Federal Hydra-Shok 165 gr.


September 21, 2004, 01:23 PM
Can anyone tell me about this round? I was checking it out at my local gun shop. Looking for 230 grain but he didn't have any in stock, only the 165. Didn't want to buy it cause I don't know anything about it.

Just curious if anyone has any experience with it or information on it. Thank you.


If you enjoyed reading about "Federal Hydra-Shok 165 gr." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 21, 2004, 01:37 PM
It goes bang, and puts lead downrange. Some guns don't like it, so test it well before you invest heavily. My Colts eat it like popcorn but a friend's IAI coughs every few shots.

Not loaded as hot as I expect defensive ammo to be, so I don't carry it. I prefer their 230gr myself, which strikes me as a little better in that regard, and hits closer to POA for my gun.

September 21, 2004, 01:43 PM
Federal may not be the best stuff in terms of the current crop of wunderammo but it always goes bang and has never caused me any kind of malfunctions in any of my firearms and when it comes right down to it that is what is most important to me.

I carry 165 grain .40 Hydrashoks often.


September 21, 2004, 01:43 PM
I noticed on the Federal webpage that the velocity is a little bit higher from this round than the 230. Would this be a positive or negative in a "self defense" situation?

Forgive my ignorance, I am somewhat new to guns.

September 21, 2004, 01:52 PM
First off are we talking about .45 ACP here??? If so are you sure you are not talking about the 230 grain vs. the 185 grain?

Assuming that is what is going on it comes down to the ole' big and slow or lighter and faster argument. If you are firing a hollowpoint .45 from a short barrel go with the lighter grain with more velocity, should aid in getting the bullet to mushroom more effectively. In normal barrels I like a good ole' 230 grain projectile just because it has been getting things done for a long long long time.

If you are asking about 230 grain .45 vs. 165 grain .40 then I tend to lean a bit towards the 165 grain .40 being the all around better round in terms of penetration, power, etc. and I think it is a good choice for PDs and self defense even though I am a .45 ACP guy at heart.

Since you are new to this I am going to give you a bit of advice that will take you very far and save you lots of arguing. With modern day bullets and cartridges there really ain't much difference in any of the big calibers. 9mm, .45, .40. .357SIG etc. Get a good quality defensive ammuntion and learn to the put the holes in the right place. Ain't none of them likely to drop somebody like they do in the movies barring a CNS hit. Once again I am a .45ACP guy yet I feel just fine carrying a single stack 9x19mm with 124 grain +P hollowpoints in it.


September 21, 2004, 01:54 PM
Yes, I apologize, I am referring to .45 ACP in 230 grain vs. .45 ACP in 165 grain

thank you for your input Cslinger.

I know the most important aspect of ammo effectiveness is shot placement and better ammo or bigger calibers isn't a substitute for range time and being able to hit a target.

I was just curious as I am not too familiar with the ballistics of either weight.

September 21, 2004, 01:55 PM
I didn't know they made 165 grain .45ACP, I have been known to be wrong on many occassions though :D


September 21, 2004, 02:01 PM
I wasn't aware of it either until I saw it at the shop. I asked the dealer about it but he seemed completely ignorant as he told me that it was "ten times better than 230 grain" and "expanded so much more".

He seemed to have an agenda in selling it, so I thought I would asked here because there seems to be a lot of firearms and ammunition knowledge here in this forum.

September 21, 2004, 02:10 PM
I may have to look into it.

I dunno, like I said from what I have seen just about any quality SD ammo will do the job just about as well as any other quality SD ammo.

I really do think it comes down to putting rounds in the right places and putting lots of them in there in quick succession. My only ammo requirement is reliability, everything else is secondary. Heck I would feel just fine with some plain ole' .45 ACP ball ammo.........would feel less fine with 9mm ball though.

"10 times better". Yes order now and we will send you our brand spanking new Hammer of Thor SWCLHP++++++PPPPP death ray 2000 round......blah blah blah. It's just a handgun......ok maybe a little more than JUST a handgun if you are talking about the .500 magnum or .454 or one of those other crazy people calibers......ok so I'm a wimp.


September 21, 2004, 03:57 PM
There have been a number of nasty failures-to-stop against animals with 165gr. .45 ACP bullets, ranging from the Federal load you mention, through the Cor-Bon 165gr. Pow'rBall. They churn out impressive energy statistics, but don't seem to have adequate penetration against hogs, deer, etc. If they don't perform well against those animals, I'd question their effectiveness against an agressive human attacker...

Personally, I'll stay with 185gr. or 200gr. JHP's in shorter-barreled .45's, and if I have a full 5" barrel available, I'd be quite happy with 230gr.'s. My most carried load in this caliber is the Remington 185gr. Golden Saber JHP loaded to +P power levels. This has an excellent "street" record, and has also worked well against animals.

September 21, 2004, 08:25 PM
Since you are new, I'll give you my impressions... Forgive me if you know all of this.

In any caliber, you typically have three main weights. In 45 these are 230 gr, 200 Gr and 185 Gr. In 40 these are 180 gr, 155/165 gr and 135 gr. In 9mm these are 147 gr, 124/127 gr and 115 gr. The lighter weight bullets typically are considerably faster than the heavier bullets esp when looking at the extreme heavy and the extreme light.

With a similar bullet design, penetration is typically going to be more with the heavier bullets. They have more inertia and more weight (leading to more sectional density) with the same diameter. Energy is typically higher with the lighter bullets as energy is mass miltuplied by velocity squared. While this may be exciting to some folks, it has VERY little to do with acutal stopping ability.

Imagine this extreme. You either have a 230 gr FMJ bullet that will go into the bad guy, not expand at all - there's a decent chance it will completely penetrate so that means with proper shot placement, something important was hit. On the other extreme. Take a CorBon 115 gr 9mm bullet. The jackets very well may seperate leading to drastically reduced penetration and if there are some fragments that penetrate deeply, they may be very small fragments. Point is, you could have ideal shot placement, and the bullet might not make it to something important.

I've read many 'famous' sources and I've talked with local sources as well as having digested many internet reports, some of which I trust almost as gospel, some of which I trust not so much. I feel that I like the idea of penetration AND expansion so I try to seek rounds that first of all, penetrate consistantly and have a reputation of expanding reliably. In 45, I like 200 gr and 230 gr Gold Dots, 230 gr Golden Sabers and 230 gr and 230 gr +P Ranger Ts as my top loads. I used to be a 'HydraShock only' guy pretty much based on Evan Marhsall. Many sources cite less than reliable expansion. I guess with a round that has adequate penetration, less than reliable expansion is better than the zero expansion from FMJs, but I'd like better than a 50/50 chance of decent expansion.

Sorry if that was too long winded! :p

To your original question, I've absolutely never seen and never used any 165 gr 45 ammo other than the Power Ball.

September 21, 2004, 08:47 PM
check out this site. They just did a ballistics test on the round you are asking about.

If you enjoyed reading about "Federal Hydra-Shok 165 gr." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!