Fiocchi: By Shooters For Shooters
When Giulio Fiocchi—a bank manager in Milan, Italy—inspected a musket and blackpowder manufacturer in nearby Lecco that defaulted on a loan in 1876, he found all the right ingredients to launch Fiocchi Ammunition. The borrower was insolvent, and with little chance of paying back the funds its skilled metalworkers were about to be jobless.
Although armed with little gun knowledge at the time, he understood the recent introduction of metallic cartridges signaled a revolution in the firearm industry. His brother Giacomo, who had studied engineering at the University of Milan, visited the closing facility and agreed it was ideal for a company specializing in the new ammunition. Giulio’s bank floated a loan, musket production ceased and by 1877 cartridges were coming out of the factory under the Giulio Fiocchi Enterprise name.
Fiocchi During the World Wars
Giulio had 13 children and his belief in family showed with workplace benefits—a rarity at the time. By 1904 he was building employee housing and paying wages generous enough for workers to purchase the homes.
Women were hired long before it was accepted practice and a nursery was established for staff-members’ children. The efforts built a loyalty so deep that it’s not uncommon for an employee today to be a third- or fourth-generation member of their family working at Fiocchi.
The company thrived and during World War 1 Italy relied on Fiocchi to supply its military with ammunition. Carlo inherited the company in 1916 after his father, Giulio, died.
Then Word War II struck. Nazis occupied the factory, only to attempt its destruction once it became obvious Axis powers would be driven from Italy. The effort was thwarted by loyal employees, but the plant ultimately fell victim to Allied bombing.
Family members faced a difficult decision after the war—rebuild or abandon the business? They decided to pour savings into the company, virtually starting from scratch. Everything was retooled, re-machined and modernized, putting it decades ahead of many of its competitors that probably considered emerging from the global conflict unscarred an asset. Without help from the Marshall Plan, the factory rose from the ruins with the latest in technology.
Fiocchi entered into a partnership with Smith & Wesson in the 1950s and opened a plant in Alton, IL—the company’s first entry into the United States. The firms parted ways, though, and the fabled Italian ammunition maker temporarily lost its American footing.
In 1983, sensing the growth of the shooting sports stateside, the company returned by establishing Fiocchi of America in Springfield, MO. They selected Missouri for its shipping-strategic central location, and the company’s ammunition was once again available in the U.S.
Keeping up with the tastes of enthusiasts stateside, however, proved a logistical challenge when loaded shotshells were shipped long-distance from Italy. A year and a half later, the company secured property for a new plant near Ozark, MO, where 90 percent of its American employees work today and more than 75 percent of all Fiocchi ammunition sold in the United States is assembled.
Wads and empty primed hulls are imported from Bashieri & Pellagriand Gualandi and Fiocchi Munizioni, respectively, but all propellant comes from U.S. sources. As for the projectiles, the company has solid working relationships with some of America’s finest.
Today it loads bullets from Hornady and Sierra Bullets, ensuring the kind of exterior and terminal ballistics shooters expect. Naturally, the company has a full lineup of full metal jacket cartridges for high-volume shooters, as well as other styles—even some blanks—from which to choose. Fiocchi has NATO certification, which means much of its ammo is suitable for use by all militaries in the alliance.
The fact that the company’s U.S. sales have increased 500 percent since 2005 speaks volumes for the quality and reliability of its products. A lot that is attributable to Fiocchi’s dedication to innovation in shotshells—where customized loads for its stable of title-holding international shotgunners often migrate into commercial offerings.
Fiocchi Exacta Target Shotshells
Look no further than Fiocchi USA’s Exacta Target Loads if you’re serious about busting clays. The company has developed the kind of shotshells that win at the International level for more than five decades, and the experience shows. They’re available in different load weights and velocities, each tailored to fit different shooter preferences and the nuances of the shotgun they shoulder.
The Little Rinos, for example, are 12-gauge 2 3/4-inch shotshells with a single ounce of either No. 7 1/2 or No. 8 lead shot, your choice. Regardless of the pellet size, muzzle velocity is identical at 1,250 fps. Turning the load up a notch, White Rinos—also part of the Exacta Target line—come in the same length shotshell, and feature 1 1/8-ounce loads of lead shot (same two shot sizes) that still leave the barrel at 1,250 fps. The interior contents are similar in the Crushers and Super Crushers, but muzzle velocities increase to 1,300 fps. Exacta Target loads are also available in 20-gauge and .410-bore. When a title is at stake, Fiocchi understands small tweaks can make a world of difference.
Fiocchi Shooting Dynamics Target Shotshells
This line is the official ammo of the Professional Sporting Clays Association and there’s good reason. One or 1 1/8 ounce of chilled shot rides atop a one-piece shotcup in the 12-gauge flavors, and when coupled with the company’s precision hull production, delivers the flight reliability required for high-scoring consistency. It’s also available in 20-gauge versions.
Fiocchi Hunting Ammo
The company hasn’t forgotten about hunters and offers a variety of options that include its leaded Game and Target line, Speed Steel tailored for waterfowlers, Golden Pheasant and others. Blanks and rubber buckshot ammo ideal for hazing nuisance wildlife in rural settings are also available, as well as slugs and buckshot tailored for law enforcement, home defense and hunting.
Fiocchi Centerfire Ammo
The unrivaled performance of Fiocchi America shotshells unjustly overshadows its centerfire cartridges. It offers a complete-line of full-metal-jacketed loads for high-volume shooters on a budget, but if connecting at distance is your game, take a close look at the Exacta Match offerings. They feature Sierra MatchKing Bullets and those correspondingly high ballistic coefficients. For hunting the company produces cartridges with Hornady’s famed V-Max or InterLock bullets. Self-defense enthusiasts will appreciate the hollow point loads and the renowned Hornady XTP (eXtreme Terminal Performance) version. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a hunter, carry concealed or enjoy ringing steel at 1,000 meters.
Fiocchi is still a family-owned and operated business to this day.
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