Last month, Outdoor Life blogger Kyle Wintersteen wrote a short post about Federal Premium Ammunition's secret new project—blended turkey loads. I couldn't help my turkey-fiending self from reaching out to one of my contacts at Federal to get some more details about the loads. Wintersteen's post covered a lot of the bases, but I was able to get my hands on some prototypes to shoot. Check it out:
Shortly after shooting the mystery shotshells, I discovered NAH Senior Editor Luke Hartle (aka "The Venatic Addict") has already killed two birds with them. (Chump.) But, in the spirit of perfection, it turns out the Federal engineers are still refining the "recipe." (It looks like I might be one of the first to shoot the final product after all, so long as Hartle doesn't get his slimy hands on them first.) Here are more details about the new loads directly from my Federal contact:
We have different and better recipes we are still testing. So, as you can imagine, crafting the right recipe is a long process. Right now we are testing a mix of three pellet sizes, but those sizes and the exact mix has not been determined yet.
However, the load will probably be a 3-inch shell loaded with Heavyweight pellets. Heavyweight has a density of 15.2 grams per cubic centimeter and it is about 35 percent heavier than lead, which means that No. 6 Heavyweight pellets have even greater energy than No. 4 lead pellets at 40 yards; No. 7 Heavyweight pellets have more energy as No. 5 lead pellets ... and so on.
But there is more to it than just energy. Lead shot is much softer, so pellets deform during their trip through the barrel and pattern density suffers. Heavyweight is too hard to deform during firing, and this also gives it a big advantage over lead.
If they shoot as well as the prototypes I tested (they should be even better), I might have to try bustin' some heads with these new blends.