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Prairie Storm Steel Travels at 1600 Feet per Second

Federal Ammo makes a donation to Pheasants Forever's habitat efforts every time a box of Prairie Storm is sold.

When you miss a pheasant, is it because you shot behind the bird? 


It’s been my experience most of my missed shots (and the misses of others I’m hunting with) are the result of shooting behind fast-moving roosters.  Enter Federal Ammo’s new Prairie Storm Steel which travels at a whopping 1600 feet per second (fps).  Wowzers, that’s fast! And blistering compared to the many other upland loads on the market which offer just 1200 to 1300 fps.


North Dakota has an earlier pheasant opener than most states, and Jesse Beckers, Pheasants Forever’s Regional Wildlife Biologist there, has been upland hunting and using Prairie Storm Steel for three weeks. “That stuff rocks. I’ve never had steel shot perform so well. I’ve got buddies starting to buy it and thought people would like to know that it’s performing awesome in North Dakota.” 


Next time you’re in the ammo aisle of your favorite sporting goods store, check out the stats on the boxes of bird shot.  No other load comes close to the 12 gauge Prairie Storm Steel’s 1600 feet per second. 


On top of that fast fact, Federal makes a donation to Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat conservation efforts for each and every box of Federal shells sold featuring the PF logo, including Prairie Storm and Prairie Storm Steel.


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

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15 Responses to “Prairie Storm Steel Travels at 1600 Feet per Second”

  1. D. DeHaan says:


    I mathed out the velociites. 1200f/s makes 90ft (30yrds) in .075seconds. A 43 f/s pheasant (30mph) covers 3.22ft in .075 seconds. Comparitively, a 1600f/s load is .056 sec of time with 2.41ft of pheasant travel. Presuming a 90 degree vector (I still remember some physics!) the difference advances the center punch of the pattern 0.81ft (10inches).

    That advances a 30 inch pattern a 1/3 of its width forward.

  2. Wes says:

    Proper gun mounting and swinging through is more important than shot speed in my opinion.

  3. D. DeHaan: Wow, you’ve made my brain hurt. That’s some impressive math!

  4. D. DeHaan says:

    Bob; I’m always willing to overthink something! I was surprised at the difference, frankly. Always enjoy the blog. Regards.

  5. D. DeHaan: Thanks for the kind words and greatly appreciate you reading our blogs.

  6. J.A. says:

    Does the gun one uses make a difference in load speed? I.e. would prairie storm shot out of an old gun potentially go slower than 1600 fps?

  7. J.A.
    Great question. I don’t know the answer for certain, but my guess would be that the gun doesn’t make a difference. I think it’s the composition of the load that creates the fps stats.

  8. @BronsonRyan says:

    Barrel length has some affect on velocity- longer barrels push the shotcharge a little faster because the wad accelerates until it leaves the muzzle- but it is minimal. Age of the gun has no impact on velocity. Speed helps hit more targets if you tend to miss behind, but more importantly it increases lethality of the relatively light steel pellets. Kinetic energey= mv^2.

  9. Travis says:

    In your opinion, how does the “felt” recoil compare to other pheasant loads?

  10. Travis,
    Not sure what you mean by “felt” recoil. Can you explain your question a little further?

  11. Jim Brown says:

    I used this ammo once. My partner loaned me two shells to try. He said they kicked too much. Two shots, two roosters and a bulged barrel on my Citori. Shot them both out of the bottom barrel. I cleaned the gun the night before and those were the first two shots of the day. With the trade in from Browning those two shots cost me $1400. Don’t think I’ll be using them again.

  12. Travis says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to be confusing (I guess as an engineer I struggle with that sometimes). I just wanted to know if you personally could feel a difference when shooting these loads. Or in other words, what is your perception of the recoil compared to other standard pheasant loads?

  13. Travis,
    Thanks for the clarification. Yes, I can definitely feel more recoil in the Prairie Storm loads than other pheasant loads. They do pack a punch; on both ends.

  14. Dan McPhail says:

    Gents: I’m Dan McPhail from Burton Mi.., a 64 year young serious pheasant hunter for 54 years now. Have experimented with 9 makes of shotgun shells, every known model of gun and owned over 20 makes of shotguns since 1956 and have taken 1000 plus wild and preserve birds in a couple of states.
    Just used my first box of Prairie Storm 5′s with my old 1148 recoil auto and straight cylinder (yes, Bob St. Pierre is right—today’s shells are so good they tighten up the pattern 1-2 chokes over shells of the 1950′s in
    my opinion). I flushed a wild young ringneck on my family farm i Michigan’s thumb 2 days ago. Lifted my head, shot high first shot. Second shot centered the bird. He was then at about 35 yards angling up but mostly about 15 feet high. The Prairie Storm has much more recoil than Fiochi Golden Pheasant or Remington Nitro Pheasant or Winchester Super Pheasant but if readers could have seen the way this 3 pound rooster came down. Dead between wingbeats thunderstruck lights out straight down no wing flap no leg wiggle (they were broken) both wings….my son dressed it out with 13 pellets up through the gizzard into heart lung neck and head…
    that’s with 238 pellets, STRAIGHT CYLINDER bore, 35 yards paced off, realistic and actual distance. Work with pattern sheets at Williams Gunsight in Davison in a previous day confirmed that improved cylinder with Prairie Storm 5′s is a sure 40 yard killer, exactly as the pattern picture on the side of the box proves. Fiochi Remington and Winchester’s specialty Pheasant loads are 95%…if you can take the recoil Federal’s PS
    are the Rolls Royce of pheasant ammo for serious hunters. I’m still stunned a cylinder bore can do that with a going away pheasant at 35 yards.
    Preach out your “no choke” mantra Bob. Choke is from 1895 when a market duck hunting gunsmith named Kimble wanted to compensate for the day’s lousy
    quality shotgun shells. Today’s loads are light years better. Choke is history unless it’s on 60 yard geese,turkey, coyote or fox. And everything i’ve been reading from reliable sources say #2 steel with Improved Cylinder can be and is a pheasant killer at 55-60 yards. Any other ringneck hunters of the same mind? DJ Dan McPhail, broadcaster and mobile dj, Burton Michigan (PS Michigan outdoor writer Bob Gwidz shoots cylinder choke and plated 5′s and said so in a statewide outdoor paper last month)

  15. Mr. McPhail,
    Thanks for the inspired comment. Congrats on the Michigan rooster! I would like to get home for a bird hunt soon.


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