New Hi-Tech Duck Loads
Two innovative waterfowl loads that will make your shotgun more lethal on ducks and geese
Serious waterfowlers stay on the lookout for any technology that will help them down more birds, and these new steel offerings will do just that.
Remington Hypersonic Steel
Speed kills, so the saying goes, but there are limits as to how fast we can drive an adequate payload of shot and still keep the pressures generated safe.
One constraint is the physical dimensions of a shotshell. The space allotted for the powder charge is one of the factors limiting performance. Remington’s new Hypersonic Steel incorporates a clever workaround for this.
The innovative wad has a powder-filled tube at its base that backs against the primer flashhole. When the primer is fired, it ignites this first charge, which pushes the whole wad forward before the rest of the powder in the shell burns.
The additional space created by this two-stage ignition allows for a more potent overall powder charge that generates additional velocity. Remington advertises a 1,700 fps speed, which would make it the fastest shot on the market. All I know is that when I used it on ducks in Argentina, it walloped even the highest fliers decisively.
Remington’s Hypersonic steel is available in 3 1⁄2-inch and 3-inch 12-gauge loads, with shot sizes from No. 4 up to BB. Payloads include 1 1⁄8-ounce, 1 1⁄4-ounce and 1 3⁄8-ounce. (remington.com)
–John B. Snow
Winchester Blind Side
Winchester’s new Blind Side steel shot load uses hexa-hedron-shaped pellets that have the same individual pellet weight as round pellets in comparable sizes. The design, with six flat sides and multiple corners and edges, is unusual, but it produces two positive results. The shape means shot stacks in the shell to use the internal volume better, allowing 15 percent more pellets per shell than round pellets. In addition, the shot creates greater impact and tissue trauma per individual pellet than round pellets do.
On a recent outing at the famed Nilo Farms, I watched this load drop ducks with authority, hammering them like lead. It also patterned like premium lead shot.
A new diamond-cut wad encloses the shot and provides the same choke response as lead shot. Pattern testing at 25 yards with an Improved Cylinder choke produced the dense, evenly distributed patterns I would expect from hard lead-plated shot. The same was true of 35-yard Modified and 45-yard Full choke patterns.
The Blind Side loads are available in 12-gauge 3 1⁄2-inch BB and No. 2 (1 5⁄8-ounce at 1,400 fps), and 12-gauge 3-inch BB and No. 2 (1 3⁄8-ounce at 1,400 fps). (winchester.com)