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Old May 2, 2019, 12:44 AM   #1
bamaranger
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TSS shot, who needs it? Not me.

The rage this year for spring gobbler hunters is TSS shot. Tungsten Super
Shot is about twice as heavy as lead. Due to this, a little bitty #9 TSS pellet will hit and penetrate like a lead #5, and you can pack a BUNCH of those little #9's into a shotgun hull. You can even buy .410 TSS shot and hunt gobblers with a .410. TSS shot will turn your .410 into a 20 gauge, your 20 ga into a 12, and your 12 ga into 10 ga, and your 10 ga into an AAA gun!

I don't need the stuff and here's why:

-TSS costs too much....35-50$ for a box of FIVE. 'Till you zero/pattern your gun, see how it shoots in maybe a second gun, you may have 2 rounds left for the season, you will need a second box of the stuff, especially if you have a multibird limit. Think 70-100$ for shells for the season. By contrast, $100 will likely buy you enough conventional lead turkey loads to last a lifetime.
-You will need a new choke tube, if you've been shooting a traditional "lead only" turkey tube. Another $50 bucks....you've not killed a bird yet by the way!
-To take full advantage of the additional range offered by the larger TSS pellets, you will need an optic on your gun, your single bead or double bead will hamper you ability to send these expensive space shot pellets where they need to go. So, 35-$300 bucks or more for fiber optic rifle sights, a scope, or a good red dot. No bird yet either.
-TSS shoots so well because it is very true and round, and HARD. Like I cannot imagine what biting into one might be like. You better be REALLY sure there is no TSS shot in your turkey sandwich.
-TSS in the small sizes (#9 seems popular for mathematical reasons especially in the smaller gauges) is equal to lead #5 in punch. You are still shooting the equivalent of a lead #5, just more of them, albeit a bunch more. But they will not crack that gobblers noggin', or shatter his neck any better than traditional lead pellet at distance. It would seem to gain the full advantage of TSS, one needs to shoot bigger pellets, and #7 seems the next step, which theoretically "hits" like a lead #2. But now one is cutting into the payload numbers in the smaller gauges.
-The additional range offered by the larger TSS pellets is just not necessary in most instances. My longest shot this season (with lead XR load) was still under 50 yds and in an open field. Once the leaves come out in the timber, most shots will be under 40 yds. Maybe way under.

About the only rationalization for TSS shot that I can see is to allow the use of the smaller guns, .410 and 20, used reasonably by those who cannot shoot a 12 due to recoil or weight. A true light 20 ga, loaded with #9TSS would be a light portable gun for the run and gun crowd too, or perhaps someone up in years. My 70+ yr old pal could have used one this spring. But I do not see a #9TSS 20 ga having more reach than a 12 ga with lead.
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Old May 2, 2019, 03:38 AM   #2
eastbank
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i had a scope on my turkey shotgun before TSS, zero cost increase, my choke is a heavy shot one and it was not as much as I paid for browning midas trap chokes, I like tss and use it, not to make 100 yard shots but to make humane shots on a turkey at a honest 40-50 yards and tss # 7-9 will do that better than lead. I paid 26.00 for five round boxes, 5.20 a shell. I sighted my turkey shotgun with trap low brass # 7.5 at 25 yards from a lead sled and then it took two tss shells to zero the scope at 40 yard and then fired several trap loads at 25 yards and kept the targets to check zero next season,saving the tss for hunting. on a 8x11" turkey target it puts 132 pellets # 9 tss in the center 5" center with 25-28 pellets in the head-neck area at 40 yards. with the cost of license-food-gas-camo cloths-tick spray, 5-6 dollars for the shell that may indeed may your hunt successful does not seem to bad after all.. but then again if its about money, just go to the local eagle store and buy a butterball.
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Old May 2, 2019, 08:54 PM   #3
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I bought a Mossberg 935 Waterfowl Magnum for this years turkey season and I'm settling on Remington Hard lead turkey #5's. I haven't even seen a turkey in an area I could hunt. Hope tomorrow is better.

I set up yesterday and thought I heard a gobble and 10 minutes later this black dog runs out of the forest chasing everything.
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Old May 2, 2019, 09:29 PM   #4
big al hunter
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There are areas where lead shot is not legal, steel is not lethal, and people want to hunt turkey. TSS makes perfect sense there.
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Old May 2, 2019, 10:41 PM   #5
bamaranger
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lead free, legal and lethal

Well, I had not thought of that. I quit duck hunting before the total ban on lead for waterfowl. I've never lived/hunted anywhere where on could not shoot lead at game. For others not so fortunate, that makes perfect sense.

Thanks Big Al..........
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:08 AM   #6
Virginian
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It is not double the density of lead. More like 160% on the TSS, and it is THE densest, if I remember right. I do not turkey hunt, but have used tungsten alloy shot extensively for waterfowl hunting. It patterns very well because it is harder and denser, and it is quite a bit more expensive than steel. I have not kept statistics, but I believe it has much better lethality than steel, especially at 40 yards or beyond. I have not shot steel for over 10 years now because I think the tungsten is worth it. I also tried bismuth but wasn't impressed.
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:43 AM   #7
Ricklin
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Metal Detector?

Has anyone tried using a metal detector when they dress a bird? Maybe the shot is too small?
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Old May 3, 2019, 11:27 AM   #8
bamaranger
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density

The actual measured density of lead is 11.3 g/cc, whereas TSS is 18.0 g/cc. My loose interpretation of that was that a single TSS pellet will way twice what a similar sized lead pellet will weigh. As Virginian has pointed out, it is actually a bit more than that, but I don't see it has half again. No doubt about it TSS is hard and heavy. And the comparison of lethality to steel shot is night and day......no comparison at all.

My comments on TSS shot are as they relate only to spring gobbler hunting, but a comparison to deer hunting might be useful. My thoughts on the subject run akin to this: you can kill your whitetail at under 100 yds with firearm/load capable of say, 3MOA, or.....you can kill that same whitetail with another firearm/load capable of less than 1 MOA. Same results, dead deer. It is only when the circumstances change, to more open country, that the 1MOA rifle becomes an asset.

In spring gobbler hunting, restricted to shotguns, and especially once the leaves come out and visibility becomes limited, this search for more range from the TSS shot and similar products becomes a bit pointless. Lead loads, chokes and sights have developed to the point that more yds of range from your gobbler gun if well tuned with lead, is not much of a gain at all, cause you just can't see the birds very often under 50 yds.

Federal did a similar thing with the traditional lever rifle cartridges a few years back, the "Leverevolution' line. Now your Grandad's 30-30 has longer range. But, folks still kill their whitetails in the laurel at 50 yds like they always did......but they sell plastic tipped lever rifle cartridges to those who will buy them, for folks searching for more range that they don't need. Now too you can hunt gobblers with your .410.......and guess what, if you don't have one, they (the industry) can sell you a specialized .410 with which to do so.

There was a comment a few posts back about $5 or $6 dollars a shot being a small fraction of the overall cost to gobbler hunt. I doubt my hunting expenses are more or less than anybody else's. But I would rather spend my dollars on a product or expense for which I have a real use. I can cleanly take gobblers under 50 yds with lead and don't need TSS.

I'm a bit concerned about "long ranging" gobblers as well. We have already seen a thread on these forums about "100 yd drop figures for TSS shot". Really??
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Old May 3, 2019, 01:24 PM   #9
eastbank
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to each his own. i have killed over 40 turkeys mostly with shotguns and lost a few that I think tss would have taken cleanly and I do not take extra long shots and prefer 35-45 yards. I,m sure there are members here who can attest to how hard it is to find a wounded bird once out of sight, in a prefect world we all would dead center the turkeys neck-head for a dead bird.
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:30 PM   #10
big al hunter
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Quote:
In spring gobbler hunting, restricted to shotguns, and especially once the leaves come out and visibility becomes limited, this search for more range from the TSS shot and similar products becomes a bit pointless.
On the west side of Washington (where I live) spring green up is similar to the woods of Alabama. I could see maybe 65 yards. On the east side it is very different. I might be able to see the birds coming for 200 yards, in some areas. I might be tempted to try to get more range for those days when the birds are spooked by something in my setup and not come inside lethal range of lead. But I figure it is part of the fun, trying to out wit the critters.
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Old May 3, 2019, 10:38 PM   #11
bamaranger
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to each his own

Yes indeed. If a fella wants to shoot TSS shot, by all means carry on. I'm just not gonna be one of them.

Rolling a gobbler is a heartbreaker, and I've done it a few times. EVERY instance has been because I underestimated the range on an open country shot. The good news is that I've taken more than a few gobblers that have healed shot in them from previous seasons. One old bird had both chilled lead in one size, and and copper plated lead of another size in him, likely shot at in a couple of seasons!

Experimentation with the larger TSS sizes (if a fella can afford it) and a 12 ga, along with an optic to allow centering the pattern and precise aiming, will undoubtedly add some range to a turkey gun.

I loaned a scoped Mossberg turkey gun to a good friend who flew in and hunted with me a week this season. After he flew home, I used the rig myself the remainder. I REALLY liked the arrangement, and found it plenty lethal with lead. Under most circumstances, you can put your pattern precisely on the gobbler if you've done your homework at the range. The scope helps with positively ID on the gobbler as well. I'm likely going to abandon the See-All sight I have mentioned in a few posts, and put that same Leupold on my old Remington with a saddle mount.
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Old May 5, 2019, 09:45 AM   #12
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Well I don't think TSS was going to help me the other day. I went cruising the public land and all entrances had vehicles parked at them so I went into the forest where I heard birds last month. I stepped off the trail and walked 100 yards into the woods and yelped twice expecting to hear a gobble and nothing. Put the call back in my pocket and behind me over the hill comes these two toms. The forest was thick and I got down to the ground. They got within 30 yards and there was a 1 foot tunnel straight to them and no shot otherwise. They started acting like they were going to leave so when they came back in the tunnel I fired and they both fell down.

That's when they got back up and ran away. Turns out they fell down because they ran into each other. Walking up to where they were I learned I killed a pretty big stick.

Oh well.
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Old May 7, 2019, 01:13 PM   #13
The Happy kaboomer
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Winchester Long Beard #5 for me.
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Old May 14, 2019, 03:34 AM   #14
bamaranger
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me too

That is my go to load (12ga-3") these days too. From my guns, that load shoots VERY well. So tight in fact, that I've given some thought to experimenting with #4, which previously did not shoot tight enough to satisfy me with conventional loads of the time. But the counter argument is, "Why argue with success?" ........#5 XR has been a real performer for me, why change, so I haven't

But several stores I've gone into and made small talk with the staff, they say they cannot keep TSS on the shelves in any gauge. They are also selling Mossberg .410 pumps this spring to adults who apparently want to shoot small gauge guns at big toms.

Used responsibly, if a fella wants to, I suppose to each his own. Again, I won't be one of them.
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Old May 14, 2019, 10:18 AM   #15
Lohman446
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Changes in technology are often incremental and not ground breaking in themselves. We are not, generally speaking, hunting turkey by throwing rocks so it appears we have at least all embraced technology to some degree.

Is the step from whatever you are using to TSS a big step? Probably not. But its a bunch of incremental steps that result in changes over time. We all settle at the level we are comfortable with and as we are, at least the majority of those posting here, hunting turkey for the enjoyment of the hunt and not the necessity of food what does it matter if we do not give ourselves the absolute best chance at success? Turkey is pretty cheap in the stores anyways and frankly tastes better than wild bird.
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Old May 15, 2019, 06:47 AM   #16
tpcollins
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I bought a Carlson turkey choke for my new 20ga semi-auto and it didn’t group that well at 30 yards with Hevishot 5,6,7. Instructions said to use Winchester Long Beard and I bought some #6.

It put 27 pellets in the kill zone at 30 yards (tried to upload pic but it failed).
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