Kent TealSteel: The Real Deal

TealSteel Waterfowl Load

They're small birds that buzz the spinners tight, sometimes swinging wide and landing close (if you're lucky.) You need wide, even patterns of smaller shot for these little ducks.

A couple years back Kent introduced TealSteel, a 3-inch shell in 1¼ ounces in No. 5s and 6s with a muzzle velocity of 1,350 fps. With smaller steel shot, there is a much faster loss of downrange energy. But this isn't a big issue for teal as shots tend to be at close range.

I recall hunting years ago at the Hackberry Rod & Gun Club south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, when our group shot three or four teal after a big bunch came in feet down. Our farthest shot was 25 yards. At that range, there was sufficient pellet energy.


Assuming we need to hit a duck with at least six pounds of energy delivered by four pellets, each pellet's downrange energy needs to equal 1.5 pounds. No. 5 TealSteel hits the barrier at about 35 yards at 1.68 foot/lbs of energy, and 6s run out of steam at about 25 yards. The 5s drop below the 1.5 ft/lbs threshold at 40 yards with 1.41 ft/lbs, and 6s at 30 yards.


The authors dad and a couple buddies holding up a solid stringer of teals from the good ol' days.

But on a September trip to Texas with Terry Denmon and the Mojo guys, WILDFOWL staff crushed several blue-wings past 40 yards and many more in the decoys with TealSteel 5s, so it can dial long distance on occasion.

At the range, I shot both 5s and 6s through Trulock Skeet 1, Müller Decoy, and Patternmaster Classic chokes. The Trulock provided .0055 inches of constriction, the Müller .0065 and the Patternmaster .0195. I included the tighter PM to illustrate why more open chokes are valuable when shooting this particular load.

The Trulock 35-yard patterns proved to be quite even with 37 percent of the 304 (No. 5) pellets striking within the center 22-inch circle and 24 percent in the outer 30-inch.


Müller's choke with No. 5s at 35 yards, resulted in a 35 percent hit within the 22-inch center and 26 percent on the outer ring.

With No. 6 shot at 25 yards (nearing the end of its range), I started with the Trulock that threw a 53 percent average within the center 22-inch ring and 28 percent on the outer.

The Müller turned in a higher density with 72 percent of the 394 pellets in the center circle and 19 percent in the outer.


The Waterfowl lineup from Kent Cartridge includes 4 other great shooting loads; including the Bismuth Premium, Fasteel, Silversteel, and Tungsten Matrix.

Using the PM for comparison, I counted an average of 86 percent of the 6s in the inner circle and 12 percent in the outer.

Even though the pattern percentages were good for those ranges, all, save for the PM, had patches large enough for a teal to slip through, though less likely if you're shooting well.

However, for those of you who take pride in a Patternmaster being rusted into your barrel, note that virtually all the pattern was concentrated in the center portion, and anything hit with it would be teal burger! But many of us depend on the entire 30-inch circle of pattern.

Teal fly really fast and we need every bit of coverage to account for less-than-perfect marksmanship. Tight centers are necessary for turkey, but for blue and green rockets, we need all the help we can get.

I have a couple yellowed photos of my father with two buddies and a string of teal they shot around 1936 along the Ohio River. They are dressed like dandies, but more important are the teal they bagged. I can't hold up a string of teal like my dad's, but from testing TealSteel, it's well-designed for its purpose. The recoil is mild (on gas guns), and I'll have some in my bag whenever the teal fly.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Browning A5 Shotgun -

Browning A5 Shotgun - 'Gun Stories'

Gun Stories host Joe Mantegna talks about the origin and history of the Browning A5 shotgun.

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.

Arkansas Snow Geese

Arkansas Snow Geese

Wildfowl Editor Skip Knowles took this short video showing all the Snow Geese flying. Let's just say, he had a very good hunt!

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show! Shotguns

Best New Waterfowl Shotguns for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 23, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show!

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season. Shotguns

Best Waterfowl Shotguns of 2018

John Taylor - September 25, 2018

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season.

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

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana 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! Clothing & Waders

New SITKA Women's Waterfowl Lineup for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana company's full...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

Black Cloud shotshells from Federal have always been bird killers. But using them came with a few Ammo

Federal's New and Improved Black Cloud Shotshells

John Taylor - June 21, 2017

Black Cloud shotshells from Federal have always been bird killers. But using them came with a...

Little guns and fast loads seem to be the direction in advanced shotshell designs for 2013. Ammo

Hevi-Shot Speed Ball Review

L.P. Brezny - November 26, 2013

Little guns and fast loads seem to be the direction in advanced shotshell designs for 2013.

Bismuth loads, like Hevi-Hammer, are still growing in popularity and for good reason. Ammo

Non-Toxic Bismuth Loads on the Rise

John M. Taylor - January 28, 2020

Bismuth loads, like Hevi-Hammer, are still growing in popularity and for good reason.

Pressure, Payload and velocity. It's a delicate balancing act Remington has seemingly mastered with Ammo

Remington HyperSonic Review

John Taylor - December 15, 2014

Pressure, Payload and velocity. It's a delicate balancing act Remington has seemingly mastered...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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