Best Shells
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By Bull Dawg - 1/30/2011 8:15:46 PM
I am SURE that this question has been asked before but I am going to ask it again.  What is the best or the most liked/most reliable/dependable shell out there?  I have shot the drylocks, the Kent Faststeel, Black Clouds..........what are the thoughts of the site?????

I typically hunt over larger ponds, lakes, big water............

By Old Hunter - 1/31/2011 6:20:27 AM
Bull, I've been shooting the Winchester Drylok's since they came out (bought two cases of BB & #3) and I am still shooting them up.  My hunting partner tries all the new stuff - he had been shooting Federal Black Cloud for the past several years and was very pleased with their performance on waterfowl.  Over Thanksgiving he bought some of the Remington Hyper Velocity shells (BB & #4) to try; now he swears they are the best yet.  I can tell you one thing, we closed the season on Saturday and I was hunting near him in the water - he fired one of the Hyper Velocity shells about 15 yards away from me and the noise startled me - even hurt my ear from that far away.  I will put more distance between us next time.  A guy hunting 40 yards from us thought he had fired a bad shell due to the excessive noise.  He did reach out (approx 45 yards) and knock down a Teal with the #4, but I can't stand the extra noise myself for the gain.
By mizzoutigeraddict - 1/31/2011 5:09:53 PM
I swear by Black Cloud and Winchester Xpert Hi-Velocity. I won't shoot any other ammo. However I have never tried Hevi-shot and next season may be a trial run for that. I will say that I will NEVER shoot Remington Hyper-Sonic shells again. They ain't worth a crap!
By LilJoe - 1/31/2011 5:19:41 PM
yea ... xpert hi velocity with carlsons choke ... i save the shell money to use for GAS to go to the ducks lol
By jcsanders79 - 1/31/2011 7:18:53 PM
I've been using Kents and Rio's.  There is not a best shell for every gun.  Use a pattern board.
By arkansashogs18 - 2/2/2011 9:26:26 AM
jcsanders79 1/31/2011
I've been using Kents and Rio's. There is not a best shell for every gun. Use a pattern board.

Yep. Go pattern your gun. After a year of crappy shooting last year and switching all kinds of shells throughout the season, during the summer I went out and patterned my gun with some different loads. There was one shell (Federal Premium Waterfowl Load 3" #3s) that patterned much better than anything. I could tell a huge difference this season.
By blizzardhunter - 2/2/2011 7:57:02 PM
I've been shooting Black clouds for a while and really like them.  But this year it was hard to find them so I ended up trying the hevi metal shells.  I have never shot something that patterned this good.  Also when I bought the hevi shot choke to go with them they are whisper quiet compared to most shells.
By NJ217bands - 2/5/2011 11:42:45 AM
After I saw waterfowl downed with steel shot fly away and escape before the hunters could retrieve them, I stopped using steel shot. I never saw that happen with lead shot. Now I use Hevishot, Remington HD, Federal Heavyweight and Kent Tungsten Matrix.
By Bull Dawg - 2/5/2011 7:12:57 PM
Thanks for the input guys.........I hope that next season gets here sooner than later.  Felt odd this am not waking up to chase some feathers...............
By old timer - 2/10/2011 1:19:26 PM
Pattern your gun. It will tell you what it likes. I shoot 3 inch #3s. Whatever is on sale. While I have shot tungsten matrix and tungsten steel, I don't feel the added expense is worth it. Just get out ahead of em more and you will have more dead ducks on the water. Good luck
By Trent - 2/10/2011 3:55:57 PM
I think Federal makes the best shotgun shells. Their Black Clouds and new Hyper Sonics are unbelievable. But they are alittle pricey. I end up buying Kents they shot really good, have a nice pattern and the price is reasonable.
By mizzoutigeraddict - 2/10/2011 5:17:19 PM
Trent 2/10/2011
I think Federal makes the best shotgun shells. Their Black Clouds and new Hyper Sonics are unbelievable. But they are alittle pricey. I end up buying Kents they shot really good, have a nice pattern and the price is reasonable.

You do know Hyper Sonic is made by Remington right? I probably just misunderstood your post.

By Tinker Koch - 3/2/2011 9:55:30 PM
I would not use the New Remington Hypersonic shells. My buddy is wishing that he never heard of them. I cant remember the brand of shot gun he had, but it was a gun before he shot those shells. It is nothing but parts now. It is going to take spending over $600 in parts, and tools to get it working again.
By FoxRed62 - 3/3/2011 10:58:31 AM
I am still shooting up my dads r shells he always has the latest and greatest and I am left with what he doesn't use..... We have shot Experts, Kents, BlackCloud, and Hevi Metal. He will be patterning the new Winchester ammo as soon as he can get his hands on a box..... He likes Black Cloud more than Heavy Metal because it puts a more even pattern on paper..... We shall see what load he chooses for ducks and geese this year as I try to shoot up all the leftovers.... But before we started shooting 3-1/2 inch shells we used to only use 3" #3 experts and cleanly killed geese out to 40 yards....
By honkerhunter - 3/5/2011 8:10:26 AM
By jakeringbom - 4/25/2011 7:19:16 PM
Hevi metal with patternmaster choke tube...
By BDhunter - 11/9/2011 7:01:07 PM
i use cheap federal,and winchester expert.i hunt over decoys most of the time. have used federals for snows on hunting trips to missouri,and on the missisippi river for divers.sorry about the spelling lol.
By BDhunter - 11/9/2011 7:03:25 PM
my buddy uses the remington hyper sonic. i wouldnt waste the money first its loud scared my dog. he shot a duck just landing on water and i had to go finish it off.
By Kurt L - 11/10/2011 4:58:10 AM
This spring I went on a quest to find the best pattering 3" #2 Steel shell, I shot: Black Cloud, Federal Premium, Winchester Supreme, Remington Nitro Steel and Hevi-Metal. 1 1/4oz @ 1450fps Vs a couple of different 1 1/8oz loads @ 1550fps, I found that across the board the 1 1/4oz load patterned better than the faster 1 1/8oz loads. and of the brands of shells the best patterning loads were... Black Cloud and Rem. Nitro Steel #1, Federal Premium a very very close second, third place was Win. Supreme, fourth Kent fast steel and a distant Fifth Hevi-Metal.

But the shells I prefer after testing all of them side by side are

#1. Remington Nitro Steel, It has the best water seal and the highest pellet count (160)+ very high quality plated shot and wad, Patterned very good.

#2. Federal Premium HHV, Very high quality plated shot (150) and wad, patterns very good in both #2's & #3's.  

#3. Black Cloud, lowest shot count (145) very high quality components, patterned very good as long as not choked tighter than Lt. Mod.

#4. Winchester, poor quality shot ( very rough and some not round) 150 pellets, very good water seal Patterned even but open compared to the others. 

#5. Kent Fast steel, Soft wad lots of pin holing unplated shot and poor patterns, no water seal.

#6. Hevi-Metal, This was going to be my go to load until I patterned it. Shot quality was good the wad is very soft allowing shot to become stuck in the base of the wad and knocking holes in my patterning paper, very poor patterns and no water seal at all, I killed some birds with them but won't use the boxes I have left after seeing what they did on the patterning board.

I used a SBE II and a Wingmaster with Briley, Carlsons and Trulock chokes for my test. all done at 40 yards.

By River Rat - 11/10/2011 7:15:07 AM
Im sold on the winchester dryloks. I just got a couple cases from cabelas for this year. They were on sale for $109 a case. Ive shot them for years every once and awhile dumping my pocket on some black clouds or other expensive ammo. The outcome was I killed just as many birds with the dryloks as the other. My preference is 3" #2 1 1/4oz shot. Then keep a few 3 1/2" #BB in my waders for when the honkers come in. 
By JimAZ - 11/11/2011 11:25:53 PM
12 GA, 3" Federal Black Cloud #3 shot have proven to be outstanding in my Remington 11-87 for the type of small waterway shooting I do on decoying ducks and geese. I will be giving the new Winchester Blind Side in 3" 12 GA #2's a try tomorrow out of the same shotgun...we shall see.
By duckhunter99 - 1/15/2013 7:54:16 PM
I will never shoot blackcloud again. blackcloud doesn't shoot worth a crap. I shoot hevi-metal. it is the best shell in my opion
By duckhunter99 - 1/17/2013 5:53:19 PM
I hate BlackCloud. it will not kill ducks. I could see feathers falling off but the ducks kept on flying. I tried Hevi-Metal and I will not shoot anything else
By rebelcj7 - 9/10/2013 10:26:48 AM
Without a doubt I will say Hevi Metal.

While I won't put down Federal's load I will say as I believe mentioned before it is STEEL and only STEEL.  No matter what color, how fast and what shape you make it... steel is steel is steel and will always be steel.

With that said, Hevi Metal is my go to load, 3" BB's for just about everything so I don't have to worry what box for what hunt.  Yes it does have steel in it, which does help keep the price lower, but has REAL Hevi Shot pellets in this that truly make it hard hitting and the pattern density is amazing.

Hevi Metal ALL the way for me!