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At SHOT Show’s Range Day, Federal Ammunition had one S&W Shield Plus chambered in 9mm and one chambered in their new .30 Super Carry round. We shot both back-to-back…

The skinnier .30 Super Carry fit two more rounds into the same gun.

We fired 115 grain 9mm and 100 grain .30 Super Carry.

Blindfolded, I don’t think I could tell the difference. This was the general consensus from a bunch of other shooters, too. Perhaps, thanks to the lighter bullet, there’s a little bit less felt recoil push and muzzle movement, but it’s dang close. It feels much more like 9mm than it does .380.

I’m very interested in seeing ballistics gel tests, expansion results from the HST load through various barriers, etc. If I can get 9mm terminal ballistics from a round that provides me with +2 capacity and the shooting feel of a 9mm, I’m all about that.


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    • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

      “Any idea when ammo hits the shelves?”

      This early on, it may be best to invest in a set of dies and reload…

        • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

          Looked recently?

          It’s not as cheap as it once was, but it’s showing up.

          I’m seeing 9mm at Bass Pro for about 35 cents per round. That’s 1/2 of what it was at the peak…

        • Kinda get your point here, it’s going to be hard without any brass to put the components into. I have plenty of that stuff, just no brass!

        • Everything they say about this round says it has the same velocity and energy as a 9mm. The bullets are the same weight too. It’s like making a clay model of a 9mm, laying it on its side and rolling it on the table. Now it’s a little thinner and a little longer. Viola, now it’s the new super carry. I think a safe bet would be to load it up using the same data as you would a 9mm.

  1. Wait! You want a bullet smaller than 9mm? I think that’s already been tried. Bigger, deeper holes are always the answer.

    • It seems to me that holes in the CNS are always the best answer and that larger diameter sometimes makes that easier.

    • @Gadsden,

      Wound channel and hydrostatic expansion (shock to internal organs) dictate stopping power, not just “bigger, deeper” holes or bullets.

      I’ll stick with my 9mm because it’s common and I’ve already centered my own collection around it, but if the new .30 Super does the trick, I’ll tip my hat to anyone who wants it.

      • Haz, wound channel is a function of caliber. Hydrostatic shock is a function of of rifle calibers. Remember, defensive handgun rounds are underpowered for what we ask them to do. The only reason to carry a handgun, instead of a long gun, is convenience.

        • With all respect, wound channel is a result of multiple aspects of a particular bullet, more than simply caliber (projectile width). Its velocity upon impact, expansion, penetration, transfer of energy into the body, etc. If caliber were the primary factor, and a slower .45 ACP was superior based upon it alone, then going further along that same path of logic would state that throwing a 13-lb bowling ball by hand at someone would be superior to a .30 SC.

          I, as do many others, respect the venerable 1911 and the classic .45 ACP from our grandfathers, and I sure-as-schneikies wouldn’t ever want to be in front of one. I grew up on 1911s and the remain my favorite platform. However, the “but muh .45” argument isn’t the solid fallback it once was, with the variety of cartridges and loads available today.

          My two cents’…

        • Haz, I understand. I’m just basing my comment on going to the range with Federal, CCI/Speer, Winchester, etc. a few times where we shot 10% ordinance gelatin with their latest and greatest. More than once. Through cover. Drywall, plywood, laminated windshield glass, etc. We then recorded the results. We measured depth of penetration, temporary wound channel, bullet expansion etc. All this data was recorded and taken back to the factory for analysis. Then there’s the autopsies I had to attend. Bigger, deeper holes for me, thanks. You use whatever your comfortable with. All that said, I often carry a 9mm or .38 Spl as a primary. Something I would never have done 20 years ago before more recent improvements in defensive ammo. Still, 9mm aspires to be where .45 ACP starts. Remember, no one ever said, “That guy is trying to kill me! I wish I had a smaller bullet to shoot him with.”

    • find me one medical examiner who can distinguish the difference between holes made in elastic human tissue by any handgun caliber.

      Because I can find you dozens of examiners who readily admit they cannot tell the difference.

      Doesn’t make a difference to the corpse either.

      Penetration is the #1 factor. Read the FBI reports.

      • That’s why swords developed from broadswords to rapiers. So, if this cartridge gets similar penetration to 9mm it could be very effective. And you get more rounds for multiple bad guy scenarios. Time will tell.

      • Busy, the M.E.s I worked with generally limited there caliber analysis to “large” or “small” caliber wound.

      • I believe there was an article years ago here on TTAG about that very thing. The author, an ME, stated that the worst was from .357 mag. rounds.

  2. From what I’ve seen it tops out at about 340ft lbs of muzzle energy. 9mm can be 500(+p+Buffalo Bore). So it’s better than 380 & 38special. I dunno if this will take off…I have a hard enuf time getting 9mm cheap!

    • Spot on.
      I have my WCombat 92G Brig Tac set up for 475 ft/lb Underwood 9mm.

      This 30SC is ballistically similar to 7.65×21 (7.65Para/30 Luger). The parent case of 9Para.

    • If we want to talk +p+ type ammo, 38sp can be loaded up to .357mag levels, that blow away any 9mm. Of course it is only safe to shoot those rounds out of your .357 anyway. 😁

      • I agree.

        SAAMI #s have 9×19 Parabellum maximum chamber pressure 35,001 PSI, and 9mm +P at 38,500 psi., +P+ is unknown.

        This 30SD is loaded to 50,000 IIRC, and falls short of standard 9mm Para ft/lbs muzzle energy.
        With the standard pressure of 30SD so high, I would be surprised if a +P loading was to ever be developed. This seems like it hit the market right at its limit.

        I have a few cases of 45 Super BBore loaded to over 750 ft/lbs ME for the Mark 23. Was considering a 10mm handgun until I saw what the “low pressure ” 45acp could do with a pressure increase. 45 Super matches 10mm Norma loads.

  3. Did Federal say what length their test barrel was? Does 30SC pick up more velocity with more barrel? Is it much slower with less barrel? You know, 30SC may be interesting in PCC. A dedicated PCC round may be something.

    32 ACP 0.312 73 grains 1043 FPS 1899
    30 SC 0.312 100 grains 1250 FPS 2022
    30 Luger 0.309 93 grains 1200 FPS 1898 aka 30 Parabellum
    30 Mauser 0.309 86 grains 1450 FPS 1890s
    30 Tokarev 0.312 90 grains 1340 FPS 1930

    • My goal is to build an AR30SC, I’m trying to figure out what it’ll look like currently. I need to get my Atlas going again. May try to modify Colt Mags but have a few .30 French mags here to test too. I think the Colt Mags will get first shake being the lazy sort.

  4. New rounds are always interesting, but few go the distance. But I’m not seeing this one making it. It’s got a steep uphill battle. It’s almost a 9mm luger, but slightly less powerful. It simply will not compete on price with the 9mm, which I believe is the most manufactured round in the world. It would need to beat the 9mm significantly in at least one aspect and while the increased capacity is always a good thing, I don’t think the slight increase in round capacity in this case is going to do the trick. It also has the chicken and egg problem faced by most new rounds. Very few pistols initially to support it would need to carry the load if and until the round takes off. I wish it the best, but not putting my money on it.

  5. 7.65 mm French Loung aka .30 Pederson

    Didnt we make fun of the french for adopting the m1935, as recently as last week.

    • Exactly it is a +P version of that as I have one and am now reloading for it. I predict a fast demise for this cartridge as it is going to be expensive and hard to get ammo. Possibly the worst time to introduce a new self defense cartridge.

  6. This round has potential, but it’s certainly being introduced at a tough time. The 9mm does pretty well out of 3.1″ and 3.7″ barrels like the P365s, P365XLs, and a host of other variants. I see a number of things killing this round – cost, availability, and somewhat high chamber pressure. If it works out of short barrels, becomes quasi-available, and works well out of the Shield Plus and similar variants, it could actually amount to something. The .357 Sig and .45 GAP were supposed to be innovative, but crashed and burned.

    • Yes.

      I see this round’s potential in the (hot) compact/subcompact pistol market. Iff major brands would size down their current 9mm pocket pistols, making it even slimmer and lighter, this cartridge could become popular.

      People WILL buy even-smaller CCW pistols if those pistols are redisigned thoughtfully.

      Will brands make the capital investment?

    • People keep saying that, but .357 Sig did well enough to get some police department adoption for a while. Not a complete crash and burn. I have both a stock length and threaded .357 Sig barrel for the Glock 23. If they make a Glock 19/23/32 size conversion for this .30 SC I’d probably bite.

      • One of my shooting buddies still swears by .357sig (he also likes .40s&w), and yes, he is in his 60’s.

        Still, I think he is right about the .357sig. I generally stick with 9mm, since it is cheaper, more available,.and good enough.

        He also likes his 7mm mag over the .270win that I feel is good enough,.

  7. A solution looking for a problem

    Even if this is an incremental upgrade over 9mm, how much more money do you want to pay for it? How many fewer guns to pick from? How much guarantee that it will have any long-term development in ammo to go with those guns? With such an overwhelming usage advantage, it’s not necessarily enough to just be ‘better’ than the most popular cartridge.

    Federal likes developing these cartridges that sound like they’ll be the best of all worlds but just end up being an in-between round that doesn’t really go anywhere. The federal 30 super may occupy a position on shelves right next to the .327 magnum. Yes, I’m sure someone will now type about how the .327 magnum is the ideal revolver carry round… and I wish 16ga were more popular but here we are.

    • Hannibal,

      The federal 30 super may occupy a position on shelves right next to the .327 magnum. Yes, I’m sure someone will now type about how the .327 magnum is the ideal revolver carry round… and I wish 16ga were more popular but here we are.

      Well said.

      I love revolvers. I would be absolutely thrilled to purchase a new revolver chambered in .327 Federal Magnum. Alas, I never see .327 Federal Magnum ammunition at my local stores.

      Sure, there will always be ammunition distributors somewhere in the United States who can ship to my front porch. I REALLY want the option of purchasing at my local stores as well. It is for that reason that I have not yet purchased a revolver chambered in .327 Federal Magnum. Meanwhile, I will continue to cover my use cases with .22 LR, .38 Special/.357 Magnum, and .44 Magnum.

      Sadly, I anticipate the same long-term result with .30 Super Carry.

      • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

        “…I anticipate the same long-term result with .30 Super Carry.”

        Like .40 S&W?

        It had a very strong start, available everywhere local to me, and then, just kinda died out…

        • Geoff PR,

          I am wondering whether .40 S&W ammunition shortages are due to current events of the past two years rather than some sort of phasing out.

          A regional sporting goods store near me had basically no ammunition at all until maybe two months ago. And about all they have of any meaningful quantity is .22 LR, 5.56x45mm NATO, 7.62x39mm, and .308 Winchester. There were one or two boxes of some handgun caliber/s (I don’t remember what caliber/s) and one or two boxes of some other rifle caliber/s which I do not recall.

          The influx of .22 LR, 5.56x45mm, 7.62x39mm, and .308 tells me that ammunition manufacturers or the buyers for retailers have gravitated to the calibers in the highest demand. Thus, we are not seeing well-established calibers with slightly less demand on the shelves such as .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, .44 Magnum, .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, and .30-06 Springfield (among many other possibilities as well).

          I am guardedly optimistic that we will see .40 S&W ammunition on the shelves again when (or perhaps more appropriately IF) the insanity of the last two years finally abates.

    • Revolvers have unfortunately become a niche market. CCW revolvers is an even smaller market. The 327 FM suffers as a result.

      Compact CCW pistols is a large and growing market. The 30 Super Carry may take off if (and only if) major brands offer redesigned, smaller/lighter-than-9mm carry compact pistols.

  8. Having done some testing using live goats and 9mm versus 7.62×25. The difference between the two was not that significant, the goats did seem to expire slightly faster from the 9mm, slightly. In both calibers to humanely dispatch the goats two shots were required using a through the shoulders shot placement.
    When testing the .45 and .44 these two calibers dispatched the goats much faster and only required one shot.
    Is the Super 30 better then a 9mm? It depends on what criteria you use to justify better as my experimentation with the 7.62×25 vs 9mm did not produce results that were measurably different.

    • Just how many goats can 1 family of Possum’s eat before they spoil? Did you have a large family cook out or something?
      Not that I have any love of goats, but hate to see the meat wasted.

    • According to Wikipedia, the usual device used in a slaughterhouse is a captive bolt pistol applied to the forehead of the animal. Captive bolts have been made that use either compressed air, blank cartridges, or springs. Here’s the link to the article:

      • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

        “no country for old men.”

        I just bet my brain damaged, mentally-ill demented troll has a bowl haircut like the character of Anton Chigurh… 😉

      • I worked for Iowa Beef Processing , 1978-82 Emporia Ks.
        Also when my father slaughtered a steer for the family he used a ball peen hammer to kill it.
        I once accidentally killed a cow with a rock when trying to chase it away from a well pump.
        What’s all that got to do with cartridges and their performance I do not know, other then if you hit something in the head hard enough with something you’ll probably kill it.

  9. What you can have is a true doublestack, coming in at the width of a stack and half, which is all the rage now. Therefore it will hold more rounds on two accounts. Two rounds per stack, [+4] and being a true double stack [ 2 more for a total of +6]. Maybe a narrower slide in the barrel area or even a Berreta 92 treatment there.

    • Exactly.

      But the major brands need to redisign their 9mm offerings in slimmer, lighter, higher capacity versions.

      If so, this cartridge may well fly high.

  10. Aside from the fact that one cannot introduce new pistols in California, the capacity in excess of ten (or seven in NY) makes the potential for extra rounds irrelevant. Restated, this will not sell over 9mm in certain “ban”states.

    • NY is 10 took a court case but the 7 limit was rejected years ago. Still doesn’t help the issue of this not being as friendly for us capacity wise but it could be an option for some shooters where 9mm is a bit too much but 380 isn’t enough.

    • I think the point would be to have an extra 2 rounds in something as small as the P938. Most of the new high capacity micro 9s aren’t pocket carry friendly. They’re borderline at best.

      • Had to look that one up but yes could see that working out well so long as there is enough barrel for the round to be effective (probably good to go given 32acp does ok in this category)

    • avatar Geoff "A day without an apparently brain-damaged mentally-ill demented troll is like a day of warm sunshine" PR

      Momentum on 2A rights is clearly on our side, and about to get a serious boost. Something tells me the Cali ‘roster’ will soon be history…

  11. Once the ammunition companies have loaded enough 9mm, .380 ACP, .32 ACP and .25 ACP, they can make more of this rare, marketing based, cartridge for those with excess money. Until then I want them to go scam the tacticool and leave the rest of us alone.

  12. I am uncertain that this round is sufficiently different than 9mm, to ensure commercial success. It’s too late for me anyway, being invested in the 5.7 X 28 mm…

  13. And where is the screaming demand for this cartridge? I must have missed it.
    $50 says it’s a no-go within a year.

  14. “If I can get 9mm terminal ballistics from a round that provides me with +2 capacity and the shooting feel and availability/affordability of a 9mm, I’m all about that.”

    There, fixed it for you.

  15. The Ammo companies never cease to quite making laughable markenting blunders like the 45 gap and the .327 and now the .30 super carry. They tried to reinvent the wheel with the .30 carry and its not super in any sense of the word. The ancient .30 Tokarev is far more powerful and the ancient .30 Luger is the equal of the 30 super carry. But ammo companies count on peoples ignorance and the desire to own “the latest and the greatest”. With the immense popularity of the 9mm Luger the .30 carry has about as much chance of success as the .45 Gap did or a snow ball in hell.

    I might go out on a limb and say the .40 S&W as history went on fell flat on its face as well as it never came close to replacing or denting the popularity of the 9×19 Luger or even the .45 acp. And ditto for Jeff Cooper when he touted the 10mm as the ultimate defense pistol round. That went over like al led balloon as did his idiotic scout rifle concept. And remember Cooper mouthed off that the 9mm would not kill a barn mouse at point blank range.

  16. Man, this is silly. The ammunition companies can’t fulfill the demand for traditional calibers, and now they want to foist this “new and improved” dud on us.

    • While I enjoy the occasional Licorice Coconut and Rum Cherry Fudge, even my local ice cream shop is smart enough to be certain that it has a sufficient stock of, wait for it – – – VANILLA and CHOCOLATE.

      • Damn you, now I’m wanting some rum . One hour and the liquor store closes, hope the car starts, battery probably dead, always something taking my money and slowing me down.

  17. Just my opinion, but… I honestly don’t think this round was the brain child of Federal or any ammo maker. I think it originated with S&W execs.
    TONS of new, first time gun owners in 2021. And the trend in sales is towards small size and capacity. Hence the MAX-9, LCP-Max, etc. To these buyers, two pistols (that basically all look the same to them) but one holds a few more rounds… guess which one they pick.

    I think S&W wanted a quick edge in sales and found someone to produce these. So even if the round fizzles out in a couple years, if they hit their sales marks they can drop that model with no regrets.

  18. Everyone writing this off doesn’t own a .30 cal suppressor. I’ve been asking for a solid .30 cal pistol cartridge for years. A PCC without the need to buy a “pistol caliber suppressor”. Yes, please.

      • LOL. I haven’t seen a modern firearm chambered in those calibers. People aren’t building defensive weapons with collectibles. A large company can partner with manufacturers to adopt the caliber, and create a market for firearms / ammo that aren’t antique relics of yester-year. That question was kinda ridiculous.

  19. I haven’t shot .30 SC, but it seems to be the anti-.40 S&W. The 110gr has a bit more unexpanded sectional density than 124gr 9mm, and the 115gr SC has a SD a little more than 147gr 9mm. Expanded, they switch and the 9mm is a bit higher. The penetration is good, which is what counts in handguns and a little lacking in .380. You trade 2 rounds for 15% less area (10% expanded), which is a lesser chance to hit a blood vessel and makes a littler hole in an organ. When you drop from .40 to 9mm, you trade 2 rounds for 20% less area. I don’t see .30 SC as a terrible choice. I’d consider it in gun made for it instead of a repurposed 9mm, like a slimmer single stack similar to a Sig P938 or Glock 42.

  20. 9mm already overpenetrates. This .30 Super will ovepenetrate even more.
    Switching from 9mm to .30 Super would mean switching from a small, fast round that tends to overpenetrate and go through several walls, to an even smaller, faster FMJ round that will overpenetrate even more walls. In the case of a home invasion, while shooting at the bad guy, the bullet will pass through the bad guy, then through several walls and kill your entire family in three different bedrooms (at least here in NJ where we’re limited to FMJ ammunition). No thank you.

    This is especially true for those of us living behind the iron curtain in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, hollowpoints are banned. We’re stuck with FMJ if we don’t want to get arrested. The only two places New Jersey law allows the use of hollowpoints are target shooting at state-approved gun clubs (when hollowpoints are a waste of money to use punching paper), and hunting (even though NJ doesn’t allow handguns for hunting anyway). New Jersey’s ban on hollowpoints has no exceptions for home defense or self defense!

    For those of us who live in a state that bans hollowpoints, .380 ACP is better than 9mm, as .380 has less overpenetration and will most likely dump all its energy in the bad guy. Living in a state that requires FMJ, the “poor penetration” of .380 is a feature, not a bug! Other good. low-penetration calibers here are .45 ACP, .45 Colt, and 9 x 18mm Makarov (which is .365″ rather than .355″ and is slightly more powerful than .380 ACP), or 55 grain 5.56/.223, although with NJ’s “assault weapons” ban, AR pistols are banned and our rifles have to be neutered, no “evil features.”

    Countdown to my move out of New Jersey: 71 months, 25 days, and 15 minutes (until retirement), but who’s counting?

  21. I think the .30 SC won’t replace anything.

    The .380 ACP is in business since 1908 and still popular.
    The 9 mm Luger is in business since 1901, in service since 1904 (Marine 04) and more popular than ever. Even the Russian and the Chinese Armies are convinced by the 9 mm Luger.

    The question is: Will the .30 SC, as a beefed up 7.65×20 mm / 7,65 mm French / .30 Pedersen, win enough brains AND hearts to be established for at least some decades like the .40 S&W did or not?

  22. Let’s see…. 50 rounds of ubiquitous 9mm for $21, or 50 rounds of unobtanium .30 Stupid Carry for $32.

    Glock 43X/48 about the same size, same 10 round magazine, same recoil, but Glocks are almost a 1/2 pound lighter, much thinner slide, and uses readily available and less expensive ammo.

    .30 Ridiculous Name is going nowhere.

  23. Meh… still just as pointless in November as it was in January. I bought a Shield Plus last year when they first came out… now IF a “conversion kit” (barrel and magazine) for 30 Super is introduced then I MIGHT concider getting that for nothing more than mere s***** and giggles but that’s about it. I saw some posts mentioning the .357 Sig adoption by some law enforcement agencies.. that was just headscratching at its finest with my former agency. We switched from S&W 686 revolvers to the brand new M&P .40 S&W and another division went with M&P chambered in .357 Sig… logistical stupidity. They didn’t keep the .357 Sig a decade but switched to Sig P226 in 9mm… we’re still on our .40s. Haha. And honestly, I love the .40

    • Sgt. Davis:
      I like the ubiquitous 9x19mm for my summertime concealed carry, but a J Frame snubby in .38Spl. +P for coat-pocket carry in winter. I also like .357 Magnum among others, but those’re not for everyday carry.

      However, my son really likes .40 S&W as a compromise between 9mm and .45ACP. He gets good accurate results with .40S&W in his S&W Shield (first model), a pistol that is easier to shoot than my Springfield XD9s Mod.2. It now being Christmas time, I went shopping for some .40 S&W yesterday for his Christmas present and found an adequate (but not huge) supply at the neighborhood sporting goods store.

      My point is that I don’t believe .40S&W is going to disappear anytime soon. In fact, I’m thinking I might like to try it again myself, but not in the overweight SIG P239 boat anchor that I had before.

  24. Got the concept. I think they will appeal to newbies buying their first gun and those who love to need out on specs. The first may or may not use it, the second would rather talk it to death. For a potential SHTF scenario, I’ll always opt for the most common calibers. you will always find stashes of .22, .38, 9mm, .45, 5.56, 7.62, 12Ga. All others, especially dillitant releases, are hard to find in the best of times. As far as manufacturing, would you rather make a widely-adopted product, or a limited specialty alternative? Popularity comes from price / performance. New specialty firearms and ammo are going to have to break the paradigm by offering vastly superior benefits or price. I can’t see buying a new handgun and paying a premium for “just as good” performance and one or two more rounds in the mag when the downside is not readily available ammo. Ballistics studies on most clubs are comparable.

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