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Thread: Federal Fusion - not expanding?

  1. #1

    Federal Fusion - not expanding?

    Hi all,

    My brother and I have been up in Perthshire over the last week on the hinds. He had his 6.5x55 Sako 85 and I was using my 0.308 Sako 75. We were both using Federal Fusion (140gn in the 6.5 and 150gn in the 308). which both of our rifles love in terms of accuracy and I have used for about five years on reds.

    We have never had a problem with Fusion in the past on similar trips and have always found that it is exceptional at dropping deer on the spot if we do our bit. This year, almost all of our deer ran on but keeled over after between 25m and 150m. All were heart/lung shots and varied in range between approx. 60m and approx. 220m. On inspection, the rounds seem to have made a very neat hole on entry and an only marginally less neat hole (about 1") on exit of even the largest hinds. There was less damage to the vital organs than normal which ties in with what we saw. Given that there are a lot of variables between the shots fired, has the composition of Fusion changed over the last year or so?

    In the past, I have even found Fusion not exiting a beast so I am slightly perplexed by our latest experiences. We have both purchased a job lot of that particular ammo in the last six months so all rounds are roughly the same age.

    Any ideas welcome.

    All best,


  2. #2
    Try chronographing them if you can, there may be a velocity issue if the bullets are not expanding sufficiently.

    atb Tim

  3. #3
    Chronograph your Fusions, but if the MV looks fine, and they are hitting where you aim and killing deer in a few seconds, they are working. There are a lot of factors. Maybe your other Fusions struck a rib going in and got a good start on expansion. And any game can be hit perfectly and run off a ways.

    Any deer bullets, from Fusion to TSX, should expand at impacts over 1,800 fps. Once you cross a velocity threshold, they really don't get the initial upset which keeps expansion progressing. You can see this most dramatically in defensive pistols, where a bullet engineered for a .357 but fired from a snubnose .38 will not expand at all. I can shoot a 170-gr RN SPT from my 8x57 into damp potter's clay at 1,400 fps and it will penetrate 30 inches without deforming. Bump it up to 1,900 FPS impact and it will mushroom to almost 3X diameter and penetrate just a foot. That slow bullet at 1,400 fps will still blow a hole over an inch wide through most of that clay, traveling in a straight line, so it is still very lethal. The original 8x57, 7x57, .303 Enfield, and 6.5x54 Mannlicher are proof of that.

  4. #4
    I've been using 140 grain Fusions in my 7mm 08 for the last 2 years. Lately, been getting some odd results with the bullets entering okay, but turning through 90 degrees and ending up lodged in liver, guts or loins (?) twice. From the bits I have managed to retrieve, it looks as though the copper case has turned into a spiral shape, which probably accounts for it going off in odd directions. I changed to 150 grain Federal softpoints, which do the job as well, with more predictable results, so as soon as I get rid of the last 10 or so fusions, I'll be sticking with the softpoints from now on......

  5. #5
    I use 150gn fusions in my 30.06 and have been having some unexplained stray flyers, after my last trip to Scotland I decided to replace my z5 scope and go back to my
    original habicht thinking it was this as I had only changed that and the bullets, the previous bullets being 150gn federal power shok. I have just come back from another trip and have had the same odd strays, I zero at 1" high at 100 yds and always check before an outing but seem to be shooting over the top of reds at 200 yds on reasonably flat terrain, rifle is clean moderator tight barrel free floating , I know a lot is operator error but this is happening too often,

  6. #6
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Has anyone emailed Federal about this?

  7. #7
    Never had any luck with federal
    found the 130gr .270 rounds I tried very messy
    Not particularly accurate or consistent

    Wonder if they are producing a harder batch that is not expanding
    differnt building alloy, harder lead alloy, slower powder burn rate could all do that

  8. #8
    Hmm just had my confidence knocked in Fed power shock 130 270's. Last batch were tight grouping. Now they won't group and drift high?? Moved to RWS and group improved again??

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    Has anyone emailed Federal about this?
    Not yet - that's probably a good place to start. Thanks all for your replies so far.

  10. #10
    Thanks Tim and Southern,

    Interestingly, I did have to adjust up and left on re-zero by three cm at 100m a couple of months ago which is probably when I changed over to the new batch so I will chrono. Given all the variables between two calibres and the success that we've had for the previous five or so years with Fusion (shooting probably forty or so similar hinds), something must have changed to have two such consistent result patterns.

    We had a few entry holes through ribs which didn't seem to make much difference this year. It will be interesting to hear what Federal have to say.

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