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Old October 26, 2009, 04:05 PM   #1
rantingredneck
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Duplex loads.....useful or gimmick?

Remington's new "Ultimate Home Defense" ammo has got me to thinking (a dangerous prospect in and of itself). Not about the usefulness of this particular round per se, particularly because the skeptic in me tends to reject anything with the word "Ultimate" in the title, but about the usefulness of duplex loads in general.

Anyone use a duplex load (either commercial or home-brew) for any purpose? Sporting or otherwise? What is it and what was your decision process in using that particular duplex loading?
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Old October 26, 2009, 04:29 PM   #2
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I picked up some of those Centurion buck and ball loads when they came out (used to be cheaper). Not for any practical purpose, really. I just thought they were nifty.

The ball is quite accurate, but the buck flies everywhere. It's probably good for something...

If your possible HD distance was 10ft to 150ft and you didn't have to worry about a flyer buckshot causing problems (no neighbors, ranch defense?), I guess it would be useful.
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Last edited by B. Lahey; October 26, 2009 at 05:39 PM. Reason: typo
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Old October 26, 2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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I like them, load them, and use them. I load 4/2 for bigger stuff like feral cats, ground hogs, and racoons, and 6/4s for squirrel. I pattern them in the guns I use them in. I am very happy with the way they perform for my uses.
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Old October 26, 2009, 06:23 PM   #4
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Gimmick, like shiny lures in the sporting goods store, they catch more fisherman than fish. Makes your choice and shoot buck, slug or birdshot as the occasion calls for. Like stated the ball goes where you aim but at decreased velocity and the shot goes everywhere but your target unless you are belly button range.

Bought a box of five, shot 3 at 8 yards into a cardboard box and gave the last two away. Looks better on paper than in reality.
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Old October 26, 2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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Do they mean 2 and 4 buckshot?
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Old October 26, 2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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If you're referring to the Remington load linked in the my OP, it's 2x4 birdshot.
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Old October 26, 2009, 07:06 PM   #7
.45 COLT
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Ball & Buck can be handloaded to make a useful load. The commercial loads I've seen - Centurion, Pit Bull - scatter the Buckshot so much that it might take out a flying pelican and a chipmunk with the same shot.

The Birdshot duplex loads are a gimmick to sell shells. If the smaller size is big enough to do the job, the larger size is just taking up space thast could be better utilized. If the larger size is needed, why thin it out with shot that is inadequate?

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Old October 26, 2009, 08:13 PM   #8
Lee Lapin
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"Duplex" loads grew out of the shotgun's past a long way back. The old "buck and ball" Revolutionary war era loads in smoothbore muskets were the original predecessors, as far as I know.

The British used shotguns a lot during the insurgency in Malaya in the early 1950s (where the 870 first saw combat), and developed a duplex load for their Browning and Remington shotguns. Their thinking was that, given the lack of insurgent access to medical care, any wound to the trunk was serious and might well be fatal.

I don't know what shot sizes were used in this load but the idea was that the smaller shot would fill what would have been empty spaces between the larger shot and increase the probability of a hit.

But for HD? No thanks. I'll stick with 00 backed by slugs.

lpl

ETA: Here's one description, I can't vouch for its accuracy:

http://www.oldwardogs.us/martin_andrew/index.html


Saturday, 21 October 2006
Combat Shotguns in Malaysia
Contributed by Martin Andrew

During the Malayan Emergency the chance of a kill by weapon in very thick jungle, was during an ambush: Bren light machine gun, shotgun, M1/M2 carbine,no. 5 SMLE rifle, then the Sten/Owen sub-machine gun . Conversely during a chance encounter on a patrol it was the M-1/M-2 carbine, No. 5 rifle, shotgun, Bren LMG and the Sten/Owen SMG
During trials, and on operations shotguns produced more hits per exposure than any other weapons in patrol and surprise close quarter actions. The wounding effect of multiple hits by SG buckshot was very effective. The No.5 SMLE rifle was bolt actioned but the effect of a .303-inch, or alternatively a 7.62 mm round from an SLR/M14/G-3, was such that the terrorist was knocked down and finished off with another shot. The Bren LMG, or any machine gun for that matter, was the best weapon when preparing an ambush, providing a large amount of firepower and giving fire superiority.
In the Malaysian Confrontation the Royal Air Force flew Whirlwind helicopters out of Labuan on missions along the border with Kalimantan, Indonesia. The side door is on the right hand side, which is also the pilot's side. This meant that the left hand side of the helicopter was a dead zone as suppressive fire went. To remedy this a person usually interested in shooting, it was not a dedicated gunner, flew in the left hand cockpit seat and shot out through the window. The usual weapon was a Remington 870 but the preferred weapon was the Browning A5 borrowed from the New Zealand Special Air Service, who had removed the sear. This gave a full auto shotgun that was fired sideways so that the dispersion went sideways, due to recoil the weapon shot upwards on full auto. Shotguns were also fired sideways so that the empty cases did not end up on the floor jamming the rudder pedals.
The rounds themselves were zinc cased tropical ammunition and were from Fabrique Nationale (FN). The use of zinc-covered rounds was necessitated by the paper cartridge cases, common at the time, swelling up ane then being unable to feed causing a jam. Paper cartridges causing jams due to swelling had been a problem since the First World War, and were only cured by using metal cases. FN produced at least three types of 12gauge zinc shotgun cased rounds. Two had a case length of 59mm (2.3 inches) for use in shotguns with a 2.5inch chamber but the other was only 49mm (1.9 inches) long. All have the head stamp 12-FN-12. They are all have a brass stub with a cardboard case that is covered by a zinc sleeve. The first one has a khaki cardboard case with a yellow wad. It has four SG lead buckshot over 28 B lead shot – the combination load developed for use in the Malayan Emergency. The other 59mm round has a blue cardboard case containing nine 00 lead buckshot. The 49mm round has the zinc rolled crimped over the cardboard case with a big yellow wad and contains number 4 shot. The 49mm case round is designed for 12 gauge shotguns with a 2-inch chamber. Twelve gauge shotguns with a two-inch chamber were designed for people who couldn’t handle the recoil of full 12 gauge shotgun loads. Two English gun makers that made double-barrelled shotguns for this cartridge were Purdy and Cogswell and Harrison.
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Last edited by Lee Lapin; October 26, 2009 at 08:29 PM.
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Old October 26, 2009, 08:23 PM   #9
rantingredneck
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Quote:
The Birdshot duplex loads are a gimmick to sell shells. If the smaller size is big enough to do the job, the larger size is just taking up space thast could be better utilized. If the larger size is needed, why thin it out with shot that is inadequate?
That was kinda my thinking.

I could see some practical utility if you truly had no idea or control over what range your game may appear at. Maybe a duplex load of 4x6 or 6x8 for birding at odd ranges. But then again it could encourage some shots best not taken.

Quote:
The British used shotguns a lot during the insurgency in Malaya in the early 1950s (where the 870 first saw combat), and developed a duplex load for their Browning and Remington shotguns. Their thinking was that, given the lack of insurgent access to medical care, any wound to the trunk was serious and might well be fatal.

I don't know what shot sizes were used in this load but the idea was that the smaller shot would fill what would have been empty spaces between the larger shot and increase the probability of a hit.
That makes sense from a military perspective.

Quote:
But for HD? No thanks. I'll stick with 00 backed by slugs.
I agree. I thought about buying a couple of boxes of this Remington HD stuff for testing, mostly as a potential mid-range coyote load with the BB version, but I thought better of it. Most of my coyote shotgunning is done while deer hunting and 00 has worked fine so far.

For HD it's Federal LE12700 and Brenneke's for me. I'll use some other 00 buck loads in a pinch, but only after I run out of the 300-400 rounds I have on hand of the "good" stuff .
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Old October 26, 2009, 08:38 PM   #10
Lee Lapin
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If the post I found is correct, apparently the shot weren't mixed in the British duplex load, but the larger shot were loaded on top of the smaller shot. Interesting...

I've been sort of wishing I could get my hands on the 1952 Security Forces report on the effectiveness of shotguns in Malaya, but I've never even been able to find the proper title for it. Several people have mentioned it, but I've never seen it footnoted or listed in a bibliography.

I wonder if it's still classified?

lpl
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Old October 26, 2009, 10:12 PM   #11
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I hung out at a distributor who got several cases of duplex loads in. I ask who would purchase that many and what they used them for. Was told that they were bought by coyote hunters for truck guns. Do not know how accurate that is though.
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Old October 27, 2009, 04:07 AM   #12
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Another vote for OO backed up with slugs
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Old October 27, 2009, 06:02 AM   #13
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I've been sort of wishing I could get my hands on the 1952 Security Forces report on the effectiveness of shotguns in Malaya, but I've never even been able to find the proper title for it.
Check The Malayan Campaign, 1948-1960 by John Scurr, Osprey Publishing

I believe there is a note for it in there. I have to go to the library today, If I remember I will take a peek. Here in the city of Thi our library has nearly book ever printed on military history, tactics and strategy.
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Old October 27, 2009, 11:26 PM   #14
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Another vote for Federal 00 buck (load#PFC157 00 for me) and Brenneke KO's.
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Old October 27, 2009, 11:38 PM   #15
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The Remington loads aren't new. I have a bunch of 4 x 2, 2 x 6 and BB x 4 I think. I've used them in an HD gun before. My penetration needs in my house may not be the same as yours, so I'm a fan of big birdshot.
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Old October 28, 2009, 07:34 AM   #16
rantingredneck
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No question on penetration needs varying by individual situations. I'm not real big on birdshot as a stopper, but sometimes you are limited by where you live (particularly apartment dwellers).

My question is the logic behind the duplex loads themselves. Is there any real tangible benefit to the 4x2 over just a standard load of 4's or 2's? Or is it merely a marketing gimmick?

I mean if the 2's are more effective than the 4's why not just go straight 2's? If the 4's present less overpenetration risk than the 2's, why not just go straight 4's? I'm not convinced that at inside-the-home distances, the differences in mass between number 2 birdshot and number 4 birdshot is worth losing any sleep over or paying any extra for a funky duplex loading of the two.

See what I'm getting at? Again, as I said in the OP, it got me to thinking.....which is a dangerous thing........
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Old December 20, 2009, 01:21 AM   #17
FORKLIFT352
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I got some "Bulldog" 12 gauge loads (hollow point slug backed up with 6
00 buck) from a gun show.I only got one 3 pk.

I fired one at 25 ft. and the slug was dead on and the 00 buck patterned
around the slug hole 8x8in.....I was sold !!

Sooooooo....anybody know where I can get some load data??

To answer the ? about a load that is say 2x4 or 2x6 the smaller
shot acts like a "buffer" wile still retaining hitting potential

Last edited by FORKLIFT352; December 20, 2009 at 04:17 PM.
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