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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why dose steel shot have such a late effect on pheasants, and just plain different shooting?

See I forgot to go and get led shot at the store, and a day before the hunt went over and there was no heavy lead load so I decided to load up with some 3" steel shot thinking it would work okay on them. I can hit ducks and geese with them and yet I have been missing shots at pheasants that normally with led in the barrel I feel like I might would have got. How much more nock down power dose lead shot have than steel. I have got me one bird but just by chance. He flew up and I aimed and pulled the trigger feathers went flying and he left a lot behind him but didn't drop right away, what he did was fly about 3 fields away get way high in the air and then as I tried to watch where he would land when he reached his high point in the sky he all of the sudden stopped and started falling head first straight down twords the ground. Of course I went over and he was dead, dose steel shot have that much of a different effect of aiming and take down power?
 

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:?

Awe steel shot...the upland hunters nemisis?

Despite what many have said I have always shot well with both steel and lead. 'Course I shoot a 20 ga. and try and keep my shots close.

Hopefully somebody will post up a link as to the differences of lead vs. steel...its mostly science though...and kinda confusing!

:p
 

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that is all i shoot with since most all my pheasant hunting is done close to where waterfowl might be. i've only had two birds continue flying after hitting them but i recovered both of them. i've shot 15 birds so far and only took 17 shot's. as long as the bird is 25yds or less steel does the job :D
 

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Usually that late fall is caused by a bb in the head or heart. The heart bb is when they just fall from the sky. The head bb you see them fly straight up and then fall dead.
 

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Plain steel sucks, but if you know your limitations it'll do. I shoot a lot of steel in SD, because we switch from federal, to state, to waterfowl areas a lot and the in all the excitement a couple led (lead?) rounds always end up in my pocket and I don't need to explain that to the warden! So I've been going all steel.

Anyway, steel is so light that it loses "oomph" (that's the technical term) very quickly, so you have to (pun alert) steel yourself against pulling the trigger at more than about 35 yds (in my 20 gage, choked skeet/IC) or you are asking for a runner. Beyond 30 yds I can still connect, and I might break a wing, but on a going away shot I won't punch through to the vitals. Even so, I'd say half of the birds hit the ground on the run (I'm a mediocre shot at best) and if I didn't have a killer cripple getter backer GSP I'd probably have to limit my shooting to sub-30 yds, which I don't think I have the intestinal fortitude to do.

I like #3 steel best. Then 2's, then 4s.

Oh, the late effect is just a result of an unusual injury- but not fatal hits are more common with steel. I hit a quail last year that hovered pefectly stationary about head height, like a helicopter, for probably 30 seconds. Long enough for 3 of us to gather around and watch and then I just reached out and grabbed it and it was stone-dead. Lots of head-shot pheasants zoom stright up until they expire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought about the head shot thing to, but there were no bullets that entered the head it was all around his back end when I cleaned him.
 

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#1DEER 1-I said:
I thought about the head shot thing to, but there were no bullets that entered the head it was all around his back end when I cleaned him.
A head shot will normally immobilize a bird (or any critter for that matter) IMMEDIATLY! Like all critters a head shot usually comes with some flopping and kicking as a final measure.

Also, like other critters, a lung/heart/liver shot is almost always fatal...but not normally immediate. Have you ever shot a rooster that flew off after you were sure you hit him only to see him all of a sudden start to fly vertically toward the sky? And just when you thought this spectacle couldn't get any weirder (is that a word?) the **** thing falls from said sky stone dead?

This would most likely be a lethal internal shot. Just like a deer that's hit in both lungs...he can run, but not far...

8)
 

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All I can say is that if I was to be shot at by someone I would hope that he was shooting steel.
 
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