Best Hunting Shotgun Ammo Challenge!

Best Hunting Shotgun Ammo Challenge!

This is a discussion on Best Hunting Shotgun Ammo Challenge! within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What do you think is the best shotgun ammo for hunting big game? One of our viewers went out of his way to donate some ...

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Thread: Best Hunting Shotgun Ammo Challenge!

  1. #1
    Member Array usmc9688's Avatar
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    Smile Best Hunting Shotgun Ammo Challenge!

    What do you think is the best shotgun ammo for hunting big game?

    One of our viewers went out of his way to donate some ammo for testing. I had high expectations going into the test, but this particular hunting load performed way better than I expected. So Defensive Carry users I want to know, what do you think is the most effective 12 gauge hunting load for big game? After seeing the results of this test I would like to try out a few more, so let's see if I can get my hands on some and test your favorites!






    Onto the test

    The ammo we tested was the Hexolit 32. The Hexolit 32 is one of the shells from the DDupleks series of hunting loads. Unlike your standard lead slug, the Hexolit 32 features a steel design and has been engineered to fragment upon impact. There are six steel petals on the nose of the round, which resembles a hollow point handgun cartridge, that expand and fragment throughout the target. Once they separate, the petals create a "cone of destruction" expanding the permanent cavity to maximize energy transfer and blood loss.

    The testing Setup

    We fired the Hexolit 32 out of a Remington 870. We fired the shell into a synthetic ballistic gelatin from clearballistics.com. The block was calibrated to meet FBI specifications, and we monitored the projectile's velocity with an F1 Chrony chronograph.

    Results

    The results were quite interesting. The DDupleks Hexolit 32 Hunting Shotgun Load left the barrel of the Remington 870 at 1376 feet per second. This high velocity made the temporary stretch cavity roughly 9-10 inches. At the 1 inch mark the DDupleks Hexolit 32 began its expansion. By the 2 inch mark the six petals had all separated from the main slug. At the 2 inch mark the permanent cavity was roughly 4 inches in diameter. From there on the petals continued along their own paths in a conical fashion.

    The high speed revealed that all but one petal exited the block. All petals retained their shape, and spun inside the block creating cavities that ranged from 0.25 inches to 1 inch. By the 10 inch mark the petals had stopped inside of the gelatin, either due to exiting the block or lack of energy, while the steel base slug continued on. At the 15 1/2 inch mark the wadding was found lodged inside of the block. This has been our farthest penetrating wadding to date. The rest of the slug continued out of the back of the 16 inch block creating a sizable 0.5-1 inch cavity as it went.

    Overall the DDupleks Hexolit 32 performed just as advertised. Any soft body target would have faced immense power as they were stuck by the Hexolit 32, and survival would seem unlikely. The steel petals proved large enough to increase the damage considerably, and would have increased blood loss tremendously. The petals' steel construction also ensures that your meat will not be contaminated by lead particles. The main steel slug punched a clean hole through the target which would have ensured maximum tissue damage. I would not only recommend this ammunition for hunting, but also for self defense use.
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  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    Its been quite a few years since I used a shotgun w/ slugs for big game. When I did use slugs they were 2 3/4" Remingtons and they did the job if I did my part. Ironically those were the same slugs we used in the 870's when I was a rookie officer. We later switched to 2 3/4" Federal low recoil slugs. Both worked well for their intended purposes. Good luck!
    usmc9688 likes this.
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    Member Array Blaze 57's Avatar
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    I wonder why one would want "giant" wound cavities in their game that these loads produce? Is that a good thing?

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    Distinguished Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaze 57 View Post
    I wonder why one would want "giant" wound cavities in their game that these loads produce? Is that a good thing?
    Unfortunately there are jurisdictions that require shotguns w/ slugs for big game hunting.
    Retired Police Lieutenant, Retired USAF Reserve, Glock Armorer, NC CWP, HR-218 Qualified
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Member Array JaegerOne's Avatar
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    You can't go wrong using Brenneke slugs.

  7. #7
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5lima30ret View Post
    Unfortunately there are jurisdictions that require shotguns w/ slugs for big game hunting.
    Hunting deer with shotguns and slugs isn't as big a disadvantge as you may think. As a matter of fact it is better than hunting them with a rifle when you know your ranges will be 100 yards and in IMHO. I actually prefer to use my shotgun with slugs as I hunt in dense brush and forrested areas where you would be mighty hard pressed to get a unobstructed shot past 50 yards. It has been my experience that when you place a 20GA or a 12GA slug in the pump works of a deer they drop on the spot, or make it only about 30 yards. I've never had a deer react in the same way when I shot them with a rifle. In the thick wooded and swampy areas that I hunt I can't afford to be tracking a deer to far especially in the swampy areas. My 20GA which replaced my Marlin .44 mag worked much better on deer than the .44 mag ever did, and ammo is much more plentiful.

    My preference for slugs is the Brenneke K.O. design. They tend to expand a little more than the other Brenneke products as that is what they were designed to do. Unlike Foster slugs they hold together and get a little deeper penetration but not as deep as they're other products. Lately the K.O. slugs have been hard to locate so last year I used the regular Winchester and Rem foster slug in 12 and 20 gauge and they worked just fine. When deeper penetration is desired or one might need camp protection from large dangerous game there is always these
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    Member Array Mark_in_wi's Avatar
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    Winchester Partition Gold.

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    Member Array Linejudgemick's Avatar
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    Shotgun projectiles, just like handgun and rifle rounds rely mostly on placement to be effective. I wouldn't suggest there isn't any difference in their design with all other things being equal. However, testing ammunition in a particular firearm, media, range along with so many more varibles and then making broad generalizations could lead to misconceptions. These tests are fun and informative as long as their results are considered in the correct context. For me I'd want to know how accurate and funtional they'd be out of my shotgun at the distances I intend to use them as my first consideration. After that, then I care about their effectiveness, but that also includes as little meat destruction possible, while still working well enough to be ethical in my hunting rounds. Most of my large game hunting happens at longer distances so I use a rifle, but know a shotgun is a viable tool when used right.

  10. #10
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linejudgemick View Post
    Shotgun projectiles, just like handgun and rifle rounds rely mostly on placement to be effective. I wouldn't suggest there isn't any difference in their design with all other things being equal. However, testing ammunition in a particular firearm, media, range along with so many more varibles and then making broad generalizations could lead to misconceptions. These tests are fun and informative as long as their results are considered in the correct context. For me I'd want to know how accurate and funtional they'd be out of my shotgun at the distances I intend to use them as my first consideration. After that, then I care about their effectiveness, but that also includes as little meat destruction possible, while still working well enough to be ethical in my hunting rounds. Most of my large game hunting happens at longer distances so I use a rifle, but know a shotgun is a viable tool when used right.
    Ultimately yes whether it is a shotgun slug or a bullet from a handgun or rifle placement is everthing. However no deer that I harvested with a rifle ever went down as quickly as those I've taken with a shotgun slug. When it comes to testing firearm projectiles the only recognized national standard that I'm aware of short of shooting living beings is 10% gelitan. No it's not meant to be the difinitve answer it's used to judge the merits of a projectile from a terminal performance standpoint. The test was done only to be informative , I don't recall anyone making any generalizations in they're replies. All hunters should pick the ammo that is going to be most accurate and effective in they're firearm of choice within reason. These tests aren't meant to test for accuracy, that will be up to the individual user to find out since no two firearms will perform the same with the same ammo. The other consideration is picking a projectile that will be up to the task and not fragment before reaching the vitals.

    When it comes to shotgun slugs and hunting foster slugs are always my last choice as I hunt black bear too and foster slugs can break apart or come up short in the penetration department. In fact the slug from my 20 gauge completely disintegrated after it shredded the heart and lower lungs of my doe last season. The slug from my 12GA never didn't even exit the neck of the buck I shot and that was only a 30 yard shot. I know from experience that a Brenneke would have made two holes in both scenerios. The 20GA slug however still made it to the vitals and the deer succummed to the shot much quicker than any I shot with a rifle. That example is why I will always choose Brenneke slugs over foster style slugs. The brenneke slugs will not come apart unless you are shooting at a cement wall or some such, but not against soft tissue for sure. There are plenty of brenneke designs to choose from if one example don't fare well from a particualr gun. Here is another video which demonstrates the weakness of typical foster slugs.




  11. #11
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    Here is another Brenneke test.

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