So, most load data for TSS (Tungsten Super Shot) is turkey-centric (large payloads, relatively slow, tight chokes/patterns), with a nice amount of waterfowl as well (lots of duplexing TSS with steel). Interesting, but not really up my alley.
With the outlawing of lead for all hunting in Cali, I have been dabbling in TSS. But my interest is in upland hunting, which apparently not a lot of guys do with TSS. Due to the physical properties of tungsten, I end up in many cases needing only very light loads, a least on paper. Here is an example, with patterns.
For quail, I have traditionally favored fast (for lead) 1 oz #8 loads out of a 12 gauge. We're talking 1300 fps and a payload of 403 pellets. According to the numbers I've been provided, when standardizing on 1-inch penetration, lead 8s at 1250 fps are good to 45 yards.
Well, TSS #11s may be tiny (870 pellets per ounce), but they will deliver that same 1 inch of penetration out to 53 yards ... 18% more range. With that ridiculous pellet count, and extended range, even half an ounce of TSS exceeds the pellet count of a full ounce of lead 8s AND kills farther out there, at least in theory. Heck, I'd love to find a 1/3-oz load, and just may try to develop and test one.
Anyway, this is the lightest load I could find for 28 gauge, and the data belongs to Hal (hawglips), so I cannot share any recipes, but we're talking 9/16 oz at 1400 fps!
Here are patterns out of a Benelli Ultralight in 28 at 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards:
Now everyone in this arena refers to Tom Rosters CONSEP chart which establishes some baselines for pattern lethality (that's fodder for another thread), but bottom line, for dove and quail, the tables recommend 200-210 pellets in a 30-inch circle. At 50 YARDS, I am still at 338 pellets, even with a Cylinder choke. At 20-30 yards, things look too tight I think, and a centered bird is likely to be destroyed. Not good! I like eating quail!
This load, even though speedy, is rated at 6000 psi, so some headroom. I am considering cutting the load to 1/2 oz, or even 15/32, to cut down the pellet count (and obviously stretch this stuff - it ain't cheap!), up the speed, bump the powder charge up a grain or two for good measure, and send some loads to the lab to get tested for pressure.
DO NOT DO THIS. FOLLOW RELOADING MANUALS EXACTLY. DO NOT SWAP ANY COMPONENTS. RELOAD AT YOUR OWN RISK! SHOOT RELOADED AMMO AT YOUR OWN RISK! WEIGH EVERYTHING, EVERY TIME!