Good article Clark. I admit i was sucked into the hevi-shot and extended range shell game a few years ago and bought exclusively the pricey shells hoping it would add gobblers to my bag. Mostly my thinking was that I know I am a poor judge of distance and it would help me compensate. That never happened as in the back of my mind I was thinking now I can shoot farther. I doubt it killed me more than a couple extra gobblers, but it sure cost me a lot more for each one I shot. Time after time I ended up shooting birds at 25-35 yards and thinking, boy that was a waste of an expensive shell, when a good old standard 3" magnum would have done just fine. I can think of one bird the extended range shell may have helped me on. It was a bird that stuck his head up over a clump of dirt and just as i was shooting I realized he was dropping his head, but too late I had shot. He flopped a time or two and got air under his wings and was off. I swung through him and dropped him cold out of the air at least 50-55 yards out. I doubt a standard lead shell would have done it. Then I broke the sights off my gun and was putting new ones on and didn't want to blast off a bunch of high priced shells just adjusting my sights, so I purchased some Remington Nitros and started patterning. When I felt the sights were right I shot an extended range load and was aghast that the pattern was far worse than the nitros. I contemplated those facts for a while and decided since 95% of my birds are killed between 25-35 yards why not stay with the Nitros. That was 4 years ago and I have killed every turkey since ( 22 birds) easily and saved approximately $60-$70 in shells. Heck that's like getting a free license for a year or two. As for my range judging problem, I got a range finder and mark out my distances when I set up, if possible. That has made me a better judge of distance too. The last four gobblers I killed were all 15-25 yards...who needs extended range for that. I suppose if you were hunting wide open territory all the time they might be worth the investment, but only for the 40 yard shots. Oh one last thing, when I was doing all that patterning I tried both shell at 50 yards and both patterns were very wide and spotty, but the extended range shells did penetrate my back board further. I don't know if this is a fair test, but I also messed with testing penetration and would mount 1/4 inch plywood to my back rest and up to 30 yards both lead and hybrid alloys penetrated well, after that the hevi shots out penetrated the lead significantly....have you seen that as well or was my testing flawed?
Bust em, Bag em, thank HIm