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Old_Painless
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:27:02 PM
[Last Edit: 7/9/2012 3:25:36 PM by Old_Painless]
For years, those of us that are interested have known that 00 buckshot was the “best available” load for most shooters for defensive purposes. Federal’s 00 buckshot load in their great FCW (Flight Control Wad) was the “best of the best”, as the FCW would hold the buckshot in the tightest patterns of any buckshot available.

But we also knew that #1 buckshot would be even better, especially of loaded in the Flight Control Wad, but there was none available. They just didn’t make it.

Several years ago at the SHOT Show I spoke with a very nice gentleman named Hal at the ATK booth. These are the folks that manufacture and market Federal ammo. I explained to Hal why #1 buck would be an improvement over 00 buck.

Here’s an explanation from the AR15.com, Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo:

“Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 15 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 15 pellets is .964 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 20 percent more potentially effective wound trauma.

In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.”


I explained all of this to Hal, and he totally agreed with me. He was very knowledgeable about the whole issue.

I asked him, “Then why don’t you load #1 buck into the Flight Control Wad and make a great round?”

He said, “Because we have no market for #1 buckshot loads. The military and police departments request 00 buckshot. No one asks for #1 buck.”

I told him that no one was buying it because no one made it, and he explained that no one made it because no one asked for it. Kind of a vicious cycle.

I told him that lots of people wanted such a load and that if they made it, it would sell well. He said they would consider it.

I saw him the next year, and he remembered me and when I asked him how the #1 buckshot project was going, he said they were looking into it and might just make such a load.

This year at the show, he told me they were definitely going to make the load. My good buddy Zhukov and I also spoke with him at the LaRue Range Day and Hal said it would be on the market in a couple of months and that he would send me some of the ammo to do some tests.

This week I got the ammo. Boy, was I excited. I will not do penetration tests, as they have already been done and the #1 buckshot makes the FBI minimum penetration standards.

But I wanted to test the patterning of this load against non-Flight Control ammo.

I took one of the rounds apart and here’s what we find.



This load contains 15 #1 buckshot. I also cut open a 00 Buckshot load to do some comparisons. Notice the unique shape of the Flight Control Wad.

The load has copper plated buckshot with a white powder-type filler to prevent deformation of the shot when fired.

The individual lead shot are approximately .286 inches diameter and weigh approximately 33 grains each. For 00 buck, those figures are .323 inches diameter and approximately 50 grains each.

If the #1 buck weighs 33 grains times 15 pellets, that means the total weight of this #1 buck load is 495 grains. The 00 buck is 50 grains times 9 pellets, for a total weight of…….450 grains.

They fit well into the Flight Control Wad.

Some folks may mistakenly think, “I want the shot to spread out a lot so that it will make it easier to hit a target with at least some of them.”

But this is a bad idea. We want ALL of the buckshot to hit the bad guy, as any that miss him are our responsibility as we are responsible for every projectile that goes down range. As Clint Smith wisely notes, “Every projectile that goes down range has a lawyer tied to it.”

And no matter how close the buckshot are together when they hit the target, each pellet will make its own individual wound channel. To see an illustration of this, see The Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo , and look at the third illustration down the page.

Here’s a picture comparing the Flight Control Wad on the left to a standard-type of shotgun shell wad on the right.



As you will see, the FCW is designed to hold the pellets close together for longer, resulting in very tight (and very desirable) patterns. The flaps on the side of the FCW open in flight, resulting in the FCW “backing off” of the buckshot, without causing them to spread more.

I will shoot this ammo against some non-flight control wad ammo to show the difference. The other ammo is 00 buckshot, as I didn’t have any other #1 buck.

I will be using my 870 Remington marked CYL (Cylinder Bore, i.e., no choke) choke, a very “standard” shotgun for the tests.



Okay, time to start shooting.



First, I shot at 6 yards, a typical in-home “across the room” distance.



Notice that both the Federal FCW round on the left and the 00 buck on the right both make a tight pattern at this close distance.

Let’s move it back to 15 yards, which is a long distance inside a home.



Now the 00 is spreading out a lot. The FCW #1 is still very tight.

But if we move it back to 20 yards, we see why the FCW works so well.

Seven of the 00 buck are still on the target at 20 yards, but just barely.



And at 35 yards, (not likely inside a home, but very likely for military or police use), we see the problem with non-Flight Control Wad ammo.



Only 4 of the nine 00 pellets hit the target. I wonder where the others went, as I am responsible for them. Notice that all 15 of the #1 buckshot pellets are on the target.

This new ammo is listed as Federal Premium, Law Enforcement, LE132-1B. Or more exactly, “12 GA 2 ¾ IN BUCKSHOT, Low Recoil, 15 Pellets – 1 Buck.” Muzzle velocity is listed as 1100 fps.



On a related note, let's talk about recoil. Many shooters mistakenly shoot a shotgun like it was a .22 rifle, laid back and leaning back.



It is much better to place your left foot forward and lean into the shotgun. This will make the recoil much easier to deal with.



My lovely wife, Mrs. Young_Painless, agreed to try her hand at shooting the #1 Low Recoil load. She is not a big gal, only about 5 feet tall.

I used her camera with a fast shutter to catch her as she shot the shotgun.



I had her lean into the shotgun and touch one off.



And at full recoil.



She said it was "not bad at all". There is no reason a lady cannot learn to shoot a shotgun for home defense.

I don’t usually recommend a particular brand of ammo, but if you have made the choice to use a shotgun for home defense, then this load is the “Best of the Best” available.

You may have to specifically ask your dealer to order some for you, but it will be worth the wait.

Get some and load up the old street howitzer with it and you will have the best ammunition available for your home defense or police/military shotgun.



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Zhukov
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:27:47 PM
Excellent review. I'm glad this finally came to fruition. Thanks for your help in making it happen!
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:35:30 PM
Looks like I just found new defense ammo for my 930 SPX....thanks OP.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:35:34 PM
With the "pattern" at 15 yards still looking almost identical to a slug, how much more damage than a slug would this load be doing at 15 yards? Obviously the shot would probably spread in a body, and therefore slow where the slug would probably plow on through a single big hole. But how much?
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:35:40 PM
Great post OP. Glad to see this load got made. The FCW is incredible with how much it tightens up groups. Ammo makes all the difference with shotguns.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:36:04 PM
Fantastic!

I did a review in the shotgun forum a couple of years ago where I compared the FC 00 buck to several other brands through my 590 and found the same thing you have, FC is the best stuff out there and gives tight patterns all the way out to 30-40 yards!

I'm looking forward to buying some #1 buck. Thanks for your efforts on this post and working on the ATK guy!
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:37:51 PM
Is this only available to LE? I haven't been able to find any in stores or online.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:39:41 PM
Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
With the "pattern" at 15 yards still looking almost identical to a slug, how much more damage than a slug would this load be doing at 15 yards? Obviously the shot would probably spread in a body, and therefore slow where the slug would probably plow on through a single big hole. But how much?


As I noted in the post:

"And no matter how close the buckshot are together when they hit the target, each pellet will make its own individual wound channel. To see an illustration of this, see The Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo , and look at the third illustration down the page."

Look at that illustration. It will answer your question, I believe.

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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:39:57 PM
I noticed that the load you have is "low recoil". Do you know if they plan to make any full power loads? Federal Flight Control is rapidly becoming a favorite of 3-gunners.


mm
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:40:25 PM
Originally Posted By M4:
Looks like I just found new defense ammo for my 930 SPX....thanks OP.


You bet.

I am loading mine up with it as soon as I get it cleaned up from the range session.

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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:40:25 PM
Originally Posted By giraffejeff:
Is this only available to LE? I haven't been able to find any in stores or online.


No, it's an ATK rule, Fed Tactical can be found in the general public, just got to look for it.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:40:55 PM
Originally Posted By giraffejeff:
Is this only available to LE? I haven't been able to find any in stores or online.


Since OP had a bit of involvement in getting this load out there, I'm guessing he got one of the first boxes.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:41:30 PM
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
With the "pattern" at 15 yards still looking almost identical to a slug, how much more damage than a slug would this load be doing at 15 yards? Obviously the shot would probably spread in a body, and therefore slow where the slug would probably plow on through a single big hole. But how much?


As I noted in the post:

"And no matter how close the buckshot are together when they hit the target, each pellet will make its own individual wound channel. To see an illustration of this, see The Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo , and look at the third illustration down the page."

Look at that illustration. It will answer your question, I believe.



Ha. I read that, but it did not click in my mind as the answer to my question.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:42:03 PM
I really like the flight control, its a great round.

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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:43:30 PM
It is hard to believe that stuff is shooting that tight
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:45:08 PM
fascinating

I wonder how widely available this will be....
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:45:40 PM
Did you by any change compare the accuracy of the 00 FliteControl with the #1 buck?
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:46:06 PM
Excellent post.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:46:13 PM
Low recoil? Did the fbi test #1 buck penetration for low recoil loads?
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:46:32 PM
I'll be keeping an eye out for this ammo. Great post as always OP.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:47:52 PM
Nice! Have you patterned it at 50?

Do you think the 'low recoil' loading takes #1 off the table for penetration?
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:49:46 PM
Exciting times we're living in.

It won't get me to switch to a shotgun for HD, but I now have something to recommend to my friends who do.


O_P, thanks for your service to the community for badgering this one into existence.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:50:02 PM
Federal Flight Control Wad shotgun ammo is absolutely AMAZING stuff. No other way to go for buckshot loads.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:53:15 PM
very cool sir, thank you so much for this review. i do believe i will be procuring a new store of ammunition for my home defense 870. the patterning difference in your pictures is simply amazing.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:55:29 PM
Great review thanks, now for the hard part, trying to find some in Alaska.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:55:35 PM
Shooting stuff, fun?
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:57:43 PM
Awesome job OP. Any idea of who has any in stock?
We should have shotguns for this
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:58:05 PM
Originally Posted By mike_556:
Originally Posted By giraffejeff:
Is this only available to LE? I haven't been able to find any in stores or online.


No, it's an ATK rule, Fed Tactical can be found in the general public, just got to look for it.


What's an ATK rule?
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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:58:43 PM
Originally Posted By davisac:
Did you by any change compare the accuracy of the 00 FliteControl with the #1 buck?


Not this morning, but comparing it to times I have shot 00 Buck with FCW.......Just the same. Very accurate.

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Posted: 7/9/2012 12:59:48 PM
Originally Posted By FreeFloater:
Low recoil? Did the fbi test #1 buck penetration for low recoil loads?


Yes, the low recoil makes the FBI minimun. See Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:03:29 PM
Originally Posted By el_hombre:
Awesome job OP. Any idea of who has any in stock?


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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:04:37 PM
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By el_hombre:
Awesome job OP. Any idea of who has any in stock?




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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:07:27 PM
[Last Edit: 7/9/2012 1:31:07 PM by ch1966]
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Originally Posted By FreeFloater:
Low recoil? Did the fbi test #1 buck penetration for low recoil loads?


Yes, the low recoil makes the FBI minimun. See Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo



Do you have a link? This is all I could find:

Federal finally came out with an offering w/ #1 buck shot in their Flite Control Wad. It is a plated 15 pellet load. It is low recoil at 1100 FPS. I am unaware of any penetration testing data on #1 at that velocity...


Link

ETA Found this on another forum:



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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:08:43 PM
Well, you got me shopping again.

That's my typical response to most of your "test" posts.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:18:52 PM
Looks interesting. When the #1 hits my local market I'll likely pick up 50 or so to T/E. Thanks for the review OP.



Originally Posted By M4:
Looks like I just found new defense ammo for my 930 SPX....thanks OP.

Your mileage may vary, but the double aught version of this ammo doesn't always cycle my SPX. I had to find full house Federal loads to do the trick in the auto gun.


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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:24:43 PM
Good as always.


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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:25:15 PM
Reduced recoil busk shot loads often have the same or greater penetration than their full velocity equals. For several reasons all involving less pellet deformation. The pellets deform less upon the initial shock of firing. The pellets deform less as they travell down the brl and the pellets deform less as they strike the target. The result,is the slower but rounder pellets go just a deep or deeper than their full velocity counterparts.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:30:24 PM
Thanks OP, I have several hundred rounds of the 00 Federal FC... Looks like I'll have to pick some of this up

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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:32:25 PM
Pretty dramatic difference right there..
There, I said it...Don't tell me you weren't thinking the same thing!

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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:49:17 PM
Now I can buy a shotgun for home defense. Thanks, O_P!

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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:52:31 PM
I picked up 5 boxes of this from Kyle's Gunshop 2 months ago at a Gunshow. I went to the show and didn't realize Kyle's is located in the area. I had gone from over priced, cheap crap, to a table of BCM and LWRC rifles; along with Federal HST, Ranger T-series, and the new Federal #1 tight wad load.

To say the least, I was astonished to see them there. Even more so because the night prior, I had JUST ordered $150 worth of ammo from them. I spent another $100 there and decided to get 5 boxes of these shells as they recommended it. I have yet to shoot any but I did cut one open. The components are quality and it seems like a very clean load.

You sir have done me a service, and my wallet a disservice by posting this review. I have a fair amount of Hornady #00 buck loads but now I shall be stocking up on the Federal #1. I don't use my 870 for home defense but I do keep shells in the side saddle, while it sits in my safe. As your pictures show, I'm not sure if these would benefit me if I was shooting at distances within my home. However, if I lived on a lot of land, this would be my go-to loading. I shall stock up on the Federal for rainy days and am glad to see its capabilities. The tight wad is a very slick design.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 1:55:09 PM
Originally Posted By DWFAN:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By el_hombre:
Awesome job OP. Any idea of who has any in stock?






Kyle's Gunshop
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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:00:15 PM
Originally Posted By DWFAN:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By el_hombre:
Awesome job OP. Any idea of who has any in stock?






As I noted, it will become available as time passes.

But you should go to your normal ammo place and ask them to order some for you.

We need them to sell a lot of this stuff so that they will continue to make it.

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sturmjr
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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:07:22 PM
Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
Originally Posted By DWFAN:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By el_hombre:
Awesome job OP. Any idea of who has any in stock?






As I noted, it will become available as time passes.

But you should go to your normal ammo place and ask them to order some for you.

We need them to sell a lot of this stuff so that they will continue to make it.



I have no doubt that they will.

This would be a fantastic load for 10ft Zombie Headshots; take their head right off! Of course, if they marketed that way, it would sell like hotcakes
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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:09:44 PM
Originally Posted By VoodooChile:
Pretty dramatic difference right there..


Yes, it really is.

Amazing what that Flight Control Wad does to patterns at these distances.

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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:11:56 PM
Thank you
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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:15:00 PM
I really need some of this ammo.

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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:16:52 PM
Originally Posted By sturmjr:
Originally Posted By DWFAN:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By el_hombre:
Awesome job OP. Any idea of who has any in stock?






Kyle's Gunshop


They still have some. I ordered 5 boxes.
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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:18:40 PM
Originally Posted By mike_556:
Originally Posted By giraffejeff:
Is this only available to LE? I haven't been able to find any in stores or online.

No, it's an ATK rule, Fed Tactical can be found in the general public, just got to look for it.

That's not what the ammo retailers say. I've already talked to a couple about trying to get this load in stock.
This is...a clue - Pat_Rogers
I'm not adequately aluminumized for this thread. - gonzo_beyondo
CO, FL, MI, SC, NH - Please lobby your legislators to end discrimination against non-resident CCW permit holders
Saddler
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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:20:57 PM
Great job

PROOF that an individual CAN make a difference - if only more ammo makers were as receptive to such suggestions based on actual test data not just what the marketing dept/company lawyers say that they should be making!!

As a side note, anyone know if the Federal wads are sold for home loaders (as I'm gueesing that there will be close to zero chance of this ammo hitting the UK anytime soon!! - be good to roll something similar for the shotgun comps I attend that have buckshot stages...)
www.mooreleather.co.uk
Bville-Bud
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Posted: 7/9/2012 2:23:55 PM
Great post and great news.
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