As a die-hard waterfowler and shotgun junkie I have been through seemingly endless boxes and brands of steel shotshells over the years. When I was young, the change from lead to steel was still relatively new and companies were figuring out how to make a better steel load while hunters were trying to figure out how to shoot it.
I remember buying the cheapest shells on the market, because that is what you can afford when you are 16, and being frustrated with the inefficiency of the shells. It seemed like every bird would end up wounded. Today, manufacturers have figured out faster steel and hybrid loads that are much more reliable and deadly than anything from the early days, but there are a lot of options to choose from. I have field-tested every major brand, size, and gauge on the market over the last decade and been relatively pleased with most of them, but always had a couple that were my favorite.
The last two years I have been shooting a new brand that is so impressive I will not shoot anything else—Spectra Shot. The consistency and knock-down power of Spectra Shot is unmatched by anything I have previously used, and I recommend it to everyone.
What makes Spectra Shot so deadly?
Let’s start with the owner. Blair Michel from Louisiana is a world-class shotgunner and a Southern gentleman who knows shotgun shell ballistics inside and out. Every shell is made right here in the United States. That means quality control and customer satisfaction is number one, unlike the bigger companies who you have to talk with a representative if you should ever have a problem, and we all know how that goes. Blair puts so much passion into this product it comes through in the field.
Spectra Shot was designed and patented with a colored coating for positive bird identification. This is a great feature when your bird-claiming buddy tries to steal your band—everyone has one of those friends. Additionally, the coating provides other valuable characteristics that are important in the performance of a shotgun shell. When steel shot is manufactured, it still has many tiny imperfections on the BB, making it wander within flight. This creates holes within your pattern. Spectra Shot has fixed this problem with the by making the BBs perfectly smooth, resulting in an almost flawless pattern. The coating also adds to the overall weight and density of the BB, delivering more kinetic energy on impact and resulting in more lethal blows.
At $23.99 MSRP for a box of 25 shells, the price is slightly less than the than the competitors in their class. Slightly cheaper and more lethal—that is a winning combination.
When you combine all of this along with the best powder and wads, you produce the best shotgun shell on the market today! I highly recommend Spectra Shot to anyone looking to get more out of their waterfowling and support an American company.
Image courtesy Denis Isbister