Short and Deep: Federal 9mm Hydrashok Deep 135gr Short Barrel Gel Test

by Andrew

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Buy it at Ventura Munitions:

We shoot Federal 9mm Hydrashok Deep 135gr ammunition from a S&W Shield with a 3.1″ barrel into Clearballistics ballistic gel to measure velocity, penetration, expansion/fragmentation, and retained weight.

Bare gel data:
Penetration: 19.5″, 19.2″
Retained weight: 135.3gr, 135.4gr
Max expansion: 0.540″, 0.545″
Min expansion: 0.439″, 0.419″

Heavy clothing data:
Penetration: 17.6″, 16.9″
Retained weight: 135.6gr, 135.2gr
Max expansion: 0.562″, 0.539″
Min expansion: 0.418″, 0.419″

Velocities in fps:
Average: 819.40
StdDev: 162.65
Min: 622
Max: 944
Spread: 322

S&W Shield 9mm


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Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block ( He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at

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16 of 17 comments
  • Big Daddy Big Daddy on May 22, 2018

    It says 622 fps I'm a gonna figure that's 922.

    As usual a great job there partner.

    I am curious now how this round is against barriers. Like car glass & doors and interior home items.

    Also how was recoil in the shorter barrels? This might be a better choice for my G26 than the 124+P GDs. They're great in my G17 and good in my G19 but not so much in my G26. Very snappy as are the 124+P HST. I won't use anything else right now.

    This also might be a perfect round for 9mm AR pistols especially with a suppressor.

    • See 13 previous
    • JSandMath JSandMath on May 23, 2018

      @ Which is why your statement was wrong, from a facts standpoint. You weren't claiming a generality, you were claiming an absolute.

      115gr +P+ will recoil more than "low recoil" 147gr. Even between different brands/factories, we can find heavier but underpowered loads for a caliber that will recoil less than hotter loads with more power made somewhere else. Hell, even just comparing 124gr NATO to most 147gr 9mm loads disproves the "always" part.

  • Roo_ster Roo_ster on May 22, 2018

    Saw the other gel test with the 4.5" bbl. Looking at Federal's website, this cartridge has the same wt/velocity as what is in my wife's 1911 (3.5" bbl). I think I might try it out.

    So, the sweet, sweet Federal lucre raining down on Andrew is paying off for Federal. Good for both of them and for me & mine if it works out. (Or will pay off, if Federal ever gets it to Grafs, Midway, Brownells, or several others I tried. None had it in stock. P9HSD1)

    Also, is it really all that "deep?" Sure, it is on the deep-er side of the canonical FBI standards, but when I think "deep penetrating," I think a hard-cast LSWC cutting a caliber-sized hole though a couple of irate moose (mooses?). Maybe deeper than most personal-defense-oriented cartridges. Or just marketing.