Federal Premium Ammunition celebrates its 90th birthday on April 27th. On this historic occasion, the company reflects on the past nine decades, while keeping an eye on the future. From its humble beginnings nestled among the lakes and woods of Minnesota, Federal Premium has evolved into one of the world’s major producers of sporting ammunition and a trusted partner to shooters around the world.
What began as Federal Cartridge Company has a well documented rise to the top. But from the beginning, it hasn’t been about just trying to sell more ammo. An impressive list of notable accomplishments is topped by helping to create a self-imposed excise tax to preserve habitat and providing leadership in the advent of steel and non-toxic shot for waterfowl. Federal has also been a staunch supporter of the shooting sports and conservation. Meanwhile, it has remained the leader in technical advancements, producing award-winning ammunition shooters expect and deserve.
From Small Town to Big Stage
On April 27, 1922, the doors to Federal Cartridge Corporation officially opened when Charles L. Horn took the lead as president. Men and women were employed, buildings remodeled, old machinery repaired and new equipment purchased. The original 320 foot x 60 foot fire-proof building served as production facility for shotgun shells.
Horn launched an innovative distribution plan that involved merchandising Federal products in grocery stores, barber shops and filling stations. The plan helped Federal achieve local and national recognition in an industry entrenched with older and larger ammunition companies. It set the stage for further innovations in the commercial ammunition business.
In 1977, Federal introduced the Premium line of centerfire rifle and shotshell ammunition. This helped define the company and the quality of product it produces. The Premium name created a new category of ammunition in the market and is the heart of the company. It brought handloader accuracy and performance to the masses.
Today, Federal’s plant operates with more than 500,000 square feet, and produces more than 1,000 options for every discipline: rimfire, rifle, shotgun, handgun and muzzleloader.
Devoted Quality Control
Federal continues to manufacture above historic levels of quality, even though the company’s production has grown significantly over time. The plant is producing ammunition 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Stringent quality control procedures and technological advancements earned world-wide recognition.
Gary Svendsen, a 39-year employee, started as a manufacturing operator and worked his way through the ranks to Director of Quality. He has seen the level of excellence firsthand, and has helped maintain and enhance the quality of product Federal produces.
“Federal’s track record of results and success is due to its investment in people, processes and technology,” said Svendsen. “We rigorously test and inspect our ammunition to ensure you get what you expect, and deserve.”
Distinguished Conservation Partner
Federal began its long-standing tradition of devotion to conservation, wildlife management and the shooting sports in the 1930s, when it published numerous conservation cartoons encouraging people to protect and preserve wildlife.
In 1937, Federal teamed up with industry leaders to lobby Congress to pass a self-imposed excise tax on ammunition and firearms. Known as the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, this tax has raised billions of dollars to help preserve the wildlife habitat, and is still in effect today.
By partnering with conservation organizations such as National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Federal has continued to help preserve and promote the opportunity to hunt.
Limited Edition 90th Anniversary Shotshells
In honor of the 90th Anniversary, Federal produced a special 12-gauge 2-3/4-inch field and clay target load. Shooters can find this limited edition, commemorative offering at their local retailer.
“As we look to the future, we expect more people to become interested in hunting and shooting,” said Federal Premium Brand Director Rick Stoeckel. “We’ll be here, bringing hunters and shooters what they want. And along the way we’ll continue to support the industry, conservation and passing on our shooting and hunting heritage.”