American Hunter - April 2010 - 58

hardware
Field Tests for Hunters

Federal Premium HeavyWeight Turkey 20-Gauge

I

By Bryce M. Towsley, Field Editor

t was just one of those mornings. We were covered up with turkeys, but we couldn’t seem to do anything right. It had been light only an hour and we had already been busted twice by birds coming from behind us. It was looking like my last morning in Texas was going to end poorly. Then a gobbler followed a bunch of hens out of the woods about 100 yards in front of us. Steve Elmore (www.live oakhuntinglodge.com) yelped at him and the greedy letch left his loyal lovers and came strutting to us, only to hang up just out of range. We spent the next eternity with me holding the gun on his head and Steve purring like a hen in heat. Gobbling until he was hoarse, the tom slowly closed the gap until he obviously remembered that old saying about a “bird in hand” and made a move to return to his patiently waiting

harem. I centered the Benelli’s bead on his neck and pulled the trigger. That old gobbler dropped in his tracks and never argued the point with a flop, flip or flutter. Now that I could, I got out my Nikon rangefinder and measured the distance: 47 yards. Not too bad for a 20-gauge. Most turkey hunters know by now the effectiveness of Federal’s Heavyweight tungsten-alloy ammo. This pellet material has a density of 15.2 grams per cubic centimeter (g/cc), which makes it more dense than lead at 11.35 g/cc. Tungsten is also much harder and will not deform like lead. This does two things. First, it keeps the patterns tighter because the pellets do not deform in the shotgun barrel. Second, they penetrate better. Round pellets simply penetrate better than flat pellets, and no energy is lost to reshaping a malleable pellet, so it’s all directed to penetration. Because it is so dense, the pellets hit harder than lead in any given diameter. For example, Federal says its tests show that No. 7 Heavyweight pellets hit with the same energy as No. 5 lead pellets (when launched at the same velocity.)

58

American Hunter ■  April 2010

Photos: Author

By using tungsten-alloy pellets that are heavier than lead, combined with the FliteControl wad, the maximum range of your 20-gauge turkey gun can be extended. The downside? It’s expensive.

This not only allows the use of smaller pellets so that there are more in the shot charge, but the smaller pellets also penetrate deeper due to their smaller diameter. Theories abound about why it’s so effective at killing turkeys—mine is based on penetration—but nobody who has used it disputes that Heavyweight pellets are even more effective than lead. Federal Premium Heavyweight Turkey ammo uses the company’s FliteControl wad, which produces even tighter patterns. The FliteControl is a full, un-cut cylinder that stays with the pellets after leaving the shotgun. Once the heavy, plastic wad is free from the shotgun, several fins pop out from the rear to add air resistance. This will slow the wad, pulling it back from the shot charge farther from the muzzle than a traditional wad, which keeps the pellets together longer and produces tighter patterns downrange. This ammo has been around for a while in 12-gauge shotshells, but in 2009 Federal introduced it in 20-gauge. The 20-gauge Mag-Shok Heavyweight Turkey loads have 11/2 ounces of shot in either No. 6 or No. 7 with an advertised muzzle velocity of 1100 fps. One and a half ounces of Heavyweight No. 6 contains 223 pellets, while No. 7 has 337 pellets. Like most of the hard pellet materials, Heavyweight seems to work best with less choke constriction than is traditionally used for lead. In my Benelli shotgun I used the supplied full choke,


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American Hunter - April 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - April 2010

American Hunter - April 2010
Contents
Says You
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
Bloomberg to Obama: Take “Federal Action”
First Light
Know-How
Gundogs
Gobblers in Paradise
New Guns and Gear Preview
Members’ 2009 Photo Album
Reflections on Turkey Madness
Hornady Superformance
Federal Premium HW 20-Ga.
Gear
Political Report
ILA Report
Member Info & Benefits
Regional Report
NRA Board Spotlight
NRA Woman’s Voice
Member’s Hunt
American Hunter - April 2010 - American Hunter - April 2010
American Hunter - April 2010 - Cover2
American Hunter - April 2010 - 1
American Hunter - April 2010 - Contents
American Hunter - April 2010 - 3
American Hunter - April 2010 - 4
American Hunter - April 2010 - 5
American Hunter - April 2010 - 6
American Hunter - April 2010 - 7
American Hunter - April 2010 - Says You
American Hunter - April 2010 - 9
American Hunter - April 2010 - Armed Citizen
American Hunter - April 2010 - 11
American Hunter - April 2010 - Standing Guard
American Hunter - April 2010 - 13
American Hunter - April 2010 - President’s Column
American Hunter - April 2010 - 15
American Hunter - April 2010 - Bloomberg to Obama: Take “Federal Action”
American Hunter - April 2010 - 17
American Hunter - April 2010 - 18
American Hunter - April 2010 - 19
American Hunter - April 2010 - 20
American Hunter - April 2010 - 21
American Hunter - April 2010 - First Light
American Hunter - April 2010 - 23
American Hunter - April 2010 - 24
American Hunter - April 2010 - 25
American Hunter - April 2010 - 26
American Hunter - April 2010 - 27
American Hunter - April 2010 - Know-How
American Hunter - April 2010 - 29
American Hunter - April 2010 - Gundogs
American Hunter - April 2010 - 31
American Hunter - April 2010 - Gobblers in Paradise
American Hunter - April 2010 - 33
American Hunter - April 2010 - 34
American Hunter - April 2010 - 35
American Hunter - April 2010 - New Guns and Gear Preview
American Hunter - April 2010 - 37
American Hunter - April 2010 - 38
American Hunter - April 2010 - 39
American Hunter - April 2010 - 40
American Hunter - April 2010 - 41
American Hunter - April 2010 - 42
American Hunter - April 2010 - 43
American Hunter - April 2010 - 44
American Hunter - April 2010 - 45
American Hunter - April 2010 - 46
American Hunter - April 2010 - 47
American Hunter - April 2010 - Members’ 2009 Photo Album
American Hunter - April 2010 - 49
American Hunter - April 2010 - 50
American Hunter - April 2010 - 51
American Hunter - April 2010 - 52
American Hunter - April 2010 - 53
American Hunter - April 2010 - Reflections on Turkey Madness
American Hunter - April 2010 - 55
American Hunter - April 2010 - Hornady Superformance
American Hunter - April 2010 - 57
American Hunter - April 2010 - Federal Premium HW 20-Ga.
American Hunter - April 2010 - 59
American Hunter - April 2010 - Gear
American Hunter - April 2010 - 61
American Hunter - April 2010 - Political Report
American Hunter - April 2010 - 63
American Hunter - April 2010 - ILA Report
American Hunter - April 2010 - 65
American Hunter - April 2010 - Regional Report
American Hunter - April 2010 - NRA Board Spotlight
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66a
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67a
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66b
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67b
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66c
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67c
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66d
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67d
American Hunter - April 2010 - NRA Woman’s Voice
American Hunter - April 2010 - 69
American Hunter - April 2010 - 70
American Hunter - April 2010 - 71
American Hunter - April 2010 - Member’s Hunt
American Hunter - April 2010 - Cover3
American Hunter - April 2010 - Cover4
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