Nickel plated shot in sub gauges


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Anyone with much experience with nickel plated lead shot in sub gauges? 20-28 s ...

Pro s, cons. I hear it patterns better and penetrates better due to being slicker and not pulling as many feathers into game.

Just wondering for upland bird hunting, no clay targets, if the add l cost is justified.

Thx for any good bout.
I've used it in my 20ga in 2 3/4" loads and 12ga 1 oz 2 1/2" loads for wild pheasants, it worked very well for me. I also load NP BB's in my 12 and 16ga coyote loads.
I can't say as I've never dealt with magnum/hard lead shot other than in trap loads. I did shoot a bunch of NP 7's overseas shooting international trap and they worked well but again that was all I shot there so no comparison.

That said a lot of data/reports say that NP is as about as good as it gets.
I shot a lot of Ni on crows, 12ga. I also buffered the loads, killed well to 70 yards. I shot Ni and copper plated 5's, buffered.

Sub gauges, I would shoot Cu or Ni unless you are hunting quail or doves, then no, magnum shot only. Your choke choice and time spent on the pattern board will be critical.

do a search on Golden Pheasant shot shells, 28,20,16, and 12 ga

I shot their 12ga 1 3/8oz #5 on pigeons.
Ackleyman, I ve shot a box of Fiocchi GP 7/8 oz #6 28 gauge shells on pheasants and worked as well as 1 oz Super X #6. Couldn't see any real difference. Wish I d of checked birds for feather pull comparison. Also a could patterns would of been good.

Guess I should just buy 10# s of 6 shot NP as I reload and do some testing/comparisons. The cheapskate in me just hates paying 2 1/2 times more for the shot!
I broke down and bought 10 lbs. will try on pattern board and update once I do. As far as bird performance got a ways to go now.

Maybe I should try nickel vs std magnum on some grd squeaks !! lol
Well due to the Covid19 issue and our order to stay home except for essential issues pretty much put my patterning test plan 'on hold'. Still hope to do it but may be a few months.

Bored and all my reloading is fully done... what to do?? lol

Stay safe.
I used to shoot a lot of pigeons.

Ballistic's Products original Buffer does improve patterns with 6's.

Playing with pattern board, gun fit, chokes will trump all other efforts until you go to heavy shot.
Not a sub gauge but a 2 7/8” 10 gauge. I loaded up 1 5/8”oz of BPI nickel plated #6’s with 100 grains of DuPont Fg in a RST hull. I had 40 hits in my turkey head target at 25 yards, 17 hits at 40 yards, and 7 hits at 50 yards. The factory ( non nickel plated shot) 1 1/4oz RTS ammo in #6’s wouldn’t put more than 4 or 5 hits on my target at 25 yards out of the same left side barrel. So IMO nickel plated helped hold a tighter group. It also knocked the stuffing out of my double bearded gobbler last week at 25 yards. When I pulled the skin off the neck to inspect was nothing but red jelly and nickel plated shot buried everywhere. It’s been years since I’ve used #6 on turkeys. From what I remember most of my copper plated #6’s didn’t break the skin like the nickel plated did at the same distance. With 100 grains of Fg it kicks more like a 20 gauge or a light 12 gauge load. I haven’t shot my load through a chrony yet but was told by the guy who recommended the load it’s around 900 FPS. So I would say it’s SUB gauge equivalent velocities. Once the smoke cleared I saw my bird on the ground DRT!

I posted my targets with the load here...


I bought the 1873’ Charles Daly 10 gauge Damascus SxS at a garage sale for $45 back in the early 90’s. It was rusted shut and missing a hammer. I finally got around to restoring it this winter. First animal taken with it. Coyotes are next! I worked up the same load with lead #2 but I’m not impressed with the 25 yard pattern. I’ll have to keep working on the load. The left barrel is choked tighter than the right.

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Back when we lived where there were pheasants I always tried to have some #5 lead in my 20 gauges. They performed very well. Then I tried some buffered loads and my eyes were opened. I think the buffered loads hit harder. All that said, the golden pheasant loads intrigue me.