Fiocchi Ammunition celebrates one hundred and forty years of producing world class shotgun, rifle and pistol ammunition; this year in 2016. Currently Fiocchi is run by the fifth generation of Fiocchi family, making it one of the longest family run businesses worldwide. Compared to the Italian facilities, the Fiocchi plant in Ozark, Missouri has been in production a mere four decades.
I have been fortunate to have a relationship with Fiocchi USA, now for a decade and a half. I have seen firsthand the growth of this fine Italian-American company. So impressed have I been with their products, I have not shot anything but Fiocchi USA ammunition in every firearm I own. Fiocchi has been with me throughout my travels across North America, from Alaska and Canada down to the southern border.
Their product is second to none! When I heard about the one hundred and forty year anniversary I began to put a plan together to create what I hoped to be a unique gift to celebrate the 140 year milestone. Since I reside in Missouri, albeit north of the Fiocchi production plant; I aspired to create something truly Missouri.
Among all the fine products Fiocchi produces; the Steel Shotgun shell line is where I began my affiliation with this fine company and they are what I utilize the most of. In fact the new Warlock Steel offering, is hands down the finest steel shotgun shell I have used. Thus I began to think hard about some sort of waterfowl related item featuring a Fiocchi theme.
As a big fan of handmade duck calls, I began to ponder if we couldn’t create a one of a kind duck call for the milestone. I began to brainstorm for several months, and finally came up with a plan.
My neighbor, Roger Moore’s family, homesteaded the area I reside in around the 1860’s. As a young man of seventy some years, he once told me about a pile of fence posts that had been in the ground as long as he had been alive. I was fortunate to acquire a few of these fence posts which in the central United States are commonly made from hedge trees. Roger had told me these posts would have been hand sawn from trees on the family farm by his grandfather. In all likelihood these posts were well over a century old, yet it was more probable, they were closer to the 140 year mark.
After sawing them down from thigh sized diameter, into several “blanks”, I sought out a call maker who might create a masterpiece from this ancient material. My plan was to find a craftsman who could work with me to blend a Fiocchi theme into a working duck call. After much consideration I happened upon Kris Adams of Unstable Calls. Ironically Kris is based out of Ozark, Missouri, which also is the home to the Fiocchi USA production plant. After a few emails and calls, Kris took my conception and began to turn it from bare wood into reality.
The number 1 idea I had; was to incorporate the head stamp from a Fiocchi shotgun shell into the duck call itself. I was able to wrangle a few unfired, unprimed hulls from Troy at the Ozark plant. These I felt could be machined into the end of the duck call insert, with the empty primer hole creating an exit for the sound channel. Although it was smaller than the typical hole on most duck calls, Kris and I reasoned it should still work, although it would be substantially quieter than normal.
Kris and I decided on a design of his, and we were off and running. Not only did he have to create a method of hand fitting the metal of the hull into the wooden insert- Kris also had to endure regular calls from me! It wasn’t a simple process; in fact neither Kris nor I could find any proof of any call maker utilizing an actual shotgun shell hull into a wooden insert of a working duck call. Kris finally sent me a photo of the semi-finished insert, complete with Fiocchi head stamp. Of course it was exactly what I had envisioned and first class work. From there came the seemingly easy task of hand of turning by hand the barrel (main portion) of the call. In just days I received another photo or two of the roughly finished call. From there Kris had to complete the sanding and have the call engraved with the company logo and the “140 years”. After completion of engraving as well as back painting the logo, it call was complete.
As one can see, it is truly a piece of art. Photos do not do this call justice. The rich, deep luster of the wood and contrast of the heavy golden grains really set it off. The band itself features hand stifling on a silver band, and the Fiocchi head stamp is polished silver to accentuate the unique color of the wood itself.
I am quite pleased with the final product as which is one hundred percent Missouri made, in tribute to the Missouri ties to Fiocchi. Additionally it is a true working call; a call which can bring ducks to gun, but also a call that can proudly sit on a desk of a Fiocchi family member.
story and photos by Tom Cannon