BREAKING: Federal Premium Ammunition Lays Off 110 Workers at Anoka Federal Premium Plant, Cancels State Funding Incentives

The post-election gun industry downturn has hit Federal Premium Ammunition, which laid off a significant number of its employees earlier this month. 110 of the roughly 1400 workers at the company were let go from the company’s Anoka, Minnesota plant, the company confirmed. This announcement surprised Minnesota state officials, who had before the end of last year granted the company set of grants and loads worth $1.15 million to expand. Federal informed the state that these grants would no longer be necessary, and that they were cancelling them. Although the expansion is expected to continue, the hiring goals that were conditions of the grants are no longer achievable, Federal said.

The Star Tribune reports on the layoffs:

Citing a market downturn, Federal Cartridge laid off 110 production workers at its ammunitions plant in Anoka over the weekend, company officials confirmed Monday.

Affected workers were notified Thursday and let go through the weekend. All layoffs are effectively immediately, said spokeswoman Amanda Covington.

The factory had roughly 1,430 employees before the announcement.

News of the layoffs came as a surprise to state officials, who in November approved $1.15 million in state grants and loans for Federal Cartridge.

The funds were designed to assist the company with a $33.9 million factory expansion and equipment upgrades in Anoka.

The project had promised the addition of 50 additional jobs.

The building project remains on track, but the hiring goals are off the table and the loan and grant requests have been withdrawn, Covington said.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development learned last week that “both of those awards have been canceled because … they no longer needed the state incentives to continue their projects,” DEED Spokesman Shane Delaney said.

Doug Borglund, the community development director for the city of Anoka, said the city also just learned that the city’s help would not be needed.

Covington said that Federal Cartridge, which is a subsidiary of Utah-based Vista Outdoor Inc. and formerly a unit of Alliant Techsystems, said the company notified the state and city as soon as it realized it would not be able to live up to the hiring pledge made in November.

“Market conditions have changed,” she said. “And it was important to us to maintain a good working relationship with the state of Minnesota. As soon as we recognized that we would have to do a head-count reduction, we felt it was prudent to notify the city and the state. Out of fairness to the state and taxpayers, we wanted them to be able to use those funds for other projects rather than wait on us.”

The plant expansion and equipment upgrades are just starting in Anoka and are expected to be finished this summer. The end result will be a more efficient plant, Covington said.

Since the election in November, several companies have been forced to downsize as a result of a suddenly calm customer base no longer worried about “getting theirs” before restrictive legislation hits. SilencerCo and Colt both laid off some portion of their workforce, and they were likely not alone in this. The industry rush that many anticipated simply never hit, and many of those companies that had bet on a different horse by expanding their operations now are left with less demand than warrants their size. Federal Premium Ammunition certainly seems to be an example of this.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at [email protected]


  • PersonCommenting

    Kind of surprising an ammo company having tough times. I still buy the same amount of ammo pre Trump that I do post trump.

    • Ehtacs

      I hope it’s not simply them trying to maintain the premium cost of ammo. I would love to see some pre-2008 prices.

      • PersonCommenting

        I think those days are gone. I have an old box of 38 spl that has 7.95 on the tag… That box would of been around 04, 05 time frame.

        • KestrelBike

          Those days shouldn’t be gone, low/high cost is simply a supply & demand equation.

          I’d think that Costs need to shift down to meet the Supply before a company has to start laying people off, which I just don’t think has happened, the prices are all still well around post-2012-panic prices (so not sky-high, but not dirt cheap, either), it’s like Federal is jumping the gun here.

          • PersonCommenting

            I think 9mm could stand to drop a buck or two per box depending on what you get because it is probably the most fired round out there. 223, same thing, it could stand to drop .50 to 60 cents per box also manufactures really need to start selling them in boxes of 50. It would really help with pricing… 22LR demand is catching up but it is still around 50 cents too high for your lower level stuff like federal normal velocity. I think I paid 3.75 at academy for a box of 50. In 2011 I was paying between 2 bucks to 2.75.

          • marathag

            I felt kind of ripped off when Winchester Wildcats went over a buck a box.

          • PersonCommenting

            is that the stuff that has the X on it? Ive never had any luck on winchester 22. Even in revolvers it seems to be a little out of spec. Very snug fitting.

          • marathag

            yeah. But worked better than the Rem Thunderbolts for me

        • marathag

          I came across a 29 cent sticker on a box of 22LR from a Holiday Station. ’70s, I’m guessing

  • Will

    I’m sorry to hear this. Federal is my ammunition brand of choice. I’m curious to see if price goes up and availability goes down.

    • James Young

      Just got Federal Premium Tactical HST JHP for $.40/rd. Not bad

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      If price was expected to go up, they wouldn’t need to lay people off. You will be able to find it on store shelves for the foreseeable future.

  • Audie Bakerson

    The solution is clear: Repeal the NFA to create new demand for ammo. Get on it Emmer!

  • Don Ward

    So in other words they are trying to keep the artificially high prices of ammo artificially high.

    • acem82

      No, the “Obama bubble” for guns and ammo has burst. This is classic supply and (artificially inflated) demand.

  • Blake

    Well, it ain’t our fault. My family’s been buying & shooting Federal ammo by the case all year.

    • glenn cheney

      My fav’ 270, Federal Nosler Partitioned. Remington’s yellow/green box core-crap didn’t stay together, a switch to Federal and the right bullet did the trick.
      For the 6.5, Hornady SST gets the call.
      Support the industry—-LAY IN PROVISIONS.

    • Paul White

      I’m hardley seeing it on shelves around here TBH. Tons of their 9mm and 223 but not a lot of 45, 357, 308, etc. Let alone any of their 22

  • glenn cheney

    Homelander’s bought 14,550,000 or 14,875,000 depending on which numbers are in the ball park, under congressional oversight, 15 cartridges or shots were discharged under duty classification….it was a lol, as testimony was offered up that ammo needed to be fresh, hence the order numbers.
    No one asked my question of choice, wt-fiction is the chit? No one asked.
    In Sunday’s paper, a company has 60,000 sq. ft., working two shifts, building mil-spec American made AK-47’s, and are looking to double their mfg’g capacity. Bid-nez be hummin’ yup.
    When I read it, I knew they had contracts. Yup….SOCOM. Can’t ask, can’t say, no such number says SOCOM. I stir enough feces here, but Federal makes no 7.62×39, nor 7.62×54 is a clue. All the comblock toys incl. the sniper rifles and light machine guns. I know a Congrssman, mid 40’s, multi-millionair, running contractor services, who knows what?
    . You guys ever see warehouses with pallets higher than a man is tall? Business is great, if you’re in the right business. Folks are knocking it down.
    American Spring is coming soon, relieve some excess inventory.
    Me? I have rounds in boxes from the early 80’s at least. There never were that many deer or hogs. All these toys headed overseas. In one pic, I did note some AR 15 platforms, with quad rails. I assumed they were 7.62×39 as well. They made the barrels in house.
    The company has outgrown it’s 60,000 sq. ft. facility and is looking to move operations to new facilities was inferred.
    He who has.

  • glenn cheney

    Adjusting workforces to deal with slacking demand is understandable if temporary, but, what if the real deal is killing off the industry’s, ammo, arms?
    Like steel, various manufacturing? Industries that have come back as imports?I wonder what the long term effects will be in the long run.
    I’ve posted before, there are five primary propellant sources in the U.S.A. and only one is domestic, near Jax., Fl. and they are primarily military contract.
    When they tried to buy us up a few years back, they cleared the shelves on us on everything, BUT Uncle Vladimir’s steel and some of his brass line. Now, that ammo grab gig is up (“cheaper than dirt”, and no one needs anymore dirt) and they find out they making nothing that is in demand globally, and globally is where the demand is at. We being punked big time, or rather, did they punk themselves?

  • Tyler

    Bad news, makes my dreams of getting 215m primers even more unrealistic.

  • Pranqster

    Can’t wait for neo-cons to blame Obama.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Gosh-darn Obama! Putting the gun industry into an artificially high state of production and profitability, only to make it drop when he left office and make companies lay people off!

      • joe tusgadaro

        you just know some people were hoping he’d declare himself Emperor of the USA…..and those people were the ammo and gun manufacturers…instead he rode off into the sunset.

        • acem82

          Good for them in the short term, really bad in the long term (any way that the whole “civil war” thing would have gone).

        • USMC03Vet

          He slithered down the block, for reasons unknown. Gotta watch that snake carefully.

          • Watch out there USMC03Vet, your paranoia is showing a little. And the reason he left was that his -duh- term ended. Isn’t that what ex presidents are supposed to do, leave?

    • Stuki Moi

      The ones to blame, are all those antigun folks attempting to bankrupt the gun and ammo makers by voting for Trump.

      • glenn cheney

        I appreciate the comment, well stated.

  • Big Daddy

    It sounds like they lost a government contract. I’m thinkin’ they thought they’d have one for 9mm ammo for the new Army pistol. Since the pistol contract said pistol, ammo and everything else from one source SIG must must not have included Federal. Maybe they decided to build a plant in the south like every other smart company, they can charge the same prices and the overall costs are way lower. Maybe they just do not want government money with strings attached, who knows what other demands are in that contract and money? I bet their lawyers told them hey did you read the fine print?

    I’m sorry to hear of anybody losing their job due to some corporate BS. But it sounds like they just do not want the money and the strings attached to it. When the corporate slugs need to save a few bucks they always lay people off and expect the workers somehow to make it up.

    • Ebby123

      Or… maybe sales are down 30% accross the market, and the wholesalers stocked up 6 months worth of inventory in anticipation of a Hillary win.

      Its not that hard. Supply is through the roof, and demand is near the floor.

      • Hoth

        “Supply is through the roof, and demand is near the floor.”

        I’m still waiting to see that reflected in prices.

        • John

          I’ve seen some drops, but hope for more.

  • Renov8

    Time for some consolidation…so much inventory out there…prices need to drop in order to minimize inventory levels…and it will. Just a matter of time.

    • John

      I sure hope so.

      I would LOVE to see prices return to pre-Newtown levels, but I doubt they will.

    • TexTopCat

      It appears that we are already at that point. Just purchased 100 round box of Federal 9mm FMJ for $19.25 at Walmart. Almost exactly the same price as before Sandy Hook.

  • USMC03Vet

    Awwwww their plans of price gouging for ammunition didn’t work out.

    My condolences!!

    Don’t bet against America next time.

    • Chuck Haggard

      Your comment is full of derp and just plain ignorant as hell.

  • Vet for Trump

    I reload. Have not bought commercial ammo in 5 years.
    Exception: .22LR on Black Friday.

  • C. Her

    So does that mean my order of 800rds of Federal Premium loaded with Berger 130gr 6.5 creedmoor will be delayed even further?

  • Bro_Mike

    Maybe it will free up some large rifle match primers for reloaders.

  • damn it. im buying all the ammo i can. i’m only one man!

    • Calavera

      LOL! Give ’em hell! I’m turning all those bricks of .22 lr into a coffee table and nightstands.

  • Keith Rigden

    They can continue expanding because those jobs are going to robots. Soon you will have the privilege of paying the same as you do now for ammo that cost significantly less to produce, Welcome to Capitalism.

    • Stuki Moi

      Buy the same robots. Undercut Federal by a buck a box. Takke all their sales. Become the next Federal. Then cheer for the young punk from China or Pakistan or Mogadishu (or the good ole USA) who turns around and undercuts you by a buck. Instead of using money you made during your stint as New Federal, to have “reasonable regulations” put in place that makes it harder for him to do so. That’s capitalism. Nothing else is.

  • marathag

    Huh. Last I heard, the 22rimfire line was still going at max at Anoka.

  • William

    How about having them make Federal Premium Large Rifle and Large Rifle Magnum primers which I have not seen in two years. Mercifully, I have a decent stock, but am always looking for more.

  • Art Dardeau

    Prices are dropping now, look at the different ammo sites online….

  • Broz

    Gonna be rather torqued if Federal cuts back on production of .22 LR…we have a Dick’s Sporting Goods store opening up this coming Thursday (23 Mar) and I’m hoping they have a whole PILE of the stuff for sale…

  • Joshua

    I’m still waiting to see some Federal again, my local store can’t get any in, very little is being imported and what is is not what I’m looking for

  • Kivaari

    CCI Lewsiton is asking for voluntary absences. Asking folks to take a month off.

  • TexTopCat

    A big part of the problem is that the company has a plant in a “gun unfriendly” state. Gun businesses need to leave states that have extreme gun control. No reason for our purchases to fund governments that want to restrict our rights.