Is this the next big thing in ammunition? Either way, it’s starting out by being the next big thing in small handgun ammunition technology. The 130 grain .38 Special load from the Federal Premium Self Defense HST micro line is an odd looking cartridge until you see how it performs in ballistic gelatin and other standardized testing.
The snub-nosed revolvers have a great partner in this snub-nosed cartridge. Ballistically this round throws everything you know about handgun performance out the window. It’s slower, the powder burns slower; the projectile is spaced to have less air in the cartridge and the giant cavity in the bullet expands to a ridiculous diameter. It’s almost a backwards way of thinking, but it actually works in short barreled firearms. The slower burning powder allows a longer release, and the bullet seat depth ensures consistent velocity. This consistent velocity, paired with a weight retention ratio that is nearly unheard of in lead core handgun ammunition makes this a performance superstar.
The Micro HST load offers 890 feet per second of muzzle velocity and 230 ft. lbs. of energy, but still delivers exceptional penetration and unheard of expansion. The threat stopping potential cannot be determined by the numbers alone: but it exists. This is a breakthrough self-defense option.
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