pin and a string to draw a 30" diameter (15" rad.) circle, shoot once at the center of the circle, and count the # of BBs in and # of BBs out of the circle. You should be 58 - 63% in for a mod. choke. If you find 68 - 70% of your shot in the circle, it means the steel is patterning like a full choke, and you will have a harder time bringing down birds within 35 yards. If so, maybe try some different loads, different size shot, high performance loads - like Fassteel or Tungsten - and see if any of those pattern a little more open.

    I agree about the full choke. I have heard that it can damage a gun to shoot steel out of a full choke that is not designed for it.

    If you lack the time to pattern, just go out and see how you do. After all, if you're pattern is too tight, you probably won't wound too many. You'll either miss completely or drop 'em like stones. Good luck!

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  4. #4
    Member Raven1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Chugiak Alaska


    Might be worth a call to Remington-
    If you have the serial numbers on the guns, they will know how old they are, and whether they can handle the steel shot.
    (My Belgian Brownings, made in the 60's, cannot)
    The price for shooting steel through old guns might be ruined shotguns, which otherwise would still be good for pheasants and quail down south-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Deep in Hllary country NY


    Don"t hold me to this, but I believe that the Remington web site has answers to those questions, chokes, and steel shot. The full choke I would not use with steel, some use Bismuth with full chokes, But it"s expensive. My Benelli, newer Remington full choked tubes are all marked, no steel shot. Hope this helps. Bill
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  6. #6


    Helpfull info, I appreciate it.



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