A first look at Federal’s New Prairie Storm Pheasant loads


The pellets you see here are the contents of a pre-production sample of Federal’s new Prairie Storm Pheasant Loads, a core release of their Black Cloud. Normal aspect shot is copper 4s. They are mixed with ‘Flitestoppers’, which are also 4s but have rings around them that look like Saturns or WW1 helmets. The white stuff is a buffer, which helps the pellets hold their shape as they travel down the barrel.

The pellets and buffer are loaded into …

…the Flitecontrol wad, a solid shotcup that holds the pellets together for the first 15-20 feet out of the muzzle (rather than starting to spread immediately after leaving the muzzle as is the case with other types of shotcups ), tightening the patterns and increasing reduce the speed slightly. The Flitestoppers are first loaded with the copper pellets on top. This way round pads can pull for less aerodynamic ridged pads.

Flitestoppers are nasty little things, at least, based on autopsies I’ve performed on a few roosters I’ve been able to photograph with them. The ones I extracted from the carcasses indeed left wider and more jagged wound channels than the round 4 thanks to the ridges around the pellets. Contrary to my expectations, the ridges on the pellets I retrieved survived passing to the other side of the bird fairly intact.

Prairie Storm will first be available in 4 shots, 1 1/4 ounces, 2 3/4 inches at 1500 fps. They’re unnecessarily fast, at least in my opinion, recoil-sensitive (“Ringneck Rocket” was the alternate name federal marketing officials considered), and I could definitely feel them going off in my lightweight Benelli Montefeltro. They wouldn’t be bad at shooting a gas gun, though. Plus, the speed sells, the name is cool, and they seem to work. I suspect they will develop a cult like the one that grew up around the Black Cloud Steel.

My backup Pheasant Poison will probably still be the mildest but deadly 1 1/4 ounces of 5 or 6 fired at 1330 fps, but I can’t wait to fire my two sample boxes of Prairie Storm in the meantime and report back .

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