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Winchester Blind Side Ammo in High Speed

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February 08, 2011

Winchester Blind Side Ammo in High Speed

By Phil Bourjaily

As a shot charge flies downrange it widens and elongates. I always imagine it looking like a swarm of angry bees. One of the enduring myths of shotgun shooting is that the length of the shotstring helps make up for over-leading a target because the clay or the bird can fly into the back of the shot column as it stretches out in front of it. That has never made sense to me and I think this clip backs me up.

I took a trip to Winchester’s Nilo Farms last fall where I had a chance to shoot the new Blind Side steel loads at ducks and clays while Winchester engineers did some filming. In this video, SHOT Business Editor Slaton White is shooting at a left to right quartering clay.

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/N3a3EwYzpQ6Vl8_BnFUuO8zqj8_KPF-g/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

As I mentioned in a post last fall, Blind Side pellets are hexahedronical (dice shaped) steel, so they have six flat sides that reflect light like signal mirrors, which must explain why they sparkle as they fly downrange. You can also see how Winchester’s Diamond Cut wad holds the pellets together as they exit the muzzle then separates to release them several feet downrange, helping the flattened pellets pattern more tightly than they otherwise would.

Notice that the target remains practically motionless in the time it takes the shot charge to travel from the muzzle to the clay. The target flies so slowly relative to the speed of the pellets that any advantage of a long shot string would be very, very slight. The target simply isn’t flying fast enough to collide with the back of the shotstring.

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/Zxa3EwYzoic1h8xxLqOYILl8xlerh65f/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

Comments (27)

Top Rated
All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Paying close attention to the fist video I noticed the spent shell ejected and was approximately 14 inches from the chamber when the shot hit the bird.

Was wondering if the industry has a standard or measurement for a shotgun to cycle or eject a shell. Maybe rounds per minute?

Also, I could see how the first video would help a beginning trap shooter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Wow! I am impressed! Phil, could you back that video up a little so we could see the gun/shooter movement? Buckhunter is on the right track. This is very instructional.

I live about eight miles fron NILO. Next time you are in town, let me know. If you are on expense account, you can buy lunch. If not, I will spring for a party of less than four. That includes your kids and Mr. Petzal, if he can find his way to the Midwest.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Phil,

Do you mind if I borrow these to use in my Hunter Ed Classes? Great videos to show how a shot charge behaves.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from spiaailtli wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I would love to see some high speed at the target end and high speed ballistic gel shots. Have any of those you can share?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Wow. Totally cool footage.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Great video, but I don't find your comments about the length of the shot-string to be pursuasive. Basically, you are saying that the shot travels so fast in comparison to the clay target that you can effectively consider the clay target to be stationary - if this were really the case then why must shooters lead the target? Granted, the lenght of the shotstring is a secondary or tertiary factor, but I still consider it to a factor of some limited significance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

the pellets were half way out to the target before the shell started to eject that was cool!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Bryan01 --
We have to lead targets because it can take around 1/10 of second for a shot charge to cover the distance from the muzzle to the target -- and that's not counting lock time and the time it takes to pull a trigger. However, an eight foot shot string will pass a given point very quickly -- too quickly, I think, for added length of the shotstring to help you hit a target.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

That video has certainly changed my perception of how a shot pattern arrives at the target. Thank you, Phil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I think Winchester is moving its centerfire ammunition operation to Oxford, Mississippi, except for the shot tower. What kind of shot tower makes hexahedronical shot?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

And I knew that. Sittin around the table at the gun club we did the math..it will not happen. So why shoot at a paper target to find out your pattern density? The shot string devalues that notion does it not?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

And lead depends on the speed of the moving barrel. Move the barrel extremely fast, and far less lead if any on a lot of crossers. A slower moving barrel takes more lead.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Slow mo is amazing to watch--I would like to see it from a few different angles.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Looks to me like the target traveled at least three lengths between the shot exiting the barrel and breakage - can't tell his reaction time as he pulled the trigger (put the tip of your cursor at an edge of the clay as the shot exits).

Bob Brister did a lot of work showing that shot strings (old lead loads anyway) do string out. But perhaps these ultra-modern, high-speed, special-wadded, hex pellets don't string as much at this range.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I am experiencing post-season choke syndrome-my symptoms are doubt and confusion, to change, or not to change these factory steel approved chokes I went with steel approved full, thinking modified would work better for short shots, but maybe more constriction might have nabbed an extra duck, or two.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I'd be a much better shotgunner if clays moved that slowly in real life...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Didn't somebody post this video on here once?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnm2mhY4NtQ
That's killer!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JCB wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I would like to see a video of a crossing shot and how much the target moves as the shot cloud approaches it. This video only shows a slightly quartering away target. Almost a straight away. Little lead it required.There is such a thing as shot string. It was proven to me while taking a lesson once. I was shooting a 90 degree crossing target. The instructor had me keep increasing the lead until I was chipping the front of the target.It was amazing how much you could lead the target and still break it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charlie Nichols wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Please show some of the dropped lead shot so we can see the difference. I agree with MLH that dropped lead shot strings (are we wrong on that?)...this video shows that the new Hexa certainly does not. I know I will keep shooting lead.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Figure it out. How many feet does a 40 mph object move in a second? If shot travels 1,700 fps at the muzzle, and half of that at 40 yds 850 ft, then how many times faster is the shot moving than the object? OK, I did it. An object flying a mile a minute (60mph) goes 88 ft in a sec. Take 2/3 of that for a 40 mph object, and you get 59 ft. a sec. Round it off to 60 ft. Your shot is traveling at 14 times faster than the object, and it got there faster than that because it left the muzzle at 1,700 decreasing on the way. The speed at which the shot string leaves in front of the object if the front portion of the shot string passed in front doesn't allow the object any time to enter the shot string.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Sayfu -- Thanks for doing the math, which makes my point better than I did.
JCB -- What your instructor showed you on those crossing targets is that the width of your pattern means you can shoot farther ahead of a bird than you think. It was the back edge of the pattern, not the back end that you were chipping the nose of the clay with.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

http://www.military.com/news

MOH Recipient Leaving Army Open URL.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michigan Gunner wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Very Nice. I wonder how tightly these new Winchester loads pattern? Federal's Blackcloud and Praire Storm are way to tight for all but long range use. I hope these aren't the same.

Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Tightness is a component of choke. It is all about percentage of shot in the 30" circle.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from spiaailtli wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Phil, you guys do a heck of a job reporting this stuff. Keep up the good work!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michigan Gunner wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

When I said "Way to tight" I meant Imp. Cyl. shooting like a full choke.

Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Michigan Gunner...kinda confused on that one myself..seem to have gone braindead. The choke is determined at 40 yds. in the 30" circle, and I've seen that also,,,imp. Mod placing full choke patterns at 40 yds with those brands, but, are we now considering the pattern at say 25 yds. and the need for less pellets in the 30" circle? Are we talking about the need for a pattern covering more than the 30" circle?...I drew a blank. Help anyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Carney wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I'd be a much better shotgunner if clays moved that slowly in real life...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Bryan01 --
We have to lead targets because it can take around 1/10 of second for a shot charge to cover the distance from the muzzle to the target -- and that's not counting lock time and the time it takes to pull a trigger. However, an eight foot shot string will pass a given point very quickly -- too quickly, I think, for added length of the shotstring to help you hit a target.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Slow mo is amazing to watch--I would like to see it from a few different angles.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Didn't somebody post this video on here once?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnm2mhY4NtQ
That's killer!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JCB wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I would like to see a video of a crossing shot and how much the target moves as the shot cloud approaches it. This video only shows a slightly quartering away target. Almost a straight away. Little lead it required.There is such a thing as shot string. It was proven to me while taking a lesson once. I was shooting a 90 degree crossing target. The instructor had me keep increasing the lead until I was chipping the front of the target.It was amazing how much you could lead the target and still break it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Figure it out. How many feet does a 40 mph object move in a second? If shot travels 1,700 fps at the muzzle, and half of that at 40 yds 850 ft, then how many times faster is the shot moving than the object? OK, I did it. An object flying a mile a minute (60mph) goes 88 ft in a sec. Take 2/3 of that for a 40 mph object, and you get 59 ft. a sec. Round it off to 60 ft. Your shot is traveling at 14 times faster than the object, and it got there faster than that because it left the muzzle at 1,700 decreasing on the way. The speed at which the shot string leaves in front of the object if the front portion of the shot string passed in front doesn't allow the object any time to enter the shot string.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Sayfu -- Thanks for doing the math, which makes my point better than I did.
JCB -- What your instructor showed you on those crossing targets is that the width of your pattern means you can shoot farther ahead of a bird than you think. It was the back edge of the pattern, not the back end that you were chipping the nose of the clay with.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Paying close attention to the fist video I noticed the spent shell ejected and was approximately 14 inches from the chamber when the shot hit the bird.

Was wondering if the industry has a standard or measurement for a shotgun to cycle or eject a shell. Maybe rounds per minute?

Also, I could see how the first video would help a beginning trap shooter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Wow! I am impressed! Phil, could you back that video up a little so we could see the gun/shooter movement? Buckhunter is on the right track. This is very instructional.

I live about eight miles fron NILO. Next time you are in town, let me know. If you are on expense account, you can buy lunch. If not, I will spring for a party of less than four. That includes your kids and Mr. Petzal, if he can find his way to the Midwest.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Phil,

Do you mind if I borrow these to use in my Hunter Ed Classes? Great videos to show how a shot charge behaves.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from spiaailtli wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I would love to see some high speed at the target end and high speed ballistic gel shots. Have any of those you can share?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Great video, but I don't find your comments about the length of the shot-string to be pursuasive. Basically, you are saying that the shot travels so fast in comparison to the clay target that you can effectively consider the clay target to be stationary - if this were really the case then why must shooters lead the target? Granted, the lenght of the shotstring is a secondary or tertiary factor, but I still consider it to a factor of some limited significance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

the pellets were half way out to the target before the shell started to eject that was cool!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

That video has certainly changed my perception of how a shot pattern arrives at the target. Thank you, Phil.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I think Winchester is moving its centerfire ammunition operation to Oxford, Mississippi, except for the shot tower. What kind of shot tower makes hexahedronical shot?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

And I knew that. Sittin around the table at the gun club we did the math..it will not happen. So why shoot at a paper target to find out your pattern density? The shot string devalues that notion does it not?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Looks to me like the target traveled at least three lengths between the shot exiting the barrel and breakage - can't tell his reaction time as he pulled the trigger (put the tip of your cursor at an edge of the clay as the shot exits).

Bob Brister did a lot of work showing that shot strings (old lead loads anyway) do string out. But perhaps these ultra-modern, high-speed, special-wadded, hex pellets don't string as much at this range.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I am experiencing post-season choke syndrome-my symptoms are doubt and confusion, to change, or not to change these factory steel approved chokes I went with steel approved full, thinking modified would work better for short shots, but maybe more constriction might have nabbed an extra duck, or two.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charlie Nichols wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Please show some of the dropped lead shot so we can see the difference. I agree with MLH that dropped lead shot strings (are we wrong on that?)...this video shows that the new Hexa certainly does not. I know I will keep shooting lead.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Wow. Totally cool footage.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

And lead depends on the speed of the moving barrel. Move the barrel extremely fast, and far less lead if any on a lot of crossers. A slower moving barrel takes more lead.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

http://www.military.com/news

MOH Recipient Leaving Army Open URL.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michigan Gunner wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Very Nice. I wonder how tightly these new Winchester loads pattern? Federal's Blackcloud and Praire Storm are way to tight for all but long range use. I hope these aren't the same.

Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Tightness is a component of choke. It is all about percentage of shot in the 30" circle.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from spiaailtli wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Phil, you guys do a heck of a job reporting this stuff. Keep up the good work!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michigan Gunner wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

When I said "Way to tight" I meant Imp. Cyl. shooting like a full choke.

Mike

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Michigan Gunner...kinda confused on that one myself..seem to have gone braindead. The choke is determined at 40 yds. in the 30" circle, and I've seen that also,,,imp. Mod placing full choke patterns at 40 yds with those brands, but, are we now considering the pattern at say 25 yds. and the need for less pellets in the 30" circle? Are we talking about the need for a pattern covering more than the 30" circle?...I drew a blank. Help anyone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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