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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello:
Around 1am this morning I started cleaning out my reloading room and I came across two boxes of Federal paper reloads that I reloaded on a Texan single stage loader back in 1970. On both boxes I wrote, Federal paper hull, 16.7 red dot, 12c1 wad, Federal 209 primer, hard Remington 7 1/2 shot.

I took both boxes of reloads out to the gun club this morning. I shot a 16 yard practice round and a 24 yard handicap round. First of all, I could not believe the low recoil these loads had. Targets were hit with absolute authority with garbage can lids of smoke. Any targets missed was my fault and not the load.

I then shot a 24 yard practice round of handicap and once again the targets I hit were smoked but the FPS had to be between 1000 to 1100 at best as hard lefts from station one and hard rights from station 5 seemed like I had to lead these targets by five feet in order to hit them. It felt like I needed a bus transfer to catch up with these hard lefts and hard rights.

I do not have a chronograph, but I swear these shells were really slow. Do any of you recall when Federal made new shells that had very light powder charges and I think the FPS was under 1100 FPS?

Anyone know how slow you can go FPS and still break targets on a consistent basis and still have guns like a semi automatic function properly?

Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

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Steve, Federal made (and maybe do) xtra-lites that were said to go about 1100 fps; some were slower, some faster as is always true. I have it in my head that they don't work for me, but sometimes they are all I have handy and of course when I shoot them they work fine. Some guy named Ray S. shot them for years and using them was a very-tiptop shooter from the 27.

Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Neil:
I was not aware that Ray used the extra- lites at one time or another. When I was shooting tournaments he was considered one of the best and probably still is? I wonder why the ammo companies feel a need for high FPS loads when the xtra-lites brake targets very well?

Have you ever done any pattern testing with these extra-lites compared to heavy 3dr. loads? I have been purchasing new shells for the past twenty years but if I was still reloading I would honestly think of dropping the powder charge a bit as they felt better on my shoulder and if you like smoke balls these lower FPS shells seem to be ideal.
Steve
 

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Steve and smoke-um, I've not tested those Federal shells, but I did a test which included some 1030 fps shells , and they did indeed pattern tighter than 1130 and 1230 fps shells (all handloads with differing amounts of the same powder) , which did not differ in pattern performance. However, fast shells (of ATA speeds) do not "blow the pattern," a term which has never been defined for me anyway. Light & "Handicap-speed shells" produced similar pattern spreads.



Factory shells of faster speeds produced the same results, the shells here are Remington STS and the faster Nitro 27's.





Yours in Sport,

Neil
 

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Steve, Federal made (and maybe do) xtra-lites that were said to go about 1100 fps; some were slower, some faster as is always true. I have it in my head that they don't work for me, but sometimes they are all I have handy and of course when I shoot them they work fine. Some guy named Ray S. shot them for years and using them was a very-tiptop shooter from the 27.

Neil
Ray Stafford?
 

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The one and only.
 

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Steve, Federal made (and maybe do) xtra-lites that were said to go about 1100 fps; some were slower, some faster as is always true. I have it in my head that they don't work for me, but sometimes they are all I have handy and of course when I shoot them they work fine. Some guy named Ray S. shot them for years and using them was a very-tiptop shooter from the 27.

Neil
Roger Smith wasn't to shabby either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Neil:
Thank you for posting the above as it is very interesting to me. If these Federal xtra-lites are still being made I will certainly try and purchase them. Problem is that in my area (Milwaukee) for some reason or another Federal premium shells are very hard to find as the area gun clubs and stores that offer new shells for sale only carry the cheaper Federal type shell. They do carry Remington and Winchester premium shells wondering if either of these companies offer an xtra-lite type of shell?

I ask myself, why did I not use these xtra-lites when I shot tournaments years ago? That's a good question, as when I was young I probably thought shooting from 25 yards ( furthest I was ever handicapped in ATA shooting) that I thought 3 dram shells was the only way to go?
Steve
 
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