Early Impressions, Tradition Often Dictate Choices in Life

Best I can remember way, way back in the day, back when I started hunting ducks and squirrels and deer, my father was a Federal ammunition guy.

I remember the blue, red tan and white boxes in his gun cabinet. I don’t know why he chose Federal, to be honest. Perhaps that was what he started hunting with back in the Hi-Power and Peters days. Those were before my time. I recall seeing those boxes and hearing about the “paper hulls” that would expand in his duck bag or jacket if they got wet. I always liked, and still do, shooting paper skeet loads. I don’t know why but it’s just fun.

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Dad was a Federal guy and that made me a Federal guy for years. Why? Loyalty, to a small degree. Tradition. I just knew the name and knew when I pulled the trigger, they went bang. I never really paid attention to other ammo brands. My shotgun wasn’t fancy, my rifle wasn’t big and my ammo worked. That was all I cared about.

Isn’t it interesting how those early impressions hold sway over us so many years later? From bows to clothes and guns to ammo, the things we remember seeing and hearing about, and using, from our youth often carry on into adulthood.

My first bow was a Jennings and I shot Easton arrows. Still have an affinity for them. Dad shot Federal ammo and I still shoot it today. He used a .308 rifle, which is one of my two favorites. I figure if it worked for him, and it works for the military snipers, then it and the .30-06 are good enough for me. I’m confident in them and they kill deer.

I’ve added other ammo over the years: Hornady, Winchester, Kent, Wolf, Remington. One of my rifles prefers Hornady’s 165-grain over the 180-grain. Another likes Federal Fusion. My old lever action .30-30 likes the Core-Lokt thumpers. It took a bit of work to get that one figured out. I’ve knocked out scads of squirrels and perforated soda cans with Remington .22 ammo, along with a few deer and hogs with larger Big Green calibers. When I hunt ducks, it’s with Federal’s Black Cloud. I’m an equal-opportunity bangstick shooter.

But there’s always a soft spot for Federal. Things we learn as youngsters are hard to put away.

— Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

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