The Federal Ammunition factory in Anoka, Minnesota, is an industrial behemoth—a 700,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility where 1,400 employees, working in three shifts 24/7, produce millions of rounds of centerfire, rimfire, and shotshell ammo per day for hunters, shooters, and members of law enforcement. It is, without question, the largest ammunition company in the world.
And yet, when the manufacturer recently took stock of its operations, it noticed that its regular production runs didn’t meet the special demands and requirements of some of its customers: hunters and shooters who wanted specialized loads currently not available in Federal’s vast catalog.
That was the impetus behind the launch of the Federal Custom Shop. Here, customers can order direct from Federal several different centerfire offerings, with a wide selection of the best bullets from Federal, Speer, Nosler, Sierra, Berger, and more. In addition, custom TSS shotshells for turkey, waterfowl, and upland game also are available. It’s an innovative way for Federal to deliver to discerning customers the perfect centerfire or shotgun loads built by its in-house experts. It also solves a vexing issue for some customers—the ammo they require to meet their individual needs simply might not create enough demand for a retailer to stock. This new line of ammunition will be packed inside durable, high-quality Custom Shop packaging and then shipped directly to customers.
Though the Custom Shop is located in Federal’s factory, customers in the program can rest assured they will receive true custom loads, not repurposed factory ammo. That’s because the Custom Shop is a separate reloading workshop staffed by an elite group of Federal’s most experienced employees.
So, just how does the process work?
A dedicated Custom Shop page at federalpremium.com will take you to an order form where you can select your ammunition options and preferences. Purchase is by credit card. Federal also provides a comments section where you can add notes for Federal’s hand-loading technician to consider when building the loads. As a further assurance that this is truly specially created ammo, each box of Custom Shop ammunition will be signed by the Federal employee who hand-loaded it. Since this is made-to-order ammunition, customers can expect a three- to four-week lead time to produce each order.
Hunters and shooters will be able to select cartridge, projectile, and grain weight from a menu of available options. The Custom Shop will include ammunition for hard-to-find SAAMI-approved cartridges that, for the first time, will be offered by Federal.
Available Custom Shop cartridge options currently include 243 Win, 257 Roberts +P, 257 Weatherby, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284 Norma, 270 Win, 270 WSM, 284 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 308 Win, 30-06 Sprg, 300 Win Mag, 300 WSM, and 338 Federal.
And that’s not all. The Custom Shop will also offer ammunition with bullets not currently carried in Federal’s factory ammunition lineup. Current examples include the Barnes Tipped TSX, Berger Hunter Hybrid, Hornady ELD-X, Nosler AccuBond, Nosler AccuBond Long Range, Nosler Partition, Sierra MatchKing, Federal Premium Terminal Ascent, and Federal Premium Trophy Copper. The specific list of available bullets varies depending on the selected cartridge.
Launched in the fall of 2019, the product line in the Federal Custom Shop will continues to grow in the months and years ahead. Customers should check back often for new additions to the overall lineup.
The Custom Shop also will offer more than 35 shotshell combinations loaded with Federal’s dense tungsten super shot (TSS) designed for turkey and waterfowl hunters. Customers will choose gauge, shell length, shot size, and shot weight from a list of options. Gauges will include 10, 12, 16, 20, and 28, as well as .410 bore. Shotshell length varies from 2¾ inches up to 3½ inches. Payloads will range from 11/16-ounce up to a heavy-hitting 2½-ounce, and TSS shot sizes such as 7, 8, 9, and 10 will be available for selection.
Each batch of centerfire Custom Shop loads is tested for pressure and velocity. Accuracy is also validated for each batch of centerfire rifle loads. Shotshell loads are pattern-tested, but each batch is not. (No need to worry; this is the same procedure Federal uses for its standard factory-loaded shotshell products.)
You will receive ballistic-chart information for your custom-rifle ammunition, but you will not receive the order’s component recipe and load data from Federal. In addition, the Custom Shop does not offer wildcat rounds or services.
The price for this valuable service is surprisingly reasonable, depending on the chosen caliber and shotshell configuration. Customers can expect to see prices of $99.95 for a box of 20 rounds of rifle ammunition. A box of 10 shotshells will range from $79.95 for smaller payloads of TSS such as .410 bore, up to $120.95 for the larger 10-gauge payloads of TSS. Taxes and shipping charges will also be added. However, currently any order over $100 ships free, and customers can combine Custom Shop orders with other Federal products for sale online to receive free shipping. Pricing and shipping costs are subject to change.
Customers are also encouraged to sign-up for Federal’s e-newsletter for updates on Custom Shop ammunition, new products, and much more. For more information about the Federal Custom Shop and all other products from Federal ammunition, visit: federalpremium.com/custom-shop.