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fishuhalik

Interesting she'll comparison

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So a couple days ago, I found a flat of loose shells that I had (stupidly) set in my garage last fall and forgot about. When I opened it up, I saw a bunch of rust. Dang it. Gotta love this south Texas humidity :mad: So I went through and wiped them all down with a rag and WD40. What I found kinda surprised me. The pile on the left are perfect, no corrosion. In the middle, will still shoot but have some corrosion. On the right, are going in the garbage. The Federal Premiums (red box) had little to no corrosion for the most part. The Estates did ok, and the Kents were almost all corroded really bad.  

C62D9D76-6895-4CFE-87C6-94E7E0B48087_zps

For the second part of my test, I tore into the shells to check out the powder, wads and pellet uniformity. The wads were all different, with the Feds and Kents both having a one-piece wad and the Estates having a 2 piece wad. Powder was nice and dry in all three. However, the pellets in the Estates were absolutely abysmal. Every single one was deformed and had some kind of flaw. Slag, dimples, ovality, etc etc. See for yourself. 

Kents
6AF24024-3B3C-449D-8ED5-748B5507155E_zps

Feds
F5B84FA7-FD16-49C2-8B3E-B9C78CD41826_zps

Estates
812211A3-9A32-4A25-B2FE-033D49F6B766_zps

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Great info - and further confirmation that you get what you pay for.

 

I haven't always known exactly WHY but did notice a difference some years ago that premium ammunition does perform better.  A hit is a hit but putting a bird down for good is far more common with the better shells.  And especially in the duck world, doing that can save you LOTS more shells and frustrations.

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2 hours ago, fishuhalik said:

 However, the pellets in the Estates were absolutely abysmal. Every single one was deformed and had some kind of flaw. Slag, dimples, ovality, etc etc. See for yourself. 

Estates
812211A3-9A32-4A25-B2FE-033D49F6B766_zps

I think Estate is made or resold by Federal?

Plus whats wrong with a "Duplex" load? :lol:

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I don't remember the brands, but I noticed a few years ago while standing in the swamp that the empty hulls were different lengths for two different brands.  And it just so happened that the longer ones gave me all sorts of headaches with failing to cycle.  Of course when the shells were crimped shut, they were all the same length.

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Good eye sled. The Feds are factory second rounds that I picked up from a bud. Some of them will be 1/8" or so bigger or smaller, but my gun shoots 3.5" so it has no problem cycling 3 1/8" shells. 

Estates are made on the same line as all of Federals shotgun shells. Just lower quality shot apparently

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I have cut open and patterned a lot of shells. 

 

From my experiences, for shot shells, if it's not federal my guns don't like it. It all goes bang. But that's where the similarities lie. 

 

Then there is the mystery of 2-shot. No matter what brand of 2-shot I use you could put a mallard Drake 30-35yards away and I won't kill it. 1,3,4's = dead bird. Give me federal blue box speed shock in 1,3,4 for geese (1) and ducks (3,4) and let's go hunting. If I feel rich then I will buy a box of black cloud. But I'm not that rich. 

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I honestly have never patterned my gun. All I know is, I kill more birds DOI with Federals than anything else. like you said, I'll knock em down with anything, but it seems like the Feds hit harder, have a better pattern, whatever. I had almost 0 crips last year when I switched to those Fed red box's, and with how many divers I shoot, that's saying something

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I pretty much stick with Black Cloud.  Since I switched I've had more DOI when I've hit them than back in the day of buying the cheapest steel I could find.

 

The 4's have been crushing the early season teal, woodies, and mallards.  I absent mindedly loaded 4s when I got into the ring necks and paid for it.  Too many extra rounds spent trying to cap the swimmers when they shoulda just been dead and laying there.  I need 3s and 2s to keep those buggers down.  But when I try to lace these late hanging teal with 2s, they just keep going.

 

I like 2s but better yet BB for the gooses.

Generally the smallest shot size I can get away with is what I like.  More shot = better chance to hit something vital and the BC's will get that smaller shot deeper into the bird.

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Iv'e patterned alot of different shells , cut them apart ect. I shoot an extended choke tube ALL the time, it's either a miss or dead, and the biggest thing is shoot them within 35 yards, in the decoys, let the fringe and passing birds go and it won't matter what shell your shooting, I shoot 2's all the time for ducks and geese, 3's if only ducks. I have found that the dimpled and imperfect shot still kills them dead if you shoot a tight choke and within 35 yards. Blindside patterend really good out of my gun with a Drake Killer choke tube and number 3's , killed geese really dead but not worth the money if your letting the birds get where they should be when calling the shot. I like the challenge of getting them feet down and seeing there rear end pucker when the blind doors open.

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I shoot a Browning Maxus. Ive patterned my gun with the stock invector and by far Black Cloud shot the best out of the gun vs

Kent

Blind Side (the worst by far)

Regular Federal Steel

 

I did shoot some Super X last year when I ran out of shells in the woods and I was still dropping ducks from over treetops. But thats with external choke. Hevishot doesnt seem to do any better or worse than anything else ive used. I use 3.5 #2 shot pretty much exclusively. 

dh1_zpsxlrqi4sf.jpg

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