Federal Premium is expanding its Hydra-Shok series in 2018 with the creation of a new personal defense round called Hydra-Shok Deep.

Hydra-Shok Deep boasts a core design that offers up to 50 percent deeper penetration than the original Hydra-Shok and similar loads from other competitors, Federal says. Meanwhile, the center post has been made more robust, resulting in better performance through barriers. Testing indicates that Hydra-Shok Deep penetrates 15 inches in bare ballistics gelatin, which is the optimal depth per FBI standards. All of this translates to improved real-world performance as well.

“Hydra-Shok Deep reliably stops threats by controlling bullet expansion to cause significant tissue damage and penetrating deep enough to reach vital organs,” said Larry Head, Federal’s director and chief engineer of handgun ammunition.

The new round uses Federal primer and propellants to ensure optimum performance of the round and the firearm. The propellants also have flash suppressants to reduce muzzle flash and mitigate temporary blindness in low-light shooting environments.

Hydra-Shok Deep will initially be available in a 135-grain 9mm Luger chambering, but other loads are in the pipeline.

As Federal states in the presser, the original Hydra-Shok was created in 1989 in response to the FBI’s request for a projectile that provided better terminal ballistics than traditional cup-and-core bullets. The Hydra-Shok bullet’s notched jacket, non-bonded lead core and center-post hollow-point design resulted in better penetration and expansion than competitors out there at the time.

Noting that FBI performance requirements and protocol have evolved, Federal says its Hydra-Shok Deep round is built to meet modern standards of deeper-penetrating rounds and more consistent penetration depths through intermediate barriers.

“Hydra-Shok Deep offers consumers a round that results in consistent, reliable performance through typical defensive barriers and penetrates to the depth deemed optimum by the leading law-enforcement agency in the United States,” Head said.

Federal is set to debut Hydra-Shok Deep at the 2018 SHOT Show in a couple of weeks.

For more information about Federal Premium Ammunition, visit


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