federal black cloud close rangeEngineered to put more pellets on targets 20 to 30 yards away, Close Range achieves a full pattern within a very short distance. Think of your favorite little hole where the ducks drop in out of nowhere and practically land in your lap — that’s the hole where you’ll want Close Range in your gun.

Black Cloud’s other loads feature a mix of standard pellets and Federal’s FLITESTOPPER pellets, which feature a raised band of steel encircling the pellet that literally gives the pellets a “cutting edge” for maximum damage on impact. Close Range, on the other hand, is comprised of 100 percent FLITESTOPPER steel pellets. That give these loads more open patterns at close range and maximum lethality. The FLITECONTROL wad pulls it all together for optimum patterns and hard-hitting performance at standard velocities.

Over the course of a couple days at Habitat Flats in Missouri (www.habitatflats.com), I had a chance to drop a few limits of greenheads with some engineering samples of Close Range. Shots were close and hits were deadly. I haven’t patterned Close Range on paper yet, but stay tuned to Waterfowl & Retriever, as we’ll be doing some patterning tests in the spring.

Close Range will be available in Summer, 2012 — plenty of time for you to pattern with your gun and pack along on opening day. It’ll come in 12- and 20-gauge, 3-inch loads with a variety of shot options. 12-gauge loads are listed at a velocity of 1,450 fps and 20-gauge loads are listed at a velocity of 1,350 fps.