Federal Premium won a five-year contract worth up to $20 million from the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, operated under the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command. Terms of the agreement begin this year for the delivery of .40-caliber frangible training rounds employing Federal Premium’s lead-free Catalyst high-performance primer.
“We’re proud the U.S. Navy for this important contract,” said Jason Nash, Federal Premium senior director of marketing. “Our Catalyst lead-free priming technology is a major breakthrough and we’re excited to see it used by those that protect our freedom.”
Unlike other lead-free primers, clean-burning Catalyst is not hygroscopic, so it won’t absorb the ignition-inhibiting moisture that produces less-than-reliable ignition. In addition, it fuels a more efficient powder burn, improving bullet velocity consistency.
As for the projectile, Federal Premium isn’t a newcomer to frangible bullets. Its Ballistclean line for recreational shooters appeared in 2011.
Although there’s no official word if a consumer version is or will be available, Federal Premium’s Syntech American Eagle family of cartridges employs the same efficient primer. Although also ideally suited for training, the bullet has a solid lead core—unlike the frangible ammo ordered by Naval Surface Warfare. The Total Synthetic Jacket bullets (TSJ) minimize metal-to-metal contact in the barrel—thereby decreasing fouling and subsequent cleaning required—and the projectile doesn’t wear a copper jacket, a move that reduces splash-back when engaging metal targets. Loads include 115-grain 9 mm, 165-grains in .40 S&W and 230 in .45 ACP.
The Federal Premium Action Pistol cartridges announced at the 2018 SHOT Show also use the same primer, although its performance may be slightly closer to military requirements. “It features the same TSJ, but is loaded to competition power-factory requirements,” said Federal Premium Handgun Ammunition Design Engineer John Swenson. “Its heavy, flatter-nose bullets provide more reliable knock-downs on steel targets in competition and drastically reduce splash-back.” It’s also available in 9 mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.