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First Look: Federal Premium HammerDown

First Look: Federal Premium HammerDown

Federal Premium launched its all-new HammerDown ammunition in 2020, which is designed specifically for the time-tested lever-action rifle. At the core of Federal's HammerDown loads is an optimized formula that ensures heightened performance from standard lever-action rifle barrel lengths. The rounds also feature bullets, cases and cartridge designs that are optimized for trouble-free feeding through tube magazines.

"Federal wanted to make certain that we were filling the needs of our customers. We had a gap in our ammunition assortment for lever-action firearms and received feedback from our customers that they needed “better performing” ammunition for their lever-action firearms," said Eric Miller, Federal Ammunition centerfire rifle product line manager. "As we completely designed and develop this product line, we wanted to collaborate with a firearms manufacturer that was known for lever-action firearms. Henry Repeating Firearms was a natural fit and has been a great resource for this project. In total, the end result of HammerDown is about 2 years in the making."

For the January launch of the company's HammerDown product line, Federal selected the most popular lever-action rifle calibers. This includes .327 Federal Mag., .357 Mag., 44 Mag., .45 Colt, .30-30 Win., and 45-70 Government. The .35 Rem. cartridge will come soon after the initial product launch, and Federal has plans to expand the lineup in the future.

To optimize feeding through magazine tubes, Federal chamfered the case of all HammerDown cartridges. These improved cases feature specialized geometry on the front face of the case’s rim. This difference improves cycling in all lever-action feeding systems.

All options in the HammerDown product line feature molecularly bonded bullets. This process of bonding copper plating to a lead core is similar to how Federal’s Fusion and Speer’s Gold Dot bullets are manufactured. This time-tested bonding technique is designed to deliver impressive expansion and keep the bullet together during impact. Since many of the products in the HammerDown lineup are traditionally handgun cartridges, Federal loaded those cartridges with heavy-for-caliber bullets and set them to increased velocities to deliver better depth of penetration when shot out of rifle barrels.

Other features found in Federal Premium's HammerDown lineup include nickel-plated brass designed to aid in case extraction, as well as clean-burning powders and the company's Gold Medal primers. The rounds will also offer new straight-wall hunting cartridges for hunters in states with restrictions on necked cartridges for hunting use.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Pricing (MSRP) on the HammerDown lineup is $19.99 for all cartridge offerings, except 45-70 Government, which is $38.99.

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