Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Find frequently asked questions and quality answers from ammunition experts at Federal Premium. Discover what other outdoor enthusiasts have asked us and how it can help you.
We are currently experiencing high demand for our products. We appreciate your patience and support and remain committed to serving all of our customers, from hunters and sport shooters to those who protect our country and our streets.
Does the recent news regarding a major U.S. lead smelter shutting down mean you'll have trouble obtaining lead for manufacturing conventional ammunition?
At this time we do not anticipate any additional strain on our ability to obtain lead.
Why is ammunition in certain calibers so hard to find?
The current market and environment is causing stronger than usual demand for products in our industry.
Why are you selling your ammunition to the DHS?
The Department of Homeland Security contract makes up a very small percentage of our total ammunition output. Our production volumes on government contracts have been stable since the mid-2000s.
IS DHS BUYING MORE AMMUNITION TODAY THAN EVER BEFORE?
Department of Homeland Security ammunition purchases have been declining since 2009. It is projected that it will continue on this trend. Read the GAO report.
Are certain contracts taking ammunition away from civilians?
No. We remain committed to serving all channels of our business. The majority of our product serves the commercial market.
Why can't you just make more ammunition?
Our facilities operate 24-hours a day. We are continually making process improvements to increase our efficiency and investing in capital and personnel where we have sustained demand. We are bringing additional capacity online again this year.
What is your stance on the current gun legislation?
We support the second amendment and responsible gun ownership. We remain fully engaged in the legislative and regulatory process to provide the most accurate and comprehensive information to decision makers. Like most major manufacturers in our industry, we are also members of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). This organization helps represent our industry and our customers before federal, state and local government entities. More information about legislation and our industry's positions can be found at www.nssf.org.
A Letter to our Customers
Federal Premium is a committed partner to the shooting sports industry. Despite our consistent and dedicated efforts, there remains much speculation and misinformation regarding the availability of commercial ammunition. Read letter
What is an OTM bullet and how does it differ from others like the Trophy Bonded® Tip?
Open tip match (OTM) rifle bullets are typically used for shooting targets at the range. The slender, streamlined bullets feature a copper-alloy jacket with a hole at the nose through which the lead core is poured during the manufacturing process. The result is a highly consistent, accurate projectile. However, unlike true hollow-points and bullets like the Trophy Bonded Tip, OTMs are not designed to offer controlled expansion, penetrate the target or retain a given percentage of their weight, making them a poor choice for hunting.
Can I reload the Federal 12-gauge Multi-Purpose shotshell hull?
The Federal 12-gauge Multi-Purpose shotshell loads (part numbers MP12 7.5 and MP12 8) feature a hull that is not recommended for reloading. It uses a European-style hull that works best with a European-style primer.
Why does my new Federal Premium® rifle ammunition have nickel-plated cases versus the usual unplated brass?
We recently upgraded our Vital•Shok™ and V•Shok™ product lines, giving these loads nickel-plated brass to prevent corrosion and provide faster, smoother extraction. Aside from the plating, the brass—as well as the bullets, powders, primers and construction processes used to build the ammunition—is identical to that of your previously purchased rounds. Expect the same ballistic performance achieved by older, unplated brass product with the same part number when fired through the same rifle. The nickel-plated cases also offer the same outstanding reloadability as unplated Federal brass.
I'd like to talk to a Federal Premium Ammunition representative. When should I call?
Representatives are available to answer your calls between 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday. We recently launched an improved phone system that ensures you speak with a live agent.
Where can I find Federal ammo?
You can purchase Federal® Ammunition from dealers and sporting goods businesses. To find a dealer in your area, please go to the Where to Buy search function. Type in your home zip code and hit the search button.
Why are your ammunition products and components so hard to find?
Vista Outdoor has achieved its market leadership position in the ammunition industry by delivering innovation and quality. We continue to work seven days a week, making multiple daily shipments to meet the current demand and deliver quality products to our customers.
Will Black Cloud work with my aftermarket choke?
Black Cloud FS Steel® uses the proprietary FLITECONTROL® wad-designed to leave the barrel with the shot to keep your pattern tight and get to the ducks quicker. For maximum performance we recommend using standard, factory chokes that do not strip the wad or reduce muzzle pressure. We are currently working with popular choke companies on new tubes specially designed for Black Cloud.
What is the shelf life of ammo and storage?
Store reloading components and ammunition in a cool, dry place, protected from direct exposure to sunlight. If stored properly there is a 10-year shelf life on loaded ammunition.
Can I have your loading data?
We don't offer specific loading data, but our sister companies do. Please visit Speer Bullets® or Alliant Powder® for more information. Or, for reloading, Federal offers a Shotshell Reloading Data booklet.
Who makes your bullets, are they available for sale?
We manufacture Trophy Bonded® products for our Premium® rifle ammunition, along with Fusion® bullets for deer hunting. For personal defense situations, we manufacture HST®, Hydra-Shok®, Guard Dog™ and NyClad™ handgun ammunition. We also make standard cup and core bullets for our lower-cost ammunition, including American Eagle® and Power-Shok™. We do not offer component bullets at this time.
Do you sell brass or shotshell hulls?
We do sell reloading components including brass, however at this time we do not sell shotshell hulls.
What are the differences between .223 and 5.56mm?
There are small differences that make each of these calibers unique. Most notably are the standards in which pressure is tested and measured. You can put .223 ammunition into a 5.56mm chamber, but not the other way around due to these pressure variances.
What is a dram equivalent?
The dram equivalent is the amount of powder in the cartridge. A dram is 1/16 ounce. When shotgun ammunition was loaded with black powder the dram was the unit of measure. Today, this is the term used to indicate the charge of smokeless powder that approximates the velocity and shot weight of a black powder load.
Can I put unfired ammo in a case tumbler?
No. Placing ammunition in a tumbler can be very dangerous. The risks are detonation inside the tumbler or changed powder characteristics that can result in serious injury during firing.
Can I buy direct?
No. Our business is setup to sell directly to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. At this time we don't offer online sales, but please visit Where to Buy to find a dealer near you.
How can I become a dealer?
Please visit Vista Outdoor's Premium Partners website for more information. Membership in the Premium Partners program is exclusive–we want active dealers who are willing to commit to our brands and highlight our promotions. In return, we provide specialized promotions and world-class sales and marketing support to help you move product off your shelf and build customer loyalty.
I have a problem with a shell – What do I do?
For ammunition questions please call (800) 379-1732 and ask to speak with Federal Premium Product Services team member. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.
How do I get a donation for an event?
Try your local dealer. We get many requests for sponsorship and do not have the resources to support them all. Our efforts are focused on national strategic sponsorships among our current partners in the industry.
Could I possibly get any discontinued ammunition?
Not through Federal®. The best bet would be to check with your local retailers. Some businesses may have what you're looking for.
How do I properly dispose of ammunition?
Contact your local hazmat facility. Each state, county or city may have different regulations for proper disposal.
Can Top Gun, Estate or Field & Target hulls be reloaded?
Yes, you can download the Shotshell Reloading Data Booklet for more information.