Because we still are in the woods for spring gobblers I am offering information to hunters on the newest innovations in shotshell construction. For those not interested because you don’t hunt spring turkeys, you never shoot beyond 35 yards or you just don’t get technical about anything, I can understand. But Federal Premium has come up with a shot and wad combination that to my mind is revolutionary.
See the details of this latest shell in my March 19 column by going to meridianstar.com/outdoors and searching Federal Heavyweight shells. I won’t repeat here. In that column I noted that I hadn’t received their 20 gauge shells loaded with the coveted number seven shot (see previous article for reasons for the small shot that hit like number 5 lead shot.) Well, the number sevens arrived this week and I did some very preliminary patterning; all that my few minutes out of the turkey woods would allow.
I am no longer surprised by what these new shells do and yet I must report that the results of unscientific testing were simply stunning. The 40 yard patterns were excellent. Then, just for kicks I measured off 50 yards with my Bushnell range finder and fired one shell. WOW! Take a look at the pattern!
I will not suggest anyone draw serious conclusions from one shot. But you have to be impressed as was I.
To review, my Remington 1187 20 gauge was backbored and then fitted with a SWARM (super full) turkey choke. The gunsmith who helped develop the SWARM bored the choke out a bit to approximate the bore-to-choke ratio of the 20 gauge world record winning SWARM of a couple years back.
I suggest patterning your gun with these Federal Premium shells. Try different chokes and see what happens. The unique FLIGHTCONTROL wads fell just 13 yards short of the patterning board at 40 yards. I believe the wad is the secret to these great patterns.
Be ready for recoil that approximates your 12 gauge stuff. This is no paltry load