Whadya Think?

California Flyway

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Tungsten is great for small gauge Turkey.
For ducks I do not like the dense patterns even at 40 to 50 yards.
Bismuth a better choice for waterfowl in my opinion, if folks want heavier than steel loads.
 

Tuleman

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T,

I will let you torch off one of my (factory load) HW-15 in 3 1/2" 12 gauge and then shoot one of my 20 gauge 1 ounce hand load in HW-15. Once the concussion subsides, I believe you'll note the distinctions.
Oh, I'm aware of the recoil associated with 3 1/2" 12 gage loads. I have a 12 gage chambered for 3 1/2" loads and have shot...over the years.... about a box of shells through it. Even with the Kick-Off, the recoil is not pleasant. But we aren't talking about comfort here, we're talking about effectiveness.
A bigger payload of whatever shot will always be more effective than a smaller payload of the same shot. Right? The question today seems to be: how effective does our load have to be?

I love my 20's for dove, pigeons, and when I have a multi-mile hike to my duck spot. In those cases, certain attributes such as gun weight, ammo weight, and recoil make the 20 very attractive. And, yes, for ducks, I shoot tungsten loads (not duplex, either) in that 20. I'll gladly give up a little effectiveness for increased comfort in those situations. The older I get, the more important comfort becomes.
 

NW BIRDHUNTER

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I think it looks good on paper, but waaaay too expensive. Small gauges are cool, but everything is going away from lead shot. I really miss the "Good old days" of lead.
 

JP

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Oh, I'm aware of the recoil associated with 3 1/2" 12 gage loads. I have a 12 gage chambered for 3 1/2" loads and have shot...over the years.... about a box of shells through it. Even with the Kick-Off, the recoil is not pleasant. But we aren't talking about comfort here, we're talking about effectiveness.
A bigger payload of whatever shot will always be more effective than a smaller payload of the same shot. Right? The question today seems to be: how effective does our load have to be?

I love my 20's for dove, pigeons, and when I have a multi-mile hike to my duck spot. In those cases, certain attributes such as gun weight, ammo weight, and recoil make the 20 very attractive. And, yes, for ducks, I shoot tungsten loads (not duplex, either) in that 20. I'll gladly give up a little effectiveness for increased comfort in those situations. The older I get, the more important comfort becomes.
Agreed, as that's why the first two loads going downrange are steel and/or bismuth cartridges. As far as larger bore guns go, I am observing a bit larger (3-5") killing pattern but the overall pellet density is basically identical with the smaller bores. The barking about the cost factor is IMO, only truly relevant if you shoot 500+ rounds per season and don't handload or have a Trust Fund.
 

Tuleman

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The barking about the cost factor is IMO, only truly relevant if you shoot 500+ rounds per season and don't handload or have a Trust Fund.
I dunno', JP. The last five years or so I've shot about a case of duck loads each season; that's roughly 250 shells.
If they'd been tungsten, that would equate to about $1000 in ammo. (I don't reload)
As it is, my steel loads cost about 40¢ each, or $100.
Now, I don't have the discretionary income you have, and saving $900 a year on what can only be classified as recreation is relevant for me.
And, no, I've never had a trust fund... :l

The truth of the matter is this: if I were shooting $4/shell ammo, I'd probably lose more ducks than if I were shooting forty cent ammo. I'd be MUCh more hesitant to pull the trigger on that 50 yard swimming cripple with the $4 ammo than I would be with 40¢ ammo. Know what I mean? Two sluicing shots and there went $8 instead of 80¢......
I just can't do it.
 

JP

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T,

I totally get it about the cost factor being something that would defer participation with HTL ordnance. I bought factory loads (Federal HW-15) when Rogers was clearing those cartridges out a couple seasons ago at a fraction of what they would cost today. Being a hand loader, I stocked up on the HW-15 when BPI was running it at a slight discount back then as well. I looked at it as a long term capital investment/expenditure. Current inventory of factory cartridges and hand load components equate out to ~12 seasons worth, using your history of cartridge usage. However, the fact every round fired is not a HTL load (it has it's time/place, just as steel & bismuth) that inventory is probably enough for ~30 seasons.

Currently, I am loading the 1 ounce HW-15 load for ~$1.85-1.98 per round. At today's current loose pellet prices for HW-15, that would likely look more like ~$2.25-2.40 per round which is significantly less than any of the commercially available HTL rounds. BTW, I have anchored buddies' swimming cripples at (laser rangefinder measured) 92 yards with one shot of HW-15 in #7's. In wing shooting IF you start consciously thinking about anything right before you slap the trigger, a miss is the result more often than not. Been there, done that.

IMO, the biggest impediment (real or imagined) to people adopting the usage of this type of ammunition for flying birds, is their innate lack of self-confidence in the ability to hit the target. The current rage of #9 TSS and .410 bore shotguns for turkey hunting is a somewhat oblique confirmation of such as the field proven efficacy of that combination (and, the fact shells expended are at a minimum by virtue of the quarry) is no longer in question.
 
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Ravenanme

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That's a fact JP , even though I do shoot my share of Long Yardage money shoots with custom Lead loads , there's a big difference when the target
is in the sky ! I grant you birds are larger than clay target but never the less , until you have something to gage for comparison , it's a wild ***
guess . Roster did offer a guideline for judging distance in his CONSEP classes and they do help but until a shooter has enough trigger-time at
these long yardage shots to build a visual memory bank , there's going to be a lot of wasted shells !
I do a lot of pigeon shooting practicing , fortunately , even though I usually have 50 to hundred FB decoys out , birds sometimes don't want to play
so , here comes the scouts . These bird mostly in 2's , sometimes a couple more , come-in from far away up 65 yds plus , they'll circle once or twice
looking for danger and off they go ! I don't necessarily like having them leave to go tell their buddies so , it's trigger time . The better at allowing them
NOT to tell their friends there's danger over there , the better shooting the day will provide !
How many shooters know , what the pattern drop is , at 75 yds for lead shot ? How about the drop at a 70 degree angle at 65 yds up ?
 
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Rick Hall

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I do a lot of pigeon shooting practicing , fortunately , even though I usually have 50 to hundred FB decoys out , birds sometimes don't want to play
so , here comes the scouts . These bird mostly in 2's , sometimes a couple more , come-in from far away up 65 yds plus , they'll circle once or twice
looking for danger and off they go ! I don't necessarily like having them leave to go tell their buddies so , it's trigger time . The better at allowing them
NOT to tell their friends there's danger over there , the better shooting the day will provide !
Though I've raised and shot homers for my dogs for decades, I've zip experience with pigeon hunting. But the above put me in mind of when I'd hunt crows. If you didn't hide well enough for the scouts to return to their mob with a "go-ahead," you were done in that location. But if you shot the scouts in full view of an onlooking mob (OK, "murder"), they'd toll, as if given the greenlight. An amusing puzzlement, that.
 

Ravenanme

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That's a fact Rick , pigeons maybe not as smart as Crows but learn quickly to watchout for danger . It does take some concealment but maybe
not as much for Crows ! I do normally put out half doz FF Crow decoys , basically , off by themselves not to far from my spread , they are
confidence decoys for those pigeons that be watching . Those crows that come looking do get attended to as well as what I'm after but my
dog would rather the taste of pigeons . It sure is fun when they hang over the decoys , far enough up , they feel safe . Watching the tumbling
from so high can take some time for them to hit the ground !
 

Tuleman

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I've shot thousands of barnyard pigeons over the decades and I've never seen them send out "scout" birds to check out an area and then go back to give a sitrep to the rest of the group. :l

The first birds of the morning come straight in to the decoys and try to land....just like the second, third, fourth, etc. group of any size (1 or 100). They never make high swings, then leave and go back the way they came to "warn" other birds. They just come in for breakfast like every other pigeon. Scout pigeons? That's anthropomorphism.

If a group of pigeons leave after looking over a possible site, it's because they've seen something that alarms them and they're going to find another spot, not heading back to warn other pigeons.

Birds do not possess logic.
 

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