No Federal Prairie Storm- Clear skies in MN

Labs

Active member
Man, this thread took a left turn...

After I read the original post I got curious and checked around town (Dickinson, ND). Plenty of Prairie Storm available here, as well as any other make, type, and gauge a guy could want.

I'm pretty well set for shotgun shells, and yes I do favor Prairie Storm for roosters, but as an aside I came across two boxes of Federal Upland 1-1/4 oz copper plated 7.5's. Federal Upland Copper Plated are right up there with Prairie Storm as my favorite loads, but I've never seen them in 7.5s. I grabbed both boxes up.

In my teenaged years back in the 70s I was a student of all things shotgun, loading, and wingshooting. Like everyone else I took the manufacturer's load & choke suggestions as gospel, until I read an article suggesting small shot/open choke in either Outdoor Life or Field & Stream (can't recall which). The math made sense to me, so on my Mec 600 Jr (eventually wore it out, as I did that old Model 12) I started loading short mag 1.5 oz of 7.5s, and turned the Poly Choke on my extremely well used when I got it 1939 Model 12 to IC. There are somewhere around 525 7.5 pellets in 1.5 oz load and that equates to a dense pattern. I shot that combo for both ducks and roosters for the season, and it was amazing how my hit & kill percentages went up & my cripple numbers went down. Even killed a couple geese with that load and they came down stone dead. With it's neck and knob peppered with 7.5s, not much of anything goes anywhere.

When I got home I ran a few of these gems through my Citori (I've come aways since that silver worn Model 12) with IC over Mod on clays, and the results were as satisfying as they were in the 70s. You want to see a clay truly powdered, center it with a 1-1/4 oz load of copper plated 7.5s. I'm going to shoot this combo exclusively for the first couple weeks of the season, see how it goes. I'm guessing it goes very well...
 
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gimruis

Member
Ya this one went way off course. Back to the availability of PS and other ammo...

I only use it in 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch #6 shot lead. Prior to the introduction of PS (about a decade ago), I used Wing Shok. They are almost exactly the same round. The only difference between the two is that PS has saturn-shaped pellets where as Wing Shok has round pellets. Do I notice a difference? No. So I still use both. The selling point for me is the velocity. Golden Pheasant is significantly slower. At 1500 fps, sometimes I don't even lead the bird and it still folds up.

As for the availability of it, I have found some. A lot of retailers are sold out in person, so you may have to look harder or purchase it online. I'm sure it along with many other types of ammo will be harder to find this hunting season because there's more people hunting and there's supply chain issues, whether that be on components or manpower.
 

PeteRevvv

Member
I'm guilty of parachuting in for Sept and Oct on the site when I get excited for the season and then disappearing for the rest of the year. But I've been doing that for 16 years on this site and it's previous location so I try to give the best info and perspective I can and not stir the pot while I'm around.

I'm not sure if everyone appreciates how their style of pheasant hunting brings them to a gun and ammo decision. There is a large divide in needs on a scale between pointers in thick cover and single hunters in ditches without a dog. Be aware that this is not a normal year for ammo supply and you'd better check if you typically show up a week before your big trip to stock up and you can't find anything that suits your mode of hunt. It's one thing to kick around the topic on a site and another to be out in the field watching pellets rain down off the back of a fleeing bird or worse, cripple one after another because you are behind on shots, underpowered or clearing constant jams from shells that don't work well in your gun.

Plan your ammo ahead this year and don't count on getting anymore in stock until next season.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
There is a definite difference between the Prairie Storm and Federal Premium High Velocity and that is in regards to the wad used. The PS has a Flitecontrol Wad that has no forward petals to open as the shot exists the barrel. It's basically a tube that is designed to keep the shot together for tighter patterns at extended ranges. The Federal Premium has a more conventional wad that will open faster and should provide a more open pattern than the PS. I personally don't feel you need a shell like the PS for pheasants. Any decent shell with 4, 5 or 6 shot exiting the barrel at 1,200 to 1,300 fps will get the job done if you put the shot in the proper place. When I shot a 12 ga. years ago I shot almost all the Federal Premium Pheasant Forever loads at 1,500 fps. They always performed well. Then I went exclusively to the 16 ga. I found that I killed pheasants just as well with the standard Federal load of 1 1/8 oz. of shot at a velocity of 1.295 fps or the Fiocchi Golden Pheasants with 1 1/8 oz. at 1,330 pfs. As always it's more about the shooter than the gun or the shell.
 

gimruis

Member
Another reason why PS may be harder to find: Federal is offering a $50 rebate this year on cases of specific shotgun ammo, and PS is one of them. Not sure if that was mentioned in this thread earlier or not.
 

PeteRevvv

Member
Thanks, I didn't know that- I owe you. I wasn't planning on buying a case when I went to get them. But when there wasn't anything on the shelves anywhere, I figured I would be supplying everyone in the hunting party.

There's a big CRP up near Ashton. One in particular. It's got a long gravel road next to it with a big oak tree at the north end. At the end of that road, you'll find a rock that has no earthly business in a South Dakota hayfield. Piece of black, volcanic glass. There's something buried under it I want you to have- a box of 3in #6s of the only shells worthy of killing a rooster in South Dakota.
 

goldenboy

Well-known member
Thanks, I didn't know that- I owe you. I wasn't planning on buying a case when I went to get them. But when there wasn't anything on the shelves anywhere, I figured I would be supplying everyone in the hunting party.

There's a big CRP up near Ashton. One in particular. It's got a long gravel road next to it with a big oak tree at the north end. At the end of that road, you'll find a rock that has no earthly business in a South Dakota hayfield. Piece of black, volcanic glass. There's something buried under it I want you to have- a box of 3in #6s of the only shells worthy of killing a rooster in South Dakota.
I love that movie!
 
I cannot find any 16ga Upland load in my area. This is very strange. First year ever that ammo is next to gone and dealers have zero inventory.
 

I find 16ga loads all the time at the rural walmarts. Not so much the city ones.
 
I just checked some of my usual spots on line. Hardly any 16 gauge loads available, Let alone federal. Glad I stocked up earlier.
 

airmedic1

Member
You should come to my basement. I figure I shoot maybe 150 rounds per year, I have over 60 years left down there. I will never runout unless we have a Zombie apocalypse!
 
You may have to buy off the internet...Natchez, Wholesale hunter, etc
Yes, that is what I ended up doing. I found some Browning loads cheap. I like to support the local shops but most of them have next to nothing on the shelf. Never seen a season start like this with limited ammo availability
 
Yes, that is what I ended up doing. I found some Browning loads cheap. I like to support the local shops but most of them have next to nothing on the shelf. Never seen a season start like this with limited ammo availability

I can tell you that gun shops have never seen a season like this, either.
 
Prairie Storm shells are nothing but a gimmick, with some great advertising.
Round Pellets of hard shot has always been what counts for long range pattering.
Shoot what you like but the standard 12ga 2 3/4 inch 1330 FPS in 6 shot or 4 shot has been the standard Duck & Pheasant load for the past 75 years. This load will work a majority of the time.
For ultra long range Winchester 12ga 3 inch 1 7/8oz copper platted 4 shot has proven to be the best.
 
Prairie Storm shells are nothing but a gimmick, with some great advertising.
Round Pellets of hard shot has always been what counts for long range pattering.
Shoot what you like but the standard 12ga 2 3/4 inch 1330 FPS in 6 shot or 4 shot has been the standard Duck & Pheasant load for the past 75 years. This load will work a majority of the time.
For ultra long range Winchester 12ga 3 inch 1 7/8oz copper platted 4 shot has proven to be the best.
From everything I've read on ballistics this is what most "experts" seem to think. Round, hard, dense shot is the best ballistically as far as keeping better patterns at longer distances. I was in a rural area last week and the sporting goods store had a bunch of ammo in stock, so I did grab a box of stormy prairie shells just because of this thread🥳 and because I had money burning a hole in my pocket. I also picked up a flat of clay loads because those have become extinct in MN metro sporting goods stores.
 

moverby

New member
I've been ordering directly from the federal website. Usually get the ammo within the week but there have been a few times where it takes weeks. Demand is high.
 

Labs

Active member
Runnings in Dickinson ND was sold out of Prairie Storm last Fri (general pheasant opener was Sat). They were mostly stripped of everything else by Sun afternoon. Good thing I have a substantial supply on hand...
 
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