Hunters Have the Edge With New Hevi-X Load

Hunters Have the Edge With New Hevi-X Load

Expect better performance at a distance'if you can lead 'em right.

This year's shotshell theme was better shot density at long range. Browning's BXD delivered tighter patterns and shorter shot strings, Black Cloud Flex proved deadly on ducks and geese at the edge of the decoys and now Hevi-Shot has dropped Hevi-X, a tungsten load that they have billed as offering "35 percent more knockdown power at 40 yards and 50 percent more knockdown power at 60 yards."

I received a couple boxes of both BBs and 2s to test. The velocity on the box says 1,450 fps. I ran a string of 10 shots over an Oehler 35P chronograph on a 70-degree day, and found the average velocity to be 1,463 fps, just a tiny bit higher than advertised.

My invitation to hunt ducks in Uruguay was lost in the mail, so I didn't have the chance to give Hevi-X a try on the real thing, but from that data and on the patterning range, it stacks up pretty well. Also, WF editors heard some good feedback on the new load from early-season honker shoots in the Dakotas. And editor Skip Knowles hit a public duck hole near home and was impressed how the 12-gauge 4s clobbered a mallard at 52 yards and a screaming wood duck at 35, the only two shots he's fired with it (RR T3 chokes).

I dissected a shell and weighed the components. The plastic hull contained 32.9 grains of a black flake-style propellant, and the wad was of conventional heavy-plastic cup construction with four equidistant slits. The No. 2-size shot charge carried a counted 114 pellets weighing 523.3 grains (1.23 ounces) topped off with 17.5 grains (.04 ounce) of buckwheat, which is a lightweight spacer to properly fill the hull for crimping. Some of the pellets were misshapen, with an occasional snowman (two pellets stuck together), but didn't appear to affect the performance.


WIFP-180100-GL-2


At the range I shot a series of 40-yard patterns, with two different style chokes using No. 2 Hevi-X. First I ran the Patternmaster's Anaconda Long Range, then the Anaconda Mid Range. These use a spiral gas-bleeding ring with constrictions of .700 and .715 respectively. They call it a "Coil Zone" that both relieves the pressure and spins the wad with a negative twist to stabilize it in flight.


The other tube was Jeb's High Voltage in .690 and .695 constrictions. I selected this tube because it uses the traditional conical-parallel-style of choking. It funnels the shot charge to the specific constriction, then stabilizes the charge as it flows through the parallel portion of the tube. In each case, the more open choke yielded some percentage points to the tighter-constricted tube.

The patterns were then evaluated using a 30" Plexiglas disc with a 20" center ring. Hevi-Shot was not ready to reveal Hevi-X pellet density, but I ran the data through a KPY Shotshell Ballistic computer program using 9.10 gr/cm³ pellet density, the same as Hevi-Steel. If Hevi-X pellets are equal (and with tungsten alloy, they should be denser), expect good killing downrange energy out to 60 yards and beyond. See table (p. 28).

Hunting spooky birds like snow geese can require ammo that will reach out and touch 'em. And before you go out with a fresh box of Hevi-X, let me share something with you about long-range shooting. Years ago, I was at the roll-out of a new shotshell. One of the tests was to shoot mallards that flew from a bluff to a pond below. Shooting stations were set up from 30 to 60 yards. As we progressed farther from the line of flight, someone remarked, "It sure is harder to hit a duck at this range than to kill it." Truer words were never spoken!


A few years back I was hunting with Bobby Joe Stansel at his Hackberry Rod & Gun Club in far southwestern Louisiana. A large V of snows and blues came towards us very high. I was shooting a now-discontinued steel/tungsten shell with a pellet density of 12.0 gr/cm³, and Bobby said, "Let's try 'em." I put what I thought was a long lead on the first bird, shot, and the third bird in line dropped out dead.

All to say, if you're going to have the great fun of hunting snows, practice long shots! A sporting clay range ought to give you what you need, but a buddy with an old-fashioned hand clay thrower can make your life miserable for an afternoon. Shooting instructor Gil Ash says, "We have a mental safe zone for lead, and getting out of it takes practice." The same lead on a 25-yard mallard in timber ain't what you'll need with a screaming mob of snows trying to get away. Just like any tool, we need to learn how to use it, but with ammo like Hevi-X we have the edge.

Keep safe, take a kid hunting and enjoy!


Recommended for You

Ready to grill up some delicious, juicy waterfowl burgers? This Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe is made with ground duck breast fillets and a kick of horseradish. Recipes

Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe

Scott Leysath

Ready to grill up some delicious, juicy waterfowl burgers? This Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe...

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres. Industry

Ducks Unlimited: A Duck Man's Best Friend

David Hart

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres.

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts. Hunting Tactics

Take Advantage of the Specklebelly Surge

John Gordon

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

This video is a classic! Take a front row seat with Carson as he hunted back in college. The clips are all either filmed with a GoPro or cell phone!

Women

Women's Waterfowl Lineup

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the company's full line-up of women's waterfowl hunting gear for 2019. From warm and moisture-wicking base layers to water and windproof outer layers, this is a complete system for women who love to chase fall and wintertime ducks and geese across the four flyways!

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Craig Boddington and Eric Poole take a look at the new modern Franchi Affinity shotgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads Ammo

11 Best New Shotshell Loads For Waterfowl

Wildfowl Online Staff - August 17, 2017

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads

Let's face it, that old mud motor from two years ago isn't cuttin' it any longer.

Of course, it Boats

8 Best Mud Motors for 2016

David Hart - May 26, 2016

Let's face it, that old mud motor from two years ago isn't cuttin' it any longer. Of course,...

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter from How-To

Building a Duck Boat Blind on a Budget

Mike Marsh - May 10, 2016

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter...

See More Stories

More Ammo

In the past 30 years, waterfowler's guns and ammunition have changed drastically for the better. Ammo

Winchester Blind Side High Velocity Review

John Taylor - January 27, 2015

In the past 30 years, waterfowler's guns and ammunition have changed drastically for the...

Old-time hunters will recall Browning was briefly in the ammunition business during the late 1970s. Ammo

Browning BXD Waterfowl Shotshell Review

John Taylor - March 30, 2016

Old-time hunters will recall Browning was briefly in the ammunition business during the late...

We put this Remington reinvention to the test, along with their returning Peters ammo. Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 Waterfowl Pro & Peters Premier Blue High Velocity Steel Shot

John M. Taylor - October 04, 2019

We put this Remington reinvention to the test, along with their returning Peters ammo.

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×