|On April 27, 1922, the doors to Federal Cartridge Corporation officially opened when Charles L. Horn took the lead as president. The original 320-foot x 60-foot fireproof building served as production facility for shotgun shells.
Horn launched an innovative distribution plan that involved merchandising Federal products in grocery stores, barbershops 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.
As I have noted from time to time, the very first box of ammo I ever purchased was from Federal – some 12-gauge loads that I purchased at a local gas station. In fact, for the first several years of my youth when I was shooting, I bought Federal ammo because I would go along the local highways and pick up empty soda pop and beer bottles, redeem them for two-cents each at the gas station, and use that money to buy the ammo right there at the gas station – where, by the way, ammo was sold by the single round, or by the box.
Later on, I purchased ammo from other sources, as well, and the number of brands I shot expanded over time. For example, when I was on the hometown rifle team, I was able to get Remington ammo inexpensively, because the local club was affiliated with a program Remington had in which Remington supplied a number of Model 37 .22 rimfire target rifles on loan, along with the discounted ammo.
Then there was a period of time when Winchester sponsored local trap and skeet clubs, so when that happened, I used quite a bit of Winchester ammo. But in the beginning, it was Federal, because Federal was available where I was – out in the backwoods.
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.
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.
In honor of the 90th Anniversary, Federal produced a special 12-gauge 2¾-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.”
For more information on this award-winning company and the entire lineup of Federal Premium Ammunition, please visit www.federalpremium.com. To learn more about Federal’s diverse history, visit Federal’s Timeline at www.facebook.com/federalpremiumammo.
Happy Birthday, Federal. Bang, bang.
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Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEDERAL CELEBRATES its 90th anniversary by offering commemorative 12-gauge shotshells.