What is Federal Tungsten Super Shot (TSS)? TSS is an incredibly dense shot that has taken the hand-loading world by storm in recent years, and it’s an integral part of Federal Premium’s HEAVYWEIGHT TSS and 3rd Degree loads. The material is more than 20 percent denser than Federal Premium’s previous HEAVYWEIGHT shot, which has a density of about 15 grams per cubic centimeter. Further, it’s 56 percent denser than lead.
“TSS is an alloy comprised primarily of tungsten,” Moser said. “It has a density of 18 grams per cubic centimeter and is harder than steel. The increased density retains velocity, and the hardness prevents pellet deformation, which improves pattern efficiency and penetration.” Compton explained the physics behind the material’s effectiveness
“An object with higher density will maintain its energy longer in flight than a less-dense object,” he said. “In pellets, the increased density will extend the lethal range of the payload. Denser pellets fly farther and penetrate deeper.”
But the advantages don’t stop there. Because of its increased density, you can use a smaller TSS pellet to deliver the same amount of energy of much larger lead shot.
“A No. 9 HEAVYWEIGHT TSS pellet carries at least as much penetration energy as a No. 5 lead pellet at all ranges,” Compton said. “This means you can greatly increase the pellet count of a payload by using a smaller shot size, but penetrate as much or more because of the increased density. Overall patterns densities are increased, so there are more hits on the target.”
Moser said a 13/16-ounce load of No. 9 TSS has about 295 pellets, and a 1 1/8-ounce load carries about 408 pellets. For comparison, a 2-ounce load of No. 4 lead has only about 270 pellets. Heavier TSS payloads carry more astonishing, approximate numbers. A 1 1/2-ounce load of No. 7 TSS has 282 pellets, and 1 3/4- and 2 1/4-ounce loads have 330 and 423 pellets, respectively. With No. 9 shot, a 1 3/4-ounce load has 635 pellets, and a 2 1/4-ounce load features a whopping 814 pellets.
Of course, such swarms of shot result in improved patterns. Testing conducted at Federal Premium’s factory proved a 3-inch 12-gauge load with 1 3/4 ounces of No. 5 lead shot will place about 100 to 130 pellets in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards. However, a 3-inch 12-gauge load with 1 3/4 ounces of No. 7 TSS shot will put about 200 hits in a 10-inch circle at 40 steps, and an equivalent load of No. 9 TSS shot will tally about 350 hits. Plus, downrange penetration is far better with TSS compared to larger lead pellets.
“By comparison, No. 7 and No. 9 TSS pellets retain more downrange velocity than a No. 5 lead pellet with the same muzzle velocity,” Moser said. “Greater downrange velocity, increased density and the smaller surface area of TSS pellets lead to more penetration energy at all ranges.”
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