Saturday, April 11, 2020

Review: Federal Premium HST Ammunition

Federal, Premium, HST, .45 ACP

In 2002, Federal Premium introduced its HST ammunition, which was intended for—and sales were restricted to—law enforcement. This "tactical" ammunition featured a new bullet designated "HST." Some hypothesized the abbreviation stood for "Hi-Shok Two," but in reality it was just a name. It was, however, a name that gained a stellar reputation on the street. This should not come as a surprise, considering bullet-engineering guru Tom Burczynski, of Hydra-Shok and EFMJ fame, worked on this new project.

According to Larry Head, senior manager of ammunition product development at Federal Premium, "The HST was developed specifically to meet performance requirements, such as FBI protocols that many police departments and government agencies were requesting—specifically to get larger expanded diameters without sacrificing penetration."

Meeting these requirements is often accomplished by bonding the bullet's core to its jacket, which helps maintain bullet integrity as it passes through barriers. With the Federal Premium HST ammunition, Federal went a different direction. Instead of bonding, the bullet features a cannelure in the shank to hold the core and jacket together mechanically. It also has patented, coaligned, internal core and external-jacket skives, all of which optimize bullet upset.


  1. If memory serves, the HST has a 1.65 expansion coefficient under ideal conditions. The Hydra-shok had a 1.5 expansion coefficient. For the Hydra-Shok it needed to be traveling 1115 to 1145 fps. Any faster and it would start to fragment and any slower it wouldn't fully open up. I have also heard of the the HST referred to as Hydra-Shok Two.

    1. the HST referred to as Hydra-Shok Two.

      Thanks and this makes sense, since I don't see them picking three letters which are meaningless.