Remington’s new HyperSonic Steel Shotshells

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Remington claims their new HyperSonic Steel is the worlds fastest waterfowl shotshell. The HyperSonic loads feature their new Xelerator Wad technology which allows shotshells to blast out shot at 1700 fps! How does it achieve these speeds? In their own words …

The primer ignites a small portion of the powder charge captured in the “Ignition Chamber”, this captive charge accelerates the wad and payload forward until the remainder of the powder charge is ignited. The increased volume behind the wad allows for the remainder of the propellant to burn, driving the shot to 1700 fps without causing excessive pressure – all in just a fraction of a millisecond.

Simply overcoming the inertia of the wad and shot would help greatly with velocity and chamber pressure.

This is a possible design for an accelerating wad shotshell. Solid fuel rockets and, I think, some artillery shells have a “blast tunnel” (excuse my ignorance) that runs through the propellent.

A possible configuration

I can’t wait for somebody to cut one open and take tell us what the wad looks like.

A 3″ 12 Gauge Remington Nitro Steel High Velocity with a 1 1/8 oz. load has a velocity of 1550 fps. This means that the HyperSonic steel achieves a 10% increase in velocity. Impressive!

The HyperSonic loads are available in 3″ (1 1/8 oz.) and 3.5″ (1 3/8 oz.) loads in either BB, no. 2 or no. 4 steel shot. All loads have a velocity of 1700 fps. The price for a 25 round box ranges from $23 – $33.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Don

    Another “fix” to a problem that didn’t exist. If you need 10% more power to make the shot, maybe you really need more range time. The bird doesn’t know if the shot was 1200fps or 1550fps, if you hit them well they are dead. If you don’t how faster shot gets there isn’t the answer. Sure the faster the load travels the tighter it will be on target. It a 28″ barrel and tight choke tube doesn’t reach fare enough you aren’t calling them in that well or your set up is just poor. More powerful ammo isn’t the answer for poor hunting technique.

    How some defensive loads in OO or even dare I say a slug might just be the thing for more punch in the life and death struggle against bad guys everywhere.

    $23-33 is stupid to pay for bird shot. You guy got to get a shot shell reloader and then all you need is hand cut wads to set the load to whatever range you want.

    Hey what about 31/2″ loads?

    Let the “short magnum” shot shell war begin! LOL!

  • Jim

    All of my best ideas get produced by someone else. Shame.

  • Kyle Huff

    Sounds like they have a delayed ignition on a secondary charge of faster burning powder.

  • JeffinNZ

    OUCH! (pocket and shoulder)

  • Redchrome

    Sounds like the high-low pressure system used by 40mm grenade cartridges. A decent idea.

    Solid fuel rocket motors have a hollow tube through them for the sake of propulsion efficiency. The hot gas way at the top of the motor can be accellerated even further by the the gas burning in the rest of the motor, giving higher pressures and therefore more efficiency (higher ‘specific impulse’). By modifying the shape of this tube (the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters use an 11-point star cross-section for the tube, and I think there may be some ‘waisting’ [constriction] at places in there as well, but I don’t remember clearly) the amount of thrust during the course of the burn can be modified. (most rockets need to throttle back at one point during their ascent in order to not crush themselves against the resistive pressure of the air as their speed increases while still in the atmosphere).

    As for artillery shells, I always guessed that the long tube from the primer was there to help consistently ignite the huge powder charges. I don’t know anything about them really tho. I do remember reading about wildcat reloaders experimenting with 20mm cases, soldering a ‘flash tube’ to the primer hole so as to control which way the powder burned. I suspect it wasn’t terribly successful; but I don’t know.

  • Al T.

    Same concept as the 40mm M203 grenades.

    Steve, I think the term your looking for is a primer tube. IIRC, some artillery designs/experiments tried this in order to have the powder burn from front to rear as opposed to rear to front like a modern small arms cartridge. The thought was that more of the powder would be consumed instead of being blown down the bore.

  • http://www.WeaponsCache.com WeaponsCache.com – Matt

    Here’s the link for more info about it including a cross section of the shell:
    http://www.remington.com/pages/hypersonic-steel.aspx

  • http://www.goneafield.com Ed

    I wonder how much of this is marketing hype to get more people “in” to steel. I know plenty of hunters that won’t use it (so long as legal to use lead in the area), citing that the steel won’t deform or slow down in the bird like lead will, leading to a perforated, wounded, but still-moving bird.

    Could also be a demand by the duck hunters (my guess) for something that can reach out and touch birds a little further out. Though even this doesn’t quite make sense to me. In a blind, you just need to be quiet and still and let the birds come in and you don’t need the range. In a scull boat the extra range could be helpful, but that implies inartful sculling (practice, then).

    I’d really like to see firsthand how these shells pattern at 40, 50 and 60 yards. Perhaps 70, too (if they will at all).

  • Ron Powers

    To much money for just steel,if you want a great fast load in steel,try winchesters 3.5 inch xpert at 1625 feet per second. The best load I have ever used for longer range shooting,its hot,and it kills. I use it in bb for geese,and 2s for ducks,and guess what,at your local wal mart its under 15 bucks abox. If you have never used xpert shot shells by winchester its time you do,you will be surprised.Iam probley like most waterfowl hunters,and cant afford 35 bucks for ten rounds of non toxic shot shells.I have tried everything on the market over the years,and I go back to the winchester shells,there cheap,they kill,and they dont kill your pocket book.
    I live in southern oregon,just 12 miles for lower klamath national wildlife refuge,and less than 20 miles from tule lake,a haven for waterfowl. I can step out my back door and hunt daily for ducks,and geese,so I get alot of hunting in,and try everything on the market when it comes to shot shells,Iam sure I will try the new remingtion shells.But I will bet you a limit of green heads,that I will keep right on useing xpert shells.

  • Matt

    All these comments are just plain dumb and the reason the de-evolution. You right if we could shoot better, we would! If we could skull better… WE WOULD!

    Typewriters worked great for century’s, why would we need a computer!?

    Why shoot carbon arrows when aluminum, or better yet WOOD, worked just as well for harvesting deer?

    The same logic is for war. Heck trench warfare worked great, why did we ever change that??? Why did we need a repeating rifle? Muskets did a great job!

    Why innovate? Why oh why would you need or want a new fangled device!?

    DUMB DUMB DUMB! Bring on the new technology, see if it works in real world applications. If it does, then what we will have is a new definition for “the best”. If it doesn’t, go throw them in the trash and get back to the white board. Either way this country has been built on the back of innovators, not those that want to be behind the bell curve.

  • Zach

    Whoops, Just realized this was posted back in May…nevermind then.

  • robert potvin

    the big problem with these shells is’ humidity”,after being left in my truck for a few days, 6 of them, one after the other, would,nt fire (my shotgun isn,t the problem ,the other shells y had there for months fired all the time that day) y think there is a problem with the first stage of the ignition system .

  • sinn

    i shoot / duck hunt with a fella thats reloads all his own steel. He has his Steel #3 shot going over 1750 fps

    let me tell you ive seen it for 5 years now when we sit together everytime that we have ever shot at anything i consider questionable range birds for my kent fasteel, we both shoot and he knocks em down every time. I am right on the birds, leading correctly and so is he but that extra fast load realy work well. he tends to get a little cocky and takes longer shots than most people should but the birds crumble. its pretty amazing actually. killing power out to 60 yards for ducks with steel shot. but those loads are moving 1750fps +

    so is speed overated i kinda doubt it.