Is the caliber a good carry idea?
Federal .30 Super Carry wasn’t released at the best time in the firearms world, but how could Federal have foreseen what would be happening in the world at the time of release? If you don’t know, new firearms, accessories, ammunition, etc., aren’t innovated overnight. There are years of work that go into developing these new products, and these companies have no idea what to expect come release day.
I had the pleasure at SHOT Show 2022 to try the new cartridge for myself with a custom NightHawk 1911, and finally, I have my own that I’ve been practicing with and starting to carry concealed. This new cartridge has pros and cons, and I will break down my perspective and experience with what those are in this blog.
Pros of Federal .30 Super Carry
Being able to manage the recoil of a firearm is essential to be able to hang onto the gun when firing and can usually determine if you’ll enjoy shooting a gun or not. What cartridges come to your mind when you think about the most common caliber for concealed carry pistols? I think of 9mm, 380 auto, and 45 ACP. All of these cartridges are great, but 45 ACP is a high recoiling round, and 380 auto can feel very snappy in small compact pistols, so I’m usually left with the default option of 9mm. The new Federal .30 Super Carry cartridge has less felt recoil than 9mm, making it easy to shoot a full-sized 1911.
Don’t believe me? Check out the muzzle flip, or lack thereof, in this photo of me shooting Federal .30 Super Carry through a NightHawk pistol.
Quality Gun Manufacturers
Currently, the two gun manufacturers making guns for Federal .30 Super Carry are NightHawk and Smith & Wesson. You’ve probably heard of the latter, but the former is one of the best custom gun manufacturers in the country. NightHawk was founded in 2004 and currently makes over 40 unique and custom versions of the 1911, including versions built on a double stack, high-capacity frame. Both of these manufacturers have great customer service and warranties should you have any issues (doubtful) with your firearm.
Great Penetration and Expansion
Federal has provided penetration and expansion data on its website and energy and velocity information. This is a quick comparison of where the Federal .30 Super Carry cartridge stands between 9mm and 380 auto. This cartridge was designed for concealed carry and is proven with data that it can do damage when used.
Cons of Federal .30 Super Carry
Cost of Ammunition
Compared to the most common caliber, 9mm, Federal .30 Super Carry clocks a little higher price to 9mm. This increase in cost may not matter much to the average gun owner who shoots maybe 50-200 rounds a year, but people who train often and regularly with their concealed carry gun might find the price too high. I don’t know a firearm until I shoot the first 1,000 rounds through it, and I continue to train throughout the year with all the guns I use for concealed carry.
Limited Gun Manufacturers
As mentioned earlier, the only available pistols chambered in Federal .30 Super Carry are from NightHawk and Smith & Wesson. Only time will tell if other manufacturers jump on board with making a compatible firearm.
Ammo availability and cost are two totally different things. There are who knows how many ammo manufacturers of 9mm, but there’s only one of .30 Super Carry, and that’s Federal (and its other brands). The .30 Super Carry cartridge’s availability will depend on Federal’s production, whereas you can always find someone making 9mm rounds. This availability can be concerning if it is your primary self-defense gun and one that you plan to train with often.
I’m a big fan of the Federal .30 Super Carry cartridge. I am blown away by the lack of felt recoil, making the NightHawk a fun and comfortable gun to shoot. I have yet to have any malfunctions, both with full metal jackets and hollow point ammunition. I recommend giving this cartridge a second look and considering it for daily carry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional competitive shooter and an active blogger for many firearm websites. As an NRA-certified instructor and National Range Officer Institute Chief Range Officer, Kenzie trains new shooters on basic firearm safety, brings new shooters to competitive shooting and works major matches across the country. She has a passion for teaching people how to carry concealed and is a positive ambassador for the Second Amendment. Kenzie is also the host of the Reticle Up Podcast, where she interviews competitive shooters, hunters, anglers, archers, entrepreneurs, and outdoorsmen.
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