Just after the turn of this century, Federal Premium ammunition hired some guys with seriously big brains and really thick glasses. We’ve enjoyed the results of their employment since about 2004.
One of their projects combined massively improved pellet lethality, sporting a cutting edge around the projectile’s equator and a revolutionary wad. This wad deploys two sets of flaps, thereby retarding the wad and allowing it to “pull off” the shot column. This results in a much tighter pattern. I counted pellets and got 144 for the 1-ounce load. Sixty percent consists of conventional heavy, steel pellets and 40 percent Flight Stoppers. Combining these with enough oomph to produce 1,500 fps allows this 2¾-inch confection to outperform most 3-inch magnums.