First Look: Federal Freight Train Copper Slugs

posted on January 27, 2024
Federal Freight Train Copper Slugs Lead

Growing up in Upstate New York, the law regarding deer hunting varied from county to county; where one county allowed centerfire rifles, others would be restricted to using shotguns with slugs. It was a rather haphazard arrangement, with logic rarely being the basis for the decision. Where a rifle would happily reach out across a hay lot to sort out a buck, the shotguns of my youth were not exactly the picture of precision shooting equipment. Lead balls or rifled Brenneke slugs were usually employed, with varying degrees of success. “Get close!” was the usual advice given.

Time and technology have been kind to the shotgun slug, and those lead knuckleballs are all but a thing of the past. Federal has a new line of slugs for 2024, the Freight Train Copper Tipped Sabot Slugs, and these are not your grandfather’s ammunition. Using a lead-free copper monometal design, with a polymer tip over a hollow cavity, the Freight Train Copper gives a huge ballistic advantage over conventional slugs. In fact, Federal’s ballisticians have seen this ammunition give 4-inch groups at 200 yards, something unheard of in my youth. The slugs sit neatly in a sabot, which aligns perfectly with the shotgun’s bore, and separates from the slug at the muzzle. And Federal has not skimped in the velocity department; the 300-grain Freight Train in the 3-inch, 12-gauge variant leaves the muzzle at an even 2000 fps.

The polymer tip is used for aerodynamic benefits, as well as to initiate expansion upon striking a game animal, and the slug is skived along the ogive, in order to further guarantee expansion after impact. And the copper monometal construction is perfect for those areas, states, and provinces where lead and lead-core ammunition is banned by law.

The Freight Train Copper Tipped Sabot Slugs are available in 12-gauge 300-grain 3-inch and 2¾-inch, and 20-gauge 3-inch and 2¾-inch, in five-round boxes.

For more information, visit


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