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.
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.
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?
- 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
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 .308. After 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 https://www.federalpremium.com/ammunition/rifle/bullet/edge-tlr/edge-tlr/p300wetlr200.
To purchase Federal Premium ammunition on GunsAmerica, click https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?Keyword=Federal%20ammo.