Colors have meaning. For instance, Navy Blue is anything but blue. However, as the story goes, the Navy wanted blue uniforms that would not fade. Continue reading Go Green to Honor our Veterans
Getting started in reloading isn’t difficult. In fact, reloading isn’t difficult. Reloading is the best way to save a few bucks Continue reading Setting Up for Reloading
Sierra Bullets just released the details for several new bullets!
Just announced, Sierra Bullets has just released info on several new bullets, including a couple new rifle bullets, one of which is from their dominant MatchKing Line. Also just announced is the new 30 cal Varminter Bullet with massive expansion for preditor hunting. Read on for more details on each individual new bullet from Sierra! Also, keep checking back, as we’ll continue to update this post as they release new info on bullets for 2015 and 2016
|Sierra Bullets New 183 Grain 7mm MatchKing Bullet
Sierra Bullets is proud to introduce a new addition to the legendary MatchKing® line. Shooters around the world will appreciate the accuracy and extreme long range performance of our new 7mm 183 grain HPBT (#1983). A sleek 27 caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) provide an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention. To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5 degree angle commonly found in match rifle chamber throats. This bullet requires a twist rate of 1:8” or faster to stabilize.
| Going the Distance:
MatchKing 7mm Bullet
The graphic to the right speaks for itself. This bullet will begin shipping in November of 2015.
|Sierra Bullets New 30 Caliber Varminter Bullet
Sierra Bullets is proud to introduce a new addition the Varminter™ line. Our new 30 caliber 135 gr HP (#2124) was created specifically for explosive expansion and instant kills on larger varmints and predators. This light weight, thin-jacketed hollow point bullet is devastatingly effective, but requires velocities to remain under 3,200 FPS. For 300 Blackout and reduced recoil loads, this new offering adds another excellent hunting bullet option.
|ELD-X and ELD Match Bullets Just Announced from Hornady Manufacturing! Through the use of Doppler technology, Hornady Manufacturing stumbled upon a very subtle anomaly with their bullets at high velocities. Through this discovery, they birthed two new bullets that will ensure the satisfaction of shooters, and hunters the world over. Introducing the ELD-X (Extremely Low Drag – eXpanded) and the ELD Match Bullets from Hornady. Read on below for more info, technical specs, and a great video from Hornady about their amazing discovery, and how it was put to great use.
| ELD-X and Hunting:
ELD-X Bullets Offered-
In 2012, Hornady engineers were tasked with creating a new bullet. The main goal was to have a hunting bullet that worked well at all practical distances. Plenty of bullets work well from 0-400 yards, few work well beyond that and none work well at both conventional and extended range. While “extended range” means different things to different people, and taking game at longer distances is a debated topic, there’s a growing segment of hunters who are using technological advances in electronics, optics, rifles and ammunition to extend their range. What’s been lacking has been projectiles that offer the accuracy AND terminal performance appropriate for extended range hunting. A common trend has been to use match bullets at extended range because they have thinner copper-jackets that are perceived to expand easier at distance when the bullet has shed a lot of velocity.Creating a bullet that performs well at extended range would have been relatively easy. In true Hornady fashion, there was no interest in doing what was easy. The decision was to make an “all range” bullet that performs at both conventional (0-400 yards) and extended (400+) range.Crucial ingredients were identified and deemed necessary for an all range hunting bullet:Match accurate: The bullet had to have the accuracy and consistency of a match bullet. This means a balanced bullet that has a precision swaged lead core and a jacket with the utmost concentricity. High Ballistic Coefficients: The more aerodynamic the bullet, the more velocity and energy it carries down range. It also will suffer less wind drift and drop than a bullet of lesser aerodynamic design.Performance and expansion across the full velocity spectrum: This bullet had to have controlled expansion at both conventional and extended range. Simply having a bullet that will tumble, yaw, blow up or pencil through is not acceptable. The bullet had to expand/mushroom at extended range (low velocity) and not over-expand or blow up at conventional (high velocity) range.
|Precision Hunter and the ELD-X Bullet: Accuracy and consistency is the foundation of Hornady® Precision Hunter™ factory loaded ammunition. Great care has been given by Hornady® engineers to develop superior match accurate hunting loads that allow the ELD-X™ bullet to achieve its maximum ballistic potential. Propellants used in the Precision Hunter™ ammunition line are clean burning, consistent capacity and minimal run out. Propellant and primer combinations are carefully selected to provide the most consistent shot to shot results possible regardless of temperature. This attention to detail provides the highest levels of accuracy and performance uniformity for the most demanding and diverse hunting situations.
Featuring the radically superior ELD-X™ bullet with patent-pending Heat Shield™ tip, Precision Hunter™ is the ideal load for ANY hunting situation because of its effective terminal performance at ALL practical ranges. -HornadyClick Here to view all the loaded ammunition using the ELD-X Bullets. We will have them in stock soon!
| Extremely Low Drag Match:
ELD Match Bullets Offered-
ELD Match bullets are technologically advanced, enhanced accuracy target bullets featuring Heat Shield tips with the PERFECT MEPLAT (tip point) combined with numerous design features that deliver the highest-in-class ballistic coefficients, superior accuracy and extreme consistency from bullet-to-bullet, lot-to-lot. – Hornady
Click Here to learn more about why the Perfect Meplat matters!
Three New Powder Offerings from Hodgdon
Good news for reloaders, in this time of powder drought. IMR Legendary Powders has created a new line of sophisticated extruded powders that are loaded with more features than any other brand of powder available today. Better yet, these latest propellants do more than send your projectile down range! Enduron™ Technology features a built in copper fouling eliminator, insensitivity to temperature extremes, small sized grains for easy flow with an ideal loading density, and there are no ingredients considered harmful to the environment. Consult the 2015 Hodgdon Annual Manual for load data and more. Those looking to load for intermediate calibers are in luck as well, since 4166 has a similar burn speed to that of 4064 or Varget. This make’s it versatile enough to load .223 Remington.
From accurateshooter.com- IMR claims that Enduron powders are not sensitive to temperature changes. If this is true, these powders should prove popular, particularly IMR 4166 which seems to be in the Varget/Reloder 15 burn-rate range. With Varget so hard to find, if IMR 4166 proves accurate (and available) we might see many .308 Win shooters make the switch. IMR states that IMR 4166 is a “versatile, match grade propellant”. We’ve been quite pleased with IMR 8208 XBR as a Varget alternative. IMR 8208 XBR is accurate, clean-burning, and offers good velocity. Perhaps the new IMR 4166 will be as good or better…
As of right now, these powders are available right here, at Midsouth Shooters Supply, as well as many others. The supply isn’t steady, but more plentiful than in the past several months. Check often for availability, as our inventory is live, and they move fast. If you haven’t already, make sure to join us on Facebook for a heads-up on powder and 22 LR arrivals.
Top Performance in 22 Long Rifle
Norma USA is known as a premium brand, both for their ammunition, as well as their components. More recently, they’ve been one of the few brands to consistently provide the market with 22LR ammunition. Many folks have been forced to participate in this brand transition, simply based on availability. What’s amazing is the consistency seen, even after many of the bulk 22LR have resurfaced, as demand has slackened. Norma USA has even went a step further, offering a match grade 22LR, in their MATCH-22.
We were able to reach out to a representative at Norma USA for a quick word on what makes their 22LR a cut above the rest, and what we can expect from the new MATCH-22 that recently hit the market. – “Only certain production lots of rimfire production live up to the exacting standards of Match ammunition. Each production lot is rigorously checked for performance.- Accuracy is a key component of testing and when a certain lot exceeds the accuracy standards in place for Tac-it is then tested for “match accuracy” and if all the test ammunition for this particular lot exceeds Tac and meets Match standards-then that lot is packaged as Match Ammo. Our loading facility, selection of components and rigorous testing to exact specifics are just the norm for Norma Precision Products- Norma customers expect this- they know we cost more for a reason and settle for nothing less! Neither does Norma!”
This NEW! introduction of NORMA-USA’s MATCH- 22 Ammunition is designed and engineered specifically for competitive shooting and target practice where every point counts. Assembled with the finest components and primer/powder combinations, you’ll be sure to obtain outstanding accuracy on the range. It also feeds reliably in all 22 rifle actions, including semi-automatics.
Just to get an idea of how things are done in the Norma Factory, please watch the video below. They’re not making 22LR, but you get a true sense of what precision and quality means to Norma.
Below is a review video made by a friend of Midsouth, 22plinkster. He’s a 22LR specialist, and renowned trick shooter. He put the norma TAC-22 to the test in 5 shot groups, using an AR-15 platform 22 LR, and a CZ bolt action 22LR. The results are pretty telling. At the time of his video production, the MATCH-22 ammo wasn’t available. He does go on to clarify why the MATCH would outperform even the TAC-22. He quotes the price at $6.50, which is a suggested retail price, but make sure to click below to check price and availability. Based on performance, the value is definitely there. Watch the video, and see for yourself.
More Than Just a List of Products
With over 45 years of different iterations, advancements in technology, and increased quality, we give you our 45th Master Catalog. Our catalogs contain a full listing of each product we carry. Although it can’t contain every product offered, since some items are picked up throughout the year, it’s the absolute best reference, outside of our website, as to what Midsouth is all about. We create our catalog right here in Clarksville, TN. It’s put together by our VP of Marketing, Michael Ryan, who painstakingly pieces this Catalog together. This catalog truly is a labor of love.
A Note From Michael Ryan
“Another catalog is done and at the printer and we’ve decided to give you a little inside info about the 2015 Midsouth Master Catalog while we wait for them to get here.
First off – We apologize for the wait – It usually takes until Late March / Early April for two big reasons: 1) We wait until the majority of the new items are released for the year at The Shot Show. This makes for more accurate pricing, removal of discontinued items, and ensures that you get first glances at the newest products that are out there. It’s always hard trying to decide what will and won’t make the cut-off, and what won’t make it into the catalog. 2) It takes about 1 month from the time that the finished pages leave here for the printer to the time it arrives in your Midsouth Order or your mailbox.
This year’s catalog is pretty special to me, and as the case with every year – this is best one we’ve made. This is the 20th catalog that I’ve worked on. For some reason they never get easier, but they always seem to get more gratifying when they’re done. One of my favorite things is when the new boxes arrive. It’s a great feeling when you cut open that first box and pass them out to all the people who work here. It’s an even better feeling when people start phoning in orders from them. We actually hold a contest with our operators and give a small prize to the first operator to take an order from the new catalog. I think Erin is going to win this year.
There are changes all-throughout the catalog, (believe me, lots of changes) but the key changes I can shed some light on. The biggest improvement is in our AR-15 section. We’ve expanded it from 8 pages to 14 pages, and honestly, it could have still filled up 6 more pages. Within the AR-15 section, we’ve added an AR-10 parts and accessories page(We need more). Look for more AR parts and Accessories online as well. Next, we revamped a lot of our optics, and added Vortex. Look for big changes in Burris scopes and red dot sights, as well as Nikon scopes. More pages have been added to the reloading section, but really take the time to look (page 79) at Inline Fabrication. They make improvement parts for presses and reloading benches. Very useful items, well built, American Made and Dan’s just a good guy who started out in his own backyard (like so many other great American companies). We’ve started a small concealed carry section in here, but look for big additions in the next few months to this category online. The catalog just has a small sample of what is to come. One last major addition, and I’m pretty excited about this, is Geissele Triggers. If you went to the Shot Show this year you’ll know what I mean when I say, “They were busy”. That booth was constantly packed, and for good reason. There are lots of good triggers for AR’s out there, but I was sold the first time I squeezed my arm through 12 people in front of me and tried one up against the standard mil-spec trigger. Glad we picked these up.
One Final Note: There is another reason that makes this catalog special – the fact that it’s actually printing. A lot of companies have ditched print, with every other voice out there echoing, “Print is dead” or “E-commerce is the direction,” and this voice is correct. I’m not in denial. But it seems that so many places have turned their collective backs on paper, in an effort to “Cut Costs” and “Save Money”, and the truth of it is – I haven’t seen any of them pass those savings on to you. We’ve studied the possibility of not printing a catalog and the information that we got back from you, our customers, corrected that thinking. The response was overwhelming. So, as long as customers continue to use the catalog, pass them on to friends, and order from them, we’ll keep making them.
Well, those could be some famous last words. Technology is moving so fast and 12 months from now I could be out of a job. But, I have this feeling deep down inside, that these catalogs have a special place on a lot of reloaders benches, out in workshops, factory break rooms, barbershops, and as we’ve heard from many customers, bathrooms across the world.”
– Michael Ryan, Catalog Guy
Midsouth’s Paper Past
Available Online Now
Now, our online version is ready today, but our dead-tree version will be done in a couple weeks. We’re extremely proud of our catalog. It speaks to the root of our company. It’s a difference that we take quite personally. Ready to get started sifting through the pages of our 2015 offering? Click Here for the full PDF version. It’s a big file, so only do this if you have a fast connection. We have our 2015 Master Catalog broken down into separate pieces, so your computer won’t be overly burdened under the weight of it’s 240 page glory. Click Here to visit the page with our catalog sections available for download.
The Interactive Online Catalog
Our 2015 Interactive Master Catalog will be uploaded soon. With this version, you will be able to click the part number of the item you’re after, and you will be whisked away to it’s item page, where you can continue on to your cart, and on with your life. You’ll also be able to search for items, part numbers, etc. within the interactive catalog, thereby making your life even easier!
Aren’t All Catalogs Interactive?
The shortest answer is, yes. To what degree are they interactive is the real meat-and-potatoes of the question. Not all catalogs are created equal. Traditionally made of paper, these volumes are a huge asset of any reloader, gracing both reloading benches, and bathrooms alike. Some are a digital vault with every item just a click away. What sets our Interactive Master Catalog apart is that you get the look of the paper catalog, with the ease of the online catalog, and a more robust search function. Every item listed in our catalog is there, ready for you to click on it’s part number so you can have it shipped to your door.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the features offered in the interactive catalog. You’ll find that the tools available to you will help you locate our products quickly and efficiently. Click the images to increase their size. If you’d like to go straight to the 2015 Interactive Master Catalog, Click Here.
Hogs Hate It, We Love It!
Time to bag some bacon with Hornady’s latest offering, the new line of center-fire rifle ammo called Full Boar Ammunition. This pork specific ammo has been tailor made to drop pigs throughout a wide range of calibers. Each round is loaded with the GMX bullet. If you haven’t used one of these bullets yet, you’re in for a whole new experience in coreless, ballistic joy. About the bullet being coreless, it’s a monolithic style bullet made of a unique homogeneous copper allow with no lead core. This is great news for our folks who live in eco-friendly regions, and need to avoid the lead. To aid in the expansion process, the plastic tip does some double duty. It keeps the drag down, and upon impact, pushes into the cavity, initiates the expansion, thereby mushrooming the bullet. Also, since there is no true core of the bullet, there’s no separation of components, so it just obliterates bone and soft tissue, without sacrificing velocity. With a high BAL CO for their respective weights, and a very uniform pressure curve, expect these rounds to give an optimal performance time, and again.
From Hornady.com- “Whether down in the swamps, or running the hills – the toughest game demands the toughest ammunition – Full Boar® Full Boar® ammunition from Hornady® features hard hitting GMX® bullets for deep penetration and maximum weight retention. These monolithic copper-alloy bullets deliver 95+% weight retention and uniform, controlled expansion for unmatched terminal performance on the toughest game. Loaded with premium components, Full Boar™ ammunition is available in a variety of popular calibers and is designed to work flawlessly in all guns, to include ARs and other semi-autos. The GMX® is California compatible and approved for other areas that require the use of non-traditional bullets. Hornady® Full Boar® ammunition – proudly made in the USA!”
Having hunted hogs in southern Alabama, it’s crucial to ensure your kill. It’s become such a problem across the southern states, that leaving your shot to chance just won’t cut it. Many folk’s livelihood depends on the land, and hogs are doing their dead-level best to tear it up. We hope that, with new ammo available that’s specific to the purpose of dropping hogs, more people will get excited about killing these pests, and enjoying the quality and accuracy of a superior product. Having used several other brands of ammo, in varying calibers, we were excited to get out hands on this new offering from Hornady. We expect quality from them, and they always deliver. Below is the full list of Full Boar we carry at Midsouth:
We Put Shotshells and Choke Tubes to the Test
It’s Turkey Season again here in Middle TN, and we have the distinct pleasure of having an expert on hand. He’s the newest member of our team, Jacob. He took our choke tubes, Ammo Selection, and a few targets out, and put them through the ringer. Combining his knowledge of turkey hunting, with his experience in the field, he put together some great results on what the right kind of gear, in the right combination, can do for your turkey hunt. Want to drop more birds? Here’s Jacob with his findings:
A Turkey Season Experiment with Jacob
Hello Midsouth Readers,
With so much going on, I as many people, don’t get to hunt as much as I want to. So when I do get the chance to go after turkey this spring, I definitely want to capitalize on that opportunity. The last thing I want to do is miss my target or worse wound the animal. Knowing capabilities and limits of your equipment is paramount in filling your turkey tag. This was the driving force behind why I decided to do a pattern test for my newly dedicated turkey gun. So I set out to test a few choke tubes to see how each performed at various ranges.
Using the Hevi-Shot Magnum Blend shell in the past, I knew its ability to knock a bird down at extended ranges. Selling for around 5 to 6 dollars per shell, the price alone puts this ammunition into the premium category. The price is not the only factor making this a premium ammo. It produces dense patterns of a unique material called Hevi-Shot. It’s heavier than lead, so when smaller pellets of Hevi-Shot make contact with the target they can produce an energy transfer equal to that of a larger lead pellet. These Magnum Blend shells are loaded with an equal mix of #5, #6 and #7 shot all in one shell. Having a variety of shot sizes in one shell increases pellet count, ounce for ounce, over a standard shell loaded with the same size shot. More pellets in the shell means more pellets down range. We tested the 12 gauge 3” shells, along with the 3.5” shells, to see the how much variation there was between each pattern. The 3” shell is loaded with 2oz of shot and shoots at 1200 FPS. The 3.5” shell also shoots at 1200 FPS but has a 2-1/4oz payload. I tested both shell lengths at 40, 50, and 60 yards with the 4 chokes listed below. Click Here for a Rebate on Hevi-Shot Magnum Blend Shotshells.
- Choke Tubes Tested:
- Rhino Ported Turkey Choke .660 Constriction
- Indian Creek Black Diamond Strike Turkey Choke .665 Click Here for Pricing.
- Hevi-13 Turkey Extended Range .656 Click Here for Pricing.
- Carlson Ported Super Full Turkey Choke .665 Click Here for Pricing.
We also wanted to test a shell that was at a more economical price point. For this option I chose to test the Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey Shell. Selling for less than 1.30 a round, I wanted to see the how well this “budget” shell performed out of my gun. The Hornady shell has an unconventional wad design they call a Versa-Tite Wad (Click Here for Picture) . The use of specialized turkey choke tubes are not needed with this system to produce great patterns. Hornady actually recommends the use of a modified or improved cylinder choke while shooting these loads. So I really wanted to see how well these turkey load performed with my factory modified choke. These 12ga loads are 3” in length, with 1.5oz payload shooting out at 1300 fps. Hornady manufactures these shells with #4, #5, or #6 nickel plated lead shot giving you the option of what shot size you want.
The gun I used for testing is a 12ga Benelli Nova with a 26” barrel. Those that are familiar with the front bead on a Nova know that the large red bead is great in low light conditions. The down side to such a large front bead is that it covers a larger portion of the target when you try to shoot long ranges (50 yards plus). That is one of the reasons why I wanted to outfit this dedicated turkey gun with a red dot sight. I chose to outfit the Nova with the Burris FastFire 3 with a 3 MOA dot. The Fastfire 3 is simple to operate and install, with one button to turn it on and control the brightness settings. Hit the button once to turn it on to the automatic brightness setting. Push the button again to cycle between the manual settings of high, medium, and low. Press the button one more time to completely turn the unit off. Although the Burris Fastfire 3 is covered by the Burris Forever Warranty, I chose to outfit it with the protector mount for added durability. I wanted a red dot that would be reliable because equipment failure is the last thing I want when I have a gobbler strutting at 40 yards. The Burris FastFire 3 with protector mount fit the bill for me.
Zeroing the red dot:
To innately zero the FastFire 3 I shot light field loads at 10 steps on a fresh sheet of paper. I chose field loads for two reasons. 1.) They are a lot less abusive to your shoulder than a turkey shell. 2.) They are a lot less expensive. At that distance, there was just a big hole in the target where the shot and wad went through, which is what I wanted to see. The choke that was in the gun while shooting at this distance was the Rhino. After a few shots and some windage and elevation adjustments to the Fastfire 3, the dot was right on the hole in the target. Just like different rifle ammo has varied results out of the same rifle, the same holds true for shotshells. So next I shot the 3.5” Magnum Blends at 50 yards to see where the pattern was hitting the target. After shooting one shell each through the four chokes, it appeared that the pattern was just on the top half of all the targets. After making elevation adjustments, I was satisfied.
Here is how the shot sequence went:
(Click Each Choke Tube Name for Target Image)
|– Magnum Blend 3” at 50 yards – Rhino, Indian Creek, Hevi-13, Carlson -Targets 12-15|
|– Magnum Blend 3.5” at 50 yards- Rhino, Indian Creek, Hevi-13, Carlson -Targets 16-19|
|– Magnum Blend 3.5” at 40 yards- Rhino, Indian Creek, Hevi-13, Carlson – Targets 20-23|
|– Magnum Blend 3” at 40yards- Rhino, Indian Creek, Hevi-13, Carlson – Targets 24-27|
|– Magnum Blend 3.5” at 60 yards- Rhino, Indian Creek, Hevi-13, Carlson – Targets 28-31|
|– Magnum Blend 3” at 60 yards- Rhino, Indian Creek, Hevi-13, Carlson – Targets 32-35|
|– Magnum Blend 3” at 25 yards- Rhino, Indian Creek, Indian Creek, – Targets 36-38|
I tested the Rhino, Indian creek, Hevi-13, and the Carlson in that order at all previously specified distances. Each shell, choke, and distance combination was shot on a clean target. The targets that were used for testing the Hevi-Shot shells were a 16” bullseye. For each shot I held the 3MOA dot right in the center of the bullseye. The wind that day was blowing from left to right at about 10-15 mph. There were some shell/choke combinations that patterned well, but you could tell that the pattern was pushed to the right. I am sure it was a combination of shooter error, wind, and not having the gun sighted in for each set up that resulted in some patterns being pushed right (trust me, my shoulder was feeling each shell that was sent down range.) I am sure that it had an effect on my accuracy throughout the testing. All tubes provided good patterns but I did find each shot to be a little different. The Fastfire 3 red dot seemed to be sighted in better with Rhino. As a result those patterns landed more center on the paper. That doesn’t mean that the other tubes produced bad results just that their pattern is off to the right. So when you look at all the targets below keep that factor in mind. A few adjustments of the red dot can have that shell/choke tube combination hitting dead center. Not wanting to change the setup for each choke tube I continued the test. During the shooing I did not analyze how each pattern was hitting the targets. After I was done with the test I took the targets home to count holes in the paper. One thing that I noticed while evaluating the targets is that pattern was shifting down at 60 yards depending on the shell/choke combination. This tells me that all shots 50 yards and closer, I would put the dot on the wattles of the turkey. At 60 yards I think it would be better to shift my point of aim up to the bird’s head.
After shooting at 60 yards, I wanted to see how the pattern hit at 25 yards. Targets 36, 37 and 38 were all shot at 25 yards. First shot at 25 yards was with the Rhino and then with the Indian Creek. The pattern on target 37 was good but you can tell I pulled the shot to the right. Target 38 proved that to be true, as the pattern was in the center of the paper and there was no change in the setup. I ended up running out of the 16” bullseyes targets and then switched to the turkey target with a 10” circle for target 36 and 37. Click Here for a small chart on hits within the desired area for the Hevi-Shot Magnum Shotshells.
After shooting the Rhino at 25 yards I was ready to test the Indian Creek. I began to unscrew the Rhino tube and noticed it was extremely hard to unscrew. I just thought that the threads had gotten dirty and it was causing some resistance. Once the threads were exposed on the tube, I expected the resistance to be gone. It wasn’t. I continued to work the tube free and noticed that tube had swollen. There were scratch marks on the choke tube where it made contact with the internal threads on the barrel. I called Rhino to ask them about the issue. The man I spoke to on the phone basically told me that the choke was ruined and there was nothing they would do about it. He told me that Hevi-shot, from time to time, would have a batch of “hardened shot,” and that was the reason the tube was damaged. I asked him if there was anywhere on the package or website stating that it may be harmful with the use of Hevi-Shot. He said no. The package does state that it’s not rated for steel shot but it says nothing about Hevi-Shot. His explanation did not satisfy me, as all other chokes tested did not have any indication of deformation, just the Rhino. The company basically told me I was SOL. I don’t think I will be buying another Rhino choke to replace the damaged one. He did offer to inspect the barrel for me if I shipped it to him. He stated that if the tube was bulged then it was a possibility that the barrel was bulged as well. Instead of paying the shipping to send my barrel to Florida to be inspected, I took it to a local gunsmith. The gunsmith measured the internal diameter of the barrel in several places and assured me the barrel was safe for use. Click Here to see the choke tube for yourself.
Testing the Hornady shells I wanted to see how the pattern of different shot sizes varied at 30, 40, and 50 yards. Because these shells are loaded with the Hornady Versa-Tite Wad system I put the extended turkey chokes away. The targets I used to test the Hornady shells had a turkey printed on them with a 10” and a 3” bullseye on the turkeys head. I tested all three shot sizes with a modified choke at 30, 40, and 50. With a standard shell you would use a full choke to achieve a dense pattern at longer ranges. So I tested all three shot sizes at 50 yards with a factory full choke because I wanted to see the results and I had three targets left.
Here is how the shot sequence went:
(Click Each Shot Number for Target Image)
|– Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey – Modified Choke 30 Yards – #4, #5, #6, -Targets 40-42|
|– Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey – Modified Choke 40 Yards – #4, #5, #6, -Targets 43-45|
|– Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey – Modified Choke 50 Yards – #4, #5, #6, -Targets 46-48|
|– Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey – Full Choke 50 Yards – #4, #5, #6, -Targets 49-51|
First round of shots were at a distance of 30 yards. As you can see by the pictures all three shot sizes did extremely well at 30 yards (targets 40-42). As expected, the #6 put the most shots in the 10” circle with 68 hits (target 42). At 40 yards, again all three shot sizes produced good patterns that would result in a filled tag. The #6 had the most hits in the 10” circle with 24. Surprisingly the #4 were close behind with 22 hits in the circle. With the modified choke, all three shot sizes put pellets on the turkey at 50 yards but you can tell the pattern has some gaps in it. The 50 yard shots with the full choke had interesting results. It seemed to improve the results of the #6 shot but made the #4 pattern worse.
After looking at how the Hornady Heavy Magnum shells performed, I came to the conclusion that if I plan on only shooting 40 yards and closer, the #6 is a great choice. For myself I plan on using the #4 shot size. The #4 produced great turkey killing patterns out to 40 yards. If I am going to have less pellets on target at 50 yards, I want the pellet to be as large as possible. The larger the pellet, the more knock down power it has. Larger shot sizes also mean less pellets per shell. When I was younger I just went middle of the road and assumed #5 shot size what I wanted to shoot while turkey hunting. Before testing I assumed the #5 were going to be what would shoot best out of my new turkey gun. But that did not seem to be the case. Knowing how your gun patterns with the ammo you use allows you to make educated decisions. Without testing, all you can do is make assumptions. That’s why it is important to test the equipment you use. Knowing the limits and capabilities of your equipment, will allow you to have confidence when the time comes to take the shot. Click Here for a quick tally of shot totals for the Hornady Heavy Magnum Shot with Modified Choke.
The Hornady shell and the Hevi-Shot shell are two different breads. Yes they are both turkey shells but they serve different functions. If you never take a shot beyond 40 yards and are looking for a more price conscious option, the Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey load is the shell for you. Let’s face it, if the cards fall just right you might have to shoot the turkey in self-defense at 5 yards. I have seen it happen. Everyone that has hunted before has also experienced the opposite situation. A tom strutting 60 yards away with hens all around him and won’t take one step closer. No matter if you are an excellent caller and have the best decoys money can buy. When a mature long beard is with the real thing it is hard to talk him out of it. That’s when the Hevi-Shot magnum blend comes into play. With its ability to hold patterns at extended ranges, it is making gobblers feel not-so-safe anymore at 60 yards. No matter what gun, shell, and choke combination you have, knowing the capabilities of your gear is the first step on taking an ethical shot. Don’t just take my word for it, go test your own equipment and find out for yourself what your setup can do.
Thanks Midsouth Readers!
P.S. Although I enjoyed doing this test. Next time I think I need to test something with a lot less recoil. I’m thinking something to do with 22lr! Stay Tuned!