Ammo Test: Edge TLR —Federal’s Heavy Hitting .308

I often think that bullet salesmen are the reincarnation of particularly good snake oil barkers, with a touch of circus illusionist thrown in for good measure. Ask one about their product, their brand will make you run faster, jump higher, rebound quicker and ladies can’t resist the smell of their burnt powder. There is so much technology in the new whiz-bang that you could drop a rhino with an .17 HMR.

The author shot the Federal Edge TLR in .308 Win. out to 880 yards through the corn starch ballistic gel.

Don’t get me wrong. Modern-day technology has revolutionized bullets and their terminal ballistics. You have to be careful what level of hype you buy. I am extremely skeptical of anything that promises to both fly straight and expand at lower velocity, the same way I am skeptical of Bigfoot. I’m not claiming it’s not real, but I think you’ll have better odds of winning the lottery three times in the next 15 minutes. This week, I got an opportunity to test a new Federal round that promises match grade accuracy and expansion to 900 yards in .308 Win. They responded to my extremely professional challenge by sending me a case, knowing that I never back down from whiskey fueled pseudo-science challenges.

The Federal Edge TLR houses a 175-grain Edge TLR bullet. Photo Courtesy: VISTA Outdoors

Terminal Long Range

The new round is the Edge TLR (Terminal Long Range). The bullets are pretty with black nickel plating on both the brass and the bullet. There is even a little clear plastic window in the box so you can see what they look like. Which is always a positive when selling to barbarians like me. The bullets are tipped with a hollow polymer shell that is supposed to shear off on impact, leaving a massive hollowpoint. Similar to popping up out of the sewer is Scuba gear, one minute you are minding your own business reading the morning paper, then BAM! How can a hollowpoint make it to 900 yards!? What world do we live in that this should be possible?


The Edge TLR bullet’s sleek boattail, secant ogive, Slipstream tip and unique AccuChannel grooving bring drag to a minimum for optimal long-range ballistics. Photo Courtesy: VISTA Outdoors

  • Cartridge: .308
  • Bullet weight: 175 gr.
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,500 fps
  • Bullet style: Edge TLR
  • Ballistic coefficient: .536
  • Manufacturer: Federal

The next three paragraphs are poached from Federal’s science department. If you are a knuckle dragger like me, feel free to skip to the conclusion.

“The Slipstream Tip features our patented hollow-core technology,” said product development engineer Justin Carbone, explaining that a cavity runs the length of the shank all the way up to just below the point itself. “That point breaks off on impact, allowing target material to enter the hollow core, where it generates pressure and easy expansion, even at low velocities.”

Extreme heat can cause standard polymer bullets to lose their shape, greatly reducing accuracy and performance on impact. To avoid such meltdowns, the Edge TLR’s Slipstream Tip features the most heat-resistant polymer in the industry. 

Much of the credit goes to its extremely high ballistic coefficient (BC), which is a measurement of how well the bullet cuts through the air on its way downrange. To boost BC into the stratosphere, Federal Premium engineers gave the Edge TLR several important design features, including the small-diameter Slipstream polymer tip and a secant ogive.

All right, that is enough of the nerd speak for one day. Welcome back, knuckle draggers. I have one simple question in claims like these: How does it actually perform in my hands, not on a computer model or like that one time at your friend Steve’s?

Article continues below.

Bringing the Heat

As advertised, the Federal Edge TLR expanded and mushroomed through the corn starch ballistic gel at 880 yards out of a LaRue OBR 18-inch barreled carbine.

To set up a real-world test, I would need a large animal at 900 yards. That is a tall order in Idaho in the summertime, so I settled for the next best thing: corn starch ballistic gel. It took about four hours to mix up a batch by hand that was big enough to have a chance at stopping a .308After my forearms recovered enough to shoot straight, off to the range we went. My target was just a little over 1-MOA sized for 900 yards, which should test its accuracy. To further proof the pudding, the rifle I used was a LaRue Tactical OBR with an 18-inch barrel. If the bullets expanded with that barrel length in a semiautomatic, we should all be happy. My actual testing distance ended up being 880 yards because I couldn’t get the tub of corn starch gel to sit flat at 900 yards.

Turns out, this marketing claim is legitimate. The Edge TLR performed exactly as Federal advertised. I had multiple hits on the gel, and the recovered bullets mushroomed as promised. The science is strong with this one. I know what is going in my hunting quiver and my apocalypse gun. I plan on taking these bad boys on a wolf hunt later in the year. I’m looking forward to seeing the expansion and terminal ballistics on large game. These bullets fully expanded at 880 yards from a relatively short barrel. Things in the ballistic world are changing, and if this is the future, count me in.

To learn more information about Federal Premium’s Edge TLR, click

To purchase Federal Premium ammunition on GunsAmerica, click

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Stokes January 26, 2019, 5:51 pm

    How were the exit wounds on those wolves or any other game? I’ve really been going back and forth on this and the ELD-X. The TBTs shot crappy groups out of my .300 win mag but produced a good exit wounds/blood trail. I’m hoping the accuracy will be much improved for these rounds. I am a firm believer in the lead/copper design that gives you the best of both worlds in pentration and large wound cavities.

    I’d be interested to see the shorter range performance too.

  • FD1776 August 24, 2018, 9:35 pm

    900 yrds kool, reliable expansion really kool, grammar and spelling on comments Pftt!

  • Billy July 12, 2017, 8:03 pm

    Go ahead and shoot the wolves before they do more damage to our poorly managed game population. And whilst you’re at it poach a few library’s too.
    Hope my grammar was ok.

    • Billy July 12, 2017, 9:12 pm

      That should have read libtard

  • Jonathan gall July 11, 2017, 11:26 am

    Who makes your chest plates/caryer that is behind you and seen in almost all your vids thanks Jon

  • John Vernier July 11, 2017, 4:21 am

    Wolf hunt?
    Wolf hunt?
    Wolves are endangered animals scientifically determined to be beneficial to hunters if left to their own. Leave them alone!
    If you insist on hunting wolves, how about with a knife, at 0 meters?

    • Dewey July 11, 2017, 11:31 pm

      What do you expect from a self-proclaimed “knuckle-dragger”. Should be no problem for such a high-speed low-drag operator.

    • lawrence July 12, 2017, 12:06 am

      I agree. Use the ammo for target shooting, or for game that you intend to consume. Leave the wolves out of it.

  • Hw July 10, 2017, 6:06 pm

    Any testing for expansion/retention at shorter ranges, say 250-400? Typical whitetail range here, and the ELD was regrettably a disappointment relative to expansion at those ranges…

  • MAJ CZ July 10, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Great test, love the “Saint Mattis” poster hanging on your wall, and really dig the final comment of “spineless leadership” of what we should be supplying our down range operators with – Concur!

  • Chad July 10, 2017, 3:25 pm

    Looks like a great bullet, what I had hoped the ELDX would be. My concern is whether or not these will be available to handloaders as components? My guess would be no considering they are just now allowing the TBT for handloading. If they would, at least on paper, this looks like the bullet to beat.

  • Bill Parravano July 10, 2017, 1:06 pm

    If we were all English majors then you fellows had something to complain about. I feel other than look at the english try the bullet then you can be critical about everything.

  • carl July 10, 2017, 11:57 am

    I guess as Clay worked his way through sniper school and on to the practice of his craft, he should have found time to be an English minor. Please people lay off.

    • DIYinSTL July 10, 2017, 12:50 pm

      “Please, people, lay off.
      Please, people. Lay off.
      People, please lay off.
      You made it too difficult to resist, even for a science geek who flunked English. 😉

  • James Drouin July 10, 2017, 8:04 am

    “I often think that bullet salesmen are the reincarnation of particularly good snake oil barkers, with a touch of circus illusionist thrown in for good measure.”

    Go with your instincts, they’re spot on.

  • Tom July 10, 2017, 7:25 am

    Proofread much?

    • cartmanea July 10, 2017, 11:06 am

      Repeated sentence and other proofreading failures. Even the title is missing a comma, or hyphen, or something!
      Ammo Test: Edge TLR, Federal’s Heavy Hitting .308
      Ammo Test: Edge TLR – Federal’s Heavy Hitting .308

      Without a pause after TLR, it sounds like the review should be for a “Heavy Hitting .308” from a company called “Edge TLR Federal”.

      GunsAmerica seems to be going for quantity, rather than quality with their articles.

      • Michael K Spry July 10, 2017, 5:29 pm

        You have NOTHING better to do than proof read and criticize, RATHER than appreciating an informative article?

        Give us a break? Didn’t read ANYTHING in your comment about the product or if you’d picked up any new or valuable info?

        • Dan July 15, 2017, 9:50 am

          Wow – that’s a startling response. If you write/publish articles, you should understand that the reader is going to expect you to use English properly. You guys really need to check your prefessionalism and try to prevent diminishing yourselves.

  • Jared July 10, 2017, 6:38 am

    I wonder if it would hold up to 300 winmag velocities? If so then they would really have something.

  • H.H.HILL July 10, 2017, 5:26 am

    CLAY: wonder how it compares against Hornady’s 178 ????

    • J July 10, 2017, 9:18 am

      A side by side against the 178gr ELD-X would be nice to see.

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