Turkey Loads: What Does it take and which one works

By Craig Endicott

What does it take to be an effective turkey load and which loads on the market are up to the task? Well, I’ll examine these questions and see if I can provide some information and recommendations on which turkey loads really do work the best.

Before I go any further, let’s all agree on a couple of things. One, turkeys are big tough birds and, as such, you’ll need to use effective loads to eliminate or at least minimize crippling. Also, when it comes to shooting turkeys, I’m talking about head-and-neck shots only, no body shots allowed. That means your pattern should be centered on the mid-neck area to ensure good head and neck coverage. With most shotguns, this entails a sight picture that is essentially a six-o-clock hold on the wattles or lower-neck area which allows for the tendency most shotguns have to shoot a bit high.


WHAT DOES IT TAKE?

The following performance parameters were established by combining information from several sources including: first, a report of findings from an empirical research test run by Tom Roster titled “The Relative Effectiveness and Lethal Limitations of Three Lead and Three Steel Pellet Sizes for Taking Turkeys” (copyright 1990 by Tom Roster) which he ran under contract with Winchester Division/Olin Corporation.. Roster eventually used this information to create a horizontal line, concerning turkey lethality, in the current version of Cooperative North American Shotgun Education Program’s (CONSEP’s) Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table (copyright 2006 by Tom Roster). Second, ammunition manufacturer’s information and claims to tungsten-composite shot properties and performance. And, third, my anecdotal observations of in-the-field turkey load performance.

There are two basic performance parameters I’ll be concentrating on to evaluate the loads on their effectiveness. One is sufficient pattern density -- enough pellets in the pattern, at a given range, to ensure multiple hits on the target’s vital areas. For turkeys, the load will have to place a minimum of 210-230 pellets in a 30-inch diameter pattern with three to four skull and/or cervical vertebrae (S/CV) hits on a turkey head-and-neck target to be deemed effective. The other is ample pellet energy -- enough per-pellet energy to reliably penetrate the target’s vital areas at a given range. To ensure the pellets retain ample per-pellet turkey-S/CV-penetrating energy the pellets must not be used beyond their maximum effective ranges. My analysis of the maximum effective ranges for pellets comprised of different metal types is:


35 yards -- No. 6 lead shot;
45 yards -- No. 6 tungsten-composite shot (min. 12 g/cc), No. 5 lead shot or No. 4 steel shot;
55 yards -- No. 5 tungsten-composite shot (min. 12 g/cc), No. 4 lead shot or No. 3 steel shot.

Some may say that these maximum effective ranges are too stringent, but as previously mentioned, turkeys are big tough birds so let’s error on the safe side when it comes to pellet energy. Actually, you should reduce each of these maximum effective ranges by five yards to allow for in-the-field range estimation errors.

In addition, I’ll also calculate true pattern percentages for the load and choke combinations tested. While pattern percentages aren’t as important as the two previously mentioned performance parameters, they are indicators of load and choke efficiency so relatively high pattern percentages (good efficiency) will be something I’ll be looking for in our loads.

Ultimately, the goal will be to find loads that can exceed the established performance parameters by providing sufficient pattern density on the target, ample pellet energy for the distance, and show good efficiency by registering relatively high pattern percentages.

WHAT LOADS AND CHOKES DID I TRY?

Obviously, there were lots of different turkey loads and chokes on the market that I could have tested. However, I tried to keep this exercise simple (if you can call shooting and counting well over 150 patterns simple) by concentrating on the most popular 12-gauge turkey lead, steel and tungsten-composite loads available to hunters. And, since this wasn’t going to be a choke tube test, I used Remington 870s with factory extended turkey chokes (a shotgun and choke system commonly available to hunters) recommended for the loads. In addition, the barrels and choke tubes were measured with a bore gauge to determine their actual interior diameters (I.D.) and true choke constrictions.

All 12-gauge 3-inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Special Purpose shotgun with a 26-inch barrel (I.D. / .728 inch). The lead loads were shot through a Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.063-inch constriction) and the steel shot and tungsten-composite shot loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi-Density Shot and Heavyweight Shot) were shot through a Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.053-inch constriction).

All 12-gauge 3 ½-inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Turkey shotgun with a 23-inch barrel (I.D. / .727 inch). The lead loads were shot through the same Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.062-inch constriction) and the steel shot and tungsten-composite shot loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi-Density Shot and Heavyweight Shot) were shot through the same Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.052-inch constriction).

All loads tested were purchased from local sporting goods or hunting supply stores. Additionally, the in-shell pellet count averages were the result of cutting open and counting the pellets from five shells out of the same box/lot as the pattern loads. These in-shell pellet counts allowed for true pattern percentage calculations.

Looking down the list of in-shell pellet counts you’ll notice there were some discrepancies between manufacturers on how many pellets are contained in supposedly identical loads. In the shotgun world, in-shell pellet counts commonly vary by a few pellets (10-20) from one shell to another, so small discrepancies between manufactures isn’t anything you should be overly concerned about. After all, what matters is how many pellets you end up with in the down-range pattern not how many pellets the load starts out with!

HOW DID I DO THE PATTERNING?

The pattern testing was accomplished by using pattern sheets of 48-inch x 48-inch paper and turkey head-and-neck targets. A turkey head-and-neck target was placed in the center of each pattern sheet prior to the patterning shot. This additional turkey head-and-neck target, not normally used while patterning shotguns, provided the S/CV hit data for each pattern. However, the pattern count data was derived from drawing a 30-inch diameter circle around the densest portion of the pattern (after the shot) and then counting pellet strikes on or in the circle.

These pattern sheets were attached to a frame and the distances, from muzzle to pattern, were measured with a tape out to 40 and 50 yards. From a sitting position, with my elbows propped up on my knees, I fired five pattern shots (one each at each pattern sheet) with each load at the appropriate distance.


WHAT HAPPENED AT THE 40-YARD MARK?

Well, let’s take a look at the data in Table 1 and see how the loads performed at 40 yards. The loads followed by an asterisk (*) showed they would be very effective at taking turkeys at this yardage by exceeding the established pattern density and pellet energy parameters.

Lead No. 6 shot and lead 4x6 duplex loads.

First of all, the 3-inch Winchester 1 7/8-ounce Turkey load with lead No. 6s performed like any magnum load of lead No. 6s should through a good turkey choke. It registered good pattern count and S/CV hit numbers to exceed both pattern density parameters, but since it’s comprised of lead No. 6s, it’s beyond its maximum effective range. If you’ll remember, I established that lead No. 6s only maintain ample pellet energy out to 35 yards. That’s not to say this isn’t a good load when used within its effective range, but that range is 35, not 40, yards. As a result, I’m not a big fan of lead No. 6s in anything except maybe the smaller gauges where their small size allows for an increased pellet count over larger pellets. And, while I’ve killed several turkeys with lead No. 6s, I don’t think they provide any performance advantage over other, more potent, pellets available in 12-gauge loadings.

The 3-inch Remington 1 7/8-ounce SP 4X6 Duplex lead load also showed it could put up good pattern density numbers. But, here again, since it’s comprised primarily of lead No. 6s the load lacks ample pellet energy to be an effective 40-yard performer. The way I see it, these multi-shot-size loads have no more effective range than the smallest shot in them. Putting a few lead No. 4s (49 pellets) on top of a load of lead No. 6s (336 pellets) doesn’t make it a long-range turkey killer. There simply aren’t enough lead No. 4s present to consistently affect long-range patterns.

Lead No. 5 shot loads.

The 40-yard performance exhibited by the trio of popular 1 3/4-ounce high-velocity lead No. 5 loads shouldn’t be a surprise to experienced turkey hunters. As you can see, all of these loads performed well at this yardage, but the only one that exceeded both pattern density parameters was the 3-inch Winchester Supreme High Velocity Turkey load. This load also had the highest pattern percentage (88%) of the three and it exhibited very uniform pattern-to-pattern performance. You may be asking, don’t these high-velocity loads deliver more punch than normal-velocity loads making them double-bad turkey killers? Not necessary, the difference in actual down-range pellet energy between high-velocity and normal-velocity pellets is pretty much insignificant out in the field. If you need more pellet energy, moving up in pellet size is the most effective way to get it. In other words, don’t get caught-up in the high-velocity hype put out by some ammunition manufacturers’. Use the appropriate pellet size for the yardage and neither you, or the turkeys, will never know the difference!

Don’t cheap loads perform poorly? Well, one of the least expensive loads tested, the 3-inch Winchester 1 7/8-ounce Turkey load containing lead No. 5s, showed it could be just as effective as several other high-performance loads out to 40 yards. It exceeded the pattern count minimums, met the S/CV hit minimums and registered an 87% pattern. This low-cost load would definitely be an effective turkey killer when used within its limits.

Both 3-inch 2-ounce lead No. 5 loads tested showed they could exceed the pattern count minimums and meet the S/CV hit minimums at 40 yards. However, they also showed they had no distinct advantage over the previously mentioned (lighter payload) lead No. 5 loads tested. It’s interesting that two of the previous 1 3/4-ounce lead No. 5 loads actually registered higher S/CV hits than either of the 2-ounce lead No. 5 loads. How can that happen? The 2-ounce loads actually start out with more pellets. A closer examination of the test patterns revealed a noticeable concentration of pellets in the central core of the 1 3/4-ounce lead No. 5 load patterns. While it’s not unusual for lighter-payload loads to pattern better than magnum or heavy-payload loads, this central concentration of pellets can result in high S/CV hit numbers, provided the turkey’s head and neck are centered in the pattern.

Lead No. 4 shot loads.

Moving to the 3-inch 2-ounce lead No. 4 loads, we start to see the affect large (fewer) pellets can have on a load’s ability to exceed the pattern density parameters. The 3-inch Federal Premium Magnum Turkey load with lead No. 4s met both pattern density minimums while the 3-inch Remington Premier Magnum Turkey load with lead No. 4s fell just below the pattern count minimums and met the S/CV hit minimums. Both of these loads have definitely reached their maximum effective ranges. On the other hand, the 3-inch Winchester Double X Magnum Turkey load with 2 ounces of No. 4 lead shot exceeded both pattern density parameters, and it registered the highest pattern percentage (94%) of all lead loads tested at 40 yards! It showed it could be just as effective as any of the previously mentioned lead No. 5 loads and, as a bonus, it would be carrying additional per-pellet energy. Always a good thing when it comes to shooting turkeys. Additionally, the 3 ½-inch Winchester Double X Magnum Turkey load with 2 ¼ ounces of No. 4 lead shot also exceeded both pattern density parameters. While this 3 ½-inch load has proved it can be a very effective turkey load, it also showed it’s no more lethal than the 3-inch Winchester Double X Magnum Turkey load with 2 ounces of No. 4 lead shot at this distance.

Steel No. 4 and No. 3 shot loads.

The 3-inch Remington Nitro-Steel High Velocity Magnum load with 1 3/8 ounces of No. 4 steel shot almost met the pattern count minimums and met the S/CV hit minimums. As a result, this steel shot load of No. 4s has definitely reached its maximum effective range at 40 yards. The 3-inch Remington Nitro-Steel High Velocity Magnum load with 1 3/8 ounces of No. 3 steel shot didn’t meet either of the pattern density minimums. An insufficient in-shell pellet count doomed this No. 3 steel shot load from the start. It isn’t enough for a load to have a few large (energy-rich) pellets it must also have sufficient pellet numbers so it will be able to consistently hit the target’s vital areas.

Tungsten-composite No. 6 and No. 5 shot loads.

All four tungsten-composite pellet loadings (Hevi-13, Remington and Winchester) in No. 6 shot showed they could put up some very impressive pattern density numbers. In particular, the 3-inch Winchester Supreme Elite Xtended Range Hi-Density load with No. 6 shot proved it was the top performer in this group and it registered some of the highest pattern density numbers for any load at this range. All of these tungsten-composite No. 6 loads would be very effective first-shot gobbler-getters out to 40 or maybe 45 yards.


The first two 3-inch tungsten-composite pellet loadings in No. 5 shot couldn’t meet both pattern density minimums. The 3-inch Federal Premium High-Velocity Heavyweight Mag-Shok Turkey load fell below the pattern count minimums while meeting the S/CV hit minimums and the 3-inch Hevi-13 Hevi-Shot Turkey load didn’t meet either the pattern count or S/CV hit minimums. Insufficient in-shell pellet counts prevented either load from reaching the pattern count minimums. The only thing that kept their S/CV hit numbers respectable was the fact that both of them were very efficient loads, registering 95% and 90% respectively at 40 yards. That said, even though high pattern percentages are preferred and indicators of good load and choke efficiency, always remember, percentages don’t kill -- pellets do! It takes more that efficiency to rank as an effective turkey load.

On the other hand, the 3-inch Remington Premier Hevi-Shot Magnum Turkey load (discontinued load) and the 3-inch and 3 ½-inch Winchester Supreme Elite Xtended Range Hi-Density Turkey loads with No. 5s all exceeded both pattern density parameters and showed they would be as effective as any of the other loads that exceeded the parameters at this yardage. And, like the previously mentioned lead No. 4 load, they would be carrying additional per-pellet energy and that’s definitely a good thing when shooting turkeys.

HOW DID THINGS GO OUT AT THE 50-YARD MARK?

Well, things start to get interesting out here. Let’s take a look at Table 2 and see how the loads performed at 50 yards. No load tested could exceed both of the pattern density parameters at this distance. However, the loads followed by two asterisks (**) showed they could meet the established pattern density minimums, maintain ample pellet energy and be effective turkey killers out to 50 yards. One word of caution here, the data also shows that these loads have reached their maximum effective range so accurate range estimation is a must when using them at this distance.

Lead No. 4 shot loads.

None of the 3-inch 2-ounce lead No. 4 loads tested could reach the pattern density minimums at 50 yards! That’s not to say they won’t kill a few gobblers at 50 yards, but their pattern performance shows that, at this yardage, there will definitely be some crippling and that’s not what we are after. The 3 ½-inch Winchester Double X Magnum Turkey load with 2 ¼ ounces of lead No. 4s fell below the pattern count minimums, but met the S/CV hit minimums. As a result, this 3 ½-inch load is only slightly more effective than the other 3-inch 2-ounce lead No. 4 loads tested at this yardage. You can’t just assume these 3 ½-inch behemoths give you increased killing range or capabilities, they must prove themselves at the pattern board first.

Steel No. 3 shot load.

What about the 3-inch Remington Nitro-Steel High Velocity Magnum load with 1 3/8 ounces of No. 3 steel shot? No surprise here, this load couldn’t meet the pattern density minimums due to an insufficient in-shell pellet count. This relatively low in-shell pellet count meant it was virtually impossible for the load to meet the established pattern density minimums.

Tungsten-composite No. 5 shot loads.

How did the No. 5 tungsten-composite shot loads do at 50 yards? Well, the 3-inch Federal Premium High Velocity Heavyweight Mag-Shok Turkey load with 1 5/8 ounces of No. 5s wasn’t able to meet either of the pattern density minimums due primarily to an insufficient in-shell pellet count. On the other hand, the 3-inch Remington Premier Hevi-Shot Magnum Turkey (discontinued load) and the 3-inch and 3 ½-inch Winchester Supreme Elite Xtended Range Hi-Density loadings with No. 5s all met the pattern density minimums. All three of these loads would be effective at harvesting turkeys out to the 50-yard mark. But, here again, use caution to not use them beyond 50 yards since they only met the pattern density minimums at this yardage.


WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

OK, did I have any loads prove that they could be effective turkey killers by exceeding the established performance parameters? Yes, in fact, I had 10 loads that easily exceeded the performance parameters at 40 yards. These loads clearly demonstrated that they had the right stuff to be very effective turkey killers at this distance. However, when I got out to the 50-yard mark, I had trouble getting any load to exceed the pattern density parameters. As a result, I only had three loads capable of meeting the pattern density minimums at 50 yards. Meeting (not exceeding) the pattern density minimums means they are still effective turkey killers, but that they have definitely reached their maximum effective range. You’ll need to be extra careful about accurate range estimation with these loads at this distance.

Now, there may be other turkey load and choke combinations out there that can get your 12-gauge beyond the 40- or 50-yard mark, but it’s clear you will have to do some experimenting and pattern work to find those combos. And, don’t forget, they’ll have to at least meet the established performance parameter minimums to be effective turkey killers at the yardage they are tested.

The good news is if you work your birds inside the 40-yard mark several 12-gauge loads (with the appropriate pellet size and tight turkey chokes) proved they could be very effective turkey killers. That is, of course, if you do your part and put the pattern where it counts. And, if you need to occasionally take a shot out to 50 yards there are some loads that can do that, too.

Just to be clear here, I’m not advocating taking a shot at every turkey that gets within 50 yards of your set-up. Turkey hunting is about calling and working birds in close (25-35 yards) so there won’t be any question about load performance. However, having proven 50-yard effective loads gives you some cushion for range estimation errors and a little more range to work with for leery or shy birds that may hang-up out at the 40- to 50-yard mark.

It’s interesting to note that the two 3 ½-inch loads (tested for comparison to the 3-inch loads) didn’t really outperform the top 3-inch loads out at 50 yards. Check out the numbers for yourself, you can’t just assume these big 3 ½-inch shells will outperform the shorter 3-inch shells. You must pattern test them and measure them against the established performance parameters before you adopt them as long-range turkey slayers.

After all that, what will I have stuffed in my 12-gauge 3-inch 870 when I go after those long-beards this spring? Well, my two top loads, based on their proven abilities at 50 yards, are the 3-inch Winchester Supreme Elite Xtended Range Hi-Density load with 1 3/4 ounces of tungsten-composite No. 5s and the 3-inch Remington Premier Hevi-Shot Magnum Turkey load (discontinued load) with 1 5/8 ounces of tungsten-composite No. 5s. How could I not declare these two my top choices, they were the only two 3-inch loads tested that could meet the established performance parameter minimums at 50 yards! And, as a side note, I have gathered several spring gobblers and witnessed my son taking several more with both of these loads and I can report that they all took it rather hard.

Special Note: Remington no longer loads Hevi-Shot in their high-performance turkey loads. They have opted to use what they call Wingmaster Heavy Density (Wingmaster HD) shot, a tungsten/bronze/iron mixture, which is reported to have the same density (12 g/cc) as Hevi-Shot, but with a more spherical shape and 16% softer. Of course, it will be necessary to pattern test some of these new loads against the established performance parameters before taking them to the turkey woods, but I’m betting they’ll be able to do it, too.

Remington Wingmaster HD Update April 2008: Additional pattern testing results for the newer Remington Wingmaster HD loads are listed in Table 1. The 12-gauge 3-inch Remington Wingmaster HD load with 1 5/8 ounces of tungsten-composite No. 6 shot exceeded both pattern density minimums at 40 yards making it an effective 40 yard performer. This load is not currently available in a No. 5 shot size variety so 50 yard pattern testing was not undertaken.

Other top performing loads include the 3-inch Winchester Supreme High Velocity Turkey load with 1 3/4 ounces of lead No. 5s and the four tungsten-composite No. 6 shot loads (Hevi-13, Remington and Winchester) followed by an asterisk’s (*) in Table 1. Any of these loads would be great first-shot turkey head loads out to 40, or maybe 45, yards. One side note here, I would have a couple of the top-patterning 3-inch Winchester Supreme Double X Magnum Turkey loads with 2 ounces of lead No. 4s stuffed in the 870’s magazine to act as back-ups just in case. And, by the way, if I didn’t have anything but three of those 3-inch Winchester 2-ounce No. 4 lead loads in my 870, I wouldn’t feel any less potent. They were very solid performers themselves.

So, are these new tungsten-composite shot loads really worth the extra money? Well, some of the tungsten-composite loads showed that they could outperform other lead and steel load offerings tested. And, considering their patterning performance and the fact that you won’t use too many of them during a season, I would have to say that some of them are worth the extra money. However, the testing also showed you really only gain about five to 10 yards of effective range over some of the other high-performance lead loads and maybe 10 yards over the cheapest lead and steel shot loads tested. Now, this extra yardage may be important to you, but ultimately you will have to decide for yourself if the extra cost is justified.

A couple of other things I did learn during this exercise were how important it is for you to know your gun’s point-of-impact or your personal sight picture and how critical it is for you to make good range estimations in the field. At the very least, you should get some light target loads (to reduce flinching), screw in your tight turkey choke, and go shoot some paper turkey targets at close range (20-25 yards) to confirm you gun’s point-of-impact and your sight picture. Remember, you’ll want that pattern centered on the mid-neck area. Additionally, you should practice your range estimation skills before going to the turkey woods. It’s clear to me that these two factors will ultimately determine your success in bagging a long beard.

I also want to include one additional turkey shooting tip here before I end this discussion. Turkey hunters often fall into the bad habit of lifting their heads off their gun’s stock a little to see that big gobbler, and thus, shoot or miss high. Don’t forget, when that gobbler is starting to get in range, check your sight picture and remind yourself to get your head down on that stock before you pull the trigger!

Hopefully, I’ve provided you some usable information concerning turkey load and choke performance and effectiveness, but don’t just rely on this testing to make your turkey load selection. Responsible hunters realize their equipment has limitations so they pattern test their preferred load and choke combinations, they restrict their shots to the selected load and choke combo’s proven maximum effective range, and they exercise good shot selection and placement all in an effort to eliminate crippling.



TABLE 1
40-YARD PATTERNS
 

LOAD

IN SHELL
PELLET COUNT 
 PATTERN COUNT PATTERN PERCENTAGE  S/CV
HITS

12  GA  3"      WIN  1 7/8  OZ          #6  LEAD 

438

363

83%

4.6

12  GA  3"      REM  1 7/8  OZ         #4 X #6  LEAD  DUPLEX

385

305

79%

4.2

12  GA  3"      FED  1 3/4  OZ          #5  LEAD

322

272

85%

3.6

12  GA  3"      REM  1 3/4  OZ         #5  LEAD

280

225

80%

5.8

12  GA  3"      WIN  1 3/4  OZ         #5  LEAD

293

257

88%

5.8*

12  GA  3"      WIN  1 7/8  OZ          #5  LEAD

317

276

87%

3.4

12  GA  3"      REM  2  OZ               #5  LEAD

328

258

79%

3.4

12  GA  3"      WIN  2  OZ                #5  LEAD

336

293

87%

3.6

12  GA  3"      FED  2  OZ                #4  LEAD

290

213

73%

3.2

12  GA  3"      REM  2  OZ               #4  LEAD

255

209

82%

3.6

12  GA  3"      WIN  2  OZ                #4  LEAD

258

243

94%

4.6*

12  GA  3 ½"  WIN  2 1/4  OZ          #4 LEAD

300

242

81%

4.2*

12  GA  3"      REM  1 3/8  OZ         #4  STEEL SHOT

256

209

82%

3.4

12  GA  3"      REM  1 3/8  OZ         #3  STEEL SHOT

220

167

76%

2.6

12  GA  3"      HEVI-13  1 5/8  OZ   #6  HEVI-SHOT

305

258

85%

5.2*

12  GA  3"      REM  1 5/8  OZ         #6  HEVI-SHOT

381

341

90%

6.6*

12  GA  3”      REM  1 5/8  OZ         #6  HEAVY DENSITY SHOT

346

306

88%

5.6*

12  GA  3"      WIN  1 3/4  OZ         #6  HI-DENSITY SHOT

388

358

92%

7.8*

12  GA  3"      FED  1 5/8 OZ           #5  HEAVYWEIGHT SHOT

194

184

95%

4.6

12  GA  3"      HEVI-13  1 5/8  OZ   #5  HEVI-SHOT

186

168

90%

3.2

12  GA  3"      REM  1 5/8  OZ         #5  HEVI-SHOT

280

240

86%

5.2*

12  GA  3"      WIN  1 3/4  OZ          #5  HI-DENSITY SHOT

284

262

92%

4.8*

12  GA  3 ½"   WIN  2  OZ               #5  HI-DENSITY SHOT

317

291

92%

7.6*


* Loads that exceeded the pattern density parameters [Pattern Count (210-230) and S/CV Hits (3-4)] and maintain ample turkey S/CV penetrating energy at the yardage.

In-Shell Pellet Count averages were the result of cutting open and counting the pellets from five shells out of the same box/lot as the pattern loads. Pattern Counts, Pattern Percentages and Skull/Cervical Vertebrae (S/CV) Hits were the average of five patterns.

12-gauge 3-inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Special Purpose shotgun with a 26-inch barrel (I.D. / .728 inch). The lead loads were shot through a Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.063-inch constriction) and the tungsten-composite loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi Density Shot and Heavyweight Shot) and steel shot loads were shot through a Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.053-inch constriction).

12-gauge 3 ½-inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Turkey shotgun with a 23-inch barrel (I.D. / .727 inch). The lead loads were shot through a Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.062-inch constriction) and the tungsten-composite loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi-Density Shot and Heavyweight Shot) and steel shot loads were shot through a Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.052-inch constriction).



 

TABLE 2

50-YARD PATTERNS

LOAD

IN SHELL
PELLET COUNT 
PATTERN COUNT PATTERN PERCENTAGE S/CV
HITS

12  GA  3"      FED  2  OZ          #4  LEAD

290

163

56%

2.6

12  GA  3"      REM  2  OZ         #4  LEAD

255

149

58%

1.6

12  GA  3"      WIN  2  OZ          #4  LEAD

258

170

66%

2.2

12  GA  3 ½"  WIN  2 1/4  OZ    #4  LEAD

300

162

54%

3.2

12  GA  3"      REM  1 3/8  OZ   #3  STEEL SHOT

220

117

53%

1.4

12  GA  3"      FED  1 5/8 OZ     #5  HEAVYWEIGHT SHOT

194

164

85%

2.8

12  GA  3"      REM  1 5/8  OZ   #5  HEVI-SHOT

280

212

76%

3.8**

12  GA  3"      WIN  1 3/4  OZ    #5  HI-DENSITY SHOT

284

218

77%

4.0**

12  GA  3 ½"  WIN  2  OZ          #5  HI-DENSITY SHOT

317

211

67%

3.2**



** Loads that met the pattern density parameter minimums [Pattern Count (210-230) and S/CV Hits (3-4)] and maintain ample turkey S/CV penetrating energy at the yardage.

In-Shell Pellet Count averages were the result of cutting open and counting the pellets from five shells out of the same box/lot as the pattern loads. Pattern Counts, Pattern Percentages and Skull/Cervical Vertebrae (S/CV) Hits were the average of five patterns.

12-gauge 3-inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Special Purpose shotgun with a 26-inch barrel (I.D. / .728 inch). The lead loads were shot through a Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.063-inch constriction) and the tungsten-composite loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi-Density Shot, and Heavyweight Shot) and steel shot loads were shot through a Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.053-inch constriction).

12-gauge 3 ½-inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Turkey shotgun with a 23-inch barrel (I.D. / .727 inch). The lead loads were shot through a Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.062-inch constriction) and the tungsten-composite loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi-Density Shot, and Heavyweight Shot) and steel shot loads were shot through a Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.052-inch constriction).

 

 

Click to enlarge image.