Federal Premium "Heavyweight" Ultra-Shok Waterfowl Shotshells
The tested shells were the 12 gauge, 3 in., 1-1/4 oz., # 6 shot Federal Heavyweight loads at a blazing 1450 fps MV. One of many tungsten alloy loads, Federal Heavyweight is billed as the densest shot of them all, 35% denser than lead shot. Along with usual touting of energy we are treated to the usual promises of great patterns, buffering, and so forth.
The testing regimen was the same as with several other loads recently tested, that being a Leica laser-verified at 40 yards 22 inch x 28 inch poster board, a Beretta Urika 2 Gold 12 gauge and a variety of choke tubes including my favorites: the Trulock Precision Hunter Extended choke tubes. It is hardly possible to predict what a shell can do by reading ad-copy or just looking at it, and these patterning tests proved it.
In a word, the patterns were disappointing. Not only was I unable to get anything near what I consider a good pattern percentage, the patterns were uneven and splotchy. Given the patchiness in the patterns, I would not be inclined to hunt with them. Surprisingly, these loads did not respond well to increased choke. Going a full notch from a modified to full gave no noticeable improvement; the pattern quality actually degraded a small amount, if anything.
While not the worst patterns Iíve ever been able to produce, they are likely the worst value Iíve seen in pellets per dollar where you want them. It is my sad duty to suggest we continue our look for pattern quality elsewhere. These are both frustrating and disappointing shotshells.
Copyright 2007 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.