Preview: Federal Premium Hydra-Shok Deep .380 ACP

posted on February 4, 2021

Just because you’re recoil-sensitive or need a smaller concealed-carry gun doesn’t mean you should compromise on ballistics. That’s Federal Premium’s take on its incredibly effective Hydra-Shok load, and now the company is making this dedicated defensive load available in the popular .380 ACP chambering.

For years, .380 ACP has been considered a sub-standard round for personal protection, and it’s often classified as the bare-minimum level of defensive capability that a concealed carrier should consider when choosing a self-defense chambering. This contention was backed up by testing that showed many .380 ACP loads as being incapable of meeting FBI protocol standards for ballistic penetration. Thanks to the Federal Premium Hydra-Shok load in .380 ACP, that shortcoming is a thing of the past.

Each Federal Premium Hydra-Shok .380 ACP load is topped with the company’s 99-gr. Hydra-Shok bullet complete with a deep center post and a compact core design. The advanced bullet design, combined with a muzzle velocity of 1,000 f.p.s. through short-barreled self-defense guns, means that this load will not only expand aggressively, it will also expand deeply. Federal claims that this load is designed to penetrate consistently beyond the FBI-recommended 12” minimum penetration depth through bare ballistic gelatin and heavy clothing.

The secret to the performance of these Federal Premium Hydra-Shok loads in .380 ACP is the center-post design of the projectile, which has been revamped for 2021 to provide more consistent expansion, particularly through the barriers that today’s armed citizen might encounter in a defensive scenario. Additionally, the rounds are loaded with a specially developed propellant that is designed to provide consistent, reliable performance through a range of barrel lengths. Each cartridge is also loaded with a high-grade primer that’s sealed into the case to protect against moisture and other elements.

Federal Premium’s Hydra-Shok .380 ACP load sells in 20-count boxes at a suggested retail price of $25.99. In addition, the company now offers a Hydra-Shok load in .38 Spl. +P loaded with a 130-gr. bullet. These rounds also come loaded in 20-count boxes and retail for $31.99. For more information, visit


ARTV2907RR Model70supergrade 1
ARTV2907RR Model70supergrade 1

Rifleman Review: Winchester Model 70 Super Grade Maple

Watch this American Rifleman Television segment of "Rifleman Review" from 2020 to learn more about the Winchester Model 70 Super Grade Maple in .308 Win.

The G36: Glock's Subcompact .45

Introduced in 1999, the Glock G36 offers the power of a .45 ACP chambering in a small and relatively lightweight package.

2021 Rifle of the Year: Benelli Lupo

American Rifleman is pleased to announce 2021 Rifle of the Year goes to Benelli USA for its Lupo bolt action.

Sonoran Desert Institute Honored for Veteran Hiring Efforts

Sonoran Desert Institute was recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for its efforts in hiring and recruiting veterans with the 2021 HIRE Vets Medallion Award.

NRA 150: First Gold For American Riflemen

The modern Olympics, as we know them today, started in 1896, and there were shooting events at the games as early as Athens in 1906. After all, the man who put the games together, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was himself a French pistol champion. Neither the United States nor Great Britain sent rifle teams to Athens, but that changed for the 1908 Olympic Games in London.

New For 2021: Springfield Armory 1911 Ronin EMP

Springfield Armory blended features from its Ronin 1911 lineup with its popular carry-size EMP pistol to create a carry-friendly 1911 with top-tier elements.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.