Federal 3RD DEGREE Turkey Ammo
Ammunition writes, “As
turkey loads have been engineered to pattern more tightly and reach
farther, they have also become less forgiving at close range, leading
to missed birds. 3rd Degree™ uses a multi-shot, three-stage payload
and the exclusive FLITECONTROL® wad to deliver forgiving, lethal
patterns whether a gobbler is standing 10 yards out—or 50-plus.
It's the most versatile turkey load we've ever produced.”
Federal goes on to explain that their 3rd Degree turkey loads have “20 percent No. 6 FLITESTOPPER® pellets, 40 percent copper-plated No. 5 lead and 40 percent HEAVYWEIGHT” #7 pellets.
Although the description of this triplex load does sound gimmicky, the underlying reasoning is sound. A problem with the ultra-tight turkey patterns at the longest possible range is that they are a handicap at close ranges. Your ideal 50 yard load may be a comparatively dinky little fist of pellets at ten or fifteen yards. Federal addresses this with the addition of the 20% Flitestopper pellets that migrate out of the pattern quickly. It works just as promised.
The pellet count of the 1-3/4 oz. load is about 339: significantly better than a 1-3/4 oz. load of #5 lead which normally gives you 297 – 298 pellets. It is a good enough load that you don't need a dedicated turkey choke inside 40 yards: a Trulock Precision Hunter Improved Modified produces more pattern than needed at 40 yards and in. It is still a bit difficult to kill a turkey much past dead. If you want to go out further, you can certainly use a tighter choke, but for spring turkey hunting, I've never needed anything past 40 yards, and a typical shot is closer than that.
Federal 3rd Degree is also available in 20 gauge 3 inch unfolded length shells with a heavy (for a 20 gauge) 1-3/8 oz. payload. Federal has put in a lot of R&D on these loads, and it shows. The goal was the most versatile, generally effective shell at multiple ranges and I'd say that Federal has achieved their objectives with 3rd Degree.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.