February 20, 2023
By Joel J. Hutchcroft
The new Punch personal-protection ammunition is the first Federal Premium-branded Personal Defense line the company has made that was not specifically designed for law enforcement, according to Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack. Instead, it was developed specifically for civilians who want effective personal-protection ammunition but don’t want to shoot law enforcement-type ammo or pay the premium prices that law enforcement-type ammunition carries.
Offered in .380 ACP, .38 Special +P, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, 10mm Auto, and .45 ACP, Punch centerfire ammo features a specially engineered jacketed hollowpoint bullet with a skived jacket and a soft lead core that provides a balance of effective penetration and expansion without offering deep duty-type penetration through the variety of FBI-protocol law enforcement barriers, such as steel, auto glass, and plywood. There also is a .22 LR Punch loading with a special nickel-plated lead-core flatpoint bullet.
Federal technicians developed Punch to provide effective penetration and expansion in bare gelatin and heavy clothing, creating an effective self-defense load for the most common self-defense scenarios. Tests show that 9mm Punch typically penetrates up to 15 inches and expands about 1.5 times its original diameter through heavy clothing over gelatin.
All Punch ammunition uses nickel-plated brass and sealed primers, and according to Federal, it outperforms other comparably priced ammunition produced by competing ammomakers.
I fired the 9mm Punch loading through the new Springfield SA-35 pistol with its 4.7-inch barrel featured elsewhere in this magazine, as well as my SCCY CPX-2 pistol with its 3.1-inch barrel. As you can see, it was plenty accurate, and the extreme spreads and standard deviations were low, indicating good ballistic consistency. In addition, it functioned with 100 percent reliability in both pistols.
MSRP: $10.99 to $33.99 per 20 rounds (centerfire); 50 rounds (.22 LR) depending on caliber