What is 30 Super Carry Ammo?

Personal Defense HST 30 Super Carry ammo

Federal Premium unleashed 30 Super Carry on an unsuspecting world in 2022. But what is 30 Super Carry ammo?

It’s a new round that offers most of the ballistic performance of the best 9mm in a smaller diameter projectile, which increases potential magazine capacity in your concealed carry gun.

That means at least two more rounds in a sub-compact pistol, normally three. Where local gun laws permit, bigger magazine capacity is a substantial tactical advantage to have more bullets in your gun. Especially if the muzzle energy and impact is the same as the best 9mm ammo.

Is it, though? Is the big question. And is it a big enough step up that you should abandon your 9mm?

Not yet, is the honest answer. And we have our doubts whether 30 Super Carry concealed carry pistols are going to be a thing, but it does have potential.

Essentially the new 30 Super Carry could easily displace 9mm, but only if you want it to.

9mm vs 30 Super Carry

9mm Luger is the most common concealed carry handgun cartridge in the world.

It has been used for over a century and is known for its reliability, accuracy, and low recoil. The 9mm Luger is relatively affordable and widely available. It is used by law enforcement and military personnel in many countries, as well as by civilian gun owners.

100 years of development has also refined the terminal ballistics and resulted in the likes of Fluid Transfer Monolithic bullets. So the development on 9mm has been fierce, while 30 Super Carry is in its infancy.

There are pros and cons with both worlds. The new cartridge has more potential, but you can’t buy dinner with potential etc…

The .30 Super Carry is a new cartridge based on the .38 Super handgun cartridge and was designed to offer more power, better performance and increased capacity over the 9mm Luger, while still being compatible with modern pistols.

Increased Velocity, and Recoil…

The .30 Super Carry delivers more energy and velocity than the 9mm Luger. That makes it a good choice for self-defense, hunting and target shooting sports.

In terms of ballistics, the .30 Super Carry typically offers more muzzle energy and velocity than the 9mm Luger, but it also generates more recoil.

The 9mm Luger is generally considered to be more controllable and easier to shoot accurately, especially for newer or less experienced shooters. Now that matters everywhere, from self defense to shooting sports.

Ultimately, the choice between these two cartridges will depend on a number of factors, including personal preference, intended use, and firearm compatibility. Both cartridges are capable of delivering effective performance, and either one can be a good choice depending on the specific circumstances.

Ballistic Performance of 30 Super Carry vs 9mm Luger

The gel tests show that the new 30 Super Carry is worth the investment and more or less a match for 9mm Luger.

Federal Premium used a 3.5-inch barrel for the FBI’s bare gel and heavy clothing protocols for testing.

Following FBI bare gel protocol,100-grain 30 Super Carry HST penetrates 12 inches and expands to .590 inches. It also travels at 1250fps.

124 grain 9mm Luger HST, penetrates 13.1 inches and expands to 0.65 inches with a velocity of 1150fps.

In the FBI’s heavy clothing test, the Super Carry HST expands to .530 inches and penetrates 15.5 inches. The 9mm Luger HST expands to .571 inches and penetrates 14.5 inches.

So although it’s a lighter, slimmer cartridge, the terminal performance is largely the same as 9mm thanks to the added velocity, but the risk of overpenetration is smaller.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 30 Super Carry on sale now
Which Guns Are Chambered in 30 Super Carry?

Here’s where things get a little gloomy for 30 Super Carry.

Despite being on the market for a year, only the Smith & Wesson Shield and the extortionately expensive Nighthawk Custom make a concealed carry gun chambered in 30 Super Carry.

We love the Nighthawk Custom pistols, we really do. But most people can’t or won’t spend that money on a defensive carry gun, certainly not a mouse gun.

So the options are extremely limited and the M&P Shield is really the only mainstream pistol you can order in this caliber. You can’t even get a 30 Super Carry Glock concealed carry…

Now the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is one of the best 9mm sub-compact handguns, and we like a lot, especially the 13+1 round magazine capacity. But it’s like that or nothing, and that feels weird…

We need a Glock 43x and Sig Sauer P365, but maybe Sig Sauer is looking at 10 rounds as the new standard and doesn’t want the extra complication. Or maybe Sig Sauer just doesn’t like the caliber. There could be reasons.

A Springfield Armory Hellcat would be great, too. But as of now there is no Springfield Hellcat.

It has led to legitimate questions on the internet like ‘Is 30 Super Carry dead?’ Honestly it’s a reasonable thing to ask of a new caliber that was launched with such a fanfare.

The Smith & Wesson Shield cannot carry the caliber on its own, although again we love the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield and other S&W pistols.

For the full range of guns you can buy, and again it’s small, check here:

Is 30 Super Carry Ammo Expensive?

Yes, is the simple answer. You can find affordable Full Metal Jacket ammo for about 50c/round. Jacketed hollow points, though, are more than $1.25. So the smaller cartridges give increased capacity, but zero savings.

Again, choice is extremely limited and you can basically find the Federal Premium HST, Speer Gold Dot and Remington HTP on the open market. As well as the FMJ training ammo.

That is not a lot of choice and it shows that 30 Super Carry hasn’t quite penetrated the market like it penetrates gel.

For a range of 30 Super Carry ammo to buy now, check here:

The Best 30 Super Carry Ammo

What is the best 30 Super Carry ammunition? Well here are our favorites, which is basically all of them.

Federal Premium Personal Defense 30 Super Carry.

1. Federal Premium Personal Defense

  • Price: $29.99/20 rounds
  • Price per round: $1.50
  • Muzzle Energy: 347 foot pounds of energy
  • Muzzle velocity: 1250fps
  • Bullet weight: 100 grain bullet

Federal Premium Personal Defense is a well known hollow point round these parts and is known for penetrating soft barriers like clothing with ease.

The Federal 100 grain jacketed hollow point is the pioneer for the best new 30 Super Carry cartridge, too, so this 100 grain HST defensive cartridge really should be the winner.

Speer Gold Dot in 30 Super Carry.

2. Speer Gold Dot

  • Price: $28.99/20 rounds
  • Price per round: $1.25
  • Bullet type: Jacketed Hollow Point
  • Muzzle Energy: 294 foot pounds of energy
  • Muzzle velocity: 1150fps

Speer Gold Dot is trusted by LEOs all around the land and is always right up there when it comes to the best ammo.

Terminal performance is always right up there and it’s the consistency that is key to this 115 grain bullet.

Federal American Eagle 30 Super Carry

3. Federal American Eagle

  • Price: $24.99/50 rounds
  • Price per round: 0.50c
  • Bullet type: 100 Grain FMJ

The Federal American Eagle Full Metal Jacket is great for range training ammo. The 100 grain FMJ is relatively cheap and is ideal for shooting sports.

This Federal Ammunition is the cheapest 30 Super Carry out there right now. So get some, buy a 30 Super Carry S&W Shield and enjoy your increased capacity. Because you’ll definitely pay for the privilege.

Can 30 Super Carry Beat 9mm Luger?

On current evidence, not really. Mass adoption simply hasn’t happened with this new cartridge in the real world.

And the whole point of 30 Super Carry is that existing carry pistols could be easily adapted to this new caliber.

And that isn’t happening. Sooooooooo….

Right now, 9mm ammo and 380 ACP ammo are just so far ahead in the real world that 30 Super Carry would need to offer more of an advantage for manufacturers and customers to make the jump.

That could happen with further development to the new cartridge, but at the moment it isn’t quite there. There isn’t a definitive reason to switch to 30 Super Carry, but that could change with further development.

For now, 9mm and 380 ACP ammo rule the roost when it comes to shooting sports, self defense and other uses.

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  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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