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Steve Comus – GUN TALK

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Liberty ammo: f-a-a-s-t stuff
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Big Iron

Want to get bigger performance from a little gun?
Smaller is better

In recent times there has been a resurgence in the sales and numbers of small, concealable handguns.

Although many purchasers of the small guns carry them concealed, a significant percentage of folks also get the little guns for home defense – never actually carry them around at all. Those guns tend to spend most of their time tucked away in a safe or somewhere else that is handy, yet out of the way.


FEDERAL INTRODUCES THE 9mm Micro HST ammo, designed specifically for small handguns with short barrels.

Regardless of the way the guns are kept or carried, small guns with short barrels often deliver less actual performance than the owners think they are getting. This can happen easily if the little gun shoots a cartridge that is loaded for guns with longer barrels.

All kinds of things affect delivered performance. For example, one kind of powder can deliver outstanding velocity through a longer barrel, but only mediocre velocity out of a short barrel.

Also, some bullets are designed to perform within parameters that are outside the performance delivered by the short-barreled guns. In other words, if a reduction in velocity due to the shortness of the barrel ends up being under the speed needed to make a particular bullet work right, then there is a problem – even though that same bullet and load in a handgun with a longer barrel might work very well.

Different companies have come up with various ways to address this phenomenon. Federal calls its ammo line that is designed specifically for short-barreled guns Micro HST.

Recently, Federal Premium Ammunition announced its expansion of the Micro HST lineup to include a 150-grain 9mm Luger load. The new 9mm Luger load is specifically designed for short-barreled, concealed-carry pistols. Shipments of this new product are now being delivered to dealers.

“To perform to their peak, subcompact firearms need the right ammunition,” Federal reports. “The line, introduced in 2015 with the 380 Micro HST, provides consistent expansion, optimum penetration and superior terminal performance with bullet weights and propellants optimized for the most efficient cycling and accuracy in subcompact handguns.”

There’s a few benefits and features to the new bullets:

— The new 9mm Luger load for micro-size concealed carry pistols offers a heavy bullet and lower velocity, which decreases felt recoil and noise.

— The expanded diameter and weight retention produce the desired penetration for personal defense situations, without over-penetrating.

— Bullet nose profile, nickel-plated case and Federal primer provide the ultimate in function and reliability in semi-automatic handguns.

— Clean-burning, low-flash propellants.

It is nice to see the industry responding to the needs and desires of the customer base – especially when it comes to marrying just the right ammo to a particular kind of firearm.

Years ago, about the only way to get some types of loads was to handload them yourself. Now they come right from the factory, ready to go.

Federal Premium is a brand of Vista Outdoor Inc., an outdoor sports and recreation company. For more information on Federal Premium, go to

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Steve Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week in WON and he can be reached at

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