Field Tested: Federal Heavyweight TSS

posted on April 25, 2024
Federal Heavyweight TSS 3 Inch 9 Shot

Last year, I had the pleasure of travelling to the Yucatan peninsula in search of ocellated turkey. Equipped with a Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey—and still more importantly, a knowledgeable guide—the hunt came to a rapid and successful conclusion, the story of which you can read in our March 2024 issue. Over the course of the hunt, however, I also got to see Federal Heavyweight TSS at work in the field on not just turkey, but the elusive coatimundi (coati), which is a significantly tougher proposition. Read on for my experiences with this incredibly effective shotshell.

Ocellated Turkey

The adage used to be “nothing hits like lead.” While that’s still true, it doesn’t quite have the same meaning anymore. With a density of 18 g/cc, Heavyweight TSS is 56-percent denser than lead, and is even 22-percent denser than standard tungsten. Translation? It actually hits harder. Any bird within 15 yards of my fellow hunters on this trip was almost fully beheaded, while “longer” shots like my own saw the bird drop in place. This is down not only to the amazing density of the material, but also the smaller pellet size it enables Federal to use, meaning the cloud can be larger, yet the pellets will still hit as hard as lead or steel several times their size. We used 3-inch, 1 ¾-ounce loads of 9-shot for this trip, but the ammunition is available for 12-gauges in 7-shot; 9-shot; or a mix of both; as well as in 3- or 3 ½-inch shells. Twenty-gauge and .410-bore variants are also available.

Coati with shotgun

Still more impressive than its performance on turkeys was the impact of Heavyweight TSS on my coati. I had my doubts about the situational efficacy of 9-shot, as I stood over 40 yards from the mammal, but the shotshells gave the lie to my skepticism. If I hadn’t had such a firm cheek-weld, my jaw would literally have dropped when I saw the tungsten’s impact, bowling over the low-slung, 11+ pound animal with ease. I think this is largely down to the Flitecontrol Flex wad, which is designed to hold patterns tight and dense through both standard and ported turkey chokes. For more information, check out MSRP: $48.99-$104.99


Lock And Key
Lock And Key

One Mandatory Storage Bill Signed While Another Passes Committee

A pair of anti-gun bills find success on separate coasts.

Gun Control Group Loses Control of Firearm

Earlier this month, a group billing itself as Humanium Metal was participating in a firearm disposal put on by the Maine Gun Safety Coalition. During the course of the process, traditional rules of Gun Safety were not respected and a muzzleloader was negligently discharged.

Review: Ruger Super Redhawk .22 Hornet

The Super Redhawk has long been known as a durable, dependable DA/SA revolver for the handgun hunter or backcountry defender. Now the platform has expanded into the light-shooting varminting realm with .22 Hornet.

Recipe: Pickled Smoked Venison Sausage

Looking for a good snack to take into the blind? Try out Brad Fenson's pickled, smoked venison sausage.

First Look: Rhino Blinds 180 Pro FD

The Rhino 180 Pro FD hunting blind builds on the original Rhino 180 with a multitude of improved features. Constructed of hard-wearing 300D fabric, this hub-style hunting blind features a two-way mesh system that prevents wild game from seeing in, while allowing hunters to see out without obstruction.

Firearm Industry Taxes Total $17 Billion Toward Wildlife Conservation Since 1937

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced in May that firearm and ammunition manufacturers have handed over more than $17 billion in excise taxes to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund since its 1937 inception.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.