Federal Premium Announces New 3rd Degree Turkey Load

By Dave Dolbee published on in Ammunition, Hunting

Rio Grande, Osceola, Gould’s, Eastern, Merriam’s, Oscellated – if these names ring a bell, make your blood boil or conjure images of going head to head against the best eyes in the woods, you are a turkey hunter. Turkey season is right around the corner and now is the time to dust off you turkey vest and tune up your gear. Perhaps you are in the market for a new vest or blind. Have you pulled out your calls for a once over? Most important in your preseason preparations will be ammunition and patterning your gun.

Federal Premium 3rd Degree Turkey Shotgun Shell

The Federal Premium 3rd Degree turkey shotgun shell uses a multi-stage three-shot payload for short- and long-range results.

Federal ammunition has bit to say about your selection of ammunition this spring turkey season. At the recent National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) show, federal introduced a new turkey load that promises to give your gobbler nightmares. Attendees—some of the most hardcore turkey hunters—were impressed by how the new 12-gauge turkey loads deliver lethal patterns near and far.

Turkeys are one of America’s most hunted game animals for a reason—the challenge. Hunting turkeys is no walk in the park, but they are an adrenaline rush like no other bird. Successfully calling a turkey can put him literally within a few feet of your gun barrel or inexplicably hung up by the terrain or a fence line 40 yards away. Federal’s Premium 3rd Degree load uses a multi-shot, three-layer payload to ensure lethal patterns regardless of your ethical hunting distance.

The leading section of the new Federal Premium 3rd Degree turkey loads, which accounts for 20 percent of the total pellet count, consists of No. 6 nickel-plated Flitestopper lead. These pellets release from the wad first, dispersing quickly to create a larger, more effective pattern than conventional loads for shots inside of 20 yards. The second stage of the payload is copper-plated No. 5 lead shot, which creates a dense, even pattern at moderate ranges. The final 40 percent of 3rd Degree’s three-stage payload contains No. 7 Heavyweight pellets. Made of high-density tungsten-iron material, they give hunters more energy than No. 5 lead shot at 40 yards and beyond. The increased pellet count delivers more hits on target at long range.

The new 3rd Degree turkey loads also support NWTF’s vital conservation efforts, as a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this product is donated to the organization. To further identify this relationship, the NWTF logo is prominently featured on every box of 3rd Degree.

What is your favorite turkey hunting ammunition? Share it with us in the comment section.


Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (4)

  • le kenobbie


    Sounds like a great home defense round! you can take someone out at 50-60 yards.


  • chuck


    I got a new 870 mag with the hs undertaker extended and ported choke at .670 .i also bought federal 3rd degree 3.5 inch shells im now reading that these may not be a good shell for my set up i havn’t shot it yet but wondering if i should go to federal xr in hd? Kinda upset cuz these aren’t. Cheap shells i know i need to pattern it but would like to at least start off on shells that work any ideas on these shells (3rd degree) or didi just waste my money or maybe i should use the choke that came with the gun but that one says lead only would they be ok


  • James Crawford


    Curious that there was no mention of the wad component. I wonder if it’s Federal’s highly touted FliteControl wad?


  • Chris Benjamin


    Chris You might consider these turkey loads.


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