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New calibers face a ton of challenges when they’re introduced, but they’re always something that interest me. Federal’s newest cartridge, the 30 Super Carry, might be a big hit.

The current crop of carry guns are all about small size and maximum capacity. There is a reason why just about every company out there produces a higher capacity micro-compact or two. This new cartridge seems to fit with that current theme and will maximize capacity and size without sacrificing capability.

The 30 Super Carry is seemingly targeting both the 9mm and .380 ACP. Federal reservedly calls the new round “the most revolutionary self-defense advancement in nearly 100 years.”

According to Federal, the 30 Super Carry outperforms the .380 ACP by a large margin and keeps up with 9mm in handgun ballistics. Unlike 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, Federal’s new round has been designed from the ground up for personal defense and concealed carry.

Federal 30 super carry ammunition

The .312 projectile weighs 100 grains and reportedly penetrates to FBI standards with impressive expansion. The energy dumped into the target is similar to that of a 9mm, and it easily outperforms 380 ACP in all fields ballistically.

Where it outperforms the 9mm is in recoil and magazine capacity. Guns chambered in the new round reportedly recoil less and allow for lighter recoil springs. Lighter recoil springs make for lighter to rack guns.

It’s a smaller round and as such, you can fit more of them in each magazine. Twelve 30 Super Carry rounds can fit in a standard 1911 magazine, and in current 9mm chambered handguns, it seems they can add two rounds to their capacities.

Here’s Federal’s promotional video . . .

The 30 Super Carry Guns 

So far we have guns from Nighthawk and Smith & Wesson chambered for the new round. Nighthawk will produce the Custom President and GRP in 30 Super Carry. Smith & Wesson will release the Shield EZ and the Shield Plus in the new round.

Federal 30 super carry ammunition guns

Federal plans to release both JHP and FMJ loads under the HST and American Eagle brands. Also, Speer and Remington will be producing ammunition in the caliber as well.

My Take

I see promise in the new caliber. It reminds me of the 7mm Penna of years past and seems well suited in the current crop of micro-compacts. I’d love to see drop-in conversion kits for existing 9mm pistols.

Right now, all our ballistic information comes from Federal. While I’m not disputing any of it, I’d also like to see some independent testing. Trust but verify and all that.

With that said, I don’t necessarily think 30 Super Carry will kick 9mm to the curb any time soon. Nine millimeter is plentiful, (relatively) cheap, and effective. Where I think it 30 Super Carry will shine is up against .380 ACP. It will allow for greater performance along with additional capacity. It’s not like 380 ACP is the cheapest round on the market either.

Like any new cartridge, for 30 Super Carry to succeed it will need ammunition support, firearms support, and the everyday gunner to make the initial investment. This one seems worth watching.


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  1. Presumably, with moon clips or a modified extractor, an 8 shot “L” Frame sized revolver could be developed around the new cartridge. Who knows?

    • It doesn’t really make sense for revolvers. The numbers mean it would equal a starting load of the already available .327 federal magnum with the same capacity. Maybe, in something like a gp100, you could fit an extra round in there, but I don’t think so.

  2. No…just no. Just saw an alternate view on fakebook. This is the poster boi of a boutique caliber. And having 10-15rounds of 9mm in yer tiny 9mm is bad? We’ll see if any other ammo/gat maker has this. Ever. What happened to 22tcm?!? Worst timing ever…

  3. Are the criminals who are trying to take over the world purposely paying gun and ammunition manufacturers to produce and popularize wimpy stuff so that the great unwashed masses cannot effectively defend themselves from totalitarian goons?

    • Fastest growing segment of shooters are women. Makes sense a round that is “good enough” but lighter recoiling would be developed.

    • There are literally millions of new shooters. Half of those new shooters are woman.

      This cartridge is for them.

      • There are PLENTY of low recoiling 9mm-lite rounds that equal these ballistics, and do it for cheap. This seems interesting, but forgettable.

  4. New cartridge? Why? They can’t even produce enough real ammo for us. Something smells, and it’s the ammo and gun Mfg’s.
    Don’t get me started on primers and powders either, much less I’m in the market for a BOLT .223 and the companies are producing 6.5 Needmores out the wazoo.

    • Simple economics. If you can only get enough primers in your factory to supply 50% of your demand what cartridge do you put those primers on? 9mm where you compete in price with everyone? 223 in the same boat? Or do you use the primers on defense ammo, match ammo, and more expensive ammo like 6.5CM? Obviously you prioritize the most profitable items. Its happening in *every* corner of every market right now. Its also why the past 40+ years of massive mergers is going to come back and bite us. Sure economies of scale made things cheaper until we narrowed suppliers to just a handful. Now when the makers have supply issues they prioritize the most expensive stuff and don’t spend extra money on more capacity. Why do that when you can just keep charging extra and benefit from the scarcity? In a true free market we would be seeing small businesses cropping up in every field and all over the world to alleviate the supply crunches we have in nearly everything right now. instead the smaller companies don’t even try because they know they will be crushed by the huge mega corps and the huge mega corps just want to keep maximizing their return each quarter so taking a hit today to improve profits tomorrow isn’t a viable option.

  5. Seems on the surface to be ballistically a rimless 327 Federal Magnum??? If so, it could be a real winner.

    • First thing I thought, but it’s published velocity is 200 ft per second slower than the maximum loads of most of the 327 Federal rounds.

      • Unless it’s based on currently existing brass now in ample production quantities, it’s gonna have a long, uphill fight on its hands, if it expects to survive.

        (As an example, .300 BLK, based on trimmed, re-sized .223/5.56 brass…)

      • you will run into the same issues with 9mm vs .357 mag or even.38 Super when comparing this to a .327; You can’t give the round that kind of powder capacity without having a really long grip. If going full house loads cramming more 2400, H110 or lilgun into a round tends to be better than a more moderate load of say Blue Dot.

  6. “Unlike 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, Federal’s new round has been designed from the ground up for personal defense and concealed carry.” SERIOUSLY thats a bunch of B.S. ALL those 3 cartridges were designed as PERSONAL DEFENSE AND CONCEALED CARRY. Because the German 98 Mauser & our 1903 Springfield service rifles were too big for officers to conceal. The .40 because all sworn FBI agents are issued handguns for daily carry. Apparently S&W didn’t learn from their previous mistake with the Model 13 pistol and by the way I still have a full unopened box of Winchester .35 S&W “full patch bullets” ammo.

    • To be fair, those were all designed to be fired from 4-5″ barreled duty pistols. The 1911 was originally designed specifically to be carried on the hip, but not necessarily concealed. Surely the Smith & Wesson 4006 wasn’t. Although I concealed carry a government 1911 for a lot of years, when the industry talks about concealed carry guns, they usually mean subcompacts.
      Which is dumb.

      • the .40 S&W was originally created and designed to be used in just one gun, the Model 4046 – 4″ barrel and stainless.

  7. What? Is it April 1st? This is stupid. Like the other guy said hey how about producing ammo we actually want? WTF

  8. So, basically a longer more powerful version of 32 ACP cartridge for a modern locked breech auto. I suspect part of the reason for the longer case is to keep someone from trying to fire it in an old blow back operated pistol. If someone produces a quality small gun in it I might replace my LCP II with it for non-permissive environments or when larger isn’t practical.

    • I wonder if a barrel swap, lighter recoil spring, and a different extractor/ejector might work to upgrade many of the new 9mm subcompacts? Assuming that someone would offer the conversion kits.

      • It’s pretty much going to need ease-of-adaptability to existing gun models…

  9. Also, can you imagine the future caliber wars?

    “Real men shoot 9mm”

    “But mag capacity! 2 more rounds with .30SC!”

  10. So will this ammo work in my Pederson Device? Why not just make a French 7.65 Long chambered Smith & Wesson pistol? Oh Wait!

  11. In a world where everybody already got a P365 or Hellcat, and maybe even a Ruger LCP max, and is only struggling to afford ammo, i don’t see this taking off.

    • If Federal is pushing it, it will do ok. With anybody buying any ammo they can find right now, this is the time to expand and make bets on margins.

  12. I’m a big fan of the 327 and I do find this cartridge interesting. That said, I do think it was an error to name it as a 30 rather than a 32. I think a lot of people will get the perception that that it is too small to be effective.

    • That was my thought as well, but I think they are trying to appeal to the historic popularity of cartridges with “.30” in the name in the US. .308, 30-06, 300BLK, .300WM, etc. Of course, all of those are rifle cartridges. But I can’t think of any .32 or 8mm named cartridges that are popular today, and plenty have existed. Closest things are the Russian 7.62s and the .303, that I can think of.

  13. I have been wishing for an auto version of the .327 Fed a couple years now and one hour after I order an LCP Max in .380, I read this. Eff me! My butt hurts.

    • Vic Nighthorse,

      I would not sweat it: you can turn around and sell your LCP Max in a heartbeat once you finally receive it. Another possibility: depending on how/where you ordered it, your distributor may be happy to refund your money–it’s not like gun stores are having trouble selling inventory right now.

      • Thanks. I am consoling myself with the notion that 30 Super Carry laser training cartridges are still a ways off. I really like being able to laser draw and dry fire practice. For me the LCP Max is really just a pajama and bug gun. I’ll still carry my full size out and about but a pocket draw option in addition to that will be nice for some circumstances.

        • Vic Nighthorse,

          “For me the LCP Max is really just a pajama and bug gun.”

          The LCP Max is exceptional in that regard. Unless a firearm manufacturer makes an LCP Max equivalent–and I mean exact equivalent in terms of both size and weight–chambered in .30 Super Carry, I would not bother.

          And then you have to think about ammunition availability long term. Who knows how long ammunition manufacturers will be making .30 Super Carry? Given how many people have handguns chambered in .380 ACP, I don’t foresee ammunition manufacturers ever ceasing production.

          I know that a lot of people poo-poo .380 ACP for being “weak sauce” as a self-defense caliber. Here is what you can expect if you ever have to use an LCP Max in a real-world self-defense event:

          1) Something like 95% of attackers will immediately break-off their attack when you produce your LCP Max handgun and start firing. Thus you can expect to prevail over at least 95% of violent attacks. And the remaining 5% who continue their attacks–stalkers, terrorists, and people stoned on the likes of PCP–are going to require a lot of effort to stop with anything short of Magnum calibers.

          2) Load your LCP Max .380 ACP with Underwood Ammunition’s “Xtreme Penetrator” cartridge and you will achieve similar terminal ballistics to 9mm Luger cartridges loaded with highly-regarded hollowpoints.

          3) In the absolute worst case where you use your LCP Max on some huge amped-up attacker who manages to “shrug-off” hits from your LCP Max and proceeds to maim/murder you, he WILL have to go to a hospital if he wants to survive. (Of course that assumes that you put a least one bullet somewhat centrally into his abdomen or chest or even into the mid-line of his upper arm or leg.) Once he shows up at the hospital with his gunshot wound, police WILL arrive and arrest him. Thus, at the very least, your attacker will go to prison for his crime (unless the local District Attorney refuses to prosecute his crime).

          Summary: I think your LCP Max is an excellent choice for your stated application and would not have any inkling of buyer’s remorse.

      • Vic and uncommon it’s eerie seeing some of the discussions my wife and I had the past 3 months play out in a comments section. Still looking for a 32 acp laser cartridge and underwood is a leader for many short barrel ideas. Great time for low recoil small frame firearms.

        • SAFEupstateFML,

          Great time for low recoil small frame firearms.

          Very true. Recent discoveries/advances in bullet technology have improved the terminal ballistics of the “lesser” calibers.

          And as I mentioned, people seem to forget that ANY handgun will drive-off 95% of attackers once you begin pulling the trigger.

          At this point the only utilitarian reason for carrying a “major” caliber in a full-size handgun is to increase your probability of promptly stopping a spree-killer, terrorist, or amped-up junkie. Of course you could want to carry said platforms simply because you like them–which is fine although there is no actual utility in it beyond the 5% of attackers already mentioned.

          P.S. Our comments converging on your discussion with your spouse should not be a surprise since we are all converging on truth.

  14. Seems like it should have been named 32 Super (.32 Super Auto) since it appears to be a higher pressure version of the 32 ACP (.32 Auto).

    Should be a mild-recoiling, accurate, fun little round to shoot. If you affirm that more rounds on target is gainful, then this new round should be right up your alley.

    More options is always a good thing.

    • cartridge names are for marketing purposes, mostly. they didn’t want consumers who hear the name to associate it with .32ACP, since that has connotations of low power/wimpy performance. whereas the number .30 makes people think of rifle cartridges– .30-30, .308, etc. it’s all marketing bs.

  15. I’d try it. A Blackhawk chambered in .30 carbine doesn’t make an awful lot of sense on paper, but guess what? It’s one of my favorite handguns to shoot, and I shoot it very well. I’d love to try this cartridge out of a full size 1911.

    Do I see it taking off and replacing uh, anything? Nope. But it sure looks fun!

    • A 30 carbine blackhawk makes a ton of sense, it was designed when there was a metric but ton of surplus ammo available when it came out. If you reload, try Starline 32/20 cases run through the 30 carbine die set – – – instant rimmed 30 Magnum with proper headspacing. The same situation with this new cartridge would be called, um, oh yeah…327 Federal, another ” say, whatever happened to the ____? ” recently introduced wonder cartridge.

    • I wish there were more handguns in .30 Carbine. They would complement the M1 Carbine. As far as I know, the Blackhawk is the only one. It would be nice to have a double action revolver in the caliber.

  16. I’d love to see drop-in conversion kits for existing 9mm pistols.

    Exactly what I was thinking!

    Then again, how much does it cost to order a conversion slide, barrel, and recoil spring? In the real world almost as much as purchasing an entire handgun. At that point, why not just buy a second handgun made for this caliber?

      • Or .40 S&W to 10mm…

      • Going from .40 with the G23, I just change the barrel, and mag for 9mm. For .357 Sig just the barrel. I’d like to get separate slides eventually, but I have done it without them for more than 10 years. No need to mess with any other parts. The Advantage Arms .22 conversion has a complete slide, and of course its own mags. That kit cost 1/3 the cost of a new gun.

        If this gets traction and they make a G19/23 conversion I’d add it to the conversion collection.

      • CWT,

        Whether or not you would need a new slide depends on how reliably the extractor on your larger caliber’s slide yanks the smaller diameter rim on the smaller caliber.

        For those of you who are not aware, the surface and corresponding extractor on a slide which ejects spent casings is sized to the diameter of the casing–which is the caliber of the round. Since the extractor is spring-loaded, it has enough extra travel to remove smaller diameter rounds–to a point. If the smaller diameter round is too small, then the extractor will not remove the spent casing (or fail to remove it reliably).

        • Yes, but we’re talking about a half mm decrease in the radius, just like 9mm conversions for .40 guns.

        • Possibly the ejector also. Some of the technical guys over at Marine Gun Builder recommended swapping ejectors and extractors, along with barrel and mag whenever swapping between .40/.357 and 9mm. They are different part #s and dimensions (very slightly). However, like Pirate above, I’ve never had a problem. Going down another size, however, may make a difference. The market will answer if needed.

  17. Sounds to me like the point actually is “not a military round” for automatics. As opposed to 9mm or .45 (or .32/.380/etc of eurowussieland).

    • “Sounds to me like the point actually is “not a military round” for automatics.”

      That may well be a consideration for an international market where ‘military calibers’ for civilians are banned by law, like Mexico, if memory serves…

  18. An M&P CSX Performance Center version in this would work. It’s smaller than a Shield Plus with 12-14 rounds. A nice 1911 trigger on that setup would be sweet.


  20. In the middle of a pandemic, violent crime surge, and ammunition shortage is the perfect time to introduce a new pistol cartridge that fills a niche that can wait.
    The owners of 45 GAP are still waiting for ammo to be made.

    • Upstate NY at multiple gun stores for underwood and federal loadings. Ball is a little tricky but for some reason the Albany/Columbia/Rensselaer county gun stores have a fair amount of 45 gap. I am guessing a department or two had it and later switched to 40 or 9.

    • I would imagine that they think too many people think “weak” when they hear 32. Marketing wise the 327 probably sounds enough like 357 to counter act the 32 part;-)

  21. So it’s a straight walled 7.65 Borchardt, circa 1893…with new powder and bullets. Way to innovate, Federal.

  22. Could be fun – especially with some 60 gr copper hollow points. How about fun loads, will they use the common 72 gr FMJ? Get me a conversion barrel for my Shield 1.0 and I’ll give it a shot.

  23. This is nothing more than the 7.65X20 French that I reload with .32 H&R ballistics. I predict a fast demise for this as it’s not needed and with the lack of ammo and reloading components already it is foolish to introduce a new cartridge now!

    • Except with a longer case and double the pressure. And designed around heavier bullets. And around strong, modern locked breach pistols. And more powerful.

      But otherwise, yes, nothing more than that. Exactly the same.

      I’m just kidding with you… this does appear to have some similarities with some older, not-currently-popular cartridges.

  24. For my my .308 Winchester TC Encore barrel, I have adapters to fire .30 Carbine and .32 ACP in it for low-cost, low-recoil, quiet practicing. Someone could easily make adapters to shoot this .30 SC in a .308 Winchester, as the .32 ACP is also .312″ in diameter, but .32 ACP is a wimpy round that doesn’t gain any velocity in a rifle barrel, while I’m guessing .30 SC might gain some velocity in a longer barrel.

  25. Cute. Nighthawk will make a few dozen, probably less than 100 guns. A (very) few other companies might add a 30 SC to their line, but I doubt they’ll be in production very long. S&W will silently drop this round in 2024 after only a couple thousand (if that) guns. And Federal will stop making ammo sometime after.
    Of course, I could be wrong: Glock still soldiers on, making guns in .45 GAP.

    • Even Sig Sauer gave up on .357 Sig. I appreciate Glock continuing to make them. Are they the only ones now? Glock was about the only option for a double stack 10mm for years. Others are finally following their lead.

      • Oh, yeah! I forgot about the .357 Sig. Maybe Glock will pick up the .30 SC, so that people can buy guns in that caliber long after the factories stop producing ammo.
        My theory on Glocks in .45 GAP & .357 Sig is why we don’t see them in Gen4 or Gen5 – they made a huge production run and are still selling them off to recoup their losses.
        I really don’t think many companies will produce the .30 SC. The .45 GAP uses a .45 ACP breachface & the .357 Sig uses a .40 S&W. The .357 uses .40 mags & the .45 only needed the feed lips opened a bit. The .30 SC will require a new breachface being machined and the magazines being retooled for the smaller diameter round. And, the .30 SC really isn’t good for anything. The 10mm at least has value as a hunting & outdoorsman’s round.

  26. I saw people commenting about this on a few YT gumn channels I follow. I thought it was just some sort of meme I wasn’t getting.

  27. Should have named it the .327 carry, would have capitalized on the similarity to .357/.327 while making it clear that it’s for a carry piece/semiauto. Hell they could have just machined off the rim from the .327 Fed Mag and shortened it to 10mm length and they would have been about where they are now. I think I posted this idea here on TTAG a while back come to think of it.

  28. I don’t get it… competition to the 380 from a gun size standpoint.

    Preferable over a 9mm cause……you need to plan on missing a lot.

    Same old story.

  29. “According to Federal, the 30 Super Carry outperforms the .380 ACP by a large margin and keeps up with 9mm in handgun ballistics. Unlike 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, Federal’s new round has been designed from the ground up for personal defense and concealed carry…”

    Somehow “keeps up with” does not sound like a winning formula to make inroads against the most popular handgun cartridge in the world.

    People carry the .45 because “they don’t make a .46” and the .380 because it’s so concealable. People carry the 9mm because it’s a jack of all trades. What would this round be? Somewhere between .380 and 9mm? Good luck to the early adopters finding this ammo in 15 years…

  30. Oh I see, they cant keep the supply up for the regular ones so they made a new one.
    No we dont got no .25, 9mm, 357, .44 or .45’s but we’ve got a whole bunch of these super 30’s.

  31. Can’t keep up with production make a new round. Make zero sense
    Then they will water it down after a year

  32. Someone needs to make SMG mags for this and magwell adapters for ARs. Just tossing it out there. If one were creative it’s likely using a standard 5.56 bolt head wouldn’t be too hard.

    Looking at SAAMI this hasn’t hit yet.

  33. I am still looking for .41 Action Express to come back in good supply first. I actually .like .25 ACP, .32 ACP, and .380 ACP. They are fun. If I needed a self defense pistol I would use 9mm because it is an adequate defense round. Or .357, or 45 ACP, or . . . well, there are lots of options already.

  34. I’m imagining one of those Browning pint sized 1911’s they made in .380ACP… chambered in this. Fun!
    People who are comparing this to 9mm are making a mistake. .380 is one of the oldest handgun cartridges made and there’s a lot of room for improvement; and theres a whole size niche where the gun is underpowered in .380 but harder to control in 9mm, and that’s where this new .30 will fit.
    Of course, i also think chambering a full size steel frame 1911 in this would be just hilarious: “Recoil? What is this word you use?”

  35. I’m a fan of .32 calibre, but this one is going nowhere commercially. I may buy one because I like .32s, but the market will not agree. The typical incredible BS is written by the usual internet shills about the .30 Super Carry – MSM-like nonsense for the largely ignorant new gun owners.

    1. The industry cannot produce ammo for the shelves of the LGS in .380, .38 Special and about 3 dozen other popular calibres. Unless Vista plans on stiffing existing gun owners and making only .30 Super Carry – this is a loser that no one wants or asked for. But hey, since Vista is stiffing the LGS and selling ammo mainly to the Big Box outdoor retailers and direct to consumer – yeah I can believe this.

    2. Their recoil claims are bogus. Calibre has nothing to do with recoil. Push a .32 100 grain bullet out at 1250 fps and it’s going to recoil like a 9mm 115 grain bullet at 1150 fps. And that is assuming guns of equal weight. And frankly the larger calibre heavier 9mm will be more effective despite the recoil being the same.

    3. A round for “tiny little cary guns” and “the weak and infirm”. Yeah OK. No free lunches girls. The above recoil comparison just got a whole lot worse in tiny little carry guns. An LCP Max is snappy with high performance .380… the .30 Super Carry will be a couple magnitudes greater in recoil and muzzle blast.

    4. This is claimed to be a 50,000 psi cartridge in an article by the NRA. What tiny little polymer guns with paper thin barrels (hello LCP Max) are going to handle this cartridge with any degree of durability? None. Not to mention that the the round is LONGER than a 9mm which means it won’t fit into .380-sized guns. Nighthawk Custom is chambering it in full-size 1911s – all you need to know.

    5. The currently unobtanium ammo is MSRP priced at .380 price plus , which is not cheap. There is no reloading brass, to complement the non-existent primers. If you happen to save your factory scraps and have a stash of primers, there are no .32 calibre bullets available for handloading (Hornady is about the only manufacturer of .312 bullets and they are backordered indefinitely, in addition recently dropped their popular 60 grain XTP).

  36. Interesting. One presumes the theory goes that as the .327 Federal is to the .357 Magnum, so the .30 Super Carry is to the 9 mm. Maybe. I own an SP 101 chambered in .327 Federal, and based on informal testing with feral hogs, the .327 Federal is no .357 Magnum. It just isn’t. Muzzle energies may be similar, but as multiple hogs can attest, a 100 gr., .313 caliber bullet just doesn’t carry the same punch and momentum as a 158 gr., .357 caliber bullet, even if it’s moving faster. The .30 Super Carry may offer advantages over a .380 ACP, but don’t try to pretend it’s a 9 mm. As for the .30 Super Carry’s advantages over the .380 ACP, the new round’s cartridge length will likely preclude it from being chambered in existing .380 ACP pocket pistol models, requiring new pocket pistol designs. No bueno.

  37. This is better than the 7.62×25, how? Or .30 cal Luger? An answer to a non-existent problem…

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