Steel is much less dense than lead, bismuth, Kent TM, Hevi-Shot, HD or any other type of non-toxic. You therefore need a bigger shot to carry the same energy. The shot is therefore exposed to higher drag, slows down faster and does not carry the energy needed to assure quick kills on waterfowl.
Yes, I know that many waterfowl hunters say they only shoot waterfowl inside 30 yds and steel is not a problem but unless you use a handcannon and 3&1/2" 12 or 10 gauge loads, don't care about the wounded ducks and geese that are actually hit but not downed and fly away to suffer, it just doesn't work, besides damaging those guns not made to use steel shot.
I couldn't stomach being in a blind with a steel and plastic camo'd semi-monster. BTW, how did all those geese and ducks not to mention turkey's, get killed without camo in the past?
When non-toxic was mandated my doubles got put away and a new Rem 870 Express 12 gauge ($220) was put in its place. Miserable on ducks and geese with steel. Finally went to T for geese and #1 for ducks and no pass shooting. When bismuth was introduced and then Kent TM followed, old doubles were again killing machines! Hevi-Shot even better in a modern double(Rem 332).
Expense be damned, it's a pleasure to go waterfowl hunting again!-Dick