Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Keep in mind this is from a one pheasant experience with the golden pheasant load of nickel 5's. Between cleaning and eating it, found 20 pellets. Almost all deformed and feather draw around the pellets. FWIW
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Another fan of Lawrence Magnum shot, and Remington STS when it was available. Never loaded plated shot, only used some factory Remington Premier 6's in 12ga. The pellets recovered from pheasants were all dented/distorted so I'm a believer of the writers who'd reported the thin plating on most shot is pretty ineffective at improving it. Also had about the same instance of removing feather material from phez breasts that was realized with other shot.
_________________ Bore, n. Shotgun enthusiast's synonym for "gauge" ; everybody else's synonym for "shotgun enthusiast." - Ed Zern
Back when you could get plated and buffered loads, and the plating was done the right way--not just washed on--copper/nickel was worth it. That being said, I "field tested" some RST 1 oz 16ga loads in Iowa a couple weeks back, copper 6's, and they worked pretty well. 2 of 3 came down dead; #3 was my fault, didn't center him as well (and he was a pretty much dead going away shot), and we did not recover him from the very nasty stuff where he crash landed. Just ordered a couple boxes of the copper 6's in a mixed flat I ordered from RST. I will say that the pellets are easier to spot when you're cleaning the birds.
The nastiest factory nickel plated loads I ever shot were some offered by Activ--obviously some time ago. They were something like 3 1/4 DE/1 oz 7 1/2's. I used them as my R barrel load when we were in mixed bag pheasant/quail country. Just for the heck of it, I pattern tested them against 1 1/8 oz loads of lead 7 1/2. And even with a significant disadvantage in pellet count, those Activ nickel plated loads delivered more hits in a 30" circle than the heavier lead load. They did tend to kill on both ends in a light 16!
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