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Federal Hydra-Shok Evolution? Please Help!

3649 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Steve in Utah
Federal makes so many variations of the Hydra-Shock that it can be confusing to the average shooter as to what bullet version they're getting.

Can someone please help us understand how Federal has upgraded the Hyrda-Shok bullet over the years?

Many have heard of the recently introduced HST's, but what about the older and even newer / stronger bullets?

Examples of Federal 9mm ammo using Hydra-Shoks:

* Classic Line in 9BP, 9BPLE (both standard pressure 115-gr.) and 9MS (147-gr.)

* Premium Hyrda-Shok Line in P9HS1G1 (124-gr.), P9HS3G1 (124-gr. +P+), P9HS2G1 (147-gr. standard pressure), P9HST1 (124-gr.) and P9HST2 (147-gr. +P).

* Tactical Line in LE9T1 (124-gr. standard pressure) and LE9T5 (135-gr. +P).

Thank-you in advance of a clarifying reply!

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This is complicated:

Classic 9BP or 9BPLE are 115 gr. JHP and are not Hydra-shok bullets. The "LE" stands for law enforcement and means that it is a +P+ load.

Tactical= bonded JHP bullets, not Hydra-shok. In 9mm they can be either 124 or 147 gr.

HST is their newest JHP but it is not a Hydra-shok either.

Hydra-shok bullets are characterized by a lead post in the center of the hollowpoint. Over the years there have been variations in the dimensions of the post and there are obvious differences in the various calibers but if it doesn't have the lead post it ain't a Hydra-shok.

Of the various Federal symbols you listed the "G" simply identifies a 50 round box instead of the 20 round commonly sold to the public.

So really the only variations of true Hydra-shok designs are in bullet weight or caliber. For example in 9mm there are both 124 and 147 gr. Hydra-shok loads.

Hope this helps.
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Charlie Petty said:
Hydra-shok bullets are characterized by a lead post in the center of the hollowpoint.
Thanks Charlie!

So it looks like the "post" is the key here and that the Hyda-Shok line is mostly outdated, but still effective non-the-less.

Does anyone know how the "other" Federal HP's standup to Speer Gold Dots, for example?
I do not think that Hydra-shok is "outdated" at all and it remains my normal carry ammo.

The Gold Dots are excellent.
Received the following clarifying e-mail from an ATK Specialist:

Eric Pedersen/ATK said:

Let me dive right in and try to clear things up a bit.

First, many of the rounds listed below are not Hydra Shok rounds so lets start with those. All of the 'Classic' loadings you mentioned such as the 9BP and 9BPLE are loads that use just a standard hollow point bullet. The
Classic line is our lower priced product that offers shooters a good, but less expensive alternative. These bullets are not Hydra Shok bullets however, just good old hollow points.

The Premium line is our higher end product. In this line you will find both the Hydra Shoks (P9HS1G1, P9HS3G1, etc.) and the HST (PHST1, PHST2). Hydra Shock bullets were created and designed about 1989. This was cutting edge technology for that era in terms of performance.

HST is our newest product and was just completed about a year ago. It represents the very best blend of the two styles (bonded, non-bonded). It is not chemically bonded, but because of the way the jacket and core are mechanically mated it holds its weight very much like a bonded bullet. Through barriers such as glass and sheetrock it performs remarkably well and actually expands greater than either the Hydra Shok or the Tactical. HST is the next generation of bullet and it offers better performance than Hydra Shok.

Tactical products (LE9T1 and LE9T5) are a Law Enforcement only line that is loaded not with Hydra Shok, but with a bonded bullet. The bonded bullet is much more capable of defeating barriers and staying together, offering superior penetration, weight retention and expansion over non-bonded bullets. Neither the Classic, Hydra Shok or HST are bonded.

So in a nutshell: Classic = std. hollow points; Hydra Shok is better, HST is the next generation of bullets while Tactical is the overall best bullet available by Federal in terms of performance through all the FBI testing protocols. HST is not far behind however and in some of the tests it actually outperforms Tactical, while costing about 25% less money.

Let me know if I can help any further,

Eric Pedersen
Law Enforcement Specialist
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