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.45 ACP Hydra-Shok, .45 ACP Hydra-Shok (reduced recoil), 9mm Hydra-Shok
.22LR HP, 9mm Hydra-Shok, 9mm FMJ

Hydra-Shok is a type of expanding bullet made by Federal Cartridge. It was originally patented by bullet designer Tom Burczynski. Hydra-Shok was debuted in 1988 after the FBI requested a bullet with better terminal ballistics than traditional cup and core projectiles.[1] Hydra-Shok bullets feature a unique, patented center-post design and notched jacket with a non-bonded lead core. Together they are meant to provide more reliable expansion and deeper penetration than the other projectiles used at that time. Center post designed bullets like Hydra-Shok have more predictable results and therefore offer some advantage as a projectile. The manufacturer says that the scored jacket and center post design provide a "programmed" expansion. There has been much debate regarding the bullets unreliable expansion when fired through clothing or media other than ballistic gelatin.[citation needed] In ballistic gelatin, the bullet typically displays very rapid expansion resulting in a larger but more shallow wound channel than would be typical from most other bullet configurations in the same caliber and of similar weight.[citation needed]

The Hydra-Shok bullet is available in various calibers; 9 mm, 10 mm, .32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 S&W Special, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .45 GAP, and .44 Magnum. It can also be found in 12ga. shotgun slugs.[2]

The Hydra-Shok cartridge is a jacketed hollow point (JHP) round as opposed to full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets which have a smooth, rounded tip designed for accuracy and penetration.


  1. ^ Carter, Aaron (January 2011). "Managing Editor". American Rifleman. [full citation needed]
  2. ^ "Federal Premium Ammunition". Archived from the original on 2011-10-06. Retrieved 3 February 2014.