Federal has new 9mm ammunition hitting the market. While not the first 9mm cartridge to split the weight difference between the “more or less standard” 124-grain and heavier 147-grain loads, it’s got some interesting possibilities.
In testing over the years, we’ve seen mixed results with 147-grain hollow point bullets. They certainly penetrate and there’s no reason they can’t be as accurate as anything else, but the requisite lower velocity of those heavy 9mm bullets can make consistent bullet expansion elusive.
We’ll see if this lighter and presumably faster 135-grain Hydra-Shok projectile can provide some of the best of both words. Here’s the information from Federal Premium.
ANOKA, Minnesota – January 5, 2018 – Federal Premium built on the legendary performance of its time-tested Hydra-Shok platform to create new Hydra-Shok Deep. The hard-hitting new round delivers improved penetration and superior reliability to provide handgun owners with a powerful new option for personal defense. Federal Premium will launch Hydra-Shok Deep at the 2018 SHOT Show (Booth 14551) January 23-26 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Hydra-Shok Deep offers consumers a round that results in consistent, reliable performance through typical defensive barriers and penetrates to the depth deemed optimum by the leading law-enforcement agency in the United States,” said Larry Head, director and chief engineer of handgun ammunition.
Original Hydra-Shok has been a self-defense staple since its creation in 1989 in response to the FBI’s request for a projectile with better terminal ballistics than traditional cup-and-core bullets. The Hydra-Shok bullet’s notched jacket, non-bonded lead core and unique center-post hollow-point design produced better penetration and more consistent threat-stopping expansion than other bullets at the time.
“FBI performance requirements and protocol testing have evolved over time,” said Head. “One of the most notable changes has been the desire for deeper-penetrating rounds and more consistency in penetration depths though all intermediate barriers.”
New Hydra-Shok Deep was built to meet these modern standards. Its bullet features a core design that provides up to 50 percent deeper penetration than original Hydra-Shok and similar loads from competitors, and the center post has been improved so it’s more robust, which provides better integrity and performance through barriers. Testing shows that Hydra-Shok Deep penetrates 15 inches in bare ballistics gelatin, which is the optimal depth, according to FBI standards.
Hydra-Shok Deep not only outscores the competition in testing, its remarkable improvements in expansion, penetration and integrity through defensive barriers boost real-world performance as well. “Hydra-Shok Deep reliably stops threats by controlling bullet expansion to cause significant tissue damage and penetrating deep enough to reach vital organs,” said Head.
Hydra-Shok Deep also uses surefire Federal primer and premium propellants to ensure optimum performance of both bullet and firearm. The propellants also contain flash suppressants to reduce muzzle flash and minimize temporary blindness in low-light shooting situations.
Hydra-Shok Deep will initially be offered in a 135-grain 9mm Luger, with other loads coming soon.
My simple rule for handgun ammo is: use the heaviest bullet that still leaves the muzzle at super sonic velocity. That will generally guarantee both expansion and penetration. That means 124 gr. in the 9mm. As for he 135 gr. maybe (with a long barrel) but definitely not 147 gr.