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View Full Version : Federal Hydra-Shok LE vs Personal Defense


cindynles
07-25-2009, 8:32 AM
Does anyone know if there is a practical difference between Federal Hydra-Shok Law Enforcement and their Personal Defense 9mm ammo (aside from the price)?

I noticed that the 135 grain only seems to be offered in the Personal Defense line for a price of of over $1.20 / round in boxes of 20. http://www.tds-us.com/catalog.php/tds/dt44583/pd1968996/FEDERAL_PREMIUM_PERSONAL_DEFENSE_9MM_135GR_20_ROUN DS

The Law enforcement line is offered in 147 grain for $0.56 per round in boxes of 50. http://www.tds-us.com/catalog.php/tds/dt49209/pd1865156/FEDERAL_PREMIUM_TACTICAL_HYDRA_SHOK_147grn_9mm_P9H S2G1__50_ROUNDS

According the Federal data the 135-PD round has a muzzle velocity of 1050 fps with muzzle energy of 330 ft lbs, while the 147-LE has a muzzle velocity of 1000 fps with muzzle energy of 325 ft lbs.

So is the personal defense line just a way to hose the non-LE shooter by charging more than 2X the price. Is there any reason to use the PD over the LE version of this round?

SCMA-1
07-25-2009, 9:23 AM
I think the price disparity may be related to what you are alluding to. I'm willing to wager that there is very little practical difference at the terminal end of most manufacturers leading personal defense/LE ammo given all other things are equal. I used to carry Federal Hydrashoks but have since switched almost exclusively to the much more reasonably priced Winchester Ranger Talon line, and I don't feel at all under-equipped provided I do my part (shot placement).

http://www.ombexpress.com/sf_762/c_282/p_AM547.aspx
http://www.ombexpress.com/sf_762/c_282/p_AM797.aspx

SCMA-1

PutTogether
07-25-2009, 10:27 AM
They sound close enough as to be for practical purposes identical.

I would second the motion to abandon federal for the Winchester Ranger T-series.

ombexpress prices them VERY reasonably, and winchester says their 127+p+ is at roughly 1250fps - their 124+P at 1180fps. Even if you take off a little bit for advertising bragging purposes, that is impressive. And at $20 for a box of 50 - people can afford enough to actually test it properly through their guns.

Winchester's Comparison Tool (http://www.winchester.com/lawenforcement/testing/testing.aspx#)

cindynles
07-25-2009, 3:18 PM
These pricing practices make me wonder about their business practices. Why would you want to jack up the price on your biggest customer base? Their are many, many more non-LE shooters in this country than their are LE. Its not just Federal either, it seems all of the major ammo companies sell an LE only version of their ammo for half the price.

chefdude
07-25-2009, 5:04 PM
I would be happy to find either at my local shops and Wally World

sholling
07-25-2009, 6:48 PM
These pricing practices make me wonder about their business practices. Why would you want to jack up the price on your biggest customer base? Their are many, many more non-LE shooters in this country than their are LE. Its not just Federal either, it seems all of the major ammo companies sell an LE only version of their ammo for half the price.

LE pricing may not include the 11% federal excise tax on ammo, and is usually steeply discounted so that LE can afford to practice with their duty loads. That's right many agencies practice with Ranger-T and Federal HST instead of FMJ. :eek:

LE pricing is actually a lot closer to what we should all be paying and reflects a reasonable profit. But many ammo companies see gouging as a way to not only make more money per round but also see the price as giving their product a premium cache'. Then there is the policy of restricting sales of their best ammo to LE to keep the ant-gun media from running stories about "killer bullets". ;)

aplinker
07-25-2009, 11:28 PM
Hydra-shok is several generations old

Ranger T or HST is what you want.

Price does not tell you the quality of defensive ammo.

speeddreamz
07-26-2009, 12:38 AM
i use the federal hst +p for my 9mm and .45

forgiven
07-26-2009, 12:52 AM
I wouldn't want to be hit by either of them.

sd1023x
07-26-2009, 11:22 AM
I've never really considered 147gr for my 9mm. I've heard the stories of unreliable expansion due to speed blah blah blah. I preferr the 124 gr +p/+p+, cuz for me, in the kinetic energy equation 1/2(mv2), velocity is squared.

sholling
07-26-2009, 11:27 AM
I've never really considered 147gr for my 9mm. I've heard the stories of unreliable expansion due to speed blah blah blah. I preferr the 124 gr +p/+p+, cuz for me, in the kinetic energy equation 1/2(mv2), velocity is squared.
It all depends on the round. If it makes Doc's list then it expands reliably.

cindynles
07-26-2009, 1:10 PM
Hydra-shok is several generations old

Ranger T or HST is what you want.

Price does not tell you the quality of defensive ammo.

The reason I asked about Hydra-Shok is because Federal sells the exact same round as LE and Person Defense. I don't think the HST is offered in anything except for LE so no comparison can be made. Ranger-T is the same deal I believe, it is only offered for LE use.

What I am really wondering is, is there a difference between the Personal Defense and Law Enforcement loads. It sound like the only difference is the price and rounds per box. So the smart thing to do is find dealers who are willing to sell the "LE Only" brands to regular people.

sholling
07-26-2009, 2:12 PM
It sound like the only difference is the price and rounds per box. So the smart thing to do is find dealers who are willing to sell the "LE Only" brands to regular people.I think the thing to do is to wait until the ammo shortage is over and then pick one ammo manufacturer to pressure. Right now we have to take what we can get, but someday I'd like to see a targeted boycott of one company until it offers LE products and pricing (plus 11% excise tax) to the general public. But it will only work after the shortage is over and only if at least 50% of gun owners participate.

B Strong
07-26-2009, 2:19 PM
I've never really considered 147gr for my 9mm. I've heard the stories of unreliable expansion due to speed blah blah blah. I preferr the 124 gr +p/+p+, cuz for me, in the kinetic energy equation 1/2(mv2), velocity is squared.

Considering that the target never considers for a minute what they've been hit with or what the MV or KE is, I'd go with whatever works 100% and is most accurate by test in your individual piece.

Being able to hit your target 100% of the time in whatever the prevailing conditions may be is more important than bullet design, MV or KE, considering adequate caliber to begin with.

shoupdawg
07-26-2009, 2:29 PM
I've never really considered 147gr for my 9mm. I've heard the stories of unreliable expansion due to speed blah blah blah. I preferr the 124 gr +p/+p+, cuz for me, in the kinetic energy equation 1/2(mv2), velocity is squared.

Chuckhawks.com had an interesting piece on it that explained why you shouldn't go with 147 grain. And that it was just another way for the ammo industry to sell ammo.

aplinker
07-26-2009, 4:49 PM
Chuckhawks.com had an interesting piece on it that explained why you shouldn't go with 147 grain. And that it was just another way for the ammo industry to sell ammo.

:confused: 147 is perfect for a SMG or carbine.

Hayashi Killian
07-26-2009, 6:57 PM
The reason I asked about Hydra-Shok is because Federal sells the exact same round as LE and Person Defense. I don't think the HST is offered in anything except for LE so no comparison can be made.
Not quite. Federal insists that ammo dealers only sell HST to LE, but they're (ammo dealers) under no obligations to do so. The only way they could effectively prohibit it would be to stop supplying to anyone who breaks their demand, but that's bad business practices.

1911su16b870
07-26-2009, 7:59 PM
Most important is that whatever HD ammo you use feeds and fires reliably in your blaster. I firmly believe all major manufactures of HD ammo will do the job if you do yours. :D After all "we aren't fighting gelatin blocks!" C.Smith

J-cat
07-26-2009, 8:21 PM
I prefer 147's in the 9mm. They are more accurate, penetrate more, and have less flash at night. Modern 147's expand just as reliably as the lighter weights.

PutTogether
07-26-2009, 8:31 PM
The reason I asked about Hydra-Shok is because Federal sells the exact same round as LE and Person Defense. I don't think the HST is offered in anything except for LE so no comparison can be made. Ranger-T is the same deal I believe, it is only offered for LE use.

What I am really wondering is, is there a difference between the Personal Defense and Law Enforcement loads. It sound like the only difference is the price and rounds per box. So the smart thing to do is find dealers who are willing to sell the "LE Only" brands to regular people.


Bingo. That is the other reason I choose Ranger-T. Ombexpress.com sells it, and keeps it in stock, and ships it fast. I can get a case of 500 for 249.99 and sometimes they even have free shipping. Being as a local dealer sells .45acp reloads in $19 bags of 50 - The premium ranger ammo is only $60 more per 500. I can afford to practice with it, and to make sure my guns run 200 rds reliably before trusting them completely.