Hi-Point owners are nothing if not suckers for a good deal. While the C9 pistol and 995 carbines make great plinkers for target practice both at the range and at camp, like any firearm they are from time to time placed into use for personal defense. As such, you need a good protection round that you can afford to shoot. Designed in the late 1980s, the Federal Classic (gray and blue box) 115-grain JHP is one of the most effective and affordable defense rounds out there in the 9mm market.

The History of the round

In the mid-1980s, with the adoption of the Glock 17/19, the Ruger P85, and a whole crop of Smith and Wesson wondernines, police departments across the country began switching from their tried and true .38 revolvers to 9mm autoloaders. This led to a huge new market for 9x19mm caliber jacketed hollow point ammunition. Federal Cartridge Company stepped up to meet this demand with a product that was well received then and is still in production.


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Dubbed the '9BP' in company item codes that are still marked on the corner of the boxes today, the 115-grain Hi-Shok round is a mild recoiling 9mm cartridge that uses a hollowpointed bullet set in a brass case. From the muzzle velocity is 1180 fps, maintaining 1048 fps out to 50 yards from a four-inch barrel. At the muzzle, the round produces 356 ft. /lbs in energy and still has 280 ft. /lbs at 50-yards. Best yet, the round is not a +P load, which means that it causes the same amount of wear and tear on a pistol frame as a standard velocity FMJ target load. This means that it's a forgiving round and can be used in guns not rated for +P combat loads such as vintage Browning Hi-Powers, Walther P-38s, and Egyptian Helwans.


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They soon became a standard law enforcement loading issued across the country. This led to the rounds seeing decades of use 'on the street. In FBI studies released in 2000, the Hi-Shok had a 82% success rate in 'one shot stops' meaning that only one round of this potent yet soft-recoiling ammo was needed to end a threat almost all of the instances it was used. Average expansion was 11.5-inches in the FBIs tests and the .30-caliber bullet expanded to right at a half-inch in diameter.

The FBI says that for a round to be considered for law-enforcement duty ammunition it needs to slice through at least ten inches of gel. This means deep enough penetration to hit vital organs and produce fight-ending damage to an assailant. In recent tests by TN Outdoors, this mild recoiling load penetrates 18-inches of Sim-test gel, covered with four layers of denim, and continues to penetrate through two one-gallon water jugs.

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Best of all, this round is cheap. Before the great panic of 2013 you could usually pick them up for $15-ish for a box of 50, which is cheaper than most target rounds for other calibers. They feed and cycle historically fine from both C9s and 995s while delivering proven, quality, performance.

These rounds may be a classic from the 1980s, but they are still very much reliable and affordable (when you can find them).

Much like the Hi-Point.

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