First Look: Hard Cast Bullet Option With Federal Solid Core Ammo

First Look: Hard Cast Bullet Option With Federal Solid Core Ammo

Federal Solid Core 2

Boasting a polymer jacket, Federal Solid Core ammo should prove an effective, affordable and clean hard cast option for handgun hunters.

How Federal Solid Core Stands Up To Other Hard Cast Options:

  • Deep-penetrating bullet built for tough game
  • Syntech jacket eliminates lead fouling and reduces friction
  • Available in popular handgun hunting calibers

As any dedicated handgun hunter will tell you, hard cast bullets are the way to go. Tough as rail stock, the lead alloy missiles endow ammunition with the key factor required to take down game with a sidearm—penetration. A fairly set formula, there seems little to be done to improve on the time-tested projectiles, yet Federal Premium found a way.

Fairly logically, the ammo-maker has extended its Syntech line of polymer-jacked ammunition with its hunting angled Solid Core addition. While the company doesn’t tip its hand on the lead alloy it uses (most likely tin or antimony), it promises a hard bullet that won’t break up or mushroom upon impact. In short, the stuff you want in your cylinder or magazine if a grizzly comes charging or an elk step out of timber within range.

The value add compared to other hard cast options is Federal’s revolutionary polymer jacket that should make the Solid Core offerings cleaner to shoot and easier on your gun’s bore. No wax rings or gas checks, so it should live up to its billing. Syntec certainly has in its other iterations—soft-core range and self-defense loads—as well as proving economical and accurate. 

Federal Solid Core 1

In the case of Federal Solid Core, the bullets are flat-nosed to improve energy transfer once they reach their target. Furthermore, the company is turning them out in some of the most popular handgun-hunting calibers as well as some others: .44 Rem. Mag., 10mm, .357 Mag., .45 ACP, .40 S&W and 9mm.

Presently, Federal hasn’t released the box-side specs on Solid Core, but one would hope with their intended use they’d error toward hot. However, they do fall into the relatively affordable category for the class of ammo, ranging from $29 (9mm) to $40 (.44 Mag.) depending on caliber. News that should set hogs to shaking in their hoofs.

For more information on Federal Solid Core, please visit

On-Target Ammunition Information:


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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