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New Yankee

Steel Shot in a 50's gun?

6 posts in this topic

I have my fathers mid fifties vintage Ithaca 37 with a full choke. Should I feed it steel? My guess is that steel would cause a bit more barrel wear, but not be an issue other than that - am I thinking straight?

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Those old full chokes are really tight. I wouldn't advise of it. I've heard horror stories about bulging a barrel with steel shot. I've never seen it, but I wouldn't risk it out of an old full barrel. You could either get a different barrel or possibly have a gun smith bore that out to modified to shoot steel through.

I just wouldn't risk the gun or your safety.

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Law - was kind of afraid that may be the case - this one is tight as you mention - 30" barrel as well. I'll leave it home. I can imagine a bulge and wouldn't forgive myself for it just because it's a lighter carry than my 1100.

Thanks for the quick reply - I think you're right on.

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Take it to Gary's or Scheels and they'll bore the barrel out to a mod choke for around $50.

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Even if you get the choke opened up, steel shot will erode the barrel. If you want to use it for waterfowl, use Bismuth shot instead of steel. You also might try to see whether you can pick up a newer barrel that is modern steel to handle the steel shot. I have a Remington 870 of the same vintage that I only use with lead shot and I use my newer ones for steel.

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Good tips Rost and Bob, I'd kinda like to keep the choke/gun original. although it's a field grade 37, it has more value to me. Never thought about Bismouth, I'll check my wallet blush.gif

Barrels are a tougher deal - up until the late 50's or early 60's (s/n before 855,000) each of the barrels had to be fit to the receiver individually, and the barrel thread may be different as well.

I think the bismouth is a grand idea for as much as I'll be in steel situations with it.

Thanks!

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