What Makes Prairie Storm Steel Different From Black Cloud?
Federal Premium has unveiled its new upland load for 2011, Prairie Storm® FS Steel®. Federal’s Black Cloud waterfowl loads, which employ similar technology, have been on the market for a few years, and I know many uplanders who, especially on combo hunts, have used Black Cloud loads for pheasants. So how do they differ?
First, let’s look at the similarities. Both Black Cloud and Prairie Strom Steel have Premium Steel round pellets and FLITESTOPPER pellets. The FLITESTOPPER pellets have sharp, Saturn-like rings around them that really wreak some havoc and create a killing wound channel. Both also contain the FLITECONTROL wad, which is designed to hold the shot and release it at various determined distances to produce a more consistent pattern.
Now, the differences. First is the ratio of Premium Steel vs. FLITESTOPPER pellets. Black Cloud has a 60/40 mix, with 40 percent being FLITESTOPPER pellets. The FLITESTOPPER pellets actually fly different than your standard round pellets to give duck hunters greater killing power at longer ranges. The Prairie Storm Steel loads have a 50/50 mix of the two pellet types. This is due to the fact that shots at a flushing rooster are typically closer, giving you a denser pattern at rooster range!
Next, the FLITECONTROL wad. This really is the magic of the Black Cloud and Prairie Storm loads. There is a crazy rear braking effect which holds the pellets for a controlled release, giving you a specific pattern for the birds you are after. Federal Premium engineered the cuts in the wad to adjust the distance at which the cup will release the pellet load. With the Black Cloud loads the wad will hold the load out to around 15 feet before falling off, giving you a denser pattern at the longer ranges. With the Prairie Storm Steel loads the FLITECONTROL wad will drop off between 7 and 10 feet allowing the pattern to open up more at closer rooster ranges. Pretty cool stuff.
Now if you’re also a duck hunter, like me (and 40 percent of Pheasants Forever members), your mind starts to wander to decoying mallards or a hunt in green timber where your shots become closer – you may want to try the Prairie Storm Steel for those tight ducks! Wow, I may have given the folks at Federal a million dollar idea…and remember, a portion of the proceeds from each box of Prairie Storm Steel sold go directly to Pheasants Forever’s conservation efforts. Again, pretty cool stuff.
The Pheasant Fest blog is written by Brad Heidel, Pheasants Forever’s Director of Corporate and Special Event Sales. Look for Brad’s column, “The Gun Shop,” in the Pheasants Forever Journal.
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