Can I use steel shot through my shotgun….?
….is the question that we are asked daily at the moment, which is unsurprising due to the threat of a lead ban being a hot topic. Well to answer that question there are a couple factors that need to be considered.
Steel shot proof:
Does your shotgun have a CIP or Fleur de lyse mark stamped under the barrels? If it has a CIP mark this means that you are able to us standard pressure steel through your gun providing that you have ½ choke or less fitted into both barrels. If it has a fleur de lyse you are able to use both standard and high performance steel through your gun providing that you have less than ¼ choke fitted into both barrels.
Good working order:
Is your gun in good working order? Make sure that your shotgun barrels are tight to the face of the action and that wall thicknesses are adequate.
If your barrels are not stamped with a CIP or Fleur de lyse do not panic it is still possible to use standard pressure steel providing that you have ½ choke or less fitted in both barrels and your gun is in good working order as above. We would not advise using steel shot through older English guns in any case. The good news is that there is currently no date to put in your diary for an official lead cartridge ban, however some estates are requesting that non-lead shot is used now. If you do have a shotgun that is not suitable for steel shot there are other alternatives that can be purchased such as Bismuth, Tungsten Matrix and the newly developed Bioammo Blue which can be used through any shotgun that is able to shoot lead.
If you would like to have your gun checked by a professional for steel suitability or discuss the alternative cartridge options available please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Greenfield Gunmakers.