Federal Introduces PUNCH: It’s Newest Defensive Handgun Ammo


ANOKA, Minnesota – May 20, 2020 – New Punch draws from Federal Ammunition’s decades of experience designing the world’s finest defensive handgun loads. The bullet’s skived jacket and soft lead core produce the best expansion and penetration in its class, while its nickel-plated brass and sealed primer deliver the reliable feeding and ignition needed for powerful personal protection. Now available in the top five, most popular, self-defense chamberings on the market. Shipments of this product have begun to arrive at dealers.

“Simply put, we know more about making duty and defensive bullets than anyone,” said Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack. “We used that knowledge and experience to create a product to specifically meet the needs of self-defense with a handgun. The result of that hard work is Punch.”

Rather than developing a single bullet design for all five loads, the team at Federal evaluated each caliber individually and determined which bullet design and weight would work most effectively for each load. Since the bullets weren’t specifically designed to perform in FBI protocol testing, Laack and his team spent time tuning each Punch load to meet the needs of the self-defense shooter—namely reliable expansion and enough penetration.

“We looked at specifications from our Hydra-Shok Deep, HST and other bullet designs, and took what made sense for Punch,” said Laack. “We selected whatever elements worked best for each individual caliber. We then played with thickness of the jacket, skive depth, hollow point geometry and even differences in lead cores to build the recipe for Punch.”

The result is a blend of good overall performance from a Federal Premium bullet that was designed specifically for the most common self-defense applications such as an extra-heavy clothing test using ballistic gel.

“The fact that that we’re launching Punch in the top five, most popular, self-defense chamberings on the market—all at once—makes a statement,” said Laack. “Typically, a new self-defense ammunition is launched in only one or two calibers then others are added later. But not Punch, we believe in it and know shooters looking for effective defensive ammunition with its specific features will love it.”

Also, in the build, Federal utilized nickel-plated cases, high quality powders, reliable primers with primer seal. Proven bullet profiles and geometry for reliable feeding.

Features & Benefits
• Jacketed hollow-point bullet design provides a balanced mix of effective penetration and expansion
• Out-performs comparably priced competitor rounds
• Nickel-plated brass case with primer seal
• Available in the most popular defensive handgun cartridges

Federal ammunition can be found at dealers nationwide or purchased online direct from Federal. For more information on all products from Federal or to shop online, visit www.federalpremium.com.


    • If ya gotta ask, you can’t afford it.

      One of these days, I want to see ammo manufacturers selling a full-house defense load coupled with a much cheaper ballistic-match training load that you can actually afford to shoot, but which mimics the characteristics of the defense load. I’m super-tired of buying 115 grain ball 9mm to train/practice with, and then finding that the defense load I’m actually carrying only vaguely resembles the way the training round performs.

      • Ditto.

        What I want are practice rounds that are loaded with bullets of the same mass, being launched at the same velocities, preferably by the same type of powder and primer.

        • You have to wonder why nobody does it. Hell, Hornady or one of the other big players in projectiles should do the same–One full-house defensive projectile, expensive to make with all the features, and another dirt-cheap training round that mimics the same feeding and ballistics of the pricey job.

          Seems like a stupid-simple idea to implement, but I don’t see anyone doing it.

          • I think they did try it when they had that line of steel case hornady ammo with higher quality bullets. I dont know if they even still make it

          • That’s not what I’m getting at, either–The training rounds need to accurately replicate everything about the more expensive defense loads, right down to case material, volumes, and everything else. Steel-case ain’t going to do it, for a brass or nickel case/primer.

            The expense of swaging, cutting the slots, and all the other little trick details would be saved in the training round–All you’re worried about is will it feed and feel the same, and hit the same places downrange.

            Nobody does that, and it is a niche I think would sell nicely. Especially to people who actually, y’know, train with their pistols. Which I need to do more of, BTW…

          • As Vic pointed out, Winchester Train & Defend is one implementation of this, and Speer Lawman/Gold Dot was another. Sig advertises their line of training ammo to match the ballistics and performance of their defensive ammo.

            I don’t know how closely the training ammo replicates their defensive ammo. My guess is that matching things like the exact powder throws and the fancy cases probably drives the price up more than the market is willing to bear.

          • Shawn — steel case hornady makes A LOT of sense in 7.62×39 and other combloc calibers.

            John — hit the nail on the head. Speer Lawman isn’t overly expensive — equivalency equation is primarily about bullet weight and powder load, NOT finishes…

      • Winchester Train and Defend and the new Federal Practice and Defend are basically this. Except for the fact that you can buy HST or Gold Dots in 50 round boxes from sgammo or gt distributors for less $/round…

        Combine that with the fact 147 grain Lawman is close enough to 147 HST and NATO ball (which you can often find on great sales) is close enough to 124 grain +P Gold Dot and I don’t think there’s any place for 2 in 1 “deals” like that. At least not until the idea of selling the same ammo to civilians at twice the LE price goes away.

        • You can thank Glock — break even or even loss-leader w/ LE, and then paying for marketing budgets, expensive packaging, etc, (basically all your profits) through civilian sales is now the standard formula….

  1. Some years back, I had access to employee discounts on ATK sporting goods including Federal ammo. We were led to believe we were getting stuff for cost + shipping. From memory, 50 rnds of basic 9mm 124 grn ball was $7-ish. 20 rnds of 124 grn +P Hydra-Shok was $4.50-ish. For 230 grn 45, the numbers were around $10 and $6.

    The profit margin for these rounds is pretty high.

    …and, yes, I stacked that stuff up!

    • Don’t forget the federal excise tax of 11% on ammo. possible you didn’t have to pay that as an employee.

      Cost of production is very different from total overhead costs… No idea how your employer calculated.

  2. So as I read this, this is intended to be cheaper than HST and Hydra-Shok, right?

    Wonder if they’re discontinuing/upgrading 9BP/XM9001/9BPLE in favor of this round (AFAIK, each has same bullet, just different powder charge)…


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