Boss Difference

Copper-plated bOSS and tungsten devastation

Boss Difference

Copper-plated bOSS and tungsten devastation

Boss Shells

Originally crafted copper-plated non-toxic shotshells freely made in the us

Quality Like
No Other

A glimpse into how we construct our shells at BOSS

When we develop our non-toxic Copper Plated BOSS loads there is a good deal of behind the scenes work that goes into making the best shell in the game. We don’t have a massive ballistics lab with white coat scientists and a full compliment of lab donkeys to do the grunt work. Every shell is built for a specific purpose — to deliver devastatingly lethal payloads at a price that won’t break the bank. Pretty simple. Here are the steps that it takes to develop a new load.

Powder selection (shape of the pressure curve vs. velocity and resulting pattern uniformity), then a velocity test at 70F, then a pressure test at 70F, then 30 yard pattern testing, then 40 yard pattern testing, then 50 yard pattern testing, then velocity testing at 0F, then pressure testing at 0F, then 30 yard frozen pattern testing, then 40 yard frozen pattern testing, then 50 yard frozen pattern testing, then we fine tune and dial it in. Did you get all that?

Once we are relatively satisfied with what we have, we will fine tune the load to make the final adjustments, repeat the tests again, lock the formulation in and send it to production. Then we begin to obsess over the hot/cold data to narrow the gap between the temperature extremes that yield the most consistent performance. In the world of shotshells, it is safe to assume that velocities and pressures drop when the weather gets cold and the combination of primer choice, powder, powder charge, wad selection, payload, crimp style and finishing technique all play critical roles in the cold weather performance.

In this stage of the process, we will take the load and start reducing the powder charge by .1gr and re-run all of the previous tests again. We will continue to back down the powder charge .1gr at a time until we establish a trend, most of the time the data falls onto a graph that makes a straight line. Less powder equals less velocity and pressure. We also re-test by adding powder .1gr at a time and this is where it gets cool. We see velocities increase in a near linear fashion and then they will begin to flatten, but the pressures will continue to rise. We look for the point at which adding powder no longer adds velocity and if the pressures are acceptable — we then continue repeat this process with frozen shells. Heavy powder charges can get tricky in cold weather because in general, the more powder you have the harder it is to light. Anyone ever had a dud in cold weather…

At BOSS, our favorite part of the shell construction comes next — the crimp. We prefer the tried and true 6 petal fold crimp (more petals = tighter patterns and higher pressures. While the depth of the crimp affects the pressures across all temperatures, it is our belief that the true benefit of crimp depth and taper provide the most benefit in cold temperatures. The deeper crimps, larger tapers take more time to open and the resulting pressure that is created is higher. Higher pressures in cold weather allow for clean burning performance that won’t shut gas autos down during late season hunts. Crazy part is, most of our customers will go an entire season without cleaning their guns when they use shoot BOSS.



What makes a shell a ‘good deal?’ The price alone? Maybe, until you’re chasing cripples around 60 acres of sheetwater. Watch your buddy blow through a half a box of steel going after that bird and then let him try to convince what a good deal those junk shells were, right?

At BOSS, we aim to right the wrongs the steel shell peddlers have sold waterfowlers. You no longer need a 3 ½” BB steel load. They’re obsolete. Combine the copper-plated BOSS or tungsten’s devastation with premium, clean-burning powders and the game changes. Big time. With our powders, you can drop down in shell size and get less recoil. Cleaner powder also means your shot actually retains energy past 25 yards, so you can increase pattern density by dropping down in shot size. Pattern your BOSS shells out. You’ll see they absolutely crush, even at distance. To us, that’s real value.

Regarding price, we’ve got your back there too. We do not (and never will) sell to the big box stores, which means you won’t have to pay their markups. Instead, we’re sending shells direct to your door and passing the savings on to you. Again, that’s the value you’ll experience from superior BOSS Shotshells.


Belief No. 1

Always pattern your shotgun well before putting it on any critter.

Belief No. 2

As a community, we can drastically reduce crippling — and in turn, ensure more birds on the breeding grounds — by only taking ethical shots and making clean kills.

Belief No. 3

Conservation of our lands and animals is not only our responsibility, it’s the least hunters can do to pay our respects.



– Ramsey Russell | / @ramseyrussellgetducks


Do you have a prostaff?

We’d be honored to have a grinder of your caliber on our prostaff, but here’s the thing: We don’t have a prostaff and we never will.

Our distribution model is unlike any other ammunition company in that we only sell online, direct-to-consumer. If we spent money on a prostaff and flowed out wads of free product, we’d have to pass those costs to our customer—the very folks who helped us build this business. That ain’t happening, BOSSmen.

It’s different here at BOSS: The BOSSmen brethren, a wickedly cool community of over 29K+ active users on Instagram and Facebook. These folks are real deal hunters of varied experience levels and they’re always willing to help out a fellow BOSSman like you. Hit them up with any questions you might have or call the shop and we’ll talk.

How is your 2-3/4” shell the same as my 3” shell?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Ignore shell length. That’s just a bunch of marketing rigamarole we’ve all been spoonfed for way too long.

Only payload and velocity matter.

Case and point: A standard 3” steel shell has a 1 ¼ oz. payload and bunch of filler like flaxseed and plastic to take up space. Our 2 ¾” Shorty has the exact same 1 ¼ oz payload, except we don’t fall for all that filler nonsense. Cut one open and you’ll find only premium powders, a wad and the devastation of hard-hitting, copper-plated, non-toxic shot.

ADD: To be completely transparent, when Boss Shotshells was in its beginning stages we loaded as many 2 ¾” shells as the day would allow, knowing they were the best value to our customers. Frankly a 3” shell wasn’t needed, and we weren’t in a position to build a 3” shell “just because.”

I hunt ducks and geese. What shell would you suggest for decoying birds?

The quick answer is the Shorty, our 2 ¾” #5 can of whup-ass. They’re the Swiss Army knife of the BOSS lineup and diabolical for clean kills on decoying birds inside 35 yards. If you’re finding more geese than ducks hitting your spread, consider upsizing your shot to a 2 ¾” #4 for a little added thump.

Late-season, big-boned, armor-clad, field bully geese are a different critter altogether and you’ll want a 3” shell in #4 through #2 to get through those heavy down feathers. That’s how you kill the next 10 meals of goose pastrami cleanly.

What’s the best shell for geese?

The easy answer is copper-plated BOSS shells, but you already knew that.

All joking aside, for clean kills on lessers, snows and early-season honkers the Shorty, our 2 ¾” #5, is the cat’s pajamas ADD: *inside 35 yards. If you want a few more pellets in the pattern, the 3” #5’s are your go too.

On late-season, heavy-feathered Canadas, most BOSSmen are chambering 3” #4, #3 or #2’s and absolutely crushing out to 60 yards, though we seldom condone shooting at that distance. Let them work, then watch ‘em helicopter.

What is the best load for snow geese?

The 2 ¾” #3/5 Shorty. Anyone seeing a pattern here?

The #3/5 duplex load is the most adaptable load when it comes to range. The extended yardage brought by the #3’s and the increase in pellet count due to the #5’s complete one of our most sought-after and versatile loads. Hunters are able to reach out and grab the tougher, more mature birds and snag the in-your-face types without switching loads.

Will your shells work for upland?

They’ll more than work. They’ll smash, and you won’t have the guilt of sending all that gross lead into the uplands. Fact is, with copper-plated BOSS’ wicked balance of performance and price, there’s just no need for lead shot anymore. It’s just too harmful for the environment.

As a general rule, the BOSSmen like a 12-ga #5 Shorty for pheasant and grouse. Same goes for you 16-gauge loyalists. If you’re carrying a 20-, 28-gauge or a .410, many BOSSmen tend to upsize their shell length to a 3” #5 to increase pellet count.

If you’re mainly encountering quail or woodcock with a few pheasant and the errant woodie mixed in, consider dropping down to a #7. That’ll up your pattern’s pellet count and trust us, many a rooster has been taken with a copper-plated BOSS #7 and a proper lead.

What makes your bismuth better than other bismuth loads?

By surrounding our bismuth with a thin layer of copper, there’s significantly less pellet fragmentation vs. unplated bismuth. Copper plating also lessens pellet drag when entering the meat. This gives you 15% better shot penetration for quicker, cleaner, more ethical kills.

Why is bismuth better than steel?

With bismuth weighing in at a massive 9.6 g/cc vs. steel at a mere 7.8, bismuth just smashes harder. It also penetrates deeper—and both factors help significantly decrease crippling.

We’d argue copper-plated BOSS pencils out more economically, too. Dig this: If you square up on a bird with copper-plated BOSS’s exceptional pattern density, it’s a one-and-done deal. Squeeze. Dead. But at roughly $1.30 a BOSS shell vs. steel shells at $.80, it’s easy to think steel’s the better value. Until you wing a bird with steel and cycle through the next six steel shells chasing it around the marsh. Now, that sweet deal on cheap steel just cost you almost 5 bucks, a pair of sweat-soaked waders and the better part of 30 minutes in primetime. Not such a good deal after all, eh?

Do you have 3 ½” shells?

Technically, yes. But only in our 10-gauge lineup because the 10-ga was designed around the 3 ½” shell length and we’re all about honoring firearm history. Again, for most waterfowling scenarios, any BOSSman will tell you a 2 ¾” BOSS Shorty is more than enough.


Do you ship to Canada?

Not yet, as shipping ammunition to Canada is currently not allowed. We’re working on a way to get copper-plated devastation into the hands of the BOSS brethren to our North. Cross fingers. Stay tuned.

Are your shells in any stores?

That’d be a negative — here’s why:

A box store tends to mark their wholesale prices up roughly 100% — fact. A cost increase like that might put a premium shell like BOSS out-of-reach for most hard-working Americans. Not cool.

By selling only online and direct, there’s no middleman markups. From our door to yours, you get the sinister performance of the copper-plated crush festival at a price that’s barely more than steel. That’s a true value and why our business model sides with real hunters, not the big-box retailers.

Is overnight shipping available?

Unfortunately not, as it’s unlawful.

But, depending on your proximity to the booming metropolis of Bridgeman, Michigan (population 2231), we can typically get them on your doorstep in two days — orders go out the same day. From there, it’s all up to the shipping company.

What is the best waterfowl choke for my gun?

That question’s a total can of worms. Start by being honest with yourself about where you commonly take birds. 20 yards and feet down over decoys? At 15 in the timber? Passing at 45 yards over open water?

After establishing your common shooting distance, patterning is the real answer to the choke conundrum. Always, always put the shells on paper before putting them on any bird. Start with a factory Improved Modified or Full choke. Pattern opening up too much? Choke it down. Too tight? Open it up. Every shotgun’s a little different so trial and error is the process, with patterning being the rule.

Only after you get the general choke dialed with factory gear should you start fine-tuning your pattern with a custom choke. Several, more-than-capable custom choke makers are among the BOSS brethren and make chokes specifically for copper-plated BOSS. Just call the shop or ask on the BOSS Instagram or Facebook pages. Someone will point you in the right direction.

What is the best turkey choke for my gun?

Again, your common shooting distance is the real question and patterning is your answer. Start with a factory Full or X-Full and see what the paper says. Once you get that dialed, custom chokes are fine but seldom required. We say that because we don’t want folks spending money unnecessarily when factory chokes pattern just as well.

Are these shells safe for old guns?

Not only yes, but hell yes.

Given copper-plated BOSS is softer than steel, it’s 100% safe in those vintage barrels. Since the rollout of our shells, we’ve watched a massive resurgence in classic shotguns and we couldn’t be happier about to see Grandad’s guns back in the blinds. The classics got that way for a reason.