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.