Tungsten Alloy Shot

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stokesrj
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Tungsten Alloy Shot

Post by stokesrj » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:53 am

Have any of you tried any of the Tungsten Alloy shot, commonly called TSS for tungsten super shot? I've ordered some to try but don't have it yet. I first learned of it while looking into turkey hunting with a 410. While this has primarily been the realm of rabid fringe hanloaders it is becoming mainstream with several companies now producing loads, but mostly in mixes with heavy shot, lead or even steel that seem to really degrade the potential performance. But a few loads are available with pure TSS shot.

The only load I've seen in person is the 410 Federal Heavy load in 9.5 size shot which was simply amazing. It produced patterns at 40 yards equivalent to standard 12 gauge 3" #4 lead loads with the same number of hits in a turkeys head and neck. You might be thinking yea but it is a really small shot and it is but because it is denser it will penetrate to a greater depth than #4 lead, around 5-6" in 10% ballistic gel which means it will easily break a turkeys neck.

What really got me thinking about using this new shot is that I'm considering selling my 3 1/2" turkey gun and just using a standard 3" 12 gauge but didn't want to give up the performance I enjoy with that heavier payload. As you might recall I killed a gobbler at a laser range finder measured 61 yards earlier this year using my Remington 870 Special Purpose Turkey and Heavy Shot Magnum Blend 3.5" 2 1/4 oz loading #5,6 and 7 shot.

I want one shotgun to use as my general hunting shotgun for waterfowl, turkey, dove, quil, and deer. I have settled on a Benelli M2 with two barrels, a 28" and 21" both with vent ribs but the 21" with the addition of XS express sights https://www.xssights.com/Detail.aspx?PR ... 8&CAT=8263 . The version I settled on is the Optifade Timber with Tungsten Cerakote.
Benelli M2 Optifade Timber and Tungsten Ceracote.jpg
The M2 will shoot 3" shells but not 3.5" for that you have to move to the Super Black Eagle III which is also a great gun, my son has one, but it is heavier and I just don't like the styling. So since I will be moving back to 3" I began looking into the TSS shot and found that it had progressed at a faster pace than I had been keeping up with. Now Apex and Nitro both load 3", 2.25 oz loads of #9 TSS which will put twice as many shot in a turkeys head and neck at 40 yards with more energy than my current 3.5" Heavy shot Magnum Blend load. Of course I could use it in my 3.5" to produce even denser shot patterns with over 500 hits in a 10" circle at 40 yards but it seems that the 400 hits produced by the 3" is sufficient.

The downside, and there is always a downside, is the cost at $11 per shell. Pattern testing gets really expensive, I don't mind the cost for hunting as it is an insignificant expense in comparison to even driving to the hunt location. I have killed 18 turkeys from a single box of 25 Remington Nitro express loads I bought many years ago. Of course those cost me maybe $20 for a box of 25 back then, today a box of 25 3" TSS from Nitro costs $261. http://www.nitrocompany.com/ammunition.html#TSSTable

I'll do some testing and report my findings back here.
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Robert J Stokes

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Re: Tungsten Alloy Shot

Post by MM » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:15 am

Bob,
I have not heard of these shells,but they do look interesting. Very expensive but as you pointed out for turkey they would last a long time, in a good year I might shoot 4 shells.I had a Super Black Eagle and sold it and moved away from 31/2" shells about 7 years ago and have not looked back. For turkey I use my BBF 97 in Kentucky where legal and in Ohio I use an old Beretta Single shot 12 gauge both 3". I sold the Super Black Eagle and replaced it with the Ethos that shoots 3". For coyote I use 3" shells with my BBF 97. Except for the Ethos both guns have fixed chokes marked Mod. or half choke but when I use my little pocket gauge they are closer to full. I experimented heavily with different shells and shot because I was considering having screw in chokes installed. I came across turkey and coyote loads from Federal with their Flite Control wad and it made a huge difference in my patterns. I picked up a good 15 yards with the turkey loads and 10 yards with the coyote loads. That is with plated #5 lead for turkey and plated lead BB in the coyote loads. I am almost out of my turkey loads and Federal is using Tungsten shot now but retained the Flite Control wad and I have the shells I just have not patterned them yet. Perhaps the combination of the TSS heavyweight shot and the Flite Control wad will get you where you want to go for less cost. I like shooting 3" shells way better than 31/2" shells.

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Re: Tungsten Alloy Shot

Post by stokesrj » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:03 pm

Federal had to change the design of their flite control wad recently. This may not have affected you, but when shooting ported barrels or choke tubes the flite control was would be retarded on one side or the other and exit the muzzle at an erratic can’t that would disrupt the shot string. Because of this problem Federal replaces the flite control with a version they call the flite control flex. It is reported to still have the issues with some guns but does well with fixed modified or light modified chokes.
I have some of the Federal TSS Heavy Weight Flite Control Flex 3” #9 coming to test along side of some T-316 loads from Nitro which are 2 1/4 oz #9 TSS 3” 12 ga. I expect these to romp on the Federal Heavyweight loads which are only 1 3/4 oz. However, it doesn’t matter how many start out, only how many end up in the turkeys neck and head. So we will see.
Another far cheaper alternative is the Winchester Long beard XR loading which uses copper plated lead. I’ve tested these and they are amazing compared to any other lead load I’ve tested, including the Federal Flight control. I cut one open to see what they meant by locked technology. The shot are glued together using a brittle clear glue. It produces a tight evenly distributed pattern putting around 20-25 #5 shot in a turkeys head and neck at 50 yards. That is about as far as I would trust a #5 to break a turkeys neck anyway. So I will also report how they do through the Benelli M2 with an Indian Creek .665” choke tube.
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Re: Tungsten Alloy Shot

Post by MM » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:41 pm

The Flite Control wad was never recommended for ported or straight rifled choke tubes, and I hope the new version works as well as the original. I have not heard of any reported problems with screw in chokes as long as they are not ported or rifled. i tried the Long beard with the shot glued together and had high hopes for them but they just did not pattern nearly as well out of either of my guns. I would love to hear your results with the Nitro and Federal loads work out.
Matt

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Re: Tungsten Alloy Shot

Post by stokesrj » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:53 pm

I don’t know how valid the reported problems with the old flite control was, you know how we hunters are, we sometimes find problems where none exist. I personally haven experienced any problems with them, but from my Remington with a .662 choke the Winchester LBXR patterns tighter. I’ll repeat all tests with my Benelli over the next few weeks.
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Re: Tungsten Alloy Shot

Post by SPEEDY » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:49 pm

Definitely expensive shells, but they do the job.
I've also found that tight chokes produce the densest patterns with smaller shot.
I'm thinking a. 662 choke and those shells would be absolutely devastating.
I'm soft and I don't care. :dance:

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