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Spy Photos: Federal Cooking Up New Turkey Load That Mixes Shot Sizes

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April 18, 2012
Spy Photos: Federal Cooking Up New Turkey Load That Mixes Shot Sizes - 8

A Federal Premium Ammunition employee (who wished to remain anonymous) snapped these photos for us of a new shotshell in the works. Federal is reportedly putting the finishing touches on a new turkey load that will be available for the spring 2013 season. What do company engineers have up their sleeves?

Thanks to a few tips from my source, I think it’s fair to speculate that Federal is cooking up a turkey load that combines at least a couple shot sizes. There are two ways such shells are typically loaded: as a homogenous mixture, or through what’s known as “multi-plexing,” in which shot is layered by size.

In theory, the smaller shot provides greater pattern density while the larger shot increases downrange lethality — it’s win-win. But in practice, some ammo makers (and this amateur handloader) have encountered difficulties. Consider a two-layer duplex load. If the large shot exits first (as is most typical), you can end up with severe pattern stringing: The thinly spread larger shot reaches the target first, followed shortly by the rapidly decelerating smaller shot. Reverse the shot layers, and the big shot overtakes the small shot midair. Pellets collide. The pattern disintegrates. Cats living with dogs. It’s ballistic chaos.

However, I am intrigued by the idea of a multiplex or mixture of shot loaded in one of Federal’s FliteControl wads, which are shown in all three photos. Unlike a traditional wad, the FliteControl is designed to stay with the payload significantly farther downrange. Can such a wad eliminate the ballistic pratfalls of blended shotshells while maximizing the advantages? I hope we get to find out.

Comments (8)

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from ICDEDTURKES wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Mag Blend is not allowed into the GNCC Still Target Championships, nothing smaller than 6s, but I am sure if the shot from the really big number targets put up by Hevi 6s at the competition were collected a large number of pellets would be smaller than 6s..

As for pricing, Yup probably be more money.. A higher percentage of denser materials in the make up is going to translate to higher prices but also better downrange performance.. Also quality control is not cheap and if Environmetal actually screened their pellets true to size instead of having every single shell they have ever sold being a "Mag Blend" of sorts and found a way to eliminate the snowmen pellets, margin would decrease or prices would go up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from slickyboyboo wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Thing is, Mag Blends haven't been setting any records, and they definitely aren't the best patterning factory shell out there and that is fact. As ICDEDTURKES said, the Fed shells are true to size, and uniformally round, which can't be said for anything produced by Environmetal. Federal's only problem is that they do need to ditch the wad, and go to a smaller shot in that denisty, and they will be hands down the best and most dense patterning turkey shell on the commercial market.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from loufaulkner wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I think when this load sets records like Magnum Blend, the obvious target of this knock off, then I'll give it a try. Plus, I'd like to see the pricing of this stuff compared to Magnum Blend, something tells me it will be quite a bit more.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ICDEDTURKES wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

I would be real skeptical of shooting your Mag blends in that case.. If you were to cut them open you would undoubtedly find 7.5s, 8s, 8.5s.. So if legality is the issue I would believe you need to check what you are currently shooting..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from letrfly27 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Haveing shot both Hevi Shot and Federal ammo in the past. I dont see this being any diffrent. Hevi Shot Magnum Blend will out preform hands down! Magnum Blend is the best patterning turkey load on the market! I have never seen so many pellets in a 3 in circle! As far as where I hunt anything smaller than and #7 is illegal for turkeys so if it is loaded in those sizes no matter what the density is there wont be anybody around here shooting it...leagally anyway.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ICDEDTURKES wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Im with Slickyboy, there is simply no comparison between the pellets in Fed HW and Hevi Mag Blend, its comparing apples to oranges.. With the density of lead shot ranging from 10.7 g/cc to 11.2 g/cc and Hevi 13 no longer existing and only being 12 g/cc with reloaders testing hevi shot and finding it coming in under 12 g/cc its barely denser than lead.. Whereas Fed Heavy weight has pellets that are TRUE to size and comes in at a density of 15.2 g/cc.. Heavyweight is far superior..

Hopefully Federal uses their head, which I doubt they will and not load this in a 5,6,7 blend but instead load up a 7,7.5, 8 blend which would be bad news on turkeys at ranges we should be shooting 50 and in..

But in reality with their far superior pellets they should really do is ditch the piece of crap Flight Control Wad, Up their payloads in the 12 gauge to 2oz and 2.25 oz respectively, go from 7s to a straight load of 7.5s or 8s and make every other turkey load a inferior..

Blended loads although they work are nothing more than a marketing ploy for the folks scared to shoot smaller shot but want denser patterns.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from slickyboyboo wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Wingseeker,

What's odd? The fact that there is a load out there that is better than your beloved Hevi-shot? Believe it, Hevi doesn't hold a candle to what the Fed HW shot will do. Deal with it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingseeker wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

This sounds a bit odd. I use the HeviShot Magnum Blend shell and quite honestly, nothing compares to its performance. The pellet counts on target are simply amazing with the HeviShot Magnum Blend shells and you couple that with the penetration. No thanks on anything other than the Magnum Blend

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from slickyboyboo wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Thing is, Mag Blends haven't been setting any records, and they definitely aren't the best patterning factory shell out there and that is fact. As ICDEDTURKES said, the Fed shells are true to size, and uniformally round, which can't be said for anything produced by Environmetal. Federal's only problem is that they do need to ditch the wad, and go to a smaller shot in that denisty, and they will be hands down the best and most dense patterning turkey shell on the commercial market.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from slickyboyboo wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Wingseeker,

What's odd? The fact that there is a load out there that is better than your beloved Hevi-shot? Believe it, Hevi doesn't hold a candle to what the Fed HW shot will do. Deal with it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ICDEDTURKES wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Im with Slickyboy, there is simply no comparison between the pellets in Fed HW and Hevi Mag Blend, its comparing apples to oranges.. With the density of lead shot ranging from 10.7 g/cc to 11.2 g/cc and Hevi 13 no longer existing and only being 12 g/cc with reloaders testing hevi shot and finding it coming in under 12 g/cc its barely denser than lead.. Whereas Fed Heavy weight has pellets that are TRUE to size and comes in at a density of 15.2 g/cc.. Heavyweight is far superior..

Hopefully Federal uses their head, which I doubt they will and not load this in a 5,6,7 blend but instead load up a 7,7.5, 8 blend which would be bad news on turkeys at ranges we should be shooting 50 and in..

But in reality with their far superior pellets they should really do is ditch the piece of crap Flight Control Wad, Up their payloads in the 12 gauge to 2oz and 2.25 oz respectively, go from 7s to a straight load of 7.5s or 8s and make every other turkey load a inferior..

Blended loads although they work are nothing more than a marketing ploy for the folks scared to shoot smaller shot but want denser patterns.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from letrfly27 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Haveing shot both Hevi Shot and Federal ammo in the past. I dont see this being any diffrent. Hevi Shot Magnum Blend will out preform hands down! Magnum Blend is the best patterning turkey load on the market! I have never seen so many pellets in a 3 in circle! As far as where I hunt anything smaller than and #7 is illegal for turkeys so if it is loaded in those sizes no matter what the density is there wont be anybody around here shooting it...leagally anyway.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ICDEDTURKES wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

I would be real skeptical of shooting your Mag blends in that case.. If you were to cut them open you would undoubtedly find 7.5s, 8s, 8.5s.. So if legality is the issue I would believe you need to check what you are currently shooting..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from loufaulkner wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I think when this load sets records like Magnum Blend, the obvious target of this knock off, then I'll give it a try. Plus, I'd like to see the pricing of this stuff compared to Magnum Blend, something tells me it will be quite a bit more.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ICDEDTURKES wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Mag Blend is not allowed into the GNCC Still Target Championships, nothing smaller than 6s, but I am sure if the shot from the really big number targets put up by Hevi 6s at the competition were collected a large number of pellets would be smaller than 6s..

As for pricing, Yup probably be more money.. A higher percentage of denser materials in the make up is going to translate to higher prices but also better downrange performance.. Also quality control is not cheap and if Environmetal actually screened their pellets true to size instead of having every single shell they have ever sold being a "Mag Blend" of sorts and found a way to eliminate the snowmen pellets, margin would decrease or prices would go up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wingseeker wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

This sounds a bit odd. I use the HeviShot Magnum Blend shell and quite honestly, nothing compares to its performance. The pellet counts on target are simply amazing with the HeviShot Magnum Blend shells and you couple that with the penetration. No thanks on anything other than the Magnum Blend

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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