12 gauge coyote loads...

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12 gauge coyote loads...

Postby DAA » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:51 pm

Hey All, noob here...

It's going to be a few months before I can do anything, so this is just bench racing, for me, for now.

But, sooner or later, I'm going to have to try some TSS loads on coyote. Maybe a brief introductory note is in order here - that's all I use a shotgun for, at this point, is coyote. Plan is to get a Benelli M2 within the next couple of months, then start in heavy with patterning and load testing. And at some point, seeing what can be done to push the envelope of coyote shotgunning using TSS.

Primary objective is Dead Right There performance, under a given set of conditions. A well centered pattern within a given distance equals a coyote that drops on the spot and doesn't get back up again.

My current go-to loads are (3" 12 gauge) 1-1/2 oz. of Hevi shot BB w/TEF choke and a 1-3/4 oz. load of nickel plated lead F w/Dead Coyote choke (870 Express). The HS BB is great for 45 yards and under, nicely sized dense pattern and "pretty good" penetration, but lacks a little punch for coyotes at 45+ and especially coyotes going away and offering their retreating hind end at 45+. The NP F definitely penetrates and breaks down those longer and going away coyote better, but at the expense of pattern size and ease of hits on closer shots. In a nutshell, the HS BB is easier to hit them with but the NP F kills better at the margins.

When I get to experimenting with TSS it will be with an eye towards improving performance over the above.

From a purely theoretical standpoint - not grounded in extensive actual experience - so please feel free to point out the errors in my thinking, but "what I'm thinking" is:

- Two separate applications (with overlap being major bonus)
- Increased lethality and one shot DRT ratio at "normal" range (under 50 yards) via increased pellet count and penetration
- Increased range (>50 yards) via pattern density and penetration, a bona fide 60 yard DRT performer would be a home run

The Holy Grail would be one load that covers both bases, with one choke. Wide enough at 30 yards to keep hits on runners in the brush easy, but with enough pattern density and penetration to be a bona-fide one shot killer at 50 yards and a bit further.

I'm not looking for the Holy Grail though... Be perfectly fine with two different loads and chokes. One for the tight cover and another for setups with longish shot potential.

So... This is just bench racing, at this point, rolling ideas around. But I'll be acting upon it within the next few months.

I'm thinking a 1-1/2 oz. load of TSS #4's ought to cover the increased lethality at normal range via larger pellet count. Cover it very nicely. About 124 pellets and KPY predicted gel penetration about equal to HS Dead Coyote (which has only 51 pellets in the 3" load). Sounds lovely and I can't wait to try some! Anyone care to hazard any input on which choke you'd suggest for that (for the soon to be M2)? I plan on ordering a few pounds of the #4's to play with for sure.

For extended range, without totally turning the shotgun int a rifle at closer range, I'm liking the looks of TSS #2 on paper. Indeed, according to KPY the pellet count of 1-1/2 oz. of #2's is 80, but with over 50% more 3.7" gel penetration than Dead Coyote (80 yds vs 126 yds). Enough pellet count to get a reasonable swarm of death for normal ranges, but big enough, round enough, hard and heavy enough shot that perhaps there is a chance for having a dozen pellets still consistently hitting a 10" circle at 50 yards without choking the crap out of it at shorter distance. Maybe go ahead and do choke the crap out of it and have a semblance of a pattern at 60 yards? That sounds like the ticket! But, if I'm reading the tea leaves here correctly, Hal doesn't stock #2's? Looks like it goes from #4's up to #1's?

The #1's, with only 67 pellets in a 1-1/2 oz payload (per KPY) don't look near as sexy on paper. The aren't gaining me anything needed or meaningful in penetration vs. the #2's (either will penetrate beyond any hope of maintaining a pattern), they are only costing me pellet count (vs #2's). But, if I can't get #2's, then... I'm perhaps looking at a heavier payload of #1's, for the sake of pellet count. It would take an extra expensive 1-3/4 oz. payload to almost equal the pellet count of a 1-1/2 oz payload of #2's.

So, anyway... Like I said, bench racing, thinking out loud, rolling ideas around. Hoping for someone to poke some holes, point out some new information, whatever - bring it.

A couple of questions for now though:

- Am I correct, it's #4's then #1's? Or, can I actually get #2 TSS? On paper (KPY) the #2's really do look like the sweet spot for heavy coyote.

- What's the basic universe of payloads for 12 gauge in this range? Mr. Hawglips? I'll be ordering my shot from you, when the time comes. What kind of data will I have to work with for 3" 12 gauge, 1-1/2 oz? Or, actually, I guess 1-1/2 oz loads of TSS might actually be 2-3/4? But, if I can't get #2's, and decide I'm willing to take the wallet and shoulder punishment of a 1-3/4 oz load for the #1's, do you have data for that?

- Choke suggestions for all the above?

Thanks! Half the fun of this stuff is working it out ahead of time :).


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Re: 12 gauge coyote loads...

Postby hawglips » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:42 pm


I think you can expect significantly better than bonafide 60 yd DRT range with the #4s. And with a modified choke or even full, your close coverage for moving targets is better than you would think.

I've got 12 gauge 2-3/4" or 3" data from 3/4 oz up to 2-1/4 oz and most all 1/8 oz increments in between. I actually developed some 1-1/2 oz and 1-3/4 oz data with coyotes in mind, as well as some 3-1/2" data for 2 oz going 1375 fps which has even more potential.

I've also got #2s and #3s in production right now, so I should have them in hand by the end of Jan.

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Re: 12 gauge coyote loads...

Postby DAA » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:50 am

Outstanding! Sounds like everything I want to try will be on the table.

I'll be in touch for some #4's and #2's when I have my new gun and all my ducks in a row. Going to be fun! For me, the coyotes, maybe not so much :lol: .


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Re: 12 gauge coyote loads...

Postby Fishh2o » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:44 am

Hey buddy welcome aboard! I cant wait to hear your results.

Roll with it. If you stay above 55 the wheel wont fall off.

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Re: 12 gauge coyote loads...

Postby DAA » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:53 pm

Hal, I think the PM feature here is kicking me in the gnads... Not sure why, but I'm having trouble getting a message sent.

Anyway... I'd like to order some #2's if you have them and some #4's too. Ready to start the load/testing/prepping phase.



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Re: 12 gauge coyote loads...

Postby Dave in AZ » Fri May 05, 2017 11:37 pm

I don't hunt coyotes, but just wanted to say that first post by DAA was great, and I enjoyed reading it. Always like to read something from a guy whose brain is fully engaged!
Good luck, and I'll be interested in hearing how your loads work!

Also, you might hit up Derbyacresbob over at duckhuntingchat or Shotgunworld, he is mostly a HW coyote shotgunner I think. At least use SEARCH at DHC on him and you may find some of his posts of interest to you.

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Re: 12 gauge coyote loads...

Postby DAA » Mon May 15, 2017 12:41 pm

Thanks Dave.

Bob was a huge help in getting me going with hand loading shot shells in general. And I have talked to him a bit about TSS and coyotes as well. He hooked me up with some of the old Fed. HW #2's that I tried on coyote last season. He sort of pushed me off the cliff, you might say. He and I are both Field Staff for the biggest predator caller company in the country (Foxpro).

Currently, I have 1-5/8 loads of both TSS #2 and #4 that I got from Hal loaded up and ready for testing. If the weather cooperates, I'll be doing pattern and penetration testing with them in about two more weeks. Aside from patterning, I'm going to shoot some phone books at 50 yards with both sizes of TSS, Hevi-shot T, Hevi-shot BB, nickel plated F and #4 buck. Just to see what I can see.

The real test will be in the field, on coyotes. Should be able to slay at least a dozen with the TSS I have left after testing. But it will most likely be a few more months yet before I start killing coyotes with TSS. I generally leave them alone during the denning season and wait for fall to get after them. But I am really looking forward to sitting on stand with my new M2 and a magazine full of tungsten :mrgreen: .


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