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 Post subject: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:13 pm 
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Location: Olympia, WA
Just how good is Federal® Black Cloud™ w/Flite-Stopper™ steel? Because of age (59), injury (Rotator Cuff Tear), and surgery (Total Shoulder Arthroplasty); I'm limited to shooting ducks w/my 20ga guns. I presently shoot Kent® Fasteel™ in sizes 2, 3, and 4 and am pleased. The Kent® loads are 3" ⅞oz at 1550fps. I also shoot a 3" Federal® load of 1oz #1 steel for decoying geese. This load is 1330-1350fps. What is your observation and experience w/Black Cloud™?



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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:13 am 
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Dawei. Love the stuff in small gauges. Great on Turkey....long shots on ringnecks...seems to give me 10 more yards of killing range. Honer

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:43 am 
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Location: Kansas, Land of Oz
dawei wrote:
I presently shoot Kent® Fasteel™ in sizes 2, 3, and 4 and am pleased.

Then keep using it.
After looking closely at all the claims for BC, I've come to the conclusion that the wad might add 2-3 yards additional range over a conventional wad....might. The belted shot in my estimation is the result of the manufacturing process, and as typical of today's advertising and politicians, has been turned from the liability I believe it is into an "advantage" by spin. I think the shot will cost you 2-3 yards in pattern density and pellet energy. Soooo, is it a wash??

I know there are guys who like BC. There are also guys who do not. Just like every other shotshell on the market.
Try a box yourself and see how it works for you....


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:04 am 
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I used it for 2 hunts last season. It tore the birds up, most were unedible. I use Winchester experts and love them.

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:22 am 
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I experienced what Adam did. I was going to use them on an eider/scoter hunt but after seeing the destruction of other ducks I didn't want to burden the taxidermist with extra work.
The Kents 1560fps in 2-3's and bb's for geese are my go to load. I have run some experts in the same sizes but find them to be dirty to shoot. They kill birds but I'm not happy with the powder residue left behind....although the $7-8 a box after the $15 rebate per 4 pack I'll keep them around as back up and snow goose shells.

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:40 pm 
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I've been using all kinds of stuff for the last 5 years. My opinions are all based on anecdotal evidence in the field. I believe the top three shotshells I've tried are:

1) Hevi-Shot & Bismuth
2) Black Cloud
3) Kent Fast Steel

If the BC is close in price to the Kent, I buy Black Cloud. I've also found that with Black Cloud, if I drop 2 shot sizes, the performance is still impressive and it does not tear up the birds badly.

All in all, I highly recommend the Black Cloud ammo. I've found it's very reliable in dropping birds, and it does practically extend my range out to 50 yards very comfortably, and I have had no problems dropping birds out to just over 55 yards.

That said... I'm shooting Remington High Speed Steel this season. If I could (in good conscience) find a buyer for the case I bought, I'd sell it in a heartbeat. It is not performing well at all for me. I never should have moved away from the Kent, even if the Remington ammo was "a great bargain."

- Jimmy

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:50 pm 
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PastorJimmy wrote:
I've been using all kinds of stuff for the last 5 years. My opinions are all based on anecdotal evidence in the field. I believe the top three shotshells I've tried are:

1) Hevi-Shot & Bismuth
2) Black Cloud
3) Kent Fast Steel


If the BC is close in price to the Kent, I buy Black Cloud. I've also found that with Black Cloud, if I drop 2 shot sizes, the performance is still impressive and it does not tear up the birds badly.

All in all, I highly recommend the Black Cloud ammo. I've found it's very reliable in dropping birds, and it does practically extend my range out to 50 yards very comfortably, and I have had no problems dropping birds out to just over 55 yards.

That said... I'm shooting Remington High Speed Steel this season. If I could (in good conscience) find a buyer for the case I bought, I'd sell it in a heartbeat. It is not performing well at all for me. I never should have moved away from the Kent, even if the Remington ammo was "a great bargain."

- Jimmy
I am very impressed w/the Hevi•Shot waterfowl loads. Remington® & Winchester® steel OTOH, in 12,16, or 20ga, is crap IMHO. I will never buy either again. Federal® Steel, not BC, and Kent® Fasteel® has performed VERY WELL for me in 20ga. I switched from Federal® to Kent® steel loads for two reasons...........

200fps faster
cheaper.

I have also initiated a discussion of BC vs Fasteel
HERE

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David
Only two defining forces have ever died for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given


Last edited by dawei on Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:23 pm 
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I used Black Cloud this past weekend in my duck hunt. I had good results with it and noticed the difference on farther shots. It hit the geese hard. I used 12 gauge 3 inch BB's. If they were coming in closer, I would have switched to a smaller shot. I will continue to use Black Cloud.

UMH

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:03 am 
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UMich Hunter 95 wrote:
they were coming in closer, I would have switched to a smaller shot.

Can you tell us why?


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:47 am 
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If they were coming in closer then he could have switched to a smaller shot size to increase pellet count and still retain enough energy to cleanly kill the birds.....at least that's why I would have.

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~~There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness~~

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Rick618 wrote:
If they were coming in closer then he could have switched to a smaller shot size to increase pellet count and still retain enough energy to cleanly kill the birds.....at least that's why I would have.



Exactly. I would have switched to 3's . Black Cloud is supposed to be effective and designed for longer shots, as they claim with their flite-stopper wad. Usually if they are coming in close, I'll use Xperts or Remington Steel. I'll always have Black Cloud on me. It depends on the conditions.

UMH

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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:37 pm 
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Rick618 wrote:
If they were coming in closer then he could have switched to a smaller shot size to increase pellet count

Why? If BB's gave him enough pellet count on "farther shots" (sic), then they certainly would give more than enough pellet count on the closer shots.
Think about it.


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:38 pm
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I'm not a huge fan of steel to begin with; guess I had enough shooting with lead before the ban that I am tainted for life. I neither dislike nor like Black Cloud. I haven't run into any issues of it causing too much damage, etc and on the other hand I haven't been able to tell that Black Clouds give me any extra yardage either. In fact the only duck that I know for sure that I hit but lost this year was a going away mallard at probably 50 yards using Black Cloud 3 inch, #2's. Not that this experience makes it a bad load; I shouldn't have shot at him with steel at that distance.

In the end Black Cloud is steel; nothing more or less except for some fancy marketing. I haven't seen any great difference in it versus the Kent's that I usually purchase. Inside of 30/35 yards I can't say that I notice much if any difference in any of the brands of steel on ducks (primarily mallards and woodies with a few teal mixed in).

I have become a fan of heavier than lead options for most of my waterfowl (and turkey and coyote). I don't do that much waterfowl hunting---I only went 4 days in the early goose season and 8 days in the regular season which closed yesterday (and the last day of the season was even better than the opener!!). So, I don't fire that many shells a year and can sometimes find my favorites on sale---Winchester HD Waterfowl. My gun seems to like the Winchesters but I'll purchase Remington Wingmaster and Hevi Goose when the price difference is right. Inside of something like 30/35 yards, I don't think these expensive shells are needed but beyond that distance they sure make a difference. I've got about a half box each of Black Clouds and Kent's left and when they are gone I may be done with steel.


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:17 am
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i love it i used to always shoot 3 1/2 inch and now i shot black cloud 3 inch # 2 for ducks and geese with no complants first day i droped two ducks with one shot and did the same on a hunt in south dakota i personaly dont think it tears the birds up to bad except for close shots 20yds or less but let face it any steel load would do the same at that distance. i shot over 40 ducks in south dakota and maybe 2 where shot up bad. i also got my first triple on geese this year with black cloud 3 inch #2's at about 30 yds. Good stuff! and this year dicks sports had a buy one box get the 2nd half off so yes they got cleaned out by me. youll love the stuff!!


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:42 am 
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No one has mentioned Federal Tungsten loads yet (I don't know if they are available in 20ga). They are expensive, but if I can drop a goose and it hits the water dead rather than having to be swatted a couple of times, I've come out ahead...


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:48 pm 
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I have talked to some people that have switched to Black Cloud exclusively in there 20ga guns and have been very happy, they do not want to shoot anything else and have pretty much put there 12ga guns on the shelf for the season. If the Black Cloud responds in a 20ga the way the Fed. Heavy weight 20ga Turkey loads do they may be on to something, The Flight Control Wad and the Heavy Weight 1.5oz #7 shot has turned the the 20ga into real killer.

Kurt


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:19 pm 
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Kurt Lehman wrote:
I have talked to some people that have switched to Black Cloud exclusively in there 20ga guns and have been very happy, they do not want to shoot anything else and have pretty much put there 12ga guns on the shelf for the season. If the Black Cloud responds in a 20ga the way the Fed. Heavy weight 20ga Turkey loads do they may be on to something, The Flight Control Wad and the Heavy Weight 1.5oz #7 shot has turned the the 20ga into real killer.
Kurt
I think that 1½oz Federal® Heavyweight™ load in #5 shot would be the ultimate for duck hunting!!!!!

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Only two defining forces have ever died for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:31 pm 
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I shot a 20 ga. earlier in the duck season. Shot 3/4 oz of steel #6 for the first two shots, backed up by 3" 1 oz #4. The #6 was on the light side but as long as the birds were inside of 30 yards, they were DOW. We are talking mostly gadwall early in the season before they fatten/feather up.

The thing I noticed with the 20, is that there seemed to be less margin for error...you really have to put the pattern exactly on them. WIth a 12, you have more pellets and can get away with a hit on the finge of the shot string.


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:31 am 
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Federal claims the heavy weight #7 pellet hits with the same energy at fourty yards as #5 lead does so it should be all we need for ducks. But the #6 should be really hard on ducks! the price is the hard part they run around $16.00+ for five! My buddy shot a Coyote at 25 yards with the #7's and smoked it and I shot a turkey at 34 yards and smoked it as well so that will be my go to load this spring!

Kurt


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 Post subject: Re: How Good is Federal® Black Cloud™ Steel Shot?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Location: Tennessee River Valley, N. AL
All I know is Mallard # 50 died this morning to Black cloud # 4, 3" IC. I have shot this nearly all season, I switched from rem HD, and still love it.




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