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Premium Buckshot vs. "Wal-Mart" Buckshot


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I set out to discover if, aside from Flite Control wads and fancy chokes, there could be a difference in how a shotgun patterns from buckshot load to buckshot load. I chose two different loads to compare from opposite ends of the spectrum. One is sold only to LE by company policy, and one is marketed at any Wal-Mart that sells ammo.




I compared Remington 00 Express Buckshot (9-pellets @ 1325fps) with Winchester Ranger (9-pellets @ 1325fps).




Both shells contain a granulated buffer of very similar looking material, except the Winchester buffer is more spherical where the Remington buffer varies more, many pieces qualifying as "shavings":


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The real difference was pellet hardness. I am not a calibrated lab machine, but I used needle-nose pliers, and tried to crush one pellet from each shell as violently as I could. This is the result:



My next test was to use a 25# dumbell and drop one end of it (the other end stayed on the ground and acted as a fulcrum) from a height of 2" on top of 3 pellets from each load, one at a time. A piece of metal was placed under each pellet, and this atop linoleum floor. I noted that the dumbell sounded as though it bounced when it hit the Ranger pellets, but not so much on the Remington pellets. This is the result:


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On the patterning board, here is the result (each target is 14x18", and the circle is 12". In the upper left corner, you will see the number of pellets recorded which hit the circle, and in the bottom right, the number that hit the paper anywhere. The Remington targets are below, the Winchester up top. Each target represents 3 shots fired COM, for a total of 27 projectiles per target possible. The targets were individually placed down-range so chances of contamination are nil.) The Winchester averaged 69% payload in the 12" circle, and 90% on-paper. The Remington, 51% and 74%, respectively (all numbers rounded to the nearest percent). Over-all, the Winchester is shown to pattern 17% tighter.




Here is a 40 yard target with the Ranger buckshot:


The above target is a 5-shot target (45 possible hits)

That's a bit over 40% payload in a 12" circle at 40 yards. (3.7 pellets per trigger pull avg.)

57% payload in a 14x18 inch target at 40 yards. (5.1 pellets per trigger pull).

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Nicely done, Sir.


Have you had a chance to try the Federal LE132 in your testing?


If that's the Flite Control stuff, I tested it through my last M4S90 with MOD and IC chokes. It performed very poorly past 20-25 yards. However, through a CYL choked Mossberg 590a1, I got 100% 12-14" patterns at 40 yards. The Benelli has a smaller bore than most other shotguns, and I think that may not play well with the FC wad, because I have heard of plenty of people doing just fine with IC constriction and FC. I did not try with cylinder, but my M1014 is a fixed mod-choke gun. Still, I guess I should try it. This stuff does plenty well for me though, dumping @40% of the payload in a 12" circle at 40 yards. It spreads like you want a shotgun to, and still carries a tight pattern that should dump most things out to 40-ish yards. Past that, its slug time.

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Here are some typical targets using the shotshell loads as noted through my BlackBore Tactical HD chokes. The targets with the triangles are 12" X 12" and the triangles are 4" square. The round targets are also 12" and the dark red center is 3".





GTPSC (Mark)




I would be very interested if others using your chokes posted their results, as well, as each shotgun seems different.

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