TSS coyote load testing

Deer. Moose, Elk, Bear, Lions just large game.

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hawglips
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby hawglips » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:24 am

Dave, any hunt reports?



DAA
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:32 pm

Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby DAA » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:26 pm

Yes, I've been getting after the coyotes pretty hard the last few weeks. I have killed about 25 coyotes now with TSS #2 in the 2-3/4", 1-5/8 oz. load. I'm impressed! Here is a pic from yesterdays hunt.

Image

I had a shot last Saturday that sort of encapsulates my experience with TSS and my thoughts on it so far.

Had a coyote standing facing me at 60 yards. All I had was a face and a neck through a window in the sage brush. A 60 yard shot, with only face and neck showing, is a pretty low percentage shotgun shot in my experience. All the other coyote loads I've used, the patterns are really falling apart at 60 yards and so it's going to take some luck to drop that coyote. But, after all the pattern testing I did with TSS this summer, and having killed 20 or so coyotes with TSS in the previous few weeks, I felt like I had a really good handle on what the gun and the load were doing out at 60 yards. And I had absolute confidence in putting enough pellets in that coyotes face and neck, at 60 yards, that I didn't hesitate. I put the bead on his nose and let 'er rip and he dropped on the spot dead before he hit the ground.

A big, gorgeous male coyote, I weighed him at 36 pounds. Here he is.

Image

I skinned him and he had taken 12 TSS #2 pellets in the face and neck with deep penetration, at 60 yards. That is way impressive. But what really struck me about it, was that I KNEW the gun and the load were going to perform that way. That is pretty crazy. Total confidence in a 60 yard face shot!

Here is another pic from last Saturday.

Image


I'll be getting out amongst 'em again next weekend. I plan to try the TSS #4 on them, I haven't used any of it yet. But TSS #2 is working like gangbusters! Think I'll probably end up ordering some #3 to try too and suspect it might even end up being the sweet spot. But, only experience in the field will tell.

- DAA



hawglips
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby hawglips » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:38 am

Yotes don't stand a chance with you and your rig....



DAA
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby DAA » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:56 pm

So I tried some TSS #4 shot this weekend. Same 2-3/4", 1-5/8 oz. load.

Image


Only three of those were with the shotgun, rest were either my .17 or my partners .264 Mag. But the three with the shotgun, TSS #4, that's not #4 buck, but teeny little #4, all three one shot bang flops. Nothing noteworthy about the shots. Furthest one was a small female standing broadside at 51 yards, she dropped dead on the spot.

- DAA



hawglips
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby hawglips » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:56 am

Awesome Dave. Good work on the yotes.

I bet if you went all the way down to #6s you'd see the same thing....



DAA
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby DAA » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:19 am

Ehhh... Maybe. But I don't plan on ever trying to find out :lol: .

6's might have been okay for that standing broadside coyote. But most coyotes don't cooperate quite that well. And I wouldn't want to have to put any money on 6's getting it done at 50 yards even on one standing broadside.

The numbers for 6's just don't add up for me. Penetration just would not be sufficient in too many of the real world shot scenarios that come up. Just my opinion. KPY predicts only 43 yards for 3.7" gel penetration. About the same as lead BB. Lead BB is pretty weak sauce for coyote, in my opinion.

I mean, I know, lots of guys use lead BB and do well with it. It is fine for many situations. But my conditions, too often, it's just not going to get it done. It's a 45 yard load in my opinion. I don't see TSS #6 being any better.

I'd like to try some #3. And in some situations, I'd be fine if all I had was #5, but I don't think I'll ever actually load anything smaller than #4. Just too many going away coyotes to deal with.

Just about every TSS using turkey hunter says the small sizes will be fine for coyote. But none of the western coyote guys I have talked to have ever agreed. There's good reasons for that. Killing called coyotes in the sage brush is a whole heckuva lot different than killing turkeys. A whole heckuva lot different. They are way tougher, usually moving 20 to 30 MPH, zig zagging through the brush, often going away, usually giving bad angles etc. Over kill and extreme penetration are good things. Marginally sufficient, on paper, will just get you a lot of yipping, yiping coyotes that you just shot in the butt that you aren't ever going to see again.

Seriously, I've only killed three coyotes with #4 and am happy with it so far, but I don't have any plans for even entertaining the thought of using smaller TSS than #4 on coyote. It's just a bad idea, in my opinion.

- DAA



hawglips
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby hawglips » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:32 pm

DAA wrote:6's might have been okay for that standing broadside coyote. But most coyotes don't cooperate quite that well. And I wouldn't want to have to put any money on 6's getting it done at 50 yards even on one standing broadside.

The numbers for 6's just don't add up for me. Penetration just would not be sufficient in too many of the real world shot scenarios that come up. Just my opinion. KPY predicts only 43 yards for 3.7" gel penetration. About the same as lead BB. Lead BB is pretty weak sauce for coyote, in my opinion.


I am the first to join the coyote novice club. I've got exactly ONE coyote kill with a shotgun to my credit. So keep that in mind while reading the below. But I've got an awful lot of TSS and load development experience, and hear a ton of field reports on various game year round.

So, within that context, my first question to the above would be - why are lead BBs too weak on coyotes? Penetration inadequate? Or not enough pellets on target? Or a combination of both?

Over the past 11 years I've received many reports of turkey hunters using #9s killing coyotes at 50 yds or more. I have only shot at one yote with turkey loads (9x8) myself, and killed her at 42 steps. She was quartering away. I aimed for the ribs and she whirled around three times nipping at her side, then fell over and died right there. Taking a cursory look at her, I could find no visible holes in our out of her, but she was bleeding out of her nostril and rectum. And the clincher is that I know of one broadside coyote at a ranged 91 yds killed by a 2-1/2 oz load of 8x6 - and he fell dead where he was. Do I think 8s or 9s are a good choice for coyotes? No - something that will have adequate penetration and bone breaking energy at running away coyotes while still having a dense pattern makes more sense. But what is the best compromise in the trade-off between penetration energy and pattern density when it comes to coyotes and TSS?

I have two local buddies who have killed hogs at 30 yds with #9s (100+ lbs, one shot) and another at 40 yds with #8s (200+ lbs, one shot) - with slow moving, heavy turkey loads. Neither hog ran off, but fell over and died right where they stood. Would I advocate serious hog hunting with 8s and 9s? No - I'd say go with something that will penetrate through the tough shoulders and have good effect on running away hogs makes more sense. But still one has to take note of the dead-right-there hogs shot at moderately long distances with very small shot.

So, to me, the question isn't how far 6s will kill them - because they have already shown they "can" kill them way out there if he's broadside. The question is why do they kill them so far. Of course, it seems to me that a larger sized pellet is certainly a better choice for killing coyotes (given all the variables a live target presents). But I think the answer of why the small shot does so well lies in what separates TSS from all the less dense shot and what makes it so devastating. It isn't penetration alone that sets TSS apart. The other half of the equation is equally important - pattern density (of pellets with adequate penetration). As we all understand, what makes TSS tick is that you can go way down in pellet size (from lead or steel or hevishot) in order to increase the available pellet count, while still not sacrificing penetration energy - thereby creating a very dense pattern of nasty pellets. But how much value should be assigned to either half of the penetration vs pattern density equation? That's still being figured out, I believe.

After working with this shot for so long, and developing so many loads and new uses for it, I'm convinced that in the real world of killing stuff, you almost have to come up with a new way of thinking about how/why/what with TSS. For example, the standard waterfowl pattern density and penetration minimums that are out there are a good guide to go by, but they don't really apply apples to apples with TSS, IMO. But in the absence of anything better, it's really all we have to go by. Questions revolving around hole sizes has come up very often over the years. Assigning a "standard" penetration depth to various game (such as turkeys, coyotes, etc) is an inexact science, and still a work in progress.

It took me years to convince folks that #9s and small gauged guns was the way to go with turkeys. It's just hard to wrap one's mind around that sort of thinking when one's experience has no way to relate to it. And that thinking applies to most any game that has been traditionally killed with shotguns.

With larger game like coyotes and deer, the parameters are totally different than with fowl due to anatomy. And who knows where we will end up in thinking one day? I think it will be a while yet before we start to settle down towards a consensus.

Dave (DAA) is cutting edge on coyote killing with TSS right now. So his experience and opinion certainly carries more weight than most anyone else I know. I figure his penetration testing of larger-than-fowl sized shot with the phone books is going to end up to be a classic that folks refer back to. And I'm always eager to hear his next hunt report.

Other than Dave's work - and the incidental turkey hunter kills - Bob and only a few others have taken to it at least semi-seriously. So the universe of field results data of real yote hunting is still very limited. And so in my mind, the question of what sized shot is best, or even what range of shot sizes is best, won't be settled for some time yet.

But if I was betting my money, and someone wanted to bet me he could consistently kill coyotes with #6s out past 50 yds, I wouldn't take his bet... :)



DAA
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby DAA » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:17 pm

hawglips wrote:

So, within that context, my first question to the above would be - why are lead BBs too weak on coyotes? Penetration inadequate? Or not enough pellets on target? Or a combination of both?






Hal, I'm short on time, so going to be more brief than I'd like.

But my short answer to your question above, it's penetration, absolutely. In the world of lead coyote loads, pellet count is about all the BB has going for it. It is the smallest lead shot I personally consider adequate for general coyote hunting, so has the highest pellet count.

Should say clearly here, that lead BB does get it done for a lot of guys. Everything is situational. If you can't even see more than 40 yards where you are calling, lead BB is going to do you just fine.

So my whole resistance to 6's, or smaller, is purely on what I consider "adequate penetration" for my particular circumstances. Which, for my coyote hunting with a shotgun, the yardstick I think of, is a coyote running dead away at 50 yards. That is a shot that is hard to pass up. Most everybody is going to take it most every time. But, that is a real good example of the kind of shot where I have personally witnessed lead BB just plain fail to get it done. Due entirely to lack of penetration. Plenty of pellet strikes, but not enough penetration to break the coyote down.

This is exactly where TSS #2 is amazing. That 50 yard going away coyote, like I said, classic setup for a well placed shot but a coyote that still has wheels and the will to use them. The TSS #2 just rolls that coyote up. If not dead immediately, he is at least broken down for the follow up/finishing shot.

The advantage I see to #4 over #2, is of course in pellet count. You can just throw a wider cone of death out there, making hits on those zig zagging runners easier. I'm not yet sure how #4 will work on that coyote going away at 50 yards. On paper, per KYP and my own penetration testing, well, it's close! Might have it, might not. Need some real world experience to make things more clear. I'm hoping it surprises me on the good side. TSS has done that a lot so far, so it just might.

End of the day, pellet count is always a good and welcome thing. I'll take all I can get. But! Not at the expense of "adequate penetration". Which, what I consider adequate, going by a 50 yard shot in the rear, someone else that rarely has to take that shot, might consider lead BB completely fine and for those guys, 6's will open up all kinds of pattern possibilities. But I think I'm probably always going to be thinking about those edge cases, the worst case scenarios, where traditional loads often fail - that's bonus coyote for me using TSS.

- DAA



hawglips
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby hawglips » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:29 pm

Excellent response Dave. Thank you.



Inoculation
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Re: TSS coyote load testing

Postby Inoculation » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:54 pm

I have to agree with Dave on this. I've been hunting coyotes with nothing but a shotgun for over a decade now. I've heard and seen a lot of things in the field, and size 6 or smaller in TSS just isn't going to cut the mustard for serious coyote hunting. I'll even go as far to say that lead BB doesn't cut the mustard either for the exact reason Dave states and a few more. Lead BB has a hard time with going away shots, especially in thick cover. I'll take lead 4buck all day over lead BB. The lead T and F look to be interesting, but this TSS stuff is where it's at I believe. The way I hunt is different than Dave, but I do find myself in more open sage from time to time in the Western US. Living in CA forces me to hunt non toxic now and the DC is only as good as the Winchester 3.5" 4buck in my opinion at 3x the cost. Hand loading TSS is cheaper than DC at this point, and if it performs to my expectations I will just run that everywhere form here on out. I'll be patterning and then field testing my loads within the next few weeks.




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