FBI Loading Up with Hornady Critical Duty and Custom Federal Ammo

(Photo: Hornady)

Hornady Manufacturing and Federal Premium Ammunition are pleased to announce that the FBI awarded both companies with contracts for duty and training ammo. The contracts will run for up to the next five years.

They are Infinite Delivery/Infinite Quantity contracts and reflect well on both companies. The Federal Premium contract is worth up to $19 million and the Hornady as much as $35 million.

The FBI needs new ammunition contracts to feed their new handguns. Just recently the agency announced that they were making the switch from .40 S&W pistols to 9mm Luger guns.

“Being awarded this contract by the FBI is a significant moment in our company’s history,” said Hornady vice president Jason Hornady. “We’ve worked tirelessly to develop the finest law enforcement ammunition products on the market. Knowing that the FBI relies on our ammunition is a testament to the innovation and tenacity exhibited by all the hard-working people at Hornady. We’re extremely proud to be selected by the FBI.”

Federal Premium president Jason Vanderbrink also said that his people are extremely proud of their contract. “[This] continues Federal Premium’s long-running tradition of supplying law enforcement, military personnel and civilians worldwide with the most reliable ammunition possible,” he said.

The FBI selected Hornady’s Critical Duty 9mm+P ammunition for use on duty. The agency is already familiar with the product as they also used Critical Defense in their .40 S&W firearms. Federal is supplying the agency with a custom round made to the FBI’s specifications.

One reason the FBI might have to order custom ammo to match the shooting characteristics of the duty ammo. The match-grade ammo burns clean with lead-free primers, reducing exposure to shooters and range staff.

“This high-value, optimized training round utilizes a new match-grade bullet designed specifically for the FBI to maximize accuracy, along with Federal Premium’s Catalyst lead-free primer formulation to provide reliable, consistent ignition,” said Vanderbrink.

See Also: FBI Awards Glock with $85 Million Contract for 9mm Pistols

Federal currently isn’t offering their FBI load to the public. But the same technology goes into a lot of their other ammo including their very clean-running Syntech ammo.

Hornady does offer Critical Duty commercially. Designed to meet law enforcement needs, Critical Duty offers significant performance through barriers. Made for full-size handguns, Critical Duty may not work well with short-barreled guns. The ammo depends on high velocities for full expansion.

For anyone looking for a round with a similar design made for compact handguns or concealed carry the Critical Defense series may be a better choice.

And while the caliber debate may never be over, the agency did evaluate 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP before deciding to go with 9mm.  Score one for #Team9mm.

***Did you know you can buy ammo right here on GunsAmerica.com? Check it out!***

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Adam November 2, 2018, 6:52 pm

    There some straight ignorant ass comments going on hear!!!

    Any one stupid enough to think there is any notable difference in 9mm, .40 S&W, & 45 ACP is a FOOL!


    Hell the FBI ballistic testing team will tell you that. Im old, but yall idiots must be WW1 kinda old. Do yourself a favor and READ! Hell you can look it up. Hear I will throw yall a bone. Google Dr. Gary Roberts

    Hell you can talk to him on PF.com!

    Oh and the .357 Sig about the only thing it can do better then the 9mm, .40 S&W, & .45 ACP is punch through auto door’s.

    Any body with the slight bit of knowledge will know no the bring a pistol to a gun fight. Bring a F*cken RIFLE!!!!!!

    The comment about the .38 being better then a 9mm………

    …….. I prey that was a joke. If not God bless you cause your like 35 years to damn late to the party son!

  • Andrew N May 13, 2018, 2:27 am

    A couple of points; The Us Govt. got away from .361 caliber bullets after the Moro disaster. They went BACK to a .45, a proven stopper. The .40 S&W has a bigger bullet than a 9mm, but smaller than the .45. Yes, all bullets have improved since the early days, but a bigger hole is still a bigger hole. The 40 allows the ballistics of a 45 on a 9mm platform. Nice. The 9mm gets you 2-3 more rounds per magazine. Great, if it’s a gunfight, but if it’s a one-on-one, how many shots do you need to kill someone? If you cant do it with 14 rounds of 40, what makes you think 17 rounds of 9mm are going to do it? Personally, I would like to see the guy who’s hit 7-8 time with a 45 and still coming at you. If so, get a Tank, no handgun will do. So, the real point is, why change from the 40? I can buy an awful lot of 40 for the price of switching to a decent 9mm. Why not leave well enough alone? The Gov’t just loves to spend our money!

  • Tuc May 6, 2018, 10:02 am

    The FBI is loading up to overthrow the U.S government and “we the people”.

  • Jay May 5, 2018, 10:02 am

    I see from the comments the old 9mm, 40 cal, 45 debate is still far from settled, despite all the years of real world evidence, you just can not convince some people! In the real world with actual autopsy results from all three calibers. The expansion difference in all three calibers has been proven to be not more than .040 difference on average and that’s assuming they do expand as intended. The evidence shows and has proven that the calibers of handguns, we must understand that bleeding takes time, and the time for a person to be incapacitated is unpredictable unless something like the brain stem, or the heart is destroyed, and even then the person has 10 to 15 seconds of life left, they can still return fire. If a person has more rounds to inflict more injuries you have an improved potential of incapacitation, and when they are accurate shots, to vital areas, the results are more predicted to have the intended outcome.No matter what you carry Shot Placement will always rule the road!! Carry what you shoot well, despite the caliber preachers!

  • J May 5, 2018, 12:11 am

    What is the Federal Round, Bullet, or Load? I mean goodness sakes! Don’t produce an article and not tell us the item number, part number, name or something. Is it the LE9T1? The New Gold Dot G2? (Yes I know the G2 is Speer, but if you are attempting to call me out on the G2 , ATK owns Federal and Speer same company basically) So what is the Federal Load? What Grain is it and what grain is the Hornady Critical Duty? Is Federal Assembling the Critical Duty for Hornady, providing the materials to build it? Let us know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

  • William Allen May 4, 2018, 6:21 pm

    Why is no one seemingly hot for the 357 Mag? A 9 and 40 are just pistols. A 357 is a GUN.

    • Kelly Lee May 5, 2018, 7:56 am


    • Mason February 24, 2019, 11:35 pm

      You’re correct in that the .357 magnum is the king when it came to terminal performance. The legendary street sweeper was a 125 gr Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point loaded by either Remington or Federal Doing 1450 fps and 582 ft-lbs.

      However today’s gunfights require capacity. The 357 Sig in the Glock Model 31 platform can scratch that itch if you pair it with Underwood Ammo 125 gr Speer Gold Dots 1500 fps 632 ft-lbs exceeding the original performance of the .357 magnum and giving you 15+1.

  • Mark May 4, 2018, 2:07 pm

    Wow New York really Taught hornady a lesson by not allowing banks to lend to gun -ammunition company’s. Just shows that even the FBI hates “ old screwed up York” the more left turds rebel the more I buy $

  • Realspark21 May 4, 2018, 1:30 pm

    In 9mm, I like the ballistics of the Critical Duty, but prefer the Speer Gold Dot. The G2 is not getting it in my opinion…unfortunately, it is sitting in the gun on my hip and the extra mags on the opposite side since my agency bought the FBI’s G2 madness a few years ago. The round is better out of long barreled guns (P320, G34, Carbines, etc) than out of the shorter barreles guns…don’t agree? Find a range or backyard outside the city and shoot it into some easily obtainable testing media…the results will be there for your own eyes…we did and are shooting up the G2 as fast as we can train with it….unfortunately, the Critical Duty is amazingly expensive in quantity…which is why the FBI is getting a training load to go along with duty load.

    My two cents….or centavos, depending on the area you live in.

  • mike May 4, 2018, 12:13 pm

    Please spare me the 9mm hooplah! The 40 caliber IS and will ALWAYS be the #1 round in american law enforcement.
    I know of no local or state police dept in my new england area that is switching to 9MM. just because a federal agency switched , does not make them experts.

    • Jerry Molloy May 5, 2018, 12:53 pm

      9mm is peep squeek round and always will be… FBI already knows this from expereience don’t think they want to have an instant repeat with this round

  • Mike S May 4, 2018, 11:43 am

    FBI needs to clean house and clean up their act before they’re allowed any more ammo.

  • Anthony Leal May 4, 2018, 10:42 am

    Well, the Feds can have their 9mm, ill stick to my 357 Sig, Federal HST 125 grain. Been carrying this for 10 years now.

  • BRASS May 4, 2018, 10:15 am

    Initially I was surprised with this decision, then I remembered that the FBI biases their ammunition choices towards hard barrier penetration like windshields/sheet metal versus maximum energy transfer/expansion.
    For a personal defense roll while Hornady is highly rated, Federal Premium’s New Hydra-Shok and Speer Gold Dot have been more reliable in combining both reliable expansion and penetration in test mediums.

  • Shawn May 4, 2018, 10:06 am

    As usual, there is “no news here.“ Simply a repeat of some press releases without any useful information. A better description of the ammunition adopted would be central to this “article.“ I am sure we are all concerned about what happened to the 147 grain Winchester round and the 147 grain G2 round. Save yourself the trouble and simply put a link to the press releases for these companies since apparently the features of this new ammunition are somewhat akin to nuclear launch codes in the sense that they are apparently super secret. Either that, or the “reporter“ was brought over from the mainstream media and simply laps up what he was given and puts no critical thinking into the article

  • kerry purcell May 4, 2018, 9:54 am

    tried the 9 mm for a while,still have them, went to the 40,,,,its the better cartridge,,,,,the 38 special with good loads has the edge on the 9 mm,,,,,the 40 is better for power,,,if you have problems with the slight more recoil the 40 has,, stick to the 22 magnum,,,,380,or 32s,,learn to shoot,,,,,

  • Phred May 4, 2018, 8:47 am

    The FBI has deteriorated into a left wing bunch of political hacks. They should be disbanded.

  • Barry May 4, 2018, 8:39 am

    My question is, are the weapons they currently have not doing the job? If so why are they spending $85 million dollars of our money to replace a weapon that is performing the job they ask? Typical government. It’s easy to spend money that’s not yours.

  • Altoids May 4, 2018, 6:14 am

    Looks like the FBI will need to re-learn their lesson from the ass whooping they took in 1986, which is why they got away from 9mm to begin with.

    Those who ignore history are destined to relive it.

    • Phil May 4, 2018, 10:19 am

      It’s not as simple as you say. Only two of the agents at the shootout were SWAT members with 9mm pistols. We can all agree the Winchester Silvertip from 33 years ago is nothing like modern 9mm ammo now.

      Ed Mireles ended the gunfight by killing the two shooters with a .357. Does that mean they should all start carrying those again? Obviously not.

      The shootout was a lesson in tactics as much as it was about equipment but the FBI didn’t want to admit that, so it became a referendum on caliber. They don’t carry the 10mm anymore either, more evidence that changing the caliber of your gun isn’t a magical fix to your problem.

      Other lessons were 1) wear body armor 2) if you’re blind without your glasses, make sure they’re secure on your head 3) carry a backup and spare ammo 4) tailor your load out to the threat- a Mini-14 still trumps .38 revolvers

    • Bill T May 4, 2018, 11:22 am

      My exact thought. The govt has already forgotten the butt-kicking that caused the 10mm / 40 S&W adventure. Always count on government to make bad decisions.

  • james d Hopkins April 29, 2018, 9:36 am

    135 in either+9 or standard pressure, and yes. Hornady clean sweeped the trials!!!
    Been carrying +P in my duty Sig and off duty Glock for 7 years.

  • james d Hopkins April 29, 2018, 9:35 am

    Finally!! Only took 20+ years to admit a ridiculous waste of time and money.. .40 S&W.. a literal answer for a question no one actually asked…. Unless you were looking for a”problem” to hide yet another screw up on your part.. good riddance… .40 $¥!+ And Weak!!!!. Don’t bother arguing.. the 9&.45 are significantly more capable..

  • Grigori April 29, 2018, 2:44 am

    Am I to take it that this means the Gold Dot G2 round was an abysmal failure on all counts and that the FBI no longer is onsidering it as a carry round?

  • Grigori April 29, 2018, 2:21 am

    What grain weights will these bullets have?

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