30 Super Carry Review: Here’s Why You Should AVOID it

by Ryan Cleckner

January 6, 2022



The 30 Super Carry is a handgun cartridge introduced by Federal Ammunition as a new product for concealed carry and self defense applications.

If you’d like to read about why I’m not a fan of this new cartridge, or at least how it has been marketed, make sure you keep scrolling and check out my full 30 Super Carry review below.

NOTE: If I come across a bit cranky in this review of the 30 SC as if I woke up on the wrong side of the ballistic bed, there’s likely three reasons for this:

First, maybe I am just cranky and took it out on this new product?

Second, this is marketed for self defense, not deer hunting. We’re talking about life and death here folks. It is a serious topic that deserves serious scrutiny.

Third, welcome to Gun University. We only want to publish honest and real opinions about products here (this is why we take no advertisers on this site). This is my opinion and I expect that you’ll disagree with a good chunk of my opinions – that’s great! I hope you’re here to learn and read and form your own opinions (which I believe is hard to do with the majority of other “reviewers” saying that every new product is the best thing ever). Lastly, please remember how harsh I was here – it will help you believe me when I heap praise onto something else.

If people are allowed to claim a new product is the greatest new thing ever (see the quote from Federal below where they claim this is the most revolutionary advancement that’s ever occurred in self-defense, then I’m allowed to say the opposite.

Please enjoy this 30 Super Carry review and leave a comment below.

30 Super Carry Background

30 Super Carry Specs

  • Bullet Diameter 8mm / .313″
  • Bullet Weights 100-115 gr
  • Muzzle Velocity 1250 fps
  • Muzzle Energy 347 ft/lbs
  • Cartridge Length 1.169″
  • Case Length 0.827″
  • Base Diameter 0.345″
  • Max Pressure 50,000 psi

The 30 Super Carry (30 SC) is perhaps easiest described as a slightly skinnier and weaker 9mm Parabellum.

The 30 SC is the same length as the 9mm, however, being 1mm narrower in diameter than the 9mm, is slightly weaker than the 9mm (less case volume and lighter bullet) but twelve 30 SC rounds can fit into a magazine that only holds ten 9mm rounds.

However, the trade-off is less energy and expansion. For more, make sure you see the 30 Super Carry vs 9mm comparison below.

The 30 Super Carry was clearly introduced by Federal as a product for the Concealed Carry (CCW) / Self Defense market. This is clear both from the name of the cartridge and also the fact that it is too small for pistol competitions (USPSA/IDPA).

The IDPA rulebook currently allows 9mm (9×19) as the smallest cartridge allowed and the USPSA rulebook doesn’t allow bullets narrower than 0.354″ (the 30 Super Carry is 0.313″).

30 Super Carry Review – Our Thoughts

There are two approaches I can take to reviewing the 30 Super Carry:

The “snarky” approach:

If you use a 9mm pistol for defense and you’d rather have a cartridge that has less energy, makes smaller holes in bad guys, has smaller hollow-point cavities for less expansion, is too small to use in competitions for practice, is harder to find in stores, and is more expensive, then the 30 Super Carry is for you!

The “more options are better” approach:

Hey, look! Federal came out with a new cartridge that you might like. It is effectively between a 9mm Luger and a 380 ACP and, if that’s what you’ve been looking for, then this might be a good cartridge for you.

When I first published this article, it was heavy on the snark. This is largely due to how Federal chose to market this round.

However, it is also from my frustration that our industry seems to introduce new products, especially new ammunition calibers, that are usually a couple of minor tweaks to an existing product, touted as “innovation,” and are either a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist or they’re effectively a reintroduction of something that existed previously.

Why does this matter?

Aren’t more options better?

Why do you care so much?

Well, those are VERY fair questions that I’ve been asking myself.

My answer is that I see our role as GunUniversity to educate shooters and share our honest opinions about firearms.

This includes new shooters that may be looking for their first firearm purchase and might be strongly influenced by marketing. This also includes shooters that are always looking for improvements and want to chase the latest/greatest caliber each year.

For the reasons below, I do not think that a new shooter should adopt this cartridge, especially as their first/only cartridge.

Like it or not, you are here to read my opinion. I am a critic, just like a food critic or movie critic, and my job on this site is to make sure you are getting an honest opinion (regardless of whether you agree with it).

If this was FoodUniversity and Taco Bell came out with a hamburger our review of it might very well be negative and encourage you to avoid it and find better hamburgers elsewhere. Our job would be to give you our honest opinion and no claims of “aren’t more options better?” nor “well, I think it’s the best thing ever!” would change our review of that particular product.

Likewise, here we are to give our honest opinion of the 30 Super Carry.

If you agree or disagree with me, please share why in the comments below. We love differing opinions and learning from each other.

Marketing of the 30 Super Carry

You might think that the marketing of a product should not be a part of the review of the product.

In this case, I disagree.

Let me explain…

Jason Vanderbrink, President of Federal Ammunition said in a product launch video, “we think it’s very appropriate to launch the biggest product Federal has ever launched in its 100th year anniversary.”

And on their Facebook Page, Federal calls the 30 Super Carry “The most revolutionary advancement in self-defense history.”

federal self defense 30 super carry

Those are VERY bold claims.

Note they didn’t claim in CCW history, or even just firearm/ammo history, but ALL self-defense history.

Not sharp sticks, not knives, not firearms, not the metallic cartridge, not hollow-points, not body armor …. the 30 Super Carry.

I think that these choices by Federal and their words matter.

This is especially true when we’re talking about self-defense.

In this video by Federal ammo, Jim Gilliland (RLTW) introduces the 30 Super Carry cartridge:

Also, here are some info sheets from Federal with information about their new round:

30 Super Carry Info Sheet
30 Super Carry Performance

In the video above, Federal spends time comparing this new round to 45 ACP to show increased capacity and less recoil. I think that this is misleading because 9mm Luger, the closest comparison to this new round, also has higher capacity and less recoil than 45 ACP.

As an analogy, imagine that Chevy came out with a new pickup truck that was slightly smaller and weaker than a Ford F-150. It would be a misleading for Chevy to compare the new imaginary truck in their marketing to a dump truck for fuel efficiency and passenger seating.

Instead, since Federal is claiming this bridges the gap between 380 AUTO and 9mm Luger (of which I was unaware there was a gap/need here), the recoil and capacity should be compared to those two rounds.

If that’s what they did instead, there would still be an increase in capacity, although not as drastic, however, the recoil comparisons would likely tell a different story.

The 30 Super Carry should have more recoil than a 380 Auto and just about as much as a 9mm and perhaps even feel a bit “snappier” due to the faster bullet.

In the info sheets above, Federal explains that the ballistic performant of this new cartridge “far exceed[s] 380 Auto.” 380 AUTO is generally known as the weakest commonly available center-fire pistol cartridge. I don’t think that it is something to brag about if your new high-performance cartridge out-performs 380 AUTO.

In fact, using the 380 AUTO as the comparison makes me doubt the 30 Super Carry even more.

Instead, a much more appropriate comparison ballistically is the 9mm Luger. We make such a comparison here in this review and also below.

It’s Weaker than 9mm Luger

It wasn’t too long ago that many people scoffed at 9mm as an effective defensive cartridge because it was “too weak.” In fact, when I took a Gunsite course in 2003, the restrooms had pegs to hang your handgun and the 9mm peg was labelled “380 magnum” teasing that 9mm was nothing more than a stronger 380 Auto.

Thankfully, modern pistol fighting has evolved (sorry, Weaver stance) and with modern 9mm ammo designs and performance, the 9mm is an effective self defense round (and what I carry everyday: a Sig P365).

However, in my opinion, the 9mm is the bottom (or very near the bottom) of effective energy for self defense.

The 30 Super Carry? Even lower energy.

Now, I am NOT saying that more energy is always better.

For example, I don’t recommend 10mm for a daily carry gun.

However, when 9mm is widely available in any NATO country, perhaps the most widely available handgun cartridge, it has been tested and has endured for years, there are many pistols and magazines for it and the ammo is inexpensive for training, I don’t understand why I’d want something that has less energy and performance than a 9mm.

By being a smaller diameter, the 30 Super Carry will make smaller holes in bad guys and have smaller hollow points which will expand less.

30 Super Carry Expansion

The point of using a firearm in self defense is to stop a bad guy from doing a bad thing.

When using a firearm, an accurate shot is crucial. However, with the same shot placement, more energy, bigger bullets and expansion are better.

As pointed out above, the 30 Super Carry has less energy than 9mm. Strike one.

The 30 Super Carry is a smaller diameter than 9mm. Strike two.

As you can see in Federal’s info above, it also has less expansion. Strike three.

Heck, as far as bullet expansion goes, Federal’s own info/graphic above shows that 380 AUTO expands more than 30 Super Carry.

I don’t know the answer here but it surely invites the question: what’s better, 10 effective rounds or 12 less effective rounds?

If you answered the latter, does your opinion change when you take availability and training into account?

More isn’t ALWAYS Better

As explained above in the section on 30 Super Carry vs 9mm, the 30 Super Carry can theoretically fit 12 rounds in magazine that could only hold 10 rounds of 9mm.

Yes, it is true that more rounds in a gunfight, all else being equal, is better.

I added the “all else being equal” above because it is not true to just say “more rounds is always better.”

30 super carry magazine capacity

For example, a Kel Tec PMR-30 pistol holds 30 rounds of .22 Win Mag ammo. If Federal wants to make the point that “more is better,” then perhaps they’d agree that 22 Win Mag is even better?

On that point, if the marketing for this round is “outperforms 380 Auto and more capacity than 9mm,” (it is), then 22 Magnum is even better than 30 Super Carry!

You can fit 30 rounds of 22 Magnum in a handgun compared to 12 of 30 Super Carry and 22 Magnum has 324 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. That surely outperforms 380 Auto by over 100 ft/lbs and is as close to 30 Super Carry in energy as 30 Super Carry is to 9mm Luger.

Of course, I’m not claiming that Federal is trying to say more is always better, I am merely pointing out that “more is better” and “outperforms 380” without other considerations makes 22 Win Mag even more convincing that 30 Super Carry.

And, in this case, getting more ammo into a handgun with the negative trade-offs of less energy, smaller holes in bad-guys, smaller expansion, rarer ammo, more expensive ammo, also the magazines and guns that have nowhere near the history of testing as 9mm is not worth it in my opinion.

You may completely disagree and love this new round. That’s great and exactly what the free market is for.

However, if you’re a new shooter, please don’t jump to this round just yet or you may be stuck having a hard time finding affordable ammo to practice with.

Federal makes this point in their marketing of this new round: “in armed threat scenarios, only one in five shots find the mark.”

If that’s true, that’s shocking.

However, as someone pointed out on social media in response to this review, 10 rounds of 9mm results in 2 fatal/effective hits whereas 12 rounds of 30 SC results in 2.4 fatal/effective hits.

First, I see that math shows still less than three effective hits. 🙂

Second, if capacity was everything, the Kel Tec PMR30 would result in 6 effective hits from its 30 round capacity. So would the Kel Tec CP33 with its 33 round capacity.

There is one area where there is not “more” when it comes to 30 Super Carry: Availability and Practice.

If you’re going to carry a firearm for self defense you should train – a LOT!

And although shooting competitions are NOT intended to replace training for self defense scenarios, they are EXCELLENT and getting you comfortable and familiar with a firearm and how to operate and shoot it quickly and accurately under stress.

Unfortunately, the 30 Super Carry is too small to be used in the two most popular action shooting competitions, USPSSA and IDPA.

This is especially true if the 1 in 5 statistic above is true. I think MORE training, for everyone, is better.

30 Super Carry is going to be more expensive than and harder to find than 9mm. This means that training will be more difficult and more expensive. This will surely result in LESS training.

For me, I’d rather have more ammo at home with which I can practice and compete with more energy for CCW than two more rounds of weaker and rare ammo in my gun.

30 Super Carry is More Expensive than 9mm

30 Super Carry is more expensive than 9mm ammo and up until it surpasses 9mm Luger in popularity world-wide, it will likely always be more expensive.

This matters… a lot. If you’re going to effectively train with your handgun, which you should, you can afford more training with 9mm than you can with 30 Super Carry.

Just due to economy of scale, 9mm will be cheaper to manufacture as long as it is extremely more common than 30 Super Carry.

It is Less Available

30 Super Carry gives me serious concerns about availability: for both itself AND 9mm.

Let me explain.

We are currently in an ammo shortage where manufacturers can not keep up with ammo demand.

The most popular pistol cartridge is BY FAR is the 9mm and manufacturers simply can not make enough.

When Federal, for example, dedicates machines in their factory to make 30 Super Carry, those machines can not be used to make more 9mm.

Therefore, resources dedicated to 30 Super Carry are resources that could have been used to catch up on 9mm supply. This means less 9mm on the shelves than otherwise there could have been (even if they only add new machines for 30 Super Carry, those machines could have been added for 9mm).

There will also be availability concerns for 30 Super Carry. Not only because it is a new cartridge but also that will not have near the widespread adoption as 9mm and therefore some retailers just may not even carry it, or if they do they’ll carry one SKU.

Also, just as it will be more expensive to make 30 Super Carry (above), the process will also be slower. Components, dies, and know-how will be scarcer for 30 Super Carry and manufacturers won’t be able to make as much in the same amount of time as they can for 9mm.

UPDATE: Jim Gilliland, the man in the Federal video above, came by for a comment about this review and I’m glad he did. I’m always happy to learn more about something and change my opinion. Hopefully Jim and I can connect and we can have a good discussion about this round – who knows, I might be educated and change my thoughts. I don’t know him personally but I respect his background and reputation. Fingers crossed.

He made a great point about 6.5 CM that I agree with. It took me a while to adopt that cartridge and I’m glad I waited or I would have a bunch of guns in 260 Rem (which came out years earlier and is effectively the same thing).

He also made a point that Federal doesn’t just have one machine that needs to be switched off to run this cartridge and that I am ill informed. Respectfully, I was a Vice President for Remington Outdoor Company and do understand firearm and ammunition manufacturing (although maybe not too well if you look at Remington now – see, I can pick on myself, too).

Regardless of the specific manufacturing details of this new round, I can safely assume a few things: MANY dollars and man-hours were spent on this new round. This includes R&D, sourcing, manufacturing, and marketing. All of these “business calories” could have been spent improving and increasing 9mm, and other in-demand calibers, production.

There is at least one machine making 30 SC that is not making 9mm. There is at least one materials sourcing person finding resources for 30 SC that is not finding them for 9mm. There is at least part of a shipping truck used for 30 SC that is not filled with 9mm.

30 Super Carry Summary

As if I haven’t already made enough bold statements, here’s another:

I feel so strongly that the 30 Super Carry is a bad idea that I’m going to use it as a measuring stick to see who in our industry is being paid for their opinions.

Of course, people can disagree with me. However, absent a compelling counter-argument to each of my issues with this new round above, I am going to assume that anyone who calls this “ground-breaking” or the “best new self defense round” is a shill and is getting paid to pretend like they like the round.

This is a problem for me – your life may depend on an opinion that you didn’t realize was a commercial.

Keep an eye out for me and see if I’m right.

As far as innovation goes, I applaud it. You may have just rolled your eyes at that sentence coming from me after reading this article. If you did, please hear me out.

Innovation is GREAT!

However, I do not consider this to be “innovation.”

Most new cartridges, like this one, are just shifting some dimensions around. Just look at how many wildcat cartridges are made in garages and basements across America every year. They might be cool, but they’re not “innovation.”

For example, I could cut the 30 Super Carry brass down a bit, make a reduced load for it and call it the 30 Super Lite and claim how it bridges the gap between 30 Super Carry and .380, it allows less recoil for recoil sensitive shooters, and allows for a smaller grip size for shooters with smaller hands.

All of those claims would be true.

None of what I would have done in this thought experiment should be considered “innovation.”

For example, here’s a cartridge designed in 1917 by Remington that is effectively the same dimensions and designed for a pistol: 7.65x20mm Longue Or, does anyone remember the 45 GAP where Glock made the 45 ACP shorter for a smaller pistol grip?

Again, if you disagree with me, that’s great! If we completely agree on everything then one of us isn’t necessary. 😉

I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.

And remember, before you cry about me crying, understand that my whole point is to give an unvarnished opinion on things at Gun University, good or bad. You won’t find paid shills here.

And, when the company claims that this product is the greatest innovation in the entire history of self-defense, it’s asking for a critical eye, no?

You may also think I’m just negative about this new round for the sake of stirring up controversy or being negative. Unfortunately that’s the reality I deal with on both ends. When I think that 300 PRC is an incredible new product (which I did), I received a LOT of complaints that I was overly excited about it and hyping it up too much.

It appears that if I am “too positive’ or “too negative” about a new product, it makes some people unhappy.

I can only promise you one thing: my true opinion that is not influence by a paycheck, free product(s), or advertising dollars.

If I’m wrong about this new cartridge, and it takes off to be the hottest new thing ever, I’ll be happy. But, until then, I will not recommend this when I’m asked “what gun/cartridge should I get for my ccw?”

30 Super Carry Pros and Cons

  • Higher potential capacity than 9mm
  • Less energy than 9mm
  • Smaller expansion than 380 AUTO
  • Rarer / More Expensive than 9mm
  • Similar recoil to 9mm
  • Can’t be used in competitions
  • Limited firearm/ammo options
  • Very high pressure cartridge

30 Super Carry vs 9mm Luger

The 30 Super Carry by Federal Ammo is the same length as and slightly narrower/skinnier than 9mm Parabellum.

Both are 1.169″ long as an overall length but the 9mm has a base diameter of 0.391″ and the 30 Super Carry is 0.046″ (just over 1mm) skinnier with a base diameter of 0.345″

It shoots a 100 gr .312″ diameter projectile at 1250 fps (according to federal for their HST load of this round) which results in 347 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

Compare that to 9mm Luger which shoots a 124 gr .355″ diameter projectile at 1150 fps (again, using federal’s HST numbers for a fair comparison) which results in 364 ft/lbs of energy.

30 Super Carry Energy and Velocity

When compared to the 9mm +P HST load by Federal, the 30 Super Carry looks even worse.

Specifications30 Super Carry9mm9mm +P
Bullet Weight100 gr124 gr124 gr
Bullet Diameter.312.355.355
Muzzle Energy347 ft/lbs364 ft/lbs396 ft/lbs
Energy @ 50 yds283 ft/lbs303 ft/lbs323 ft/lbs
Pressure (psi)50,00035,00038,500
Overall Length1.169"1.169"1.169"
Base Diameter0.345"0.391"0.391"

There is one metric that is “better” for the 30 Super Carry when compared it to the 9×19, and that is magazine capacity.

Federal claims that a magazine which can only fit 10 rounds of 9mm can fit 12 rounds of 30 Super Carry. More on this below in our 30 Super Carry review.

30 Super Carry Ballistics

We have found some information online about the specifications for this cartridge. However, we can NOT verify the accuracy of the information. It seems legitimate, but until we see the actual info from SAAMI or Federal, we should assume that this might be inaccurate.

According to the information found here, the 30 Super Carry, which looks like it was previously being called 8mm Super Carry, has a chamber pressure of 50,000 psi.

Image found here

If this information is accurate, this is absurdly high!

Let me compare this to some other calibers to give you a reference as to how high these pressures are. I will use cartridges that I already consider high pressure or, at least, powerful for comparison.

When I think of a high pressure and/or powerful handgun cartridges, I think of things like 10mm AUTO, 357 Sig, and .40 S&W.

Here’s a table of handgun cartridge pressures for comparison to see how high the 30 Super Carry’s pressure is:

CartridgePressure (psi)
30 Super Carry50,000
357 SIG40,000
9mm +P38,500
10mm AUTO37,500
50 AE36,000
40 S&W35,000
357 Magnum35,000
9mm Luger35,000
45 AUTO21,000

To put this into even better perspective, a “proof load” is a cartridge in a certain caliber loaded to a pressure (up to 130%) greater than the maximum pressure for that round to test the safety of a firearm. When a firearm has been fired with this ultra high pressure round, the firearm is said to have been “proofed” and deemed safe.

Proof loads are no joke – they are literally made to determine if a firearm will explode under high pressures. When firearms are proofed, they are typically fired within fixtures within a safe container so that nobody is hurt if the gun explodes.

10mm Auto handguns are known for beating themselves to death eventually because it is such a powerful round. Therefore, a 10mm Auto proof load is SERIOUS business.

A 10mm proof load is still less pressure than a standard 30 Super Carry round. (10mm AUTO max pressure of 37,500 psi x 1.3 = 48,750 psi)

For another interesting comparison, .223 Remington’s max pressure is 55,000 psi.

An image of the supposed dimensions of the cartridge was also found:

Image found here

Federal has promoted the new cartridge with muzzle velocity and energy but they have not shared all of the ballistic data for it that they do for their other cartridges. Hopefully, Federal will share this soon and we’ll update this when they do.

Ammunition Available for 30 Super Carry

We only know of 4 brands of 30 Super Carry ammo so far: Federal, Speer, CCI, and Remington.

Note, all four of those brands are owned by the same company, Vista Outdoor, which is the company that came out with this new round.

The Federal brand is offering a range load in their American Eagle line and a self-defense load in their (excellent) HST line.

Federal 30 Super Carry American Eagle

American Eagle 100gr FMJ

Federal HST 30 Super Carry 100gr JHP

Federal HST 100gr JHP

The Speer brand is offer a self defense load in their (excellent) Gold Dot line.

Speer Gold Dot 30 Super Carry 115gr HP

Speer Gold Dot 115gr HP

The Remington Brand is also offering a target and self defense load.

Remington UMC 30 Super Carry 100gr FMJ

Remington UMC 100gr FMJ

Remington HTP 30 Super Carry 100gr JHP

Remington HTP 100gr JHP

And CCI is offering a 115 gr target load.

CCI Blazer Brass 30 SUPER CARRY 115gr FMJ

CCI Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ

Handguns Available in 30 Super Carry

We only know of two handguns available so far in this caliber…

Davidsons currently only lists Smith & Wesson Shield EZ in 30 Super Carry but there may be more available at that link soon.

Federal has announced that they worked with Nighthawk Customs for a 1911 in this new Caliber.

30 Super Carry FAQ


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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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  1. I don’t really see the benefit of this cartridge either. There are plenty of 9mm carry pistols now with higher capacities. I’ll stick with my 9mm.

      1. I believe you mean Tokarev, and I absolutely agree with you. The ONLY advantage I can see the .30SC having over the 7.62×25 is that there aren’t any modern pistols chambered for it. I really enjoy shooting my Zastava M57, but you can’t carry it cocked and locked, and there is no way I’m carrying a self-defense pistol that I have to rack before I can use it.

        1. WOW, snarky is right. I was pretty early adopter of .40 S&W, for personal defense mostly because of snarky journalists reporting on FBI techie stuff about energy, yada, yada, yada. Oh, and also because my uncle’s brother (a T man) was issued a 9mm. After the 2 bad guys in the same firefight who had been put down with the 9mm got up and shot back at him, he went back and reclaimed his .45.

          Now you say the 9mm is the best personal defense round. Well perhaps it is. But .380 is becoming pretty popular in spite of the current crop of snark.

          I still love my .40s, both the full size Glock 22 and my little Kahr pocket .40. But I have since bought a mid sized 9mm. Was it a mistake that I first bought the .40s? Probably not.

          I agree that 30 SC would not be my first recommendation for a first time shooter. But when I can afford to replace the brutality of my pocket. 40 with some other pocket pistol, I will certainly look at the 30 SC offerings at that time. The round is interesting, perhaps it has potential in case I ever get mugged.

          What’s the pointing? Well I’m really tired of snark. The high level of your snark did not teach me anything I didn’t already know, it only made your words less pleasant to read. Perhaps you feel the snark is needed to reach some other demographic other than us old codgers, perhaps the oft maligned millennials. Well, I disagree. You are allowed to disseminate truth without sounding like, dare I say it, an asshole. I could have said jerk but sometimes snark has that effect on me.

          1. My father and I fit the “old codgers” label and we thought the article was both hilarious and informative. We have 120 years of combined firearms/training experience between us. One of us has a PhD in nuclear physics. The math doesn’t lie. The 30SC is an unneeded caliber (and is basically a slightly better.22). BTW this old codger has not 1, but 2 16 gauge Remington 870s. Just like all things with technology(I.e. phones, updates, AI, and the list is long) not everything new is a good idea. Sound like something we’re all used to by now.?

    1. I agree with you for the most part. This has some merit if Ruger comes out with a new LCP max for it til then.. I’m about as uninterested as you.

      1. Don’t think that’ll happen as the LCPs are chambered in 380 and this is the same length as 9mm with a lot off pressure. One of the more confusing points for me about this round – with 9mm length, it can’t be used in mouse guns.

        1. I will agree that, especially for a new shooter, 9mm is currently a better choice. But I don’t want to sell this cartridge short. I used to carry a Walther in 32 acp with hot hand loads (it digested them with ease) and this is certainly a huge improvement over that. Eventually we may have even more compact guns dedicated to this new round.
          My favorite today is the 40 S&W; you have the same arguement, a bigger hole, a lot more power, and only slightly less capacity. As a hand loader, this cartridge can be improved substantially, completely safely with pressure tested loads, to way over 500 ft lbs energy with a 135 grain bullet. But I’m a big guy and can easily handle the significantly greater recoil, that would be too much for many folks. So I would never criticize anyone’s choice of a 9mm.
          All that said, I enjoyed and much appreciated the honesty of your review. I had just watched a vidio (different from the one that you mentioned comparing to 45 acp) that Federal put out comparing the 30 Carry to the 9mm. It was as if they had read your review, as they described the recoil as “about the same as a 9mm, perhaps a bit more snappy”! They showed the shooter firing the same gun in both rounds with a 115 gr bullet, a fair comparison. Have you seen this video, and, if so, did it change your opinion of their marketing?
          I had only one quibble with your comments, where the comparison to 22 WMR was made. You said it had 324 ft. lbs. energy, but that’s in a rifle! In a handgun, it performs at a level similiar to a 22LR in a rifle, which is a whole lot less capability.
          I’m not worried about a 50,000 psi rating, especially in such a small diameter cartridge. I’ve shot a 454 Cassul for many years with no problems at all; there’s nothing to be concerned about when a cartridge is matched to a strong enough gun. And I trust ammo and gun makers to do this. They don’t want to be sued!
          I will probably buy a 30 Carry as more, and less expensive guns are available. If Federals claims to the anticipated price points for their new ammo prove true, it will be less expensive than comparable 9mm; time will tell. But as a hand loader, that is almost irrelevant to me. I have lots of 32 cal. bullets for my 32acp that will be fine for practice or plinking. I think with a mini red dot sight, it will not only be adequate for self defense, but should make a fine small game getter. Heck, I just like 30 caliber guns. I’ld love a chamber insert in 30 Carry for my 30-30 Contender! All of which has nothing to do with self defense, but shows why one might want to buy one. So let’s give the newcomer a chance.
          I will look forward to your future reviews.

      2. Totally and I mean TOTALLY agree. This new round will be forgotten within a couple of years because it is an “in-betweener” that accomplishes nothing new, solves a problem that doesn’t exist and damages people’s credibility. As you mentioned .45 GAP, don’t forget the .40 AE and .327 Federal that are useless calibers that didn’t impress or improve. With the exception of the .40 SW I don’t shoot anything that isn’t at least 100 years old. Stick with the basics and stick to what you know. Not what you think you know. Thanks for an honest review. Mike

    2. Why would anyone want something that’s unproven . Cost plays alot to me.. I ll hold off for real world results. 9mm,380 ,40 S&W and 45 . Have proven themselves in self defense

      1. So the Super Carry seems to have less performance than even the 100 + year old Russian 7.62 X 25 round. I guess this is what is viewed as progress these days.
        Hand guns in 5.7 X 28 pretty much sit as that ammunition costs more than .223 rounds and has been noticably absent from shelves for the best part of a year now.
        I think what the specs show is how impressive the 100+ year old 9 X 19 round still is.
        How many things from a hundred years ago arw still as relevant as the good old 9 X 19 round?

        1. The tok was the hottest round in production until the .357 mag came out. Small diameter but not a slouch. Beats 9mm hands down energy wise.

  2. Whine, whine, whine. I’m not looking to carry it either, but I’m not going to cry because it exists. Innovation and trial is what the gun industry needs to move forward from the same old thing decade after decade. Good for Federal trying.

    This is the sort of thing we heard about .327 vs .357. I’ve killed deer with the 327. Turns out it’s the better cartridge for what people want a 357 to do.

    Oh, and I carry a .32 H&R because it in my use it hits harder than .38 and almost as hard as 9mm with another round in the gun. Sounds familiar…

    1. With respect, I didn’t need the second paragraph to know you were a .327 fan. 🙂

      This may not apply to you, but many people come to GunUniversity for an unvarnished opinion on guns, ammo, and gear. They’re tired of reading elsewhere that every new product is the next best thing – they’re tired of reading reviews that are really advertisements.

      In some reviews, I get accused of heaping too much praise on a product. In this review I’m accused of too much whining. Those responses only tell me that I’m doing the right thing. Hopefully, when you see negative reviews like this, you’ll trust when I give positive ones.

      If we’re not for you, that’s ok. I still appreciate you coming by to read our review and leave a comment. Just know what you’ll get here – honest real opinions, not wishy-washy middle-ground fluff nor paid shills. (in fact, notice there’s ZERO advertisements on this site?)

      Thanks again.

      1. Thanks for an honest review ! I really enjoy shooting my 32s – but out of a wheelgun 😊. Anyone remember the “9mm Federal” ? 🤔

    2. Just seems like an ammo company trying to make more money with bs I will stick with my 9mm I’m almost positive 30 SC will become more extinct than the 40 S&W haha pour the 40 S&W gospel on me now and then tell me why the FBI and police went back to 9mm.

    3. People have killed deer with .357 as well, not sure of your point?

      Also while the .327 sure had promise it never gained the popularity hoped for on it’s introduction, was never produced in large quantities (firearms or ammo) in comparison to .357 either.

      Same could be said for the .32H&R – another (basically) niche round that showed promise but didn’t really go where they thought it would – which is what I expect will happen with the 30sc

  3. You nailed it here: “resources dedicated to 30 Super Carry are resources that could have been used to catch up on 9mm supply.”
    I wish Federal would stop chasing weak “innovation” and start paying more attention to the millions of consumers screaming for more 9mm, .38 special, 5.56, .308, and the vast array of standard calibers that have been so hard to find and so overpriced for far too long.

  4. That, is a LOT of hate for something 24hours old on the market, only seeing sales pitches, and never having hands on experience. No one trusted automatic transmission cars when they first came out. No one trusted microwaves when they first came out. And NO ONE trusted the 6.5CM over the 308 but look at it now. Assuming that Federal only has one machine that runs a specific caliber and has to be turned off to make this is ill informed and wrong. It’s just another cartridge offering my friend. No reason to burst a vessel over it so early. Let’s have a face to face in the ORP and I think you may loose some of your discord. You may not like the round but you will understand it better and appreciate what it really is. Not “hate it cause it ain’t it”

    RLTW. Jim

    1. Maybe I did wake up on the wrong side of the patrol base. 🙂 I’d love to talk with you about it, get more informed, and maybe change my opinion?

      I appreciate you stopping by for a comment – if you’re up for a podcast about this, I think it’d be a good discussion.

      – RLTW

      1. Honest criticism is not the same as hate. Even if it stings, it drives improvement. This review seems very accurate, with many fair points.

        This new cartridge offers no real advantage except MAYBE reduced recoil, depending on what you compare it to, or capacity, depending on what you compare it to…

        We already have reduced recoil loads for nearly every caliber. It is an auto loader right? Is capacity really that big an issue? We came out with extra magazines years ago….

        You’re welcome to show me what makes this better or “innovative” in sone way, but it’s gonna take alot. I doubt that I will buy one.

    2. I think you’re mistaking honest criticism/concern about a (yet) unproven cartridge (that you obviously have a stake in) for hate….

      Since you mentioned it, while the 6.5 is indeed more popular then when it first came out, still isn’t more popular then the 308 overall.

      It’s always nice to see new things introduced to the firearms world, but it’s survival will depend on more then marketing hype from the company that produces it.

  5. if, as civilians, we were allowed to purchase Personal Defense Weapons and carry them as intended, I could see it being worth while [20 rounds in a flush fit, 30 or 40 round extended magazine, use in bursts, etc].

  6. I think you glossed over the biggest marketing ploy they are using for this new cartridge as you layed out an extremely good argument on the merits for not adopting the .30SC at this time. That is that it is not one of those evil LEO/Military rounds developed for mass destruction but an entirely new cartridge developed solely for civilian self-defense. Yeah, my take on the Remington advertising and Jim Gilliland video is that they are initially targeting the awakened consumer with a slight bone tossed out to those suffering from recoil sensitivity.

  7. It took you a while to get there but for me the real issue is why put resources to a product no one is asking for when people are waiting in lines before stores open to get product that have a immediate demand. Put those resources toward primer production.

  8. I don’t agree with the ‘machines could be making 9’s’ or ‘where are my primers’ comments. If that were ‘the issue,’ then auto makers that can’t produce cars because of chip shortages should just switch to making 9mm and primers! Plus there’d be competition! Heck, every handloader around should stop making rifle rounds and switch to 9mm production to help out their buddies!

    I understand ballistics and performance are super important, and more than just capacity, but at the same time my EDC is a .40 Shield and I’m considering moving to a 9mm in one of the new high capacity micros. If ‘bigger hole’ is the best consideration, then why should I change? In my mind, I have 7+1 and two 7 round magazines on my belt. If I change to a plus, for example, or a 365 like my wife has now, or a Taurus or Mossberg, I could get 12+1 easily and only 1 magazine of 12 – total would be MORE than I have right now. But if ‘bigger is better’ then that’s wrong?

    I am glad you mentioned the 5.7 x 28. I had actually wondered if that would be a good round, due to the big capacity, etc. but wondered about availability, plus the Ruger-57, for example, is not a compact…

    One last thought – I do think this is innovation, just maybe not as groundbreaking as advertisements would have us believe. I’m not offended if this prevents some more 9mm from being made…

    1. I appreciate your comments! Perhaps the advertisements are what got me to be so critical?

      As far as other manufacturers being able to help – is this not what has happened in our country in times of war? Perhaps I should have made the point more simply: focus on increasing production of 9mm instead of focusing on new calibers (that do take machine time, employee time, and resources).

      1. LOL – yes that’s exactly what has happened in the past. Perhaps we are at that stage again – I don’t know. I do believe that there will come a day that 9mm is plentiful again. At that point, any new round is going to either be hard to launch because people have stockpiled the 9’s and are not interested or worse yet the makers will be blamed for trying to cash in on something new after we gave them our hard earned dollars for all the 9’s. 🙂 Either way, it’s a no win situation.

        I think that’s a decision they ultimately have to make for their own business. I have to believe that they get excited with new stuff just like anyone else, so this has a non-financial return as well.

  9. I think this round could really make a splash in some of the action shooting sports. It doesn’t look like it could make major pf in a few of the big ones…but I’ve been to dozens of 3-gun shoots and nobody has had me shoot my 9mm or 38sc over a chronograph.

    50 psi sounds tailor-made for a 4.5″ pistol with a comp. Looking at the dimensions, it looks like 35 of them could fit in a ~29 round STI mag.

    Better sd of a .312 bullet is going to penetrate as well or better than 9mm as well. Pretty much .32h&r + or .327 – on paper.

    I’m not going to rush out and replace my ccw pistol tomorrow…but there are a few plusses to this new round. Factory support, high psi case from the get-go (Ive split thousands of 9mm cases getting one more firing out of them…sometimes only 1), higher capacity, etc. Its not revolutionary. If somebody makes a threaded and optic ready p320 slide and appropriate magazines I’ll give it a try.

  10. I am sitting here thinking about this and I can not shake the thought that we are not the target market. In many countries, including India, I only mention India because I was doing some light research into something else in India lately, military calibres are prohibited for most people. 9mm, and, oddly enough, 455 are prohibited. The same is true in several different countries.

    This might be an attempt to enter those markets. I am not saying that this is the only answer. I am a bit interested. However, I think the expected noise level may turn me off. The idea of a powerful civilian cartridge might not be as enticing to me as to people who are forbidden from using military calibres.

  11. Re Jim’s video: I would be very interested in hearing how the civilian’s need to stop a an adversarial human at short range differs from a soldier or police officer’s need to stop an adversarial human at short range, somehow requiring a completely different cartridge to accomplish the task.

    We’ve greatly evolved technologically from the days of “flintlock once / resort to sword”. Eight rounds of .45 is clearly better than cold steel. According to current conventional wisdom, 10-15 rounds of 9mm is better than that. Obviously, 12-to-infinity rounds of .30SC are even better, RIGHT???

    In that context, I think the marketing for this new round is trying WAY too hard to gild lilies. The 9mm made its name on more bullets and less recoil. This thing generates only a smidgen less recoil and gives you two more rounds that will only matter WHEN YOU HAVEN’T SOLVED THE PROBLEM WITH THE FIRST TEN!!! And like Ryan says, the cost and logistics of this round are horrendous, and likely will be for some time.

    While I won’t say that Federal SHOULD be putting their eggs into this thing’s basket, if they are, they should be looking at hollowpoints in their CCI 115 grain weight range and slightly lower speeds to mimic the heavy-for-caliber performance of the 147 grain 9mm loads, which penetrate more consistently across all six of the FBI’s gel tests. THAT might get it closer to being the game changer they’re promoting it to be.

    In a manually-operated, maybe suppressed carbine, I can see it as a nifty pest control tool. In the CCW culture where we already have GREAT 9mm offerings, nope.

  12. Hello Ryan, I’ve read the orange book and enjoy the cut of your jib. Suspicious of the Federal numbers without knowing the barrel length, max PSI and thickness of the brass. If the 50k claim is true, I will likely be avoiding this cartridge but not snorting when people talk about wanting a conversion for their existing gun. The biggest advantage I see is there will be a bigger bullet selection to wildcat into a 10mm case.
    Anyways, I have a question unrelated to the topic at hand that I was hoping to get your thoughts on. That is, what do you think of the effectiveness of setting up a rifle sighting system with a powered scope and a red dot offset so both are visible from the shooter’s perspective when cheeked and with both eyes open? I’ve done a little experimentation and it seems to work best with the red dot set on non-dominate eye side and slightly higher than the scope. Dot zeroed to 50. The plan is to be able to transition from short range to long range and back without moving the head at all. Do you have any input on working with sighting two optics at once in this manner?
    Thanks for bein’ you, definitely one of the most authentic and pragmatic of peoples in the industry and culture. Your advice is thoughtful and I agree with a great deal that you put forth. Cheers!

  13. Federal has taken the 7.65×21 Mannlicher case from 117 years ago and loaded it to ridiculous pressure levels. Not exactly groundbreaking.

  14. Yes, I have an issue with this cartridge, besides it’s rather high pressure. My issue is, there is no “gap” to bridge. It’s just a ploy (think of the timing here…) Honestly, I believe this is an attempt to “civillianize” a close to 9mm cartridge, so when big brother shuts down the ability for us civillians to use that evil “millitary cartridge”, there will be something on the market. Also, many previously anti gunner types are dipping their toe into self defense carry. “30 Super Carry” sounds much cooler, and way less OG/gun nut, than 9mm…
    Just my conspiracy theory…..

  15. Finally, an honest and no BS review! The usual shills will be out in force hawking the .30 Super Carry, something that no asked for and no one wants.

    Except maybe Vista, who while stiffing the LGS by selling its ammo direct to consumers and the big box outdoor stores, can find a another way to keep availability scarce and prices high on the ammunition that the consumer DOES want – 9mm, .39 Special, .357 Magnum, etc.

    I’m a fan of the .32 calibre, but realistically this round is going nowhere. The marketing claims are a compendium of crapola – a 100 grain .32 bullet at 1250 fps is going to recoil like a 115 grain 9mm bullet at 1150 fps. And frankly, the larger heavier 9mm is more effective.

    A 50,000 psi cartridge is not going to work with any degree of durability or reliability in the “little micro carry pistols” the shills are talking about, regurgitating the industry talking points they were given. It’s not fitting into .380 size guns because it’s the length of a 9mm.

    I’m all for choice and while I might like this calibre for what it is, the breathless hyperbole being written on it is nothing more than pablum for the large and clueless group of new gun owners.

    Federal (Vista) has been completely tone-deaf since the ammunition shortage started. From whining about excess capacity they had pre-shortage, to bragging about their sponsored shooters winning with the piles of free ammo they are provided (while the average competitor drastically cuts back), to introducing new hunting rounds with “ground-breaking technology” (while the hunters with traditional calibres and leverguns can’t find anything), to announcing that they will no longer be accepting orders for primers (convenient since they aren’t selling any), to this .30 Super Carry white elephant – they are not impressing anyone.

    Every day, they are less of an ammunition company, and more like a company that happens to make ammunition. Sadly, true of most of the gun industry.

  16. Maybe this is all part of their plan to keep ammo prices high and production low?

    ZeroHedge.com says that they might be keeping production low on purpose.

    “Vista has set up two pricing programs to ensure high prices and stability. The first is a subscription service for ammunition, which gives them a steady flow of ammunition demand and lets them plan production more easily. The second is, well, an informal form of price-fixing, or output reduction. They aren’t totally explicit about it, but they use code words to make the point. Here’s Metz explaining that they collude with their competition to keep capacity lower than it should be.

    “Now with ammunition being the largest part of our business. I mean, clearly, buying a Remington, we’ve created what we feel like is an even more disciplined industry now as we go forward. We’ve got, I think, like competitors in the sense that they watch growth, they watch their margin profiles. And we feel like we’ve got a disciplined industry.”

    And I’ve mentioned previously that we studied, as best we can…industry capacity and making sure that we’re not only managing our capacity, but very mindful of what’s being brought into the industry, so we don’t get over our skis, if you will.

    In other words, Vista executives are planning to ensure that prices won’t come down. They have expanded some capacity on the margins, but because there are only two real firms now, they can easily pull that extra production offline if necessary.”


  17. Here we go again! Starting with the 327 Federal Magnum which was taunted as the greatest innovation for revolvers. Miracle ballistic performance with larger capacity in the same size revolver.

    Now 30 Super Carry, change the advertisement from revolver to semi automatic and wipe the dust off.

    From the video shown in the advertisements the recall impulse is very similar to 9 mm. So it will not help those who are recoil sensitive.

    The projectiles are smaller which will increase the necessity for a well-placed shot to make sure that it is effective. Judging by the numbers in the advertisement the velocity is not sufficient to transfer enough energy to be certain of a single shot stop.

    Add to those things the fact that these are designed to come out of short barreled pistols compact and smaller and you will that the deficiencies are compounded.

    Just can’t see any true upside to the 30 Super Carry

    1. I think the big difference in the value of the 327 Federal Magnum is it let revolvers gain an extra round or two over the 38 Special in the same form factor. 7 shots over 5 or 6 is a big difference. With all of the double stack sub compact 9s, do I really want to go to a difference platform for what I can gain with an extended mag? Heck, the greatest innovation right now is if the Shield Arms S-15 that takes a G43X or a G48 and increases capacity by 50% with a flush fit mag.

    2. New and improved!!! Yawn…Ok, I liked the idea of the 327 in short barreled light revolvers. Ballistics of everything change with short barrels and the data on the 327 in a compact carry revolver are pretty good so I ran out and bought a couple. I also liked the idea of multiple 32 cartridges could be used. So, is this a 327 in an auto loader configuration, a duplicate of the ‘antique’ 7.62 x 25 or a competitor for the 357 Sig? Aside from the pressures, which to my pointy head are a bit scary. I’m thinking it will end up on the shelf with the 45 GAP but that’s only my opinion. Oh, yeah, I’ve been shooting for 62 years and have watched a bunch of New & Improved stuff wain.

  18. Right on! Vista has a virtual monopoly on domestic ammunition production, and they are acting like it. They are no a friend of the gun owner or sportsman.

    Anti-trust anyone?

  19. Everything you said about this cartridge could be said about the .40sw and 9mm.. honestly a new rifle cartridge comes out with modest except ace every other year.. I don’t understand why the pistol caliber community is sooo die hard on 9mm like I like a few different flavors. I think 45 gap was a great idea especially for cc… I think this is to I would love to see glock chamber for it in their slimline series and at least one full size..

  20. I see the 30 super carry as being like a magician showing something flashy to distract the audience from the real action taking place (or in this situation NOT taking place) on the other side of the stage. They are basically flashing the 30 Super Carry as a distraction from the empty shelves where you used to find commonly produced rounds, rounds that have all but disappeared.
    I see this as both bad timing and / or dishonesty but indisputably it is poor business practices on display. You don’t buy a new car, while your house is facing foreclosure.

  21. Yeah I mean why would you want more capacity at the expense of caliber? Especially when youre thinking of leaving such a tried and true, long standing round. I mean there have been advancements in ballistics to make up for some of the difference of caliber, but not enough to justify such a drastic difference. Yeap, I think I’ll be sticking with 45acp over 9mm.

  22. Ryan, I think your comments are on point and the criticism (of federal) is fair and deserved. Perhaps in normal times, this would be less of an issue because we are all special and want to find our niche. But this is 2022, we are in the third year of a severe ammo shortage and Federal is raising prices across the board, obscenely so in some cases. It irks me that if Federal could find the R&D funds for this pet project then perhaps they didn’t need to double the cost of some ammo lines – ahem 45-70 that has been on the market for 150 years. The 30 carry reminds me of my days in the Army when some new officer would find a way to invent a new acronym for an old program to generate another OER bullet. This is a product arriving at a bad time and looking for a reason to justify itself. I for one will be sticking with the tried and true 9mm that has served us well for so many years. Heck for $20 I can add a mag extender for my Glock and be up 3 rounds, or if I don’t want recoil I can find a light load in my books while suffering none of the compromises. Any of the supposed merits of the 30 carry could be achieved in 9mm with far less money than a new gun and without making life more difficult.

  23. Under pro/con you list as a con that the 30 SC expands less than 380 ACP, but this is false because the 380 you’re comparing it to under-penetrates badly. A true comparison would be against a 380 load that penetrates a similar amount and in that case the 30 SC would be clearly superior.

    A pro is that a double stack 30 SC magazine can be slimmer than a 9 or 40 magazine making it easier to carry.

    A con is that, at least in initial offerings, it is not available in subsonic loading and won’t suppress well.

    Another pro is that the 30 SC uses less raw materials and powder leaving more available for those that still want other calibers. When you combine that with the higher price it means even more raw materials available.

    The problem I see with the cartridge is that it is too powerful. If it was a clear step down from 9mm then it could find a niche, but it is close enough that it is a direct competitor instead.

  24. So as a reloader of only 3 yrs. I immediately found a way to make this cartridge better. More on that later. Now I am not a wildcatter. I’m strictly by the books. But you introduced a pistol cartridge that is only 5,000 psi below a 223 pressure you better show some extreme performance gains. But 50,000 psi?????

    What the hell. Not even 44 mag or 41 mag reach that kind of pressure. The only one I’m aware of is 460 s&w and 454 casull which reaches 65,000 psi but only in a specifically built strong frame revolver.

    Then you add less expansion less foot pounds of energy less velocity oh but you can carry two more rounds. This is a lawsuit ready to happen.

    But let me explain why it is a lawsuit ready to happen. When you have a small cartridge with high chamber pressures like 50,000 psi. And it’s marketed towards compact carry small pistols You are going to hear of more guns blowing up in peoples hands. Because of cheap gun manufacturers want to make money off of the poor people like me. That’s why I think it’s a lawsuit in waiting.

    So how do I think it could be made better?

    Well if your going to go with a high pressure pistol caliber then bottle neck the case. Typically a bottle necked case leads towards more pressure and more
    pressure leads towards more velocity more velocity equals more energy on impact.


    But wait there’s more ( for only 5 easy payments of $19.95) sorry couldn’t help myself.

    So neck down the case to where it can accept a .308 diameter bullet. Now you have 80g 85gr 90gr 95,100,110 grain options.

    You already have extremely high pressures why the hell not.

    So with higher pressures in small guns equals higher dollar guns to be built to withstand high pressures, with a higher dollar cartridge that does less. But carry’s two more rounds.

    So let’s see here. Hrmmm the pistol is going to cost more the ammo is going to cost more. It’s going to be less effective at saving my life than a 9mm with the same recoil. Oh yeah I almost forgot. It could blow up in my hands and potentially kill me. Or get me killed in a life or death situation.

    I could be wrong I am only human. I don’t think I am. But hey it happens.

  25. I too am a fan of the 327, so I hope that isn’t a strike against me, LOL. I think there is a spot in the market for this cartridge and I wish it success (at least it would open up more bullet choices for the other 32s). I do think it is a considerably better choice than the 380, which I know you said has better expansion – except that in many of the guns the 380 is chambered for, it can’t pick up the velocity needed to expand anyway. 30 Super looks like it is up to that task, however it is likely to be at cost of significantly more recoil.

    As for not being legal for some competitive shooting leagues, as a guy who works in a gun shop I can say I’ve officially been hit with that question/concern all of ZERO times. I don’t believe it is an issue for 99% of the firearms market. 380 sucks and the 32 ACP needed to be brought “up to code”, I think the 30 Super Carry gets it done!

  26. I am not opposed to the concept here, but that PSI certainly has me concerned. I think that there is definitely a place for a round between .380 and 9mm in power with a little extra capacity, but the combination of that pressure and the pretty absurdly over-hyped marketing campaign has definitely turned me off from this.

  27. I’ve been in law enforcement for almost 30 years. I started with a .357 MAG, then a 9mm, a .45, and now a .40. I’ve carried backups in .25, 380, .38+P and .32. I currently carry a Walther PPS .40 and a Glock 23 depending on the duty assignment. I’m slowly drifting back to the 9mm having just purchased a Springfield Hellcat. Why would you want to put your money into a gun and round that shows little advantage over the .380 and the 9mm. I predict you would have an orphaned gun in a few years much like the FN 57. Great gun but good luck finding the expensive ammo.

  28. I am fairly new to this but I dont see the problem. So they have come up with a new round. I wish I had a firearm in every caliber size. I personally carry a 40. But I own guns in many shapes and sizes. I have a 224 Valkyrie rifle for long range shooting, love it. And, it pleases me that not the whole world has one. Maybe this new round does not “fix” anything, but actually I think with the ammo technologies out there we can have what we need in many forms, not just the 9mm, and yes I have one. All the comments just seemed to be so negative.

  29. This is not a revolutionary cartridge. For me, a revolutionary cartridge is something like the Inceptor ARX in 380 ACP that meets the FBI penetration standard. My Ruger LCP Max holds 12+1 of those. The increased capacity over 9mm is nice if you are carrying a single stack gun like the S&W M&P Shield 9. However, my Taurus GX4 holds 13+1, my Canik TP9 Elite SC holds 15+1 as does my Glock 43xMOS when using a Shield Arms S-15. Additionally, I can pocket 20 round magazines for the Canik and the Glock.
    I went on ammoseek.com and searched for 30 Super Carry and got zero hits. IMO 30 SC is answering a question that nobody is asking.

  30. How can anyone take the 30 Super Carry seriously with the main selling point being “It’ll fit 2 more rounds in the same magazine”? The chamber pressure of 50k psi is just insane and effectively ensures recoil will be similar to the 9mm(+P). The whole point of the .380 APC is that it allows for more compact frames and less recoil than the 9mm Parabellum. People who prefer the .380 APC will not welcome the harsher recoil and report. People who prefer the 9mm Parabellum will have to turn off part of their brains to accept that 2 additional rounds in the same frame are worth less expansion, energy and availability. Literally a pointless offering from Federal. Additionally, introducing another cartridge when Federal is failing to meet demand for established cartridges is insulting to the consumer and bad for business. perhaps, Federal simply seeks to create buzz (of any kind) and cash in on the “early adopters” (i.e., more money than sense) crowd for a few years before they effectively abandon this hot new round?

  31. Federal’s track record on marketing new cartridges, short as it is, hasn’t been impressive. Even if 30 Super Carry has genuine merits, I wonder how well it will fare in the marketplace. Still haven’t seen a .327 Federal handgun at the range.

    And then there’s my favorite rifle cartridge of all time – the .338 Federal. Certainly not an “innovation” as it is just a .308 necked up, but as a black bear hunter, it fills a niche like no other. Alas, I’m am being stung by the dearth of ammo options (even in good times) and that nobody makes hunting rifles chambered in it anymore. Only 15 years after introduction, .338 Federal is on life support. .327 Federal seems to be dying even faster, and it too fills a niche for some.

    If Federal couldn’t keep .327 and .338 Federal alive, both of which in my view have more value to consumers than 30 Super Carry, I have doubts about the future of 30 Super Carry.

    Contrast this to Hornady’s downright obnoxious (but effective) marketing of the 6.5 Creedmoor.

  32. Please forgive the tone of my comments, I have recently been catching up on my reading and have become increasingly irritated at nonsense spewing forth from gunwriters onto the pages of articles and blogs. It seems that “political correctness” has infected that media to the extent that relevant facts must be omitted in order to promote the current popularity of certain weapons and cartridges. The question of effectiveness in regard to the new 30SC cartridge will only be answered by time and real world experience. While many are anxious to compare velocity and energy figures, they do not tell the whole story. The sectional density of the .312″ 115gr projectile is equal to that of the .355″ 147gr bullet but at greater advertised velocity, therefore it has the potential to penetrate better. The FBI maintains that penetration is everything with defensive handgun cartridges. Do I agree?…. mostly. Does the new round has what it takes to be a viable defensive option?…. maybe. Is it the greatest thing since buttered bread?…, definitely not. Do we need something better than the 9×19 Parabellum?…. absolutely. Therein lies the problem. We already have a proven handgun cartridge that far exceeds the 9mm’s performance, the .357 Magnum 125gr JHP. So why does this excellent choice get so little recognition? First: this for the most part a revolver cartridge and we have been told for years now that the revolver is outdated and impractical. Second: the 357 Magnum is not and easy round to master, requiring heavier and larger handguns to take full advantage of it’s potential. Third: revolvers do not meet today’s alleged need for “high capacity”. So now we must consider whether we need to carry several times more ammo on board than we are likely to need in a defensive encounter and what tradeoffs are we willing to make toward that end? The autoloader is a wonderful tool, but not without its limitations. Like any mechanical device, the more complicated the machine, the more likely to have malfunctions. All semi-autos are ammunition sensitive, that which will not feed will not function. This of little concern with the revolver. That means the revolver has the potential to launch better projectiles in terms of shape, effectiveness, and variety. The high capacity auto pistol also tends to give the shooter a false sense of security under pressure, one tends assume that more available ammunition will compensate for poor marksmanship, “spray and pray” is irresponsible, potentially dangerous to unintended targets, wastes ammo, and will not save you when the chips are down. Aim small, miss small. Learn to shoot whatever you may end up carrying. It it true that target practice will not prepare you to face an armed adversary, but the ability to shoot tiny groups consistently will prove confidence which is an imperative element of mind set. Minute of paper plate most likely will not do. Become proficient with your sidearm or find something you can handle better. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Select the best tool for the job even if it means less felt recoil become a better shot. Misses do not count and the ability to miss faster is of no value.

  33. They are going the wrong way with new cartridges, in my opinion of course. 50,000 psi chamber pressure is insane. One round of that fired indoors could make you deaf for the rest of your life. That is close to 223 pressure, and will come from probably a 3-4” barrel.

  34. I am actively dumber after reading this. Did you seriously bring up the KelTec PMR-30 as a comparision, and then quote .22 Magnum muzzle energy out of a 24″ barrel as some sort of slam dunk? Seriously? And if you’re really going to try to make the capacity argument there, the PMR-30 is a full frame gun, which means it should be compared to a full frame gun. in .30 SC, that would be similar in capacity to an FN FiveseveN, around 19 or 20 rounds in a mag.
    I see absolutely zero reason to believe that this chamber pressure number is even legitimate either.
    And screaming about a lack of availability of ammo and guns chambered in it when it isn’t even officially OUT yet is just absurd. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You need to let things actually HAPPEN before there can be any market support.

    1. If reading my opinion of a new cartridge makes you dumber, I strongly suggest that you immediately cease reading my articles – you don’t appear to have much intelligence left to spare.

  35. The real reason you shouldn’t buy it is that ammo’s gonna be unobtainium or near so at some point like the WSSMs if it flops. Odds are it will. It’s got no parent case so you’re at the mercy of the ammo companies to produce it at all. It won’t be so bad if you have a gun that’s a barrel and a mag away from shooting 9mm.

    In terms of this round though, high pressure is not at face value a reason to discount it. If it’s being shot from a firearm which would normally use a 9mm barrel, don’t forget that you’re effectively reducing the chamber by what will likely amount to ~20 thousandths per side. That’s a not insignificant amount of material all things considered. That is before you even consider that most 9mm handguns would likely be engineered with 2 or even 3X the tolerances. It also ignores that no one has heard of 327 Federal revolvers blowing up in droves, and unlike this round there’s actually case capacity to significantly hot rod it.

    In terms of “weaker centerfire cartridges” that are common there’s always 25 and 32 auto. They’re not rare by any stretch although meant for a different size gun than this will be introduced for. I think that if this finds a niche it would likely be usurping those rounds honestly. Something like a modified Keltec P32 or a Seecamp.

  36. Interesting article…and also interesting comments. The 30 SC may very well fail…or not. One of the comments stood out to me: that if the 30 SC was actually closer to the stats of midpoint between 380 and 9mm it would fill the niche better. I guess I kinda suspect that it will drift towards that with different loadings. But the main thoughts I’d offer are that I’m hoping for noticeably less recoil than 9mm-we’ve seen conflicting ideas about that. On one hand, the pressures are high-on the other the reviewers are claiming less recoil. I guess we will see as it hits the market. Also, the narrower diameter offers a lot more option for capacity/magazine profile and grip sizing. As someone who owns and carries a combination of small frame mouse gun 380’s (I’ve had several) and also some larger 9mm ones as well I’ll offer that ‘shootability’ is an intangible and very individual combination of frame and grip size/length/width, ability to get the ‘3rd finger’ on the grip vs grip length for concealeability as well as recoil character and overall ‘feel’. For me, I alternate between IWB and pocket carry (different situations). I’m preferentially an IWB compact 1911 (9mm) guy but I do like the P238 (I have a Legion that is pretty damn nice) and recently, a Ruger LCP Max for packet carry and/or deeper conceal IWB. No one gun fits everything-here in Alaska you want more punch and penetration than 380-more layers of clothes for more of the year. That, and the average Alaskan male runs to the beefier side ;). It’s just that lifestyle doesn’t let one carry a larger concealed handgun IWB all the time.
    So, all discussion on marketing, ballistics, performance and ‘need’ being valid and important, I’ll be watching performance of course-but more so noise, recoil, performance in shorter barrels-and also what the smaller diameter opportunities play out in terms of rethinking some of the single stack and double stack favorites out there-it might hit a good spot in the burgeoning concealed carry market in terms of the two things that matter to a lot of people who carry-ergonomics and shootability

    I leave with a last thought-the first priority is hitting then target-as many times and as fast as you are able. In my 35 year career as a street paramedic I’ve seen no small amount of GSW’s-in many calibers. Lots of them small. Generally, the ones with more holes in them fare much worse. Bigger caliber better? Sure, I agree.

    I’m going to be optimistic and watch what plays out-seeing Nighthawk jump in and produce a model in 30 SC for the testing and rollout was certainly enough to catch my attention. I’ll be watching for more info and reviews on head-to-heads with the S&W Shield Max and Shield EZ in 30 SC vs the 9mm originals. The same day I saw the 30 SC announcement I ordered a new S&W CSX (obviously in 9mm-no 30 SC model announced yet, if at all). It seems a good choice for carry for a 1911 guy-got it, haven’t shot it yet. Like the feel, fit and quality. If I like it as much as I think I will, I’ll be watching to see what they do if and when they do a version in 30 SC-just because I’ll be curious…

  37. It is very interesting that this round came out. I was a late adopter of the 327 Federal Magnum which is a round I adore. Good ballistics and power but less recoil than a 357 Magnum. Is it a full replacement for a 357? No, but it will fill most of the roles of a 357 and the role I need very well. So this 30 Super Carry looks like a 327 Fed Mag (or 32 H&R Mag) for semi-auto handguns. Is that a bad thing? No. Is it going to work? I will say no. As good as the 327 Fed Mag cartridge is (and it is VERY good), it still hasn’t made much of an inroad against the 357 Magnum because of how well established the 357 is and the perception that it can do more. All of that is true even if I know very few people that would be willing to shoot an entire box or two of 357 in a range session which is easy with the 327. So will people look at the merits of the 30 Super Carry or will they see it as a lesser cartridge to the 9×19? I am betting it will be the same as the revolver cartridges I mentioned and that means that 30 Super Carry probably will never be more than a niche round like its revolver brethren.

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