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What is the difference between the 20 Gauge Federal Top Guns and Federal Field and Target loads. They are both 7.5 shot 7/8 oz,,,,,,and 2 1/2"

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Tractman
 

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My educated guess is that if you put the two shells on paper at 20 yards with a mod or tighter choke that the Field and Target shells would have a few more flyers.

I think that harder shot is used in the top gun shells. Cut open a shell of each and see how much pressure it takes to mash the shot with a pair of pliers.
 

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A few years ago, Top Gun and Field & Target were exactly the same thing except for the label. That was confirmed to me by a Federal customer service rep. At that time the F&T was sold only by WalMart. I can't confirm it, but I would bet that TG and F&T are still the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all, that is what I suspected...Walmart still sells the Field and Target in 4 packs for $21.97 here...

Tractman
 

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astomb said:
Cut open a shell of each and see how much pressure it takes to mash the shot with a pair of pliers.
Nothing will be learned with test as subjective as this, particularly when doing it on low quality shot.

Bottom line, Federal cheap shells are the same stuff no matter what the name on the box is. They work well enough to kill clays at distances farther than most think they can.
 

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Sobrepuesta said:
astomb said:
Cut open a shell of each and see how much pressure it takes to mash the shot with a pair of pliers.
Nothing will be learned with test as subjective as this, particularly when doing it on low quality shot.
Actually, I have done that with samples of a lot of different brands and grades of shot, and you really can tell differences in quality. You can't put numbers on the hardness that way, but you certainly can tell which ones are harder or softer than others.
 

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tractman said:
What is the difference between the 20 Gauge Federal Top Guns and Federal Field and Target loads. They are both 7.5 shot 7/8 oz,,,,,,and 2 1/2"

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Tractman
Top Guns have harder shot: Top Gun is 3.5% antimony, according to Federal on 7/18/2016.
 

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Seamus O'Caiside said:
Sobrepuesta said:
astomb said:
Cut open a shell of each and see how much pressure it takes to mash the shot with a pair of pliers.
Nothing will be learned with test as subjective as this, particularly when doing it on low quality shot.
Actually, I have done that with samples of a lot of different brands and grades of shot, and you really can tell differences in quality. You can't put numbers on the hardness that way, but you certainly can tell which ones are harder or softer than others.
And for 99% of us that makes no difference to the outcome of a shot.

Right?
 

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federal field/target universal loads suck …..i've had tons of pierced primers but not as bad as Remington gun clubs (they are the worst……they used to be great but not anymore ).
Federal target loads have a harder shot but also better primers , out of 300 rounds i've only had two pierced primers .
Don't ever buy winchester universal cartridges (they suck too…primer is hard and i got tons of lite primer strikes). Winchesters AA on the other hand are perfect without any issues at all but then you will be paying a little more for that privilege….
 

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astomb said:
My educated guess is that if you put the two shells on paper at 20 yards with a mod or tighter choke that the Field and Target shells would have a few more flyers.

I think that harder shot is used in the top gun shells. Cut open a shell of each and see how much pressure it takes to mash the shot with a pair of pliers.
We call our needle-nosed pliers "variable-tension grippers."

The problem with many promo or "value" loads is that they vary from year to year, so the non-cannister grade (bulk) propellants change, along with the shot. They are a couple of old issues unique to Federal.

At one time, Top Guns had 6% antimony shot, the same as Gold Medals. Word got out, and folks wondered why they should pay extra for the better shot. There was a run on Top Guns, but eventually Top Gun rounds were changed back. With Gold Medals, for a time boxes of #8 shot and #7-1/2 shot had the same identical shot (closer to #8 on average) in them, so whether you bought #8 shot loads or #7-1/2 shot loads you received the same exact load.

Federal, owned by the Horn family, was sold in 1985 and taken private as Federal-Hoffman, sold again to Pentair of Ireland in 1988. ATK "(Alliant) since acquired Federal now it is all under Vista Outdoor, the February 2015 spin-off of Alliant. Regardless, Federal today is doing well, over 1400 employees in Anoka vs. 700 or so back in 2003.

If you are looking for the most efficient patterns with a given choke, 6% antimony AA's, STS loads, and Gold Medals are the best available shells on the market. The 4% Remington American Clay & Field Sport Loads are probably the best for the money.

For the "best of the cheap" or "best of the worst" it varies from year to year.

See viewtopic.php?f=2&t=222032&start=0 .
 

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In April of this year I purchased a new Browning 725 in 20 ga. and since then I have put 1,500 rounds thru it. Most of those rounds have been Rio R10s and Federal TGs. I did try some Remington STS shells and the only FTFs I had were with the STS. One shell in each of the 3 boxes of the STS, that I shot, would not fire in the lower barrel of the 725 with a small dimple rather than the deep hits I had been getting in the cheap ammo. I don't know if the STS primers are harder or if the primers were set too deep in the hull. When I switched back to the Rios and TGs, no failures and the dimples in the primers are nice and deep. The breaks I am getting with both of the cheap ammos are quite impressive on the skeet field with Brownings flush SK chokes. I never patterned any of them, as that is just a waste of time and ammo.
 

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twohigh said:
I never patterned any of them, as that is just a waste of time and ammo.
Your not alone in that sentiment, although nothing could possibly be further from the truth.

The only interaction there is between a shooter and the target is the pattern. The pattern is the most important single component of performance. Reading breaks is meaningless. Sure, blow a pile of little pellets out of a tube and they have to go somewhere, but so what?

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=222032&start=0

PATTERNING PERFORMANCE
Of course, what matters most is how they perform so here are some pattern numbers from a 12-gauge Browning Citori w/ 28" Invector-Plus barrels and Briley flush chokes to allow for performance comparisons (patterns average of five, 30" post-shot scribed circle, yardage taped muzzle to target, and in-shell pellet count average of five).

40 YARDS / LM
Gun Club / 216 (58%)
STS / 277 (68%)
Nitro / 267 (64%)

40 YARDS / M
Gun Club / 236 (63%)
STS / 293 (72%)
Nitro / 302 (72%)

40 YARDS / IM
Gun Club / 260 (69%)
STS / 295 (72%)
Nitro / 307 (73%)

40 YARDS / LF
Gun Club / 263 (70%)
STS / 313 (77%)
Nitro / 309 (74%)

40 YARDS / F
Gun Club / 272 (73%)
STS / 321 (79%)
Nitro / 321 (76%)

As far as the GCs are concened, they just could not keep up with either the STSs or the Nitros when it came to putting pellets in the pattern at 40 yards with any of my chokes. Heck, the GCs with the full choke could only get close to the LM choke performance of the STSs and Nitros. The GCs did however perform up to factory standards for the choke, i.e., + or - 5% for F / 70%, IM / 65%, M / 60%, etc.

The STSs and Nitros were pretty much a dead heat, there just isn't enough difference between the STS and Nitro raw pattern numbers to worry about. Through the LM and LF chokes the STS load put a few more pellets in the patterns, through the M and IM chokes the Nitros put a few more pellets inside the pattern, and with the F choke they both had the exact same average pattern number.
40 YARDS / Light Modified
Gun Club / 216 (58%)
STS / 277 (68%)
Nitro / 267 (64%)

With a trendy "Light Modified" choke, STS loads on average put 61 more pellets in the 30 inch circle. Look at any clays or wingshooting pattern and try to decide which 61 pellets you don't want to exist.

28% more pellets in the 30 inch circle by going to STS loads vs. Gun Clubs. Now that is an obvious advantage that it doesn't a heck of lot of thought to recognize.

A quality 1 oz. shell may well be more effective than a low-end, chilled shot 1-1/4 oz. load, much less a 1-1/8 oz. load. It is far too big of a difference to ignore.

Nor are Gun Clubs anywhere near the miserable performance of some promo loads. Remington uses their 11 stories tall Shot Tower: 10 stories is not tall enough while 12 is a waste.





After the 11 story drop, the pellets are sorted via tilted glass tables. Now you know why Remington shot is more spherical than most, and Remington shells are not full of the nasty gravel so many shells are stuffed with.
 

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I know I'll never convince you Randy that patterning is a waste of time for everything except turkey hunting. I understand that it give you experts something to write about. However, if the number of pellets in a 30" circle were all that important no one would be using 1 oz or 7/8 or 3/4oz loads. Those of us who have experience shooting clays can evaluate the effectiveness of our patterns by performance on the clays themselves. We know a solid break when we see them. The problem is, Randy, patterning on a piece of paper just gives you a stationary 2D representation of a moving 3D situation. You see, those pellets outside your 30" circle can still impact the target as the target and the cone shaped pellet mass, that is our patterns, intersect each other. As the target moves THRU the pattern (on everything but a dead straight away) and the pattern moves thru the target, the target be impacted by the center and the edges of the pattern. And if one is off by a little bit, it may only be impacted by those at the edges of the pattern. There are times when I'm very grateful for those pellets outside or trailing in the pattern. The only time patterning will tell you something useful is if your shotgun is not putting the shot string where you are looking and the shooter wants to verify their POI. I can tell, without ever seeing a pattering board, that my patterns with Rio R10s and TG are effective thru my Sk chokes. It is irrelevant to many of us who do more shooting than writing what % of that shot is in a 30" 2D circle on piece of paper.
 

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twohigh said:
I know I'll never convince you Randy that patterning is a waste of time for everything except turkey hunting.
No Sir, of course you won't, because it isn't: there is no basis dismissing it or just designating it a "waste of time." You also won't convince the ghosts of Don Zutz or Bob Brister. You also won't convince 6 consecutive Olympic Medalist Kim Rhode, Neil Winston, or most of everyone else. Long ago, the hoary "3D" nonsense was disproved by Burrard, and Winchester ballistician Ed Lowry revisited and reconfirmed it.


Go ahead and try to "read" these XLR5 breaks for me. Unlike live shooting, you can study them all you want.

In American Skeet, assuming you throw 1 oz. of #9 shot at a fragile clay, that's about 585 pellets. No one can possibly "read" how many pellets hit the clay or from what area of the pattern they came from, or have any clue as to pattern density. If there are no holes in that clay, we missed it 585 times. How do you read a break that didn't happen?

Neil Winston continues to show that the debunked shot-string nonsense remains nonsense: http://www.mn-trap.org/tech_corner/n_wi ... ter_4.html .

Implications for shot-string theory

These breaks should send most shot-string theorists back to the gun-room for a serious re-think. Recall Chapter 3 where we read on TS.com, about mid-thread

"And as one pellet can cause a break, any "late arriving" pellet has a chance to cause a break when the error was in front of the target! A late arriving pellet WILL never cause a break when the main pattern is BEHIND! That too is physics not conjecture!"
No one is using 1 oz. loads in ATA 27 yard handicap trap. The only reason ISSF (Olympic) shooters ever lowered their payloads was due to the rule changes. Every time the allowable payload was dropped, scores went down.

Why would a clean kill on a turkey be extremely important, but crippling a goose, duck, or pheasant somehow be considered okay? If patterns were not important, no one would use Remington STS or Winchester AA loads, but that certainly is not the case.
 

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One of the primary take home messages in Bob Brister's book in the 1970's was Hard Lead Shot Puts More Pellets In A 30 Inch Circle.

If you are trying to extend the distance that you are breaking targets or taking game, hard lead makes a difference.
 

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Randy wrote: "No one is using 1 oz. loads in ATA 27 yard handicap trap. The only reason ISSF (Olympic) shooters ever lowered their payloads was due to the rule changes. Every time the allowable payload was dropped, scores went down."

In FITASC, a rules change reduced the shot wt. from 1 1/4 oz to 1 oz. I have read that scores did not go down.
 

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We really don't have to go any deeper than looking at American Skeet with the 4 gauge format. It was of course, designed as a handicap. Same targets, same short ranges, but less pellets. No pattern can possibly be formed from pellets that were never in the shell in the first place.

It is the reason that the 20 gauge is so loudly clearly superior to the 16 gauge: 1-5/16 oz. 20 gauge lead loads are readily available for the 20 gauge, but do not exist for the 16 gauge. You can also throw 1-3/8 oz. of lead from the 20 (factory Hornady load) and go up to 1-1/2 oz. in 20 gauge with Federal Heavyweight #7.

With steel, both the 16 gauge and 20 gauge look pretty sad compared to the 12 gauge. That is a consequence of the so-called "no-tox" laws . . . it ready gimps the usefulness of 28, 16, and 20 gauge shotguns. Steel shot is spherical (at least it should be), more spherical than lead, and no subject to deformation as is lead. It all gets cleanly down to payload with steel (actually, iron) shot. Every sub-gauge loses to the 12 gauge. In most competitive clays sports, it is 12 gauge only territory . . . the lone hold-out of consequence is American Skeet.

Great lengths have been gone to, to increase payloads. Right now, the 28 gauge ETHOS has a 3 inch chamber, and Fiocchi is loading 1-1/8 oz. 3 inch pheasant loads for it. The wisdom of that approach (or commercial viability of it) is a story for another day, but hull capacity expressed in payload is a fundamental barometer of the effective range of a shotgun, and effectiveness altogether.

Shot does not "string" like stringy cheese or pulling on a piece of licorice. It is effectively a wall of shot.


The notion that there is significant pattern thinning due to the length of the shot cloud has been disproved: no more than 5.4% or so, worst case scenario. Yet shotshells themselves vary in pattern percentage from shot to shot 10%, some 20% or even more.
 

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Unlike Mr. Brister with his paper trailing station wagon, high-speed photography can actually see and measure a shot-string's length. In the link below, a Sports Afield editor, estimates that the length of a shot string is anywhere from 8 to 15 feet to maybe as much as 20 feet at 40 yards. The length of the shot string is affected by the hardness of the shot, with deformation adding length to the string, as those pellets are less aerodynamic. A softer lead shot will have a longer shot string then hard lead, steel or tungsten shot. According to the data shown in the video, the whole string moves thru the target in about .0138 seconds. The point is: a shot string does have height, width and length, making it 3D. Now, why paper patterning is important to turkey hunting and not so much to clay or wing shooting: A turkey's head and neck is a very small and relatively stationary target. Pattern density and lack of holes in the pattern in this situation is very important. We all agree on that. However, when your pellet string encounters a crossing target moving anywhere from 40 - 60 mph they will intersect and move thru each other. Any "hole" observed in your stationary target will not be significant as your target moves thru your random string of pellets. The target will not stay in area of the pattern that has the hole. As stated in the video, a bird flying at 35mph will travel 8.5 inches in the time for a shot string to pass thru/by it. Ducks can fly at 40-60 mph and a skeet clay is about 45 mph, as such they will travel even farther then 8.5 inches. As such, as they move on thru the string of pellets any "holes" you may see on a stationary paper will not have any real effect on targets traversing 8.5" or more thru an 8 foot long (or longer) shot string. If you look at the averages of a skilled skeet shooters as they go from 12 to 20 to 28 ga. you will notice very little if any significant differences. The .410 is a whole different world and it is at the 1/2 oz shot load is where one sees a significant drop-off in scores. That's seems to be the point where one has to be concerned about holes in the pattern costing you points; where you can be on target and still not break the target.

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun ... peed-video
 
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