Blackcloud shells and barrel life?


Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
I have shot nearly every shotgun shell, brand and size at them damn waterfowls. The tungsten is amazing but you need a second morgage to buy the things. Heavy steel is good, Kent faststeel is priced good and along the lines of Winchester Xpert awesome for good close decoy shots.
I bought a case of Blackcloud this season because the dude on the box is bad ass and I felt like jumping in with both feet. Even with an old ass gun they kill the shit out of waterfowl and for 20-24 bucks a box well worth it. I shot less shells by a third at least and better kills mostly. With some of those cheaper/affordable shot shells I/We would have to make a few water shots to kill good and give the dogs a better retrieve. It is really a conservation tool as well as economical. My only concern is what will these goofy shaped shot do to a barrel in a few years?
Has anyone tried the stacked shot by Winchester, Blindside?

Tom Palmer

Active Member
There is little to no chance of barrel damage shooting black cloud. The shot is contained in the very tough flitestopper wad and should never contact your barrel.

The worst that could happen if some of the very hard shot gets past the wad and contacts your barrel... it would score the inside of the barrel (i.e it'd get a scratch). Shoot long enough with regular steel and you run the same risk. It's not worth worrying about, shoot away!

Hevi-metal and blackloud really do a number on waterfowl. I am big fans of both. If you haven't tried hevi-metal it is much better then the old hevi-steel and is great for ducks over the decoys.

Blindside? Not a fan. In order to cram more shot they had to reduce velocity and we have all learned with steel speed kills! I'm sure it works but for the same price I'll take hevi-metal and blackcloud.


Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
I see they require a choke that does NOT reduce Muzzle pressure,,,that must be because of the wad used..

I have tried Heavy Metal and bought the choke kit, it is a great combo,,,deadly.

Thanks,,,,, I'll get the new gun out!

Tom Palmer

Active Member
The one disadvantage to black cloud many have found it patterns so well, ducks over decoys are problematic. Your pattern is so small you either miss or turn the breast in to a pepper shaker!

I plan on using hevi-metal for the first two shots and BC for the third based on recent results. Three inch shells with #3 shot with either load are deadly and as you note worth the extra money.

And yep, these wads are delayed opening and don't like ports or studs inside the choke... plus I'm not a fan of ported chokes anyway around other hunters or dogs. They should come with a warning label of reducing your hearing or your money back :)


Active Member
I hunt an awful lot of ducks. I do not really see the advantages of the high priced ammo. Give me some steel 4 shot and some Fiocchi 1 9/16 oz BB and I will pile up ducks and geese until my limit is filled.

Guy Gregory

Active Member
I'm generally with Benjy on this, fasteels or the winchester loads kill lots of waterfowl. You do have to hit 'em. Put the bead on their beaks and they fall pretty often. I've used the Kent's, but I went to winchesters which seem to be a more moisture proof shell...I put my shells in plastic boxes and the kents bases seemed to corrode over time. there's a lot of blind-side speculation about what might be going on in the steel inside the shell, I never cut one open to see. Generaally, agian, hit'em good and they're in the bag.

That being said, I bought a box of black cloud 3 1/2 bb's and will be using them this weekend. I'm hoping I get a chance to prove their effectiveness defending our country against the canadian invaders....


Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
I too like the winchester loads. But was amazed at Black cloud I made more doubles and even a triple the first few days shooting them, thats in ONE shot two birds. Been running the factory IC choke on the Super VINCI over the coys and seems to shoot well. Have not been shooting the 3.5 just the 3 inch in 3's. The patternmaster un-vented choke on my Nova shoots best with the BC.

Now if I can get my super Vinci to fit my bear paws I will be a happy hunter, never seen such a small grip its like they were made for kids!

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Black Cloud are very deadly shells but the tissue damage to the breast meat is pretty bad. I split a box of Blind Side shells with my hunting buddy on Wednesday and neither one of us were impressed with them at all. I prefer Kent Faststeel 3 inch, I wish they would do away with 3 1/2 " shells, too many sky busters use them thinking they can knock birds down at 60+ yards.

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Karl you hit that nail square on! Most of these guys fall for the speed trap on Faststeel, and haven't figured out that due to the vastly decreased density, it doesn't carry worth squat. You should have tried the steel my dad used to load; as much as he could cram into a shell, and it went up to warp 10 yesterday. He always claimed he could shoot behind the bird and still get `em... Recoiled like a cape buffalo, too!!


Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
I shot a few of the ONE box of BLIND SIDE I purchased, not impressed. I think the Winchesters over the coys and Black Cloud as a final or Pass shooting is a good combo. I did some shooting in the heavy wind the other day and the Black Clound lost some of its magic....BB's chimed in well!

Another thing I noticed about some of the new shot and choke combo's are that the vented chokes loose thier effectivness with shot speeds over 1550 fps. HUH??
I indicated I would give a report on Black Cloud after last weekends' hunt. Well, I used no shells last weekend, as no birds seemed to be around where I hunt. Until we got the decoys loaded up late morning.

My son called waterfowl hunting over decoys "Still-fishing for birds". Sums it up pretty well, I think.

Anyway, the black cloud shells are still in "as-new" condition. Maybe later.