Real Life Gear Reviews – DDupleks Mono 32 Steel Slugs

September 27, 2012

A little while back, my friend Dan Goad wrote to tell me he’d be trying out a new, lead-free shotgun slug.  The DDupleks slugs are made of solid steel, and come out of Latvia.  I had actually spoken with one of the representatives from the company at SHOT, but wasn’t able to arrange to get any of the ammo for testing.  I had some pertinent questions regarding the expansion of a steel sabot (there’s basically none), and its effectiveness in putting down thinner-skinned game, like deer.  The representative reassured me that European hunters have been using these slugs for years with great success on wild boar, moose, and reindeer.  But I believe what I see, and before I decide to either promote or dismiss a product, I need to see it at work… or at least get first hand reports from a reliable source.

Dan is pretty reliable, and he tested the DDupleks ammo the old-fashioned way… he purchased his own ammo and went hunting.  Here’s his report:

This hog ran into the brush after the first hit, upon which our intrepid hunter followed him for a tete-a-tete at halitosis range. Two more shots finished the discussion.

Well,  I’ve just finished my deer season at Vandenburg Air Force Base and I successfully filled both deer tags and one pig tag using the DDuplek Mono32’s.

As you recall, these were the Latvian solid steel slugs I found to be so accurate in my Remington 11-87.  In fact, my two partners, Chuck and Jim raved about how accurate these were in their shotguns.  Chuck managed several keyhole groups at 100 yds.

I promised you a review on they performed on game and so here it is.

As with most slugs, it has a parabolic arc like a mortar.  The difference between 50 and 100 yds is 8-12 inches.  We believe we overshot quite a few deer at close range. The first few deer we shot at, we weren’t sure if they were hard hit or not.  They jumped or moved like they might be hit but took off rapidly enough that we felt it might have been a grazing shot.  Very little blood (if any) on the ground.  Could have been a function of that parabolic arc.

The pig I shot was at close range, about 25 yds and the slug went in just below the spine and it rolled it over.   The hog promptly got back to its feet and took off.   I followed it into the heavy brush and eventually cornered it at about 5 feet where it made its stand.  Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve confronted a wounded hog at that distance.  It’s cleansing for the soul!  Then I remembered I had a gun and put another into the shoulder, and then another into the skull.

Post mortem indicates pass thru on the spine shot, and the slugs remained inside on both the shoulder and skull shot.  Amazingly little meat damage and absolutely no deformation of the slug.

The first buck I shot in the chest, slightly off center, at around 40 yards.  That animal ran about 60 yards and I lost sight of him in the brush.  Fortunately I was able to locate him without the benefit of a blood trail, because there wasn’t one.  The bullet had transited the body and exited just before the hind quarter.   All the blood remained in the body cavity.

There is a big difference in the terminal performance between the Barnes Expander and the DDupleks. Both penetrate very well, but the Barnes appeared to perform much better when it came to delivering energy (dropped the doe like she was poleaxed). The DDuplex generally passed through with nominal meat damage and very little blood trail.

The second buck was a very similar scenario.  Chest shot at about 50 yards.  The slug entered the right shoulder and transited the body, lodging in the left hindquarter.  The deer ran about the same distance, 60 yards, but I was able to see him fall.  When I walked up to him, there wasn’t a blood trail or any blood coming from the entrance wound.  Once again, there was very little meat damage.

Now Chuck was pretty upset on the performance and went back to the Federal Barnes Tipped TSX (now discontinued) and shot a doe that went down like it was pole axed.  Jim swore he wouldn’t use the Dupleks again after he lost the blood trail on a buck he shot and he eventually went home empty handed.

In short, the accuracy is great, it does kill deer but don’t expect DRT performance or a blood trail.   Expect to watch the animal run and eventually die from internal blood loss.   If you can live with that, it’s good ammo.  If not, you’ve got ammo that’ll punch through trees, bushes, engine blocks and the next wave of zombies.


I’ll leave it at that.  Thanks, Dan, for an excellent and detailed report.  If any of you other readers has experience with other lead-free ammo, especially new offerings on the market, sing out!  Would love to hear how it worked for you.


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