Steel loads have now become more popular with competition loads due to it being more cost effective than lead. Benefits include tighter patterns and well as 30% more pellets than the equivalent lead load.

With recent developments in steel loads our retail company Clay & Game Reloaders can provide customers with steel shot loads in 12ga down to .410.

  • What do I need to know about shooting steel shot?

    Steel shot is harder than lead and has a lower density. To compensate for this you should move up 1 or 2 shot sizes and initially shoot birds at closer range – do not alter your shooting technique.  As steel shot is harder than lead it can be driven faster without deforming the pellets - keeping tighter patterns.

  • Will steel shot damage my barrel?

    Steel shot must always be used with a plastic wad. The wad ensures the shot does not come into contact with the barrel. When fibre wads are required we can supply fibre shot cups that can be used with steel shot up to size 4 (3.25mm).  It is not recommend to use steel with older guns or Damascus barrels. Check if your gun is steel proofed for magnum loads. 

  • What choke should I use and do I need a special gun?

    You can safely use 2 ¾’’ 32gram steel loads using shot size 5 & 4. If you choose to use a larger size then a higher performance steel shot proofed gun must be used. 1/2 choke can be used with smaller shot sizes, it is recommended to use ¼ choke or no choke at all for larger sizes. The tighter patterns given with steel due to its hardness means choke is not as necessary as with lead. 

  • Are there any special safety precautions that should be considered?

    The main shooting precaution with steel shot is not to shoot at a hard surface as there is a danger of ricochet. For reloading with steel shot you must never simply replace steel for lead. Steel shot causes higher pressures and therefore must be loaded with powders and wads specific for steel shot loads. 

  • What are the benefits of using steel over lead?

    The use of non-toxic prevents the possible lead poisoning of waterfowl. With more and more pressure being put on the correct use of lead over water, switching to steel could save you your license. 

  • Have there been any reported cases of gun barrel damage by steel shot?

    Early steel loads in the US initially causes problems with gun damage as the large shot was used without special high-density plastic wads to protect the barrel. However the research into steel shot and the best way of using it means that there is now no risk if used correctly. 


About Steel Shot Company

One of the first manufacturers of steel shot for cartridge manufacturing - Steel Shot Company Ltd have over 20 years of unrivalled experience in the shotgun manufacturing industry.
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Steel Shot Company Ltd
Unit 18, Redcliffe Road, Melton
Enterprise Park, Melton, East Yorkshire, HU14 3RS.

TEL: +44 (0) 1482 631 066 /
+44 (0) 7736 936592


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