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Federal: America’s Top Ammo Maker?

Federal Ammo
Federal Ammo. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Federal Ammo: A Quick History – With a workforce of nearly 1,500, Federal Premium Ammunition is currently the largest employer in Anoka, Minnesota. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vista Outdoor, the company manufactures shotshell, centerfire, and rimfire ammunition and other components.

This coming April, the company will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

It was actually “refounded” by Charles L. Horn on April 27, 1922, after he took control of the small plant and expanded it as the Federal Cartridge Corporation. Horn successfully launched a unique distribution plan that involved the merchandising of Federal products at such locations as nearby grocery stores, barbershops, and even gasoline filling stations.

During the Second World War, the company earned a reported $87 million in U.S. government contracts to build and operate the $30 million Twin City Ordnance Plant (TCOP), and during the war, Federal actually ranked 59th among U.S. corporations in the value of military production contracts.

Federal: 100 and Going Strong

While ownership of the brand has changed hands, Federal Premium Ammunition remains unique in that it will be among just one percent of all U.S. companies that make it to their 100th year in business. The company has announced plans to celebrate all year long.

“The entire staff of 1,500 hard-working Americans in Anoka, Minnesota is extremely proud to celebrate a full century of continuous and successful operation,” said company President Jason Vanderbrink. “We appreciate those who came before us to make this possible and look forward to taking Federal into its next century.”

Federal announced that it will kick off the centennial celebration by lighting up a 100th Anniversary sign on top of one of its silos in Anoka and will continue to tout its accomplishment with limited availability throwback packaging, special merchandise available on its website, and an exhibit at the Anoka County Historical Society Museum among other activities. A special magazine has been released that marks the anniversary while a coffee table book will be published later this year.

“Our workforce and business have never been stronger than they are today, and we owe it to a century of continuous innovation across every department in the company,” added Vanderbrink. “Many people and partners have contributed to our success and I’m proud to join the current team in making sure that tradition of excellence continues.”

Federal Ammo Subscription Service

In December, Federal Ammunition announced a new limited-availability monthly subscription service that allows consumers to receive five boxes of ammunition, which will be delivered to their doorstep every month with a 12-month service commitment. This new service, which includes free shipping for all subscription orders, is available in states that allow ammunition to be delivered to an individual’s home.

“We are very excited to launch this new service which is loaded with benefits for our online customers,” said Jason Nash, Federal VP of marketing. “Interested consumers should visit our web site to learn all the details of the new program. At the time of the subscription service launch, available calibers at the initial rollout will be 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 Auto, with possible expansion into other loads and cartridge options, pending market demand.”

Even at 100 years in operation, Federal is adapting to changing consumer demand, while it has increased production to address last year’s great ammo shortage.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.