A different type of "long range hunting" - Shotgunning with high density shot

.300 Dakota

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Jul 21, 2018
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Moss Point, MS
I have seen the "golden BB" that takes down a bird at extreme distances a few times. This seems to have occurred when the bird is straight overhead. I think that these pellets that are heavier than lead are probably more likely to carry the momentum necessary for this to happen. When calling crows, killing the first bird that comes in to the call is important. If the scout goes back to the flock, the rest of them generally don't come to the call. If he drops in to check out the action, the rest soon follow. If/when the first bird comes over pretty high, it's tough to drop him. If it's very much above tree-top level, the probability of dropping the bird is slight. Maybe with these heavy pellets that has improved. I'll have to ask my buddies who are still active crow caller & shooters if they've employed these heavy shot shells. I do know that they've shot turkeys with them, and they say that 50 yards is a sure pop. At closer ranges, it smokes them.
Love crow calling and may incorporate it in the shot tests. Haven't done it in years since they started putting seasons on crows, but I may use it for a metric. Good thought!
 

GunHawk

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Last year I found some Clever Soft Steel 20GA at a good price and gave it a try. It was amazingly effective on those tough diving ducks. I use SxS only, a couple of them over 100 years old, so I have to be careful what I put through them.
 

J E Custom

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Texas
This probably won't interest many, but it is applicable to the topic of long range hunting. I recently picked up upland small game hunting again for the first time in years. I planned to take my Brittany (squirrel dog, extraordinaire) to the National Wildlife Refuge in the northern part of my state. They require non-toxic shot. I didn't even own a shotgun anymore, so I picked out a Winchester SXP 20ga with 26" barrel with the Invector Plus back-bored choke system. They had 1 choice for non-toxic shot other than steel, which I will not shoot. It was Heavi-X 3" #4 shot. Got to doing my research and watching YouTube videos of shot and choke comparisons. I read lots of reviews by people who had used various chokes and shells in various guns. I was surprised to learn there are guys killing turkeys at 70 yards with 20 gauges. Certainly an eye-opener for me having not hunted upland small game in a couple of decades at least.

What I discovered is that Jebs choke tubes are hard to beat. Hardened to 44 Rockwell and rated for every type of shot through even the tightest constrictions.

Also, I discovered a company in the TN mountains comprised entirely of ex- and currently military called Backridge Ammunition that produces only non-toxic shotgun shells in every gauge. The produce bisthmus and something called ITX 13, which is heavier than lead, and about 36% cheaper than TSS. I have a couple packages of the ITX 13 on order in 20ga 3" #6. To compare, I have ordered some Hevi-X Strut #5/6 combo and Federal Premiun TSS Turkey in 3" #7. I will shoot all, in addition to the Hevi-X Waterfowl #4s into paper at 50 yards through the Jebs .560" Head Hunter and will compare on game performance on the refuge.

The Backridge ITX 13 shot reportedly has a "Saturn ring" around the shot, which acts like a cutting edge, causing excessive bleeding from wound channels in tests on waterfowl. I will hopefully report back on the findings in a month or so. Interested to see how the Backridge performs compared to the more expensive brands at distance on squirrels. Hope these guys make it in the business!

In my opinion, the only way to increase the distance is to increase the shot size or decrease the pattern size . you can do both and the effects are better. Distance also calls for more velocity to impart more energy.

Shot count, pattern size, velocity and shot weight all help as long as you have all of them and find out what it's range is.

I chose a 3 1/2 inch Mag with #2's or #4's to get the range you mentioned. also I center the bead on the Turkey's head so it only takes a few pellets to down him. As you go down in shot count, you also go down in the chances that you will get a killing shot that's not luck.

The longest shot that I have made was 76 yards using 2 1/4 oz of #2 shot and I had 6 pellets in the head and neck, but all of the other shot were found under the skin and not in the flesh, so I am now limiting myself to 65 to 70 yards. We can still use lead but the heavy shot have a lessor shot count and pattern density and with long shots this is very important.

My recommendation would be to pattern test on a full size turkey target and determine your maximum range to shoot with whatever combination of shot and choke you have.

J E CUSTOM
 

Wedgy

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Feb 9, 2013
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I have no problem spending the money for TSS on turkeys, geese, and coyotes as I don't shoot hundreds a year and spend more on gas on most trips. They are really an entirely different ammo for the shotgun. A # 9 TSS will out penetrate a #5 lead pellet and you get 360 TSS per/oz and only 173 lead #5's per oz, double the pattern) so the pattern will hold much further out. Not sure if you know of Jim at Prairiewind Decoys but here's what he had to say;


This 18 gram/cubic centimeter heavy weight Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) shot turns your sub gauge gun into an extremely lethal weapon. It is perfect for the 410 Bore, 28ga, and 20 gauge. You won't believe the ballistics. For example, a 3/8oz load of #9's in a 410 2 1/2" shell gives you 135 pellets.(That is more pellets than many 12ga loads) These pellets carry more energy than Lead #4's at 1510 FPS with 23 grains of powder. This loads yeieds 1.25" of penetration into Ballistic gel at 88 yards!

Believe me, these pellets are "the stuff!" We have been cold cocking big 12 pound Canadas with our 410's at 70+ yards. These guns are light, fast, quiet, and have no recoil.
 

del2les

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South Central, CO
I have no problem spending the money for TSS on turkeys, geese, and coyotes as I don't shoot hundreds a year and spend more on gas on most trips. They are really an entirely different ammo for the shotgun. A # 9 TSS will out penetrate a #5 lead pellet and you get 360 TSS per/oz and only 173 lead #5's per oz, double the pattern) so the pattern will hold much further out. Not sure if you know of Jim at Prairiewind Decoys but here's what he had to say;


This 18 gram/cubic centimeter heavy weight Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) shot turns your sub gauge gun into an extremely lethal weapon. It is perfect for the 410 Bore, 28ga, and 20 gauge. You won't believe the ballistics. For example, a 3/8oz load of #9's in a 410 2 1/2" shell gives you 135 pellets.(That is more pellets than many 12ga loads) These pellets carry more energy than Lead #4's at 1510 FPS with 23 grains of powder. This loads yeieds 1.25" of penetration into Ballistic gel at 88 yards!

Believe me, these pellets are "the stuff!" We have been cold cocking big 12 pound Canadas with our 410's at 70+ yards. These guns are light, fast, quiet, and have no recoil.
If one has never tried tungsten shot at range, you will be impressed. I have a few handloads in 12ga 2oz loads in a 2-3/4" shell, yes 2 oz in that shell, and it is in a completely different category for longer shots on big birds or other.
 

Wolf76

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Jan 5, 2014
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Grandville, Michigan
TSS is amazing. Has the weight and small diameter. The net result is shot that penetrates much deeper and breaks bones.
Turkeys don't even flop after being shot. Cost is an issue though. I load 7s + 9s. My longest turkey kill is 68 yards and it was stone dead. really don't think a 12 is even necessary for most hunting, but I have a 12 ga reloader. Considering lighter/faster loads in the future.
I'm getting 360-370 hits in a turkey kill zone at 40 yards - looks like a swarm of bees.
 

Wedgy

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really don't think a 12 is even necessary for most hunting, but I have a 12 ga reloader. Considering lighter/faster loads in the future.
You don't need a press to reload TSS, I have 3 MEC 9000's and load my TSS by hand because I don't shoot hundreds of them and I don't want to reset my machines for a few shells. Watch a few videos on roll crimping, it is stupid easy, especially if you reload for rifles, etc.(loads have to be for TSS, they are not interchangeable with lead of similar weight)
All you need is a $30 roll crimper, you already have a drill, scale, etc. just order 100 pre-primed hulls, + wads and get going.
 

.300 Dakota

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Jul 21, 2018
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182
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Moss Point, MS
I have no problem spending the money for TSS on turkeys, geese, and coyotes as I don't shoot hundreds a year and spend more on gas on most trips. They are really an entirely different ammo for the shotgun. A # 9 TSS will out penetrate a #5 lead pellet and you get 360 TSS per/oz and only 173 lead #5's per oz, double the pattern) so the pattern will hold much further out. Not sure if you know of Jim at Prairiewind Decoys but here's what he had to say;


This 18 gram/cubic centimeter heavy weight Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) shot turns your sub gauge gun into an extremely lethal weapon. It is perfect for the 410 Bore, 28ga, and 20 gauge. You won't believe the ballistics. For example, a 3/8oz load of #9's in a 410 2 1/2" shell gives you 135 pellets.(That is more pellets than many 12ga loads) These pellets carry more energy than Lead #4's at 1510 FPS with 23 grains of powder. This loads yeieds 1.25" of penetration into Ballistic gel at 88 yards!

Believe me, these pellets are "the stuff!" We have been cold cocking big 12 pound Canadas with our 410's at 70+ yards. These guns are light, fast, quiet, and have no recoil.
Wow! Good to know!! I may look at a .410 for the squirrels here in the yard.
 

.300 Dakota

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Moss Point, MS
You don't need a press to reload TSS, I have 3 MEC 9000's and load my TSS by hand because I don't shoot hundreds of them and I don't want to reset my machines for a few shells. Watch a few videos on roll crimping, it is stupid easy, especially if you reload for rifles, etc.(loads have to be for TSS, they are not interchangeable with lead of similar weight)
All you need is a $30 roll crimper, you already have a drill, scale, etc. just order 100 pre-primed hulls, + wads and get going.
VERY good to know! Yes, I reload rifles religiously. I may look into trying this. I could make up a box of shells and try them out. If I like the results, I might invest in more equipment.
 

.300 Dakota

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Jul 21, 2018
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Moss Point, MS
I got my order from Backridge today. I think they made a little "boo-boo."

I paid for 2 packs and there were three in the box... These are $4.50/shell! That's what I call customer service!! Now I have a couple extra to test!

Got my GPS in today as well. I may do some scouting this weekend if I can find a place in the state of Mississippi that isn't flooded. Always an issue from start of squirrel season til the end of turkey season. Jebs tube will be here Thursday, I believe.
 

Bigeclipse

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Aug 10, 2012
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It's a gimmick. Companies spend millions getting shot to stay round(antimony, wads, etc.) so it will fly straight and pattern well, then someone comes out with square shot that "hits like a ton of bricks" but it flies like a brick also.
Plenty of choke tubes work well with TSS and others. Best is to buy some TSS and load your own, its unlike anything before. Number 9's will flatten coyotes inside 60 yards so you get the picture. If you buy TSS from Hal on the TSS forum he will give you load data
This x2. I load my own and buy from Hal as well. #9s for the win. Easily take Turkey out past the taboo range of 50 yards. For me, I love calling the birds in and of course will try to get them close but I also have a short season and not a lot of birds near me so if one is at 70 yards and hung up I will take it knowing it is likely the only bird I might see that year.
 

700Sendero

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Apr 25, 2014
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36
I would for sure check out the guys from Boss Shotshells. Small company up in Michigan. They load copper plated bismuth that is the most devestating shell ive ever shot. Prices are good, and they are a super awesome company to deal with. I shot their 5s out of my Franchi 20 all last year and it was impressive stuff. They also load some tungsten 7s or 9s for turkey loads. Killed one bird at 53 yards last year with my 20.
 

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