View Full Version : Extended Report on Estate Reduced-Recoil Buckshot (IMPORTANT!!!)

February 2, 2001, 04:55 PM
To put it in simple terms, this may be the best deal on buckshot available!

My review can be found at:


The caveat is that I have only tested a single case lot. I need you folks to try it out. If it works consistently, WE HAVE TO TELL ESTATE THAT THEY HAVE IT RIGHT. (If their sales figures do not jump up dramatically, they may change the formula.)

I'm preparing a detailed letter to send off to the company. The more useful info I can provide, the better. I've got two more cases en route, and will test it immediately. If what you get works as well, please let me know ASAP!

The Natchez order line is 1-800-251-7839. The ammo I'm talking about is item number ETRR12BK00. It is on sale this month for $2.19 per TEN-round box, plus shipping. Please, get at least fifty rounds or so and test it (and be sure to ask for a free Natchez catalog while you're at it -- they've got a lot of other neat stuff). If you'd like to provide your results to me, remember to include the case lot number, found on the top flap of every box.

[Edited by laissezfirearm on 02-03-2001 at 04:51 AM]

February 2, 2001, 09:28 PM
The Estate SWAT buck load has to be the best kept secret in tactical shotgunning.

Pattern sizes with Estate are almost exactly 1/2 what I experience with Federal tactical (LEO Only) 000, and about 1/3 the size of patterns I get with S&B buckshot.

At $2.19/10 it's a screaming good deal! I have already stocked up with ammo at the sale price from Natchez SS.

Results are the same with my Benelli M1 S90 Tactical M and Mossberg 590A1 w/ VangComp. FYI, 590A1 VangComp patterns at 10 meters are consistently 2" w/ the Estate load - great for those hostage taker head shots!


Mr. Pub
February 3, 2001, 11:16 AM
no knock on the estate buck. but I wonder at what point does an even tighter pattern defeat the purpose of using buckshot? why not just use a reduced recoil slug?

Dave McC
February 4, 2001, 09:01 AM
Less tendency to overpenetrate,Pub, and note the word "tendency". The crucial area here is terminal ballistics, what the projectile(s) does after impact.

One has to be outside the house(or live in a hangar) to tell the difference is degrees of choke. As a arbitrary rule(kind of an educated guess), I'd say that Modified choke is close to the limit of best chokes for 00,and only individual testing will determine if it's overchoking or not.

Laisse, I'm going to order some and try it out...

February 4, 2001, 09:14 PM
WITHIN REASON (caps for emphasis), a tighter pattern means less chance for stray pellets hitting someone you didn't even see. I say within reason, because some folks want 4" patterns at 25 yards so they can brag about it.

As Dave McC pointed out, a slug has a lot of penetration. Much more then most people think. It is unlikely that a slug fired at 25 yards would stay in the body. To give you an idea, I was testing penetration of buckshot on a 1 1/2 foot thick bale of newspaper at 50 feet. No buckshot penetrated more then the 8" into the bale. I happened to have a few Brenneke 1 oz. standard velocity slugs with me so I thought I would try one. Big mistake! The slug blew a 6" diameter hole all the way through the bale and I spent most of an hour picking shredded paper up from the 50 foot line to the 50 yard line. I found the slug at the 100 yard line where it had bored about 4" into the backstop. Powerful slugs, those Brennekes.

Mike Irwin
February 4, 2001, 11:53 PM
Do they do No. 4 buckshot?

I favor that for my defensive shotgun use due to the heavier payload and triple the number of pellets.

If things go REALLY south, I've got S&B 00 buck (12 pellets) and some Winchester sabot slugs.

February 5, 2001, 09:59 AM
I am a big fan of the Estate reduced recoil 00 buck, and I've bought a few cases over the last couple of years from Natchez.

Mike, I think there is a #4 Buck load from Estate, though AFAIK Natchez doesn't carry it, and I'm not sure if it is reduced recoil. In the back of my mind, I think I saw it advertised in The Sportsman's Guide catalog.

Dave McC
February 5, 2001, 01:46 PM
Laisse,I just put the Visa card away and got off the phone with Natchez. 100 rounds are headed this way. If I can persuade the range boss at my local range to let me pattern some buck, I'll do a test at a measured 25 yards, use Winchester 00 as a control and comparison,and post the results and the Lot #.I'll use my chokeless HD 870.

Sound OK to you?

don vito
February 7, 2001, 03:39 AM
estate has both redused recoil #4 and 00 buck shot
i got mine at good price from http://www.sportsmansguide.com/
300 rd of #4 for $90-100 and 100rd of 00 buck for $50
all reduced recoil and good shooting too
didn't get to patern it yet though
good luck

Tom B
February 7, 2001, 07:38 AM
Thanks guys I just ordered 100ea of 00 also.

February 7, 2001, 08:19 AM
I had lots of problems with 00 buck fouling my 1187, until I tried the Estate SWAT stuff. Simply awesome results: no fouling, no "burnt hair" odors like the S&B stuff, acceptable pattern & lower recoil too. No problems with the 200 or so rounds I've used thus far.

It was recommmended to me by someone who explained the shot is "chilled", thus much, much harder than standard shot. He went on to mention he had tested it for penetration on a car door and found the harder shot penetrates deeper into the door.

You guys may want to try similar penetration tests.

February 7, 2001, 05:57 PM
>WITHIN REASON (caps for emphasis), a tighter pattern
>means less chance for stray pellets hitting someone
>you didn't even see.

Gotta differentiate between "a tighter pattern" and "tighter patterning" here.

A standard Modified choke tube seems to be the best *low-cost* solution for buckshot patterning. But your OVERALL group size may not shrink after simply installing a tighter choke [insert story here]:

My friend Greg brought his unchoked Mossberg 9200 "Jungle Gun" the last time we hit the range, and shot it alongside my Mod-choked 870 on a pair of clean targets at 25 yards. He was amazed, after all my BS, that the patterns out of both guns *looked* to be the same size after ten rounds.

So I pulled out my Spyderco, did some quick cutting, and plopped the important bits over a standard-size silhouette.

You got it. Almost all of the pellets from my gun were easily in the high money. Less than one pellet per load qualified as a "flier". His own patterns were the same overall SIZE (yardstick-wise), but were beautifully distributed to fill the entire picture.

THAT's why folks spend the big bucks on Vang-Comps and the like. Eliminating the forcing cone and other problem areas is more than just a neat selling point.

(Think about it. Even if a stream of pellets is moving relatively smoothly down a barrel, one of them might very well dink slightly off the cylindrical wall at EXACTLY the right moment to ensure that it SMACKS the mod choke at EXACTLY *the* correct angle required to maximize deformation . . .)

February 7, 2001, 06:13 PM
>i got mine at good price from
> http://www.sportsmansguide.com/

As I've mentioned elsewhere, they're running a 20%-off special for NRA members through, IIRC, the middle of April.

February 7, 2001, 06:25 PM
Dave McC wrote:

>I'll do a test at a measured 25 yards, use
>Winchester 00 as a control and comparison, and
>post the results and the Lot #. I'll use my
>chokeless HD 870.
>Sound OK to you?

Works for me. The more info folks provide, the smaller the chance that they'll screw it up!

(Hope you asked for a free Natchez catalog. That'd put you on the mailer list, and they run some EXCELLENT specials!)

> Laisse

Make that "Laissez". (Take it you ain't got no French kin.)

Dave McC
February 8, 2001, 09:03 AM
No French, Laissez, One Grandma's Sicilian, one mostly Cherokee and Choctaw, other ancestors run heavy on Irish, Scots, Scots Irish, Welsh and Pa Dutch. Touch of Shawnee in there too, maybe.

Still waiting on the ammo....

February 8, 2001, 11:17 AM
A most excellent review. I had considered purchasing some of the Estate buckshot but had heard little with regard to it's performance. Also, the shipping would be murder. In lieu of it, I have been using the Sellier & Bellot at 55$ a case (200 rounds) picked up at the gun show. Cost is 29.5 cents a shell with tax. With the pricing you mention, it sure becomes competitive. With the performance you mention, it becomes imperative. Great work.

February 10, 2001, 07:37 PM
Did another series of tests today with the second batch of Estate 00 reduced-recoil ammo from Natchez Shooters Supply.

Five rounds, forty-five pellets. 10.4" at 25 yards from the stock 870 #6231 cantilever barrel with a Modified choke tube, 1X Burris scope. The other three targets showed all of the pellets easily within 14" (eliminate one or two fliers, and they'd all be under 12").

Absolutely amazing.

Get it now while it is on sale!

February 10, 2001, 08:42 PM
Well, I was convinced. I got on Natchez's website, clicked on the Estate buckshot, ordered 20 boxes, it came out to $43.80

They were adding $23.10 (sic!!!!!) for shipping out here to Californicate!!! I quickly cancelled the sale...

Shipping must be a primary profit center for Natchez...

February 10, 2001, 09:24 PM
>They were adding $23.10 (sic!!!!!) for shipping
>out here to Californicate!

Check again. Natchex has got a lot of monkeys (by which I mean nice and undoubtedly-beautiful Baptist ladies who don't know dick about guns) answering the phones. Yours probably tried to stick you with second-day shipping.

If they "still" quote the same high price, try to find a local supplier. Estate Cartridge is based in Willis, TX, so you should not have to pay Easterner shipping.

February 11, 2001, 02:51 AM
I purchased 100 boxes of the Estate Tactical 00 from Natchez. They charged me $53.56 freight and insurance (UPS Ground) and $3.90 Handling Charge for a Grand Total of $276.46 for 1000 rounds of buckshot.

I'm happy to pay $0.27 per round for performance this load delivers.


What do you pay per round in Kali for buck? And will it deliver the performance of the Estate buck?

February 11, 2001, 06:49 AM
>I purchased 100 boxes of the Estate Tactical
>00 from Natchez.

Gosh. Now my three lonely cases (750 rounds) seem so, well, INADEQUATE. Gotta get more!

Get on the stick, folks. This stuff ain't gonna last long.

Forgot to mention that it also functions perfectly in my crappy Norinco Ithaca 37 clone. If that isn't an endorsement, then I've run dry.

February 11, 2001, 07:11 AM
> Well, I was convinced. I got on Natchez's website,
> clicked on the Estate buckshot, ordered 20 boxes,
> it came out to $43.80 . . .

Hmmmm, now that I've sobered-up, I can do basic math.

2.19 x 20 = 43.80

23.10 (shipping) + 43.80 = 66.90

20 ten-round boxes equals 200 rounds.

66.90 divided by 200 equals 33.45 cents per round.

You're right. Paying sixty cents a round for Federal Tactical is MUCH better. Not to mention $2.54 + tax per 5-rd box of whatever garbage Wal-Mart has in stock.

But again, CALL Natchez. You might be able to get a better rate. Their website is not the most reliable thing.

Oleg Volk
February 11, 2001, 12:41 PM
I will end up with an 1187 Police yet just to use cheap 12ga buckshot :( Silly, eh?

Dave McC
February 12, 2001, 05:35 AM
S'funny, the 100 rounds I ordered came to $28 and change.

Again, $.28/round for 00 is a good price.

Should be able to get to the range manana and do a test. Will advise...

February 12, 2001, 11:22 AM
Thanks Dave, I been wondering about the stuff for a while, I called frontsite last july after I got back from june shooting there and they reccomended estate for buck shot. I never got around to ordering any, but will soon based on what has been said here.

Dave McC
February 12, 2001, 01:29 PM
You're very welcome. If the weather holds tomorrow, I'll go to the range and do the tests. Posting tomorrow night if I do....

February 12, 2001, 06:56 PM

I just ordered a case of the tactical and a case of the regular 00. I hope this stuff works. I will be trying it in an M1 Super 90 and a custom 870.

Does anyone know where to get some more of the Fiochhi 1 1/4 oz. slugs. I bought 1250 boxes on closeout several years ago and am almost out.

Or any really good deal on slugs.

Al Thompson
February 12, 2001, 10:26 PM
Try a Dick's Outdoor store - they had a special (unadvertised) on KO slugs for 1.49 a box. Good thread(s) on the forum about that. (use the search key)


Dave McC
February 13, 2001, 04:45 PM
OK, folks, here's what happened in my range test...

Using my chokeless HD 870, I set up a target frame at 25 yards,and used a benchrest postion to eliminate as much wavering as possible. I first shot some of my old duty ammo, and it SEEMED to pattern as I was used to,20-24" at that distance. I use the SEEMED because,after a little discussion with a Rangemaster in a difficult mood, I had to use the standard target frame, and not the cardboard box I wanted to. A 16" wide fame combined with my usual patterns meant some of the pellets were missing the frame, so this part has to be considered as somewhat vague.

After firing three rounds of the duty stuff(Winchester 9 pellet 00, the generic stuff, not premium) I marked the target and switched to the Estate ammo. Firing three shots at the same POA, I waited until it was time for a target pull and measured the results. Then I repeated the Estate part of the test again and pulled the target.

Here's the results.

The furthest pellet from POI was 10 1/2" away. Total patterns ran 14 inches for the first three shot group,15 3/4" for the second one. Counting the holes revealed ALL pellets were in the patterns, no flyers.24/24 twice.

Most pellets were on a single 8 1/2X 11" piece of paper at POA, quite exceptional performance....

I'm impressed. 25 yards patterns like this from an unchoked shotgun are the best results I've had in testing quite a few buck loads including the premium stuff.

I then dissected one round. Yup, 8 pellets packed in the usual white buffering material. Oh yes,while recoil is not a problem with this ultra heavy shotgun(9 1/2lbs), it was noticeably lighter with the Estate loads.Pellets showed little deformation, no flat spots,etc.


For HD/tactical use, this stuff may be one of the best choices. Only individual testing in a particular shotgun can ensure that your results are similiar.

I've a practical seminar/match coming up in April. I think I'll use this load then and if it functions as it should in feeding and so on, I may switch to it for HD and standby ammo.

Laissez, hope this helps you out.....

February 14, 2001, 10:15 PM
I received my order of Estate Tactical buck today. Two cases/500 shells for a bit less then $150. Shipping was about $35. I just glanced at the invoice so I don't remember the exact numbers. Anyway, if you can get together with a few other guys and place a large order the shipping cost will be much cheaper.

By the way, I'm in Kalifornia, so I pay maximum UPS charges.

February 16, 2001, 10:37 AM
Dave McC wrote:

>I then dissected one round. Yup, 8 pellets
>packed in the usual white buffering material.

That MAY be what I was afraid of. They might be jacking with the formula. All of mine from case lot #29908006 had *nine* 00 pellets. Last two cases, same.

Their "Eight-Ball" low-recoil loads have eight 00 pellets.

What does your box say? Mine is "S.W.A.T. Buckshot Load". Light tan box, red, black and dark green letters. And the case lot # is on the top flap.

Of course, they might have put the wrong load into the right box. Ask Mr. Awerbuck. He sees it all the time.

Any responses should be sent to me via e-mail, BTW. No knock on you folks, but I obviously don't have the kind of laid-back temperament required for this sort of group. I'm a technical writer by profession, so if folks don't get my point, or write recklessly -- e.g., giving legal-type advice without disclaimers featuring plenty of caps and exclamation marks -- I flip out.

This was just my last loose end to clear up.

To paraphrase a line from *Videodrome*, my favored mode of discourse is the extended monologue. So keep an eye out for the page, which should be back up again soon on a friendlier ISP.

Dave McC
February 16, 2001, 05:19 PM
OK, Laissez, the case # is 2990800611. I just checked, cut three shells apart and two had 9 pellets, one 8. Poor QC, IMO.

Otherwise, good performance, good price...

Gary H
February 16, 2001, 05:40 PM
This is from the Natchez website:
"Ground Freight
UPS Freight is calculated from actual UPS ground shipping charges according to your zip code location & weight of the package(s). UPS insurance is based on the total dollar amount of the merchandise. In addition please allow $3.90 handling on each credit card order. The freight total on the shopping cart is closely estimated, but already includes the handling. When you receive your package the invoice included will show the handling and freight separately.

The UPS insurance charge is currently .35¢ per $100 of merchandise. We ship packages insured for your protection should they become lost or damaged during shipment. If the insurance on your shopping cart order does not match .35¢ per $100, DON'T PANIC! Your final order confirmation email and packaged invoice will both reflect the correct charge. Again, the shopping cart freight charges are closely estimated."

Perhaps some of the folks are incorrectly adding hazardous shipping charges.

Dave McC
February 17, 2001, 06:31 AM
Gary, at the door, 100 rounds of Estate Tactical 00 ran $28 and change. I live in Md, so I paid some shippping charges....

February 21, 2001, 07:29 PM
Here are the results from my test.

All targets were shot at 25 yards from a bench rest position. Both guns were equipped
with ghost ring sights and a 1” orange dot was used for a more refined aiming point.
Guns used were a 20” barrels 870 and a 20” Benelli M1 Super 90. Both guns were
choked Improved Cylinder. Each load was fired 5 times at the same target and a
template was place over the target. I found the center of each pattern and measured
from there to allow for different points of impact with different loads. A 6” and 12”
circle was used for a template.

Remington Reduced Recoil Tactical 00 Buck Shot 9 pellet load 45 pellets total

Number of pellets % Number of pellets %
6” 12”

870 10 22% 25 56%
Benelli 8 18% 26 58%

Winchester 00 Buck standard load 9 pellet load 45 pellets total

870 11 24% 20 44%
Benelli 16 37% 29 64%

Seller & Belloit)) buck 12 pellet load 60 pellets total

870 19 32% 40 67%
Benelli 1 2% 17 28%

Federal Reduced Recoil #4 tactical Buckshot 27 pellet load 135 pellets total

870 22 16% 50 37%
Benelli 13 10% 65 48%

Winchester #4 Buck Standard Load 27 pellets 135 total

870 14 10% 41 30%
Benelli 14 10% 35 26%

Here is the data for the Estate 00 Buck and the 00 SWAT Tactical Buckshot.

Estate 00 Buckshot 9-pellet load 45 pellets total

870 12 27% 30 67%
Benelli 13 29% 26 58%

Estate 00 Swat Tactical Reduced Recoil 9 pellet load 45 pellets total

870 19 42% 35 78%
Benelli 21 47% 30 67%

This stuff shoots very clean and will cycle a Benelli. I will be ordering several more cases of this stuff.

March 4, 2001, 08:41 PM
I checked their website and it seems estate shotgun ammo is no longer on sale. Does anyone know for sure?

March 9, 2001, 09:56 AM
Yes, the sale is over. I was disappointed I didn't pick some up at those prices.

I just returned from a 4-day tactical shotgun class at Frontsight and the Estates buck is pretty impressive, especially given the price. I was shooting an Vang Comp 870 and getting patterns of about 8-10" at 25 meters.

After seeing a variety of tactical ammo, Estates is hard to beat and I will never buy S&B buck for anything serious.

Dave McC
March 10, 2001, 09:24 AM
On another BB, someone has reported that Estate had been bought out by Federal, and no Estate ammo will be offered.

Anyone hear about this?

May 26, 2001, 11:59 AM
I purchased 300 rds of Estate SWAT 00 for a recent shotgun course. Patterned from 7 meters to 30 meters. This stuff absolutely ROCKS!!! :D. No need for a Vang job on this combo!

The gun was a Benelli M1S90 with the Modified choke installed. POA was COM from an offhand position. Results were as follows:

7 meters: max spread = 2.5"
10 meters: max spread = 3.0"
15 meters: max spread = 4.5"
20 meters: max spread = 5.0"
25 meters: max spread = 9.5"
30 meters: max spread = 15.25

Photos of my patterning targets can be seen at Estate SWAT 00 / Mod. Choke M1S90 (http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=919452&a=13042693&f=0) .

Time to order a few more cases!