Hevi-Shot Fires Back!

I just read your blog entitled, “The No Tox Shotshell Problem”.  I would like to comment in two capacities, first as a hunter and second as the lead customer service and Hunter Service Specialist as well as Pro Staff Director for Hevi Shot.
First, I find some of your information informative, but your non tox blog was severely undermined by your lack of accurate details, and frankly lack of information, period.  As I mentioned, I am a fanatical wing shooter and hunter.  Goose hunting is my passion and I often hunt 3-5 days a week during our waterfowl season.  I notice your blog attempts to use a very common ballistic calculator to sell you view on non toxic shot shells, but again you leave out vital information important to any serious wing shooter…PERFORMANCE being the most important.  I have been successfully using Hevi Shot  for some time now and its performance is unmatched in the industry today.  That is without question.  There are thousands of satisfied customers in North America that will attest to its UNMATCHED bird “thumping” power.

I notice you mention “not so heavy Hevi Shot”…First of all ‘heavy’ is an incorrect term, as the important factor is Density which is calculated as Mass (g) divided by volume (cc).  This provides you with true density.  I can tell you with 100% certainty that both Hevi Shot Duck AND Hevi Shot Goose are made from identical pellets, both being 12 g/cc…that is ~1.2 g/cc MORE DENSE than most lead.  For about 18 months during the mid-2000’s, Hevi Shot experimented with differentiating duck loads by density and pellet count with good field success.  Our consumers, however, made it clear they preferred the 12g/cc pellets and Hevi Shot Duck and Goose pellets been 12g/cc since 2008.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to kill several different duck and goose species/subspecies using Hevi Shot and nothing I have shot has come close to the killing power of Hevi Shot whether at close ranges OR extreme.  In my opinion, and that of many others, Hevi Shot is the solution to using non lead shot.  Now, in order for you to see these advantages you must first shoot Hevi Shot, something I would guess you have not done after reading  your blog.  There are many other factors that determine success in shooting Hevi Shot or any type of ammo.  Our shells are engineered to provided some of the best patterns in shot shells today.  This accurately partnered with a good choke system stacks the odds in your favor when birds are on the wing.  You must still be an accurate shot and hit birds in order to be successful. Hevi Shot is not a miracle shell that simply requires you to point at the sky and have birds rain down…a point missed by many nay sayers of Hevi Shot.  Hevi Shot Hevi 13 Turkey loads have won consecutive championships at the NWTF Turkey shoot and has held the World record for patterning for some 10 years running. Point in Fact is that Hevi Shot is perhaps the greatest innovation to wing shooting since the development of the cartridge roughly 200 years ago.
I would also like to point out that the introduction of the new Hevi Metal loads challenges your argument of price point.  These shells compete directly with the so called “premium” steel loads by those other shotshell manufacturers.  Hevi Metal is a highly engineered ‘blended’ load which combines both steel AND Hevi Shot pellets.  It combines two alloys, Hevi Shot (tungsten, nickel, iron) and steel.  It also blends shot sizes.  This is engineered to accurately match the ballistic characteristics of the larger steel and smaller Hevi Shot pellets while having the added benefit of having 20% more pellets in the shell and on target than a standard steel shell.  This shell produces phenomenal pattern density out to 40 yrds and the addition of the dense Hevi Shot pellets add serious lethality and bird thumping power.

In conclusion, I would ask that you honestly evaluate Hevi Shot while focusing on performance and the end result which is MORE DEAD BIRDS…MORE CLEAN KILLS…LESS SHELLS SHOT.
Thank you for your support and business!
 Sean Litrakis
Customer Service
Pro Staff Director

Well, Sean, I can hardly blame you for having a bit of hysterically biased bluster; some of this is quite understandable coming from a person who is “Pro Staff Director," I suppose. As far as your complaint that “heavy” is an incorrect term, it is the Hevi-Shot product line itself that has shouted “heavier than lead” the longest and the loudest, though it takes very little rational thought to understand that a pound of lead, a pound of steel, a pound of feathers, and a pound of any of the versions of Hevi-Shot weigh about the same. The actual density of the shot material isn't at all obvious from marketing materials or looking at the box, to be sure. Hevi-Shot isn't alone in this regard.

"What Chokes are recommended for the various loads?
Since HEVI-SHOT® is "heavier than lead"®, it patterns very tightly. For the turkey loads a full choke is OK. This is because the loads are fully buffered. We have use from a 665 and up. For waterfowl we recommend an improved cylinder over decoys, and modified choke for pass shooting. You may find that you need less choke (or even no choke) with HEVI-SHOT®."

Above, as long published by Hevi-Shot on their FAQ's and a registered trademark of Hevi-Shot, "heavier than lead"®. . . Hevi-Shot now complains that "‘heavy’ is an incorrect term." Now, just where would anyone get the idea that Hevi-Shot is really "heavier than lead"®? Go figure.

As to Hevi-Shot Duck and Goose being the same, that doesn't fit well with data supplied by Hevi-Shot. Hevi-Shot Duck #4 was claimed to be 153 pellets per ounce as opposed to the 125 pellets per ounce of Hevi-Shot Goose. Lyman publishes 135 pellets per ounce for #4 lead. Based on the information supplied by Hevi-Shot directly, Hevi-Shot Duck is less dense than lead and Hevi-Shot Duck and Hevi-Shot Goose are not at all the same density.

If your interest is publishing density of your loads, no one could tell it by referring to your website, where actual density of any of your 12 gauge waterfowl loads is never mentioned. To buy into your theory that Hevi-Shot Duck and Hevi-Shot Goose are the same, one would have to ignore your own product descriptions. Hevi-Shot Duck load #43006 is 1-3/8 oz. of #6 at 1450 fps. Hevi-Shot Goose load #43106 is 1-3/8 oz. of #6 at 1350 fps. Is it the stance of Hevi-Shot to use less muzzle velocity on a goose than a duck with now theoretically identical density shot? What would anyone pay more money for a slower Hevi-Shot Goose load than for a faster Hevi-Shot Duck load with identical payloads? Your assertion that I've not used Hevi-Shot loads is completely wrong. Sean, you should read a lot more before you make wrong-headed assumptions.

As to your claim that your shells are engineered to provide great patterns, Sean, believe it or not most premium shotshells hopefully do give good patterns. Most everyone claims it and no one I know engineers shotshells to perform badly. As to your “Point in Fact is that Hevi Shot is perhaps the greatest innovation to wing shooting since the development of the cartridge roughly 200 years ago,” you really need to get a grip. I'd suggest that the development of the choke by Fred Kimble close to forty years later in 1868 is far more important to wing-shooting, as is the interchangeable screw-choke introduced in 1959 by Olin-Winchester. It may be a "point," but it is a very weak one and is as far from a fact as can exist. I'd suggest that the invention of smokeless powder in 1884 by Paul Vieille and the development of smokeless powder that followed means far more to the wingshooter than Hevi-Shot. I would also suggest that you consider that John M. Browning's contributions to wing-shooting, the world's first successful pump shotgun, the first autoloading shotgun, and the world's first successful vertical double shotgun just might exceed those you'd like to attribute to Hevi-Shot. Sean, while a little over-enthusiasm is to be expected, it doesn't make any sense to completely ignore the contributions of Fred Kimble, Paul Vieille, Olin-Winchester, and John M. Browning for the sake of your shotgun shells.

I'm all for truth in advertising when it comes to shot material density. If Hevi-Shot is doing anything in this regard, I've missed it. Federal Heavyweight shot is 15 g/cc, 25% more dense then Hevi-Shot Goose. It is hardly even-handed to claim that density is just important for one company, when Winchester HD and Federal Heavyweight both have greater density than lead. I appreciate a lecture about how to kill a bird just as much as anyone, even if it comes over forty-five years too late. If you don't know how to kill a turkey with Federal Heavyweight, a duck with Winchester HD, or a pheasant with Kent Tungsten-Matrix you really need to get more experience. Certainly “performance” is important, but just typing it in capital letters redundantly does not change physics, wounding ballistics, or my patterning board. The most common thing available with “UNMATCHED THUMPING POWER” is often just the delirious chest-thumping created by apparently intoxicated marketing departments.

I've never accused any ammunition manufacturer of getting things right 100% of the time, not Federal, not Fiocchi, not Kent, not Remington, not Winchester. So far, no one has let me down. If all manufacturers could be counted on to completely and accurately describe their products, warts and all, there wouldn't be any point of having gunwriters. Thanks to letters such as yours, I can take comfort knowing that I'll not be out of work anytime soon.

Since it was the “The No Tox Shotshell Problem” article that you are referring to, you seem to have misread it. There has not been an approved for waterfowl shot material on the market that is safe for older barrels, offers lead-like performance, is available in bulk for handloading, and can be handloaded using “for lead” shot charge bars, “for lead” wads, using both readily available propellants and components. A no-tox shot material that the hunting enthusiast can use with many of his favorite Green Dot, Herco, or Unique recipes and go duck hunting, goose hunting, or perhaps pheasant hunting where dictated by regulations. Hevi-Shot has never provided any solution to this problem and this is the problem that Nice Shot seeks to solve.

--Randy Wakeman


Copyright 2010 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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