In 1977, Federal Ammunition created its Premium line of centerfire rifle ammunition. In doing so, the company did something that was unheard of at the time.
Rather than just load its own bullets into its centerfire rifle and handgun cartridges, Federal began using the top projectiles from companies across the industry and loading them to its own extremely tight specifications. For example, Federal’s initial 1977 loads were manufactured using Nosler Partition and the Sierra boat-tail hollow point bullets.
The move produced handloader-level accuracy, performance and quality from factory ammunition, changing the company—and the industry—forever.
Loading the Industry’s Best
The number and variety of Premium items swelled over the next four decades, but like catalogs of product offerings from any company, that number increased and decreased as the market ebbed and flowed. For example, some products from Barnes and Nosler were eventually discontinued.
Today, many products loaded with industry-partner projectiles are still active and selling strong. In fact, Federal has recently pledged to not only continue but also expand and elevate those lines of Premium ammunition.
Evidence to this is Federal’s reintroduction of a complete line of its Premium Nosler AccuBond loads produced and delivered in 2018. In that same year, Federal announced new loads from its latest industry partner, Berger, loaded for competition shooters. Those products were received with an outstanding response from consumers worldwide.
In 2019, Federal will reintroduce a complete lineup of its Premium Barnes Triple-Shock X (TSX) offerings and launch new hunting loads using Berger Hybrid Hunter bullets. In addition, it will offer several new options from Sierra and even new loads in its Varmint & Predator product line using Hornady V-Max bullets.
The direction to load the best projectiles in the industry has been the company’s heart and soul—and one of the reasons for its longstanding success. Federal is dedicated to reinvigorate the entire product category now and into the future.
The following questions answered by representatives of the company provide more insight:
Q: What exactly is Federal’s Premium line of centerfire rifle ammunition?
A: Whether it’s a hunting round for big game, a bullet with a high ballistic coefficient for long-range competition, self-defense ammunition or anything in between—all of our Premium line of products are built with the finest components and held to the factory’s tightest quality standards.
For centerfire rifle hunting ammo, for example, that means Gold Medal primers, the finest in the industry, as well as nickel-plated brass and specially formulated, clean-burning propellants that provide the most consistent and reliable performance. At the top of it all—and most important—are the absolute best projectiles available from across the entire industry.
Federal Premium is identified by high-impact packaging using mainly black and gold colors, and it incorporates eye-catching gold foil on its box tabs.
Q: Federal Premium Nosler AccuBond and Barnes TSX aren’t necessarily new. You’ve loaded them in the past, correct?
A: True, our Nosler AccuBond and Barnes TSX were popular loads and loved by our customers for many years. Various business reasons caused us to discontinue most of these products in 2012 and 2013. The few remaining Barnes TSX loads were discontinued in 2017. We are bringing back full product lines using these bullets, plus additional calibers or loads we didn’t offer in the past.
Q: Why did Federal bring back Nosler AccuBond and Barnes TSX loads?
A: We load the best bullets from the best bullet manufacturers. Customers kept asking for these to come back and we listened.
Handloaded accuracy from a factory load is Federal’s mission, and we’ve delivered on it for more than 40 years. We offer our customers a way of shooting the finest projectile when reloading isn’t a possible or desired activity for them.
Q: Will the reintroduced Nosler AccuBond and Barnes TSX loads be any different from the originals?
A: These offerings will be back in virtually the same form as before. Customers have been asking for them as they were. However, we did take the opportunity to improve the loads with more advanced powders and components when applicable. For example, we gave them Premium nickel-plated cases. However, these loads will typically keep to the same velocities and accuracy specifications as before.
Q: Will Federal offer the exact same loads in Nosler AccuBond and Barnes TSX as before they were discontinued?
A: Not exactly, we selected only the most sought-after calibers when we brought them back.
Also, we did add some new calibers to these reintroduced product lines. Barnes TSX now has 6.5 Creedmoor and 224 Valkyrie. For AccuBond, we added 6.5 Creedmoor and 338 Lapua Magnum.
Q: Federal loads other options from Nosler and other bullet manufacturers. Does this mean those products are going away?
A: No. Existing Federal Premium loads such as Nosler Partition and Ballistic Tip, and Sierra MatchKing BTHP and GameKing BTSP remain the same for 2019. We are simply adding or bringing back more options to our vast catalog. Loading more options from industry partners just makes us bigger and better. Federal has the broadest offering of brand name bullets of any ammunition manufacturer in the world. These additions make our selection even stronger as we provide options for consumers to match great bullets to their various rifles and hunting situations.
Q: Federal has expanded products using industry-partner bullets. What exactly are all those recent additions?
A: Over the last three years, we have greatly expanded cataloged products loaded with Barnes, Berger, Nosler and Sierra.
In 2017, we introduced Berger BT Target in 223 Rem; Berger Hybrid OTM in 6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor; and Berger Juggernaut OTM in 308 Win.
In 2018, we proudly reintroduced Nosler AccuBond in 17 calibers ranging from 243 Win all the way to 338 Lapua Magnum. We also added Nosler Ballistic Tip in 224 Valkyrie; added Sierra MatchKing in 224 Valkyrie and 6.5 Creedmoor; and expanded Berger Hybrid OTM to include 6mm Creedmoor.
In 2019, we will deliver Barnes TSX in 17 loads ranging from 223 Rem. to 300 Win. Magnum; launch Berger Hybrid Hunter in 10 calibers from 243 Win. to 300 WSM; add Berger Hybrid OTM in 224 Valkyrie, 300 Win Mag and 300 Norma Magnum; and expand Sierra MatchKing to include 6mm Creedmoor.
Q: Besides these offerings in Federal’s Premium line-up, are you loading any of your standard product lines with projectiles from industry partners?
A: Yes, in 2019, we are launching Federal Varmint & Predator loads that feature Hornady V-Max bullets. The new rounds—designed for everything from prairie dogs to coyotes—bring the accuracy and explosive expansion of the proven V-Max bullet, loaded with our extremely reliable brass, primer and propellant. These are available in seven loads ranging from 204 Ruger to 308 Win. This standard Federal centerfire product line will be easily identified by our customary, bold blue boxes.
Q: Is loading Hornady bullets something new for Federal?
A: No, we have offered Federal Premium Hornady V-Max in 17 HMR for many years. Hunters and shooters have recently asked us to load more calibers using Hornady V-Max bullets, and we listened. Our new V-Max offerings are just another extension of our legacy of bringing people the options they want to see on shelf. Q: What does this mean for Federal proprietary bullets such as Trophy Copper, Trophy Bonded Tip and Edge TLR?
A: Trophy Copper, Trophy Bonded Tip and Edge TLR and other in-house bullets are extremely popular. We will still offer our proprietary factory loads as long as there is customer demand for them, plus grow them with new options when applicable. Having a variety of offerings with slight differences in bullet construction and weights provides a variety of options our customers are looking for.
Although many bullets perform well, there is a different application for almost every product we offer. Not to mention personal preference and differences in how each individual gun will shoot various loads. We want to be sure Federal meets the needs of hunters and shooters, no matter what their preference.
For more information on the loads mentioned in this article and all other products from Federal ammunition, visit: www.federalpremium.com.