The .380 ACP has been on the market since 1908, and over the years there have been some interesting creations based on the diminutive cartridge. After all, who can forget Defense Distributed’s 3D printed, single-shot pistol, the Liberator, which was, of course, chambered in .380 ACP. And for those who think the cartridge is only for pistols, it’s not; there are submachine guns in this caliber such as the Ingram MAC 11.
In recent years it seems the .380 ACP has gained even more popularity, partly due to how easy it is to conceal, and although we could go on for awhile regarding the various reasons for it’s growing popularity that’s a conversation for another day. Today we’re here because Federal is coming out with a new HST round, and it’s for the .380 ACP.
The Federal HST is known for its fantastic, star-shaped expansion; it often expands to multiple times the size of the bullet’s original diameter. B
Before now the HST has only been manufactured for today’s standard-issue duty weapon calibers – 9mm, .40S&W, .357 SIG, .45 ACP – so it’s a pretty big step in the ammunition world. Yes, it’s true that there are absolutely officers who carry pistols chambered in .380 ACP for their backup gun, but until now they couldn’t load those BUGs with the HST.
The new round weighs in at 99 grains, putting it outside what’s considered the standard weight range for the cartridge size (that range’s high end is 95 grain). According to testing these rounds have a muzzle velocity of 930 feet per second from a 2.75″ barrel, a speed that was attained by careful selection and balancing of propellants. In addition the bullet traveled 10″ in ballistic gelatin testing.
The Federal .380 ACP 99 grain HST promises maximum terminal performance, nearly-100% weight retention, and a design meant to resist clogging, which is a problem for many HP rounds.
No word yet on MSRP or the exact release date. Although some distributors are beginning to list it on their sites, it hasn’t yet been listed as in stock and they have not had an exact date it will be. Hopefully it won’t be too long, though; it would be great to see these heavier rounds in action.