Fiocchi and Others


by R.K. Campbell

photography by R.K. Campbell

November 19th, 2007




Recently Fiocchi USA announced that they are offering a line of ammunition using the proven Hornady XTP bullets. Many makers have used this bullet, and it isn’t well known but a special military cartridge loaded by one of the BIG THREE uses the 185 grain XTP.  Smaller ammunition companies such as Pro Load and Black Hills often use bullets from our major suppliers and Cor Bon uses special custom made bullets, some of their own design. But when Fiocchi announced they would be using the XTP extensively, I knew that we would have a winning combination.

Fiocchi is a major force in ammunition in Europe and well known and respected in the United States. I have used their ammunition extensively. Part of the appeal is the fact that their loads are a bit hotter than the competition in .25, .32 and .380 ACP. This insures function in less than optimal small automatics. Most of the .32s and such are made in Europe but the majority of personal defense ammunition is produced in the Missouri plant. This means it is easier to use an American bullet than to import the bullets produced in Italy. And the truth, is the Hornady bullet leaves nothing to be desired.

I have fired thousands of rounds of Fiocchi handgun ammunition with good results. Among these have been the specialty loads in .30 Luger, 8mm Lebel, and 7.62 Nagant. There is simply no other reliable source unless you wish to use corrosive military ammunition. A very special revolver load near to my heart is the target wadcutter load in .32 Smith and Wesson Long. I have used this cartridge extensively for small game. The Fiocchi load hits hard and delivers target grade accuracy. Recently I fired a ¾ inch 25 yard group on a perfect day with my Ruger Single Six .32 H & R Magnum. This is unusually good even for the tight Ruger and quality ammunition.

The 230 grain .45 ACP with full metal jacketed bullet is a good choice when breaking in a new pistol. If a pistol does not feed hardball, it is sick! The Fiocchi produce is loaded a little hotter than most. The 230 grain JHP is an accurate round that feeds well even in old military handguns such as the Argentine Modelo 1927. This load is a bit hotter than most 230 grain JHPs, breaking about 870 fps from most 1911s with a five inch barrel.

I recently received a sample of the new EXT loads in both 115 and 147 grain weight. I elected to test them in a variety of 9mm pistols. This includes a 1961 vintage Browning High Power, a modern FM Argentine High Power, the ArmaLite AR 24, a Kel Tec PF 9 and the Heckler and Koch P 7. These handguns really run the gamut of performance. The PF 9 has considerable recoil while the AR 24 is practically as easy to shoot well as a rimfire target pistol. The PF is a double action only, the FM and the High Power single actions, the ArmaLite a double action first shot pistol and the P 7 a unique squeeze cocker. I ran combat drills and took the measure of targets from five to fifty yards. In no case did any of the handguns fail to feed, chamber, fire or eject. Naturally the military sights of the High Power were a limiting factor and the PF 9 difficult to shoot well past ten yards, but the pistols performed well.

As for accuracy, here are the results from the two most accuracy handguns. Five shot groups, twenty five yards, Fiocchi ammunition.

  AR 24 HK P7
115 grain JHP 2.0 inches 2.4 inches
147 grain JHP 2.5 inches 2.6 inches

The 115 grain XTP load runs at about 1180 fps in the P 7 while the 147 grain bullet just breaks 1000 fps. Depending upon your philosophy, either will serve well. 

I have also used .22 caliber Fiocchi with excellent results. Be certain to use the High Speed shells in your automatic pistols! The target grade .22s have given excellent results in my revolvers. Check Boar Hunter Magazine this month for a review of the Ruger Hunter and Fiocchi ammunition.

Finally I have to comment on the single most accurate Fiocchi loading I have tested.

The new 165 grain JHP uses a wide mouth JHP and is nothing but accurate in every .40 Smith and Wesson pistol I have tested. The CZ 75 Compact gave a 1.25 inch twenty five yard group, edging out the SIG P 229’s 2.0 inch group. This was no fluke but a combination of quality ammunition and a first class pistol.

Kimson Grips

Recently I have had the pleasure of using buffalo horn grips from Kimson. Kimson is located in a very famous part of the world, Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. The fact is Kimson is a craftsman who offers a good product at a very fair price. And where else will you find Buffalo horn grips? These grips offer a good purchase and are certainly eye catching. I fitted them to another product of the Pacific rim, a Philippine produced Rock Island compact. I most often carry this pistol in a Wilson Combat Summer Companion, with the Wilson Combat eight round Officer’s Model magazine. This a sweet set up.  Kim Son Handicrafts (

Alumi Grips

We have featured Alumi Grips in these pages before. But most shooters do not realize that the grips are available for the Browning High Power as well as the 1911.  I placed a set on a rather ordinary pistol, a FEG 9mm. The FEG is just OK, its performance is a few tiers below that of the Argentine FM but then the FEG is inexpensive. Internal parts are often roughly polished, making achieving smoothness problematical. But I sometimes build pretty nice 9mms using the FEG. It is a challenge! Among the latest was fitted with the new Alumi Grip. The results are striking. While they might look even better on a hard chrome High Power, the FEG and Alumi grips look very nice.

Combat Pen

Around my house you have to be careful for you ask for. We do not wait until Christmas to be nice to one another! My son recently graduated from college (courtesy of Uncle Sam, the US Army, and lots of hard work - not to mention a good southern raising and his great grandmother praying a mantle over him). I looked for a gift that would befit his new position. The Timbeline Combat Pen was the end result. This is a wonderful writing instrument, and as for other uses I will let you use your imagination. The design is courtesy of Greg Lightfoot, which means it is not pedestrian.

P 7 Grips, Karl Nill

The Heckler and Koch P 7 illustrated is one of my favorite handguns. It is a challenge to master, demanding the shooter learn to isolate the trigger finger from the supporting grip more so than any other handgun in my experience.  While the piece is impressive as issued I elected to add a set of Karl Nill grips. Mac Tech Enterprises is among the very few sources for these first class grips. Friends, a lot of handwork in fitting and checkering goes into these grips and in the end the ability of the shooter is greatly enhanced. Plus, they are downright elegant. A fine addition to an expensive but capable handgun. (

These are some of the latest and most interesting items I have encountered. Stay tuned to for more to come. Don’t change that dial!

R.K. Campbell


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Click pictures for a larger version.


The .40 caliber Fiocchi, right, in 165 grain is shown beside a 9mm for comparison. This is among the most accurate .40 caliber loads the author has tested.



These Buffalo horn grips from Kimson have given the author’s rather simple Rock Island .45 a weathered, individual look.



The Alumigrip for the High Power certainly sets off the classic lines of John Browning’s last pistol.



Pictured with a DuStar combat knife, the P 7 is an exceptional handgun set off by Karl Nill grips.



Wilson Combat magazines add a considerable degree of reliability to every handgun.



Lt. Matthew Campbell fires a few rounds of 200 grain Fiocchi .45 in the USP .45 and finds it good.



In this illustration Matthew Campbell is using the ten round Metalform magazine and stuffing his Novak Custom .45 with more Fiocchi ammunition. It is a tough job but someone has to do it!



Matthew Bishop, well known local media person, is firing a  Heckler and Koch P 7 with Fiocchi ball ammunition. The pistol and the shooter never stuttered.



The author favors the Hornady XTP for serious hunting and personal defense applications. Fiocchi made a good choice with this bullet in their new line.



The Timberline Combat Pen is a great writing instrument. The rest is up to your imagination



Fiocchi .22s burn clean and give every advantage in accurate shooting.