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History of Federal Ammo
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Perhaps best known for its Premium brand launched in 1977, Federal Ammunition has its humble beginnings in an ammo and bicycle company founded in 1916 in Anoka, Minnesota. While Federal no longer sells bicycles, they still make ammo in their Anoka headquarters, where a single plant manufactures dozens of calibers. Federal was eventually purchased by Charles L. Horn in 1922, two years after the company shut its doors. Horn is considered the founder of the company, as he built the brand into what it is today.
Horn’s hustle is what made him the father of Federal, aggressively marketing his ammunition across America – in gas stations, grocery stores and barber shops. This approach eventually paid off. In 1941, the U.S. government awarded him an $87 million contract to manufacture ammunition for the war effort. Federal continued fulfilling America’s military needs for decades, supplying ammunition for the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
The Diverse (and Innovative) Federal Ammunition Catalog
Today, the company manufactures thousands of different options. This includes a complete line of centerfire, rimfire and shotshell ammo – a tradition of innovation that has allowed them to maintain a competitive advantage for nearly a century.
Among Horn’s many achievements was being a prime mover behind the 4-H Conservation program in 1934, making Federal the first company to sponsor camps. Since 1979, the company has sponsored the 4-H Shooting Sports Program and partners with 4-H to offer safe shooting and hunting classes, as well as wildlife management.
The Federal Ammunition founder’s contributions to conservation did not end there. Federal Cartridge, the predecessor of Federal Ammunition, was a key player in lobbying the United States Congress to adopt the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. Among other provisions, the Act created a self-imposed tax on ammunition manufacturers, which has raised – and continues to raise – billions of dollars to help protect America’s wildlife and countryside.
The Dramatic Expansion of Federal Ammo
Expanding dramatically in the 50s and 60s, Federal began producing centerfire ammunition for rifles and pistols in 1963. They continued to manufacture their high-quality shotgun shells and brought wins for competitive shooters, creating lifelong customers. Charles Horn retired in 1977, and turned management of the company over to his son William – who continued to grow the company with unrelenting marketing efforts, introducing the Premium line of ammunition for rifles and shotguns, and eventually selling in 1985 to a collection of private investors who sold to Alliant Techsystems.
Federal Ammunition still operates a plant in Anoka, Minnesota, where they employ nearly 1,000 people and produce the entire Federal line of ammunition for rifles, pistols, shotguns and rimfire weapons. They continue to make the popular Hydra-Shok pistol ammo here, as well as rifle ammunition topped with Sierra bullets. The Federal brand is an ongoing innovator, introducing its new Guard Dog ammo for handguns, V-shock ammo for rifles, and Black Cloud shells for shotgun. The American Eagle Syntech, a revolutionary, polymer-coated round introduced in 2015, extends barrel life by significantly reducing metal-on-metal contact. Federal will undoubtedly continue to produce their high-quality ammunition for many years to come.
Federal Ammunition Stock Developments
Color-coded shells are an industry standard, even though some ammunition manufacturers have deviated from this practice. Everyone who has taken a hunter’s education course has learned this by rote, over and over again. What many don’t know is that Federal began this practice in 1960, another example of how this company has been a pioneer in the world of ammo manufacturing.
Likewise, many turkey hunters take turkey-driven shotshells for granted. Federal was the first ammunition company to offer a shell specifically for this kind of hunting. Until 1992, there was no shotgun shell specifically designed for turkey shoots. Their current turkey-specific shotshell is the 3rd Degree Shotshell.
Federal Ammunition Stock Continues to Expand
One might think that not much has changed in ammunition manufacturing in the 100 years since Federal began, but nothing could be further from the truth. Federal is never content to rest upon past achievements, always innovating its various brands and lines. A great example of this is their primary use of recycled lead, making them one of the greenest ammunition manufacturing enterprises in existence. In late 2017, Federal announced that they would be releasing a new, high-performance .22-caliber cartridge for AR-15s.
This spirit of innovation and commitment to quality have made Federal an award-winning manufacturer of ammunition.
- Vital-Shok Trophy Bonded Tip ammunition won the Game & Fish Readers’ Choice award in both 2013 and 2015.
- The Personal Defense HST rounds earned the coveted Golden Bullseye Award for 2015 Ammunition Product of the Year from the National Rifle Association's (NRA) Shooting Illustrated.
- Vital-Shok Buckshot received the 2016 Reader's Choice Award from Predator Xtreme.
While Federal has always manufactured within their single Minnesota plant, they’ve expanded the size of this facility by orders of magnitude. What originally took up a relatively scant 9,600 square feet (manufacturing only shotgun shells) is now over 500,000 square feet, sitting on 175 acres, and making ammunition for every variety of firearm: shotgun, rimfire, muzzle loaders and handguns. In fact, the plant is so large that it straddles Anoka and its neighboring town Coon Rapids.
Federal’s ties with the Anoka community are deep. The city hall of Anoka is even shaped a little like a pistol, which is no accident – Federal bankrolled the construction of the building in 1954. The building is still the political center of this small Minneapolis suburb.
Federal Law Enforcement Ammo
In March 2018, Federal received a Department of Homeland Security contract, allowing Federal to produce 180 million rounds of .40 caliber Tactical HST duty ammunition for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other DHS and federal agencies over the next five years. This continues a partnership Federal has enjoyed with military and federal law enforcement ammo dating back several decades.
Federal Ammunition is a brand with roots as deep as those of other iconic American manufacturers like General Motors, Harley-Davidson or Levi’s. Whatever your ammunition needs might be – whether it’s target shooting, hunting or self defense – Federal is always there with an innovative answer.
Where is Federal ammo made?
Federal ammo is manufactured at a plant located in Anoka, Minnesota, where the ammo brand was started in 1916. This plant makes the entire line of Federal ammunition, including ammo for rifles, pistols, shotguns, and rimfire firearms.
Who owns Federal Ammunition?
What is Federal Green Tip ammo?
If the green tip on Federal ammo is painted on a .223 Remington or 5.56mm NATO cartridge, then it signifies that the ammo is a “penetrator” round and often considered armour piercing due to a solid piece of steel inside the projectile. These rounds are military surplus ammo and are often bought in bulk.
What is Federal Hydra Shok ammo?
Federal Hydra-Shok ammo is the ammunition brand’s self-defense jacketed hollow point cartridge. The Hydra-Shok line uses rigorous testing to ensure accuracy and consistency and is marketed on its low recoil, reduced muzzle rise, and increased target acquisition. The Hydra-Shok line comes in .32 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm, .38 Special, .327 Federal, .357 Mag, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .45 GAP, .44 Mag, and 10mm. It’s also available in 12 gauge slugs.
What is Federal Power Shok ammo?
Power-Shok is Federal’s line of hunting ammunition and includes various rifle and hunting handgun calibers. Power-Shok rounds are jacketed hollow points that offer accuracy and power strong enough to handle medium to large game. In rifle calibers, the line includes popular configurations in .223, .243, .30-30, and .30-06, among others. It’s also available in shotgun shells, including 10 gauge, 12 gauge,16 gauge, 20 gauge, and .410 bore. In handgun calibers, you can find Power-Shok in .357 Mag, .41 Rem and .44 Mag.
What does the “HST” stand for in Federal Ammo?
The HST line of Federal Premium ammunition was released in 2002. These specialty tactical cartridges were designed specifically for law enforcement. Although there was some speculation that the “HST” stood for “Hi-Shok Two,” Federal denied the claims and stated that HST is simply the name of the ammo and didn’t stand for anything.
- Tinacn said:
"When I bought a used Mossberg-manufactured12ga fully rifled slug barrel for my Remington 870, I bought several different brands and loadings of slugs to pattern from the bench. These slugs shot the tightest groups of ANY I tried, had manageable recoil and were among the least expensive per round. I had Brenneke-style slugs, plain rifled Foster unsaboted slugs, as well as a couple of the newer saboted, all copper and copper hollow-point types costing $3-$4 or more per round. Some 2 3/4" and some 3". I see no reason to sue any other brand or load in my particular shotgun."
- Cliff said:
"I purchased the Federal .308 American Eagle 150 grain FMJ-BT to shoot in my new FN FAL rifle, and boy was I impressed because I had never tried this ammo before. I was shooting at 50 and100 yards and getting .25" to .50" groupings. Also I had some Remington Cor-Lokt with me and it was noticeable that the Federal American Eagle had more recoil than the Remington. As a final note I shot 10 rounds at 250 yds at a clump of grass the size of a basketball and hit it every time from a hilltop on a powerline. Great ammo. "
- Freddy said:
"Better then I excepted. Quick delivery, at a great price. Not one fault. Will be using again in the future. Keep up the good work guys. "
- bcharles66 said:
"I bought .223 and .22 and 30-30 shells and it has always been fast shipping and no problems with the ammo at all "
- Bob said:
"Quality seem to be top notch. I had no problems with the ammo at all. Fired cleanly. A real bargain."
- maur800 said:
"no fail to feed no misfires, no nothing very enjoyable to shoot when there no HICCUPS"
- Bud Jones said:
"Tight pattern maximizing impact on threat. Never had one fail to fire. My go to self defense shell. And fun to shoot. "
- Ron said:
"First time I used you guys and I'm impressed. Great prices,fast service. Keep up the good work."
- Loop said:
"This ammo is absolutely excellent, it ran flawlessly through my Glock 20 with no malfunctions. All of the rounds looked phenomenal no dinged casings, bad primers, or tarnishing on the casing or led bullet. This ammo is what I personally have loaded for my home defense round. Would I recommend this ammo to others? Yes, in fact I believe in it so much I trust my life to it."
- No nickname said:
"I am just stocking up. The ammo has not been used, but I am sure the performance will be fine. The price was right and I have bought the Federal Brand before. The quality is good. Shipping was fast and will order from Ammo.com again."
- Gary D said:
"The 185 grain cycled thru both my Glocks and Para-Ordnance 1911 LDA without any problems. The .40SW feed thru my Beretta Strorm Carbines and both were very accuate and fairly clean burining. "
- golfnguns357 said:
"Every ammo I have purchased and used that has the Federal name on it has been the creme de la creme in my book. The 147 grain JHP is no exception. Whether it's for my revolvers, pistols or long guns I have complete confidence when Federal is with me."
- BlackHawkDon said:
"After only a few dozen rounds, I find this to be an excellent range and critter control ammo. No problems as yet. Look forward to using this shipment so I can go with another order. Oh, this order arrived as scheduled and in great condition. "
- Zip Waytt said:
"The pattern was awesome. The shot had no problem hitting the target and knocking them down."
- Bear Patrol said:
"Ammo comes in 5 plastic mini ammo boxes that look really neat! I wish the carry handles were real but they’re still worth holding onto for future use. So far I’ve put about 360 of these through my Windham HBC with no issues. As for accuracy I’ve only fired at targets from 100 yards or less from a standing position, so I’m not sure how they do at longer ranges but they always hit where I aim at those distances. The only downside for me so far is that I have to use paper targets or improvised targets (milk jugs, cans, etc.) Because these were leaving some SERIOUS dents in my 1/2 inch thick ar500 steel target. Overall I’d definitely recommend these to someone looking for decent 5.56 ammo at a good price."
- Slap said:
"Arrived in 3 days, shoots just fine, the CAR-15 never missed a beat! Given the current supply issues even the price was better than most I've seen. Great job! Thank you I will be a repeat customer."
- Brian62 said:
"I have used this product for years and the product work perfectly. One shot 85 yards put the deer down on opening day!"
- Drop tine said:
"I've shot and killed at 150 yards.this cartridge is by far the best varmint round I have used."
- William said:
"I have had a chance to use a few of the rounds, and am happy with the performance. No jams, and true flight."
- Frank said:
"Worked like it should it went in the gun. it came out of the gun . so it worked just fine. "
- Mike said:
"I got a Great buy from AMMO.COM on the ammo that I bought for my 500 S&W Mag. I'm very happy with pattern which the ammo holds in the target. "
- Fritz said:
"Bought a fairly new Mossberg 702 Plinkster Bought 500 rounds of various ammo to test. Had no issues with this box, it was cheap and as accurate as any other in this cheap gun. Had some jamming issues with another brand, not with this stuff."
- Josephine said:
"Not at the Federal level. God knows what kind of restrictions exist in some of the more helsilh SSR's, but here in Tennessee, your ammo purchases are restricted only by your bank acount and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of your ride."
- Fritz said:
"Cost twice as much as other brands. No difference in accuracy at 25 yards from a benchrest than the cheap stuff thru my new Mossberg 702 Plinkster . This did not jam, but neither did 8 other brands/models. all much cheaper."
- 45Mudman said:
"Bought 500 rds. first mag, would not feed, S&W M&P, tried it in a Taurus 709 same thing, tried some in a hi-point 9mm, made it through the first mag then the second, hmm what;s up with this? third mag 2nd round no feed, 4th same. Sorry to say I wasted hard earned money on target and practice ammo I can't use. Don't buy."
- Mike said:
"FedEx either dropped it off on the street or FedEx employee stole the package. I will never order online again"