Hardware: Hevi-Shot Hevi-X

posted on August 16, 2018

Released just in time last year for me to take aim at December teal in Venice, La., the latest addition to the Hevi-Shot family, Hevi-X, is a compressed-tungsten waterfowl load for the masses. No doubt most hunters are familiar with the use of tungsten in turkey loads; modern iterations contain shot that typically has high tungsten content, somewhere in the range of 90 percent. The reason: tungsten is dense, and it provides the mass needed to deliver lethal energy with smaller shot. Tungsten is also a federally approved alternative to lead, making it a perfect choice for waterfowl hunters.

So why not load compressed shot with high tungsten content for waterfowl? The simple answer is price. A 90 percent tungsten load would cost too much to shoot in volume. The original Hevi-Shot, with what’s considered high tungsten content for waterfowl loads and a density somewhere in the realm of 12 grams per cubic centimeter (g/cc), can price more than a few hunters out of the game. Hevi-X is the alternative: a mid-range tungsten-based load that has a much higher density than steel, performance characteristics closer to lead and a price tag that waterfowl hunters, even cheap ones like me, can be happy with.

While I couldn’t wrangle the exact recipe from the cooks at Environ-metal, I was able to glean some insight as to the density of Hevi-X shot and its potential energy on target. The makeup of the shot is a proprietary recipe consisting of tungsten powder mixed with polymers, and it’s regarded a grander secret than the Colonel’s fried chicken. The density of Hevi-X is also proprietary, but the folks at Environ-metal say it’s closely comparable to the density of bismuth, which is about 9.8 g/cc. Standard steel shot, on average, has a density of only about 7.86 g/cc and a mass of around 3.55 grains per No. 2 pellet.

My math says each No. 2 steel pellet traveling out of the barrel at 1450 fps produces about 17 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy. That’s a tried-and-true mallard slayer all day long. An “average” No. 2 Hevi-X pellet, with an approximate density of 9.8 g/cc and a mass of 5.72 grains, pushed out of the barrel at 1450 fps carries a whopping 27 ft.-lbs. of energy.

Now, it’s important to note that due to the non-uniform shot size of Hevi-X, the “No. 2” pellets I measured varied in mass from 2.7 grains all the way up to 7.5 grains, with the majority being 4.9-7.5 grains. That variation provides an average kinetic energy of 27 ft.-lbs., but the load’s larger, 7.5-grain pellets, of which there are plenty, deliver upwards of 35 ft.-lbs. of energy. That’s more than double the energy steel No. 2’s produce, and because of these pellets’ density, they will deliver more energy at greater distances than similar-size steel, too. If you need more debate than that, well, you’ve got a stubborn waterfowl hunter’s blood running through your veins.

The awesome energy of Hevi-X allows us to scale down pellet size, and in turn, increase the number of skull-cracking pellets we send skyward with each shot. Say you shoot steel BBs at geese. Hevi-X No. 2 loads produce adequate kinetic energy, increase pellet count and pattern density, and are giant goose showstoppers. If you shoot No. 2 steel for ducks, switch to Hevi-X No. 4 for the same reasons to bag a strap full of sprigs.

It’s imperative to consider the hardness of tungsten-based shot and what that may do to your gun’s barrel. Tungsten is harder than steel, and it can destroy barrels, especially in older guns. Do not shoot Hevi-X out of those guns. Modern waterfowl shotguns, with barrels designed for harder-than-lead steel shot, can handle the blend, though repeated use will still wear out your barrel faster than a blue-wing over a bayou duck blind. To combat this, Hevi-X utilizes a beefy, thick-hulled, full-length wad that protects your barrel as the shot exits.

Hevi-X sits right at a sweet spot where performance and price meet to offer the average waterfowl hunter a premium shell he can afford to shoot. You should be able to increase your distance and trust that a good hit with Hevi-X is going to result in a bird in hand. Way to go, Hevi-X, you’ve just made shotshell snobs of us all.

Technical Specifications
• Gauge/Length: 12/2¾″, 12/3″ (tested), 12/3½″  (tested), 20/3″
• Payload: 1¼, 1⅜ ozs. BB, No. 2, No. 4
• Pellet: compressed tungsten alloy
• Muzzle Velocity (advertised fps): 1450 (12/3″), 1500 (12/3½″)
• MSRP: $28.99-$39.99 per 25 rnd. box; hevishot.com


Draper Shooting S20 Hunter
Draper Shooting S20 Hunter

#SundayGunday: Sako S20 Hunter

Get a closer look at the Sako S20 Hunter, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

Local Legends: Why Butch and Harold Still Prowl the Big Woods

The experience of two Vermont hunters shows it’s never too late to find a new hunting partner.

Non-Toxic Shot Roundup

Contributor Mike Roux discusses the ins and outs of non-toxic shot with his audience.

First Look: Garmin GPSMAP 67 and eTrex SE Handheld GPS Units

Whether you want a high-tech hunting device that’s loaded with sophisticated features or simply need an easy-to-use GPS to avoid getting lost in the woods, Garmin’s new handhelds have you covered.

Henry Repeating Arms Donates $25,000 to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

Henry Repeating Arms has announced a donation of $25,000 to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever as part of its $1 million silver anniversary pledge and the company’s commitment to safeguarding America’s outdoors and hunting traditions.

Hardware: CVA Cascade XT

The new XT (X-Treme) is CVA’s precision-oriented rifle in the company’s popular Cascade rifle series, and boasts several features that make it an ideal multipurpose hunting rifle. 


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.