October 18, 2012
Kent Fasteel: Reliable, Nontoxic Shot for Waterfowl
By Phil Bourjaily
Years ago I was in Stuttgart, Arkansas with the president of a company that made expensive non-toxic shot. He was expounding on the theme that ammunition is a small part of the overall price of hunting, and that most hunters don’t shoot many shells in a season. Therefore, he said, the average hunter could afford his shells, which then cost about $2 apiece.
To prove his point, he turned to our guide and asked, “How many boxes of shells do you shoot in a year?”
He asked the wrong guy. Kenny guided every day of duck and goose season. He thought for a moment and said “About seven cases.”
If you ask duck bums—guides like Kenny, a pro-staffer, or just people who arrange life around waterfowl season so they can hunt every day—what ammo they shoot, chances are they will tell you they wish they could afford HeviShot but they shoot Kent Fasteel. They want bang for the buck from their shotshells and the consensus choice among them is Kent.
Fasteel loads run as fast as 1625 fps in 3 ½-inch shells although most of the line clocks in at 1480-1550 fps. That, in my opinion, is plenty swift enough. Cut one open and you find uniform, perfectly round steel pellets for good pattern performance. They kill ducks and geese and they are affordable. What more could you ask for?
(I have been shooting Kent Upland Faststeel 1450 fps, 1 ounce of 6 shot—more or less the equivalent of lead 7 1/2s—at doves this season and have been very pleased with its performance. My performance occasionally suffers, as it did in the dove field recently, but that was operator error, not an ammunition problem. The Kent stuff is very good.)