You won't want to here this but both loads are Junk & a marketing gimmick. Buy the top to the line shells with round pellets. Think of it this way throw a ball then coffee can lid. If your shooting close range, say timber shooting Mallards where 30 yds is a long shot they will be fine. Above is correct Pattern what ever you use it will be a eye opener & every barrel is different. Good Hunting
I will say that ducks that are hit with black cloud, which I have used for the last 2 yrs, are hit better with black cloud. Not that you will hit more ducks, but the ones you hit will be hurt more, at least in my experience. They seem to penetrate better and cause more damage based on cleaning ducks shot with and without black cloud.
A buddy I hunt with tried them last yr and won't go back, nor will I. He seconded my experience - what used to be a swimmer is now essentially flopping around in the water. We hunt in flooded corn, so swimmers get away quickly, even with dogs b/c the pond is a few acres. If you hunt open water it may be less critical.
I use a black cloud choke - maybe a mktg gimmick, but since the wad works very differently, I wanted to give it a shot. The choke helps the wad deploy better, so the story goes...maybe that was a gimmick, maybe black cloud is a gimmick, but in my experience it works better than the Kent round #2's I was using.
I might be another victim of the gimmick thing but after shooting 40-50 days of duck season and 4-5 cases per year I have tried just about everything out there. I shoot a rotation of shotguns throughout the season,2 sbe II, and a sx3 all of which are capable of 3.5" shells but shoot 80% 3" after discovering black cloud. I shoot both the 3" 3's and 4's interchangeably. I am sure I will get lectured on how fours are too small for ducks and geese but in my experience it is the deadliest duck shell I have ever shot. We commonly kill geese at extended ranges 50-70 yards with 3" #4 in black cloud. Now this is just my experience and opinion. I use my regular chokes and even my aftermarket tubes with the black cloud with no problems and great patterning. I no longer use my patternmaster choke with either blackcloud or blindside.
I shot blindside all last season and have a very high opinion on it too. It seems to hit harder and kill more birds in my experience than conventional steel. I like the heavier shot loads of blindside ammo. Lots of shot stuffed into a 3" shell.
Now it all really comes down to what you want to spend. Premium shells come at premium prices. I assume you are in the market for premium shells based on this posting. A good shotgun shot will kill more birds then a lousy one no matter the shell used. If your like me and this is one of your passions then spending a little more to achieve an advantage or perceived advantage then I am in. I would recommend either shell without hesitation. My nod goes to black cloud for the only reason is I have more experience killing ducks with it. Good luck
I don't think black cloud is a complete gimmick... The flight stopper pellets that is the gimmick part I honestly don't think they make much difference. The thing that makes the black cloud my favorite duck and geese load is the flight control wad it makes it a much better longer range load. I do a lot of waterfowl hunting and I use #2's for all my ducks and the BB's for the Canadian's and snow's. I really like the Snow goose fast steel snow goose shell's 1 1/8 shot at 1635 fps flight control wad is just a lean mean killing machine as long as you do your part.
It's to bad these loads were not around when Delta Waterfowl did there scientific study of what is a good duck load. You can google Delta's Most lethal Mallard load a study of all makes & brands of shells. I do know round pellets are the best from a performance point of view, the Wad I have no clue. If some other shape of pellet was better it would be in the Top of the line Trap Shells period. When money is on the line the top shooters will be useing it. My favorite shell for Waterdowl shooting was Remington's HD to bad it was discontinued. I will say one should shoot what one has confidence in. Good Hunting
Blackcloud is a longer range load than Blindside. Blindside is a faster killer at close range. Blindside also pulls feathers into the meat worse than any other pellet. I would pick neither. Best load on the market for a 12ga considering price is HeviX. We often shoot ducks and geese on the same hunt. HeviX #2's are very effective on both. I have literally begged them to load this shot in BB and BBB in 1-3/4oz 10ga, but they won't listen.
Hevi Metal shells are super. I used the HM before switching to the Hevi-X shells.
Both will do the job. The OP needed advice on a good choke for his 870 and
I suggest that he tries the Hevishot Waterfowl Choke system that comes with
a mid and extended range choke
Black cloud does seem to hit hard, but the powder burns very very dirty. Also be careful which choke you shoot it through..it WILL bulge a barrel. Seen it happen. I quit shooting it that day. Have since gone to either Kent's or heavy metal with an extra modified choke and never looked back.
Blindside is just a gimmick. Even If it was stacked in the shell as pictured or marketed..its still a turd for flight...think of throwing a small cardboard box with rounded edges
I agree with most, these shot types are mostly just gimmicks. Same with speed ball and the rest. If you want better results, move up to hevishot or TSS for a real increase in ballistics. If not, save your money and shoot straight round steel. For birds in the decoys, it's not going to matter.