shooting steel balls in 12 ga. ??

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dartswinger, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. dartswinger

    dartswinger Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    SE Pa.
    A neighbor has a large jar of steel balls, they measure .195 and weigh 7.5 grains @. We do a fair amount of shooting on weekends with old beat up 12ga. riot style guns, cans - buckets - an errant refridgerator if we can sneak up on one, that sort'a thing. Is it safe (for the bbls.) to load these balls around 1 1/8 to 1 1/2 oz. in our shells. They make much superior holes than reg. lead shot (which is getting quite expensive). I think these guns have almost open chokes, they sure ain't hunting pieces.
  2. Ranger-1

    Ranger-1 New Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    So. California
    I sure would like to know too.....

  3. cakes

    cakes New Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Northern Maine
    Those 'steel balls' are about the size of T shot, so steel T shot loads using the appropriate wads should work fine. And, of course, if you are using choke tubes you should use one that is recommended for steel shot.
  4. cakes

    cakes New Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Northern Maine
    Oh, be sure to measure by weight, not volume.
  5. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    This isn't the first time this question has come up, but usually it's about loading steel BBs (.177") used in air rifles.

    You are probably scratching the inside of the barrel with those steel balls (some sort of ball bearing, I'm guessing). This is unavoidable with the slightly-oversized BBs that your loading, even when using a good wad.

    The soft steel used in "steel shot" is not the same steel used in ball bearings. A shotgun barrel just isn't made for anything harder than the steel used in waterfowl hunting.

    That said, the worst I see happening is your old shotgun barrel will be ruined for regular shooting. You have nothing to lose if it's already at that point. Just check every so often to see that you're not gouging metal from the bore.

    Just my 2 cents.
  6. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    A good friend once took a large ball bearing that was near a 12 gage barrel diameter. He unloaded the shot from a 3" shell, left it open then dropped the bearing down into the open shell and fired it (yikes!) it was impressive to say the least. The bearing went clean through a 4x4 post at 25 yards.
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