Federal Premium has expanded its line of Personal Defense HST ammunition to include a 99-gr. .380 ACP load. The HST jacketed hollow-point bullet was designed in the early 2000s to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies and, specifically, to exceed the stringent requirements for penetration, expansion and weight retention—all while defeating various barriers—as set forth by FBI testing protocol. Introduced commercially in 2013, the Premium Personal Defense HST loads in 9 mm Luger, .40 S&W and .45 ACP have been well received by the shooting public, and by concealed-carry practitioners especially, who appreciate having access to the same ammunition used by many police departments. An oft-repeated criticism of hollow-point .380 ACP ammunition has been its lack of penetration, and full-metal-jacket loads have a similar stigma based on over-penetration and lack of expansion. If company testing is to be believed, Federal’s HST load should put all worries to rest as the bullet is touted for both its weight retention and reliable expansion. Retention, claimed to average near 100 percent of the heavy bullet’s 99 grs., is key because more retained weight means more retained energy to help carry the bullet to sufficient penetration depths. Reliable expansion, even through intermediate material notorious for “plugging” hollow point projectiles, is a hallmark of the HST, and the benefit of an appropriately “blossomed” bullet is an enlarged wound channel and less chance of over-penetration. Time will tell if Federal’s new .380 ACP load delivers, but it’s good to see professional-grade ammunition for pocket-pistol-toting armed citizens. federalpremium.com
Editors' Picks—New for 2015: Federal Premium .380 ACP Personal Defense HST
Born from a desire for a faster and flatter shooting cartridge, the .32-20 Winchester Center Fire cartridge came to the world stage at the end of the 19th century as a popular option for revolvers and lever-action rifles alike, but its popularity eventually dwindled as the 20th century progressed.