New Federal Premium Ammunition for 2016

Federal ammo

Federal Premium announced a number of new products that they will be showing at the annual SHOT Show next week. Here is a run down of some of what they have released information on:

20 GA 3rd Degree

Federal will release a 20 gauge version of the 3rd Degree turkey hunting shell with a 1 7/16 oz load. The 3rd Degree line was introduced last year and is designed to improve patterns close up without degrading long range performance. According to Federal, the company was able to do this through the use of a three-stage payload.

Power-Shok Copper

Federal’s Power-Shok line has been around for years. For 2016, they expand the line to now offer Power-Shok Copper. These rounds use a copper alloy bullet for good performance without using a lead core. The initial calibers will be .308, .30-06, .270 and .243.

Micro HST in 9mm

Federal introduced a personal defense load in .380 last year that was designed for compact pistols. This was the Micro HST load. This year, the company expanded the line to a second caliber: 9mm. The new load uses a slightly heavy-for-caliber bullet: 150 grains. Federal’s sister company, Speer, has had a good deal of success with the short barrel offerings in its Gold Dot line. I expect Federal will see similar success and expand the line further in the coming years.

American Eagle Syntech

Under the American Eagle brand, Federal will be selling handgun ammunition that uses bullets that are completely encapsulated by polymer. The idea is to provide a cost effective way to reduce airborne lead and bore fouling. Smith & Wesson originally launched a similar load in the 1970’s and called it Nyclad. Later, the name and technology was purchased by Federal who used the Nyclad-type bullets as self-defense loads. Currently, the company still offers a single load in the Nyclad line – a standard pressure 125 grain HP in .38 Special. At this time, I am unsure if the Syntech uses the same materials and process, or if this is something entirely new. 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP loads will be offered.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Nick

    For a while I think Herters was doing a polymer jacket of some sort. pretty sure it was nylon jacketed.

    That said, I had so many squibs from a case of Herters 7.62×39 I gave away the rest of the case, and haven’t touched anything made by them since.

    • There are a number of companies offering polymer coated bullets for reloaders. Granted I this is the first time I’ve seen a major ammo company offering it loaded.

      • LV-426

        I either buy or coat my own in Hi-TEK lube. It really is the best way to go for a high volume shooter. Now I do handload all of my ammo for handgun and rifle. But with a gas check this coating is more than capable for centerfire rifle applications, even through suppressors. It’s cool to see major manufacturers pick up on trends that have been going strong for way more than a decade on other continents . I am interested to see what these are made of. Due to manufacturing process, these should be the absolute cheapest ammo on the block. Hahaha we will see.

    • Kyle

      Who the hell is Herters lol? I have honestly never heard of that manufacturer before.

      • Steve Truffer

        Herters is a rebrand of TulAmmo. They somehow grab the absolute worst the company has to offer. Regular TulAmmo is somehow much better, despite being made on the exact same lines.

        • Sledgecrowbar

          Herters was what Cabela’s is now. In 1981 they went bankrupt and Cabela’s bought the name to become their “store brand” for stuff like ammo. Cabela’s did bring in Tulammo steel-cased .223 a few years ago, but I don’t know if they still do, I found it had a thin layer of black grease on the polymer-coated cases that would dirty your fingers from loading, but it worked fine. They use Blazer for their nylon-jacketed aluminum-cased pistol ammo, which I like if not for it being the same price as regular copper-and-brass FMJ now, and S&B for their quality brass pistol and rifle ammo and Fiocchi for their shotgun ammo. I’ve shot a bunch of Herters-branded stuff and it’s identical to the manufacturer’s regular offerings right down to the boxes so if you know that it cycles and is accurate in your guns, it’s a good source because Cabela’s is usually close and reliable. I like S&B, all their ammo is charged properly as opposed to Tula which is light and the quality is always high, especially their hunting ammo, although they use gilding metal which is more common in Europe than America, but doesn’t functionally change anything. Also their boxes pack the ammo down as tight as I’ve ever seen and lets me fit more in a can, I save them for reloads.

  • Swarf

    “A box of Winchester .45acp, a half brick of .22 and two boxes of Dog Dicks in 9mm.”

    • Anomanom

      Thank you. I really needed that image first thing in the morning.

    • Edeco

      “Flying Ashtray” has just been replaced as my favorite ammo name/nickname. Once edgy, gritty and threatening, it now seems quaint by comparison.

  • Tim

    Coated bullets; looks like the lipstick bullet!

    • TDog

      Imagine pulling that bullet out of someone. “Cause of death: Jelly Belly.”

  • Griz

    Am I the only one excited about the new 20 guage turkey load? Santa brought my daughter a new turkey gun for Christmas and can’t wait to help her patter some loads!

  • Fjgiie Gray

    HST Short Barrel
    150grain is close to 147grain. They may just relabel some of the P9HST4 which is 147 +p.

  • Taofledermaus

    Guaranteed to cure everything from a broken arm, to a broken contract.

  • John Daniels

    Ammunition tailored for short barrels is usually loaded with powder that has a flash suppressant in the formula. This is important for keeping muzzle flash to a minimum, since most self-defense incidents involving a firearm happen in low light environments.