Fiocchi Ammo: A Behind-The-Scenes Tour of Fiocchi’s Italian Ammunition Plant

Fiocchi2

NOTE: This post is part of the tour of Europe the Guns For Sale team did earlier this year in conjunction with the IWA 2011 show. More behind-the-scenes footage from the Fiocchi plant is available here: Fiocchi.

Fiocchi has been producing ammunition since 1876, and is still owned and run by members of the Fiocchi family. Their Lecco factory has since been joined by an American plant in Springfield, Missouri, but the company’s roots are in Lecco, Italy, just south of the border with Switzerland. We were given a tour of the factory by none other than Pietro Fiocchi, President of Fiocchi USA.

There, we saw just how much is required to produce the staggering amounts of ammunition and components that Fiocchi puts out every year:

- 2 billion primers
- 800 million shotshell hulls
- 320 million centerfire cartridges
- 70 million rimfire cartridges

Fiocchi 12 Gauge Shotgun Hulls
Fiocchi 12 Gauge Shotgun Hulls

Spools of lead at the Fiocchi plant
Spools of lead at the Fiocchi plant

Today, there are approximately 420 employees at the Fiocchi plant. Compare this with the 3,500 employees at the plant during World War II, when it was under the control of the German Army – and yet it only produced 50 million rounds per year! Clearly, technology and improvements in manufacturing have benefited this industry.

Fiocchi .380 Auto Brass
Fiocchi .380 Auto Brass

Partially Formed Fiocchi .357 Sig Brass
Partially Formed Fiocchi .357 Sig Brass

The Lecco plant is set between a lake and a mountain range, the latter of which is used for storing explosives. This mountain range also served to protect the factory from Allied bombing during World War II, as there were 88mm anti-aircraft guns on the lake shore, requiring bomb runs to come over the mountain range – but the geometry involved meant that most bombs fell far beyond the factory.

Fiocchi Plant
Fiocchi Plant

Today, the plant is essentially inside the city of Lecco, and many environmental restrictions have been placed on the facility. It’s achieved ISO 14001 (environmental) certification, as well as ISO 9001, and various NATO certifications – it supplies various NATO military and police forces with quite a lot of ammunition.

We were impressed with the efficiency of the plant, as well as the work ethic of the employees we met. This video shows a small part of what goes on every day at Fiocchi.

Fiocchi Ammunition Plant
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Andrew Tuohy

Andrew Tuohy was a Navy Corpsman with the 5th Marine Regiment. He makes a living by producing written and visual content within the firearm industry, and he also teaches carbine courses. He prefers elegant weapons for a more civilized age, and regularly posts at Vuurwapen Blog.


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  • gary foster

    They make great shotshells. They are my preferred ammo for shotgun when I can find it. Great for pheasants. Just the plain ones, not the golden pheasant.

  • armed_partisan

    I quite like Fiocchi’s stuff, too. Very good consistency and VERY HOT (Everything is loaded to CIP, not SAAMI spec) even though they have pretty low prices. I always thought they were a cheapo brand until I tested some and ran it over a chronograph. They make good stuff.

  • Jim

    those numbers are mind boggling. That’s 5 million primers a DAY!

  • Dmitry

    The manual inspection while packaging looks suspicious.
    Look, packager (women) removed two shells from case just by inspecting visually. One – two from each? case does not pass inspection?
    What kind of quality are these products?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Dmitry, she may have been collecting samples for testing.

  • LMNO

    Heads up, the video states production of 800,000,000 shotshell hulls / year while text shows 800,000…

  • john

    Very interesting video. Modern manufacturing is ALMOST as fascinating as firearms. :-) Keep up the good work.

  • Lance

    I like there 7.62×39 ammo it reloads quite well.

  • Lance

    But Federal makes better 5.56mm ammo.

  • Chase

    This is quite off-topic, but can anyone tell me what ISO 9001 is? The reason I ask is that no one I’ve ever asked has been able to tell me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Claudio-Colleoni/1582690423 Claudio Colleoni

      The ISO 9000 family of standards is related to quality management systems and designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders[1] while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to the product. The standards are published by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, and available through National standards bodies. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the eight management principles on which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard have to fulfill.

      Wikipedia

  • http://homeplace-artsstuff.blogspot.co Arthur B.. Burnett

    Greetings from Texas,
    Foicchi has been my sorce for .455 Webley Ammo since about a year after I got my Mk. VI. It took me a year to find out anyone still made ammunation for it.

    These days I mainly shoot reloads from the excellent Foicchi .455 brass. They have been an excellent source for lots of obsolete caliburs. There are probably half a dozen handguns in my collection I would never have shot had it not been for foicchi.

  • http://www.texasguntalk.com Texas Gun Talk

    Just gave you a bunch of social links and linked this article on my forum! Great article! http://www.texasguntalk.com/forums/general-firearms-ammo-sponsored-eastex-guns/26020-fiocchi-ammunition-plant-article.html#post304018

  • Gerald

    So wait a minute, just so we are clear… The ammunition “testers” work in a factory surrounded by women with “high manual dexterity” and their job is to fire Fiocchi ammunition through MP-7s, belt-fed full autos, and as many different handguns as possible to make certain that the ammunition is widely compatible?

    Are there any job openings at Fiocchi by chance?

  • mica

    how wud a thunk it i allwas figgured the italien,s were stilll bumming ammo from NATO nice to know thay make a good product too bad thire army can bearly deffend thire border,s and the few thay send over sea,s are pineing for home and pasta p*&^%

  • IBRAHIM KHAN

    FIOCCHI PRODUCT ARE THE WORLD PAPULAR PRODUCT. I PERSONALY VERY SATISFIED FROM THE PRODUCT. WE HAVE USED FIOCCHI PRIMERS OF 12 GUAGE AT GENERAL TRADERS AMMUNITION MANUFACTERERS LTD AT KARACHI PAKISTAN. RESULT OF PRIMERS WAS BEST. SO TO MY KNOWLEDGE ALL PRODUCTS OF FIOCCHI ARE BEST.NOW BY THIS MSG I REQUIST TO PLZ FURNISH ME FRESH PRICES OF PRIMERS OF SHOTGUN 12 BORE FOB AND C&F KARACHI PAKISTAN. THANKS AND KIND REGARD

    IBRAHIM KHAN AFRIDI
    CEO G-TAM