Ammo Quest 9mm: Federal HST 124gr

What’s the difference between ammo that’s lousy in a short-barrel 9mm carry pistol and ammo that works spectacularly in a short-barrel carry pistol?  ShootingTheBull410’s 9mm Ammo Quest shows just how it should be done. Today he turns his sights on Federal Premium 124-grain HST, and the results are, well – a bit of a spoiler – but if you play a drinking game and take a shot every time he says the word “perfect”, you’d get sloshed because I think I counted 12 times.


  1. avatar Chad says:

    I like hst ammo. My favorite 9mm load is +p 124gr HST. My favorite 45 load is +p 230gr HST.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      I like the same load in the .45ACP. Haven’t been able to find any in 9mm, but I’m pretty happy with the Gold Dots.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Yeah, I’m gonna buy some in .45 ACP for sure. Stellar performance.

      2. avatar Phil says:

        Gold Dots were my favorite until I saw 2 out of 5 go through two full blocks of gel when passing through denim as in the FBI requirements. I watched the HST stay within 12-15″ and I was impressed enough to order 250 of them so that I can replace the Gold Dots in all my 9mm guns.

  2. avatar Michael says:

    OMG! It’s The Yankee Marshall’s long lost brother!

  3. avatar Evan says:

    I like 9mm HST 124gr. I just wish it wasn’t so hard to find.

    1. avatar doesky2 says:

      …yeah and this ain’t gonna make it any easier to find.

      1. avatar John L. says:

  4. avatar Excedrine says:

    I’ve got Winchester 180-grain Ranger Talons in my M&P .40. :B

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      OMG! That’s so awesome!

      Thank you so much for telling us that!

  5. avatar racer88 says:

    I stocked up on HST before the panic. Glad I did. Good stuff. Also got a nice stash of Ranger SXT and T-series.

  6. avatar Stu says:

    I have the 147gr flavor of HSTs. Wonderful stuff out of a G17, but I wonder how it would perform out of a walther pps

    1. avatar Eric says:

      Buy, mix, and pour some ballistic gelatin.

    2. avatar Ruun says:

      I carry 147 gr HST in my G19.

    3. avatar Accur81 says:

      The .40 Smith HST from my Glock 23 mushroomed so nicely after penetrating 2 3/4 water – filled 1 gallon milk jugs that my stepson made it into a necklace.

    4. avatar Oddux says:

      That’s what I’m carrying in my CZ P01. Hopefully he can find and test the 147 gr ones,

      1. Actually a viewer donated some 147-grain ammo, just showed up today, so yes, there will be a test of Federal 147-grain HST soon. Lots and lots and lots of tests to do…

        1. avatar lolinski says:

          147 grains, that is usually subsonic in 9x19mm, isn’t it?

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          @ Lolinski,

          That depends upon the load and barrel length. Buffalo Bore and others make a 9mm +P (or maybe +P+) that alleges 1175 FPS. A standard pressure 147 from a 3″ barrel will probably subsonic or transonic.

          The beauty of such test by STB is that it tests whether the velocity from a short barrel is still sufficient to expand the JHP and push it beyond 12″ through a consistent and repeatable medium.

  7. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Have to say, that was a pretty excellent review. Well done, STB. (Good move to get away from the 410 a bit too)

    As for HST, IMO, it is THE defensive round – in most any flavor. This only further confirms that for me. I like the 155, 165 and even 180 grain .40SW. The .45 is sweet stuff too from what I’ve seen. Good to see the 9mm is the same. Only wish it was more readily available. (of course Ranger/Talons are in the same class, but even harder to find)

  8. avatar racer88 says:

    Meh…. here’s the “last round you’ll ever need.”

    The G2R “RIP!” Watch the video! It’s worth it! Promise! 😉

    1. avatar Eric says:

      Soooo….it’s an “environmentally friendly Glaser”? With all of the Glaser’s old marketing blitz?

    2. I’ve asked G2 for some to test. If they send some, you’ll see my test of it here on TTAG.

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        Ridiculous! Was just about to make it a post of its own but saw the comment here with a search of the site and I see that Shooting The Bull is already on it, so mission accomplished :). Can’t wait to see the video! I’ve heard prices on GunBroker are totally insane for this stuff right now. I don’t see myself changing to some exotic bullet, though, from my carry choice of the past 4 years (Federal HST 147 grn).

        BTW the G2 reminds me sooo much of a Graboid from “Tremors” hahaha

  9. avatar doesky2 says:

    Oh boy……uhhhhhh……you don’t want to bother buying this ammo……I’m sure there are other brands you can find……yeah look away….I’m sure the review is wrong somehow…….

    [Obi Wan]…These aren’t the bullets you’re looking for….[ /Obi Wan]

    1. avatar mrvco says:

      Best Kept Secret in SD Ammo:

      You want those bullets with fulminated mercury in the tips.

  10. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Head shot would do the job no matter what. 🙂

  11. avatar Ben in UT says:

    I love the ballistic tests, but somebody has got to tell this guy that this stock gunshot noise is a bit cringeworthy. Looking to seeing the review on 124gr. Gold Dot +P.

  12. avatar J in NC says:

    Great test, very informative, hope he keeps it up! But…What about muzzle flash? I am curious. Maybe I missed it in the 8 min video…but that’s always in the back of my mind…My presumption for any defensive ammo purchase is, it stands a greater likelihood of being used my me at night, if at all. And muzzle flash is a big concern in that respect. I’ve based prior decisions on using Winchester PDX and Federal Hydroshok as my primary carry/bedside load based on other testing articles/vids I’ve seen showing they had very lowest muzzle flash -in addition to very good/excellent performance in the other categories. So that is something I would like to know here. Lord knows, if the flash is even middle of the pack vs. other defensive ammo out there…My XDs, 1911 and M&P will all have a new ammo diet soon!

    1. avatar JC says:

      I’ve tested this exact Ammo at night in a kahr pm9 and a glock 17, very low flash. I have photographs if you want me to email you the link.

  13. avatar percynjpn says:

    Best tests I’ve seen – looking forward to more of them!

  14. avatar Michael says:

    In my opinion, having never shot anyone, but seen plenty of GSW. There is not much difference between handgun bullets or the main calibers. You would do better to spend your money on training than fancy bullets in a “new ” caliber

  15. avatar Al says:

    any plans to test 38 special…std. and +p loads???

  16. avatar mike says:

    awesome stuff….tested it in my 4.5 inch barell ruger p89. love this ammo.
    thinking about getting some more for my glock 26?
    I can only find 20 round plastic boxes in MA the 50 round boxes and the +P seem to be LE only?

  17. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

    hmm, that is the ammo I was function checking new Ruger LCR 9mm revolver this past Saturday. Recoil was not that uncomfortable, considering the handgun is a snub nose revolver. Ordered 5 50 round boxes in anticipation of trying it out with that weapon but also have a couple of 9mm pistols with 3″ barrel and one with 3.60″ barrel so will try with those later in the month

  18. avatar Sal says:

    Can you tell me about expansion and penetration for federal HST 9 mm ammo in 4 inch barrel semi auto. All I see are for 3 inch. Please email info if you can. 124 gr and 147 gr. Thanks

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