How Federal’s 30 Super Carry Round Reminded Me To Fight Complacency

30 Super Carry ammunition is readily available in several training and personal defense options at prices comparable to 9mm rounds. Photo: author

On paper, the 30 Super Carry Round should be a great personal defense option. In gel tests, the 30 Super Carry round performs very well as a personal defense option. On the range, shooting the 30 Super Carry rounds feels the same as 9mm for all practical purposes and should allow any shooter who puts in a little time and effort to develop skills that would be applicable in a personal defense shooting. The price of 30 Super Carry rounds is comparable to that of 9mm in both practice and personal defense loadings. There are solid technical arguments for the 30 Super Carry round being superior to 9mm in regard to accuracy and terminal performance. It is also true that just about any firearm chambered for 9mm could be chambered in 30 Super Carry with minimal engineering challenges and be capable of holding more rounds in the same size package. The 30 Super Carry presents a great collection of attributes, balancing the compromises that must be worked out to develop a personal defense handgun round.

The 30 Super Carry round was introduced by Federal Ammunition about a year ago. The round is SAAMI approved, and ammunition is readily available in several different configurations from the Federal, Remington, CCI/Speer, Blazer, and American Eagle brands.


Why has only one major gun manufacturer produced a personal defense carry pistol chambered in this caliber? The best answer I can come up with is, unfortunately, “complacency.” And I was very much suffering from that complacency until a few months ago. I saw the announcements about 30 Super Carry. I understood the performance expectations. I saw that the round was available and that firearms chambered for it were being sold. Why wasn’t I experimenting with and/or outright supporting the 30 Super Carry round? Particularly as someone who is supposed to be trying to give people the best, latest, and greatest information related to personal defense gear and training? I just wasn’t putting the energy into exploring this new thing that nobody was asking for.

I was arguably pretty busy in 2023 trying to get people to understand my own new product, the PD10 Pistol from Avidity Arms. The PD10 Pistol was designed for defense based on my experience on ranges all over the world for a couple of decades, watching people shoot just about every defensive handgun design in existence. I think the PD10 presents a great collection of attributes, balancing compromises that must be necessary to develop a personal defense gun for concealed carry.  One of the reasons I was so busy was that the approach and specifications of the PD10 aren’t what is trendy in the handgun market right now. They aren’t what people are used to. You see where this is going, right?  While I was fighting complacency on the one hand, I was participating in it on the other.


In gel tests, 30 Super Carry hollow points match or exceed the performance of comparably designed 9mm defensive rounds. Photo: author

Thankfully, a friend involved in the development of 30 Super Carry called me out and I took a closer look. Perhaps you’ve seen the 30SC gel-test videos we posted here at PDN a few months ago? Did you notice what handgun I used to shoot the test rounds? I can tell you that not many people did … because if they had, I would’ve gotten more “Wait … is the PD10 now chambered in 30 Super Carry?!” messages. I only got two … which is probably good, because we weren’t ready to announce that we’d be offering our designed for defense in the best way we could pistol in Federal’s designed for defense in the best way we could pistol caliber until this week!

After looking with an open mind at the round and its performance characteristics, and really thinking about why those outstanding attributes weren’t translating to “mass-market acceptance,” I realized I was not only part of the problem, but I was also missing out on a few important opportunities through my complacency.

* The opportunity to educate students and PDN Members about this new personal defense option.
* The opportunity to offer the PD10 in this great new caliber for those interested in it.
* Perhaps most relevant to what you may be missing: The opportunity to seriously consider this round for my own personal protection!


After closely examining the round, it became obvious the 30 Super Carry and Avidity Arms PD10 fit together very well. Photo: author

The first step was to rectify my failure as an educator, which the PDN gel-test videos were a big part of. Through that process, I was able to evaluate the engineering and production challenges involved in chambering the PD10 Pistol for this round.  Having solved those issues and deciding to move forward, I now have a very real option to choose 30 Super Carry as the round I will have in my own personal defense gun.

Maybe you can learn from my experience here. How open mindedly do you look at new gear, training, or technique options when they aren’t what you are already used to?

Almost 20 years ago, I coined the term “Respectful Irreverence” for what I espouse as a proper attitude toward new information. When Personal Defense Network launched in January 2010, my very first article for the website went deeper into these ideas. I both invited and challenged everyone visiting to Dare To Know, to challenge their assumptions and beliefs. I wanted people to dive headfirst into the wealth of knowledge from real experts on a wide variety of personal defense topics we were offering … and would continue to offer for years to come.

Last year, I got too busy to follow my own advice. That was a real failure, as I consider both Respectful Irreverence and Daring To Know to be fundamental principles that have helped me, my training programs, and my businesses evolve. Let’s all recommit to these principles moving forward! PDN will strive to keep providing the latest gear and training information, and you can keep watching, reading, and maintaining an open mind in regard to new information … and we will all fight complacency!

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5 Responses to “How Federal’s 30 Super Carry Round Reminded Me To Fight Complacency”

  1. Newell D. Anderson

    Sorry! I just turned 84! No new cal. For me! If the .44 special or .45 ACP Won’t stop it I guess it will just get to eat me! :-)

  2. Alex K

    For me 30 Supers did not work because of lack of availability of firearms (there 20 to 1 guns available to shot 9) and the rounds are about 50% more expensive.

  3. Jim L

    I think the acceptance of the 30 Super carry is that it came across as the new flavor of the month. It can do anything a 9MM can do, and there lies the problem. I can buy 9mm as cheap as I can reload them. The Super Carry not so much. I would like to see Ruger make a 30 Super carry in a package the size as an LC9 with say 10 rounds. My Sig 365 carries great in 9mm. If you like a 10+ rd SW Shield, you get the Shield plus. Make a small 10+ rd Super Carry gun and I’ll think about it. I have a 327 Federal magnum Revolver so I’m good with new calibers, but look how many other bullets I can put thru it. Just my thoughts.

  4. Lbrac

    Should have named it .32 APC Magnum

  5. Joseph Giorgi

    How about some facts as 2 30 super ballistics / penatration test rather then sales prograganda verse 9mm