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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
While I was not able to participate in the Grand this year, I was able to get a sampling of the cartridges offered at the shell house again, and test the hardness of the shot.

As with last year, no major surprises, except I am disappointed at the STS.

Interesting, the Federal Top Gun box I got had the maroon, white, and blue shells...mostly maroon. But it is interesting to note it appears these shells came off different production lines since the shot count is way different. I cut apart an extra few since the numbers seemed odd. As low as 375 pellets and as high as 450.

Oh, and the Winchester AA Diamond Grade is a HUGE waste of money. No better than the AA Super Handicap shells.

For the good of the sport!
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Perazzi MX2000 31.5/34 combo with a prosoft
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I would venture challenger is moving into “garbage” territory.

Not as bad as that stuff you tested a little while back. So maybe “extra soft” ? “Usable garbage” ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would venture challenger is moving into “garbage” territory.

Not as bad as that stuff you tested a little while back. So maybe “extra soft” ? “Usable garbage” ?
I still wager they'd break singles targets just fine. I'd be inclined to use a full choke though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Interesting information thank you!
Since it appears you are new to the forum (welcome, by the way) there is a pretty well established correlation between pattern efficiency and pellet hardness.

Cartridges with harder pellets tend to pattern tighter than cartridges with soft pellets.

Most important for handicap.
 

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Thanks for that! If those Challengers hold true hardness [softness] wise throughout, they might prove good tournament ammo in 9's for skeet or in another size for the first shot in trap doubles, for those playing head games. Just saying. And you'd still have to do some testing, empirical or grease plate wise; most folks being incapable of the analysis you & Neil undertake & publish. Its always interesting, reading of the results you gentlemen have found w/various ammunition available at the time, choke constrictions being reasonably predictable in their behavior, regardless of the exact 'other' spec's, &c. Also much appreciated the work/tests on 8-petal [Windjammers & knockoffs] vs. 4-petal wads. FWIW, they also produce lower tested chamber pressures in 20 ga. making them very attractive to some skeet 'tube' shooters.

Anyway, appreciate that your continued curiosity ain't killed that cat yet, but it has done some nice de-bunking for those that wish to review the findings.. and their neutrality is consistently refreshing. Do have to admit a few of Neil's responses caused me a good grin, at the time, when some knucklehead got affronted. Some folks would rather avoid being confused w/facts;-)
 

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Thanks for doing this looking over the results it seems strange the nitros and STS have different hardness levels. Is it known they use different shot for the different shells?

I was told by another trap shooter that the sts shells had a higher antimony than the doubleAs.
 

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Thank you Tim for all you do! I’ve been using the Estate Super sport Competition shells for a long time now. The 1145 FPS 8 shot. Killing the targets from the 16 and doing very good from the 20 yard line in caps for me. I noted that they had the highest pellet count 489. Unbelievable. I’ve always said more lead down range = more breaks. Keep up the good work Tim and thanks again.
 

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Thank you, Tim.
I'm surprised by Top Gun shot count variability - the loading machines are seriously malfunctioning. I would have thought that quality control would catch that. Their shot hardness is surprisingly high.
I am also surprised by STS - medium hard shot is not good enough for their premium price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just keep in mind that all of this is subject to manufacturing tolerance. The fact that the STS shot from this batch isn't what we'd expect for a premium shell doesn't mean the next batch won't. Neil found a batch a while back of AA's that had less than spectacular shot hardness, so it happens to all the manufacturers.
 

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Just keep in mind that all of this is subject to manufacturing tolerance. The fact that the STS shot from this batch isn't what we'd expect for a premium shell doesn't mean the next batch won't. Neil found a batch a while back of AA's that had less than spectacular shot hardness, so it happens to all the manufacturers.
I know what you, and Neil have said to be very true Tim, but I also know that I have been having consistently great results from those Estates. My Beretta seems to love them. They hit hard even using my improved modified choke, from the 20 yard line. Several months back I won a shoot off, from the 20 yard line, with those Estates. Shooting 25 straight.
 

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Thanks. Even better info for the Sporting shooters as well. Aguila is my practice ammo and I use the Nitro handicaps and the AA SH for registered, am not finding any reason I couldn't use the Aguilas for registered as well, just have been careful so far, it's a confidence building thing, but they have performed well so far thru about 14 flats.
 

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Thanks. Even better info for the Sporting shooters as well. Aguila is my practice ammo and I use the Nitro handicaps and the AA SH for registered, am not finding any reason I couldn't use the Aguilas for registered as well, just have been careful so far, it's a confidence building thing, but they have performed well so far thru about 14 flats.
A friend had Jim Eyster look at Aguila. Aguila was very close to but not quite AA performance. The drop-off is likely to be minimal, so minimal as to be unnoticed for sporting presentations.
 
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