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Federal’s New 30 Super Carry Cartridge – Designed for Everyday Carry

Every so often, a new caliber will come out claiming to be the best new thing. Federal celebrated 100 years of designing ammunition by releasing a new cartridge. It's called 30 Super Carry, and from what I hear, it is pretty fantastic.

HST 30 Super Carry

Federal 30 Super Carry Cartridge —

Federal's focus on the 30 Super Carry is to design a cartridge specifically for concealed carriers and their everyday carry (EDC) guns.

There is no secret that the 9mm cartridge has become the prevalent round, replacing .45 and .40 caliber for everyday carry. The popularity is partly due to the ballistic performance of the 9mm, and its smaller physical size, allowing greater capacity. For a concealed carrier, cramming more capacity in the same sized gun without giving up any ballistic performance is a no-brainer. And, the reduced recoil of the 9mm can translate into faster recovery and follow-up shots for the average shooter.

federal 30 super carry

Why a new cartridge?

So Federal says, what if we could provide the same ballistic performance as a 9mm, but make the cartridge a little smaller, around the size of a .380. And why not make the projectile slightly lighter. Then we could get even more rounds in the same package; Maybe even narrowing the grip circumference without losing performance. And we could reduce the felt recoil with the lighter load.

Well, that's what Federal claims to have produced with their 100 gr .312 projectile, the 30 Super Carry cartridge.

30 super carry

30 Super Performance —

Energy & Velocity –

Let's look at the numbers Federal states about energy (foot-pounds of energy) and velocity (feet per second) for the Super 30 cartridge.

Federal compared their popular HST, self-defense cartridge in .380, 9mm, and 30 Super. The website doesn't say what barrel sizes they used in the testing, but I am assuming they standardized these variables across all calibers.

The .380s 99-grain projectile had 223 foot-pounds (ft-lbs), at 1030 feet per second (FPS).

The 30 Super Carry 100's grain projectile had 347 ft-lbs, at 1250 fps.

The 9mm's124-grain projectile had 364 ft-lbs, at 1150 fps.

We see that the 30 Super Carry performed extremely close to the 9mm, but in the package of a .380 cartridge. The 30 Super Carry produced nearly the same ft-lbs as the 9mm while traveling a bit faster.

30 super carry performance

Penetration & Expansion –

Using the same HST Self-Defense cartridge, Federal reported the following numbers in average inches of penetration and diameter of expansion.

On average, the .380s 99-grain projectile had 9.95″ of penetration and .588″ expansion.

The Super 30 Carry's 100-grain projectile, on average, had 15.5″ of penetration with .530″ expansion.

The 9mm's 124-grain projectile penetrated 14.5″ and expanded .571″ on average.

30 super carry

Capacity –

We can't forget to talk about the added capacity with the smaller 30 Super Carry cartridge.

Federal compares three 1911's of the same size chambered in .45, 9mm, and 30 Super Carry. Federal was able to get 8 rounds of .45 in the single stack magazine, 10 rounds of 9mm, and 12 rounds of 30 Super Carry rounds.

Here is a graphic of how the 30 Super Carry cartridge compares to 9mm in a double-stack magazine from the Federal website.

30 super carry

Which guns use 30 Super Carry —

Currently, only the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Plus and Shield EZ and the Nighthawk Customs Customs President and Global Response Pistol 1911s are chambered for the 30 Super Carry round.

That gives the striker-fired people and the 1911 lovers a chance to shoot a firearm they are familiar with and use this new round.


Some Thoughts —

I'm not predicting if the 30 Super Carry is the way of the future for concealed carry handguns. I'm not ancient, but I've been around long enough to see a few different calibers fizzle out in the long run.

However, for some reason, I feel different about this round. I don't think this round's success or failure will be because of a lack of performance or practicality.

Instead, I think one factor be if major gun manufacturers believe retooling to offer their most popular handguns in yet another caliber is worth it or not. I am curious as to what the round will cost. Will other ammo suppliers make 30 Super Carry rounds? Until then, the cost to switch to 30 Super Carry from 9mm may be too much in the long run for folks who regularly shoot a high volume of rounds.

What are your thoughts?

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15 Responses to Federal’s New 30 Super Carry Cartridge – Designed for Everyday Carry

  1. Ralph January 6, 2022 at 12:09 pm #

    This is exactly what I have been wanting ever since I got a 32 H&R revolver, the first year Frédéric and Ruger came out with the cartridge and platform. I’m excited to see the S&W pistols in this cartridge hit the market. Heck, I’d trade my 6.5 Creedmore for a pistol in 30 Super Carry.

  2. JR Long January 6, 2022 at 1:10 pm #

    Been carrying .357sig for years, my carry round is 124gr and has 1410fps… I’m sorry but I don’t see anything with 30 Super Carry that would tempt me to change.

  3. Gary January 7, 2022 at 1:55 pm #

    I would be very surprised if SW retooled to change those very popular firearms from 9 mm or 380 to this new cartridge.

    Why look for a solution that doesn’t have a problem?

    The ballistics are impressive but unless they can bring in the price at less than 9 mm ammo (which they can’t) I don’t see this going anywhere.

  4. Robert Anderson January 9, 2022 at 3:50 pm #

    We cannot miss the point that this is targeted towards the new, less hard core shooter. Say for example my small 5’5 wife; for her this would be useful. For those of us accustomed to shooting 45 Acp and 9mm, true, we might not care; but for lots of newbies with less size, hand strength, and range time, this is certainly better than the 380, 32, 25, or 22 choices.

    • george January 12, 2022 at 7:04 pm #

      If i’m shot with any of those rounds you mension, I’m not going to be very happy, and i’m not going to finish my intended feat! it may not kill you, but it’ll make you wish it had.I’ve shot myself in the leg when i was 15 years old, and it made a believer outa me, and my wife can rack a S&W 9mm, easy rack just fine, and she’s only 110 lbs and 5ft 3″

    • Jackson R Stewart February 7, 2022 at 6:59 pm #

      been waiting for 32acp Magnum

  5. Kenneth C Hinchman January 9, 2022 at 7:13 pm #

    Why call a .312″ a 30 when it is the same as the 32 H&R and Federal 327? .321 is really close to an 8mm, seems that would have been a better name.

  6. David January 12, 2022 at 6:46 pm #

    Probably just another gun caliber that we will not be able to get affordable ammo for.

  7. MarkP January 21, 2022 at 1:39 pm #

    .380 Auto and 9mm are the same caliber. The author incorrectly states several times that the .30SC is similar in size to a .380

  8. frankjbonazza3 February 7, 2022 at 2:57 pm #

    50,000 psi chamber pressure sure sounds rough on a small polymer frame pistol. This new round costs roughly 2x as much as 9mm, yet offers no benefit. This is an easy choice for me… No thanks

  9. Bob Campbell February 17, 2022 at 10:36 pm #

    The old 7.65mm French chambered in the M35A was similar. While not well known this was a very accurate cartridge.The new .30, well, I would prefer the 9mm but this is an interesting cartridge. Hope it isnt like the .32 Magnum. Most loads clock 140 to 200 fps less than rated by the factory, have to see on this one.

    Good write up.

  10. Dale C February 25, 2022 at 11:12 pm #

    was originally thinking about getting a shield ez 30sc. had surgery ,heart bypass that caused neuropathy in left hand and shoulder making it difficult to manipulate semi auto in a normal fashion ( left hand rack of slide) own a ruger lcr and sp101 in 327 federal magnum. so was tempted but makes sense about cost and availability of ammo and firearms. Gonna stick with my shield 9mm and hk p2000 sk with x grip for p2000 mags. sorry, but i’ll put my S&W k comp on my permit. i dont miss,and i’m confident with that revolver can solve the problem with six for sure rounds.

  11. Mike March 31, 2022 at 4:01 pm #

    For me this seems like a really nice new round. I have multiple 45s but they don’t really carry that well. They are big and bulky. This thing is close enough to the 9mm to catch my attention. I purchased one.. Much smaller and easier to conceal.

  12. Rafael Lastra May 31, 2022 at 5:53 am #

    Every configuration has it´s strengths and weaknesses. As the saying goes.. ´every dog has his day´. This round is no different. If manufacturers stick to it´s strengths which is really only one, that being a slimmer cartridge diameter, this round could be a small hit. I only see one application for it. Specifically, a single stack, ultra-slim carry pistol with a minimum of 6+1 capacity. It would be no more than 3/4¨ thick with chamfered edges and a double-action trigger. Something with very, very high levels of concealability yet offer a significant punch just below that of the venerable 9mm. I would buy one. If, however, manufacturers go for double-stack, full size pistols this round is doomed to failure.

  13. Brian L. Gunderson July 9, 2022 at 7:07 pm #

    I have smaller hands and a 30 SC double stack would mean a more narrow grip frame. I’d love to see more 1911/2011s in this caliber.

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