“CLASSIC DOUBLES” from Hevi-Shot
There has been a gap in shotgun shooting sports for a long, long while. Rightly or wrongly, in most cases quite wrongly, lead shot has been removed as legal ammo not only for waterfowl, but for upland game species as well. When steel shot first appeared, ammo makers and shotgun manufacturers prattled on how just shooting a couple of shot sizes bigger gave similar performance without crippling and wounding losses to game. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Though steel is found on no chart of periodic elements and can mean just about anything one wishes it to mean (no one with even a very basic familiarity of “steel” would say that SAE 1010 and 416 SS are similar products), they were forced to sell it and we bought it. At the time steel shot was introduced, little was known about pattern quality, lethality, or how chokes were affected. The dismal performance of Challenger steel ammo on snow geese proved it to me first hand. Steel shot is bad stuff to hunt with.
It also has the ancillary, unfortunate affect of removing some otherwise fabulous scatterguns from the duck blind; Winchester Model 12’s, my beloved Browning Belgian A-5’s and almost all fine double guns. It also eliminated 16 and 20 gauge shotguns from waterfowl hunting, where they once did so well.
Well, the times they are a ‘changing. Hevi-Shot has announced, introduced and started to ship “HEVI-SHOT Classic Doubles” shotshells in 12 and 20 gauge, with 16 gauge, 28 gauge and .410 shells to follow in the near future. It couldn’t come at a better time, as the erratically available bismuth loads, also acceptable for use in these guns, have reportedly ceased to exist.
Hevi-Shot comes in several different flavors. The respective pellet counts are as follows:
B - 115 pellets / oz.
B - 68 pellets / oz.
B - 55 pellets / oz.
#4 - 115 pellets / oz.
Hevi-Shot Classic Doubles appears to be very close (in terms of density and resultant pellet count) to Hevi-Shot Duck. The engineers at Hevi-Shot have reported that the Classic Double Shot is approximately 9.7 to 9.8 grams per cc in weight, with the pre-existing Hevi-Shot Duck at a published 9.7 grams / cc. I’d expect pellet counts per ounce to be comparable.
The 12 gauge and 20 gauge loads have already been announced. Both gauges will be available in shot sizes from #4 through #6, the 12 gauge initially with 1-1/8 oz. and 1-1/4 oz. payloads, the 20 gauge with 7/8 oz. and 1 oz. payloads.
The salient difference here is that the Classic Doubles shot is billed as completely safe to use in fixed choke guns, so that A-5’s, Model 12’s and those classic doubles are ready to go back to doing exactly what they were designed for: plucking dinner out of the sky.
Ad-brags are one thing, pattern performance and wounding ballistics can be quite another. Armed with Trulock chocks and a couple of dozen of my favorite shotguns, the over 600,000 monthly readers of Guns and Shooting Online will soon have comprehensive tests of Classic Doubles loads on the patterning board and through game, along with full analysis of the Hevi-Shot line, the latest Olin-Winchester loads, the latest Federal loads, comparisons with the best Fiocchi loads and a round up aspiring to separate the wheat from the chaff.
It looks to be another very busy year here at Guns and Shooting Online and I’m looking forward to it.
Copyright 2007 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.