Fiocchi Ammunition Changes With the Times

Logo for Fiocchi Ammunition

Giulio Fiocchi is a legend in the munitions world. His story seems to be one made by chance, yet the Italian accountant took an opportunity that created one of the most respected ammunition companies in the world.

Birth of Fiocchi

In 1876, Guilio Fiocchi worked as an accountant in a bank in Milan. Fiocchi’s job included collecting debts from past due clients. During a trip to Lecco, Fiocchi met with the owner of a company that manufactured black powder and muskets. The owner told Fiocchi that he was unable to pay the loan and had gone bankrupt. Fiocchi met with his brother, Giacomo, and the pair decided to buy the ammunition business. Guilio secured a loan from his bank and the brothers bought the company. They named the company Giulio Fiocchi Enterprises.

The Great World Wars

The Fiocchi brothers renamed the company Fiocchi Ammunition (Fiocchi Munizioni). Fiocchi changed operations when the muzzle-loader was replaced by the breech-loader. Fiocchi made reloadable primer cases. The Fiocchi’s changed operations once again when black powder was no longer being used.

Before World War I, Fiocchi was dedicated to manufacturing ammunition for hunting and sports shooting. World War I brought the opportunity to make and sell ammo to the Italian army. The Germans seized Fiocchi Ammunition during World War II, but the company’s employees managed to hold them off from the ground. Sadly, Allied planes destroyed the original factory.

The Fiocchi’s built a new plant in 1946 after the war. The company upgraded its equipment and began to produce more advanced ammunition.

Being Resourceful

Fiocchi has always been a resourceful company, which may be because of Guilio’s financial background. Initially, the factory threw away its scrap metal. It was suggested that rather than throwing it away, they could use it for another purpose. The company began to produce metal snaps, saving its money. The fashion industry had made the use of snaps popular, so making the closures was short of genius. Fiocchi sold that part of the business in the 1980s for a large profit.

Giving Back

The Fiocchi family helps employees and the community by giving back. In 1904, Fiocchi built houses for its employees, provided childcare and paid for medical insurance, something that is still done today.

Fiocchi of America, Inc.

Fiocchi arrived in the U.S. in the 1950s, when it shared an Illinois factory with Smith & Wesson. The partnership ended when there were disagreements between the two companies. Things changed again when Carlo Fiocchi, great-grandson of Giulio, visited to the U.S. on his honeymoon. In 1983, Fiocchi of America resumed business in the U.S. and began to import ammunition.

Fiocchi couldn’t keep up with customer demand. Carlo and company president Paolo Fiocchi talked about building a plant in the U.S. to help them fill orders. History repeated itself when the Fiocchi’s bought land from a farmer who couldn’t make his mortgage payments. The fourth generation of Fiocchi’s now operate the company and it is stronger than ever.

 

.223 Remington From Combat to Popular Use

.223 Remington ammo

The .223 Remington cartridge came from a series of designs that were created after the Second World War. Germany had made famous their MP43 assault rifle. Military leaders demanded that their firearms designers follow suit. Designers were ordered to create ammunition that could mirror the success of the 7.92×33 Kurz cartridge. They required the ammo to be light enough to carry into combat and powerful enough to defeat its enemies. Munitions designers experimented with prototype assault rifles and scaled down cartridges. Members of the newly-formed NATO agreed to work together to create a universal rifle for the allied infantry.

Development of .223 Remington

The 1950s changed the firearms industry in many ways. The American military demanded lightweight rifles. In 1955, ArmaLite’s Chief Engineer, Eugene Stoner, presented his design for the ArmaLite AR-10. The AR-10 was the first lightweight infantry rifle, chambered to the 7.62x51mm NATO. The military rejected the AR-10 in favor of the M14, most likely because the former was too late to complete the appropriate tests.

The military revived the AR-10’s hopes in 1957. The United States Continental Army Command asked for a smaller version of the gun. They wanted the new rifle to use .22 caliber ammo. Stoner invented the AR-15 rifle.

In 1964, the U.S. Air Force adopted the AR-15 as the M-16 rifle. The rifle eventually became standard issue for the military.

In 1980, the .223 Remington round was changed again. It now uses a 62-grain full metal jacket bullet with a 7-grain steel core for improved penetration.

Current Specifications

The standard .223 cartridge uses a .224-inch diameter boat-tailed bullet in a rimless, bottle-necked case. The bullet measures 1.76 inches in length with the overall length of the round is 2.26 inches.

Standard factory loads range in weight from 35 to 85 grains. However, the most common is the 55-grain bullet. It uses a small rifle primer and has a max pressure of 55,000 PSI.

Popular Use

Remington introduced .223 ammo to the general public one month before it was adopted by the Air Force. It uses a lower pressure than the 5.56 NATO. As a result, it is good for target shooting, plinking and for first-timers or kids. Although it isn’t legal in all states, hunters often use the ammo to hunt deer or similar medium-size game. Perhaps the most common use is to control varmints – rats, rabbits, gophers, weasels and groundhogs, etc. The round can also stop larger pests such as skunks, coyotes, feral dogs and cats, raccoons, and opossums. The ammunition is relatively cheap, especially if it’s purchased in bulk. Secondly, it’s easy to get and can be used for a variety of things.

In addition to general use, .223 ammo is also a preferred round for law enforcement agencies. Police often use the ammo in their patrol cars, often as a replacement for a 12-gauge shotgun if they require more accuracy and precision.

With its wide range and popularity, the .223 Remington cartridge will continue to be one of America’s favorite rounds for years to come.