Latest Loads: Less Is More in Steel Shot 20 Gauge

posted on March 13, 2017
more.jpg

Steel shot’s low density (and light weight) is a catch-22; when compared to lead pellets, there is significantly more steel shot for a given payload weight—a good thing. Unfortunately, those lightweight pellets must be propelled at high velocities to be terminally effective. Striking the ideal balance between pattern density and lethality can be challenging—especially in smaller gauges. The 20-ga. load below epitomizes such harmony. Featuring just shy of an ounce of No. 3 or No. 4 (your choice) zinc-plated steel, the pellets attained 1444 f.p.s. from a 22" barrel. That’s not all; how about 80 percent patterns at 30 yards, too? As a testament to the load’s effectiveness beyond paper, recently my son bagged our outfitter’s first bluebill (scaup) of the season in Chincoteague, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. A single shot at 37 yards dropped the bird stone dead. Keep the shot within 35-40 yards and this load is tough to beat.

Latest

black pistol right side on white with text on image noting "NRA GUN OF THE WEEK"
black pistol right side on white with text on image noting "NRA GUN OF THE WEEK"

NRA Gun of the Week: Rock Island Armory STK100

On this week's "Gun of the Week" video preview, watch as American Rifleman staff examine and range test a Rock Island Armory striker-fired handgun in 9 mm Luger that features an aluminum frame with an internal steel chassis.

Smith & Wesson's Triple Lock: A Look Back

The Triple Lock was the first Smith & Wesson revolver built on what is now called the N-frame—S&W’s N-frames have defined the modern wheelgun.

The Armed Citizen® Oct. 22, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Champion Continues Support For Kids & Clays Foundation

Champion Traps & Targets is continuing support for the Kids & Clays Foundation, and helping raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Review: Norinco Type 54 From AIM Surplus

The Type 54 is a 1950's era North China Industries (Norinco) clone of the Russian TT pistol, and large quantities have recently become available through AIM Surplus.

Smith & Wesson SD9VE: A Budget Friendly Striker-Fired 9 mm

First introduced in 2012, the Smith & Wesson SD9VE provides a 9 mm striker fired handgun with a price point that has continued its popularity as a budget friendly pistol. 

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.