Bug Doc wrote:I may be a little late to this discussion, but here's my 2 cents. Hevi-Metal (and the similar Speed-Ball) loads are designed to increase your pellet count by including smaller, somewhat more dense tungsten shot that matches the steel shot's ballistics. It should have about the same time-of-flight and penetration as the steel shot included in the load. Because of this, the tungsten shot does not increase your potential range, but rather should allow you theoretically to use a more open choke and have wider patterns within the range of the steel shot. Here is a series of patterns I fired last year:
These were fired with an Xtra-Full choke at 30, 40, & 50 yards. In the 40 yard pattern I took the time to show the tungsten pellets in red and the steel pellets in black. Note the tungsten shot has migrated to the fringe of the pattern (which you would expect given their position at the front of the shot column). Also note the pattern has dropped well below 100 hits at 50 yards. The 80% critical hit probability is lower than I would accept for a hunting load.
I haven't shot this ammo at live birds, but can't imagine it would perform any different than standard steel loads. I wasn't overly impressed with the patterns, however, and have not pursued it further.
What method were you using for determining which pellet's were steel vs Hevi. We used mostly #2 Steel and #4 Hevi trying to get the most balanced load pellet weight wise. It was just a bit difficult trying to figure out which pellet hits were either type of shot on paper, but we had very reduced results same as you did at the 50 yard mark..we just figured it was the Hevi outrunning the steel at range.