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GUNS Magazine February 2012 Digital Edition - Page 8
STORY: Holt Bodinson Hot new ammo for varmints and waterfowl plus a nifty training aid. hile I own a varmint rifle or two, I won’t take a calling stand without a shotgun at hand. The shotgun is a caller’s tool—ideal for coyote, fox and bobcat in brushy and broken country where those varmints can make startling, rabbit-like appearances at ranges under 50 yards. The shotgun is also ideal for moving varmints often screened by brush—brush that will easily deflect or destroy thin-jacketed varmint bullets zipping along at 3,200 fps plus. Having said that, I also will have a Remington 660 in .243 Win alongside my leg just in case the varmint hangs up out there beyond 40 or 50 yards. Kings of the varmint shotgun world are the 3" and 3-1/2", 12-gauge magnums and the 3-1/2", 10-guage magnum, shooting large doses of B-, BB- or T-size shot at 1,300 to 1,350 fps. What converts an upland or waterfowling scattergun into a varminter is the load. combines 1-1/2 ounces of buffered Heavyweight BB shot with Federal’s patented Flitecontrol wad. Muzzle velocity is right up there at 1,350 fps. Federal’s proprietary Heavyweight shot is 35 percent more dense than lead, while the Flitecontrol wad keeps the shot string together, until the wad’s integral air brakes slow it down after leaving the muzzle. The combination produces very dense patterns across a range of loads running from turkey and waterfowl to buckshot and this latest coyote load. The Midway/Caldwell coyote target pictured here comes complete with replaceable centers. It’s a lot of fun to use. The pattern produced by the Federal coyote load was fired at 40 yards with a modified—not full, not extra-full—choke in a Winchester Super X2. The result speaks for itself—it’s a coyote shredder load. LethaL Loads & Laser CartridGes W Federal’s “Heavyweight Coyote” load is a true coyote shredder. The Caldwell target has a replaceable center. Note how the target has the vital organs and bones printed on it (below). These disappear downrange. Coyote shredder Under their Federal Premium label, Federal has followed Remington, Winchester and Hevi-Shot by cooking up a real coyote shredder of a load under the label “Heavyweight Coyote.” This 12-gauge, 3" load Laser Ammo’s 12-gauge cartridge is a natural for some in home practice drills. Winchester’s hex shot Patterns A box of Winchester’s new “Hex Steel Shot” finally arrived, giving me the opportunity to shoot a few patterns. What I received was a 12-gauge, 3" loading of 1-3/8 ounces of No. 2 shot at 1,400 fps. Announced earlier this year, Winchester is calling its new cubical- shaped shot, a hexahedron—“Hex” for short. The new waterfowl approved Hex Shot features rounded edges and corners. According to Winchester, because of its shape, it can be more easily stacked inside a shot cup, providing up to 15 percent more nontoxic shot in each shell. The shot cup itself is new, and its “diamond cut” petals act as tiny air brakes to gently separate the wad from the shot. The secondary benefit claimed for Hex Shot is its capacity due to its shape to create greater wound channels in tissue. With a bit of advertising hyperbole, Winchester’s ad copy reads, “Hex Shot is designed to hit waterfowl like high-velocity, tumbling bricks—creating massive wound channels, preventing over penetration and maximizing energy deposit and knock-down shock within the bird.” The waterfowl-patterning target I favor is HunterJohn’s. It features the profile of a flying duck, an outline of the ideal impact area in a duck’s anatomy for clean kills and five, offset 30" circles allowing you to select the one that best contains the shot pattern. I shot three patterns at 40 yards with a modified choke in my 8 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 2