SHOT Show 2020: Federal Terminal Ascent Ammo

posted on January 21, 2020

We often speak of bullet evolution and how our modern variants are better than what our fathers and grandfathers had. I can think of no better genealogy than Federal’s new Terminal Ascent bullet.

Federal has long embraced bullet designs from other companies—beginning with the Sierra and Nosler bullets in their Premium line more than four decades ago—but their own line has been equally satisfactory. Wisely acquiring Jack Carter’s Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullets for use in their own loaded ammunition, you can trace Jack’s original design to the Federal version—nickel-plated yet with the same devastating terminal ballistics—and then to the polymer-tipped boattail Trophy Bonded Tip, through Edge TLR and finally to the newest offering from Federal: Terminal Ascent.

Nickel-plated, with Federal’s blue Slipstream polymer tip, the Terminal Ascent bullet is an improvement on the Edge TLR—and that was a very impressive design—engineered to cover hunting situations from up-close-and-personal to reach-out-and-touch-someone. Terminal Ascent bullets have high ballistic coefficients (BC) values, and have been proven to give reliable expansion at impact velocities as low as 1350 fps, yet the lead core at the front of the bullet is bonded to the jacket in order to hold it together at high impact velocities, making it a wise choice for hunting at all ranges.

The AccuChannel grooves cut into the shank of the bullet reduce both the bearing surface of the bullet and bore fouling, as well, yet they don’t increase drag. Federal’s engineers experimented with the number and positioning of grooves on different Terminal Ascent bullets, and were surprised to find that one well-placed AccuChannel groove could do the work of two in the wrong place. Each bullet design has its own groove placement. Additionally, each caliber’s weight has been chosen to give the optimum BC value.

Federal will initially offer Terminal Ascent in 11 different cartridges: 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC (130-grain), .270 Winchester and .270 WSM (136-grain), 7mm Remington Magnum, .280 Ackley Improved and .28 Nosler (155-grain), .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield (175-grain), .300 Winchester Magnum and .300 WSM (200-grain); all will come in 20-round boxes. Terminal Ascent bullets will also be available in component form for the handloaders: 130-grain 6.5mm, 136-grain .277-inch, 155-grain 7mm and 200-grain .308-inch.

Having spent a healthy amount of time with each one of this bullet’s predecessors, I have no doubt that Federal’s Terminal Ascent will put smiles on hunter’s faces, meat in their freezers and make memories to last a lifetime.

For more information, visit


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