Please explain the Federal-Lake City connection

Will someone please explain for me the connection between the Federal ammunition factory in Anoka, Minnesota and the Lake City factory in Missouri?

Specifically, why XM-855 cartridges with Lake City head stamps (NATO cross LC 13) are in boxes specifying manufacture by Federal in Anoka.

These cartridges in question have the usual “SCAMP” dots in the head stamp, but they also have an additional set of dots, which are much smaller in diameter, more like decimal points. I don’t have an image to post at the moment, but the smaller dots (zero up to 4) are only at the approximately 3 and 5 o’clock and 7 and 9 o’clock positions in a possible 5 different combinations. it makes for a busy head stamp! I have seen similar small dots in non-Lake City marked Federal .223 Rem. brass, so I am confused…

Are these cases manufactured at Lake City with the additional dot markings for shipment to and loading at Federal’s plant in MN or does Federal have SCAMP machinery there as well?


Basically the situation is one division of ATK or Alliant Techsystems owns Federal Cartridge Co. and another division of ATK has the contract to run/manage Lake City Army Ammunition Plant for the US Gov.

As I understand it ATK in some manor sells ammunition produced at LCAAP that has been down graded due to very slight (typically cosmetic) imperfections and is not suitable for military use but is still good to shoot. Thus the various SCAMP headstamps. I do not know if the down graded ammunition is first sold to Federal and then boxed in Federal boxes or if it handled in some other way. I have no doubt someone else on the forum can provide more detailed information.

For a better discussion on the ATK - Federal Cartridge Co. - LCAAP relationship, see: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14398&p=102316&hilit=atk#p102316

As a side here is a 2007 slide presentation about LCAAP modernization which shows some of the facilities:


During WWII the US government built many manufacturing plants to make ammunition, tanks, aircraft, etc. Although the government owned the land and built the buildings, contractors were hired to run them and actually build the weapons and munitions. These facilities are still called GOCO or Government Owned, Contractor Operated.

At the end of WWII, and over the years since, some of these plants have been sold to private companies, and others closed (I believe the old St Louis ammunition plant falls into this category). Some remain open and very active like the Lockheed aircraft plant in Georgia, north of Atlanta where Lockheed has manufactured over the years the C-130s, including the current production of C-130Js, the C-141s, C-5s, and more recently the F-22 fighters. Many of the current buildings at the Lockheed plant have been funded by Lockheed and are not government owned!

The ammunition plant at Lake City is also a GOCO, operated by ATK. ATK pays for all the material it uses to manufacture ammunition at Lake City and sells the completed ammunition to the Federal Government under contracts with the government. It must compete with other qualified companies to win these contracts.

As bdgreen says, ammunition produced by ATK at Lake City that is rejected by the government, and therefore not delivered is still owned by ATK. I suspect they internally sell these “scrap” assets to Federal at Anoka. It is also possible that the ammunition AKMS mentions was actually loaded at Anoka from scrap/surplus cases (and perhaps other components) from Lake City. It is even possible that the cases could have been made for Federal by Lake City, but in that case, there would typically have been some sort of consideration ($s credit or some other consideration) given to the government for any government equipment and/or facilities used. The extra marks on the headstamp may indicate these cases were made specifically for Federal.

Bd green is correct, left over/rejected ammunition from military/government contracts is frequently sold commercially. After WWII, Winchester had millions of rounds of 9mmP ammunition left over from the British Contracts. They sold this ammunition commercially well into the 1950s. Over the past few years I have bought Federal 9mmP left over/rejected from a contract with Taiwan and Speer ammunition left over/rejected from a contract with the French Police.


Brian and Lew covered it for the most part.

There are two souces of components and ammunition manufactured by LCAAP but ending up being sold by others. The first is components and/or ammunition that does not meet all military specifications. In other words they are rejected by military inspectors. If any part of a lot is found to be unacceptable, the entire lot is rejected. Additionally any components or ammunition in excess of the amount ordered (overruns) also fall into this category. Ammunition from these two sources usually have an “XM” lot number or designation. If production from more than one year is packaged together it will have a “PD” in the lot number indicating bulk packaging.

The second source is overruns from a private or government contract or commercial order. These will usually have an “SMQ” lot number or designation. SMQ lots may have a different headstamp, depending on what the purchaser requested.

Years ago, LCAAP had to sell rejected components and/or ammunition to a company, such as Talon, who were required to break the ammunition down and then re-manufacture it. This was an unnecessary step and so the rules were relaxed allowing the buyer to sell it directly.

Since Federal is related to LCAAP, they will have an advantage over other bidders which is why you will find a majority of the ammunition in their cartons, with their labeling. It’s a cozy relationship that works to ATK’s advantage.

ATK has operated LCAAP since 2001 and it’s doubtful if any other munitions manufacturer will be able to compete for the GOCO contract for some time to come.

Here’s a carton of XM 7.62mm. Headstamps are a mix of LC LR from 01 to 05. Also, a carton of SMQ 7.62mm. These are headstamped LC LR 03.

That’s the way I understand the story. Corrections are welcomed.


Lew and Ray,

Thank you both for clarifying the answer to AKMS’s question with the important details.


ATK has operated LCAAP since 2001 and it’s doubtful if any other munitions manufacturer will be able to compete for the GOCO contract for some time to come…


Does that sound like something that could have been said about ATK at Radford Army Ammunition Plant, where they had been the contractor since about 1995, up until BAE Systems won it a year or so back?

Of course, I know that when Holsten AAP was up for bid around the same time, the Request for Proposals was for ten years with some additional option years. And the previous contract had been extended for two or three more years even though the Period of Performance was up.


I believe that Remington was the contractor at LCAAP at its inception, and held the operating contract for many years. Then Olin won it, and operated LCAAP until 2001. They lost the bid, and the operating contract was awarded to ATK. I don’t know the details of the ATK contract, but typically there would be a base period of 10 years, which usually includes several (usually three) extensions of the contract beyond the base period for some time increment (maybe 1 to 5 years), assuming ATK’s performance metrics are favorable. If they are unfavorable, the Government will re-bid the contract, and of course, after the final extension, the contract will be re-bid. That is very typical of how government contracting works.

I remember that Olin was crushed by losing the LCAAP contract in 2001. They did not expect to lose the bid. However, many Olin employees on site simply switched employers and became ATK workers.

On one of my visits to Anoka, Federal was loading 7.62 NATO cases (supplied in bulk by LCAAP), and sending loaded ammunition back to LCAAP for packaging. I do not remember the source of the bullets. I remember seeing many large wire baskets (about 3’X3’X3’) full of 7.62 cases and loaded rounds. I suspect Federal was operating as a subcontractor to the ATK division which operated LCAAP.

Thank you all for the information. Does anyone know what the extra “dots” in the head stamp, in addition to the SCAMP dots, signify?