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.
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.
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.