Quick Buckshot patterning comparison/test
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Quick Buckshot patterning comparison/test

Went to my first IDPA match today and had quite a bit of fun doing that. Afterward I decided I needed to know how well Hornady's Tite Wad works in their Critical Defense 00 Buck Shot load. I had been reading great things about Federal's Flite Control wad and especially how well it works with #1 Buckshot. A little more research showed that the same wad is used in the Hornady Critical Defense load, just under a different name. I can't find any of the Federal loadings locally that have Flite Control wads, but the local shop does carry the Hornady line. So it really came down to me wanting to try a load I can buy locally.

I only tried a single load of each for pattern testing, adn I chose to do this at the 15 yard line with my Remington 870. Other loads used for comparison were the Remington Express 9 pellet 00 Buck load, Federal Premium 9 pellet 00 Buck, and Winchester Super X 9 pellet load. The Critical defense load is a reduced recoil load that is achieved by dropping a pellet, making it an 8 pellet load.

First up were the Federal and Remington offerings.

Federal Premium in the chest, and Remington Express in the gut (Both 9 pellet 00 Buck loads):


Then the Hornady and Winchester loads.

Hornady Critical Defense in the chest and Winchester Super X in the gut.


As you can see at 15 yards, the other patterns were running between 12-15 inches, while the Critical Defense load stayed under 6 inches. This gives great, tight patterning that ensures that you can keep pellets on target for a greater distance than you can with the other loads, effectively extending your range with the shotgun, before having to consider switching to slugs.

No big extensive test, but it does seem that there is something to this improved wad.

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Old 09-02-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc View Post
...at 15 yards, the other patterns were running between 12-15 inches, while the Critical Defense load stayed under 6 inches. This gives great, tight patterning that ensures that you can keep pellets on target for a greater distance than you can with the other loads, effectively extending your range with the shotgun, before having to consider switching to slugs.

No big extensive test, but it does seem that there is something to this improved wad.
Thanks for doing that and sharing.

I appreciate you recognizing that the tighter pattern effectively extends one's range. But for home defense, for example, I WANT a SHOTGUN. Meaning, I WANT a "12-15" inch pattern at 15 yards. You slip back to group-think when you say these wads are "improved." How about "New and Improved" or "Hope and Change." No, they are different...

...and the result of lawyers in big-city police departments trying to eliminate collateral damage of normal shotgun patterning and over-penetration. This usually at the expense of overall power in the hands of the user. The manufacturers market these as "tactical" and too many start nodding their heads, on and off the job. You heard "great things" about them and how "well" they work. Uh huh...

When I want more range I use a different buckshot size, a 3" shell, a different choked and or sighted gun, change the choke, or maybe just turn the Poly-Choke a click or two -- I don't take less and thank the powers that be that I've been given more, or "improved."
mossberg-500-w-polychoke-b.jpg  
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=HockaLouis;925388]Thanks for doing that and sharing.

I appreciate you recognizing that the tighter pattern effectively extends one's range. But for home defense, for example, I WANT a SHOTGUN. Meaning, I WANT a "12-15" inch pattern at 15 yards. You slip back to group-think when you say these wads are "improved." How about "New and Improved" or "Hope and Change." No, they are different...

[QUOTE]

What advantage do you really gain from a 12-15inch pattern in a home defense environment?

Wouldn't 8 pellets or 9 pellets be better and do more damage to the area that is hit by being more densely packed?

Wouldn't all pellets on target be better than just having a bigger pattern just because we want to increase the "chance" of getting "a few pellets on target"?

I thought those concepts were the "group think" that became the source of the myths that revolve around shotguns.

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Old 09-02-2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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OK, you convinced yourself AND now me. Get rid of the shotgun and use a rifle or pistol.

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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OK, you convinced yourself AND now me. Get rid of the shotgun and use a rifle or pistol.
I'm just curious if there really was an advantage to the wide pattern other than in shooting fast moving small target like birds.

It jsut seemed logical to me that in most of the roles where we use buckshot, that a tighter pattern is better.

I think a Rifle is great for the power it brings, but folks in some areas of the country may not be able to own a rifle that is well designed for defense.

Pistols are nice for portability but as reliable stoppers, even the .45 is weak by comparison to a long gun.

Most folks can own a shotgun, and it does have a certain versatility for other roles besides defense.

This load seems to offer another facet to that versatility.

At least that was the way I was looking at it.

At first glance a shotgun seems pretty simple but when we look at them closely it really is a pretty complex tool to figure out how to use to it's maximum potential.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:24 PM   #6
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Interesting posts, it made me just put up a thread about some tests of my own that I did a week or so back.

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