Federal Ammo

Federal Ammo: In Depth

Welcome to the world of Federal Ammo, a trusted name in the ammunition industry for shooters and hunters alike. Founded in 1922, Federal has over a century of experience in crafting reliable and high-quality ammunition. Based in Anoka, Minnesota , this brand has grown from a small operation into one of the most recognized names in the shooting world.

Federal Ammo specializes in a wide range of products, including shotgun shells , rifle cartridges , and handgun ammunition . Whether you're aiming for a target at the range, hunting in the wilderness, or seeking reliable defense rounds, Federal has options to meet your needs. Their commitment to innovation is evident in their market-leading products like the Federal Premium line, which offers cutting-edge technology for improved accuracy and performance.

Notably, Federal is also committed to environmental responsibility. They've pioneered the use of non-toxic materials in their ammunition, leading the way in creating safer, lead-free shooting options. This commitment ensures that shooters can enjoy their sport while minimizing their environmental impact.

A significant highlight in Federal's history is their contribution to the U.S. military during World War II, producing millions of rounds to support the war effort. This legacy of reliability and excellence continues to this day, with Federal being a go-to brand for law enforcement agencies, competitive shooters, and outdoor enthusiasts across the country.

In summary, Federal Ammo is a hallmark of American craftsmanship, combining a century of expertise with a forward-thinking approach to ammunition manufacturing. Whether for sport, defense, or hunting, Federal Ammo delivers performance you can trust.

Federal Ammo History

Federal Ammunition, known simply as Federal, has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1922. This makes Federal one of the longstanding leaders in the ammunition industry. 

The journey of Federal began with Charles L. Horn, who took over a struggling plant and revolutionized its marketing and distribution. Horn's innovative approach included direct sales to hunters and engaging with local businesses, which significantly boosted the brand's visibility and success. Under Horn's leadership, Federal became known for its reliable ammunition, catering to both the hunting and shooting sports markets.

Throughout its history, Federal has seen several significant changes and milestones. One of the major turning points was in 1985 when the company was acquired by Pentair, a diversified industrial company. This acquisition didn't slow down Federal's momentum; instead, it continued to grow and innovate. In 2001, Federal further solidified its position in the ammunition industry by becoming a part of the ATK (Alliant Techsystems) conglomerate, which later spun off its sporting group to Vista Outdoor Inc. in 2015. Vista Outdoor currently owns Federal, maintaining the brand's legacy while pushing forward with new technologies and products.

Federal's commitment to innovation is evident in its development of groundbreaking technologies and products. One of the brand's significant contributions to the ammunition industry is the development of the Hydra-Shok bullet in the late 1980s, designed for law enforcement and self-defense. This product underscores Federal's focus on high-performance ammunition that meets the critical needs of its users.

Over the years, Federal has also been a key supplier to the United States military and law enforcement agencies, further establishing its reputation for quality and reliability. The brand's ability to meet the stringent requirements of these notable customers speaks volumes about its commitment to excellence.

In addition to military and law enforcement partnerships, Federal has made strides in environmental stewardship. It introduced the first lead-free primers with its Champion brand in the 1990s, demonstrating the company's commitment to innovation and environmental responsibility.

From its humble beginnings in 1922 to its current status as a leader in the ammunition industry, Federal's journey is marked by innovation, quality, and a deep understanding of its customers' needs. With a legacy of reliability and a future focused on technological advancement, Federal continues to set the standard in the world of ammunition.

Federal Ammunition Products Overview

Federal Ammunition is a leading brand in the ammunition industry, offering a wide range of products for various firearms. Their ammunition lines are designed to meet the specific needs of different shooters, from hunters and competitive shooters to those seeking self-defense options. Below, we'll explore each of Federal's product lines and sub-lines, focusing on their unique features and intended uses.

Federal Premium

Hunters' Choice: Federal Premium is best known for its high-quality hunting cartridges. Within this line, you'll find the Trophy Bonded Tip and Terminal Ascent sub-lines, designed for deep penetration and precision at long ranges, making them perfect for big game hunting.

Varmint & Predator Control: For smaller game, the Varmint & Predator sub-line, with options like the V-Shok Nosler Ballistic Tip, provides explosive performance and accuracy, ideal for varmint and predator hunting.

American Eagle

Range Time: American Eagle is Federal's line for practice and target shooting. It offers reliable performance at an affordable price, making it a go-to choice for casual shooting and training. The FMJ (Full Metal Jacket)sub-line is popular for its consistent accuracy and feeding in rifles and handguns.

Federal Fusion

Deer Hunting Specialist: The Fusion line is engineered specifically for deer hunting, with a focus on the Fusion Soft Point bullets. These bullets are designed for rapid expansion and deep penetration, ensuring quick, humane kills.

Gold Medal

Competition Grade: Gold Medal cartridges are crafted for competition and precision shooting. The Sierra MatchKing sub-line, for example, features bullets with ultra-tight tolerances, delivering exceptional accuracy needed for competitive shooting.

Personal Defense

Self-Protection: Federal's Personal Defense line offers ammunition designed for self-defense. The Hydra-Shok and HST sub-lines are renowned for their stopping power and reliability, making them trusted choices for personal and law enforcement use.

Black Cloud

Waterfowl Hunting: The Black Cloud line is tailored for waterfowl hunters, with the FS Steel sub-line leading the way. These shells are designed for maximum range and lethality on ducks and geese, featuring innovative wad technology to enhance pattern density and distance.

Federal Speed-Shok

Waterfowl & Upland Game: Speed-Shok is another excellent choice for waterfowl, as well as upland game. This line is known for its high-velocity loads, which provide consistent performance and superior knockdown power on birds.


Turkey Hunting: For turkey hunters, the HEAVYWEIGHT TSS line offers extremely dense patterns and high energy at long ranges. The Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) pellets maintain velocity further out, ensuring deep penetration even on tough turkeys.

Each of Federal Ammunition's product lines and sub-lines is crafted with a specific purpose in mind, leveraging unique technologies and materials to meet the demands of various shooting activities. Whether you're hunting big game, competing, or ensuring personal safety, Federal has an ammunition solution tailored to your needs.

Where is Federal Ammo Made?

Federal Ammunition, known for its wide variety of shotshell, centerfire, and rimfire ammunition, has its primary manufacturing facility in Anoka, Minnesota. This location is not just a point on the map; it's a state-of-the-art factory that spans 700,000 square feet and employs around 1,400 people. These dedicated workers are responsible for producing millions of rounds of ammunition each day, operating around the clock, seven days a week to meet the high demand from military, law enforcement, and civilian markets across the United States​​​​.

The Anoka facility's history is rich and dates back to the early 20th century. It was originally founded by Harry and Lewis Sherman in 1916 but faced closure in the early 1920s due to the end of World War I and a lack of military orders. Charles L. Horn, recognizing the potential in the dormant facility, revitalized it in 1922, marking the official beginning of Federal Cartridge Corporation. The company quickly expanded, growing from a small team of seven employees to a workforce of 500 by 1930, and further established itself as a leading name in the ammunition industry by producing branded shotshells for major retailers like Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Ward​​.

Throughout its history, Federal has been a pioneer in ammunition technology and production, including during World War II when it secured an $87 million contract to build and operate the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant (TCOP) in New Brighton, Minnesota. This experience in manufacturing various calibers for military use laid a strong foundation for Federal's post-war commercial success​​.

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