Testing new duplex loads

Duck and Goose hunting

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TNRidgeRunner2
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:10 am

Testing new duplex loads

Postby TNRidgeRunner2 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:15 am

Hello everyone. I am new to the reloading game, but have been studying it for a while longer.My old go to factory duck shell was Remington Nitro Steel #4, 1.25 oz. I decided that I was tired of chasing cripples last season, but I didn't want to sacrifice pellet count to get more lethal hits. Enter TSS. My dilemma so far, is that I can't get any of these load combinations to pattern nice and even like the Remington Nitro Steel does. Am I doing something wrong here, or is there something that I may be missing? Yesterday, I tested several different TSS x Steel combinations out of 2 3/4" Federal Gold Medal hulls. I tried the following combinations, all over 32 grains of Alliant Steel powder: (1/4 oz. #9 TSS 7/8 oz. #3 Steel),(1/4 oz. #9 TSS 7/8 oz. #4 Steel), (3/8 oz. #9 TSS 3/4 oz. #3 Steel),(3/8 oz. #9 TSS 3/4 oz. #4 Steel). I tested placing the filler wads both above and below the shot on each combination to see if that would make any difference. I also tried both IC and Modified chokes (shooting a Beretta A300). All shots were taken at ~ 25 yards....All the shots would have killed, but the Nitros still beat them. If you nice experienced fellows could give me any advice to steer me in the right direction, I would be very grateful. To be honest, I'm at the point where I hate to spend any more shells to figure out what the issue is without first gaining advise from more educated reloaders! All help is appreciated.

TNRidgeRunner



bullet225ho
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:26 pm

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby bullet225ho » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:01 pm

First off thanks for taking part in the forum and testing duplex loads...I know it's expensive but the information is invaluable for datapoints for yourself and the folks on the forum.

Now, What isn't happening with your pattern that you want to happen? is the pattern to small...too large... not uniform?

What wad are you using? in a 9/8 oz load you should be able to run 34grns of steel and be fine. Will raise wad height just a touch but should be ok.

Are you getting velocity/chronograph readings of your loads?

Also, are you putting the TSS on the bottom or top of the load column?

This will be the start of what might need to be known before loading up any more test rounds.

Also, Do you have a trap built to catch the steel and TSS in so you can recover it?



paulinkansas
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:28 am

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby paulinkansas » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:05 pm

A trap doesn't have to be fancy. Mine is just a 36" x 36" sheet of scrap plywood that I screwed to the front frame of my patterning board. When the time comes, I'll cut it up and burn it in a coffee pot.



paulinkansas
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:28 am

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby paulinkansas » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:54 pm

What wads are you using? In my limited experience, I have had better patterns when I do not use a filler in the wad. My patterns have been better when I shoot a 1.125 oz duplex in a 1.00 oz wad with the appropriate amount of powder for a 1.125 oz payload. I can send you a couple dozen 7/8 and 1.0 oz wads from PR and BPI. These would be for 1.0 oz and 1.125 oz duplex loads of your own creation.



TNRidgeRunner2
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:10 am

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby TNRidgeRunner2 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:44 pm

Hey guys! Sorry for the delay in response. I am using the following:

Edited to remove some of the load info. I haven't sent these to be tested yet.
TUPRW12 Wad (Precision Reloading)
.375 oz. TSS
.75 oz. Steel shot

Initially, I was worried about pattern uniformity. After shooting several patterns, it's very clear that The Remington Nitro Steel shells are good at producing very uniform patterns. It does seem that they have a better "spread" than either the TSS x Steel or straight steel loads I have loaded; although, I'm not sure there's enough difference to matter. I shot some patterns today to better paint the picture I'm getting with the loads. The following were my results shooting poster boards (22x28") with 8" targets attached in the center. Shooting at ~20 yards (I figured I was better off shooting close before moving back? Most of my shots are close, over decoys).

The following are all duplexed loads with .375 oz. TSS #9 and .75 oz. Steel shot with 3/8" of felt filler on top:

Improved Cylinder - TSS on top of steel shot
Steel shot size - Pellets inside 8" circle/Pellets outside circle/Pellets on poster board
#2 Steel - 52/156/208
#3 Steel - 76/161/237
#4 Steel - 59/192/251

Improved Cylinder - TSS under steel shot
Steel shot size - Pellets inside 8" circle/Pellets outside circle/Pellets on poster board
#2 Steel - 80/109/189
#3 Steel - 109/130/239
#4 Steel - 92/148/240

Modified - TSS on top of steel
Steel shot size - Pellets inside 8" circle/Pellets outside circle/Pellets on poster board
#2 Steel - 69/146/215
#2 Steel - 85/124/209
#3 Steel - 45/156/201
#4 Steel - 86/167/253

Modified - TSS under steel shot
Steel shot size - Pellets inside 8" circle/Pellets outside circle/Pellets on poster board
#2 Steel - 112/97/209
#2 Steel - 113/100/213
#3 Steel - 72/174/246
#4 Steel - 118/135/253

From what I have gathered from the data above, it seems that when putting the TSS under the steel shot, the core will be hotter than the perimeter. When you put TSS on top of the steel, it seems that the core is less hot, with more pellets hitting outside the 8" circle, but also with less pellets hitting the entire poster board overall. As far as pattern uniformity goes, the Remington Nitro steel shells I'm used to are a little more evenly distributed, but like I said before, I'm not sure that there's enough difference to matter. I'm leaning toward TSS under the steel for longer range shots, but comparing the numbers can be interesting depending on which choke I choose to hunt with. I'm sure testing these loads at 40 yards will help me make that choice. It is interesting to me that the #3 steel duplexes are well above #2 and #4 in pellet count comparison (8" circle) with improved cylinder, but well below both #2 and #4 in pellet comparison (8" circle) when using modified. To see how my straight steel loads compare to the Remington Nitro Steel patterns, I gathered the data below (All straight steel loads are also 1.125 oz. loads).

Improved Cylinder
Steel shot size - Pellets inside 8" circle/Pellets outside circle/Pellets on poster board
#3 Steel - 69/96/165
#4 Steel - 51/143/194
(Nitro Steel 3" 1.25 oz.) #4 - 51/172/223

Modified
Steel shot size - Pellets inside 8" circle/Pellets outside circle/Pellets on poster board
#3 Steel - 73/86/159
#4 Steel - 78/124/202
(Nitro Steel 3" 1.25 oz.) #4 - 77/141/218

I currently don't have a chronograph yet and won't before duck shooting time is here for me. Any suggestions from you guys? Do these data points help paint a picture at all?

Thanks,
TN
Last edited by TNRidgeRunner2 on Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.



paulinkansas
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:28 am

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby paulinkansas » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:57 pm

I think you've answered your own question. You said most of your shots are close range. You are using #4 steel that patterns good. If I was you I would use #3 or #2 steel and forget about using TSS since you are over decoys. To me, TSS is for 40+ yard shots.



TNRidgeRunner2
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:10 am

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby TNRidgeRunner2 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:33 am

Problem is that I mainly hunt divers, not mallards. Goldeneyes, Bluebills, etc. I notice I get a lot of cripples using the #4 steel. Most of our shots are over decoys, but we often get those borderline shots (40 yards) that I currently don't take because I know that there is a high chance of cripples. I'm thinking TSS may be the ticket to doing both? Or is my thinking off here a little? Thanks for all the help!



bullet225ho
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:26 pm

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby bullet225ho » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:05 am

If you're wanting to take that 40yd shot TSS will definitely help you out. You need to shoot this load in increments. Nothing wrong with shooting at 20yds where the birds "usually" are. but try a pattern at 30 and 40. You'll see that the TSS will open up and probably be better with Improved cyl choke. Also, If your using felt or filler of any kind I'd try and put it under the shot. so....It would be Powder, wad, felt filler, tss then steel to top of shot column. (I hate over shot cards or anything that is in front of shot...just me)

Also, 8" circle is pretty dang small...I mean if you aim small and miss small and want to knock every feather off the bird then I'm with you. However; 30" circle is kind of the base line. You need to see what your filling a 30" circle at at 20, 30, 40 and beyond. If you took your current load with TSS on bottom with 4 steel and shot it at 20, 30 and 40 and maybe 50 you'd get a whole new look at what's going on. TSS holds together in a pattern extremely well.

I have a thread somewhere where I posted incremental patterns from my 28ga tss duplex load in 10yd increments...15,25,35,45 and 55. It's pretty amazing what the TSS does and what the steel does to the TSS at different ranges.

I'd just guess that in your situation you probably need a first shot of nice stout load of straight 3 or 4 steel and a second/third shot of TSS duplex.



TNRidgeRunner2
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:10 am

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby TNRidgeRunner2 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:08 am

Thanks Bullet. I'm thinking you're right. I'm going to try to shoot before work tomorrow, also have some .25 oz. TSS duplex shells loaded to see what they will do at all ranges as well. Plan on shooting at 30 and 40 tomorrow, if possible. I really appreciate your guys' advice. I believe I'm going to have to join a reloader's anonymous group somewhere...

Thanks again,
TN



Dave in AZ
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:38 pm

Re: Testing new duplex loads

Postby Dave in AZ » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:06 pm

That's all good advice up above.

Without quelling your TSS adventure, I would initially say that if you're shooting 5/4oz and wanting to get to 40 yds or beyond, then #4 shot is NOT the way to do it. I'd start with #3 shot as the minimum size, that gets you 190 pellets which are effective with 1.5 gel penetration to 39 yds or so. Against divers, you probably want med-duck pellets, so 125 in the 30" pattern, that's only 71% pattern which should be easily achievable at 40 yds.

Heck, using #2 steel will get you to 47 yds with 1.5" gel penetration, give you 154 pellets which with an 81% choke/pattern will get you 125 in the pattern. That is also achievable with a Mod choke or so.

So if I was shooting mostly < 40 yds and wanted to get outside of 40 once in a while, and was willing to shoot 1.25oz, I'd just shoot #3s or #2s.

If I wanted to add TSS to it, I'd go with #2 steel on top of 1/8oz TSS. So:
492gr or #2 steel for 139 pellets, sitting on top of 1/8oz of TSS #9 for 44 pellets, grand total of 183 pellets and giving 137 in the pattern with a 75% choke. This is enough for anything diverish I'd say, as the TSS will pattern tight giving you something similar to 150 pellets distribution nearer the center.

Also, I wouldn't look at 20 yds, that's too close for the pattern to open up and show you-- do your pattern at the range your load is intended to function. If you want a 20yd pattern, then heck #5 steel works just fine.
==========
But honestly, if I'm targeting 45 yards and less, and am willing to shoot 1.25 oz loads, then really steel does everything you need in #3 and #2. I'm a big TSS fan, but in the niche you're describing it's not really needed. If I was shooting TSS there, my solution would be a 1oz 20ga load honestly.
Best regards! Interested to hear how it all works out, and THANKS SO MUCH for taking the time to do that hard patterning and counting work, your data is important and useful!
Dave




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