Winning Hearts and Minds with 30 Super Carry

Winning Hearts and Minds with 30 Super Carry
Winning Hearts and Minds with 30 Super Carry

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Less than a month ago the world first learned of the existence of .30 Super Carry. What is .30 Super Carry? In short, it’s a new caliber designed for use in defensive handguns. Using somewhat unconventional designs, the round has become extremely controversial while also stirring up a lot of interest. I’m hoping that it’s here to stay, now let me tell you why.

Why 30 Super Carry Could Win

Capacity

Featuring a .31 diameter bullet, .30 Super Carry comes in just under 8mm, catching many by surprise. Why move to a smaller round when the uber-popular 9×19 is already on the small side of service calibers? Simple, capacity. Product material from Federal states that comparably-sized magazines will hold an additional two rounds of .30 Super Carry when compared to 9mm.



In a world of SIG P365’s and Springfield Hellcat’s, we’re clearly dying for more rounds in smaller packages. Even Taurus and Ruger are getting onboard the capacity train with the GX4 and .380ACP LCP Max respectively. Imagine getting 12 rounds flush fit in your P365. Or your +5 Glock extension turning into a +7, giving you 27 rounds or more in a fully topped off G34. Smith & Wesson sees the appeal, with their Shield Plus being one of the first pistols chambered in .30 Super Carry, rocking 12+1 or 15+1 with flush and extended magazines.

Ballistics and Performance

Again looking at promotional material from Federal, .30 Super Carry looks to be a winner in performance. With their new 100gr HST load, shooters can expect 1250FPS with 347FT-LBS of energy. This is only 17FT-LBS short of their 124gr 9mm load. Federal also claims the same 100gr HST load achieving 15.5 inches of penetration, along with .530 inches of expansion in ballistics gel with a heavy clothing barrier. When compared to the same 124gr 9mm HST, .30 Super Carry gets an additional inch of penetration.

30 super carry
Promotional material from Federal
Federal display of 30 Super Carry (middle) compared to .380 (top) and 9mm (bottom) at SHOT Show 2022.
Federal display of 30 Super Carry (middle) compared to .380 (top) and 9mm (bottom) at SHOT Show 2022.

Speer has also published numbers for the performance of a 100gr and 115gr loads of Gold Dot in .30 Super Carry. In the four-layer denim test, 100gr Gold Dot achieved 14 inches of penetration with an expanded diameter of 0.52 inches. The heavier 115gr load managed 15 inches of penetration with a slightly reduced 0.49 inches of expansion.
Shooters first got their hands on .30 Super Carry during SHOT Show this year. Reports say that felt recoil is indistinguishable from comparable 9mm loads, dispelling fears of harsh recoil.

Support from Ammunition Manufacturers

A new caliber needs support to be successful. Out of the gate things are already looking hopeful. Federal, Speer, and Remington are all producing multiple loads for .30 Super Carry, with practice and duty options available. For defensive ammunition, the stellar Speer Gold Dot and Federal HST are available in 115gr loads, with testing of 100gr Gold Dot on record as well. Remington is offering a 100gr version of their HTP jacketed hollow points. Training ammunition includes 100gr loadings of Remington UMC and Federal American Eagle FMJ. Speer is opting for 115 grains in their Blazer Brass line for .30 Super Carry.

30 super carry
30 Super Carry promotional material courtesy of Davidson’s

Pricing is higher than 9mm, but not unreasonable. The above FMJ loads hover around $31-32 for a 50 round box. Defensive ammunition varies slightly, running $27 for Remington HTP, $36 for Speer Gold Dot, and $37 for Federal HST, all of which are 20 round boxes. These prices are based off of pre-release numbers from Davidson’s. I would expect prices to drop as .30 Super Carry grows in popularity, much like we’ve seen over the years with other products.

Why 30 Super Carry Could Fail

While I want .30 Super Carry to succeed, I know that may not be the case. What are some reasons why this new round might fail? I’ll tell you.

Ammunition Prices and Availability

Ammunition is expensive and scarce across the board. While prices overall are not as bad today as they were at the height of 2020, they are still astronomically higher than they were a few short years ago. Add onto this the rapidly rising prices of goods and services across the nation, and lower employment, and you can quickly see budgets getting constrained. This isn’t a good time to spend money on something new and expensive. Even though .30 Super Carry has been in development for years, the release timeline is far from ideal.

It seems like .30 Super Carry matches the performance of 9×19, but doesn’t beat it by a wide margin. More capacity is good, but not a golden ticket for many shooters. Most of us already own a 9mm handgun, so why would we switch to something harder to get, and more expensive in these unprecedented times? If the market doesn’t provide, shooters may turn a cold shoulder to .30 Super Carry.

Gun Selection

Currently only a handful of pistols are being offered in .30 Super Carry. These include the Shield Plus and Shield EZ from Smith & Wesson, and the GRP from Nighthawk Custom. Of course the Shield Plus is a great handgun, and is a perfect option for this caliber, they don’t exactly sell like hotcakes. The Shield EZ is a fairly popular gun, but its user base probably isn’t going to spring for an untested round that costs more and is harder to find. If you’re spending Nighthawk money, then you can afford the ammunition to feed it, but not many people are doing that.

Nighthawk Custom: Silent Hawk
Nighthawk Custom: Silent Hawk

If more manufacturers don’t get onboard and start offering guns in .30 Super Carry, it could die from a lack of market support. Glock, SIG Sauer, Ruger, and more need to get their wheels turning and start cranking out guns for this round. I’d love a G19 with a flush fit 17 round mag. The pistol caliber carbine market would also be a solid avenue for support. Imagine a Ruger PC Carbine zipping hot-rodded .30 Super Carry across the range like a modern M1 Carbine.

Closed Minded Shooters

I see tons of hate for .30 Super Carry online and none of the guns or ammunition is even available yet. We’re still learning about its capabilities and how it compares to other calibers, so any judgement isn’t fully sound at this moment. Most of these folks can’t imagine someone carrying anything other than a 2011 or Roland Special in a Sidecar holster. Just because the round doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. Unfortunately, these voices are loud and can influence people who might actually benefit from adopting .30 Super Carry.

Staccato Handguns
Staccato Handguns

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen attitudes like this. People want change but fight rabidly against everything that doesn’t meet the current meta. When .327 Federal Magnum was released it was nearly dead on arrival. People stuck with their .38’s and .357’s, saying .327 offered nothing except one more round in the gun. Years later, people are clamoring for guns in .32H&R or .327FED, begging for more rounds at comparable performance in their wheelgun, but most are unobtanium now after years of hate. I fear the same thing may happen to .30 Super Carry. For me, this is more promising than anything we saw with .357SIG, .32NAA, .45GAP, and more.

Other Considerations for 30 Super Carry

Gun Games

The competitive shooting scene is a massive driver of guns and gear. Currently, USPSA and IDPA both require a minimum caliber of either 9×19 or .38 Special in most divisions. This automatically eliminates .30 Super from consideration at any match. The one caveat could potentially be in Back-Up Gun in IDPA, which allows .380ACP as a minimum, but even that would be debatable based upon the diameter of .30 Super Carry, and is capacity limited anyway.

Lena Miculek Wins Big at 2018 SIG SAUER USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals
Lena Miculek Wins Big at 2018 SIG SAUER USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals

Competitive shooters are no strangers to unconventional rounds, just look at the past popularity of .38 Super, 9×21, and others. The added capacity of .30 Super Carry is a perfect partner for gun games, but will the leadership and competitors welcome it? Without the support of major competitive shooting bodies, .30 Super Carry will be missing out on a massive segment of the market.

Law Enforcement Adoption

The law enforcement market is a huge opportunity for .30 Super Carry to gain a foothold in the market. Cops are no strangers to adopting new or unconventional rounds, trying to maximize performance. In the past 40 years we’ve seen major agencies move from revolvers in several calibers to autoloaders in 10mm, .40S&W, 9×19, .45GAP, .357SIG, and more. While .45GAP is incredibly hard to find in most places, there have been several new cartridges that are still popular today.

If .30 Super Carry could manage enough popularity as even .357SIG, it’ll likely be here to stay. With comparable performance and recoil to 9×19 with improved capacity, I believe it offers more than its predecessors, checking several boxes deemed important to our boys and girls in blue. However if law enforcement turns their nose up to the new round, it will face an up hill battle for even marginal acceptance by the public.

Comparing 30 Super Carry to 380ACP and Mouse Guns

Most online debates I see compare .30 Super Carry to the typical 9×19 duty gun, with no consideration of other calibers or frame sizes. I think this is shortsighted. Where .30 Super Carry may shine is as an alternative to .380ACP and other micro 9’s. These little mouse guns offer little in terms of capacity and a lot in terms of recoil.

Over the past several years we’ve also seen people jamming 9mm into these guns trying to get better wound ballistics in tiny guns. Some of the worst offenders here are the SIG P938, Beretta Nano, and Kahr CM9. These provide no more capacity than a typical J-Frame, and assault the hands with every trigger press. While .30 Super Carry may not solve the recoil problem, it does significantly improve capacity. Now you’ve gone from 6 rounds in your magazine to 8, adding significant capacity to your tiny gun. More bullets are more better.

Ruger LCP MAX
Ruger’s new LCP MAX handgun. IMG Ruger

The .380ACP fares only slightly better in the recoil department, with equal capacity, and worse terminal performance compared with 9mm. With .30 Super Carry you’ll throw two more rounds in your Ruger LCP, while actually achieving FBI specifications for performance. With a little room to wiggle, we may even see lighter loads meant for mouse guns in .30 Super Carry to reduce recoil while still providing the aforementioned benefits. Everyone hates .380ACP, so why not give .30 Super Carry a chance to shine in its place?

Final Thoughts on 30 Super Carry

If you can’t tell, I want this round to succeed. I think .30 Super Carry offers some unique benefits over what is currently available to shooters. With some love and development, it could be even greater than most imagine now. However, there are still some significant hurdles to overcome for it to succeed.

What do you think about .30 Super Carry? Would it fit in with your lifestyle, or does it seem like another Good Idea Fairy gone wrong? Let your voice be heard in the comments!


About Dan Reedy

Dan is an Air Force veteran, avid shooter, and dog dad. With a passion for teaching, he holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has trained with Darryl Bolke, Mike Pannone, Craig Douglas, among several other instructors, amassing over 400 hours of professional instruction thus far. In his spare time you’ll find him teaching handgun, shotgun, and less lethal classes.

Dan’s work has been published by Primer Peak, and The Kommando Blog, and he has been featured as a guest on Primary & Secondary.Dan Reedy headshot

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Chicagoca

A Glock G19 chambered in 30 Super Carry should be able to house 18 + 1, not 17 + 1.

I carry a G45. Conceals like a dream. I would assume a G45 or a G17 would be able to house 20 + 1.

Edmund

Here’s where the 30 Super Carry is going to More than excel in time. The 8″ barreled PDW. The 30 Super Carry SAAMI rating is up to 50,000 psi! In an 8″ barrel, this round is going to hit 1,650 fps easy just with the 45,000 psi rounds which would translate to 605 foot pounds of energy. Picture a Scorpion, SIG MPX, B&T, HK5 etc., ranging from a compact form that hits harder than the 9mm (which is will as it will outpace velocity in longer barrels) to one with 40 rounds. The higher sectional density will provide even better… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner

I have been a fan of hot .32 revolver cartridges since reading an article in Guns & Ammo, in 1985; love the .32 H&R mag and the .327 Federal. I am sceptical of this .31 auto pistol cartridge, though. Yes, it has the (marginally) acceptible exterior ballistics of the 9×19, but the lighter, smaller diameter projectile makes the terminal ballistics questionable.

3manfan

Another solution in search of a problem, instead of the other way around as it should be in life.
Hey Federal, how about upping your production of the standard calibers that we in the US want instead of wasting time & resources on another dumb idea for a caliber that no one needed to begin with? What….you didn’t learn that lesson from the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge?

GmanNM

It sure would be nice if the ammo makers and ammo component makers would increase production of ammo that is currently in huge demand and low production rates. We have been in this ammo drought for enough time that manufacturers to have caught on. The demand for what used to be commonly available is still there; it wasn’t a temporary, here today – gone tomorrow spike in consumer demand. Industry leaders who make decisions on adding new equip to tool up for increased production of common cartridge choices had to make the same kind of choices for this “new kid… Read more »

Wild Bill

Why would a company work their people longer and machinery harder to reduce the profit on their product? When I was a kid, if I had a half of a box of .22 shells, I was happy. Now, I have a life time supply for each rifle, pistol, and shotgun that I own. So, I guess, I am the problem, but I am not alone. The good news is that every nation on earth that can make ammunition is exporting it to the U.S. India just bought a lot of French made cartridge making machinery, and plan to get into… Read more »

Buck

The Colt Super 38+p does it all and its proven and available.

Larry

Product material from Federal states that comparably-sized magazines will hold an additional two rounds of .30 Super Carry when compared to 9mm.”

Or, if you live in a brain-damaged state, it means you get zero increase in capacity, plus you have to $plit for two more magazines to substitute for the two your state doesn’t allow you to use.

Don

What I would like to know is it suitable for the 7.65mm Long, that the French M35A and M35S shoots. It would be great if it had the same case as there are thousands of French service pistols idle due to lack of ammo. The French 35A is one of the best looking and feeling handguns on the planet.

KK

Size is not what limits capacity – UNCONSTITUTIONAL MAGAZINE CAPACITY RESTRICTIONS IS WHAT LIMITS CAPACITY! I wonder? Will law enforcement agencies be interested in a smaller diameter, lighter bullet? I wouldn’t think so, but one thing they will NOT be interested in is a MORE EXPENSIVE alternative to 9mm. Maybe it’s good timing though, I seem to remember JoeBiden saying he was gonna outlaw those evil much-too-dangerous 9mm guns. Once he passes THAT law then we’ll all be safe and no one will need a gun any more. Personally, I’ll stick to 9 . . or 40 . . .… Read more »

Finnky

I’d add – or 10 mm or 357 mag or 7.65×25. Love each of these rounds, but mostly shoot 22 and 9mm – and carry 9mm. Choice driven largely by ammo costs. If I’m not willing to pay extra to shoot these three, why would I pay even more for 30 carry?

3l120

My 7.62×25 pistols; CZ-52s and Toks will beat that, especially the Zastava version. Pull the bullets and reload with soft points. Plus lots of “cheap” practice ammo.

Don

The Vz52 and TT33 are big guns, firing a big cartridge. Hardly a suitable comparison.

Neanderthal75

Given your personal requirements of drop safe, then every Glock in existence should never be used for defensive carry: all something has to do is depress that trigger and it will go bang: a stick, a pencil, something sticking up out of the road, piece of dead tire, and mind you, I am anti-glock to begin with, but there are millions of people who carry them everyday and quite safely. Far too many gun owners have turned into progressives on the issue of safety: either the gun is 1 million percent safe, or it should be thrown in a garbage… Read more »

Jim

I don’t want it, but I’ve already settled on a couple of handgun calibers, pistols, spare mags, etc. To me, it seems to be a solution in search of a problem. May be great for people new to EDC tho.

SEMPAI

I have enough problems finding decently priced .357 sig for my Glock 33. Great article though.

Neanderthal75

I’ll pass on the 30 Super Carry! The 9mm does it all with current bullet technology and modern powder chemistry! The line about everybody hating 380 is pretty much insane considering how many manufacturers so 380 micro and compact pistols these days. It’s like the author never bothered to take a look at sales stats for pistols chambered in 380! Personally, is Smith & wesson, colt, ruger, taurus, and the rest of the wheel gun manufacturers were to pull their heads out and start pumping out quality revolvers in 327 Federal Magnum again they would sell like hotcakes! The reason… Read more »

Don

Few realize that the .32 ACP has more terminal energy than the .380. It isn’t much but it is there. This will solidly out perform the .380. But it is small. It’s going to be an uphill climb. I wouldn’t buy one unless it could be shot in the French 35A 7.65mm Long.

CourageousLion

I think I’ll stick with my super heavy 23 ounce (loaded and with laser) G26. It holds 12 rounds of 9mm. It isn’t always my choice. Most of the time I carry that terribly heavy to the point of causing back strain 33.1 ounce Glock 30.

At 250 pounds and 6’4″ I’m not too worried about the weight of the pistol I carry except in this one’s case which I’ve been having a hell of a time finding a nice IWB holster for.

Magnum

After trying 3 or 4 other holsters I have been carrying a G-30S in a Garrett Silent Thunder GT for about 2 years. Somewhat of a minimalist lightweight holster with a unique leather lined thin shell kydex outside. For something sturdier the Silent Thunder Guardian is a nice carry holster, also leather lined but thicker kydex. I also carry a RUGER .380 Max in a Silent Thunder GT, about the thinnest combination IWB rig possible.

For my full size carry guns I like Alien Gear holsters.

Finnky

Isn’t that a strap-holster hanging below pistol in the photo? aka sling :()

Need to add a note that it’s a stock photo – don’t want biden’s aft coming after you. Image clearly shows four features, which each alone would make this a rifle: sling, drum mag, sighting system, and muzzle brake (or any other muzzle device).

Much as I disagree with their interpretations, I’d hate to see any innocent caught up in random-governmental violence. In fact – there ought to be a law against anti-citizen violence.

FE410

Bring back the Gyrojet!

BeReady

Like it or not, our industry lives and thrives on “New Products”. I never understand how people don’t get this. “We don’t need a 6.5 Creedmoor!” or whatever. Then don’t buy it. Anyone can make the argument that if you have a .223, 30-06, and 12 gauge shotgun – you never need to buy a new gun ever again. But what fun is that? This is not only a “need” industry – it’s a “want” industry. We need one, but we want more. They are toys – they are fun, and we enjoy them. New toys mean new buyers and… Read more »

CourageousLion

Recently I’ve been buying AR’s that use different calibers just for the fun of it. I want to see how many different ones I can get, but then I find myself leaving some out which seem a bit off AND hard to get ammo for. But as it stands I’ve got 5.56, 300 BO, 350 “Legend”, 9mm, 450 Bushmaster, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, 50 Beowulf, 500 AutoMax, .308/7.62, 7.62×39 Russian and and I think that’s it. Don’t have the 300 HMR, or .224 Nosler, or Valkrie..blah, blah, blah…

Finnky

22LR? Do you at least have a CMMG conversion kit? Always nice to be able to shoot for (almost) free. Also great for sharing with new shooters.

Magnum

And another new caliber means new guns, new additional magazines, new holsters…….. and more money. As a new and likely low production caliber ammo will likely be costly while 9mm has become at least reasonably available if you aren’t too picky and at a somewhat improved price. Few seem to admit to liking .380’s yet RUGER sells the hell out of them and the .380 max with 12+1 rounds that will fit in a jockstrap is a formidable round for distances less than 15’ or so. .380 ammo is also one of the harder to find ammo choices, can’t buy… Read more »

CourageousLion

What is a .380 max? Another name for a 9mm? LOL!
Never mind…it’s the name of the pistol. Got it.

Last edited 3 months ago by CourageousLion
JayWPB

“Everyone hates .380ACP”, really? I guess that’s why it’s so difficult to find anything chambered in that caliber. To tell you the truth, I find that many gun owners are extremely closed-minded when it comes to something new. Now if Glock builds something for the 30 Super Carry, it’ll be an instant success. How often do we hear, “I’ll never shoot anything but a Glock!” I really wonder how many of the people that say that HAVE shot anything else. Don’t, get me wrong, I have no problem with any of the fine pistols Glock builds, and I hope that… Read more »

Don

I owned a Glock 42 for about 24 hours. It seemed like a nice pistol, but I couldn’t find ammo except at cheaper than dirt for $45 box. I had plenty of 9mm ammo, so I traded the G42 for a G43 9mm. I am glad I did. I would not buy a .30 Super Carry as a hot .32 doesn’t have the appeal of a 9mm.

Neanderthal75

The 9 mm offers more capacity in the subcompact and micro AKA pocket pistol Market, but Taurus is new 327 Federal mag fits the bill quite nicely! It comes as a standard snubby and they’ll soon be releasing a 3-in model. The advantages are straightforward a revolver that can shoot four standard cartridges plus a fifth in an absolute life and death punch: easier to find ammunition. Further, in the pocket pistol category of a snubby the way that Taurus has designed the pistol in the 32 caliber The recoil is going to be even less than that of a… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner

Taurus used to make a .327 Fed. Mag,, about 15 yrs ago; part of their Ultralite titanium line. It was hard to get, so I settled for the .32 H&R Ultralight.

Norm

Another solution in search of a problem.
Like it? Buy it! I’ll pass.

Irrenmann

Ballistically, response seems positive. Availability and price will tell the tale. If they’re smart, they manufactured enough of it before announcement that they can get a good bit out there at a good price, and people will give it a try. Then all it has to do is not disappear for a few years, and more and more buyers will view it as a legitimate option. I personally suspect it’s not actually the 9mm market it would make a dent in, but rather the .380ACP one. Modern metallurgy and chemistry for powders, etc., continues to advance, so we can’t be… Read more »

Grigori

Federal, you generally make good ammo, but how about get this right for a change. No twenty round boxes for citizens/peasants. Why do you treat your citizen customers like third class citizens and sell them crappy 20 rd boxes for the same thing GovCo pays for a 50 rd box? That is a 60% reduction in ammo peasants get for the same approximate amount of money. That is dirty pool!

Don

Good point. A 20 round box isn’t enough ammo to test your gun and have ammo to shoot. Especially when the stores limit you to one box per day.
I have a G48 10-shot. So I can fill two magazines and not have the +1 to top things off. The whole ammunition pricing issue is a scam being played on us. They need to get rid of 20 round boxes and sell them by the 50 at a more reasonable price.

Last edited 3 months ago by Don
Green Mtn. Boy

I could be wrong but meh, I’ll pass.

swmft

me too ,