Federal’s Fusion MSR .223 Rem. ammunition was engineered for use in modern sporting rifles (MSRs). How so? The cartridge’s primer was selected for compatibility with free-floating firing pins, and a harder case head ensures integrity and primer retention. The selected propellant attains top velocities from the abbreviated barrels-from 16” to 20”-commonplace on MSR platforms, as well as exhibits reduced muzzle flash and is clean-burning. As for the 62-gr. soft-point, boattail base bullet, it consists of a pressure-formed lead-alloy core around which the jacket is molecularly fused (i.e. plated); this economical jacket-forming process achieves the same net effect of bonding a lead core to a gilding metal jacket-increased weight retention. To ensure expansion, even at the reduced velocities encountered at longer distances, the bullet has internal skives. Its published velocity is 2750 f.p.s., which results in 1,040 ft.-lbs. of energy at the muzzle.
Little more than a year ago, I had an opportunity to field-test the 62-gr., .223 Rem. Fusion MSR load while pursuing feral hogs with Osceola Outfitters, Inc., outside of Melbourne, Fla. Our group was outfitted with Rock River Arms ARs fitted with ATI’s AR-15 Strikeforce Package and topped with TruGlo riflescopes. On the second, and final, evening of the hunt, torrential downpours made many of hog hotspots unreachable, but the same flooding that impeded our movement also flushed the hogs from their deep-woods haunts; however, finding them under the aforementioned conditions proved difficult. Fortunately, at last light, I was afforded a chance when we (my guide, friend and hunting partner, and I) rounded a brushy corner to find two black, medium-size hogs working across the field only 30 to 50 yds in front of us. Seizing the moment, I delivered a Fusion MSR behind the shoulder of the lead hog, a boar, which pierced the opposite shoulder and stopped against the hide. The pig dropped at the shot. Later, tracking the wound channel revealed significant internal damage. The recovered projectile measured 0.490” in diameter and weighed 32.3 grs., which is 52 percent of its original weight.
Unexpected was that the sow remained motionless, so I quickly shifted my point of aim to its shoulder and depressed the trigger. It, too, dropped at the shot. Because of the animal’s angle, though, the bullet penetrated the right shoulder and exited through the neck. Reviewing the hunt “by the numbers,” two shots brought to one freezer two hogs with zero tracking needed.
Given its performance on feral hogs, its stands to reason that, for those who can (legally) and choose to hunt whitetails with a .223 Rem.-chambered rifle, this is among the finest ammunition options on the market. It's obviously a great option for when hunting hogs with an MSR. Best of all, it’s relatively inexpensive, too; MidwayUSA sells 20-count boxes for $21.49.