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