I was sorting out an array of half-used packets of 243 Win, leftovers from what I had been using on a number of rifle tests in recent years, when I realised that I had not tested Federal Fusion in my current 243 Win rifles. I had 12 rounds of the Federal Fusion 95 grain loading left, so I determined to run those through my Sauer XT101 rifle.
I was particularly interested in the fused projectiles, where an electro-chemical process bonds the jacket to the bullet core. This ensures high weight retention for deep penetration despite an expansive mushrooming of the projectile on impact. These are ideal features for hunting deer and medium game and are the hallmark of premium projectiles.
The projectiles are described as soft-point, but my impression is more of a protected-point style that shows only a dab of lead at the point. Despite this premium construction and performance, the Federal Fusion were modestly priced in comparison to other recognised premium projectiles.
I shot four, 3-shot groups and was most impressed. The worst group at 100 yards was 0.7MOA while the best was a tiny one-holer of 0.1MOA. I consider that outstanding performance from a light sporting rifle. With such accuracy, and the premium projectile status of the fused core and jacket, these projectiles offer everything I look for in my choice of ammo for hunting deer and boar. It also means I can take the occasional, necessary long shot at predatory wild dogs with raised confidence.
I will have to source a new supply and sight-in the Sauer XT101 for these Federal Fusion 95 grain soft-points. Then I will take them hunting to assess their terminal ballistic performance in the field on boar and deer, plus any wild dogs that put in an appearance. All being well, I could have a new go-to for my factory hunting ammo.