If I recall correctly, and I may have this confused with some other tech, the original turkey loads were marketed to be used without full or extra full chokes allowing guns with open/no chokes to get tighter groups than they would normally at turkey hunting ranges.
I was going to try to just take apart some of the federal loads so I didn't have to waste the shot at least. I couldn't really uncrimp them well enough so I'll be shooting a few this evening.
I have to say though, I wasn't impressed with the federal shells at all. I really expected much better quality.
I've kept them in a cool dry area, yet the powder appeared to be clumped together (about the 7 o'clock position in the pic), which to be honest worries me. I don't know how that will affect the pressure of the shot. These were straight out of the box. So I'm sure they hadn't been in a hunting vest and got rained on or nothing.
Ya'know, I swear for a little bit, that looks just like titegroup powder.
Another thing that I didn't know. These shells are using a 2 piece wad. A riser, which looks like a 3rd grader melted it to the height they wanted and then a small cup holding the shot perched on top of it.
In the words of Jed Clampett.
Pitiful. Just pitiful.
I'm going to shoot at 20, 30 and 40 yards onto a paper plate (verified with a rangerfinder) just for a control group/pattern. May as well so they're not completely wasted I guess.
John, I cracked open one of those Fiocchi’s we discussed a while ago, since there’s no way I’ll ever subject my poor old wrists to them again in the Shockwave..lol There was some clumping of the powder here also, but was centered over the primer. Could it be that the powder just gets more compressed when the crimp is applied? It easily flaked apart when I touched it. Maybe it’s just not indicative of a damp condition ? But a settlement or compression?
Very good input Rodburner. It may well be a side effect of being crimped for so long. I hadn't considered that.
Usually when I see clumps, my brain goes straight to moisture. But, your explanation seems like a very possible culprit as well. Thanks for sharing it.
I know that last year during squirrel season I shot some other shells that had been stored in the same location and I didn't have a problem with any of them firing.
The clump in mine easily separated when I touched it as well, so you're likely right. If it had been moisture, the kernels or grains of powder would have likely fused into a solid I assume. And it didn't. I've had these shells for at least 8 or 9 years I suppose.
I fired 5 of the Federals that I shared above this evening, and they all shot no problems. I used the one open cylinder/bore pump.
At 20 yards, patterned really good onto the styrofoam plate.
30 yards, sucked pretty bad. While there was probably maybe 25 or 30 pellets covering the paper plate, would've not likely killed a squirrel. Was just too spread out.
40 yards, actually shot about as well as it did at 30. There were likely enough pellets concentrated in the middle of the plate that I would've killed a squirrel, I'm going to say at best, the pattern was adequate from 25 yards and closer. Anything 30 yards and over, would've just been too random and sporadic to trust at those distance.
I kept the paper plates. I may post them up later if I take pictures of them. If not, I'll just post them after I get to shoot the handloads to see how they do to have something to compare. It supposed to rain all weekend, but I'm going to try to go with some of my boys this Sunday if we can. If not, I'll update it when I get to shoot them.
OK folks. I was able to test some of the loads today. It just barely above freezing, and we had other things to do so this was a pretty quick trip.
For starters, 19.0 gr of longshot (which was lower charge than what little I could find for these wads), got 1148 fps out of it. It was very mild. low brass stuff. So, next time I'm going to bump it up to 20 gr and watch for pressure signs and repeat. I just wasn't sure what to expect at first.
These shot absolutely terrible.
The 20 yard shot, would've gotten a squirrel or bird or grouse or rabbit. There were 39 pellet holes on a styrofoam plate and a big hole at the 1 o'clock where the wad got it.
At 30 and 40 yards. awful. 13 pellets at 30 yards all around the 6'oclock position. And the 40 yard target had 5 pellet holes all around the plate.
So, next time, I'll try some taller petals before trying to slit the wad in a tradition 4 slit cut down the side.
Just wanted to report back. This wasn't a winning combo.