Hornady Black – The Full Power FliteControl Killer

Hornady Black 12-gauge #00 buckshot
| October 21, 2020
Categories: Guns

Flitecontrol, Flitecontrol, Flitecontrol, it’s all about Flitecontrol. Flitecontrol is the shotgun load of choice for most serious shotgunners. This Federal load has become famed for how tight the load remains compared to other buckshot loads. Flitecontrol extends the effective range of your shotgun and keeps the load of shot ultra-tight. The Flitecontrol wad sits at the center of this magic, but Federal doesn’t own the patent to the specialized shotgun that allows the load to stay so tight. Another load has emerged utilizing the same type of specialized shot cup from Hornady called Hornady Black.

Federal Premium vs Hornady Black

Flitecontrol is famed for being a low recoiling tight grouping load that is perfect for pump-action shotguns. The low recoiling design is most certainly advantageous in a pump gun, but what about a semi-auto load? Some semi-auto shotguns can be picky about low recoiling loads. Low recoil also means lower velocity. Lower velocity means less power and less penetration. The Hornady Black is different in the fact that it’s a full-powered load.

Hornady Black Has the Numbers

My favorite Flitecontrol load is the eight pellet 00 buckshot that comes in at 1145 FPS. The Hornady Black load I’m experimenting with is an eight pellet 00 buckshot load that comes in at 1,600 feet per second. That little difference in velocity makes a huge difference in foot-pounds of energy transferred into the target.

Travis Pike shooting Hornady Black.

An average load of 8 pellet 00 buckshot weighs 437 gains. Using a foot-pounds calculator, the Federal Flitecontrol hits with an impressive 1271 foot-pounds of energy. That’s great, but the Hornady Black hits a target with 2483 foot-pounds of energy. That’s almost double the energy.

Double the energy, double the fun, right folks? This extra energy will help the pellets go further with more velocity. They can also allow for greater light barrier penetration.

The 1,600 FPS also ensures a semi-auto shotgun will run without complaint. I built an 80 lower AR 10 based shotgun that’s picky, but loves Black. That’s at the top edge of velocity for a 2.75-inch shotgun shell. The Hornady Black load delivers an impressive load of buckshot for use in semi-auto shotguns.

Semi-Auto Satisfaction

I say semi-auto shotguns for one reason, which ties to the downside of the Hornady Black load, and that’s recoil. 1,600 FPS is a lot of oomph on both sides. That oomph translates into recoil, and from a pump-action, you are getting hammered with this round. I put it through a Mossberg 590, and you can feel a significant difference between a standard load and a 1,600 FPS load. A semi-auto shotgun’s action helps reduce recoil and makes the Hornady Black a little more controllable and comfortable.

Hornady Black vs Federal Premium buckshot

When tested side by side with Federal Flitecontrol, the two rounds pattern identically. At ten yards, they both make one big hole into the target and do not see any real spread until you get out to beyond 20 yards. You can back up to 25 yards and achieve a 6 inch or so pattern with both loads. They perform close enough that unless you were the one feeling the extra recoil, you couldn’t tell the two apart.

Flitecontrol shotshell pattern, left. Black Hornady shot pattern, right.

Both rounds at ten yards: Flitecontrol on the left, and Hornady Black on the right.

Quality Counts

They both feed and eject without issue and are true 2.75 inch loads. Some loads tend to be a little longer coughRiocough, and this can limit capacity. If your tube is supposed to hold seven 2.75 inch shells, then it will hold seven Hornady Black without complaint.

Hornady Black 12-gauge shotshells on shotgun

The two loads of buckshot pattern perfectly for close up defensive use and ensure you get complete control over each and every pellet you are shooting. The Hornady Black load offers you a Flitecontrol alternative with full-powered performance. This hard-hitting sledgehammer of a load is perfect for semi-auto shotguns and delivers hard-hitting power for those who want that full power Flitecontrol alternative.

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  1. Joe Johnston

    Hunting in NC for deer with a 12 ga, we found that #1 buck shot put more weight of lead in the 14 inch circle at 25 yards than #00 buck shot.

  2. Nobody U. Know

    Thanks for the information about Hornady Black 12GA #00 — I haven’t tried it yet. The Hornady Critical Defense 12 GA #00 delivered tighter patterns at longer ranges than all Federal and Remington #00 loads in both low recoil and full power in my Remington 1100’s in barrels ranging from 18.5″ to 28″.


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