Federal 9mm 124gr. Punch- How Hard Does it Punch?

We’re spoiled for choice for good 9mm defensive ammunition these days and we all know the standard brands that have faired well in tests and real life. The problem is these days we may not be spoiled for selection on the shelf, so when I was at Rain city Shooting Center today I looked to see what they had. Something caught my eye that I hadn’t seen before: Federal 124gr. 9mm Punch. Including our state sales tax I dropped a bit under $30 for a box of 20. Not a discount brand, but so be it. Thank you Patreon supporters!

My test gun- the Street Racer

Once home I assembled my long-in-the-tooth Clear Ballistics gel, some heavy denim and my chronograph to see what’s what. For my test-gun I used my EDC, the 3-1/2″ 9mm 1911 custom.

Federal says these make 1150 fps. from a 4″ barrel for 364 ft./lbs. I got an average velocity of 1108 fps. and 338 ft./lbs., so given variables of temperature, altitude and chronographs I don’t think their claims are wildly optimistic. I’m not going to show you the pictures of the gel because it’s darkened so much you can’t see anything. I fired three rounds through four layers of denim and recovered two, one at 18″ and one at 19″. Did the bullets expand? See for yourself.


Average expansion of the two bullets was .650″ and was pleasingly uniform. I expect when I run across the third bullet I expect it to look pretty similar.

Deep penetration and good expansion from standard-pressure ammo that cycles my gun just fine? Yes please. Might be a good choice for winter if you live in a colder area. I’d carry them with no qualms.

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 1 July 2022

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