9mm Para Federal "SOCOM" Redux

Last week I completed my search through the 80 pages of archived topics and came across the following question by Lew Curtis (Pg. 43, Feb 26, 2008):

[quote]Has anyone seen the Federal 9mm “SOCOM”, LP-FMJ, (Limited Penetration - FMJ), 124 Gr., nickel case, with a white “rubber” nose cap. It is reported to be something new that Federal has. I suspect there is an XM??? number of some sort on the box.

Any information at all is appreciated.

Cheers, Lew[/quote]

Sometime in late 2008 I came across an On-line copy of an article written by Massad Ayoob for the March '08 issue of Guns Magazine regarding Federal’s new LP-FMJ 9x19mm load for the military. So far this has been the only reference material I can find on-line for the LP-FMJ.

If anyone else has any info about this round, I’m sure Lew, myself and other 9x19mm collectors would like to hear about it.

Link to article my Mas Ayoob:

findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m … n24232193/

Lew and Leon - I don’t know anything about any “SOCOM” LP-FMJ 124 grain round by Federal, and am a bit confused by the description “FMJ” with a white-plastic nose cap. If it has a white-plastic nose cap, then it is not a FMJ bullet.

However, this sounds like the Standard commercial Federal Index PD9CSP2H 9mm EFMJ (Expanding Full Metal Jacket) round introduced in the 2000 catalog and still shown in the 2009 catalog. It has a 124 grain flat-tip
bullet that is just short of semi-truncated in shape. Underneath the jacket, at the nose, is a white plastic filler. At the bottom portion the plastic piece becomes conical with the pointed end pointing to the rear. The bullet also has a conical-concave base. On the flat of the bullet nose is stamped the letter “F” for Federal. The bullet nose is interest, as while, of course, the bullet is round right up to the nose, the nose itself has six flat sides. Headstamp is "FC 9 MM +P. The case and primer cup are nickel and mine has no case cannelure. It also has no visible primer seal.

Someone told me they dropped the “F” from the nose tip, but I have not seen any of this in awhile, and I don’t know if that is true or not. Seeing is believing.

They originally came fifty rounds to a box under the “Premium line” (Blue and gold box). I think the current packaging is different, and perhaps a lesser quantity.

The 2000 catalog’s introduction blurb on this projectile says:

“This revolutionary design combines a scored full metal nose over an internal rubber tip that collapses on impact. It assures expansion on every shot. A base lead core assures weight retention.”

Regarding the “scored” nose, on mine, I can find no evidence of any pre-fracture cuts of any kind.

Don’t know if this whole thing is on subject or not, since I know nothing of the round Lew describes.

Edited solely to remove the myriad of typo errors I made - information is the same.

John Moss

All I know about it is the description I posted. I agree with John. I don’t understand the white plastic cap on a FMJ!

I can’t imagine it is just the EFMJ. If it was, what is the new name and description!!!



Have not seen/heard of this; I’ll query my rep at ATK and see if he knows. Anyone got a Federal part # for the round in question?

To add to the confusion, ATK (Speer side) has a waterproofed 124gr Gold Dot, cooked up at the request of a OCONUS mil unit; it’s been variously advertised as the “SOC”, “SOCOM”, and “Dive Ammo”.

Guys - the terminology I gave you, including the bullet description (other than not knowing if they still put the “F” on the nose), and the product number I gave, are current. I don’t know if there is any current military terminology, because most of this stuff dies a very quick death when offered to the military. I don’t know of any procurement of these cartridges by Seals or anyone else in the military, so it may not have gone past the initial terminology Lew supplied, if that was official terminology and correct.

John Moss


My guy at ATK is researching it and will get back to me as soon as he finds out anything. The lot # listed in the article is a really great piece of info, since ATK can usually get a ton of info from it as long as it’s a relatively recent product.


As written in the article, Mas describes this load as being nearily identical to Federal’s commercial Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ) with the exception that the stamp on the bullet’s meplat is a “P” instead of an “F” and that the “rubber” insert in the nose cavity of the bullet’s jacket has been treated with Barium sulfate so that it’ll show up on x-rays.

Esentially it is a EFMJ design projectile but with slight variations as noted above.

Leon - that’s great information. I have never seen the round with a “P” on the bullet. I wonder what that stands for.

Is there any idea about what headstamp was used on the “military” load?

It sounds, anyway, like the military version did not have an exposed plastic tip, but rather than it was inside the jacket, like the commercial version.

I have edited this reply to remove comments concerning reading the “F” as a “P.” Although an “F” could be read as a “P” under many circumstances of lighting or poor stamping, the reason I gave and thought is non-existant, upon looking at these cartridges again for my next answer. The ridge around the nose of the bullet is not there as I thought - it must have simply been the light in my office (from a window) that particular time of the afternoon.

John Moss

I was talking to Lew about the EFMJ last week and about the “F” on the meplat. I’ve noticed that all of the current Federal EFMJ stuff, and all of the recent stuff in years past has had the barely visible “F” if you tilt the bullet in just the right light. But I do have one EFMJ that is a little older that has the “F” cut out and is colored blue, or has been inked blue by someone? Anybody else ever see the cut-out F variation:

Based on the shape of the “F” itself, especially the lower horizontal bar, I can’t see any difference in the two in the picture, other than the blue which I think is the work of someone with too much time on his hands.

Both of the rounds in the picture have the horizontal bars that are slightly tapered (wider at the point of interesection with the vertical stroke of the lette than they are at the opposite, free-standing end of the horizontal line). I have that variation, and also one with the same basic size “F” but with all strokes of the letter formed with thinner lines of equal width for their entire length.

It is interesting to note that the ECRA Show Cartridge for the year 2002 was one of these with a piece of transparant tape running the length of the cartridge, marked in black, block letters, “ECRA 2002.”

Much more important, the later version I have, with the thinner letter “F” is no longer designated as “Plus +” and the headstamp is F C 9MM LUGER. All other features of the cartridge are as I originally described, except that the nose of the bullet no longer is so sharply defined as having six sides. That could be simply this one cartridge, however, and not represented of any real change in the design of the bullet nose. I simply don’t know, as I only have a single specimen in this case.

John Moss

ATK confirms that the product is loaded with a standard-performing EFMJ projectile, designated CSP-1.

FYI, the jacket on EFMJ projectiles are skived/cut on the inside to assist in expansion.

More to come when I get it.