Who is Federal Ammunition?
Background & Company Information
Federal easily makes its way into the upper echelon of ammunition manufacturers. The American manufacturing company and its Lake City partner is perennially among the most well-known brands despite having more than a century less history than some of its competitors. Federal’s product portfolio is diverse, but what sets Federal apart from many makers is their commitment to utilizing the same best practices across the board, without concern as to whether they make more money from the brand line relative to others.
This is evident when you shoot all of their ammunition from their self-branded Federal Premium and the associated lines (including the venerable “Power-Shok” and Hi-Shok” hunting products) or their American Eagle brand. These are two vastly different products, catering to vastly different customer types and built for different purposes - this is a perfect example of how Federal creates a harmony in manufacturing technique which ultimately leads to excellent customer satisfaction.
This quality is also obvious when you factor in the massive contracts Federal receives from the military year-in, and year-out and having seemingly been the only vendor for that contract that anyone can really remember. Their famed Lake City facility (which is military owned, and contractor operated) is controlled by the Federal Premium company currently through a contract with Orbital ATK (formerly Alliant Techsystems). It has been controlled/operated by massive companies in the past including Remington Arms and Olin, a Winchester affiliated cartridge company. The famous military Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) facility is in Independence, Missouri – by name, a fitting location for a production facility for the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Beginning of Federal Ammunition
Charles Horn founded Federal in 1922. The company was headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota where Mr. Horn restructured an existing small production facility. His aggressive marketing of the brand led to a well-integrated national retail footprint and helped establish the proliferation of sport shooting and the national appetite for “all-things-guns” in America. The company is an outspoken proponent of wildlife conservation and management and as early as the 1930’s, the Federal Cartridge company started raising both awareness and massive financial backing for improvements in the conservation efforts on a national and federal (governmental) level.
Federal is remembered for innovation and initiatives in the shooting sports and firearms/ammunition industry including, but not limited to the following:
- In 1960 they introduced the soon to be standardized color coding of shotgun shells to differentiate size/gauge to increase shooting safety
- In 1973 Federal develops and markets steel based shotshells, a major win from a conservation perspective related to waterfowl/watershed hunting and a new line of thinking from a sustainability perspective for the industry.
Federal has been very innovative in the industry and is remembered for many more improvements and technological advances than just these, but as far as the broader shooting community is concerned, these have been major improvements and introductions to shooters that clearly transcend the brand name.
Who Owns Federal?
The company has been headed by Horn family members throughout the years, but eventually became a subsidiary of public corporations and has had a number of prestigious, high profile owners/parent companies over the past several decades.
In 1988 Pentair Corporation, a conglomerate in the manufacturing sector purchased the Federal-Hoffman company (then headed by William B. Horn) and later divested the company assets to concentrate on the core portfolio of the Federal Cartridge lines. A couple of brief stints as part of private equity holdings and as major aerospace company holdings, namely with the Alliant Techsystems company until 2015; control of the Federal name has changed hand more than a few times.
Alliant Techsystems experienced exceptional growth and determined it made good sense to divest of the consumer-oriented brands and spin off the Vista-Outdoor brand in 2015 after an M&A action and name change to Orbital ATK, a more specific aerospace play, which eventually was acquired by Northrup Grummon. The Orbital ATK heritage is still clear in the investment and technology portfolio of the Federal Premium Company, as it is known today as the flagship firearms industry brand for the Vista Outdoor brand, a publicly traded company (NYSE: VSTO).
Federal’s Portfolio of Popular Ammo Brands
Other massive ammunition producers including Speer and CCI, American Eagle, Estate Cartridge, and several other gun related brands including Savage/Stephens and Bushnell (optics) are part of the current Vista outdoor brand ecosystem.
Federal as an ammunition company has been quite fruitful, with many loyalists that prefer to shoot only Federal branded products. Their current lineup includes major brand/line names that shooters know and love:
- American Eagle
- Gold Medal
- Premium (which includes the “Centerfire Rifle”; “Safari”; and “Varmint & Predator” lines on the rifle side and the “Centerfire Handgun” and “Personal Defense” lines on the pistol side. It also includes several rimfire and shotshell “Premium” lines)
- Black Cloud
- Prairie Storm
- And the Standard “Federal” product
Federal Premium also has several other brands and product variations, which continue to sell through at a high rate year after year. Federal produces nearly two billion rounds of ammunition in the civilian market alone year over year. Of course, that does not include their major contribution towards munitions for the United States Armed Forces each year.
Among Federal’s most recent innovative products is the Fusion line, that offers an electrochemically bonded projectile in a reasonably priced cartridge that ensures higher retained projectile weight and excellent expansion across the Fusion line’s caliber portfolio. This round represents a way forward that can lessen the expensive baseline costs associated with mechanically bonded projectiles.
Federal Self-Defense Ammo
Federal also has some obvious winners in their Law enforcement and consumer personal protection lines where the Hydra Shok and HST have offered exceptional performance for the sector across a lot of different testbeds and demographics.
The robust shotshell portfolio including the innovative, high payload weight, Black Cloud line continues upon the traditional Federal motions at play. With regards to this in the hunting and conservation spectrum, Federal figures that a more effective, better performing ammunition leads to a better conservation effort by individuals and contributes to better national habits in maintaining a comfortable wildlife population for future hunters to enjoy.
Federal Premium as a company, has a storied past, despite being the younger sibling of so many of its competitors in the ammunition game. The company, their legacy and their future, however lie in this innovative, market driven culture that Federal has been aggressively pursuing since they started in 1922.
In Stock Federal Calibers for Sale Today!
20 Rounds of 9mm Ammo by Federal Syntech Defense - 138gr SHPFortunately I've never been in a defense situation where I was up against a human, but on occasion while hunting, I've come across some wild hogs that I've had to take down. Great round because of the way they fragment on impact. They do a better job than my .45. Price is comparable and I can load more rounds. Can't find any negatives about these bullets.(Posted on 11/30/2020)
20 Rounds of .243 Win Ammo by Federal - 95gr FusionMy son and I have killed several whitetails with this ammo. No issues. Accuracy is great also.(Posted on 11/16/2020)
325 Rounds of .22 LR Ammo by Federal Champion AutoMatch Target - 40gr LRNmy stock ruger 10/22 shoots these rounds pretty good and good accuracy for me. sometimes 1 inch groupings or less at 50 yards. i like this ammo even though it's plain lead. not very many problems after firing 3 boxes(Posted on 11/10/2020)
50 Rounds of 9mm Ammo by Federal Syntech Action Pistol - 150gr Total Synthetic JacketThis "Syntech" stuff is awesome! No wonder you can hardly find it anywhere for sale and it's always sold out. I shot a whole box through my Sig Sauer P229 and it was low recoil with fantastic accuracy. No FTF or FTE with 150 grain, and my pistol barrel was so clean afterwards, it looked liked I never even went to the range. Better hurry up and get this ammo while you can!(Posted on 11/07/2020)
5 Rounds of 12ga Ammo by Federal LE with FliteControl Wad- 00 Buck 8 PelletsThis is a review of the Federal LE 00 Buckshot (LE132) - 9 pellets versus 8 pellets shown here (LE133), and the Italian Nobel Sport LE 00 - 12 pellets. (You can only write reviews for stocked items it appears.) Anyway, the Federal LE has nice tight patterns at 15 and 25 feet. Basically a 1 inch diameter hole. No fliers from the first 50 rounds. No FTE, no FTF. MV is 1145 fps which isn't too hard on you for target practice. I wanted a bit more spread for self defense. Enter Italy's Nobel Sport LE 00. This does spread a lot more -- maybe 3-4 inches at 15 feet and 4-6 inches at 25 feet and a few fliers. This stuff kicks like a mule. MV 1290 fps and that may be low. After 30 rounds I wanted to quit practice. After 40 rounds my shoulder was bruised. It seriously kicks! No FTF, no FTE and one failure to feed most likely due to the Saiga feed ramp not being polished. I'm happy with the pattern and this stuff will be used for defense. The Federal will be used for target practice. Be safe!(Posted on 11/04/2020)
1000 Rounds of 5.56x45 XM193 Ammo by Federal - 55gr FMJBTGot my order quick as with all my past orders from this site but after counting the box (twice) it came up 21 rounds short. At $.82 a round (price with shipping and tax) that’s unacceptable.(Posted on 10/30/2020)
250 Rounds of 12ga Ammo by Federal Top Gun - 2-3/4" 1 ounce #7 1/2 shotI buy them in bulk and don't shoot anything else.(Posted on 10/12/2020)
500 Rounds of .22 LR Ammo by Federal - 40gr LRN30-40% misfired. Sometimes every other shot, others all would work. Have to make sure to bring a small screwdriver to clear misfires!(Posted on 09/30/2020)
50 Rounds of 9mm Ammo by Federal - 147gr FMJAwesome website and company. 2 boxes of 9mm cartridges shipped sunday same day as order placed. Will never shop anywhere else online for ammo. Telling all my friends about you guys. Stay safe and good shooting. MAGA!!!!!!!!(Posted on 08/27/2020)
50 Rounds of .45 ACP Ammo by Federal - 230gr JHP HST LEBought a few years ago. Put many rounds down range, no issues. However was able to locate a few slugs through the wood target stuck in 2x4 framing, very little expansion. Have other self defense ammo that cost more but expansion was markedly better. Got when ammo was much cheaper, seems to be one of the only current options. Some bullets, better than no bullets.(Posted on 08/24/2020)