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Anyone use steel shot for Turkeys?
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Just wondering. We have customers come in every Turkey season looking for ammo. Sometimes we are out. I have suggested why not use a waterfowl load of steel shot. If it can kill a Snow Goose at 40 yds why not a Turkey at 25 yds? Guy looked at me like I had three heads. He pointed at the box and said "it don't have a Turkey on it". So the guy leaves with no ammo to hunt with. I would think a 3 1/2" #5 Black Cloud short range would be great Turkey medicine.
 
Posts: 2616 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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For turkey, you are trying to get a hit that will penetrate enough in the head or neck.

So, small, dense shot patterns.

Steel needs more velocity than the others, and small pellets loose velocity quicker. Steel #3 would penetrate adequately, its roughly the equivalent of #6 lead for that, but you have one heck of a lot less pellets in the pattern to hit a bird's brain or spine.

Combine that with steel's relative lack of response to choke, and the steel load is at an incredible disadvantage. Most guys turkey guns have chokes in them that are not rated for steel shot.

If you want to use non-toxic alternatives, TSS or hevishot work very well. Bismuth would replace lead, roughly in a gun with a heavy constriction.

Steel #5 would work if you hold your range way down, max of 20 yards or so. Its penetration would be roughly like that of lead #8.

Personally, I'd use a AA (or STS) #7.5 handicap trap load (due to the hard shot) before steel, and stay within 25 yards or so.
 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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This data from Remington would tend to support steel. There are actually more pellets per ounce of shot since steel is lighter than lead. It also groups tighter. Energy appears close enough at range. The new discarding sabot shot cups hold the shot together longer before dispersal. If you use adjustable sights on your Turkey gun you should be able to score more often. After all, the target is the head and neck. Not very dense.

http://shotshell.drundel.com/steel.htm
 
Posts: 2616 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Like anything steel shot it is all about velocity, pattern density and penetration.

I use Win. expert 1550fps on waterfowl.

Their 3inch number 4s has worked on Turkey's at what ever range you can put enough pellets into the head, neck and penetration.

I shot a couple of fall turkey's with it. Because that is what I had handle when I came a pond them.

I wouldn't trust them past 40 yards.

Steel sheds velocity and energy to fast.
 
Posts: 16514 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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