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Here's the Scoop With Hornady Heavy Magnum Shotgun Ammo

Hornady Heavy Magnum
Bass Pro Shops

Hornady Heavy Magnum ammo is intended for turkey and predator hunting and is designed for optimum performance in shotguns with an improved or modified choke. 

Turkey hunters quite often use a full or special extra full turkey choke on their shotguns for tighter shot patterns at longer range.

That's all well and good for the many hunters using shotguns with interchangeable choke tubes, but what about those who use shotguns with a fixed choke? Instead of going out and buying a new barrel, those hunters have another option for turkey and predator hunting: Hornady Heavy Magnum shotgun ammunition.

Most shotguns with fixed chokes have either a modified or an improved cylinder, both of which are very effective for the majority of upland game or waterfowl hunters. Unfortunately, those chokes don't produce a dense enough shot pattern with common turkey loads.

In an effort to solve this problem, the folks at Hornady Manufacturing developed the Hornady Versatite wad which is designed to strip cleanly from the shot string after leaving the barrel and more effectively keep the shot pattern together than typical wads.

Hornady Heavy Magnum
Hornady.com

When coupled with a heavy load of nickel-plated lead shot (that they claim uses the thickest nickel-plating in the industry), the Versatite wad delivers great pattern density, a short shot column, minimal shot deformation, and lethal results on game at typical hunting ranges when using a modified or improved cylinder choke.

Hornady Heavy Magnum ammo is currently manufactured in two different variants: Heavy Magnum Turkey and Heavy Magnum Coyote.

The Hornady Heavy Magnum Coyote line is available in a 3" 12 gauge load with either 00 Buckshot or BB shot size. These loads use 1 1/2 ounces of nickel plated lead shot, which is the perfect answer for close range predators like coyotes and bobcats.

On the other hand, Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey is produced in the two most popular shotgun gauges: 12 gauge and 20 gauge (both with a 3" shell length). To comply with most local laws regarding turkey ammunition, these loads use #4, 5, and 6 size shot for the 12 gauge shotshells and #5 shot for the 20 gauge load.

All three 12 gauge loads use 1 1/2 ounces of shot at 1,300 feet per second. The 20 gauge shotshells have a 1 3/8 ounce load fired at 1,200 feet per second. Hornady advertises that their Heavy Magnum Turkey shotshells are effective out to 50 yards.

Here are two final things to keep in mind about this ammunition.

First, as you'd expect from ammunition with a name like that, this is some hard hitting shotgun ammo. As such, it's ideal for when you need a powerful load with a dense pattern. However, it does have a pretty stout recoil, which can negatively impact your ability to take a rapid follow-up shot.

That's not necessarily a deal breaker, but that's even more reason to make that first shot count.

Second, while Hornady Heavy Magnum ammo is designed for use in an improved or modified choke, hunters aren't restricted to using it in those choke sizes. As you can see in the video below, this ammunition will also pattern well with a tighter choke.

So, if you're looking for a heavy hitting turkey or coyote load to take afield in your 12 or 20 gauge shotgun this year, the Hornady Heavy Magnum line of shotgun ammo is certainly worth checking out.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by John McAdams on The Big Game Hunting Blog. Follow him on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, & Instagram.

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Here's the Scoop With Hornady Heavy Magnum Shotgun Ammo