Is Federal Gearing Up to Attack the Reloading Bullets Market?…


Within the last few weeks Federal has announced a couple different varieties of bullets they are selling as reloading components. This is a first for them and has surprised a lot of us since they normally stick to loaded ammunition, primers and brass. It is definitely not something outside the scope of their abilities as an ammunition manufacturer. It is simply something that they have not attempted to dabble in before.


Federal Trophy Bonded Tip now available for Reloading

With all of this in mind, it begs the question: Is Federal ramping up to wholly enter the reloading bullets market?

What Federal has released so far are two tips from some of its most popular ammo. Federal’s first announced reloading bullet was their Trophy Bonded Tip from their legendary Bear Claw ammunition. This is a bullet with extremely high weight retention for hunting and a polymer tip that is heat resistant so it does not deform while in flight. Good knockdown power and accuracy makes it a desirable bullet to reload. The Trophy Bonded Tip is initially being offered in 3 bullet diameters with 2 grain weight offerings each for a total of 6 to choose from.

With the heat resistant tip of the Trophy Bonded bullet as a strong selling point, and being marketed towards hunters desiring better accuracy, this bullet looks to directly compete with Hornady’s ELD series of bullets. Time will tell who will win that match-up, but Federal is bringing a strong competitor to the table.

The 2nd bullet Federal has released to the public for consumption by your firearms is their polymer encapsulated Syntech bullet. These bullets are totally jacketed in polymer reducing friction, heat and barrel wear. Also, because of the synthetic bullet design they are significantly more clean to shoot than traditional full-metal jacket or lead bullets.


Federal Syntech bullets now available for Reloading

These are starting out with a much smaller sampling for reloaders in your 3 basic handgun calibers of 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP with grain weights of 115, 165 and 230 respectively. The price point on these bullets is higher than your cheapest lead cast or FMJ, but you should also factor in your inherent time saved from less cleaning, money saved from less cleaning supplies and the intangible of increased barrel/firearm life.

The Syntech bullet offers great qualities and is on the cutting edge of where the target shooting market may be headed, but the higher price point will remain a tough sell to most reloaders who are notorious penny-pinchers.

Federal has some great bullets in their arsenal with the Trophy Bonded Tip and the Syntech bullet, but it is never an easy task being a new fish in a fresh market swimming alongside the big boys.

The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


  • Most people I know reloading 9mm are running 124, 135 or 147 grain loads, and those go for $80/1K, before discount codes.

  • Not at the price that they are pushing. They are charging 16 cents a bullet before delivery charges for the 115gr polymer coated lead. With sales and discounts codes it isn’t unusual to get the same bullet for around 6 cents a bullet delivered.

    Heck the last time I priced my loads out my entire loud cost less than the Federal bullet alone. Now the one benefit of the new Syntech round I can take my reloads to range that prohibit handloads by using their boxes.

    • CompletelyOutsane

      PPGMD, Please send a link where you get these bullets for .06 each, delivered.

      • Bayou and Blue Bullets are the two I shop at. You just have to wait for sales, and/or use discount codes.

        • CompletelyOutsane


    • barnjoer

      Yes please send the link

  • E T

    They should offer HST components.

  • Aono

    If they want to make a good first impression they should include accurate doppler g7 data and build a reputation for integrity in advertising.

  • HSR47

    I’m just waiting for them to get back into the Small Pistol Primer market…

  • Nick

    The problem with the syntech bullets will always be the price. They’re nearly twice the price of plated bullets (which perform better), and almost even with common “defense” bullet options.

    What’s worse, there’s plenty of small timers out there producing a similar product using Hi-Tek’s coatings who sell them at a price just above (or equal) to cast.

  • Beju

    Barring pushing reloads way outside of SAAMI specs, is barrel wear in 9mm/.40/.45 a big enough issue to justify the expense of these polymer coated bullets?

    • raz-0

      Well outside of hornady’s fantasy pricing, polymer is good for keeping the reloader and reloading machine clean, and is less smoky than lead. Mostly.

      For me I went back to plated. It’s even cleaner, and the finish is less delicate. the coated bullets squeak out more accuracy, but the near zero smoke form plated means I can actually see what I want to shoot regardless of how the light is hitting the bay.

      I also shoot mostly .40, so the price difference per k is about $7. For 147gr 9mm bullets, coated to plated is about $10-12.

  • Dragonheart

    After Sandy Hook which was way back in 2012 I couldn’t buy the quantity of bullets i needed to shoot in weekly IDPA matches and practice. To feed my need I got back into casting my own bullets, something I had not done for 40 years, but with one big change. I powdered coated my bullets instead of using the sticky, messy grease lube which was the reason I quit casting in the first place.
    So i have been shooting polymer jacketed bullets since then and Federal’s touts are right on. Polymer jacketed bullets encase the lead, do not corrode, are more accurate, better lubrication, no leading, leaves a clean barrel. no barrel wear, feed better in semi-autos, will feed in reloading bullet feeders, clean to handle and the women shooters at my range love all the colors.

  • Norm Glitz

    Now if they’d sell the bullet from their Gold Medal Match series, I’d be a buyer. Especially the 45 ACP 185 grain SWC bullet.

  • markrb

    Mold your own and powder coat them. Pennies a round.