Happy days -The Curmudgeon was overjoyed to share a wonderful hunting experience with his son and grandson! This was the first field experience for the grandson after gaining his firearms certificate.
The Pheasants were located in a non-toxic shot setting. Grandson utilized a Bismuth shot load #161012-9073 (A previous 20 GA. LOWeeK), his dad another load and Curmudgeon utilized the loads listed here. Every flushed bird was taken and everyone scored.
Click here to see the loads the Curmudgeon developed for Bismuth Pheasant Loads.
High-performance field loads designed for upland game
These speedy loads are comfortable to shoot and are field-lethal. To be effective, the shooter does not require the cloud-of-shot load in order to take a pheasant, Hun, pigeon, dove (et al). Remember that only five striking pellets of substantial energy are more than enough to take these birds.
Note: The #7 nickel-plated lead pellet has greater striking power than most shooters realize and is not used often enough for upland hunting. The smaller pellet choice also allows the use of a 1/8” felt wad (#1221820) under the shot, which serves many functions – including reducing setback, reducing felt recoil, easing pellet deformation, and simply creating an ideal shot level for the final crimp.
Click here to see the loads developed by the Curmudgeon.
Sporting clays and various upland shots often challenge the shooter with short-range and reactive types of shots. Think of the many times when targets present themselves in close range and you handicapped with a tight-patterning loads. Spreader loads solve this problem and arm the shooter with a distinct ammunition advantage.
The ScatterMaster™ wad is one of a number of spreader wads and spreader load devices offered by BPI.
The Curmudgeon recently participated in a sporting clays competition in which he ran two stations in a row utilizing the 12-ga. ScatterMaster wad. All 16 standard-size clays were presented in pairs. Because of his ammunition selection and some nifty shooting, the Curmudgeon made it easy with four doubles at each station. Fifteen ScatterMaster loads were fired as two clays were reduced to dust with merely one load. The Curmudgeon used load #9380 (see below). Some may think the Curmudgeon was lucky, but he prefers to attribute his success to reloading skills and proper ammunition selection. Similarly, the Curmudgeon mopped up on a 20-yard station known as Rabbit-Run, which was also navigated without a miss, thanks to the ScatterMaster. Also, high overhead mini targets were demolished by the ScatterMaster.
Shot selection: The clays loads contained #9 lead shot, but for field shooting the Curmudgeon has used pellets sizes #6, #7, #7.5, & #8 lead shot.
Uses: Consider using this wad for grouse, quail, Hungarian partridge, chukar, early-morning dove and lazy/quick-flushing pheasants.
Stay on target,
Click here to see the lab-tested load recipes the Curmudgeon has created for the ScatterMaster wad.
“Field perfect shot shell loads” are achieved when the loader gains knowledge of the craft. Read diligently and apply your field experience to gain a match with the “perfect load” for your shotgun, weather conditions and the fleeting target. Not altogether difficult. But something that requires some skills, thinking and planning.
C is frequently asked to describe a “perfect load” when he does not know a hoot about someone’s local weather conditions, game habits of the area or the shooting abilities or expectations of the questioner. While C has fired many shots in most states and many provinces… his experience may not cover all lands, waterscapes and shotguns. Two fields or lakes away from where you are hunting may attract different species or produce dissimilar game reactions. This is when your judgments (and craftiness) come into focus. C may be able to describe some excellent loads – but for this day, morning or afternoon, with always changing weather, plus slightly different geography – game reactions – may change “perfect” load choice.
When the harmony of shotgun, weather, geography, loads and game come together – YOU KNOW IT! Perfect alignment is sweet! The largest easily solvable portion of this group is the SHOTGUN LOAD. In most situations – the load could be and should be right on! Why not? You have the information, A “perfect” load likely exists – and it is up to you to learn of it – and apply it. And by golly, you certainly feel good when your load choice is on the mark. C points out that the “ADVANTAGES” load manual published by Ballistic Products contains some 6,000 loads – and hundreds more being added in every new addition. Find your load fit! CURMUDGEON
Click here to see the latest Load of the Week from the Curmudgeon as well as past archived Load of the Week entries.
Curmudgeon was pleased to read a kind review of Ballistic Products’ high-velocity, light-weight duck loads. As you may know, it’s Autumn right now in the southern hemisphere, which mean it is duck season in Australia. The Curmudgeon has created loads that, according to our friends Down Under, “shoot like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”
The Aussie hunters are overjoyed with the success of these loads. Says one Aussie shooter, “Our duck opening was fantastic and the ITX-10 worked brilliantly once we shook off the cobwebs and got our eyes on the target. The 7/8 oz. 12-ga. loads were effective on fast moving ducks. At 50 yards we switched to 1 oz. loads and they proved devastating on small and large ducks out to 60 plus yards. Our bag here is ten ducks per day and we shot our bag on two consecutive days all using fast ITX-10 loads. All birds fell dead with no crippled ducks to swat on the water. Thanks for a great product!”
Stawell, Victoria, Australia
Come checkout some the Curmudgeons Load of the Week entries.
The 12GA 3.50” hull creates (FOR RELOADERS) splendid opportunities to create dazzling specialized hunting loads!
For some shooters (certainly not knowledgeable reloaders) larger shot loads translates into superior shot shells. Of course, BP’s wise customers already know that BETTER shot shells are designed to match particular game, weather conditions, and geography.
C receives some requests that lack any descriptive criteria. The what, when and where a load will be used IS important. Duck or Goose is not sufficient! Note: Sea Duck hunting is incredibly different than popping Green Wing over a warm water slough. Our many friends in other countries hunt some unusual game and often under unusual circumstances. C describes some of these unusual loads in LOTWeek.
The reloader may note that many of the loads C prefers are lighter in weight and carry more velocity! C has found over the years that many difficult shots become much easier when the pellet time-to-target ratio is reduced. Reminding C of the advice… “float like a butterfly – and sting like a bee.” Filling the sky with shot is not to your advantage. Getting shot on the bird IS to your advantage. Remember, more than six pellets in a bird may render it difficult to eat.
Check out some of the Curmudgeon’s favorite 12ga 3-1/2″ Special loads at the Load of the Week archives.
C expends a great deal of development time in creating new and outstanding shotgun loads. Loads that cannot be purchased. They must be put together by YOU (sometimes slowly and carefully) by hand. C has special characterization for top notch performing loads. He refers to them as an INVINCIBLE! These loads are first created in THE CURMUDGEON’S mind. Then samples are processed through the lab then field tested by C or a trusted lieutenant.
An INVINCIBLE load is focused on some particular TARGET with consideration for time, place and variable conditions. With the TARGET identified, then all surrounding conditions are included. Geography, time of the year, temperature, weather… all surrounding the particular situation which the INVINCIBLE load is focused and designed to surmount and conquer. INVINCIBLE loads are not for all shooters. Nor at this time is there a matching INVINCIBLE load for every target and/or condition. It sometimes takes months and often years to proof a load into the INVINCIBLE category. The effort is a slow progression of time, patience and multiple experiences – then THE CURMUDGEON is pleased to share the findings with you.
Click here to take a look at some of the Curmudgeons favorite load recipes.