The Collector

Share on Social Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

doc with his hero board

You might expect the central figure in documenting Federal history to be a longtime employee, but the man who had the most encyclopedic knowledge of the company and its ammo never actually worked there.

At an early age, David “Doc” Frederickson, of St. Cloud, Minn., was an aspiring collector of baseball cards, firecrackers, BB guns, and medicine bottles. As he grew, his father introduced him to the outdoors and shooting sports, and his collections began reflecting a new passion: ammunition. When he and his dad would go hunting or target shooting, he would pick up all the spent cases he could find, paying close attention to the older objects—items he felt had a history. It was during this time that he became fascinated with Federal and its story.

A Collection Grows

Doc went on to accomplish great things in every aspect of life. An Air Force Vietnam veteran, he would ultimately become a trauma surgeon, county coroner, and even a deputy sheriff for a time. After his return from Vietnam, he began adding to his collection and asked Federal if he could receive flat, empty boxes to keep it up to date. He then politely asked for more every year.

In 1968, he caught the attention of Federal’s CEO, William Horn, who personally sent him packaging samples and a letter. Then in 1972, Doc, at the age of 31, met with the company’s President Charles Horn and received permission to document the company’s historical information and packaging.

Over the next nearly 50 years, Doc accumulated rooms full of ammunition packaging, thousands upon thousands of boxes, as well as advertising and company records. He wrote books chronicling these historical assets and meticulously captured nearly all the company’s landmark achievements with a collection of memorabilia spanning this rich history. He even traveled to vintage ammunition collector shows where he would showcase his award-winning displays.

The Lasting Legacy

Frederickson died August 13, 2021, at the age of 80 and as a fixture of Federal Ammunition’s heritage. Rather than parcel off bits and pieces of his vast collection, he had long sought to keep it intact so people could remember Federal’s history. That goal was achieved in early 2021, before his passing, when President Jason Vanderbrink and Federal’s executive team took ownership of Doc’s massive collection.

Although management donated portions of the collection to museums to be displayed and enjoyed by the public, they also built large displays featuring Doc’s collection throughout Federal’s factory buildings. These remind all employees who walk past them just how rich in history and steeped in tradition the products they manufacture are to Federal’s loyal customers.

Without Doc, many elements of that history would have been lost to time. For all these incredible contributions, Federal Ammunition is truly grateful. Thank you, Dr. Frederickson.

Doc: Collecting A Legacy

Get to know the late David “Doc” Frederickson and get a glimpse of his vast collection of Federal packaging, signs, products and more in this exclusive video.

Watch It
Doc's collection