Hey Saltydog - you bring up an interesting point and that is that the Tungsten seemed to penetrate more than standard lead, although the testers admitted that the block may not have been quite right:
Designed as a better performing alternative to steel wetland bird loads, Tungsten Matrix is an exotic shotgun projectile material that has an even higher density than lead. It’s high density was what interested us in it’s possible application as a tactical shotgun load.
While this load’s penetration looks impressive as compared with the much larger #1 shot tungsten matrix load, it needs to be interpreted in the context of the calibration bb’s greater penetration. Temperature outside was a little warmer than it should have been when we shot this block and it was the last block of a relatively long string. As a result, this gelatin block exhibits slightly more elasticity than our standard blocks and consequently deeper penetration.
Small sized birdshot such as this #5 Tungsten Matrix load is a poor choice for deployment with a tactical shotgun. Wounds inflicted from birdshot tend to be gruesome yet shallow as they lack the penetration required to reach vital cardiovascular or central nervous system structures.
As for the hog analogy - which I was using to make a point on penetration... the sow that you took was evidently a head shot, so I am not sure how your example correlates... People on this forum have reported taking hogs with .22LR - with head shots. I used the shoulder in my analogy because of the need for penetration through the sheild, and bones to reach the heart.
It was an analogy to illustrate that the patterning of any particular shot & choke combination at any given range should not be confused with a load's penetration characteristics. Just because both birdshot and buckshot hit the target as a "column" of lead at a given distance - doesn't mean both loads penetrate the target the same.