I stumbled across Federal Fusion MSR several years ago while looking for a commercially manufactured Mountain Lion load for a .223. I needed a bullet that would expand, but at the same time have a high weight retention for deep penetration. This combination was not often found readily available in the venerable .223 cartridge, as they are often relegated to varmint and small predator duty. To complicate the situation further, I wanted to use this round in my favorite AR15 platforms, many of which sport 16 and 18 barrels. Enter the Federal Fusion MSR round, especially designed for this very purpose. Federal designed this round as an answer to whitetail deer hunting with the .223, as some states have lifted a long time ban on the small center fire. I was equally excited to discover they offered the Federal Fusion MSR in 308 Winchester. The perfect compliment to my AR10 for all medium sized game.
|Federal Fusion @ 100 yards|
amount of weight retention. The bullet has a traditional lead core and a copper jacket. Where it differs is that Federal states they have, "electrochemically" bonded the core of the bullet with the jacket, ensuring they do not separate during the expansion process. Additionally, they internally skive the exposed lead core tip of the bullet. For all of you non-bullet geeks out there, this means there are small cuts on the inside of the jacket near the tip of the bullet that pre-program its opening and expansion. The bullet is a boat tail profile and has a ballistic coefficient in .223 62 grain of .31 and in 308 165 grain of .446! The gold standard in 308 in ballistic coefficient is the 168 grain Sierra MatchKing is only slightly higher at .464 BC.
|Federal Fusion @ 200 yards|
While Federal offers a complete line of Fusion in rifle, and now some handgun ammo, they specifically designed the MSR line cartridge for use in modern sporting rifles. This is the polite way to say assault rifle or AR platform. The cartridge itself is military style primed and works with free floated firing pins. Federal also states they use a clean, fast burning powder to boost velocity in shorter rifle barrels. There is a bit more that goes into this cartridge, so for further details on it I suggest you head over the Federal's website and get it directly from the source.
|Federal Fusion @ 200 yards|
ammunition between the two rifles. During the testing there were no malfunctions and the ammo ran smoothly through the rifles. Accuracy was sub MOA on one rifle, and just over on the other at 100 yards. The AR15s were a Colt SP1 Sporter, and custom build rifle with a 16 barrel featuring a RGuns upper assembly and Palmetto State Armory lower. The SP1 had the greater accuracy of the two.
|Coyote taken with Federal Fusion MSR 223 62 grain|
|Mule deer taken with Federal Fusion 308 @ 162 yards|
|Exit hole after passing through a shoulder|
|A large bobcat taken with Fusion MSR 223|
The Federal Fusion round is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to hunt with an MSR, or a traditional hunting rifle. It is accurate, expands, and retains it weight. Overall it's devastating on game. I am sold, and plan to use it for all of my MSR hunting situations from predator, to medium sized game, up to Elk.