What is Steel Shot? – The Steel Shot Canada
Steel shot refers to shotgun ammunition that is loaded with pellets made of steel instead of traditional lead. It is primarily used for waterfowl hunting as a non-toxic alternative to lead shot, which can be harmful to the environment and wildlife when ingested.
Here are some key points about steel shot:
Composition: Steel shot is made from small spherical pellets of hardened steel, typically coated or plated with materials like zinc or copper to improve performance and reduce barrel fouling.
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Non-Toxic Alternative: Steel shot was introduced as a non-toxic alternative to lead shot to comply with regulations aimed at protecting waterfowl populations and their habitats. In many countries, the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting is either heavily restricted or outright banned.
Performance: The steel shot performs differently from the lead shot, primarily due to its lower density. It has a tendency to lose energy and velocity more quickly, resulting in a shorter effective range and reduced penetration compared to a lead shot. This means that hunters using steel shot may need to adjust their shooting technique and choose appropriate shot sizes for different hunting situations.
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Regulations and Required Choke Tubes: Due to the different performance characteristics of steel shot, many firearms have specific choke tube recommendations to optimize the shot pattern. It is important to check and comply with local hunting regulations and restrictions regarding the use of steel shot and specific choke requirements.
Ammo Availability: Steel shot is widely available, and most manufacturers produce dedicated steel shot loads for waterfowl hunting. These loads typically use a shot cup or wad system to protect the barrel from the hardness of the steel pellets.
It is crucial to familiarize yourself with your local hunting regulations and follow the guidelines specific to your location. This includes understanding any restrictions on the use of lead shot and the appropriate use of non-toxic alternatives like steel shot.
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