Each yr I commit a column to letters from readers addressing subjects of common curiosity to the broader viewers of shotgunners. Here’s a choice.
Have you ever accomplished a evaluation of HEVI-Shot Traditional Doubles unhazardous shotshells? I ask as a result of I’m questioning if they’re protected to be used in my new Watson Bros. 12-gauge side-by-side. I do know variation of HEVI-Shot accessible some years in the past had a median hardness that was lower than that of lead however contained granules of a cloth that was truly tougher than metal, with the end result being that shotshells containing pellets produced from this materials wouldn’t have been good to be used in my gun.
HEVI-Shot Traditional Doubles masses, manufactured by Environ-Metallic, include mushy tungsten-composite pellets that the corporate says are appropriate for firing in any shotgun that may deal with lead shot and the pressures of American shotshell masses for the gauge and shell size in query.
Traditional Doubles pellets are comparable in density to bismuth/tin pellets—that’s, about midway between lead and metal shot. Bismuth/tin pellets are one other “mushy” unhazardous, as are the pellets loaded in Kent’s Tungsten Matrix masses. Of those three, Tungsten Matrix pellets have the very best density—nearly as dense as exhausting lead shot.
I’m writing to achieve your perspective on 20- vs. 12-gauge shells loaded with 1 ozof shot. My spouse hunts with me. We’ve hunted with the same-gauge weapons so we are able to share shells. Upland searching requires her to hold a gun all day. I purchased her a lightweight, semi-auto 20-gauge with a recoil reducer within the inventory. She shoots the gun nice. The gun is gentle sufficient that she will carry it simply.
I’m questioning how a 1-oz 20-gauge load compares to a 1-oz 12-gauge load. For pheasant searching, most firms create high-speed masses with No. 5 lead shot. As you may think about, 1¼ ozof No. 5 shot at 1,350 fps is just not an excellent load for my spouse. Is 1 ozout of a 20-gauge simply as deadly as 1 ozout of a 12-gauge? Are there different elements that ought to I be contemplating?
So long as the shot sort, shot form, shot measurement, cost weight and velocity stage are all comparable or the identical between the 12- and 20-gauge masses being in contrast, they may generate nearly the identical recoil stage and develop comparable ballistic and lethality potential, so long as they sample equally from each weapons. However to know the latter, this have to be checked by pattern-testing the 2 weapons. Chokes have to be tried till you discover the choke in each-gauge gun that, with the load in query, yields an analogous sample to the opposite gun and choke on the identical distances related to your anticipated taking pictures state of affairs.
Is my reasoning sound, or are there too many different elements affecting efficiency to conclude that decrease pressures are nearly all the time higher?
For probably the most half your pondering is right, particularly that lower-pressure masses are inclined to sample higher with mushy shot varieties resembling lead or bismuth due to the marginally gentler launch of the shot they supply. This leads to much less pellet deformation, and something that reduces deformation leads to rounder pellets rising from the muzzle.
Nevertheless, there are conditions the place increased pressures are of profit. These embody cold-weather taking pictures, the place increased pressures guarantee a extra profitable powder burn. Greater pressures additionally nearly all the time assist smaller shot-to-shot velocity variations. Greater pressures lead to extra full and cleaner combustion, particularly the place sure slow-burning propellants are getting used and the place gentle shot expenses for a given gauge and shell size are concerned.
Whereas pattern-testing outcomes might be empirically derived and visually appreciated, these different ballistic phenomena go largely undetected, with the potential exception of soiled powder burns. Shot-to-shot velocity variation, for instance, is essential to sure shooters’ consistency in hitting success however is unspecified for each manufacturing facility masses and reloading recipes.
I’m a Texas hunter desperately on the lookout for bismuth shot—measurement No. 6 or 7—for a lightweight, small Purdey I’ve been taking pictures since 1960. It, in fact, can not deal with metal shot. I might not shoot lead over a pond of wildfowl and would hate to surrender my favourite sport as a result of incapacity to search out cartridges.
If you’re speaking about reloading bismuth shot, contact Precision Reloading (800-223-0900) or Ballistic Merchandise (888-273-5623) to order the shot. In Texas contact Cabela’s or Academy Sports activities & Outside as two of many sellers of manufacturing facility Kent and Rio bismuth ammunition. Additionally, try RST at rstshells.com regarding 2½” 12-, 16- and 20-gauge bismuth masses.
In analyzing reloading information from powder producers, it’s obvious that chamber pressures range—typically significantly—for equal muzzle velocities, relying on completely different element mixtures. I’m referring particularly to information revealed by Hodgdon for 28-gauge masses with Longshot powder that states a 10% chamber-pressure distinction due simply to completely different primers. As a result of the higher-pressure recipe is correct on the SAAMI most for 28 gauge, this appears important.
I’ve all the time tried to choose a primer-powder-wad mixture that can end result within the lowest strain for the speed I’m loading for (inside cause). It appears intuitive to me that, all different issues being equal, decrease pressures ought to lead to higher patterns, ought to positively be simpler on weapons and should lengthen hull life. I might say my masses carry out effectively utilizing these standards.
I’m a comparatively new shotshell reloader and really delicate to recoil. I’m reloading 1 ozof lead shot at about 1,200 fps. I exploit No. 8s for entice, skeet and sporting clays. However I put some No. 6 shot in my goal masses, and it appears to kill pheasants, if I can hit them.
It appears that evidently there could be a bonus to having extra lead within the air, like a 1¼-oz.load. Is there a method to load 1¼-oz.gentle masses? The entire books put 1¼-oz.masses within the searching enviornment and use magnum primers and powders and crank up the speed. My expertise seems to favor 11/Eight-oz.masses over 1-oz.for quail. It simply appears that I kill extra with extra pellets.
Does much less strain imply much less recoil?
Simply load 1,200-fps lead-shot goal masses with 11⁄Eight ozof No. 6s or 5s as a substitute of No. 8s. That may maintain your recoil points and nonetheless be deadly on pheasants. Don’t combine non-lethal No. 8s with bigger pellets; that could be a subtraction from the load’s pheasant-taking lethality. Use the identical load with No. 8s on quail.
No, decrease chamber pressures don’t reduce free recoil. However some shooters declare they expertise much less felt recoil from lower-pressure masses. Others can really feel no distinction.
By way of all of your years of testing sporting-shotgun masses, have you ever developed a mathematical method for arriving on the minimal quantity of pellets required in a 30” circle to kill a chook? I’ve studied your lethality tables and puzzled if they’re based mostly on a method or pattern- and field-testing. I’m conversant in Burrard’s method, however by his personal admission it doesn’t present an ample variety of pellets for gamebirds which might be larger than two kilos.
The minimum-pattern-count information listed in my lethality tables for varied chook species and physique sizes have been derived solely from empirical testing and the X-ray/necropsy outcomes gained from analyzing greater than 26,000 birds taken within the subject as one-shot kills—both in wildlife-agency-sponsored taking pictures assessments or below the authority of scientific gathering permits. The patterns of the hundreds and chokes that efficiently did the killing have been then examined on the varied distances the birds have been struck, to derive the sample information. Nothing was accomplished with laptop simulations or projections or predictive mathematical formulae.
I learn with curiosity your piece “Sub-Gauge Masses for Upland Birds” (March/April). Did your testing present Spred-Rs to be the most effective in 12-gauge as effectively? I wish to add them to my sporting clays bag this yr.
In a phrase: Sure!
To correspond with Tom Roster or to order his reloading handbook on buffered lead and bismuth shotshells, his HEVI-Shot reloading handbook, his up to date 75-page Shotgun Barrel Modification Guide or his tutorial taking pictures DVDs, contact Tom Roster, 1190 Lynnewood Blvd., Klamath Falls, OR 97601, 541-884-2974.
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