25,000 FPS Handgun Cartridge

In 2005, Smith & Wesson filed a patent application for a “high velocity ammunition system and firearm.”  The abstract stated the bullets fired from this handgun would achieve muzzle velocities in excess of 25,000 fps!

Smith & Wesson Sabot Cartridge

Let’s put 25,000 fps into context…

  • 25,000 fps is more than 17,000 miles per hour.
  • This is more than 22 times the speed of sound.
  • The .221 Fireball shot from a single shot pistol is the fastest SAAMI-spec handgun cartridge at about 2700 fps.
  • Federal’s 220 Swift load only manages 4250 fps at the muzzle from a rifle.

When I started reading the patent application, I expected that the 25,000 fps was a typo.  It just seemed so far outside the realm of possibility to achieve those speeds from any conventional firearm, much less a handgun.


New Fusion Sabot Slug for 20 Gauge Shotgun

Fusion, a division of ATK, introduced a new deer hunting load in 20-gauge. The new cartridge is a 3/4 ounce slug in a 2 3/4″ shell. At the muzzle, the slug is running 1600 fps for 1864 foot-pounds of energy, making this a very potent load for the 20-gauge hunters.

The 20 gauge Fusion features:

  • Copper jacket is electro-chemically applied to the core through a sophisticated and
    refined molecular application technique;
  • Formed under consistent pressure for complete dimensional control and slug integrity;
  • Perfectly uniform jacket;
  • Skived, pre-programmed nose provides consistent expansion; and
  • Maximum weight retention for deep penetration.

With more than 1800 ft-lbs of energy, this slug will penetrate deep and deliver a knock-out blow to humanely kill the animal.  The benefit to the hunter is this shell will give you less of a pounding than a 12 gauge load.  This load is a good 50-100 yard shell depending on your gun and abilities.

I would expect that this load would also make a good self-defense round.  What will take a deer, will also put an armed attacker down as well.  Just make sure you hit your target, because that 3/4 ounce slug will pop straight through a sheetrock wall like a hot knife through butter.

Fusion branded ammo is made by Federal and is situated to be very good quality ammunition but at reasonable prices.  The Fusion line is not a “budget” or “cheap” line of ammo.  Instead, it is priced to be a step below the top premium rounds, but still above the cheap lines like American Eagle.  The Fusion line will provide very good performance, and will likely fill the needs of all but the pickiest of hunters.


Federal Premium eliminated the 3/4 oz slug from the Fusion line of 20 gauge ammo. A similar load can still be had in the Federal PowerShok line, but not in the Fusion line.

As a replacement, Federal now offers a pair of 7/8 ounce Fusion Sabot Slugs: one as a 2 3/4″ shell, and the other as a 3″ shell. They run 1450 fps and 1550 fps respectively. Both are suitable for taking deer to the 100-125 yard range.