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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

Federal’s Turkey Hunting Ammunition

Turkeys have a seemingly endless repertoire of baffling tricks. Now, thanks to Federal Premium, hunters have new ammo options to even the odds. In 2018, the company revamped its turkey shotshell lineup with a long list of new products that offer performance benefits beyond any hunter had ever seen. That meant all previously available turkey products from Federal had been replaced by several loads in three product families, including Grand Slam, 3rd Degree and HEAVYWEIGHT TSS. Most recently, Federal added to the HEAVYWEIGHT TSS line up by adding new duplex loads which blends two different sizes of shot to increase overall pellet count. The result is more shot striking the target. Federal’s Turkey Hunting Ammunition is wildly popular with die-hard turkey hunters worldwide, but with the long list of choices available, it’s necessary to understand all the options.

Straight TSS Loads

Shotshells loaded with Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) represent a big upgrade from anything previously available, letting hunters kill gobblers farther than they ever thought possible. Payloads of No. 7 or 9 TSS shot provide high pellet counts—in many cases, more than double compared to lead loads of the same weight. The shot’s 18 gram per cubic centimeter density provides optimum energy and the highest velocities at long ranges. Straight payload offerings include 3-inch 12-gauge loads with 1 3/4 ounces of all No. 7 or No. 9 TSS shot, 3 1/2-inch 12-gauge loads with 2 1/4 come in ounces of all No. 7 or No. 9 shot, a 3-inch 20-gauge load with 1 1/2 ounces of all No. 7 or No. 9 shot, and a 3-inch .410 load with 13/16 ounce of all No. 9 shot. There’s also a lower-recoil 20-gauge option with 1 ½ ounces of all No. 9 shot pushed at 1,000 fps.

The .410 offering might surprise some folks, but Shotshell Product Line Manager Dan Compton said it shouldn’t, as TSS pellets’ incredible density are perfect for sub-gauge shotshells. “TSS pellets make hunting turkeys with a .410 a very viable option,” he said. “It provides the performance of conventional 12-gauge loads with a significant drop in recoil.”

New TSS Blended Loads

These loads combine No. 7 and No. 9, or No. 8 and No. 10 Tungsten Super Shot into new loads that deliver the extremely high pellet-count patterns some turkey hunters are constantly striving for. In fact, some of the new payloads topping 1,000 pellets in one shell. The two new 12-gauge, 3-1/2 inch TSS Blended options are a 2-1/2 ounce No. 7/9 mix or a 2-1/2 ounce No. 8/10 mix, each at an MSRP of $63.95. The two options of 20 gauge 3 inch loads include a 1-5/8 ounce No. 7/9 mix or a 1-5/8 ounce No. 8/10 mix at an MSRP of $46.95.

3rd Degree with HEAVYWEIGHT TSS

Turkey hunters are already familiar with the proven concept and performance of 3rd Degree, which uses a three-stage payload that makes you far less likely to miss close turkeys but can still kill birds at 40 to 50 yards with appropriate chokes. Now Federal’s turkey hunting ammunition is even better.

New 3rd Degree payloads are comprised of 40 percent No. 7 HEAVYWEIGHT TSS shot, 20 percent No. 6 FLITESTOPPER lead and 40 percent No. 5 Premium lead. The No. 6 lead pellets form a forgiving close-range pattern, the copper-plated No. 5 lead delivers lethal performance at mid-ranges, and the No. 7 TSS pellets allow dense, lethal patterns at 40-plus yards. And the new FLITECONTROL FLEX wad works with ported and non-ported chokes to maximize the characteristics of each shot type, opening from the rear and staying with the shot column longer than conventional wads to deliver full, consistent patterns. 3rd Degree HEAVYWEIGHT TSS loads include a 1 1/2-ounce, 3-inch 20-gauge; a 1 ¾-ounce, 3-inch 12-gauge; and a 2-ounce, 3 1/2-inch 12-gauge—all with 5, 6 and 7 shot.

Grand Slam

Federal’s Grand Slam shotshells extend the range and lethality of conventional turkey payloads, putting as many pellets as possible in a 10-inch circle without breaking the bank. Federal Premium engineers wanted a shell that performed comparably to other high-end lead offerings while maintaining the former Mag-Shok price point.

Grand Slam shells use high-quality copper-plated lead pellets that produce dense patterns and ample energy. The shot is delivered via the FLITECONTROL FLEX wad, which opens from the rear and allows a controlled release of the load, resulting in thick, even patterns through standard and ported chokes. Also, buffering prevents pellet deformation for more consistent patterns.

Offerings include a 3-inch 20-gauge load with 1 5/16 ounces of No. 5 shot; a 3 1/2-inch 10-gauge load with 2 ounces of No. 4 or 5 shot; a 2 3/4-inch 12-gauge load with 1 1/2 ounces of No. 5 shot; a 3-inch 12-gauge load with 1 3/4 ounces of 4, 5 or 6 shot; and a 3 1/2-inch 12-gauge load with 2 ounces of 4, 5 or 6 shot.

Better Loads for a New Season

With turkey numbers in great shape throughout much of the country, hunters anticipate a memorable season. Now, they can go afield knowing that Federal’s Turkey Hunting Ammunition will deliver consistently devastating performance, letting them enjoy every heart-pounding moment instead of worrying about their ammunition. A portion of all proceeds from each and every one of Federal’s Premium lines of turkey loads is donated to the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF).

For more information on the loads mentioned in this article and all other products from Federal ammunition, visit: www.federalpremium.com.

Want even better rounds from Federal? Consider the Custom Shop. Rounds hand loaded to your exact specifications and designed to exceed your expectations . Click here.


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