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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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