Review: Federal Premium Low Recoil

By  ·  January 26th, 2011   

(Hey, all the cool kids are doing it…)

Today was a good range day. I took my son out to our local county range for a bit of firearms drill.  It has been colder than usual this winter, and today was no exception: sunny and about 50 degrees, windy enough to bring tears to your eyes.  I figured today would be a good day to introduce my 13 year old son to shooting in less than ideal conditions than he was used to experiencing. Since we live in Central Florida, yes, 50 degrees is chilly.  Wind chill must have pushed the ‘feels like’ down to at most 48.  (Sorry to all you Northerners who might be jealous.)

My son was going to get in some practice with our simple .22: loading drills, point of aim return, shot grouping, etc.  Meanwhile, I was there to try out a new ammo I just received in the mail from  Federal Premium Low Recoil ammo in .380 shot through my Beretta 84BB. This is a 90 gr ammo just like the cheap range rounds I usually use for practice, but these are hydra-shok rounds.  The entry hole was so much more crisp on the paper that the flat-nose rounds would make.

I even went so far as to load one magazine half and half with the new-to-me Federals and half the cheap junk I use for practice.  Each round leaving the pistol felt the same. When I say that, I mean that just because it says ‘low recoil’ on the box, I had always been wary of using it, thinking it somehow was a wussy of a round, that it wouldn’t cycle the chamber correctly or stovepipe or some other disaster would occur to me or my pistol.  I LOVE this pistol. If it got damaged from bad ammo I seriously think I would grieve.  So I was worried.

My normal carry round is obviously also a hyda-shok, but full power.  Since my health isn’t the best due to nerve damage, I would rarely actually shoot the regular power load at the range.  So I figured to be fair, to give it a fair test, I should shoot a mag of the good stuff too.  I was surprised at the results.  The groups were of a size, but the time required to come back on target was MUCH faster with the low power load.  And really, from 7-10 feet away, there isn’t going to be any appreciable difference to a goblin in the hit.  But it could make a BIG difference how fast I could get off that SECOND accurate shot.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the ammo and am going to switch it for my regular ammo.  I never would have believed it, but if no other reason than the recovery speed, I am now a convert to low recoil.


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