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Steel shot

5866 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  applesmasher
So I got my hands on a 12 gauge suitable for anything which a 12 gauge can do (which is obviously a lot). I haven't really given up on my reservations about shotguns, but the gungrabbers are making a lot of noise up here and there was a sale on at Cabela's, and I'm looking at doing three gun shooting, and the H&R Pardner has a decent reputation...

... you know how sometimes after a really great party, when you were young, maybe college age, you'd wake up the next morning and see someone next to you and they weren't too bad looking and you ended up together and ...

Anyway, I have a shotgun now.

I'm looking at reloading for it because of course I am. I'm looking at reloading steel shot (soft iron, to be exact) and it occurred to me to wonder what the implications of the lower density of iron might have for powder charges.

Any opinions?
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I can't really comment on this. It's been a long time since I've had reason to do any reloading research. All I can really say is to make sure the shotgun you have on hand is actually rated for use of steel shot, or that you can get an extra barrel that can handle it.
I don't know for an absolute fact, but I'm fairly sure that a modern H&R Pardner with a 28 inch barrel is going to be ready to do bird hunting, which means that steel shot should be expected.

The barrel is chrome-lined, not that that proves much.
It might be best to write H&R and ask them about the use of steel shot. Once you get an answer you can go from there.
I don't suggest reloading for a shotgun in the first place unless you are going to be shooting a whole lot of shells.
I like to tweak my loads, and I like to be able to load what I want at a moment's notice, rather than running down to the local fun shop.

So call me crazy. You wouldn't be the first by a long shot.
I got an answer from H&R:

steel shot is fine in the Pardner Pump, as long as it's smaller than #1 pellets.
Something that I just remembered, steel is bad about bouncing. Your iron shot will behave like a BB hitting a rock. This really isn't important as long as you are just bird hunting with it and not using it on steel plates or other flat hard surfaces when testing.
Soft, damp earth, and wet scraps of plywood castoffs. It penetrates, it doesn't bounce.

Always a safer way of doing things when you're not sure what will happen. Safer even than a gravel pit.
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