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federal fusion tipped ammo

Hit the Whitetail Proving Grounds to See How Federal’s New Fusion Tipped Ammo Performs

“One, two, three,” I counted nervously as the beautiful buck rummaged around in the still early evening. Actually, it would be more like late afternoon. We had opted to head back out into the blinds at 3:30 in the Texas afternoon. Two days of mornings and evenings with bingo trophies meant crunch time was rapidly approaching for several of us on the hunting squad, myself included. I continued my count, doing my best to come up with the very specific 10 points that were the limit for this land management tag.

A Top-Rate Texas Hunting Lodge

Premier Ranch, located in one of the most beautiful areas of Texas Hill Country that I’ve ever seen, was our hosting lodge. A reasonable drive northwest of the San Antonio airport will get you to the town of Mason, Texas where Premier Ranch lies. Federal invited a few of us along to put their latest offering to the test—their Fusion Tipped hunting round. We brought along rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and would be shooting the 140-grain technological advancement.

“Nine, ten.” I counted aloud to myself as hushed as I could. Tension built up and I started to feel frustration taking over my body. My hands shook a bit as I pressed down on the binos harder, digging them into the small rear bag to steady things out. I needed to be sure it was no more than 10 points. This part was new to me, doing all the work by myself, no guide to back up my counting or confirm my suspicions. A mistake here could be costly—and I mean in dollars.

As far as I could tell, this was the buck I had seen in the morning as the fog was lifting, and he ended up no more than 40 yards off the end of my suppressed Falkor Defense MT-7 rifle. I was counting then, being careful and I literally took 1.5 seconds too long because he bolted out of there just as I was about to let one of the Federal Fusion Tipped fly. Seems he knew that the weird thing sticking out of the window of the blind was not natural and no good for his long-term prospects.

sean utley at the premier ranch in mason, texas

Fusion Tipped Ballistics

I had ranged the lane out earlier. The feeder was 145 yards away. The path in front of it was 120 yards away. Adding a tenth of elevation would be ideal and I can’t remember if I held it or not. After counting for the 100th time I was ready and committed. I slowed my heart rate, I grabbed the rifle and replaced it on the bag, the AG Composites stock laying squarely and securely where it needed to. Peering through the Leupold Mark5 HD I gave another count then braced the rifle and myself with as many points of contact that I could muster in the spacious blind.

The buck fed. Looked around. Fed some more. He was the first one to this particular dining location that afternoon. The early bird catches the worm… or in this case the molecularly bonded lead core and metal jacket. If the Federal Fusion Tipped performed properly it would deliver the goods and hold together while passing through, retaining its weight all while doing so with superior flight characteristics to the previous versions of the bullet which aren’t tipped. The polymer tip improves BC (ballistic coefficient), in return bettering its flight by bucking wind better, moving faster, and landing more accurately.

Now was the time for my mental checklist and shooting process to unfold. No matter what, I don’t change it even if that means the buck gets away, like the one that did earlier that day. Oh well, I won’t divert from this because the results are what they are, and I don’t have to second guess anything once I press the trigger. Natural point of aim, parallax, breathe…thumb the forend into the bag while using the fingers to grab it and the window edge. This is it. Stability. I watched the buck take another hit at the remaining corn, left from the last time the feeder sprang to its mechanical life, doling out deliciousness for the Hill Country residents.

Make the Shot Count

One final exhale and, “Wow that is one beautiful buck, the white around his nose…” ran through my mind as I firmly pressed the trigger, awaiting the resulting recoil and prepping to see where the bullet would hit. The SilencerCo Scythe Ti coughed. The shot was clean and the impact was solid at the shoulder. I can’t imagine hunting without a suppressor attached to my rifle. It changes the outcomes and saves the hunter’s senses. The buck reared up as if saddled up with a cowboy on his back, reigns being pulled to illicit such antics. Then it dashed off straight forward, and out of my sight to the right.

sean utley shooting federal fusion tipped ammo

My mule deer from last year dropped right there with a front-quartering shot at 125 yards. I’ve shot several antelope and they’ve never taken a step. I’ve come to understand whitetail are tougher than you think and it’s not uncommon to watch them run off. I sent a text to Jed, owner of Premier Ranch and he and his assistant were inbound hot. I waited about 15 minutes for them and so many times I wanted to leave the blind to find the buck myself. But I listened to what Jed told us on day one, “Stay put until we get to you.”

A Perfect 10?

Downrange, the impact was at 121 yards, the digs in the soft Texas earth lending evidence to a violent take off by the buck. Joby Cook, an impressive young man and excellent tracker found him 65 yards away, at the crest of a small slope. Wonderful. Except. This is where I discovered my miscalculation on points. I missed the point coming out of the burr, and another tine right in the inside curve of the main beam. You nearly need to be looking down at the buck to see it.

My stomach turned a bit as Jed, happy excitedly said, “Good one Mr. Sean!” Jed had loosened the requirements just before we’d set out that afternoon to help ensure we got a deer on this trip and this buck was one of the only native ones left, and they’d been trying to get rid of them for a while. Lucky me.

whitetail buck hunt

Fusion Tipped Performance

We pulled Federal’s Fusion Tipped bullet from the hide on the side opposite the entrance. It went in, shattered the shoulder, hit the liver and some other bits, bringing the buck to its demise.

I knew the Fusion Tipped would be accurate. Upon arrival the first evening we set out to zero rifles. With the rifle straight from the rifle case (and off the plane) to the table, loading up the new Fusion ammo and pressing out three-round strings brought accurate, well-sub-MOA results, rounds touching. The Proof Research barrel on this rifle always delivers. I whipped out Garmin’s new Xero C1 Chronograph and placed it next to the rifle to collect data. The Tipped Fusion was flying at 2,655 fps.

Young Joby Cook was more than impressed with the way the Falkor/Proof/Federal combo was shooting and I could see devilishness in his eyes. When we got back to the lodge he offered to take me up to another part of the property to stretch the rifle out a bit. I obliged. 15 minutes in the side-by-side took us up to a high point with a steel target in the field. The Leicas read 750 yards. I punched it into my ballistic calculator, got the solution, and dialed the Leupold. I expected some error because it hadn’t been trued. After a couple of low misses, I put five in a row on the steel. Mr. Cook was impressed and so was I after finding the ammo isn’t technically designed for that type of distance.

federal fusion tipped ammo

Federal Fusion Tipped is available in 9 calibers right now: 300 BLK, 6.5 PRC, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag and PRC, .308 Win, .30-06, and .300 Win Mag, in addition to the 6.5 Creedmoor I was shooting. With MSRP’s ranging from $45 to $82, Federal’s Fusion Tipped is the class leader for performance per dollar. For more information, visit federalpremium.com.

Brand-New Ammo From Federal Premium & CCI
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