By Graham Downing
Sunday, 17 April 2011
Q)I would like to try steel shot for wildfowling in my 2 3⁄4in chambered gun, but I have been told by some of my friends that I cannot do so unless the gun has been especially proofed to take it. Is this correct? J. CAMBORNE By email
A)It is safe to use standard load steel shot cartridges in a conventional 2 3⁄4in chambered shotgun, provided that it is of modern construction with steel, not Damascus, barrels and that it is not tightly choked. Most steel shot is loaded with deep, high-density plastic wads and provided it is not fired through a tight choke, there should be no risk to your barrels. Your friends are referring to “high performance” steel cartridges, which develop pressures that exceed the standard proof limits. Only guns bearing the high performance steel shot fleur de lys proofmark, should be loaded with these cartridges. Always check on the cartridge box to see that those that you are using are suitable for your gun. If in doubt consult a gunsmith.
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