Steel shot is less dense than lead
Although the density of lead and steel shot is nearly the same, steel is much more dense. The
average pellet in a steel cartridge weighs about one-third of its lead counterpart. Consequently,
steel shot has denser patterns and can be used in many applications. Using steel shot, however,
requires certain safety precautions.
It is important to understand the differences between lead and steel shot and whether they're the same for your
firearm. While lead is the most common shot, steel and tungsten are not quite the same. A golf ball is
significantly denser than a ping-pong ball. That means that a lead 5 pellet will fly farther and hit
harder than a tungsten-alloy pellet. While a tungsten pellet will hit harder than a lead 5 pellet, it
won't penetrate as deeply as lead, which will increase the distance of a bird shot.