Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32

Thread: Shotgun mod for steel shot?

  1. #1
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default Shotgun mod for steel shot?

    I have three older Remington shotguns that I would like to shoot steel shot out of. All are fixed choke, one is full, the other two are Mod and all three guns are 2 ¾” only. One is an 870, one is an 1100 and the other is a model 29. So… not knowing much about shotguns, do I need new barrels in order to shoot steel from these or can I have them modified to install screw in chokes? Or am I good to go as is?

    Thanks for your input
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  2. #2
    Member lynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    327

    Default New barrels.

    I would not use them for steel. Years ago I badly damaged a shotgun barrel from an older gun shooting steel. I ran into your same problem a number of years ago after not doing much bird hunting for a lot of years. I have an older 870 and I got a new barrel for it. I think this or maybe just using bismuth is your best option. If you get a new barrel though you will have rem. chokes at that point for the 870 and 1100 also. I do think heavy shot has a few buffered shot selections also.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bethel, Cantwell, Fort Yukon, Skagway, Chevak and Point Hope
    Posts
    967

    Default

    Thousands of older Remington 870's and 1100's running around in bush Alaska that are being used for steel shot. Use smaller sizes like #2 or #4 in the modified chokes and you should be good to go. Todays steel shot loads are way advanced over the first steel shot to come on the market.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Eureka MT
    Posts
    3,048

    Default

    I would be leary of shooting steel in the 29 as another barrel would not be easy to find if damaged. I have used steel in my full choke 870 without problems. It was built about 1970.

  5. #5
    Member lynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    327

    Default Patterns

    I might be wrong on this but I really think using the older barrels with steel is not a good idea. I wander if anyone with these older guns has patterned there guns after shooting a lot of steel. Sometimes the barrel will bulge noticeably and other times the damage is not as apparent. At the least I would use buffered loads just to be safe.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

  6. #6
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    yea the model 29 will never see steel.... but the 870 and 1100 dont worry me AS much. so what exactly is the difference between a barrel designed for steel shot and the old style intended for lead? is it just the removable choke? or is the internal profile of the barrel different? different barrel steel? what? I guess I just dont get it......
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  7. #7
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    1,382

    Default

    The problem with steel in a fixed choke gun, typically full choke, is the steel shot does not compress as easily as lead or some of the other materials now used. Therefore, something has to "give" when the shot charge comes to the constricted part of the barrel, and that would be the barrel. Hence we see bulged or split barrels. There is a preventive cure for this. If you have a full choke barrel, have it opened up to modified or more open than that. Less constriction will ease the beating at the choke. This is a common procedure for older "lead guns". You will note that if you look at the plastic tubes that browning chokes come in, they are marked "steel full-lead modified" and "steel modified-lead improved cylinder" and so forth. There are hardened choke tubes from some manufacturers that are capable of handling steel at tight constrictions. On another note, your older barrels may not have enough diameter and thickness to be machined to accept screw in chokes, other than "thinwall" tubes which are generally not useable for steel. Hope this helps!
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  8. #8
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    The problem with steel in a fixed choke gun, typically full choke, is the steel shot does not compress as easily as lead or some of the other materials now used. Therefore, something has to "give" when the shot charge comes to the constricted part of the barrel, and that would be the barrel. Hence we see bulged or split barrels. There is a preventive cure for this. If you have a full choke barrel, have it opened up to modified or more open than that. Less constriction will ease the beating at the choke. This is a common procedure for older "lead guns". You will note that if you look at the plastic tubes that browning chokes come in, they are marked "steel full-lead modified" and "steel modified-lead improved cylinder" and so forth. There are hardened choke tubes from some manufacturers that are capable of handling steel at tight constrictions. On another note, your older barrels may not have enough diameter and thickness to be machined to accept screw in chokes, other than "thinwall" tubes which are generally not useable for steel. Hope this helps!
    that does indeed help! I guess all I need do now is figure out if I got enough meat on the choke end of my barrels for a screw in choke and then see what the least expensive route is..... machine for chokes or just buy a new barrel...
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  9. #9
    hap
    Guest

    Default

    gunbugs is right on all counts. The only thing I would add to his comments is the fact 1100 and 870 barrels will have plenty of steel for any chokes other than thin-wall. Also, thin-wall steel shot chokes can be had easily. They protrude from the barrel a bit but have proven far superior with all shot on my pattern board.

    I have had a bunch of them installed in Anchorage, but after the last one will not do another here... Or at least with that "smith"...

    There are tons of options and Briley's does the best job and costs about as much as any other quality job.

    Someone made a comment about "buffered loads" intimating they are better for these chokes... That is NOT true! As a matter of fact they are substantially worse! Powdered plastic flour is added to the shot column so when the shot hits the choke it does not deform, because the plastic filler does not crush.

    That is exactly opposite what you want happening in a less robust choke!

    Buffer keeps the pellets rounder so they fly straighter. It is usually only used in soft shot loads, but I have seen plenty in steel shot loads.
    art

  10. #10
    Member lynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    327

    Default Buffered loads

    Did some looking and you are right about the buffered loads hap. thank you for correcting me.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Eureka MT
    Posts
    3,048

    Default

    My old 870 has a full choke and I just use the steel loads in it anyway. Worst that can happen is the end of the barrel may bulge and if it does I'll have a screw in choke installed after cutting of a couple inches. Actually I think I would cut off about 7"-8" as anything over about 20"-21" is a waste. Anybody want to trade your short 870 barrel for my long one. I'd even take one with a damaged muzzel as all I need is 20"-21" of good barrel. Mine is 2 3/4 only.

  12. #12
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    How old is "older"?

    If your 870 or 1100 are older than 1986 - 1988 or so then they are "lead" guns. No chrome lined barrels basically. By the end of the 1980's and the change over to steel shot for waterfowl most gun makers started producing only 3" chambers and most high end guns had chrome lined barrels to deal with the etching from the shot punching through the cup petals.

    Modern shot cups are a little better quality and don't allow for the shot to punch through the petals.

    Is the 870 an actual Wingmaster or is it an 870 Express? If it is an Express then it would be fine with modern steel loads.
    The best modern option for most of us is to get a new barrel with screw in chokes. If you have and Express you can buy new for less than a choke job, or go to gunbroker or Williams Gunsites and find a used one with chokes for a reasonble price.

    For the 1100 or an actual Wingmaster 870 you can probably find an after market barrel for them, but if it is suitable for steel shot it will more than likely have a 3" chamber and may not fit your receiver.

    Besides Briley you can also check out Colonial Arms for choke installation. If I had a old SxS or old U/O I would go with Briley. For a modern gun like an 870 or 1100 I would save some bucks and send it to Colonial Arms.

    Then again you can spend lots more money on ammo and not worry about gunsmithing. Buy the non-tox classic double stuff and hunt like you are using lead. Gold plated lead at $3 a shot not including shipping.

  13. #13
    Member lynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    327

    Default 870 parts interchangeable.

    Good points. I would add though that all 870 parts are interchangeable within gauge. The only exception is with the 20 gauges, there was a minor design change in the 70s. If you find a new or used 870 barrel for your gauge than you can use it on the 870 you have. The finish might not match but the mechanics will still be fine. This was something I looked into years ago with my 16 gauge 870. Even contacted Remington to be sure. I now have an 870 wingmaster with an express barrel.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

  14. #14
    hap
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    How old is "older"?

    If your 870 or 1100 are older than 1986 - 1988 or so then they are "lead" guns. No chrome lined barrels basically. By the end of the 1980's and the change over to steel shot for waterfowl most gun makers started producing only 3" chambers and most high end guns had chrome lined barrels to deal with the etching from the shot punching through the cup petals.

    Modern shot cups are a little better quality and don't allow for the shot to punch through the petals.

    Is the 870 an actual Wingmaster or is it an 870 Express? If it is an Express then it would be fine with modern steel loads.
    The best modern option for most of us is to get a new barrel with screw in chokes. If you have and Express you can buy new for less than a choke job, or go to gunbroker or Williams Gunsites and find a used one with chokes for a reasonble price.

    For the 1100 or an actual Wingmaster 870 you can probably find an after market barrel for them, but if it is suitable for steel shot it will more than likely have a 3" chamber and may not fit your receiver.

    Besides Briley you can also check out Colonial Arms for choke installation. If I had a old SxS or old U/O I would go with Briley. For a modern gun like an 870 or 1100 I would save some bucks and send it to Colonial Arms.

    Then again you can spend lots more money on ammo and not worry about gunsmithing. Buy the non-tox classic double stuff and hunt like you are using lead. Gold plated lead at $3 a shot not including shipping.
    We were talking about the 870 and the 1100... I have never seen an 870 or 1100 with a factory chromed barrel... And I have looked at a bunch of them.

    Lynch is exactly correct about interchangeability. The ONLY difference between 2 3/4" and 3" barrels in 870 or 1100 is the actual chamber length... And for a pittance any decent smith can ream it to 3".

    The ONLY difference between the 2 3/4" and 3" 870 action is the location of the ejector... the small, bent flat spring riveted in a groove in the interior wall of the action. I have drilled out the rivets and moved the ejector back a long 1/4" on a number of 870s... And made them into 3" guns. None of that is even remotely difficult, either.

    I have even converted a number of them to sliding top tang safeties.
    art

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    The 3" 1100 has one gas port hole where the 2 3/4" has two.I have seen some 870's come with a longer mag tube and a standard 870 WingMaster barrel would not work.Any mod choke will work if you stay in the numbered shot sizes.Full choke is fine if shooting the #7 trap steel loads

  16. #16
    Member lynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    327

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I have seen some 870's come with a longer mag tube and a standard 870 WingMaster barrel would not work.
    Not sure what you call a "standard wingmaster barrel". 870 wingmaster shotguns have been made with with barrels from 18" to 30"+ The tube length does not effect interchangeability. Remington even makes tactical 870 shotguns that stick out slightly past the barrel. In theory and according to Remington. You could mix and match parts from there 870s. Tactical, slug, turky, or the more traditional express and wingmaster guns. Parts can all be swapped around. Don't know why a person would want to mix and match some of these combos but if a person wanted to they could.
    "Bark,bark,bark,sniff,sniff,bark,and bark" - Lynchs Blue Roan Lynch E.C.K.

  17. #17
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    thanks for the replies guys! well, the Model 29 will likely live out its days in the safe then.... but I am inclined to just try steal shot in the 1100 and 870 as they both have mod chokes and if disaster strikes, new barrels are avaliable. btw, both of those were pre 83 shotguns for sure, as I got them when I was a freshman in high school and they were not "new" so they likely are even older than that.

    I am not apposed to using heivy shot or bismuth but a buddy gave me a 12 guage reloading set up for steal so I want to take advantage of that, roll some of my own and finnaly go after some ducks...

    look for another post soon in the reloading section..... cause I dont know didly about reloading shot shells
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  18. #18
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lynch View Post
    Not sure what you call a "standard wingmaster barrel". 870 wingmaster shotguns have been made with with barrels from 18" to 30"+ The tube length does not effect interchangeability. Remington even makes tactical 870 shotguns that stick out slightly past the barrel. In theory and according to Remington. You could mix and match parts from there 870s. Tactical, slug, turky, or the more traditional express and wingmaster guns. Parts can all be swapped around. Don't know why a person would want to mix and match some of these combos but if a person wanted to they could.
    When the barrel lug (lOOp) rest on the end of the tube and you screw the tube lock cap on and the barrel chamber just reaches the reciver I would say it effects interchangeability. Ever try to put a Special Field 870 barrel on a standard 870

  19. #19
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    The ONLY difference between the 2 3/4" and 3" 870 action is the location of the ejector... the small, bent flat spring riveted in a groove in the interior wall of the action. I have drilled out the rivets and moved the ejector back a long 1/4" on a number of 870s... And made them into 3" guns. None of that is even remotely difficult, either.
    art
    Art, I have an early 1980's 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster in 2 3/4". I never shot the gun well as a kid and only recently picked it back up to look at. That is when I learned that it is actually a 12 gauge receiver with a the goofy stepped down smaller diameter barrel with no vent rib.

    The shape of the barrel made it clear why I could seldom hit anything with this gun - When keeping the bead just above the top of the receiver the gun is actually pointing a couple of feet over the bird. The few times I hit something with this gun was when I was messing up my follow through and lagging behind or under the bird.

    I know that this receiver can not be machined into a 12 gauge, but can it be converted into a 3" 20 gauge?

    Then I can obtain an aftermarket 3" barrel with a vent rib to correct the sight plane issue, and then this gun might be useful for hitting something other than air.

  20. #20
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    1,382

    Default

    Certainly the ejector in your 20 gauge can be swapped out to a 3" type. That will effectively make your receiver capable of ejecting 3" hulls. However.... finding a 20 gauge barrel with the 12 ga diameter lug won't be easy. As you have noted, your 20 has a barrel that is "stepped down" from a 12 receiver to a 20 barrel. Also, the magazine tube is 12 ga diameter with a constricted end at the receiver to feed a 20 shell through a small opening. The 20 barrels with a 12 ga lug or "loop" are fairly scarce on their own. Usually I've only seen them attached to a gun.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •