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#3 Steel Shot Ammo: #3 Steel Shot Explained

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#3 Steel Shot Ammo #3 steel shot is the perfect substitution for situations where lead is prohibited or where you want less penetration. For home defense, the steel option offers slightly less penetration than the lead round, making it safer than larger ammo types like 00 buck.

Hunting Use

Like most shotguns, the range combined with multiple points of entry makes it easier to hunt deer or birds. And if the area has a large canopy of branches overhead and thick growth around, you’ll get good results. The steel shot allows you to hunt in areas that have restrictions on lead as well, including some national forests and protected areas. Today, #3 steel shot is commonly found in duck blinds, and with the advances in shotshell technology, these specialty loads for duck hunters are comparable to lead shot.

Due to their thickness and size, large geese and ducks are often primary targets of the #3 shot, but deer can be taken down just as well. Some states do not allow the use of buckshot for hunting deer, so be sure to check your laws before heading afield.

Home Defense

Like any shotgun ammo, the #3 steel shot will definitely put a stop to an intruder in typical confrontation ranges. Across a room, down a hallway and across the yard will all hit their mark – as long as you know your weapon and have spent time patterning and target shooting. Steel is a popular option, as it is less likely to blow through your neighbor’s home if you live in an apartment or close housing. However, keep in mind that a wall will not stop this type of ammo. Set up a few chunks of old drywall to test the penetration in a fun and fairly accurate way (without the studs and wires, of course).

Overall, the #3 steel shot ammo is great for multiple applications. Find a variety of loads to suit your specific needs for all popular gauges – with the 12 gauge being the most common – from manufacturers like Federal, Winchester, Fiocchi.

Molly Carter
Written by
Molly Carter