Go Deep: Federal’s New .380 Cartridge Packs 12 Inches
What if the .380 ACP wasn’t a minimum defensive load, but the standard?
Ever since the .380 ACP became part of the concealed-carry landscape, it’s been considered the absolute bare minimum defensive handgun load. One of its major drawbacks was that the minimally-powered round generally couldn’t penetrate beyond the FBI-recommended 12-inch minimum through heavy clothing–meaning that it might not have the knockdown power a defensive shooter would need against a heavily clad attacker. Federal Premium Hydra-Shok Deep is here to change all that with a revamped bullet design that brings the 380 Auto cartridge to all-new heights—or in this case, depths.
“FBI protocol for handgun ammunition testing includes a series of rigorous scenarios. Bullets are shot through materials such as 10-percent ordinance gelatin, laminated automotive safety glass, plywood, wallboard and heavy clothing specified by the FBI,” said Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack. “While our larger caliber ammunition is designed to meet and exceed these requirements, the smaller 380 Auto is designed to offer the best possible blend of performance in a compact handgun platform.”
Testing done by Federal ammunition engineers in their Anoka, Minnesota facilities showed typical results of 13 to 13 ½ inches of penetration in bare gel and 13 ¼ to 14 inches through heavy clothing. Test gun barrel lengths were from common, compact handguns ranging from 2 ¾ to 3 ½ inches. The bullet and load are also fine-tuned to ensure delivery of consistent performance across all handgun platforms, including ones with longer barrels, to stay within that 13- to 14-inch goal range.
“It’s a completely new bullet design. We didn’t just take a 45 ACP, 40 S&W or 9mm Hydra-Shok Deep bullet and make it smaller,” said Laack. “During development, engineers looked at several design elements such as bullet weight, jacket, skiving, profile, and hollow point design elements to determine what modifications were necessary for the 380 Auto.
Hydra-Shok Deep 380 scores a blistering 1,000 feet per second at the muzzle and delivers full expansion in both the bare gel and heavy clothing tests when shot from a variety of common compact handguns. The MSRP is $26.99 per box, and is on its way to dealers at this time. FederalPremium.com.
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