.30 Super Carry Ammo

A table displaying all major specs of .30 Super Carry Handgun Ammo at a glance.

.30 Super Carry: In Depth

When you look at the last twenty-odd years worth of new commercial cartridges, the vast majority have been for rifles. When you further break down this same category, a lot of them are optimized for the AR, too. After all, it makes sense that ammo manufacturers would target this platform. It allows their customers to jump right into each new cartridge without making big adjustments to the way they shoot–while still enjoying the latest fruits of modern brass case and projectile design.

Pistol shooters have been waiting patiently for their chance to share in some of these innovations–specifically, the kind that deliver less recoil, flatter trajectories, or more capacity in the same footprint. At its core, firearms and ammunition development is an engineering pursuit; we all know engineers love to tinker. So, why haven’t ammo makers thrown a bone to the handgun shooters in such a long time? Frankly, it’s because handgun bullets have come so far in this same twenty-something-year time frame that no one’s had to introduce new cartridges. Bullets can be designed for expansion, or penetration–or just the right mix of both–at a variety of different velocities, and to suit a variety of different pistol barrels. In short, there’s an effective load out there for pretty much every need under the sun already: because bullets.

By and large, the host for these modern bullets has been the 9mm Luger cartridge, mainly because it’s so prevalent among concealed carriers (not to mention law enforcement). This cartridge seems to get the lion’s share of attention from ammo makers and all of the guns chambered for it, so why would anyone want to release anything new? As one might expect, there’s considerable inertia involved with launching a new handgun round. Putting aside all the production concerns, you need a market, you need guns that chamber it, and most importantly: you need to have a solid product! So, it was no surprise that a huge industry player had to be the one to finally act.

In 2022, to a shooting public made thirsty by a decades-long drought of new commercial pistol cartridges, Federal introduced the .30 Super Carry as a purpose-built concealed carry round. It would compete directly with the reigning king-of-carry, 9mm Luger, and to a lesser extent, .380 ACP, .38 Special, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and others. Among the many virtues touted by Federal were less recoil, an additional two rounds per magazine, and near-equivalent energy compared to 9mm Luger. The round featured a .312 caliber, 100-gr. projectile scooting along at 1,250/fps, but what was most impressive was the 347-ft-lb energy claim of Federal’s HST load. For reference, their 124-gr. 9mm Luger HST load just slightly tops the Super Carry at 365-ft-lbs. So, given those stats, the softer shooting impulse, and the additional capacity, the overall package is extremely attractive. What remains to be seen: can it overcome the inertia? 9mm Luger got a bit of a head start, so we’ll see.

.30 Super Carry: Guns

Since this is a concealed-carry cartridge, pistols will generally be small and lightweight. Steel 1911s are an obvious exception to this rule, however. Given the smaller diameter of its loaded rounds compared to 9mm Luger, a .30 Super Carry pistol will carry more ammunition in the same footprint. S&W’s Shield EZ, for example, carries two extra rounds in the .30 SC version. The newly-designed Avidity Arms PD-10 packs a whopping twelve rounds of .30 Super Carry into its magazine, while weighing less than 19-oz unloaded. For some plinking fun at the range, Hi-Point now makes a carbine chambered in .30 Super Carry as well. These are early times for the new cartridge, so firearm selection is a bit slim at the moment. However, with a player like S&W in the game, more concealed carriers are bound to pick up pistols in the chambering.

Semi-Auto Pistols

  • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ
  • Avidity Arms PD-10
  • Nighthawk Custom GRP

Semi-Auto Carbines

  • Hi-Point Model 3095

Why Choose .30 Super Carry?

If you’re in the market for a concealed-carry pistol, look no further! Federal specifically developed the .30 Super Carry to contend with 9mm Luger in this fiercely competitive segment of the firearms industry. While this cartridge still faces a long uphill battle in terms of widespread acceptance, the benefits are clear: you essentially get the power and performance of 9mm Luger in a slimmer, easier-to-handle package. Some folks say it bridges a gap between .380 ACP and 9mm Luger, but the fact is that it blows .380 ACP away completely–not even close. Federal definitely positions this round as a full-power peer / alternative to 9mm.


  • Designed from the ground up to be a concealed-carry cartridge.
  • Less recoil, more magazine capacity, and near-equal energy compared to 9mm Luger.
  • Cartridge has a thinner profile than most other carry rounds, allowing guns to be made with reduced grip circumference.
  • In some cases, pistol slides are much easier to rack–S&W EZ, for instance.

.30 Super Carry: Ammo Brands and Loadings

As you might imagine, Federal is leading the charge with this cartridge. The company’s popular HST and Punch hollow-point loads are prime candidates for carry and feature 100-gr. and 103-gr. projectiles, respectively. Hornady and Remington also produce HP loadings with 100-gr. bullets. Speer makes a heavier 113-gr. Gold Dot load, as well. With the exceptions of Punch and Gold Dot, self-defense loads clock in at roughly 1,250/fps, which will produce slightly flatter-shooting results–with standard weight carry ammo–than 9mm Luger. However, you’re not trying to lob rounds in at 100-yds. with a cartridge like this, so flat shooting may not mean much to you. On the other hand, the critical measurements for a carry round, like expansion and penetration, are directly on par with 9mm Luger. Don’t forget training ammo: FMJ loads are available from most of the same manufacturers that load defensive rounds, including Federal, Remington, and also from CCI

Standard Loading

  • 100-gr. HP @ 1,250/fps

Bullet Types

  • JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) - Self Defense
  • FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) - Training

Bullet Weights

  • 90-gr. - Training
  • 100-gr. - Self Defense, Training
  • 103-gr. - Self Defense (Punch)
  • 110-gr. -  Self Defense (Gold Dot)


  • 90-gr. - 1,300/fps
  • 100-gr. - 1,250/fps
  • 103-gr. - 1,150/fps
  • 110-gr. -  1,150/fps

.30 Super Carry: Frequently Asked Questions

As they say, “it’s in the name”. Federal designed this one to be a top option for concealed carry. 
Federal HST and Punch, Hornady Critical Defense, Speer Gold Dots, and Remington HTP loads are all available for defensive / concealed carry.
Handgun manufacturers chambering for .30 Super Carry are likewise designing their pistols for this purpose. Grips can be made slimmer due to the reduced round diameter–compared to 9mm Luger.

Yes. As this round was designed for carry, it also makes a good choice for home defense.

No. They are two different cartridges and not compatible in the same firearms.