Hevi-Steel - Low Priced and Effective in the Field - Page 2

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

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Getting back home I contacted my partner in ballistic measurements Ross Metzger of SHOT data Systems. I wanted Ross to run the velocity information based on the density of Hevi-Steel and come up with some figures as to just what was left in terms of energy and velocity at various ranges. The data Ross returned was interesting in that it showed that in effect Hevi-Steel did indeed retain adequate energy at 60 yards to bring down tough larger race geese (Canada's). We had not been fooled by our field results, and Hevi-Steel with a price tag of about $18.00 per box of 25 shotshells was on its way to becoming a real fly in the soup in terms of giving other 'designer' non-toxic loads a run for their money, or should I say life on the dealers shelf.

Figuring a terminal or at target velocity of 600 f.p.s. for good solid energy transfer and penetration Hevi-Steel could produce that level of performance all day long at the previously indicated range limits. So as to make the issue clear to the reader I have included Table A that shows the remaining velocity and energy of Hevi-Steel BB's in 10 yard increments. or until the shot slows to a point that it is no longer effective.

Hevi-Steel BB
Velocity f.p.s.Energy ft /lbsRange in yards

As a final production shot, Hevi-Steel will be produced in a pellet size 'B' (17 cal) that will cut about eight to five yards off its effective range, but still keeping it well within that 60 yard ballistics envelope. However, that stated it should be made clear that at times I have found larger pellets in the mix of 'B' Hevi-Steel, and as such every now and then a wonder kill is recorded that I'm sure is produced by a large chunk of tungsten rough slag.

Completing the goose shooting review at Clark the next step was to head for Devils Lake North Dakota with the folks at Avery Outdoors so as to test new Avery products. As a part of that hunt, and being I was driving from South Dakota up hill, I carried my own ammo after clearing it with Bill Cooksy the head man at Avery. I wanted to get the smaller #4's and #6 Hevi-Steel up and shooting being those new shot sizes had just been dropped off the UPS wagon.

As again loaded by Polywad Inc. these loads also contained a 1 1/8 oz payload of Hevi-Steel in the 3' hulls, then backed with 40 grains of poly bead buffer much like the large pellet system. If the loads retained any problem it was that they were right on SAMMI standards regarding length and we had found that some Beretta and Benelli shotguns didn't take well to bringing these rounds up into the chamber from the magazine. Saved for that glitch the rounds functioned well in American shotguns, and very well in the newer 3.5 12 gauge gun systems regardless of brand.

Devils Lake is duck country in spades. Bird hunting large cut grain fields dotted by pot holes on all sides the air was full of birds almost all day long. This was great shooting, and by way of the Avery layout blinds in this case Fred Zink Finishers, we grassed up and blended among several dozen Avery Life Size series mallard blocks.

At the time we set up I asked if any of the guides and hunters were interested in trying the new Hevi-Steel loads? It was at once unanimous on their part and in short order each shotgun was being chambered with #4's. I chambered the #6 pellet loads, being I would have never taken a steel shot shell in a #6 pellet afield for ducks, and in this case all big ducks, and mostly green heads. I decided to be the goat with the smaller shot size in terms of testing being I would not want to see a rash of cripple as five guns opened up on the first flock of decoying mallards.

At the first gunning round five ducks hit the deck hard, and all had green heads. The shooting was obviously so good that we decided to shoot one man at a time at least for the first round so as to reduce the chance of hitting hens in the process. The system worked well, and I was able to judge range with ease being I was shooting only one out of five passes the duck targets were making into the decoys.

As for the hunters and guides all were much better then average shots, and as such the Hevi-Steel was taking on the look of a top performer. No cripples what so ever were recorded regarding the #4's, and at times range extension got out to 55 yards.

In terms of the #6 shot I was shooting I was very impressed by those loads, in that they dusted mallards with ease. Here was the proof of Hevi-Steel's effectiveness being the small #6 pellets were acting more like a #3 steel shot pellet because of the edge that percentage of tungsten heavy material was providing the pellet itself. Increased range and energy were a clear by product of the new shotshell pellet development, and it had been produced at a low price which was the best news of all.

#4 Hevi-Steel Ballistics
Velocity f.p.s.Energy ft /lbsRange in yards

#6 Hevi-Steel Ballistics
Velocity f.p.s.Energy ft /lbsRange in yards

It can clearly be observed by my data section that #6 Hevi-Steel has played out at 40 yards, but I can witness the fact that it killed clean to 50 yards and still retained a good dense pattern even at a low 1 1/8 oz payload of shot. What is going on there? That's a question that I can't answer as yet. Hevi-Steel is showing some rules of its own, and I believe it gets back to that old density thing that is so prevalent with the new designer heavy weight non-toxic shotshells today. It just could be that I will have to revise my tables on lethality that have always stopped at 600 f.p.s., and about 1.5 ft / pounds of target contact energy. In the case of #6 Hevi-Steel less is doing more in the field.

Based on what the raw numbers are saying the #4's in Hevi-Steel could do well at ranges beyond 50 yards, but to date that is pure speculation as we didn't push range much beyond that 50 yard mark as applied to the new Environmetal Inc. non-toxic loads. After all, this is some of the very first shot out of the box so to speak, and as such we still have a good deal to learn. I'm sure that the guys that like to push range a great deal will have the answers on the internet soon, as that seems to be the case now days with all the new products. To my way of thinking a whole lot of bad information goes through those waterfowl hunting chat rooms. Is Hevi-Steel a product that is hear to stay? Yes I think so based on its ability to kill ducks or geese and a very low price per shotshell. In the end price always plays into the equation and in this case it will in spades.
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