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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen, in CA next year we're going to steel shot for all waterfowl and upland hunting. I'm a newbie reloader and have a big bucket full of 2-3/4" and 3" Rio hulls that I'd like to fill. I've got a copy of the BPI Rio manual and have seen lots of recipes debated and dissected online, but wonder if there are a few tried and true/classic recipes you can share? Using the same powder for both?

-For waterfowl I'd like to get around 1550 fps with 1-1/8 oz steel #4 shot, or similar. These are the numbers for Rio Royal Bluesteel Magnum 32. The OEM version uses MAXAN (Rio owned) SSB+150 powder and a Gualandi TUB43 wad.

-For doves and bunnies I'd like to get around 1350 fps with 1-1/8 oz of #6-7 steel shot (7.5 lead equivalent), or similar.

I'd use Rio 209 primers.

Thanks!
bryan
 

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Strel powder and LBC wads.
Rios are similar to cheddite--not the same, but similar. However, rio primer pockets are larger then American or ched primers.
Rio primers are on the hotter side.
I'd be careful with bpi data.
Also of note, rio basewads have been known to be prone to split and come loose. I don't know of this is still an issue, or was just a problem with some lots, but check you hulls carefully.

So no, no particular load recommend from me. I have an idea of how I'd load them (2.75" with 492 g of shot-- probably 32ish g of powder), but that's just what some guy on the internet says...
 

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I would suggest Precision Reloading Lightning Steel manual and Ballistic Products Status of Steel. As was already mentioned be careful with some loads. There are some published that just won't fit and pressure is incorrect. If your new to reloading steel shot the information in the front of Status of Steel will be most valuable. Also get a Lyman 5th edition manual. The hull cutaway section is really good.
 

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The ballistics on steel #7 shot is not as good as lead #9 shot. After looking at the steel #7 shot on the KPY Ballistics I am going to load steel #6 shot and some steel #5 shot for dove using Longshot and Herco powder. I will be using the data out of the BPI Status Of Steel 15th edition.

1400 fps steel #7 shot gets 0.90" of gel penetration at 26.2 yards
1300 fps steel #6 shot gets 0.90" of gel penetration at 31.8 yards
1300 fps steel #5 shot gets 0.90" of gel penetration at 39.7 yards
1200 fps lead #7-1/2 shot gets 0.90" of gel penetration at 47.4 yards

1-1/8 oz of steel shot is a big load for dove. I am using a lead 1-3/8 oz bar to drop 1 oz of steel shot with my Mec 600 JR

I don't want to shoot real fast steel dove loads that kick hard so I plan on shooting 7/8 oz or 1 oz loads around 1300 fps to 1350 fps. I would rather shoot the steel #5 and #6 shot than jack up the speed on steel #7 shot.

Dove and Quail will be the only birds I hunt in California with steel shot, all the other birds I will be hunting will be with HW13 shot, Federal Heavyweight and TSS shot.
 

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I am shooting a load using the Rio hull used in the Federal Field and Target lead loads. It loads real slick and patterns well in my Beretta. This hull has the white plastic basewad and uses European primers.

RIO F&T 2 3/4" hull
Fiocchi 616 primer
MG42 wad
452 grs #3 shot
30.0 grs Longshot
@1500 fps

Recoil is mild and ejection is normal with no pressure signs
The original load sheet showed 1 1/16 oz of shot but it wouldn't fit in my hulls. Also it showed a Rio primer but I can't find them locally. I think the Fiocchi primer is milder but ignition is excellent. This is an easy inexpensive load that is effective out to about 45 yards.

You can find loads using Longshot loads around 1350 fps easily. However I would just shoot the same load for doves.

I would recommend you use #3 for ducks and #6 for doves, quail, etc.
 

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z51 said:
I am shooting a load using the Rio hull used in the Federal Field and Target lead loads. It loads real slick and patterns well in my Beretta. This hull has the white plastic basewad and uses European primers.

RIO F&T 2 3/4" hull
Fiocchi 616 primer
MG42 wad
452 grs #3 shot
30.0 grs Longshot
@1500 fps

Recoil is mild and ejection is normal with no pressure signs
The original load sheet showed 1 1/16 oz of shot but it wouldn't fit in my hulls. Also it showed a Rio primer but I can't find them locally. I think the Fiocchi primer is milder but ignition is excellent. This is an easy inexpensive load that is effective out to about 45 yards.

You can find loads using Longshot loads around 1350 fps easily. However I would just shoot the same load for doves.

I would recommend you use #3 for ducks and #6 for doves, quail, etc.
That sounds like a pretty good load. Where did you get it?
 

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From a post by DaveinAZ on alternatives to Alliant steel. The original load used Fiocchi hulls but I don't like those hulls and the Federal hull capacity is identical so I used that. It worked out great. Also you can't get a full 1 1/16 oz in that load. Patterns are really good in my Beretta.
 

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Been using a 20 gauge 3/4 oz loads, at 1425 FPS, not reloads but Federals. The #7's will kill any dove or quail no problem, can't tell any difference from lead loads in my opinion, taken some pokes too. For ducks and pheasants the #4's smoke em too. Don't feel under gunned at all, and kill more birds than they guys with 12 gauges.
 

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The Rio Blue 2 3/4" hulls with the short (white) plastic base wad is a good one to reload .

Rio primer
32 grn A Steel
TPS wad
465 grn of 3's
Fold crimp

With a .014 choke out to 45 yds , really nice load ! :yes:
 

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z51 said:
I am shooting a load using the Rio hull used in the Federal Field and Target lead loads. It loads real slick and patterns well in my Beretta. This hull has the white plastic basewad and uses European primers.

RIO F&T 2 3/4" hull
Fiocchi 616 primer
MG42 wad
452 grs #3 shot
30.0 grs Longshot
@1500 fps

Recoil is mild and ejection is normal with no pressure signs
The original load sheet showed 1 1/16 oz of shot but it wouldn't fit in my hulls. Also it showed a Rio primer but I can't find them locally. I think the Fiocchi primer is milder but ignition is excellent. This is an easy inexpensive load that is effective out to about 45 yards.

You can find loads using Longshot loads around 1350 fps easily. However I would just shoot the same load for doves.

I would recommend you use #3 for ducks and #6 for doves, quail, etc.
The original load given by Dave 5/24/16 "Alternatives to Steel powder" calls for a Fed 209A and Fio hull, # 81006 136; LD12-MG42. Would you need to drop a grain of powder with a Rio primer instead of a Fed 209A? The Rio would fit easier and I just bought 600 of them. Looking for a steel dove load for CA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi guys, I'm the OP and since then have tested a number of Rio-based loads. Here is what I've found/developed for doves and ducks.

Dove
The goal was to make an easy-loading (no fillers, felt, dust, buffer, etc.) shell that performs well in the field for doves using steel shot. There is a paucity of (and often inconsistent) info in published materials from BPI and Precision though on web forums there are lots of posts offering loose advice or recommendations for such a Rio-based load.

I made loads with a range of powder drops (25-32 grains) using Longshot and Blue Dot with MG42 and TUWSBL32 wads and 1-1 ⅛ oz #6 steel shot. All used Rio blue 2 ¾" hulls with the Rio 209 primer, with and without overshot cards. I have chrono data for 42 shots and patterning for 4 of the loads. In the field for the dove opener the load performed very well… nice knock-down power with no cycling issues in a Beretta A400 Xtreme. I do not have pressure data.

Rio 12 ga 2 ¾" blue hull, 10mm brass (HV-32 game load)
Rio 209 primer
27 grains Longshot
MG42 wad
1 ounce zinc-plated #6 steel shot
6 point fold crimp
1355 fps
74% of pellets in an 18" diameter circle at 30 yards with Modified choke

Other details:
-Above 30 gr patterning decreased to 50-67%. Maybe better for closer range shooting?
-32 gr went 1580 fps (much faster than BPI's Rio load book 33 gr recipe). This is in line with conventional wisdom about Longshot going hot quickly and about BPIs loads being off. There was noticeably more felt recoil and sound. Testing was discontinued due to safety concerns.
-Substituting 28-30 gr Blue Dot achieved velocities of only 1096 and 1126 fps. Not good in this combo.
-The TUWSBL32 wad was about ⅛" too short for the Rio hulls. I did not test further because I wanted a simple prep with no felt/fillers needed.

Duck
I worked up a 3" waterfowl load based on the BPI "Master Load" and BPI's Steel Duck and Goose loading package (160118-7724 from wad datasheet) using Rio rather than Fiocchi hulls. It's not a stretch to substitute Rio hulls but in order to do so safely I worked up to the target dose and velocity and tested a few different wads. Various forum posts and data sheets suggest that 1410-1500 fps is feasible using ASteel around 34 grains and the Ranger Elite and TUWSBL32 wads. The goal was to make an easy-loading (no fillers, felt, dust, buffer, etc.) shell that performs well in the field for ducks using steel shot.

I made a number of shells using ASteel (30-38 grains) and the Ranger Elite and TUWSBL32 wads and 1-1/8 oz #4 steel shot. All used Rio blue 3" hulls and Rio 209 primers with and without OS cards. I have chrono data for 30 shots (range 1311-1608 fps) and patterning for 4 target velocities (1450-1575 fps). All cycled well in a Beretta A400 Xtreme. I do not have pressure data. The ideal load is:

Rio 12 ga 3" blue hull, 24 mm brass (RBSM324 Royal 32 Blue Steel)
Rio 209 primer
36 gr ASteel
Ranger Elite wad
1-1/8 ounce zinc-plated #4 steel shot
6 point fold crimp
1575 fps
63% of pellets in a 18' diameter circle at 30 yards with Modified choke

Other details:

-ASteel had a nicely linear increase in velocity with increasing load amount.
-ASteel performed similarly with both Ranger Elite and TUWSBL32 wads. Slightly higher velocities with Ranger Elite (50-100 fps).
-Felt recoil similar, not too bad.
-Ranger Elite wad is cupped so 12ga rammer tube would flare out and not push through fingers at loading. Replaced 12ga rammer with 20 ga which worked fine.
-Also tried Blue Dot which was slower (100-150 fps) by weight at 34-36 gr. The TUWSBL32 hull had a 1/8" shorter stack height with Blue Dot (more dense/volume than ASteel), so the crimp was caved without a cardboard OS card. Would need more Blue Do to achieve target velocity of 1500 fps and to fill volume. The stack height was ok with the Ranger Elite wad at 34-36 gr, velocity was similarly lower.

I hope this is useful for current and future Rio reloaders.
Bryan
 

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I had 3 shells tested by T. Armbrust: 12ga Rio 2 3/4", blue target load, Rio 209, 27 gr Longshot, MG42, 1 oz #7 steel:
1421 fps EV 2, 10,166 EV 600; given as a data point only
 

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Hi guys, I'm the OP and since then have tested a number of Rio-based loads. Here is what I've found/developed for doves and ducks.

Dove
The goal was to make an easy-loading (no fillers, felt, dust, buffer, etc.) shell that performs well in the field for doves using steel shot. There is a paucity of (and often inconsistent) info in published materials from BPI and Precision though on web forums there are lots of posts offering loose advice or recommendations for such a Rio-based load.

I made loads with a range of powder drops (25-32 grains) using Longshot and Blue Dot with MG42 and TUWSBL32 wads and 1-1 ⅛ oz #6 steel shot. All used Rio blue 2 ¾" hulls with the Rio 209 primer, with and without overshot cards. I have chrono data for 42 shots and patterning for 4 of the loads. In the field for the dove opener the load performed very well… nice knock-down power with no cycling issues in a Beretta A400 Xtreme. I do not have pressure data.

Rio 12 ga 2 ¾" blue hull, 10mm brass (HV-32 game load)
Rio 209 primer
27 grains Longshot
MG42 wad
1 ounce zinc-plated #6 steel shot
6 point fold crimp
1355 fps
74% of pellets in an 18" diameter circle at 30 yards with Modified choke

Other details:
-Above 30 gr patterning decreased to 50-67%. Maybe better for closer range shooting?
-32 gr went 1580 fps (much faster than BPI's Rio load book 33 gr recipe). This is in line with conventional wisdom about Longshot going hot quickly and about BPIs loads being off. There was noticeably more felt recoil and sound. Testing was discontinued due to safety concerns.
-Substituting 28-30 gr Blue Dot achieved velocities of only 1096 and 1126 fps. Not good in this combo.
-The TUWSBL32 wad was about ⅛" too short for the Rio hulls. I did not test further because I wanted a simple prep with no felt/fillers needed.

Duck
I worked up a 3" waterfowl load based on the BPI "Master Load" and BPI's Steel Duck and Goose loading package (160118-7724 from wad datasheet) using Rio rather than Fiocchi hulls. It's not a stretch to substitute Rio hulls but in order to do so safely I worked up to the target dose and velocity and tested a few different wads. Various forum posts and data sheets suggest that 1410-1500 fps is feasible using ASteel around 34 grains and the Ranger Elite and TUWSBL32 wads. The goal was to make an easy-loading (no fillers, felt, dust, buffer, etc.) shell that performs well in the field for ducks using steel shot.

I made a number of shells using ASteel (30-38 grains) and the Ranger Elite and TUWSBL32 wads and 1-1/8 oz #4 steel shot. All used Rio blue 3" hulls and Rio 209 primers with and without OS cards. I have chrono data for 30 shots (range 1311-1608 fps) and patterning for 4 target velocities (1450-1575 fps). All cycled well in a Beretta A400 Xtreme. I do not have pressure data. The ideal load is:

Rio 12 ga 3" blue hull, 24 mm brass (RBSM324 Royal 32 Blue Steel)
Rio 209 primer
36 gr ASteel
Ranger Elite wad
1-1/8 ounce zinc-plated #4 steel shot
6 point fold crimp
1575 fps
63% of pellets in a 18' diameter circle at 30 yards with Modified choke

Other details:

-ASteel had a nicely linear increase in velocity with increasing load amount.
-ASteel performed similarly with both Ranger Elite and TUWSBL32 wads. Slightly higher velocities with Ranger Elite (50-100 fps).
-Felt recoil similar, not too bad.
-Ranger Elite wad is cupped so 12ga rammer tube would flare out and not push through fingers at loading. Replaced 12ga rammer with 20 ga which worked fine.
-Also tried Blue Dot which was slower (100-150 fps) by weight at 34-36 gr. The TUWSBL32 hull had a 1/8" shorter stack height with Blue Dot (more dense/volume than ASteel), so the crimp was caved without a cardboard OS card. Would need more Blue Do to achieve target velocity of 1500 fps and to fill volume. The stack height was ok with the Ranger Elite wad at 34-36 gr, velocity was similarly lower.

I hope this is useful for current and future Rio reloaders.
Bryan
I'm just starting out reloading but like the 3" Rio Royal Blue Steel #4 load so I'm interested in this. I'll soon have all of the components. Being new, I'm a little uncomfortable using unpublished data. I'd be shooting this in a SBE2. Please convince me! I've been slaying ducks with this factory load so I'd really like to do this. Unfortunately, I'm new and have never reloaded so I'm a little worried.
 

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I'm just starting out reloading but like the 3" Rio Royal Blue Steel #4 load so I'm interested in this. I'll soon have all of the components. Being new, I'm a little uncomfortable using unpublished data. I'd be shooting this in a SBE2. Please convince me! I've been slaying ducks with this factory load so I'd really like to do this. Unfortunately, I'm new and have never reloaded so I'm a little worried.
I'm just starting out reloading but like the 3" Rio Royal Blue Steel #4 load so I'm interested in this. I'll soon have all of the components. Being new, I'm a little uncomfortable using unpublished data. I'd be shooting this in a SBE2. Please convince me! I've been slaying ducks with this factory load so I'd really like to do this. Unfortunately, I'm new and have never reloaded so I'm a little worried.
I'm new as well. I took the advice of many and purchased Lyman's Reloading Book and started reading.
 

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This past fall, I needed to develop a nontoxic dove load.

I posted the following on another site after experimenting with shooting steel shot in lead shot wads.

About 12 years ago, I posted on this topic on this Forum.

Steel Target Loads with Lead Wads

Check out the second post in that thread.

I live in SE Minnesota, Reloading Specialties/Bucks Run is about 20 miles away. With the present ammo/component shortage, I purchased several pounds of #7 and #6 steel. I had two purposes for this shot, first I needed to replenish my supply of clay target loads for skeet and sporting clays. Second, I went dove hunting for the first time this year and needed appropriate ammunition as nontoxic shot is required on Iowa public dove fields.

I use 700X powder for my clay target shooting and found this source of data for using clay target powders with steel shot.

https://www.ballisticproducts.com/VP53 data.pdf

With that information, I started experimenting.

After several iterations, I settled on the following load:

Hull: 12 gauge Federal Field and Target
Primer: Cheddite 209
Powder: 16 grains 700X
Shot: 320 grains (3/4 oz) #7 steel
Wad: CB 8118 (Remington Figure 8 Clone) with shot wrap made from vinyl

The vinyl shot wrap is made from clear PVC vinyl purchased from the sewing section at Walmart ($4.99/yard x 54"). I cut it to 3/4" x 2" and insert it into the wad prior to dropping the shot. I have recovered several of these after shooting and there is no rub through.

I have not had this load pressure tested. It chronographs at 1325 fps (3 ft from muzzle). The recoil is pleasantly mild but it easily cycles my Models 50 and 59 Winchester semiautos. The pellet count is is about 320 pellets. This is slightly more pellets than my 7/8 oz #7.5 lead load.

It patterns evenly at 25 yards from a cylinder bore. It responds well to a modified choke also.

I have used this load for sporting clays, skeet, and dove hunting. On my first dove hunt, I shot my limit of doves at ranges from 15 to 40 yards. I hope to use this load in #6 steel on ruffed grouse and woodcock soon.
 
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