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How do I know if my gun is Steel Shot OK ?


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#1 zippy1970

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:53 PM

I have a Ruger 20ga o/u with fixed skeet chokes made in 83 or 84 . ruger is closed & I wanted to go tommarrow . anyone else have any other ideas other than calling ruger ?? Thanx , Andy

#2 clampdaddy

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 02:39 PM

Any gun made after steel shot became mandatory (1991 I believe) will be ok and most of the ones made during the three or so years prior, while they were phasing in steel shot, would probably be ok as well. It's iffy with your gun. It was made pretty early and it's a double. Alot of double gun manufacturers don't recommend using steel shot unless you install extended choke tubes. When shooting steel thru a standard choke the barrels can swell and spring back to it's normal diameter a tiny bit as the shot charge passes thru the choke. That can cause a center rib separation. Even though your gun is skeet choked and this probably wouldn't be a problem, I'd wait until you get an answer straight from Ruger before you try it. How come you have to shoot steel tomorrow? Game refuge?

#3 Soreloser

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 03:38 PM

if you have fixed skeet chokes then your gun will be fine.

#4 Moe

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 06:07 PM

Soreloser is absolutely right. Even older shotguns with fixed MODIFIED, IMPROVED CYLINDER or SKEET chokes can shoot steel shot safely. Even modern shotguns made for steel shot shouldn't have steel run through a full choke designed for lead. No big deal since steel doesn't deform like lead and gives tight patterns through a modified choke. I hunt geese with a guy who shoots a Winchester model 12 3" gun that he had the full choke opened up to modified on and he busts a lot of big geese with it.

#5 bzzrd feedr

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 06:11 PM

Ditto Soreloser The skeet chokes are open bore chokes. The only problem with the older guns is with a fixed full choke. I used to shoot an old Citori that had a full and mod fixed choke. When the steel came out I just had the full choked barrel reamed out to mod. It worked fine until it was stolen.

#6 zippy1970

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:08 AM

got off the phone with Ruger , they said it was ok to shoot it in " older fixed choke ,20ga " . apparently the only problem with the fixed choked, older guns are the ones in 12ga.

#7 clampdaddy

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 03:25 PM

Soreloser is absolutely right. Even older shotguns with fixed MODIFIED, IMPROVED CYLINDER or SKEET chokes can shoot steel shot safely.....

Not so. The choke isn't the only thing that determines whether a gun is or is not steel shot compatible. Many if not most older guns had barrels made of steel that is not hard enough to withstand the abrasion of a steel pellet that makes its way thru the side of the wad. If the barrel isn't hard enough it will cause bore scouring. Infact, my dad has a beat up old winchester pump that I took duck hunting when I was a kid and it suffered some pretty bad scratches down its bore from less than one box of #3 steel. One of my friends has a beligian A-5 browning that suffered the same fate. Unless the manufacturer says it's alright don't do it.

#8 zippy1970

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:02 PM

any & all of my remarks were from the reps at Ruger & only pertain to Ruger firearms . not itended for use on any other make / model of shotgun Andy

#9 wanapasaki

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:14 PM

could always shoot it out of your barrel and watch for a bulge in your choke? LOL just joking don't do that cuz I did, $130 mistake pluse $20 for shipping :smiley-outta-here:




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