First Look: Federal Premium Hydra-Shok Deep in .380 ACP

posted on July 13, 2020

New from Federal Premium is the Hydra-Shok Deep cartridge in .380 ACP. This new ammunition was designed with today’s compact handguns in mind and is the first expanding .380 ACP load to consistently penetrate beyond the FBI-recommended 12-inch minimum in bare gel and through heavy clothing.

“FBI protocol for handgun ammunition testing includes a series of rigorous scenarios. Bullets are shot through materials such as 10-percent ordnance gelatin, laminated automotive safety glass, plywood, wallboard and heavy clothing specified by the FBI,” said Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack. “While our larger caliber ammunition is designed to meet and exceed these requirements, the smaller .380 ACP is designed to offer the best possible blend of performance in a compact handgun platform.”

Testing done by Federal ammunition engineers showed typical results of 13 to 13½ inches of penetration in bare gel and 13¼ to 14 inches through heavy clothing. Test gun barrel lengths were from 2 to 3 inches, consistent with today’s popular compact handguns. The bullet and load are also fine-tuned for consistent performance across all handgun platforms, even guns with longer barrels, in order to stay within a repeatable 13- to 14-inch penetration depth.  

“It’s a completely new bullet design. We didn’t just take a .45 ACP, .40 S&W or 9 mm Hydra-Shok Deep bullet and make it smaller,” said Laack. “During development, engineers looked at several design elements such as bullet weight, jacket, skiving, profile, and hollow point design elements to determine what modifications were necessary for the .380 ACP."

Hydra-Shok Deep .380 registers 1,000 fps at the muzzle and delivers full expansion in both the bare gel and heavy clothing tests when shot from a variety of common compact handguns. 


  • First expanding .380 ACP to consistently penetrate beyond FBI-recommended 12-inch minimum in bare gel and through heavy clothing

  • Improved penetration through common barriers

  • Iconic center post design has been improved for better, more consistent expansion through standard barriers

  • Consistent, specially formulated propellant

  • Extremely reliable Federal primer with sealant

For more information on Federal .380 ACP Hydra-Shok Deep, visit



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