Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

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Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby buckwild » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:13 pm

So my buddy and I picked the hottest freaking day of the year to do this test yesterday. Something about the hot weather gets me fired up for hunting season. We took 19 different types of shotgun shells that guys I hunted with the past year used. We had 2 of each shell to reduce human error. I shot one of each, and he shot the other, both using my Mossberg 935. We had a 20''x16'' sheet of insulation for each shell type hanging on the sign. Behind the sign was a telephone book to test the penetration power of each shell.

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On the second shot of the Black Cloud 3.5 inch BB it looked like most of the pellets stayed together and did as much damage as a slug going through the entire phone book. Neat, but not necessarily a good thing.
Image.

Overall rule of thumb is you get what you pay for. I have done the pattern text 2 other times and that has held fairly true. Experts are junk! The exception to the rule is the Remington Sportsman. It is one of the cheapest, but every time I have done this test (with 3 different guns) they have been at the top. Remington shells overall seem to be very good for regular steel.

The Heavy Metal and Black Cloud did very well as far as the numbers go, but there was a clear difference between the damage they did to the phone book. Not just the number of pages they went through, but the destruction of phone book. Obviously the BBB, and T shot also had some bigger holes as well.

Here are the results: (The first number is how many pellets, the second number is how many pages of the phone book it went through.)

Type Pattern/Penetration

3 inch Black Cloud #2 - 109/343
3 inch Heavy Steel #2- 124/477
3 inch Remington sportsman 2 shot- 160/340
3 inch Remington Hyper Sonic #2- 89/404 (PhoneBook had thick color pages)
3 inch Winchester Expert BB- 84/439
3 inch Heavy Metal BB- 100/615
3 inch Federal Speed Shock BB-49/410
3 inch Hyper Sonic BB- 55/1038
3 inch Remington Nitro Steel BB- 98/494
3 inch Federal Premium Ultra Shock BBB-75/598+ (Went through entire book!)
3 inch Nitro Steel T Shot- 80/852
3.5 inch Black Cloud #2- 144/438
3.5 inch Sportsman #2- 93/429
3.5 inch Black Cloud BB- 98/887 (not including wad shot)
3.5 inch Winchester Supreme BB- 82/579
3.5 inch Heavy Metal BB- 102/684
3.5 inch Experts BB- 51/490
3.5 inch Nitro Steel BB- 149/517

Average Penetration score- 575.8
Average Pattern Score- 97
Average pattern score from 3 inch- 90.3
Average Pattern score from 3.5 inch- 102.7
Average Penetration Score from 3 inch- 583.6
Average Penetration score from 3.5 inch- 584.1
Average #2 penetration- 407
Average BB penetration- 504
Average #2 pattern- 119.8
Average BB pattern- 83.8

BBB Shot Score- 75/598
T Shot Score- 80/852
2 3/4 inch Score- 131/421

Best 3 inch Penetration- Remington Hypersonic BB
Best 3 inch Pattern- Remington Sportsman #2
Best 3.5 inch Penetration- Black Cloud BB
Best 3.5 inch Pattern Remington Nitro Steel BB

Worst 3 inch Pattern- Federal Speed Shock BB
Worst 3inch Penetration- Remington Sportsman #2
Worst 3.5 inch Penetration- Remington Sportsman #2
Worst 3.5 inch Pattern- Winchester Expert BB

In the next few days I am going to place my order for a case of 3.5 inch Remington Nitro Steel BB for my trip to North Dakota in October.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby duaney2 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:36 am

How far were you from your target, and how many total phone books did you end up using?
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby buckwild » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:24 pm

we were 30 yards using modified choke. We used one phone book for each shell type...so 19.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby rism » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:44 am

If you are going to shoot ducks @ 30 - 40 yds you do not NEED BB. Try patterning Kent 3" #1's or Federal #1's. I also shoot Kent #3's in 3" More shot in the pattern w/ just as much penetration. 3.5 in. just gives you more pellets - not more range. I like to shoot them in the face @ that range. To me that is what duck hunting is all about. Can you decoy them and call good enough to get them that close ?? You would also be surprised what #1's will do on geese @ 30 - 40 yds. When goose hunting I load a #1 a #BB then a BBB. Very rarely get past the #1.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby artedog » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:57 am

might want to also include the new Blind Side steel shot from Winchester if you can find it! Test results have been extremely positive and it was just named ammo of the year from outdoor life. Also, remember that deep penetration isn't what kills birds, original issue with steel was that it cut thru without causing extensive damage and lethal impact, leaving birds to fly off and die later...
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby buckwild » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:52 pm

rism wrote:If you are going to shoot ducks @ 30 - 40 yds you do not NEED BB. Try patterning Kent 3" #1's or Federal #1's. I also shoot Kent #3's in 3" More shot in the pattern w/ just as much penetration. 3.5 in. just gives you more pellets - not more range. I like to shoot them in the face @ that range. To me that is what duck hunting is all about. Can you decoy them and call good enough to get them that close ?? You would also be surprised what #1's will do on geese @ 30 - 40 yds. When goose hunting I load a #1 a #BB then a BBB. Very rarely get past the #1.



From the 2 other times I have done the pattern test, plus my buddy did it twice too, Kents are dong $#!t. They were almost as bad as Experts.
If I am hunting mostly Ducks I shoot 2 shot, mostly geese, BB or BBB. For anything inbetween, I mix it up. For example, in North Dakota where we will be hunting it is almost a 50/50 big duck/goose split. So I will mostly shoot a #2, then two BB's. If we are setting up on more of a duck spot I will adjust. I know you dont NEED BB's to kill ducks, you dont even NEED #2's, but if there is a question, I would rather go a little bigger.

I am slo interested to see hoe the Blind Side turns out, I have seen alot of mixed reviews on them, maybe more negative then positive...but its not even season yet. I didnt have the desire to go out and spend the money on them so test them out, I will let the reviews over the next yea do that for me. Plus, I am yet to see a Winchester shell that is worth a damn.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby artedog » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:32 am

Not sure which reviews you are reading, Def different from the ones I have been. I get PR clips from the industry for all ammo...
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby rjduckhunter » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:08 am

hey thanks for all the info. I love reading the stats on various shells. Hope more guys do this.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby BigJls1 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:42 am

Major thanks!!. Man this is awesome. So much thanks for taking the time to post results.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby Mike657 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:38 pm

Good Job :thumbsup: :thumbsup: How was your shoulder after all those 3.5s :yes: I like how you tested the penetration of each load.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby onastring » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:14 am

Shells pattern differently out of different guns and different chokes. So what may have performed badly in your test doesn't mean the shells are junk. If you really want to test shells (and not a shell/gun/choke setup which is what you did) then you need multiple guns with multiple chokes for each gun.

That said, if you want to hit more ducks, spend the time a sporting clays range instead. The shells you called junk, have plenty of killing power.

I also disagree with with going a little bigger. I would rather have more pellets. I shoot the cheapest stuff I can find which is either federal speed shok or winchester experts, #4 at decoying birds, #2 if its really windy or late season and birds are stale, both 3". I also look for more shot (1 1/4 oz over 1 1/8 oz) as opposed to speed. If I'am on a wood duck shoot, its 2 3/4" #6.
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Re: Pattern and Phone Book Test with Waterfowl Loads

Postby grwteal » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:53 am

Those are some interesting stats.

From the patterns I see in the picture,I would think they should be better.
30 yards with a modified choke should be a lot tighter than those pictured.

That being said.I shot Kent 3" 1 3/8 #2s with a IC choke on ducks.
My patterns looks a lot more even and denser at 40 yards.

No matter what,it all boils down to whether you can hit them.
If you can't get the pattern on the birds the best pattern in the world isn't gonna help much.

Dan
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