Federal's new 12 Gauge Target Shotshell: Federal Premium Gold Medal Grand
Federal has announced a new line of twelve gauge target ammunition, with all kinds of impressive claims.
“Gold Medal Grand produced from 11 to 17 percent less peak force than the competitive brands we tested,” says Dan Compton of Federal. “It also had roughly 5 percent less recoil than current Gold Medal shotshells, and generated a much narrower, more consistent range of force.”
“We use a special lead alloy that provides the hardness of 5 percent antimony lead.”
“Testing conducted by Federal Premium engineers revealed that significantly more pellets from Gold Medal Grand loads hit inside a 30-inch circle at 40 yards compared to standard Gold Medal. The average increase in pattern efficiency was nearly 5 percent—coming in at 77.09 versus 72.96 percent. But, because Gold Medal Grand also has much less standard deviation, gains in efficiency were often even higher when comparing individual rounds against one another.”
Indeed, standard SAAMI-approved drop-test procedures showed new Gold Medal Grand outperformed standard Gold Medal and competitor ammunition in zero-offset and .025-inch offset impacts on the primer cup.
“You basically drop a heavy ball bearing onto a primer head from gradually lower heights until the rounds stop firing. This is called the ‘all fire height,’” says Compton. “In zero-offset testing, current Gold Medal fired at drop heights down to 11 inches; Gold Medal Grand fired at down to just 9 inches, which was better than all the competitive ammo tested.” When the bearing’s impact was shifted .025 inches off center, Gold Medal Grand fired at 14 inches, well above original Gold Medal and the rest of the competition. This testing conducted at Federal Premium facility in Anoka, MN.
“Testing conducted at Federal Premium’s facility showed you can reload Gold Medal Grand hulls an average of 16 to 17 times, which is better than regular Gold Medal and competitive brands we tested,” he added. “Individual results for Gold Medal Grand ran as high as 25 reloads with no deformities, which is truly remarkable given that most shooters don’t reload a shotshell more than 10 times.”
So, there you have it. According to Federal, higher pattern percentages than their previous best shell, the Gold Medal, lower recoil, and a one piece hull with an average of 16 – 17x reload life. I'll be testing the GMT178 7.5 loads shortly: 1-1/8 oz., #7-1/2 shot, 1235 fps. They certainly look like good shells, but the ad-blurb doesn't reveal much, nor does the packaging on the box. The claim of higher pattern efficiency, about 4%, doesn't mean anything without the data that backs it up: shotgun used, choke used, number of shots fired, and so forth. "Providing the hardness of 5% antimony lead" doesn't mean that it actually is 5% antimony lead, just that Federal feels that it is their equivalent.
More to follow as testing proceeds.
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