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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last spring I got 2 boxes of 2 3/4 winchester xpert high velocity #2 for $5.50 a box. I figured they would make a great wood duck load. So yesterday morning I went on a dedicated woody hunt with these loads and wouldn't you know it, the first birds to come in were mallards. Now these birds were coming straight at me about half as high as the trees(not good estimating yardage in the air but they were very close). My first 2 shots brought down 2 birds with 1 having 2 hits to the head and body hits as well but was still alive :shock:

Ended up with 2 woodys and 2 mallards. While cleaning them I noticed the penetration on these birds was terrible. Now I've used a lot of 3" xperts with the same velocity and shot size with excellent penetration. I'm wondering if the 2 3/4 actually have the velocity thats marked on the box or if I just got a bad box.
 

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What you calling poor penetration and what was the velocity of the load?

With birds coming at you, you are hitting their feathers head-on and mallards are loaded with heavy feathers and down. I'm not saying this was the cause, but its got to make a difference!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Velocity is 1550. My biggest problem was the one that was hit in the head twice and not dead. He was hit in the eye and just behind the eye. Usually any hit to the head results in death. Also found shot in the breast meat while usually at ranges that close the shot will at least pass through the breast. I do understand your point about the feathers and always have that in mind while goose hunting.

I'm not surprised or upset at all although it probably sounds that way when read. I've had other "quality" problems with xperts. I guess I'm just putting the info out there.

I'll continue to buy them if the price is right.
 

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My guess is that the birds weren't as close as you though they were. After hunting smaller ducks like woodies, big mallards look awefully close when they are still out there a ways.

You do get what you pay for. Cut an expert open and look at the shot. Then cut open a "premium" shell and compare.
 

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I think there is a good chance of what you are referring to. With steel shot loads, the only way you can be sure is to chronograph them. I personally do not see how it is possible for those 2-3/4" Xperts to pack both 1-1/16 oz shot and 1550 fps while the 3" loads pack only 1/16 oz more at the same speed.

Further, I have chronographed Xperts in 3.5" 1-3/8 oz 1550 that recorded at 1500 at about 5 feet. That is spot on for the 1550 muzzle velocity, and the shells recorded were fairly consistent.

3" 1-1/8 oz 1550 Xperts were not as consistent, ranging from the high 1400s to mid 1300s. They averaged a recorded 1450 if I recall, making them a muzzle velocity of about 1500, not the listed 1550.

2-3/4" 1-1/16 oz 1550 Xperts, were not in my stockpile to test. Maybe next year. But my brother got a box just the other day and reports that they kick much less than the the 3" 1550s. Since the shot payload is not much lighter, it is a good bet that the velocity is in fact slower than the 3", even though the box says they should be the same. Another thing he noticed was his barrel was terribly dirty today after shooting the 2-3/4" 1550 Xperts. I must say it was the dirtiest barrel I have ever seen. The 3" and 3.5" Xperts do not leave near that much residue.

The worst load I had the chance to chronograph was the Federal Heavy High Velocity Steel loads. They were listed as 2-3/4" 1-1/4 oz #4 @1375 fps. They chronographed from 1200 something all the way down into the 900s. And they were considered a "Premium" load.

Jeremiah
 

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My guess is that all of these factors ganged up on you.

Lower than stated shot velocity, longer range than you thought, and definitely the feather shield.

Breast feathers point toward the back and are tightly overlaid with each other, causing the pellet to have to go through them rather than under or between them as a side or going away shot does. This increases the energy loss in the feathers, resulting in reduced penetration. Even in the old days of lead shot, I picked a lot of down covered balls out of the breast flesh of large ducks shot coming straight in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
FullandFuller said:
2-3/4" 1-1/16 oz 1550 Xperts, were not in my stockpile to test. Maybe next year. But my brother got a box just the other day and reports that they kick much less than the the 3" 1550s. Since the shot payload is not much lighter, it is a good bet that the velocity is in fact slower than the 3", even though the box says they should be the same. Another thing he noticed was his barrel was terribly dirty today after shooting the 2-3/4" 1550 Xperts. I must say it was the dirtiest barrel I have ever seen. The 3" and 3.5" Xperts do not leave near that much residue.

Jeremiah
What was your brother's overall opinion of them?

Excellent information BTW
 

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We are on our way out again right now, so he will probably have a more solid opinion of their performance in a few hours. They are #2s and so far he got 3 mallards and 1 ringneck from the first half of the box, but I believe he also shot a few finishing swats. I don't like the pellet count in barely over 1 oz of 2s, but it was either 2s or 4s, and I don't like worrying about 4s in the meat. I like 3s for steel on ducks but they are harder to find.

The patterning and velocity data for the Xperts I tested this summer is at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 111254991/

Jeremiah
 

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My son and I just limited on Canada's ysterday in 30 minutes using the Winchester Xperts. I was shooting the 3 inchers and he was shooting the 2&3/4" version. Both were loaded with BB's I was actually very impressed with how the XPert steel handled the geese. No complaints here. I paid $10 a box for the 3in mags and $8.99 for the 2&3/4's.
 
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