No, you can get dangerous spike in pressure if you use a shot with less density which will result in a higher volume. Payload of a shotgun shell along with volume are the main factors that gives you your maximum pressure of a load when the powder is ignited. Soft spacers under the shot and compressibility of a load also factor in to the maximum pressure.
If you take a factory load of lead of 1 1/4oz and replace it steel and don't remove any spacers, you are only going to get about 7/8 to 1oz of steel shot. In this case, your volume in the same, but your payload is lower and this is ends up being safe. You will see lower velocity and you may not be able to cycle a semi-auto shotgun. If you do the same thing with TSS, you will fit 2oz of TSS in the same space and you will be unsafe. If, however, you keep the TSS to 1 1/4oz payload, it will have a lower volume and if you ad spacers below or above the show, you will be safe. BIsmuth and Lead compress much better than steel and tungsten shot types which do not really compress, so you have to be careful when replacing lead or bismuth with tungsten or steel of about the same density and drop the payload a little to compensate.
If you want a better no tox shotgun shells and you don't reload, there are many of them available. Yes, they are expensive, but how many shells do you use in a year. 5 -10 typically. Just buy some TSS and be done with it, that really is worth the money.
Thanks Toasty for the info. I understand you can't just dump one type of shot and replace it with an equal amount "by volume", but if you replace the shot with and equal amount "by weight"(payload), you are saying this could produce a dangerous load? Do you think that the compression spike that takes place at the forcing cone area when using a harder shot(steel or TSS) is great enough to produce a dangerous load? If so, would this dangerous elevated compression pressure also take place at the choke end of the barrel? Most manufactures recommend the use of a more open choke when using harder shot(steel or TSS) but I don't think they are recommending you modify(open up) the forcing cone area, nor have they, I don't think, redesigned the forcing cone area in their shotguns to accommodate the harder, less compressible, shot.
Now, I completely agree that changing wads/shot cups etc will definitely change pressure levels, but other than perhaps adding a mylar sheathing around the shot, no wad /shot cup changes would be made.
Well, anyway, at the end of the day, you are right, as a turkey hunter I wouldn't hardly ever shoot more than a few rounds a year, but as a waterfowler it wouldn't be too tough to run through a hundred bucks or so a day on ammo.
I totally respect your advise on reloading ammo so I will probable tread very lightly moving forward with any attempts to repurpose the several hundred 2 3/4" and 3" rounds of lead ammo I have left over from my good old days of shotgunning. Just don't have the heart to just throw the stuff away.
P.S., I know a guy...dumps the lead, replaces with bismuth(by weight, the bismuth only takes up a tiny bit more room in the case, trims back the case a little, covers with a thin overshot wad and roll crimps them closed. Shoot great, patterns great. This guy would really like to incorporate the far superior TSS shot into these loads, of even develop some duplex load with steel and TSS, maybe he's just dreamin.