Tungsten Turkey Ammo: Is It Value It?

Tungsten turkey ammo provides dramatic benefits over lead ammo. However, is it definitely worth the important price?

It’s midday in Nebraska and I’m watching a meadow the place two hen turkeys and a jake have been feeding all morning. It’s raining laborious. The turkeys are actually hunkered underneath a tree and look deflated like moist canine. However then the rain stops abruptly, and inside minutes, gobbles increase throughout the valley.

Quickly, a pleasant tom stands at full show 50 yards from my blind. The hen he’s been pushing is simply 20 yards in entrance of me and appears to see one thing she doesn’t like, most likely me. As she begins to nervously retreat, I do know it’s now or by no means.

I squeeze off a shot and the tom flops over, dashes 15 ft, and falls over lifeless. I run from the blind and seize my chook, excited for a little bit “Springsgiving,” as my crew likes to name our springtime turkey feasts.

In case you turkey hunt, you may have most likely been on this scenario, or one just like it. My shot at 50+ yards was positively on the lengthy finish of an inexpensive shot at a turkey. However due to fashionable ammunition like Tungsten Tremendous Shot (TSS), it was nonetheless within the vary of accountable, moral taking pictures.

So, right here’s my conundrum: A field of 5 Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS Turkey Shotshells prices $66. Ouch! Is that additional vary of about 20 yards in contrast with lead ammo definitely worth the important additional price?

Effectively, let’s break it down.

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Tungsten vs. Lead Shotgun Shells: It’s All within the Numbers

With regards to tungsten, the benefit is in its density. Tungsten Tremendous Shot pellets weigh 18g/cc versus 11.3g/cc for lead. What that finally means is that you should utilize a lot smaller pellets and anticipate the identical influence power downrange as you’ll from lead pellets.

For instance, utilizing TSS 9 shot carries the identical weight and influence power as 5 shot, which is traditionally an ordinary turkey load. And seven shot carries the identical power as 3 shot in lead ammo.

That may be a large distinction in shell payload.

The patterning board doesn’t lie. At left, an extremely dense sample of Federal TSS 9s shot via a TSS Jellyhead choke versus an ordinary 3.5″ lead quantity 5 shell shot via a inventory full choke, each at 30 yards; (picture/Sean McCoy)

Since you use vastly smaller pellets, you cram a complete lot extra right into a shell and thus get a a lot, a lot denser sample. All that is borne out via intensive testing and isn’t actually new info, as TSS has been in use for a while. With this a lot denser sample at longer ranges, it implies that pictures round 60 yards and past could be persistently deadly. You do have to sample your shotgun to find out the utmost vary, however it’s nearly actually longer with the denser sample of TSS ammo and chokes.

However for me, the massive query: Is it value it?

Do Additional Yards Matter?

tungsten turkey shot
(Photograph/Sean McCoy)

Within the hunt talked about above, I took my turkey at greater than 50 yards. I’d been looking for 4 days already in the course of the season and had not but gotten even near a shot.

Throughout that point, I’d taken two lengthy drives, one from Denver to a spot in Colorado about 5 hours away. The second, I’d pushed from Denver to rural Nebraska, about 6 hours. I’d then spent 4 nights in tents (and would spend 2 extra nights earlier than the tip of the turkey season).

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I’d bought batteries, meals, ice, and beer, amongst different expendables. Plus, I had camo clothes, boots, underwear, socks, a backpack, knives, coolers, and different tools.

The funding to get out within the discipline throughout spring was important.

The Verdict: Sure

To me, from right here ahead, the reply is a convincing sure. On this case, it was the distinction between a stuffed tag and the one which bought away.

However, I can see loads of individuals saying no. I’m certain there are many people who take their yearly turkey off their very own land, or a fast stroll to public house, and don’t have lots of bills main as much as the shot.

At $16 a shot, the price of tungsten ammo is a heavy hit for certain. And lead has labored simply positive out to 30-ish yards for 100 years. It nonetheless does the whole lot it all the time does, and it’ll serve those that hold their pictures shut simply positive.

However, for these of us who need to make an enormous dedication of money and time to chase these spring gobblers, an additional 20 yards could be the distinction between success and failure. And when a lot effort goes into the hunt, I’ll be stacking the percentages in my favor any further.