Coronation, Alberta - This morning I got the chance to shoot the new Remington Hypersonic shotshells. These loads are very fast - reaching 1700 fps and maybe a wee bit more, as Mr. Scott would say on board the Enterprise. They achieve high velocity by means of a unique wad. A hollow post in the wad runs down the middle to the primer. It contains a sort of "booster" charge that pushes the wad down the barrel. Then the main charge ignites. It's kind of like a little two stage rocket, the idea being that the shell can achieve higher velocities at lower pressures once the first charge has given the second more room in the chamber to ignite.
That's the theory. In practice this morning it performed very impressively. We shot specks, snows, lesser Canadas, mallards and pintails, all with 3-inch steel Hypersonic 2s. Although the birds decoyed very well - this is Canada and they haven't been shot at much -- we picked longer shots, sometimes out to 45 yards or more. Almost everything we shot hit the ground dead. Does the extra 150-200 fps make them that much deadlier than "standard" high velocity? I can't tell you yet for sure, but I will say that if you can't kill ducks and geese with this stuff, it's because you're not shooting straight.
Does the extra speed reduce leads? You're asking the wrong shooter. I see lead only as vague amounts of daylight in front of a bird, not as something I'm able to quantify. I will say I started the morning putting the bead on a bird's beak which worked fine to 30 yards but not to 45. At longer range I still needed to see a little bit of daylight and then the birds crumpled. I had been wondering just how hard these shells would kick, too, and the answer is, "some." They are stout, but nowhere near as bad as some 3 ½-inch loads I've tried. It helps that we are shooting them out of a very soft-kicking, relatively heavy gas gun, too.
These will list for $23.99 per box of 25 in 3-inch 12, with 1 ¼ ounces of BB, 1,2, and 4 shot. Or, if you would like to pay more, get kicked harder, and not kill things any more dead, you can buy the 3 ½-inch Hypersonic for $32.99 a box.