March 06, 2023
By J. Scott Rupp
Fiocchi ammunition has been around since 1876, and while some shooters are quite familiar with the company, American big game hunters may not be. The company is out to change all that.
Fiocchi’s U.S. arm has been in operation since 1983, beginning with a manufacturing facility in Ozark, Missouri. More recently, Fiocchi USA established another plant in Little Rock, Arkansas. Together, the two facilities encompass more than 200,000 square feet and employ more than 300 people. And those statistics don’t even count the just-announced primer plant that will be located at the port of Little Rock and operational by the end of 2024, beginning of 2025.
Fiocchi USA builds several lines of centerfire rifle ammunition, including general range ammo, match ammo and the subject of this article, Hyperformance Hunt.
“Hyperformance brings the most proven projectiles on the market and combines them with our primers, brass, proprietary powders and 146 year experience loading high quality, precision-focused ammunition,” said Fiocchi USA’s Christian Hogg.
“We also feel that our selection of high ballistic-coefficient, flat-trajectory bullets within the line provide controlled expansion and maximized weight retention that can provide hunters with the performance and terminal effect they expect from ammunition these days.”
You’d be tempted, as I was, to think this is some balls-to-the-wall, screaming-velocity ammunition due to the name. It’s not. Rather, it’s sensible hunting ammunition.
“We are not trying to project this as ‘hot’ ammunition,” Hogg said. “We don’t bump max pressure chasing speed during load development. We will hit max pressure and then reduce the velocity in order to gain accuracy across a variety of widely available platforms. When testing and developing the load, we want to ensure that the ammunition is performing accuracy-wise, versus chasing speed.”
Well, hooray for that. I realize that some hunters have always lusted after speed. I would rather a load be accurate, and within reason I don’t care how fast it is. As Craig Boddington is fond of saying, velocity is just a number—a number you can account for in calculating trajectory.
Hyperformance velocities are listed right there on the box. I hunted with and tested the 6.5 Creedmoor load, the 129-grain Hornady SST pushed at a published 2,840 fps.
You’ll notice my velocities didn’t reach that figure in 24-inch barrels, the same length as Fiocchi’s test barrels. However, they are less than three percent lower, well within the margin of difference you could expect from barrel variations and environmental conditions. The Lupo barrel, for example, is brand new and will therefore be a bit slower, and I tested the ammo on a frigid 20-degree day.
As for accuracy, the Fiocchi delivers as promised. The only one I can’t truly vouch for is the Benelli Lupo because I don’t have records for it as I do the other two rifles, which are mine. However, due to a past evaluation of a short-action Lupo, I would say the 0.85-inch average here is right in line with what I would expect out of this gun.
The Model Seven, with its short 20-inch barrel, turned in accuracy that would fall right in the middle of its typical range. As for my good ol’ Ruger No. 1, I’d put the Fiocchi’s accuracy right at the top of the factory ammunition I’ve tried in it over the years.
As part of my evaluation, I also measured bullet runout with a Hornady concentricity tool. Ten cartridges chosen at random had an average runout of .0016. That’s great concentricity for factory ammunition and one contributing factor to how well it shoots. I weighed 10 fired cases as well. If you’re not impressed by a 0.7-grain standard deviation in terms of weight, I don’t know what more consistency you could possibly be looking for in hunting ammo.
As for the field experience, I hunted with Gunner Pickett of Fulldraw Outfitters (FullDrawOutfitters.com). We crawled up on a small antelope buck and doe. We initially had them at a little over 200 yards, but they spotted us and trotted out to 300 yards and then stopped. By this time I was in a solid position, and I squeezed the trigger. The buck took a few steps and fell over. Gutting him we found the heart shredded, the bullet passing out the other side. Exactly what I like to see.
Hogg told me the company is planning a “good, better, best” strategy for its hunting ammo. Hyperformance Hunt falls into the “better” category, and he hinted that sometime this year Fiocchi USA will be announcing an all-new “best” lineup.
I can’t wait to see what that is. And I think a lot of hunters will be jazzed as well, because with its expanded U.S. operations—and perhaps especially the primer plant, which will help eliminate one potential manufacturing bottleneck—Fiocchi is poised to expand its presence on shelves and do great things. And we will all benefit.
- .243 (90-grain Scirocco, 95-grain SST)
- 6.5 Creedmoor (129 SST, 130 Scirocco)
- .260 (129 SST)
- .270 Win. (130 Scirocco, 150 SST)
- 7mm-08 (139 SST, 150 Scirocco)
- 7mm Rem. Mag. (150 Scirocco, 154 SST)
- .300 BLK (125 SST)
- .308 (150 SST and Scirocco, 180 SST)
- .30-06 (165 Scirocco, 180 SST)
- .300 Win. Mag. (180 SST and Scirocco)