Federal Premium introduced the Flitecontrol Wad to turkey hunters in 2005 with 12 gauge loads in both lead and Heavyweight shot. Later they introduced that wad to waterfowlers along with a new steel pellet design in the Black Cloud line of non-toxic shells for geese and ducks.
Many turkey hunters had asked for a 20 gauge version of those shells ever since the 12 gauge shells were introduced. After several years of research and development, utilizing what they'd learned with the lead, steel and Heavyweight loads, Federal announced the new 20 gauge Flitecontrol Wad shells in early 2009.
The new shells are offered in lead and Heavyweight versions. The lead shells have 1.3125 oz. payloads and the Heavyweight shells have 1.50 oz. payloads. You can read more details about these shells at http://www.federalpremium.com/products/shotshell.aspx
I began my tests with these new shells by shooting the #5 shot lead loads. To my great surprise, these #5 lead shot shells with the Flitecontrol Wad scored better at 40 yards than the non Flitecontrol Wad #6 shot did in my tests last year. That is saying a lot when you consider that the #6 shot Federal shell out shot every other lead shell last year and equaled some of the "hard" shot shells!
Needless to say, I was very impressed with those shells. It appears that the Federal engineering staff has learned a lot about the Flitecontrol Wad in the 4 years since its introduction.
My next tests of the new shells was with the #6 Heavyweight shot. This is the "heavy weight" shot of the hard shot offered by the major shotshell companies. It weighs in at 15 gr/cc and tops all the other commercially available shot in density. While the payload is a whopping 1.50 oz. the pellet number totals approximately 223. Folks accustomed to very high pellet counts will need to adjust their thinking when it comes to this shell.
I tested it through a variety of 20 gauge turkey chokes and found that it functioned quite well through most non-ported chokes, as recommended by Federal. In reality, I had turkey killing patterns, at 40 yards, through most of the chokes that I shot. Some were just better than others.
Currently I am testing the #7 shot Heavyweight shot loads. These shells contain approximately 337 pellets in the 1.50 oz. payload. Before you dismiss the #7 shot size, you need to remember that the #7 Heavyweight shot is equal in retained energy to a #5 lead shot. A swarm of these #7 Heavyweight shot will certainly do the job on any turkey at 40+ yards.
I am shooting these shells through a variety of turkey chokes both ported and non-ported, with and without wad stoppers, just as I have all the other Flitecontrol Wad shells in both 12 gauge and 20 gauge. I do this so that I can personally see how the Flitecontrol Wad reacts to these chokes and how it patterns through them.
I expect that my tests will be ongoing for some time to determine exactly which chokes work best with each of these shells. I've been very impressed thus far with each of them and would take any of them to the turkey woods with the utmost confidence.
I'll publish more detailed results of my tests with each of these shells in the weeks and months to come.