Super Collector David Fredrickson Named Federal’s Honorary Historian

posted on April 28, 2015

Gun collectors are fixtures at the NRA Annual Meetings, and they enrich the Exhibit Hall experience with jaw-dropping exhibits featuring fine guns, gear and rare memorabilia.

This year’s event in Nashville brought one very special collector into the spotlight. David “Doc” Fredrickson of St. Cloud, Minn., has for many years been a “super collector” of everything imaginable connected to Federal Cartridge. Since boyhood in the 1960s, starting with empty boxes he picked up while hunting with his dad, Fredrickson has amassed a collection spanning Federal’s entire production of shotshells and rifle and pistol cartridges dating back to the 1920s. Along the way his collection expanded to include signage, shipping boxes, promotional materials, literature and more. He has even written books on the company and its history. And so after nearly a half-century as unofficial, unpaid historian, Federal formally named Doc its Honorary Historian. They marked the occasion by screening a fascinating short video that established exactly how much the company has meant to his life, and in turn, how much he has meant to the life of the company.

It turns out that Doc Fredrickson is not just a supreme collector. He’s a lifelong hunter who favors waterfowling and upland birds, he is a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam war, a former deputy sheriff, and served professionally as an emergency room physician. It was an impressive portrait of a man who exemplifies what hunters and collectors are all about.

After the video, Fredrickson took questions from the crowd, and we learned even more about his passion for collecting. He said his ultimate goal is to keep the collection intact so that people can reminisce about Federal. He’s very proud of it, but admitted that it has gotten “pretty damn big” and that he’s “sorta running out of space.” He rates his visits to the Federal plant in Anoka, Minn., and enjoyed meeting long-time CEO Bill Horn and other employees. While he particularly appreciates the colorful packaging used in the 1920-30s, Fredrickson said that today’s shell and cartridge boxes are good looking and that buyers are attracted to colors and pictures of game animals.

Although Fredrickson’s lifelong devotion is exceptional, collecting things that reflect our passions is a common bond among shooters. Keep that in mind, as you pursue your shooting interests. Future generations could very well be inspired by what you have experienced.    


Burnside Carbine Ihtog 1
Burnside Carbine Ihtog 1

I Have This Old Gun: Burnside Carbine

In the American Civil War, there was an incredible variety of small arms used, particularly within cavalry units. One of the most popular cavalry carbines used throughout the war was the Burnside carbine.

New For 2024: Mossberg Patriot 400 Legend

Mossberg expanded its Patriot bolt-action rifle line to encompass one of the newest straight-wall hunting cartridges on the market: 400 Legend.

I Have This Old Gun: Norinco 84S

The Norinco 84S presents the same general appearance as the Chinese-made 56S because it has the same overall length, is built around a stamped sheet-steel receiver and uses the same hooded front sight base, the same 45-degree gas block, the same fire-control components, the same wood furniture and the same high-polish blued finish.

Rifleman Q&A: Boattail Bullets And Barrel Erosion

In the recent spate of “long-range” boattail bullets presented to the market, I’ve observed the boattail’s degree of departure from the bullet’s cylindrical axis varies substantially from one design to another.

Quick Hits On 10 6.5 mm Cartridges

With so many 6.5 mm cartridges from which to choose, deciding on the one that’s right for you can be a challenge—so here’s a quick guide to help sort them out.

The Armed Citizen® Feb. 19, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.