Federal Premium Working with States to Update Turkey Hunting Shotgun and Ammunition Regulations

Due to the introduction of new high-density HEAVYWEIGHT Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) loads, Federal Premium is working with a number of U.S. states to legalize the use of .410 shotguns and smaller shot sizes for turkey hunting.

“Hunters have better options for effective turkey loads with smaller shot than ever before,” said Federal Premium Director of Conservation Ryan Bronson. “Federal Premium is working with wildlife agencies and policy makers in the 16 states that currently prohibit turkey hunting with shot smaller than No. 8 and shotgun bores smaller than 20 gauge to rethink their regulations and give turkey hunters of all ages, statures and physical abilities more options.”

“Most of these turkey ammunition restrictions were put into place when lead was the only shot material available,” continued Bronson. “While TSS shot has been very popular among hand-loaders for some time, by making our factory loaded turkey ammunition available to a broader segment of the hunting public, we are hoping all states and Canadian provinces will consider updating their regulations to allow these new configurations.”

Bronson reports regulation changes are gaining momentum in at least two states. The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners voted May 4 to approve a Federal Premium petition to potentially modify their shotgun restrictions to allow 28 gauge and .410 shotguns. The measure passed 8-0 and moves on to a formal rulemaking process where the specifics of a regulation change proposal will be worked out by Nevada Division of Wildlife Staff and the public.

Utah also is proceeding with turkey regulation changes that would allow all shotguns firing shot size BB or smaller to be used for wild turkey hunting. The proposal was presented by Utah Division of Wildlife staff at a series of Regional Advisory Council meetings in May. Currently, .410 shotguns and shot smaller than size 8 are prohibited for turkey hunting.

“We’re pleased to see this movement gaining traction. It’s an important first step in making hunting more accessible for more people,” said Bronson.

Introduced this spring, new HEAVYWEIGHT TSS pellets are made of 95 percent tungsten and have a density of 18 grams per cubic centimeter—20 percent higher than standard tungsten and 56 percent more than lead. Along with gains in penetration energy and velocity, ultra-dense TSS provides the highest pellet counts possible—up to double those found in lead loads of the same weight.

“Higher pellet counts make smaller shot sizes and sub-gauge shotguns as small as .410 effective tools for taking wild turkeys,” Bronson explained.