Federal Catalogs


If anyone has Federal catalogs, listing their shotgun shells, from 1973-1976 I would appreciate knowing if they listed ANY steel shot shells. The earliest I know of is 1977 but I have no access to older catalogs.


I am assuming you are talking about Steel Shot loads, and not steel bases, or any kind of all-steel shotgun shells. Pardon me for questioning, but I know almost nothing about shotgun shells.

If you are talking about steel shot, I can move your date back a couple of years. Within the date parameters you set, I have only a 1975 Federal catalog, gut it lists, on page 5, “New Federal Steel “Waterfowl Loads.” Listed are 12 Gauge only, W147, 2-2/4”, 3-3/4 Dram Equivalent, 1-1/8 ounce of shot, in Steel Shot sizes 1, 2, and 4.

The list the approximate amount of shot Pellets comparing 1-1/8 oz. of Steel to 1-1/4 oz. of lead as follows:

Shot Size 6, amount of steel pellets not listed since not offered, 282 pellets in lead shot load.
Shot Size 4, 216 steel to 167 lead
Shot Size 2, 140 Steel to 109 lead
Shot Size 1, 118 steel, no listing for lead shot.

They also advise those who use #6 lead to use #4 steel, those that use #4 lead to use #2 steel, and go on to advise goose hunters to use #1 steel. They refer to the soft as “softened steel pellets, surrounded by a tough plastic shot container which has been developed especially to minimize or prevent gun choke expansion that is associated with unprotected steel pellets.”


If you have access to a collection of old Gun Digests from the 1970’s that would probably be mentioned there, as they usually had tables of current ammunition offerings from the various manufacturers, and a section on “What’s New in Ammunition.” I’ve been able to bracket introduction or production termination dates of several different US rounds that way. Mejor que nada.


Thanks John. That clears up some conflicts in information that I have gleaned from various sources. If you could bring a copy of that page to SLICS I would be in your debt!

Dennis, I discovered the Gun Digest as an information source awhile back and its been very helpful but some of the information is general and sometimes misleading (all sources can be like that). In my research of non-toxic shotshells I have thanked myself for saving volumes of old Hunting and G&A magazines from decades ago.