Duplexing Question

Duck and Goose hunting

Moderator: hawglips

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Duplexing Question

Postby Blackduck » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:46 pm

Here is what I have picked up from my reading on duplexing tss and steel- please correct me if I am incorrect about anything.

Tss on top patterns the tss tighter for long range, with the steel spreading for close range.
Tss on bottom opens the tss up closer, generally makes a more open pattern, but can have some pattern "disruption" as the tss passes through the steel at longer range. It doesn't seem to be as popular to stack the shot this way.

Please correct me if the above is incorrect.

Here is my question(s)- How would it affect the pattern to load half the steel in the bottom of the wad, then the tss, then the rest of the steel? Somewhere in between the above options?

How would the pattern be affected to mix the two pellets together and load a true "mix"?

I am hoping someone has played around enough with duplexing to steer me clear of any idea that flat doesn't work before I start wasting money trying every combo myself. I know experimenting is half the fun, but I don't want to waste time/money if I can avoid it.

Thanks guys, Brad

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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:56 pm

Re: Duplexing Question

Postby hawglips » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:46 pm

Unfortunately, there are a lot of unknowns related to your question. Mixing the shot together seems to pattern well when I've tried it, but I don't know to what extent the choke, barrel length, velocity, etc might effect the outcome when you do that.

Maybe someone else has done some more extensive testing mixing the two together and can chime in.

But it's probably going to be a trial and error exercise...

Dave in AZ
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:38 pm

Re: Duplexing Question

Postby Dave in AZ » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:31 pm

Man, you would REALLY have to love a load before you committed to the test series needed to figure these questions out!

Target matters for sure... seems most guys using TSS here are looking for super tight turkey patterns. For me, I am just wanting to flesh out pellet count in small gauge hulls that can't hold enough steel shot. So I don't want a central plug of TSS that will destroy a duck if I hit it centered up. Therefore, based on what Hawglips posted various times, I always put the TSS below the steel shot, in an effort to get it to spread faster and be part of the total full pattern for ducks.

I've got all sorts of thoughts and theories on what shot sizes, both steel and TSS, to use for various ducks, that make sense to me from a logical perspective. However, there's this huge grey area of smaller shot in denser patterns being able to penetrate the head/neck areas for kills, vs. larger shot hitting body vitals-- the exposure of those various vitals and the differing lethality chances are so complex, with so little empirical testing to support the theorem assumptions, that the truth can only be found in shooting 50 birds each way and just seeing what kills best.

I'm so far a fan of #3 or larger steel shot, so as to body penetrate large ducks out to 39 yds or so. I match the TSS to be at least as good from a penetration perspective. But a lot of reports are surfacing lately of guys shooting large numbers of #5 steel with head/neck kills much further than I'd calculate reasonable. And TSS high pellet count lets you actually have enough say #4 or #5 steel to fill pattern functions out to 30 yds, then enough TSS pellets to provide function 30-45 yards-- this is more of what I'm thinking of as the "toasty mindset" as I understand his recent loads. Honestly I don't have enough bird shots/kills with various tss/steel mix to form an opinion, so I'm starting to lean towards toasty's comments on strong success with 28ga loads.

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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:30 pm

Re: Duplexing Question

Postby Blackduck » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:26 am

Looks like trial and error are where I will be headed then. Dave, I am not going to the sub-gauges at this time, but plan to shoot 12 gauge, so I am leaning towards what I have read in your blog as far as shot sizes. Currently I am planning TSS #9 duplexed with Copperhead copper coated BB gun BBs or Daisy zinc coated BB gun BBs, both should be .177 or just under a BB in size. I am not looking for a turkey tight pattern, but I do plan to have these shells set up for those 35-65 yards shots.

I carry two guns to the blind most days and Gun A will be set up with a more open choke and two shells with steel 2's since they've always worked on birds fluttering into the dekes(and I already have lots to burn), followed by a final duplex shell as they leave. For passing birds or birds that land wide on open water Gun B will be choked tighter(or at least whatever choke gives me a tighter pattern with the load) and will have two duplex loads followed by a straight TSS load. I think that will cover whatever shot I am presented with, without burning tons of straight TSS. Someday, when all the steel is gone, I will probably load a duplex of steel 2's with TSS #10 for the first two decoying shots.

If someone said "don't stack them like this because it patterns like crap" I would surely avoid that way of stacking shot, but it sounds like I will be burning a box of each "style" of layering the pellets to see what happens.

Here's another question for you guys- Anyone experimented with how a Patternmaster choke with the studs inside affect the duplex or TSS handloads? I see a lot of guys saying that rather open chokes are what you want with TSS shells. I have always used the Patternmaster Long Range choke with great patterns for longer shooting. I know I will have to try it just to see for myself, but has anyone else tried one, and if so how did it work? I expect these TSS pellets will wear away the studs a lot quicker. Any danger in shooting one of those chokes?

Thanks guys. Your wealth of knowledge truly helps those of us new to this sport within a sport.

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