The 5 Best Fiocchi Loads

Fiocchi 9mm Luger ammo with two handguns

Among the makers I respect and keep on hand is Fiocchi. I have used Fiocchi FMJ loads by the thousands in testing firearms. A proven loading with good reliability is important when you are proofing a new introduction.

A full metal jacketed bullet, a properly researched and applied powder charge, and good quality control are important parts of cartridge integrity. Fiocchi’s jacketed loads in .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W and .45 ACP are on hand for proofing firearms.

I use Fiocchi’s revolver loads for accuracy testing and the rifle loads are also important in my work. Fiocchi pistol ammunition uses jacketed hollow-point bullets that are well designed, offer good feed reliability and provide a good balance of expansion and penetration.

While handgun accuracy is interesting, when it comes to rifles, the performance at 200 and 300 yards demands precision. Fiocchi ammunition has provided good results in a wide range of firearms.

It was a little difficult to narrow down five loads, but that is what this series is about. So, let’s look at five Fiocchi loads that have given excellent service.

1. Fiocchi 9mm Luger 124-Grain Extrema

The Extrema line uses the proven Hornady XTP bullet. Using nickel-plated cases with good quality control, these are interesting 9mm Luger loads. I have fired excellent groups with this loading using a custom Browning Hi-Power with Bar-Sto barrel.

A 1.5-inch, five-shot group at 25 yards demonstrates the load’s accuracy potential. This loading averages 1144 fps in the five-inch barrel Hi-Power, and 1102 fps in the compact CZ P-10 S. Standard deviation between shots is a low 12 fps.

This load isn’t a +P offering, and that means good control in even the lightest handgun. Not that performance isn’t good. Penetration is 18-20 inches and expansion .54 inch. Weight retention is 100 percent.

This is an affordable loading that you may stock up on for use in any 9mm firearm.

expanded Fiocchi 9mm Luger bullet
This is an expanded Fiocchi 9mm Luger bullet.

2. Fiocchi .45 ACP  200-Grain Extrema

This is a rule beater in some ways. I enjoy firing high-end 1911 handguns perhaps more than any other firearm.  230-grain match-grade loads, or a carefully loaded 200-grain hard cast SWC, are usually the most accurate loadings.

The Fiocchi .45 ACP 200-grain load has proven to be the accuracy load in a number of firearms. This number breaks 970 fps from a Commander-length barrel. I have fired a 1.4-inch, 25-yard group with this load and the Guncrafter CCO.

Performance is excellent, and the balance of expansion and penetration is good. This is a good carry load and also a good target load.

1911 pistol and revolver and .45 ACP Fiocchi Ammo
In short or long-barrel handguns, the Fiocchi 200-grain XTP has provided excellent service.

3. Fiocchi .45 Colt 250-Grain

I appreciate the .45 Colt very much. I use these handguns as trail guns when hiking or spelunking. It is good to have something on the hip that will stop the largest animals or bad guys.

For general use and practice, a good quality ‘cowboy load’ is desirable. The Fiocchi load is affordable, burns clean and offers modest recoil at 700 fps (average for cowboy loads).

The loading uses a hard alloy lead bullet. This alloy is harder than the soft lead bullets used in original loads. A box or two of these loads doesn’t result in leading of the barrel. I like this load a lot.

Fiocchi also offers a FMJ .45 Colt loading that eliminates leading completely. I like it for use in my Winchester 1892 carbine. The lead bullet load is traditional and among my favorite revolver loads.

For practice, light recoil and solid accuracy, this is a good choice.

Fiocchi .45 Colt and Single Action Revolver
Among the author’s favorite calibers is the .45 Colt. The Fiocchi 230-grain load is an excellent all-around choice.

4. Fiocchi .223 Remington 69-Grain SMK

Given a shooter that understands load selection, the .223 Remington is very versatile. You can shoot varmints, take many species of thin-skinned game cleanly, enjoy firing in competition and plink just to make brass.

As a home defender or a dedicated firearm for area defense, the AR-15 is ideal. Recoil is light, the rifle is fun to shoot and ammunition is affordable.

I have changed service loads in the .45 ACP and shotgun several times, but the 69-grain Match King has remained a constant. I have handloaded this bullet and find it a good choice.

Fiocchi offers a top-tier factory loading using the 69-grain HPBT. The real work of testing AR-15 rifles is often accomplished with this loading. Real work is taking the rifle in hand with the utmost concentration and getting the most out of accuracy.

If the rifle doesn’t shoot well with the 69-grain Match King Fiocchi load, it isn’t going to shoot well at all. Wound potential is important, and this load provided excellent potential.

Gelatin testing shows an average of 15 inches of penetration and expansion to .40, while retaining 41 grains of weight. My own water testing shows 14.0 inches of penetration and identical expansion with slightly greater weight retention.

This is a formidable combination and among the best loads for overall AR-15 use. A few months ago, I laid in a good supply of the Fiocchi .223 Remington load made in Fiocchi’s modern plant in Ozark Missouri.

I have enjoyed uniformly excellent results with this loading. It is affordable, but also high quality. I would not hesitate to use this load in any 3-Gun Match, for hunting or for critical use.

Among the most recent results is firing the Aero Precision gun my son put together. It is topped with a TruGlo Eminus rifle scope and achieves a .9 inch average at 100 yards.

Fiocchi .223 Remington Ammo
Fiocchi’s 69-grain SMK loading is among the author’s to go loads.

5. Fiocchi .308 Winchester 150-Grain SST

This .308 Winchester loading uses the proven Hornady SST bullet. The Super Shock Tip bullet is a secant ogive InterLock bullet with a red polymer tip. The bullet has been in use with excellent results for over 20 years.

The ballistic coefficient is high and the SST is a low-drag design. I have used this loading in bolt-action precision rifles and a number of AR-type .308s, including the Springfield Victor, the Springfield M1A and the Browning Automatic Rifle, always with good results.

This load is among a very few with equal utility in tactical rifles, hunting rifles and precision rifles. It is accurate enough for long-range use and offers proven performance for medium-sized game.

Fiocchi .308 Winchester Ammo and AR-10
Fiocchi’s 150-grain SST has exhibited excellent accuracy in the Springfield Victor.

What is your favorite Fiocchi load? Why? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (4)

  1. I agree with the reviewer. Fiocchi rounds have been excellent for me. Clean & reliable. ONE BIG PROBLEM – try and find some now.

  2. I have a Rem Mel 788 and Rug No. 3 in .223 rem. Would each of these stabilize the SMK 69 grain bullet? Both are 1:10 twist barrels.

  3. I have always had great admiration and respect for Fiocchi. Some years back they were the only ammunition manufacturer I gould go to for 7.65 Parabellum (.30 Luger). Fiocchi kept my early pistole parabellum running for a long time. Even with the 7.65 Parabellum’s small bottle necked case these rounds were, with care, reloadable.

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