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Shotgun Ammo: Maybe Speed Kills After All

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June 29, 2012

Shotgun Ammo: Maybe Speed Kills After All

By Phil Bourjaily

I have been skeptical of the current trend to high velocity lead shotshells. Unlike steel, which benefits from high velocity, lead is dense and retains energy well. Therefore I have always thought lead doesn’t need to be driven at high speeds to be effective.  I have shot a lot of pheasants with lead loads ranging from 1,220 fps to 1,500 fps and noticed no apparent difference in how the birds react nor in how many I bring to bag.

However, recalling my trip to Uruguay made me reconsider.

As I mentioned, we pass shot pigeons in grainfields. While South American doves, ducks and perdiz may be 20 gauge birds, spot-winged pigeons most definitely are not. To give one example of how tough they are: I hit one solidly twice, it flew 100 yards to where my friend Greg was standing and he shot it twice. By then the pigeon was weighted down with enough pelllets it could only fly around Greg in a dazed circle. He reloaded his O/U and killed it with a headshot.

That first day we were shooting lead flyer loads of 1 ¼ ounces of lead 6 shot at 1220 fps at pigeons but I had also brought some boxes of Kent Tungsten-Matrix 1 ¼ ounce loads of 5 shot (almost, but not quite as dense as lead) at 1,400 fps left over from the morning duck hunt. As soon as I switched ammo I could tell the difference immediately. Instead of shrugging off hits or requiring follow-ups, most pigeons folded and fell dead when the fast 5s hit them.

Obviously the change in shot size and material means there were more variables than velocity at work. Whether it was the added energy of the bigger pellets and high velocity combined, or whether that velocity allowed me to make better, front-end hits on the birds I don’t know.  It may have been some of each.

However, I noticed the difference velocity can make, once again, the other day in a more apples-to-apples comparison.  A friend bought some Winchester Super Sport  1 1/8 ounce, 1300 fps loads to shoot at 16 yard trap. There is a dramatic difference in how hard the clays break when you hit them with high velocity pellets. It stands to reason high velocity pellets hit birds harder, too.

Whether that speed is necessary is another question.  After all, you get an “X” on your scorecard whether the target breaks into two pieces or two hundred, and faster loads exact a price in added recoil.

So, while I still lean toward lead loads of of low to middling velocity, I am open to the notion that faster can be better if any of you would like to try convincing me.

 

Image by Lip Kee on Flickr.

Comments (62)

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

The "retained speed" of the round pellet at killing distances would be very negative compared to the added cost, and the much added recoil that you recieve. Your shoulder gets bruised, and your wallet depleted, with very poor results at the killing end.
It is one thing to list muzzle velocity, and quite the other to then report the speed the pellet retains at say 40 yds. Added muzzle velocity has its own negative drawback producing more air resistance.

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from 2lb.test wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I was with you until you said added muzzle velocity increases air resistance. air resistance is a function of aerodynamics, I'm not disagreeing but I'd like an explanation.

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from dukkillr wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I'm sensing an amen from OHH...

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from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've noticed a bit of this this last year. When I mourning dove hunt, I usually buy the absolute cheapest 8 shot shells I can find as I go through a bunch of them over the course of the season. THis last year we were dove hunting and came across a majority of eurasian doves with a few mourning doves. The eurasians required a more solid hit from our cheap ammo, the mourning's seemed easier to drop. We had a few injured birds, most recovered and all were eurasians. I did try the texas dove loads (higher velocity) but the day I used them we saw very few doves. The other thing we did to make up for it was to switch to modified chokes from improved cyl, that seemed to make up for the lighter load injury proned cheap shells. EJ

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from warrenhapke wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

To 2lb test:
In physics, drag (air resistance) is proportional to the square of the velocity. That means that seemingly modest changes in muzzle velocity produce fairly significant changes in drag. It's useful to look at 40 yard velocities of lead shot. Many times the downrange velocity differences are much smaller than the difference in muzzle velocity because of higher drag on the fast load.

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from cliff68 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I use Federal Praire Storm #5's for pheasant here in SE Nebraska and have noticed a considerable difference in how hard the birds fold.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I killed a Coyote out about 50-70 yards with 1 1/4 #6's I did.

Bob Mercer said it died or either lead poisoning or just the weight!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

PS took 2 boxes it did!

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from TED FORD wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

In a slump a number of years ago(not my first and by no means my last) the doves simply had me beat.The harder I tried the worse it got and Coosaw my Boykin Spaniel was fed up and checking the field for other employment options.I hiked back to the truck ,cussing and kicking the dirt and found a box of high brass 6's.Lordy,as Ol'Horace Miller said," there wadn't a bird nury too far not to be kilt".Sometimes a little more speed and a little more energy is all it takes.Reckon it was mostly me but the slump ended and I couldn't be convinced that the shell change wasn't responsible.Worked fine that day and up til the next slump,probably on the very next shoot.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

You cite too many variables for me to pose a defining comment. Velocity may have influence, but you were playing with shot size and pattern density. Items I always thought had more impact on killing birds than velocity.

I’d watch and listen closely to what live pigeon shooters use [think they like #6]. Those guys shoot and have shot for serious money for decades and generations. If any shooting group has this problem addressed it is them.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I noticed a HUGE difference when I bumped up to 1500+ Federal shells for pheasants. Whether the copper plated variety or Prairie Storm, those shells made a believer out of me. I tried cheaper slower shells because the high speed ones were not immediately available when I arrived in Montana. But after one week of that frustrating crap of knocking birds around but not down, I put some extra gas in my vehicle and miles on the tires to drive in to a larger "metropolis" for the coveted Federal high speed shells. After that the difference was almost not fun. I didn't fire three rounds without putting a bird down. And by then it was into the end of the season with hardly any young birds available so the shots were not easy. No, you're not imagining things. Speed kills with lead even better than it does with steel. However, I am sure you shoulder noticed the difference. Hi speed lead packs a punch at both ends.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

For a person hunting pheasants early with a pointer, high speed lead would definitely be overkill and a waste of money. But for pass shooting tough birds like those South American doves or pushing up cagey seasoned uplands over flushers, high speed lead is undoubtedly the best choice.

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think I just figured out how to be top gun on this fall's trip to SD. Thanks, guys!

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

To Phil;
Could you ask them fellers to talk where we can understand.

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from NorCal Cazadora wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Pigeons are just tough birds to kill. Every time I've tried to kill them on a dove hunt, I've failed. I've succeeded at embarrassingly close range with old (discontinued) Hevi-Steel 6s, and with BB's when I was on a goose hunt; nothing else has worked.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

20 lb test...YES, increase muzzle velocity, and you INCREASE air resistance. stick with me, don't let the facts get in your way! ASk Phil...increase the muzzle velocity, and the air wall of resistance does increase!

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

and to the guy that was shooting Eurasian doves...Were you shooting inside the city limits?! :) I swear those things won't go on the other side of the town boundry line! They are city birds. Wish I could find some outside the city. And a big factor that I have mentioned before is the lack of Antimony in cheap lead loads. They go out of round with only a 2% inclusion of antimony that most cheap shells possess. It takes about a 6 % inclusion of antimony for shot to retain their round, and that translates into pattern performance.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Does speed kill? absolutely. lets just talk about pheasants for a sec. Around here pheasant hunting is pretty much a pay and shoot type thing (which i do not paticipate in) pen raised birds are not all that hard to kill but if you take on wild birds because the actually fly and run their muscle mass and feather coverage is denser than pen raised birds. High velocity hit harder and penetrate deeper which does kill better.
Sure, on doves and other smaller birds a hunter would not need anything more than standard velocity ammo.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

deadeye...size of the shot contributes to quantified energy of the pellet. Shoot with lead, and hit your wild pheasant at distance, say 45 yrds. and I'd bet very few if any pellets would penetrate the bird when you clean it...they die of the energy shock for the biggest part. I've cleaned hundreds of pheasants having hunted them in the hayday before the change in farming practices., and was always impressed by the lack of damage to the body cavity. Some would be lodged just under the skin. And steel?...being lighter, and running up the Muzzle velocity? tests show that at ranges say beyond 40 yds the pattern blows to heck. Good pattern coverage, and getting the number of shot needed in the kill zone is important.

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from JohnR wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Sayfu I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you but I have read and observed that steel shot tends to hold a tighter pattern than lead at a given range. I don't have many pheasants here as I grew up in waterfowl country. I did however note the phenomina you mentioned about pellets not reaching the body cavity with lead (I'm giving away my age somewhat as in lead shot for waterfowl).
I grumbled alot about being forced to use non-toxic shot and was skeptical about the reputed claims of tighter patterns. I know this is in no wise the scientific method, but shooting ducks over decoys from a blind will always result in a few cripples. We take the boat out to retrieve them and will usually shoot them again on the water to prevent them from diving. One can see the cone shape of the shot pattern on the water when shooting cripples. I have noticed that with lead shot, the cone is very wide at say 30-40 yards. I observed using steel shot, that the cone was significantly more narrow at the same range; enough so that I actually did take notice and had to think "maybe the claims of tighter shot patterns with steel have some truth to them."
This has at least been my observation and anecdotal evidence.
I can also imagine that pheasants are tough birds to put down. :-)

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

None of us are accurate enough to judge a shells performance without highly sufficticated equipment, and test results. I go by the tests, and accounts reported. What appears to happen with steel at certain ranges..I can't quote a distance, but the steel shot doesn't have the "knockdown punch" that lead can deliver. It passes through the duck, or deeply penetrates without knocking it down, and they fly off to die. Another report that I read, is that when you jack up the velocity at the muzzle using steel, and how fast an exit I can not quote either, but it performs OK to a normal killing distance, say 40 yds. then the pattern flies apart. Why, the article could not give positive results as to why. You can often trace cost to effectiveness. Copper "dipping" the lead shot does little for performance. Copper plating, that costs more, does perform well...the shot stays in round, and it penetrates feathers better than lead. Lead is described as having a "sticking" quality to it when it hits feathers. It is the blow, for the most part that kills birds with lead, and the more wt, the bigger the bird, the more energy the blow has to deliver in general. Silver plating performs the best when dealing with lead. That is why the Federal Prairee loads, that are expensive, would be even more expensive if the used just silver, but they divide it up % wise between silver, and lead plating. And the real plus for the federals is in their patented wad cup, that pauses at the muzzle end letting the shot exit in a tight pattern, and not opening up within the cup after exiting. I've never used tungstun, the very expensive stuff, but ever watch a duck shoot on cable? I can tell they are using the heavy tungstun, by the way the ducks collapse at distance. It is incredible the effectiveness of tungstun. And I have goose hunting buddies that most use it sparingly, but say the same thing...busted bones, and dead goose on impact at impressive distances.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

"Plating" is usually done via electrolysis. However, I am not sure how one would go about hooking up an electrical lead to a lead pellet so it could retain the negative or positive charge necessary to "plate" it with copper. I believe all pellets that claim to be "plated" are probably dipped or somehow painted. The claim to "plating" is likely just a marketing gimmick. Federal Prairie Storm pellets (or some of them) are not silver plated. They are coated with some kind of nickle alloy. My guess is it's just enough nickle to make them shiny. A nice paint job. Another marketing gimmick.

Slow speed steel doesn't have the inertia needed to get it through the heavier feathers of waterfowl. Boost the speed and the shot size and you may get the same level of penetration and "shock" that you'd get with slower smaller shot lead loads. To demonstrate: throw a ping pong ball at a house with aluminum siding and you won't see any damage. Using the same effort, throw a golf ball that's roughly the same size at the place and its owner will be chasing you down the street with a ball bat! All that crap about lead sticking to feathers is also a bunch of marketing BS. I am impressed with the high speed Federal loads simply because of their speed. The little rings around the shot and glitzy coatings is just a lot of horseapples. I have no idea if the wads are any better. Personally, I don't find that the Black Cloud have any more knockdown power than the Kent FastSteel of similar shot size and velocity. I can't find any other brand lead loads of equivalent high speed on the shelves where I hunt so nothing to compare the Federals with.

In my experience if a bird is drilled right through with steel shot, it usually goes DOWN even if hit low through the guts. Birds hit low with lead didn't die any quicker.

By the way, I have picked quite a few of those fancy copper or nickle plated lead pellets out of my birds. I have seen very few of them that were anywhere close to still being perfectly round! If the fancy wad or coatings is somehow supposed to help them retain their shape, I sure can't see it.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

No, lead can be "plated" via electrolysis.."dipping " doesn't completely cover the round lead pellet,and proves to be next to worthless. You pay, but get little if any additional performance.
And Prairee Storm loads that are "nickle silver" "plated" I would say are the best performing of the two, but the copper is "Plated" in the Prairee Storm load. And out of round can happen when it hits the bird. And lead?..grabs feathers, and steel whistles through. What caliber were service men shot with that had life threatening hits, but didn't even know they were shot? Golf balls vs. ping-pong balls? Please! You are making my case for tungstun, not steel, and steel does witness the pattern blowing apart at distance...must have to do with the lighter mass. And no idea the wad is better in the Federal load? If a tighter pattern, more dense pattern at distance is desirable it sure is. Carlson, maybe is the mfger, but someone makes a choke the same way to produce tight, dense patterns. Flukes are placed in the choke that stalls the wad, and allows the shot to exit the barrel minus the wad. And both, by the way, should NOT be used together...that choke, and the Federal Prairee loads.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Educating Ontario....this from a ballistics co. I just looked up on the internet. You can now see the additional cost of nickel silver plating, AND the pentration difference when you plate. Steel is also very penetrating, and doesn't produce the blow effect of lead..

"Plated Lead Shot"

The overall quality of lead shot is always improved by the addition of plating. The plating process hardens the pellet and this allows for better patterning performance. Plating also improves penetration capabilities of the pellet.

"Copper-plated shot is a lighter plating process. It is a big improvement over standard lead shot.
Nickel-plated shot consists of a double-plating process: It is plated first with copper and then with a heavy coating of nickel. Nickel is less porous than copper or lead and it is a superior plating material because of its resulting unparalleled penetration capabilities."

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

If someone who sold the stuff told you dog crap tasted like prime rib would you buy a bucket and throw some on the barbecue? These guys are marketing the stuff. What did you expect them to tell you? That it DOESN'T work better? Reminds me of the thread over on Chad's dog blog about the BS hype that got everybody bamboozled over the snakebite vaccine. If all the "plated" pellets I'm finding in the pheasants are still squished and distorted, I fail to see how the plating is making any difference as far their ability to preserve trajectory any better than squished naked lead ones.

Double plating process? What a bunch of BS! I'm guessing I pulled at least twenty of the nickle plated pellets out of birds shot with the one and only box of Prairie Storm I purchased last fall. Most of the pellets were so distorted I could hardly tell there had ever been a "saturn ring" on them. I saw no sign of copper under any of the nickle plating. Any appreciable level of "plating" that could have the potential to increase the rigidity of the shot pellets would also significntly decrease their weight. Note that the specific gravity of copper or nickle is SUBSTANTIALLy less than lead. Check the periodic table. I would think that if the pellets were made lighter, we would see a significnt decrese in effectiveness, as we have with steel shot. But no, we're instead supposed to believe this added hardening "plating" process IMPROVES their penetration etc.? The "plating" is just an insignificant microscopic thin paint job ... but apparently a much more effective snow job!

Sayfu, where in the world did you get the idea that Federal uses any silver in the "plating" of shot in their Prairie Storm shotshells? IT'S NICKLE AND COPPER ONLY! Go to their website. It's a five second google. Read the first paragraph. Gees, I know we have been down this alleged "sliver plating" path before!

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ontario...give it up. You undoubtably are not very well read. going by just your experience shooting a few boxes of a load is meaningless. There's science, and then there is Ontario's fuzzy experiences. Lead does "stick" to feathers as the evidence I posted suggests. I wasn't surprised to hear that, I've read it numerous times as well as experienced it. I use to reload a duck/goose load in a 2 3/4" 12 ga. hull, Winchester AA hulls from my trap shooting. I loaded #2's for both docks and geese, and then decided to use it on pheasants..the highest speed lead load I could reload according to the book I used. I'd hit pheasants at say 30 yds, and a puff of feathers, dead on impact. I'd clean the bird, and no evidence of a hit on the bare skin. Now most of you guys would claim #2's ways way overkill, and would ruin a lot of the meat. They were shocked to death. You need to read up more on shotshell performance, and quit coming up with these pipe dreams like "lead can't be plated by elecgtrolysis, or lead doesn't stick to feathers, etc. etc. My GAWD you didn't even relate to the flitestopper wad that Federal uses in their Prairee Storm loads, or the choke tube that deploys the same concept.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Sayfu, I have shot PLENTY of Federal high speed shells. I prefer them but they're pricey so not always available. I have only shot one box of Prairie Storm and, as I have said before in other threads you have read, their performance seems comparable to the other Federal Premium less-gimmicky loads at the same 1500+ speed. I shoot full or modified fixed chokes. I would think that if the wads were so special in those Prairie Storm loads I'd be blowing my birds to bits or missing them altogether. But I'm not. Damage and batting average are both comparable to Federal Premium 1500+.

I shoot enough pheasants every year to know what I'm talking about. Didn't count last fall but I must have killed at least forty in six weeks (daily limit is three and I can only eat them just so fast). I'm guessing that's probably more than you have shot in the last twenty years? And I shoot that many year after year. So, when I say I noticed a difference, I have a pretty good control group to work with in my data analysis. I'm not basing my judgment on what the bought-and-paid-for ammo makers' experts tell me works.

So you kill birds with no pellets in their bodies and assume the "shock" of pellets hitting and sticking/bouncing off killed em. Pffffffffft! That is the sound of hot air escaping! Lots of it. Did you pick their heads? I have shot THOUSANDS of birds over the years and haven't picked one yet with pellets stuck to its feathers (brother!). Nor have I killed one that didn't have a hole in it. I once shot a teal on the water at virtually point blank and knocked it completely underwater with crappy cheap steel loads only to watch it fly away (I took the shot because I was desparate). How much more non-penetrating "shock" could have been delivered without causing the bird to implode? But it didn't die. C'mon, man! This is the Gun Nuts blog. You're embarrassing yourself in front of these guys.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Prairee Storms perform well because....the components are all very good. You get your speed, BUT, you also get a more expensive process of hardening the shot, plating the shot, and using 30% anyway of the even more expensive nichel silver plating process that I posted for you, and what it involves. And that was not a marketing scheme by that ballistics mfgering co., it described the physical traits of lead, and plating...exactly like I told you before I had to look it up because of your mis-statement about plating. Prairee Storm also has a very effective wad design that does what I said it does. I read a lot of reports on load testing. No way can I just rely on my observation of hunting in the field, and I have done a very lot of it over the years. That is a very poor scientific experiment to rely just on one's observation in the field. Most hunters are clueless as to the distance they even shot at. I've asked basic questions on how to shoot a shotgun on this thread just to see if anyone of these "experts" knows the answer, and never get a correct answer. And for you to say "ducks drop just as easily with steel penetrating at a distance" is a falsehood as well. It is estimated that 3 million waterfowl, in the USA, and coming down from Canada die each year from steel shot that penetrated, but didn't deliver the BLOW, and flew off to die a slow death. Again, you need to read more.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I told you why you are not blowing your birds to bits. Study up on what a shotstring is for one. It isn't always just hit, or miss. Stop in a gun dept shop like I worked with, and am around all the time. Ask someone that knows shotguns, and bird hunting the effectiveness of the propriatary wad cup that Federal uses. It is so effective at retaining pattern at the far limits that, as I said, someone makes it in a choke tube!..and it will do the same thing. I use to shoot trap competitivly. We would have turkey shoots shooting from "the porch", way da hell back there. If someone missed, you could knock them out of the competition by breaking their bird after they missed. Then sometime later, I would "Mine shot". Take my wash tub bucket out into the woods backdrop, and flat shovel the leaves off into my tub, and take it to a small pond, and wash off the leaves, and as much dirt as I could. Then I would bring the shot home, and had several crude process of cleaning the shot further. A percentage of the shot I reclaimed for reloading was "Lubeloy"(sp?) shot, copper plated shot guys would use in those turkey shoots to take advantage of their fellow gunners. It stays round, and the pattern holds better at distance. You tellin me your observation of picking it out of a bird is meaningless if it was plated shot, not just dipped.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I have seldom read such bullmanure! LMAO!

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

How would the Mtn man recognize real bull when he saw it?..so what is bull that I posted for one? I know you have to put on hip boots to wade through the Honkers posts.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I rest my case...

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from Amflyer wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

"Shock"? Really?

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Mtnman...Remember the case you lost in the court of facts vs. Sayfu, guardian of the facts. Your high rpm lips overloaded your imbecilic mind... a no contest, an M & Mer...toal mismatch. :)

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

phil,

what about shotgun slugs? rifled vs sabot? you never really talk about those?

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Phil doesn't care to answer a lot of major questions that are brought up. One can only speculate as to why.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Keep in your recall machine that the conventions are not over, nor is the election.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Sayfu, you think you're the only one who has ever worked or hung around a gun shop. I worked in one for a couple of years as a kid before I went into the army. Now that is a business where hip waders should be hung at the door for customer use! Barber shops are about the only business I know of where the crap gets deeper. And guess what! The gunshop owner was a barber. He ran both businesses in the same building with only a waist high partition between them. Man, he was a sharp businessman. The ultimate BS merchant. Ahh, just thinking about the "experts" that hung around that place brings back some great memories. I'm going to have to call my brother tonight so we can swap some yarns about those characters. Just trying to erect some kind of credibility scale in my mind for each of those guys has made me laugh till I cried. We'll have some fun with that. Thanks for making my day a lot lighter. I needed it.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

It sure appears you haven't hung around much decent info in the age of information. My GAWD! Lead can't be plated...lead shot doesn't stick to feathers....plated shot doesn't penetrate better than lead, or harden the shot, just a marketing ploy by the manufacturers. E-collars aren't much of an advantage at training dogs, Federals new flightstopper wad doesn't seem to be any advantage at producing tight patterns, steel shot drops ducks at a distance as well as lead, and few fly off to die because of steel shot penetration, and on, and on. Those high speed loads you've been using have given you concussons. See a shrink.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

So Sayfu, besides hanging around a sport shop a lot, just what "expert" qualifications DO you possess? I'm sure a few folks who don't know me better (and no one on this forum knows me personally) might think I'm a windbag full hot of air. So I try to put up a FEW photos (more than sixty) to help give everyone some SMALL visual impression of the real life experiences I have under my belt. I see you have zero photos up in your profile. Hmmmm. Perhaps if you visually shared some of your experiences with us, it might enhance your credibility substantially.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

The proof is in the puddin Bud..you've stated so many falsehoods if you did state the truth who would believe you? My point is...substance should count for something. You've posted a lot of BS. I am not a photo taker..gave that up years ago. I used to write flyfishing articles UNTIL the digital age caused me to give it up. There is a lot of technical data concerning flyfishing, and why I like it. I tend to enjoy specific, technical data. The same can be said of shotgunning, and what we've been talking about. Misinformation gets to me, especially when someone comes on as if it is absolute fact. And can I be wrong..sure can. I'm my own harshest critic.

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from buckstopper wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Say/Honk
Are you guys married or something? Haven't seen that much arguing since Ricky and Lucy!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Heh, heh! I'm bored. What can I say. He's an easy mark. Guess I should go catch some fish.

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from springerman3 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

An interesting blog and susequent posts by those concerned ! In my experiences hunting the mighty ditch parrot for 40 plus years the most important feature in killing them was to take good shots ( inside 35 yards ) and put the muzzle where it belongs !
I have not tried any of these super duper fast loads as I know very well recoil will be increased and your shooting accuracy will begin to fail ( read flinch ) which will negatively effect proper muzzle movement relative to the target.
Ontario Honker: I have been hunting with springers all my life and with one exception of a poorly trained dog ( my bad ) the vast majority of my shots are inside 30 yards which allows my mighty 20 gauge to do what it needs to do .....
Buckstopper: Excellant observation !!
Sayfu: Phil does read the posts and make comments when & where needed ( note the 2nd blog about hunting in Uruguay ) and this blog is a spin off from those two ...
I will continue to hunt DP with 1200 fps lead loads and do just fine :)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Springerman, the vast majority of my shots at pheasants are over labs at 20-30 yards. I usually don't bother shooting at anything further than that. Usually the wind is also blowing hard in Eastern Montana and a 30+ yard shot is tough to make in those conditions. I only hunt wild birds on public land or land that is publicly accessible. And I rarely show up in Montana until after the season has been open for a couple of weeks (to avoid snake issues mostly). So the birds are cagey by then. More often than not, because of those factors, I'm having to take tough fast shots in heavy cover. Often russian olive or tulies. I have to blast through that crap and bring the birds right down dead or risk losing them. Sometimes long shots are all I'll get so I have to take them. Slow loads don't buck the brush well and, I have found, don't perform well in hard wind either. I just haven't had much luck with the slow loads, especially 1200 fps. And you are correct about the kick factor. Those 1500 fps Federals kick pretty hard. I use my auto with them and that mitigates the recoil some. Also I hunt late in the season so I'm usually bundled up a bit. And I'm a good sized guy so I can take a bit of a punch fairly well. I just noticed a helluva difference with knockdown when I switched to the high speed. By most folks standards I probably wasn't doing that bad with the 1300 fps loads. Judging by the other guys I saw hunting the fed refuge and the amount of ammo they were expending, I think I was doing as good if not better. But four birds per box? Ouch! Even if the shells are cheap it adds up. And way too many birds were running off crippled. Also with more shooting being reqired perhaps not much is gained on the flinch factor? A lot of it has to do with what shells one has confidence in. After putting down four birds in four shots as opposed to a whole box of slower shells, it just makes sense that I BELIEVE I'm going to put the bird away with the faster loads every time I fire a round. Perhaps confidence helps with pointing and follow through and maybe even flinch factor. It wouldn't surprise me. The improvement might be "all in the head" but if it is a noticable improvement in dead birds per shot ... well it is what it is. Whatever works.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

springman..I do agree with your post..sounds like good subsance to me unlike the posts I've read on here lately. And I too shoot a 20 ga. on pheasants with loads in the 1200 fps plus range.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Buckstopper. Sounds like your having marraige problems. You looking for councelling? Can't help ya. I only know shotgunning, and flyfishing. :)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

As an aside, I tend not to cast aspersions on other folk's experiences, but I have to say that I have heard more b.s. and bogus information spewed from both sides of the counter in every gun shop I have ever been in. The bigger the store the bigger pile of b.s.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

#HOT DOG# IS IT GOOD ?

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from sdditchpig wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ontario, I'm guessing Medicine Lake, Culbertson, Wolf Point, maybe Sidney, am I close. If I am , you should get after it hard, because the "Rough Necks" from Williston, are going to pound that country to death. I shoot a simple 1280 fps 1 1/4 oz. load, I don't like to run high velocity through my gas guns, and a gun writer named Mike Yardley, once wrote that he shoots a very tight choke, because it built confidence in his shooting ability, and he became a better more relaxed shooter. After shooting mostly IC, for years, I screwed in the Full. My shooting got better, and better. I never waste my first shot, and 1 1/4 oz. through a full choke, takes care of about anything. I also only hunt public ground birds, I like them as wild as I can get them, I get no thrill from killing easy birds, and there is no place in my world for a 20 guage, even though I do own some.

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

does anyone else just skip over sayfu's posts?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ditchpig, I go further west. A lot further. Just driving through that oil patch country is a nightmare. Most of those truckers shouldn't have a license to drive a baby stroller. Some of the "drivers' look young enough to be riding in one. I shoot the high velocity through my humpback Browning. No trouble with the recoil from those things giving consistent ejections, even if the gun is a bit dirty! And that's one drawback I have noticed about Federals - they seem to shoot very dirty. Has anyone else noticed that? I am much more deadly with my 3" 870 full choke (the Browning is modified) to the point where it's almost not fun. I'm guessing that's because I have been hunting geese with it for a month or so before I leave for Montana. Still trying to get the hang of that lighter weight Browning. Have tried fiddling with the stock length too. Until I changed to the hot loads nothing I tried seemed to make much difference. When I first tried shooting those hot loads through the 870 three years ago (before I switched to the Browning) I could hardly miss for the first couple of days. After that the percentage dropped a lot until the end of the day when I was completely worn out. I'm pretty sure it was the flich factor from being popped with high velocity recoil. So I decided to go with the Browning. I'm like you, I don't want it to be too easy. But I don't want to see a lot of cripples getting away either. And the Browning is a lot more fun to shoot. If it's working properly.

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from springerman3 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ontario Honker: My springers have all been very good at finding wounded or dead birds. My current one Clem is now 12 1/2, will probably still hunt this fall. Not more than a handful have been lost with him. I hunt grouse and woodcock alot as well so I am used to shooting through thick cover at birds ( yes they are not as tough as DP )!
sdditchpig: The 20 gauge is more than enough gun for " most " DP hunting situations. I have hunted with way too many folks that carry 12 gauges but they usually do not harvest as many birds as I do ( good dog work comes into play here more than some folks are willing to admit...... or realize )
I hunt wild DP here in Iowa so I am no stranger to hunting tough birds. Usually IC choke tube in, on rare occasions I put in lite mod & beef up the load to 1 oz # 5 shot at 1220 fps ...... wow that is a hefty load :)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I think I lost three or four birds overall last year. And I hunt with three good dogs (the younger lab being exceptional for uplands). However, many cripples were recovered in the following days after being knocked down. My younger lab can tail a rooster for half a mile through gawdawful stuff with it zigzagging, doubling back, crossing ditches, etc., and never lose the track. But if it gets up and I knock it down without killing it or breaking a leg, those dang things have a way of shutting off the scent and disappearing that is truly amazing. I believe they then run flat out so dang fast it just doesn't leave enough scent for the dog to pick up. I have hunted with guys who have GWHP, GSP, and English Setter and they say the same thing. Little huns are the worst. Kill them dead or almost never recover them. They just flat dematerialize. No other uplands are like that. None that I have hunted anyway (but I don't hunt quail). Both species are big time runners, hence my theory.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

OHH

Check my profile pics for teh new pup. Real birdy and runs everywhere with the nose to the ground. She comes from good pointing stock, too. The black dawg is miffed because she is the wrong color.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Thanks, WAM. You copycat! Will you come out to Montana and put her to work with my dogs this fall? Fly into Great Falls. That's only an hour's drive from where I'll be staying.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Incidentally, my little French Brittany pup just decided to take to the water. In a big way. I can't get her to come in. She just swims around endlessly while the two labs are chasing the ball. She'll retrieve but not while those monsters are in the water. They'll run her over to get at it. The French Brittanies have webbed toes (as opposed to American variety) and I can sure see it with Coral. She floats around out there totally without effort. And she can really put the pedal to the metal when she wants. Probably because her narrow build throws up less resistence. Her fine coat will not be sufficient for cold water work though.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

OHH, I have made myself a promise to do more upland hunting this year a leave the ducks and geese alone part of the time. I won't ever fly with one of my dawgs. I know about how the airlines treat them and the risks associated with flying in the cargo bay. Only if it were a life saving flight for the dawg, never for my recreation.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

This one has been a great read! Better than Maury P and DR. Phil combined. OH and Safu need to do an outdoor channel. At this point i don't care who's right, It's been fun to watch!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I have had good luck flying my dogs. Took me all day once to get home from Montana to NW Ontario with Opal when she was a pup. No problems. They even let me take her out during the long layover in Toronto. Just had to run dog and kennel back through security again which is understandable. I'm sure I could have easily shoved a pipe bomb up her little arse. :)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Trapper, you should check out the Obamacare thread in the Backlash section. Lots more entertainment there. I think my parting analogy of blinders and cliff pretty much hit the bullseye.

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from RES1956 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Phil,
Yes, I believe speed kills better, even with lead and have seen the empiracal evidence to verify it. However, pattern density works wonders also, as do open chokes which allow more birds to be centered instead of fringed, and being a great shot does not hurt either. Put them all together and your dogs will be picking up dead birds instead of chasing cripples.
Respectfully submitted with a minimum of bullmanure,
I remain,
Robert E. Shell

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from dukkillr wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I'm sensing an amen from OHH...

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from warrenhapke wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

To 2lb test:
In physics, drag (air resistance) is proportional to the square of the velocity. That means that seemingly modest changes in muzzle velocity produce fairly significant changes in drag. It's useful to look at 40 yard velocities of lead shot. Many times the downrange velocity differences are much smaller than the difference in muzzle velocity because of higher drag on the fast load.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

For a person hunting pheasants early with a pointer, high speed lead would definitely be overkill and a waste of money. But for pass shooting tough birds like those South American doves or pushing up cagey seasoned uplands over flushers, high speed lead is undoubtedly the best choice.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Sayfu, you think you're the only one who has ever worked or hung around a gun shop. I worked in one for a couple of years as a kid before I went into the army. Now that is a business where hip waders should be hung at the door for customer use! Barber shops are about the only business I know of where the crap gets deeper. And guess what! The gunshop owner was a barber. He ran both businesses in the same building with only a waist high partition between them. Man, he was a sharp businessman. The ultimate BS merchant. Ahh, just thinking about the "experts" that hung around that place brings back some great memories. I'm going to have to call my brother tonight so we can swap some yarns about those characters. Just trying to erect some kind of credibility scale in my mind for each of those guys has made me laugh till I cried. We'll have some fun with that. Thanks for making my day a lot lighter. I needed it.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

So Sayfu, besides hanging around a sport shop a lot, just what "expert" qualifications DO you possess? I'm sure a few folks who don't know me better (and no one on this forum knows me personally) might think I'm a windbag full hot of air. So I try to put up a FEW photos (more than sixty) to help give everyone some SMALL visual impression of the real life experiences I have under my belt. I see you have zero photos up in your profile. Hmmmm. Perhaps if you visually shared some of your experiences with us, it might enhance your credibility substantially.

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from buckstopper wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Say/Honk
Are you guys married or something? Haven't seen that much arguing since Ricky and Lucy!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

As an aside, I tend not to cast aspersions on other folk's experiences, but I have to say that I have heard more b.s. and bogus information spewed from both sides of the counter in every gun shop I have ever been in. The bigger the store the bigger pile of b.s.

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from sdditchpig wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ontario, I'm guessing Medicine Lake, Culbertson, Wolf Point, maybe Sidney, am I close. If I am , you should get after it hard, because the "Rough Necks" from Williston, are going to pound that country to death. I shoot a simple 1280 fps 1 1/4 oz. load, I don't like to run high velocity through my gas guns, and a gun writer named Mike Yardley, once wrote that he shoots a very tight choke, because it built confidence in his shooting ability, and he became a better more relaxed shooter. After shooting mostly IC, for years, I screwed in the Full. My shooting got better, and better. I never waste my first shot, and 1 1/4 oz. through a full choke, takes care of about anything. I also only hunt public ground birds, I like them as wild as I can get them, I get no thrill from killing easy birds, and there is no place in my world for a 20 guage, even though I do own some.

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

does anyone else just skip over sayfu's posts?

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

The "retained speed" of the round pellet at killing distances would be very negative compared to the added cost, and the much added recoil that you recieve. Your shoulder gets bruised, and your wallet depleted, with very poor results at the killing end.
It is one thing to list muzzle velocity, and quite the other to then report the speed the pellet retains at say 40 yds. Added muzzle velocity has its own negative drawback producing more air resistance.

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from 2lb.test wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I was with you until you said added muzzle velocity increases air resistance. air resistance is a function of aerodynamics, I'm not disagreeing but I'd like an explanation.

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from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I've noticed a bit of this this last year. When I mourning dove hunt, I usually buy the absolute cheapest 8 shot shells I can find as I go through a bunch of them over the course of the season. THis last year we were dove hunting and came across a majority of eurasian doves with a few mourning doves. The eurasians required a more solid hit from our cheap ammo, the mourning's seemed easier to drop. We had a few injured birds, most recovered and all were eurasians. I did try the texas dove loads (higher velocity) but the day I used them we saw very few doves. The other thing we did to make up for it was to switch to modified chokes from improved cyl, that seemed to make up for the lighter load injury proned cheap shells. EJ

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from cliff68 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I use Federal Praire Storm #5's for pheasant here in SE Nebraska and have noticed a considerable difference in how hard the birds fold.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I killed a Coyote out about 50-70 yards with 1 1/4 #6's I did.

Bob Mercer said it died or either lead poisoning or just the weight!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

PS took 2 boxes it did!

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from TED FORD wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

In a slump a number of years ago(not my first and by no means my last) the doves simply had me beat.The harder I tried the worse it got and Coosaw my Boykin Spaniel was fed up and checking the field for other employment options.I hiked back to the truck ,cussing and kicking the dirt and found a box of high brass 6's.Lordy,as Ol'Horace Miller said," there wadn't a bird nury too far not to be kilt".Sometimes a little more speed and a little more energy is all it takes.Reckon it was mostly me but the slump ended and I couldn't be convinced that the shell change wasn't responsible.Worked fine that day and up til the next slump,probably on the very next shoot.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

You cite too many variables for me to pose a defining comment. Velocity may have influence, but you were playing with shot size and pattern density. Items I always thought had more impact on killing birds than velocity.

I’d watch and listen closely to what live pigeon shooters use [think they like #6]. Those guys shoot and have shot for serious money for decades and generations. If any shooting group has this problem addressed it is them.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I noticed a HUGE difference when I bumped up to 1500+ Federal shells for pheasants. Whether the copper plated variety or Prairie Storm, those shells made a believer out of me. I tried cheaper slower shells because the high speed ones were not immediately available when I arrived in Montana. But after one week of that frustrating crap of knocking birds around but not down, I put some extra gas in my vehicle and miles on the tires to drive in to a larger "metropolis" for the coveted Federal high speed shells. After that the difference was almost not fun. I didn't fire three rounds without putting a bird down. And by then it was into the end of the season with hardly any young birds available so the shots were not easy. No, you're not imagining things. Speed kills with lead even better than it does with steel. However, I am sure you shoulder noticed the difference. Hi speed lead packs a punch at both ends.

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I think I just figured out how to be top gun on this fall's trip to SD. Thanks, guys!

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

To Phil;
Could you ask them fellers to talk where we can understand.

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from NorCal Cazadora wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Pigeons are just tough birds to kill. Every time I've tried to kill them on a dove hunt, I've failed. I've succeeded at embarrassingly close range with old (discontinued) Hevi-Steel 6s, and with BB's when I was on a goose hunt; nothing else has worked.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

20 lb test...YES, increase muzzle velocity, and you INCREASE air resistance. stick with me, don't let the facts get in your way! ASk Phil...increase the muzzle velocity, and the air wall of resistance does increase!

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

and to the guy that was shooting Eurasian doves...Were you shooting inside the city limits?! :) I swear those things won't go on the other side of the town boundry line! They are city birds. Wish I could find some outside the city. And a big factor that I have mentioned before is the lack of Antimony in cheap lead loads. They go out of round with only a 2% inclusion of antimony that most cheap shells possess. It takes about a 6 % inclusion of antimony for shot to retain their round, and that translates into pattern performance.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Does speed kill? absolutely. lets just talk about pheasants for a sec. Around here pheasant hunting is pretty much a pay and shoot type thing (which i do not paticipate in) pen raised birds are not all that hard to kill but if you take on wild birds because the actually fly and run their muscle mass and feather coverage is denser than pen raised birds. High velocity hit harder and penetrate deeper which does kill better.
Sure, on doves and other smaller birds a hunter would not need anything more than standard velocity ammo.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

deadeye...size of the shot contributes to quantified energy of the pellet. Shoot with lead, and hit your wild pheasant at distance, say 45 yrds. and I'd bet very few if any pellets would penetrate the bird when you clean it...they die of the energy shock for the biggest part. I've cleaned hundreds of pheasants having hunted them in the hayday before the change in farming practices., and was always impressed by the lack of damage to the body cavity. Some would be lodged just under the skin. And steel?...being lighter, and running up the Muzzle velocity? tests show that at ranges say beyond 40 yds the pattern blows to heck. Good pattern coverage, and getting the number of shot needed in the kill zone is important.

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from JohnR wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Sayfu I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you but I have read and observed that steel shot tends to hold a tighter pattern than lead at a given range. I don't have many pheasants here as I grew up in waterfowl country. I did however note the phenomina you mentioned about pellets not reaching the body cavity with lead (I'm giving away my age somewhat as in lead shot for waterfowl).
I grumbled alot about being forced to use non-toxic shot and was skeptical about the reputed claims of tighter patterns. I know this is in no wise the scientific method, but shooting ducks over decoys from a blind will always result in a few cripples. We take the boat out to retrieve them and will usually shoot them again on the water to prevent them from diving. One can see the cone shape of the shot pattern on the water when shooting cripples. I have noticed that with lead shot, the cone is very wide at say 30-40 yards. I observed using steel shot, that the cone was significantly more narrow at the same range; enough so that I actually did take notice and had to think "maybe the claims of tighter shot patterns with steel have some truth to them."
This has at least been my observation and anecdotal evidence.
I can also imagine that pheasants are tough birds to put down. :-)

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

None of us are accurate enough to judge a shells performance without highly sufficticated equipment, and test results. I go by the tests, and accounts reported. What appears to happen with steel at certain ranges..I can't quote a distance, but the steel shot doesn't have the "knockdown punch" that lead can deliver. It passes through the duck, or deeply penetrates without knocking it down, and they fly off to die. Another report that I read, is that when you jack up the velocity at the muzzle using steel, and how fast an exit I can not quote either, but it performs OK to a normal killing distance, say 40 yds. then the pattern flies apart. Why, the article could not give positive results as to why. You can often trace cost to effectiveness. Copper "dipping" the lead shot does little for performance. Copper plating, that costs more, does perform well...the shot stays in round, and it penetrates feathers better than lead. Lead is described as having a "sticking" quality to it when it hits feathers. It is the blow, for the most part that kills birds with lead, and the more wt, the bigger the bird, the more energy the blow has to deliver in general. Silver plating performs the best when dealing with lead. That is why the Federal Prairee loads, that are expensive, would be even more expensive if the used just silver, but they divide it up % wise between silver, and lead plating. And the real plus for the federals is in their patented wad cup, that pauses at the muzzle end letting the shot exit in a tight pattern, and not opening up within the cup after exiting. I've never used tungstun, the very expensive stuff, but ever watch a duck shoot on cable? I can tell they are using the heavy tungstun, by the way the ducks collapse at distance. It is incredible the effectiveness of tungstun. And I have goose hunting buddies that most use it sparingly, but say the same thing...busted bones, and dead goose on impact at impressive distances.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

"Plating" is usually done via electrolysis. However, I am not sure how one would go about hooking up an electrical lead to a lead pellet so it could retain the negative or positive charge necessary to "plate" it with copper. I believe all pellets that claim to be "plated" are probably dipped or somehow painted. The claim to "plating" is likely just a marketing gimmick. Federal Prairie Storm pellets (or some of them) are not silver plated. They are coated with some kind of nickle alloy. My guess is it's just enough nickle to make them shiny. A nice paint job. Another marketing gimmick.

Slow speed steel doesn't have the inertia needed to get it through the heavier feathers of waterfowl. Boost the speed and the shot size and you may get the same level of penetration and "shock" that you'd get with slower smaller shot lead loads. To demonstrate: throw a ping pong ball at a house with aluminum siding and you won't see any damage. Using the same effort, throw a golf ball that's roughly the same size at the place and its owner will be chasing you down the street with a ball bat! All that crap about lead sticking to feathers is also a bunch of marketing BS. I am impressed with the high speed Federal loads simply because of their speed. The little rings around the shot and glitzy coatings is just a lot of horseapples. I have no idea if the wads are any better. Personally, I don't find that the Black Cloud have any more knockdown power than the Kent FastSteel of similar shot size and velocity. I can't find any other brand lead loads of equivalent high speed on the shelves where I hunt so nothing to compare the Federals with.

In my experience if a bird is drilled right through with steel shot, it usually goes DOWN even if hit low through the guts. Birds hit low with lead didn't die any quicker.

By the way, I have picked quite a few of those fancy copper or nickle plated lead pellets out of my birds. I have seen very few of them that were anywhere close to still being perfectly round! If the fancy wad or coatings is somehow supposed to help them retain their shape, I sure can't see it.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

No, lead can be "plated" via electrolysis.."dipping " doesn't completely cover the round lead pellet,and proves to be next to worthless. You pay, but get little if any additional performance.
And Prairee Storm loads that are "nickle silver" "plated" I would say are the best performing of the two, but the copper is "Plated" in the Prairee Storm load. And out of round can happen when it hits the bird. And lead?..grabs feathers, and steel whistles through. What caliber were service men shot with that had life threatening hits, but didn't even know they were shot? Golf balls vs. ping-pong balls? Please! You are making my case for tungstun, not steel, and steel does witness the pattern blowing apart at distance...must have to do with the lighter mass. And no idea the wad is better in the Federal load? If a tighter pattern, more dense pattern at distance is desirable it sure is. Carlson, maybe is the mfger, but someone makes a choke the same way to produce tight, dense patterns. Flukes are placed in the choke that stalls the wad, and allows the shot to exit the barrel minus the wad. And both, by the way, should NOT be used together...that choke, and the Federal Prairee loads.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Educating Ontario....this from a ballistics co. I just looked up on the internet. You can now see the additional cost of nickel silver plating, AND the pentration difference when you plate. Steel is also very penetrating, and doesn't produce the blow effect of lead..

"Plated Lead Shot"

The overall quality of lead shot is always improved by the addition of plating. The plating process hardens the pellet and this allows for better patterning performance. Plating also improves penetration capabilities of the pellet.

"Copper-plated shot is a lighter plating process. It is a big improvement over standard lead shot.
Nickel-plated shot consists of a double-plating process: It is plated first with copper and then with a heavy coating of nickel. Nickel is less porous than copper or lead and it is a superior plating material because of its resulting unparalleled penetration capabilities."

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

If someone who sold the stuff told you dog crap tasted like prime rib would you buy a bucket and throw some on the barbecue? These guys are marketing the stuff. What did you expect them to tell you? That it DOESN'T work better? Reminds me of the thread over on Chad's dog blog about the BS hype that got everybody bamboozled over the snakebite vaccine. If all the "plated" pellets I'm finding in the pheasants are still squished and distorted, I fail to see how the plating is making any difference as far their ability to preserve trajectory any better than squished naked lead ones.

Double plating process? What a bunch of BS! I'm guessing I pulled at least twenty of the nickle plated pellets out of birds shot with the one and only box of Prairie Storm I purchased last fall. Most of the pellets were so distorted I could hardly tell there had ever been a "saturn ring" on them. I saw no sign of copper under any of the nickle plating. Any appreciable level of "plating" that could have the potential to increase the rigidity of the shot pellets would also significntly decrease their weight. Note that the specific gravity of copper or nickle is SUBSTANTIALLy less than lead. Check the periodic table. I would think that if the pellets were made lighter, we would see a significnt decrese in effectiveness, as we have with steel shot. But no, we're instead supposed to believe this added hardening "plating" process IMPROVES their penetration etc.? The "plating" is just an insignificant microscopic thin paint job ... but apparently a much more effective snow job!

Sayfu, where in the world did you get the idea that Federal uses any silver in the "plating" of shot in their Prairie Storm shotshells? IT'S NICKLE AND COPPER ONLY! Go to their website. It's a five second google. Read the first paragraph. Gees, I know we have been down this alleged "sliver plating" path before!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Sayfu, I have shot PLENTY of Federal high speed shells. I prefer them but they're pricey so not always available. I have only shot one box of Prairie Storm and, as I have said before in other threads you have read, their performance seems comparable to the other Federal Premium less-gimmicky loads at the same 1500+ speed. I shoot full or modified fixed chokes. I would think that if the wads were so special in those Prairie Storm loads I'd be blowing my birds to bits or missing them altogether. But I'm not. Damage and batting average are both comparable to Federal Premium 1500+.

I shoot enough pheasants every year to know what I'm talking about. Didn't count last fall but I must have killed at least forty in six weeks (daily limit is three and I can only eat them just so fast). I'm guessing that's probably more than you have shot in the last twenty years? And I shoot that many year after year. So, when I say I noticed a difference, I have a pretty good control group to work with in my data analysis. I'm not basing my judgment on what the bought-and-paid-for ammo makers' experts tell me works.

So you kill birds with no pellets in their bodies and assume the "shock" of pellets hitting and sticking/bouncing off killed em. Pffffffffft! That is the sound of hot air escaping! Lots of it. Did you pick their heads? I have shot THOUSANDS of birds over the years and haven't picked one yet with pellets stuck to its feathers (brother!). Nor have I killed one that didn't have a hole in it. I once shot a teal on the water at virtually point blank and knocked it completely underwater with crappy cheap steel loads only to watch it fly away (I took the shot because I was desparate). How much more non-penetrating "shock" could have been delivered without causing the bird to implode? But it didn't die. C'mon, man! This is the Gun Nuts blog. You're embarrassing yourself in front of these guys.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I told you why you are not blowing your birds to bits. Study up on what a shotstring is for one. It isn't always just hit, or miss. Stop in a gun dept shop like I worked with, and am around all the time. Ask someone that knows shotguns, and bird hunting the effectiveness of the propriatary wad cup that Federal uses. It is so effective at retaining pattern at the far limits that, as I said, someone makes it in a choke tube!..and it will do the same thing. I use to shoot trap competitivly. We would have turkey shoots shooting from "the porch", way da hell back there. If someone missed, you could knock them out of the competition by breaking their bird after they missed. Then sometime later, I would "Mine shot". Take my wash tub bucket out into the woods backdrop, and flat shovel the leaves off into my tub, and take it to a small pond, and wash off the leaves, and as much dirt as I could. Then I would bring the shot home, and had several crude process of cleaning the shot further. A percentage of the shot I reclaimed for reloading was "Lubeloy"(sp?) shot, copper plated shot guys would use in those turkey shoots to take advantage of their fellow gunners. It stays round, and the pattern holds better at distance. You tellin me your observation of picking it out of a bird is meaningless if it was plated shot, not just dipped.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I have seldom read such bullmanure! LMAO!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I rest my case...

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from Amflyer wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

"Shock"? Really?

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Mtnman...Remember the case you lost in the court of facts vs. Sayfu, guardian of the facts. Your high rpm lips overloaded your imbecilic mind... a no contest, an M & Mer...toal mismatch. :)

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

phil,

what about shotgun slugs? rifled vs sabot? you never really talk about those?

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Phil doesn't care to answer a lot of major questions that are brought up. One can only speculate as to why.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Keep in your recall machine that the conventions are not over, nor is the election.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Heh, heh! I'm bored. What can I say. He's an easy mark. Guess I should go catch some fish.

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from springerman3 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

An interesting blog and susequent posts by those concerned ! In my experiences hunting the mighty ditch parrot for 40 plus years the most important feature in killing them was to take good shots ( inside 35 yards ) and put the muzzle where it belongs !
I have not tried any of these super duper fast loads as I know very well recoil will be increased and your shooting accuracy will begin to fail ( read flinch ) which will negatively effect proper muzzle movement relative to the target.
Ontario Honker: I have been hunting with springers all my life and with one exception of a poorly trained dog ( my bad ) the vast majority of my shots are inside 30 yards which allows my mighty 20 gauge to do what it needs to do .....
Buckstopper: Excellant observation !!
Sayfu: Phil does read the posts and make comments when & where needed ( note the 2nd blog about hunting in Uruguay ) and this blog is a spin off from those two ...
I will continue to hunt DP with 1200 fps lead loads and do just fine :)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Springerman, the vast majority of my shots at pheasants are over labs at 20-30 yards. I usually don't bother shooting at anything further than that. Usually the wind is also blowing hard in Eastern Montana and a 30+ yard shot is tough to make in those conditions. I only hunt wild birds on public land or land that is publicly accessible. And I rarely show up in Montana until after the season has been open for a couple of weeks (to avoid snake issues mostly). So the birds are cagey by then. More often than not, because of those factors, I'm having to take tough fast shots in heavy cover. Often russian olive or tulies. I have to blast through that crap and bring the birds right down dead or risk losing them. Sometimes long shots are all I'll get so I have to take them. Slow loads don't buck the brush well and, I have found, don't perform well in hard wind either. I just haven't had much luck with the slow loads, especially 1200 fps. And you are correct about the kick factor. Those 1500 fps Federals kick pretty hard. I use my auto with them and that mitigates the recoil some. Also I hunt late in the season so I'm usually bundled up a bit. And I'm a good sized guy so I can take a bit of a punch fairly well. I just noticed a helluva difference with knockdown when I switched to the high speed. By most folks standards I probably wasn't doing that bad with the 1300 fps loads. Judging by the other guys I saw hunting the fed refuge and the amount of ammo they were expending, I think I was doing as good if not better. But four birds per box? Ouch! Even if the shells are cheap it adds up. And way too many birds were running off crippled. Also with more shooting being reqired perhaps not much is gained on the flinch factor? A lot of it has to do with what shells one has confidence in. After putting down four birds in four shots as opposed to a whole box of slower shells, it just makes sense that I BELIEVE I'm going to put the bird away with the faster loads every time I fire a round. Perhaps confidence helps with pointing and follow through and maybe even flinch factor. It wouldn't surprise me. The improvement might be "all in the head" but if it is a noticable improvement in dead birds per shot ... well it is what it is. Whatever works.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

springman..I do agree with your post..sounds like good subsance to me unlike the posts I've read on here lately. And I too shoot a 20 ga. on pheasants with loads in the 1200 fps plus range.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Buckstopper. Sounds like your having marraige problems. You looking for councelling? Can't help ya. I only know shotgunning, and flyfishing. :)

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

#HOT DOG# IS IT GOOD ?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ditchpig, I go further west. A lot further. Just driving through that oil patch country is a nightmare. Most of those truckers shouldn't have a license to drive a baby stroller. Some of the "drivers' look young enough to be riding in one. I shoot the high velocity through my humpback Browning. No trouble with the recoil from those things giving consistent ejections, even if the gun is a bit dirty! And that's one drawback I have noticed about Federals - they seem to shoot very dirty. Has anyone else noticed that? I am much more deadly with my 3" 870 full choke (the Browning is modified) to the point where it's almost not fun. I'm guessing that's because I have been hunting geese with it for a month or so before I leave for Montana. Still trying to get the hang of that lighter weight Browning. Have tried fiddling with the stock length too. Until I changed to the hot loads nothing I tried seemed to make much difference. When I first tried shooting those hot loads through the 870 three years ago (before I switched to the Browning) I could hardly miss for the first couple of days. After that the percentage dropped a lot until the end of the day when I was completely worn out. I'm pretty sure it was the flich factor from being popped with high velocity recoil. So I decided to go with the Browning. I'm like you, I don't want it to be too easy. But I don't want to see a lot of cripples getting away either. And the Browning is a lot more fun to shoot. If it's working properly.

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from springerman3 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ontario Honker: My springers have all been very good at finding wounded or dead birds. My current one Clem is now 12 1/2, will probably still hunt this fall. Not more than a handful have been lost with him. I hunt grouse and woodcock alot as well so I am used to shooting through thick cover at birds ( yes they are not as tough as DP )!
sdditchpig: The 20 gauge is more than enough gun for " most " DP hunting situations. I have hunted with way too many folks that carry 12 gauges but they usually do not harvest as many birds as I do ( good dog work comes into play here more than some folks are willing to admit...... or realize )
I hunt wild DP here in Iowa so I am no stranger to hunting tough birds. Usually IC choke tube in, on rare occasions I put in lite mod & beef up the load to 1 oz # 5 shot at 1220 fps ...... wow that is a hefty load :)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I think I lost three or four birds overall last year. And I hunt with three good dogs (the younger lab being exceptional for uplands). However, many cripples were recovered in the following days after being knocked down. My younger lab can tail a rooster for half a mile through gawdawful stuff with it zigzagging, doubling back, crossing ditches, etc., and never lose the track. But if it gets up and I knock it down without killing it or breaking a leg, those dang things have a way of shutting off the scent and disappearing that is truly amazing. I believe they then run flat out so dang fast it just doesn't leave enough scent for the dog to pick up. I have hunted with guys who have GWHP, GSP, and English Setter and they say the same thing. Little huns are the worst. Kill them dead or almost never recover them. They just flat dematerialize. No other uplands are like that. None that I have hunted anyway (but I don't hunt quail). Both species are big time runners, hence my theory.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

OHH

Check my profile pics for teh new pup. Real birdy and runs everywhere with the nose to the ground. She comes from good pointing stock, too. The black dawg is miffed because she is the wrong color.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Thanks, WAM. You copycat! Will you come out to Montana and put her to work with my dogs this fall? Fly into Great Falls. That's only an hour's drive from where I'll be staying.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Incidentally, my little French Brittany pup just decided to take to the water. In a big way. I can't get her to come in. She just swims around endlessly while the two labs are chasing the ball. She'll retrieve but not while those monsters are in the water. They'll run her over to get at it. The French Brittanies have webbed toes (as opposed to American variety) and I can sure see it with Coral. She floats around out there totally without effort. And she can really put the pedal to the metal when she wants. Probably because her narrow build throws up less resistence. Her fine coat will not be sufficient for cold water work though.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

OHH, I have made myself a promise to do more upland hunting this year a leave the ducks and geese alone part of the time. I won't ever fly with one of my dawgs. I know about how the airlines treat them and the risks associated with flying in the cargo bay. Only if it were a life saving flight for the dawg, never for my recreation.

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from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

This one has been a great read! Better than Maury P and DR. Phil combined. OH and Safu need to do an outdoor channel. At this point i don't care who's right, It's been fun to watch!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

I have had good luck flying my dogs. Took me all day once to get home from Montana to NW Ontario with Opal when she was a pup. No problems. They even let me take her out during the long layover in Toronto. Just had to run dog and kennel back through security again which is understandable. I'm sure I could have easily shoved a pipe bomb up her little arse. :)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Trapper, you should check out the Obamacare thread in the Backlash section. Lots more entertainment there. I think my parting analogy of blinders and cliff pretty much hit the bullseye.

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from RES1956 wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Phil,
Yes, I believe speed kills better, even with lead and have seen the empiracal evidence to verify it. However, pattern density works wonders also, as do open chokes which allow more birds to be centered instead of fringed, and being a great shot does not hurt either. Put them all together and your dogs will be picking up dead birds instead of chasing cripples.
Respectfully submitted with a minimum of bullmanure,
I remain,
Robert E. Shell

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ontario...give it up. You undoubtably are not very well read. going by just your experience shooting a few boxes of a load is meaningless. There's science, and then there is Ontario's fuzzy experiences. Lead does "stick" to feathers as the evidence I posted suggests. I wasn't surprised to hear that, I've read it numerous times as well as experienced it. I use to reload a duck/goose load in a 2 3/4" 12 ga. hull, Winchester AA hulls from my trap shooting. I loaded #2's for both docks and geese, and then decided to use it on pheasants..the highest speed lead load I could reload according to the book I used. I'd hit pheasants at say 30 yds, and a puff of feathers, dead on impact. I'd clean the bird, and no evidence of a hit on the bare skin. Now most of you guys would claim #2's ways way overkill, and would ruin a lot of the meat. They were shocked to death. You need to read up more on shotshell performance, and quit coming up with these pipe dreams like "lead can't be plated by elecgtrolysis, or lead doesn't stick to feathers, etc. etc. My GAWD you didn't even relate to the flitestopper wad that Federal uses in their Prairee Storm loads, or the choke tube that deploys the same concept.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Prairee Storms perform well because....the components are all very good. You get your speed, BUT, you also get a more expensive process of hardening the shot, plating the shot, and using 30% anyway of the even more expensive nichel silver plating process that I posted for you, and what it involves. And that was not a marketing scheme by that ballistics mfgering co., it described the physical traits of lead, and plating...exactly like I told you before I had to look it up because of your mis-statement about plating. Prairee Storm also has a very effective wad design that does what I said it does. I read a lot of reports on load testing. No way can I just rely on my observation of hunting in the field, and I have done a very lot of it over the years. That is a very poor scientific experiment to rely just on one's observation in the field. Most hunters are clueless as to the distance they even shot at. I've asked basic questions on how to shoot a shotgun on this thread just to see if anyone of these "experts" knows the answer, and never get a correct answer. And for you to say "ducks drop just as easily with steel penetrating at a distance" is a falsehood as well. It is estimated that 3 million waterfowl, in the USA, and coming down from Canada die each year from steel shot that penetrated, but didn't deliver the BLOW, and flew off to die a slow death. Again, you need to read more.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

How would the Mtn man recognize real bull when he saw it?..so what is bull that I posted for one? I know you have to put on hip boots to wade through the Honkers posts.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

It sure appears you haven't hung around much decent info in the age of information. My GAWD! Lead can't be plated...lead shot doesn't stick to feathers....plated shot doesn't penetrate better than lead, or harden the shot, just a marketing ploy by the manufacturers. E-collars aren't much of an advantage at training dogs, Federals new flightstopper wad doesn't seem to be any advantage at producing tight patterns, steel shot drops ducks at a distance as well as lead, and few fly off to die because of steel shot penetration, and on, and on. Those high speed loads you've been using have given you concussons. See a shrink.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

The proof is in the puddin Bud..you've stated so many falsehoods if you did state the truth who would believe you? My point is...substance should count for something. You've posted a lot of BS. I am not a photo taker..gave that up years ago. I used to write flyfishing articles UNTIL the digital age caused me to give it up. There is a lot of technical data concerning flyfishing, and why I like it. I tend to enjoy specific, technical data. The same can be said of shotgunning, and what we've been talking about. Misinformation gets to me, especially when someone comes on as if it is absolute fact. And can I be wrong..sure can. I'm my own harshest critic.

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