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Hot SHOT: Federal Ammunition’s Punch Self-Defense Loads



Punchy name, don’tcha think?

The central aphorism of armed self-defense for civilians is that we don’t shoot to kill; we don’t shoot to wound; and we don’t shoot to warn–we only shoot to stop. That central tenet is different from the ones that law enforcement and the military are charged to follow, so it only makes sense that civilians shouldn’t necessarily think of the ammunition we use the same way that law enforcement does. That’s why Federal Ammunition‘s most recent SHOT Show 2020 blockbuster is a case of the right product at the right time. It’s called Punch ammunition, and its ultimate design is as simple as its name: to stop a criminal attack.

You probably know that Federal Ammunition has a 30-year background in providing top-quality ammunition to our nation’s defenders, and that expertise absolutely informs everything they create for regular Americans. That said,  as Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack advised, “Many personal defenders think, ‘If it works for law enforcement then it’s good for me.’ That is a great guideline and still our ultimate recommendation, but that may add features not required for everyday carry for everyone.”

The reason why is that (as you also probably know), our nation’s defenders get their materiel through a complex bidding process that involves multiple requirements. Those requirements include various highly specific metrics involving terminal performance that, most of the time, simply aren’t going to be a concern to civilian self-defenders. Federal saw a need for a reliable, accurate, terminally effective option that doesn’t have to be the top scoring product in duty ammunition test procedures.

“Concealed-carry permit holders, especially new shooters, need an uncomplicated answer to the question ‘What ammo do I need for self-defense’,” continued Laack. “Things to consider such as function, reliable ignition, barrier performance, terminal performance, ballistics and other considerations are a lot to digest for most people. What some consumers really need to know is it will function in their gun, every time, and that it will be effective stopping a threat as quickly as possible. Punch is our easy answer for them.”

Most concealed carry permit holders are less concerned with factors such as barrier penetration through steel, plywood and auto glass and more concerned about choosing a bullet that is engineered from the ground-up to stop an attacker and work effectively in their chosen firearm. And, as the data shows, Punch bullets perform well in the tests that matter most to the average shooter—penetration and expansion through bare gel and heavy clothing. Federal has made Punch ammunition a natural choice for concealed carry.

What’s more, Punch ammunition features Federal’s smooth-feeding nickel-plated cases, advanced powders, and the sealed reliability of high-quality, sensitive primers. With Punch, self-defenders can be assured its components will do its job when it matters most.

The five new Punch options include a .380 Auto 85-grain offering with a muzzle velocity of 1,000 feet per second, a .38 Special +P 120-grain load at 1,070 fps, a 9mm 147-grain load at 1,150 fps, a .40 S&W 16-grain load at 1,130 fps, and a .45 Auto 230-grain load at 890 fps. What’s more, all these loads will be available immediately, and with MSRPs from $15.95 to $20.95 per box of 20.

New Federal Premium Punch is scheduled to ship at the end of January 2020. For more information on all products from Federal or to shop online, visit



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