Federal Ammunition New Hydra-Shok Deep 380 Auto


ANOKA, Minnesota – July 9, 2020 – Federal Premium Hydra-Shok Deep’s bullet design brings the 380 Auto cartridge to all-new heights—or in this case, depths. This new micro-handgun ammunition offering is the first expanding 380 Auto load to consistently penetrate beyond the FBI-recommended 12-inch minimum in bare gel and through heavy clothing.  Shipments of this product have begun to arrive at dealers.

“FBI protocol for handgun ammunition testing includes a series of rigorous scenarios. Bullets are shot through materials such as 10-percent ordinance 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 Auto is designed to offer the best possible blend of performance in a compact handgun platform.”

Testing done by Federal ammunition engineers in their Anoka, Minnesota facilities showed typical results of 13 to 13 ½ inches of penetration in bare gel and 13 ¼ to 14 inches through heavy clothing. Test gun barrel lengths were from common, compact handguns ranging from 2 ¾ to 3 ½ inches. The bullet and load are also fine-tuned to ensure delivery of consistent performance across all handgun platforms, including ones with longer barrels, to stay within that 13- to 14-inch goal range. 

“It’s a completely new bullet design. We didn’t just take a 45 ACP, 40 S&W or 9mm 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 Auto.

Hydra-Shok Deep 380 scores a blistering 1,000 feet per second 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 Auto 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



  1. This will call into question why you’d carry a 9×19 CCW pistol when you could shave off even more size & weight with a .380.

  2. I have been wondering when the ammo makers would start catching up on better bullets for .380.

    I wonder what length barrel they tested this out of. They may have used a tiny LCP, but I’d like to know for sure.

    As for why to carry a 9 vs a .380, man those little .380s are -barky-. I could shoot my Nano all day long, but an LCP isn’t a pleasant gun to shoot. And I don’t know .380 load data off the top of my head, but 99 grains at 1000 FPS seems a bit on the stout side.

    I do, however, love the Shield EZ 380 and I’m happy to see better ammo choices for it.

    • I think this should give the XTP a run for its money. Look forward to some third-party testing.

      Folks are more likely to trust both of the over LeHigh’s more novel rounds too.


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