Reasons to Support 30 Super Carry

30 super Carry
Specs on 30 Super Carry

A few weeks ago I wrote a primer on 30 Super Carry. In this I covered ammunition prices, general specs, ballistic testing results, and more. Start there if you're unfamiliar with the round. Today we're getting more into the practical application of 30SC. This is looking at both law enforcement and armed citizen perspectives.

Law Enforcement Use of 30 Super Carry

Slimline Series Pistols for Smaller Handed Shooters

My position is selling 30SC as a duty round in duty guns. Smaller handed shooters can get a slimline pistol that holds a comparable number of rounds to a traditional "duty" handgun. As a specific example, the diminutive S&W Shield Plus holds 16 rounds in the magazine, one short of a Glock 17, while being smaller than a Glock 48. Guns in 9x19 are often scoffed for serious use in this size category due to low capacity, which is solved with 30 Super Carry. Bigger guns get that capacity improvement as well if you go department-wide 30SC, ensuring commonality with traditional "duty" pistols.

30 super carry
An extremely rudimentary depiction of what Smith & Wesson's G48 competitor could look like. Of course this one would be in 30 Super Carry

This reduced grip circumference lets smaller handed shooters improve their control because it's not too big for them to get a solid grip. No additional recoil, similar trajectory, similar wound ballistics to 9mm. Better trigger finger placement due to an appropriate grip helps improve shot placement, reducing misses, which improves accountability in public and reduces the need for remedial training, thereby saving money.


Weapon mounted lights continue to grow in popularity with law enforcement. While you won't be able to use full size Surefire or Streamlight offerings, you're not totally out of luck. The TLR-7 or TLR-7 Sub, which has been adopted by several agencies, brings a reasonable amount of light to these more compact pistols. Duty holsters in this size exist from both Blackhawk and Safariland in a handful of configurations, though contracts likely will be required to satisfy all duty requirements.

Some agencies have recently banned the use of extended magazines by officers, fearing potential public backlash. Should other localities follow the LAPD's example, 30SC could be a saving grace. Full size duty pistols can bring more capacity to the fight without relying on extensions when moving to 30 Super Carry. As we've seen in the past, not every extension is created equal. On several occasions I've shown examples failing after a single drop, lacking the durability of a standard magazine.

30 Super Carry Ammunition

As mentioned in a previous article, 30 Super Carry isn't substantially more expensive than 9x19 when comparing the same make/model of ammunition. Bulk ammunition for LE will likely drive down cost compared to individual buyers. As more agencies make this move, that trend should continue. Speer, Federal, and Hornady support the caliber with their premium JHP loads that are well proven in other calibers. Hornady swaps out with Remington when it comes to FMJ training ammunition, which has proven very reliable in my time with it.

Adapting to Change

Law enforcement is no stranger to adopting cutting edge rounds for duty use. From 10mm, to 357 SIG or 45 GAP, LE is always looking for a better solution to stopping the threat. Even today a handful of agencies still carry the bottleneck 357 and stubby 45. Of course those previous mentioned rounds aren't exactly thriving, and even the proud 40S&W is fading into the background.

30 super carry reasons to use
A memo from LAPD banning the use of extended capacity magazines for officers

Unlike some of those rounds with dubious claims of "stopping power", the main advantage of 30 Super Carry's reduced diameter is readily apparent. I think if you got one major law enforcement agency to adopt it, 30SC probably would never go away.

30 Super Carry for Conceal Carry, and Home Defense

The size advantages offered by 30 Super Carry for law enforcement are the same as for citizen defenders. However, these benefits are magnified for even more compact firearms carried across America. For those with higher concealment needs, you get extended magazine capacity without the shortcomings of extensions. The Shield Plus gets 13 rounds in a flush fit 30 Super Carry magazine. This matches the capacity of the 9mm version's factory extended mag.  A G43, one of the smallest 9mm pistols on the market, moves to 7 or 8 rounds of 30SC over 6 rounds of 9x19.

30 Super Carry Shield Plus versus Glock 48
A size comparison of the 30SC Shield Plus and the 9mm Glock 48

In a 1911, you move from 9 rounds of 9x19 up to 12 rounds of 30SC. The ability to bring single stack guns into double digit capacity is an incredible advantage.

The Changing Face of Violence in America

Violence is changing all across America. Threats are becoming more aggressive, taking pleasure in hurting their victims rather than looking for a quick buck. For years we saw about 40% of attacks involving multiple threats, but that number is trending upward. Instances of three or more perpetrators are becoming more common. According to Tom Givens, Rangemaster alumni have experienced multiple attackers in approximately 50% of their 67+ defensive gun uses. Don't take my word for it, here's some great data collected by Greg Ellifritz:

The Reality of Modern Criminal Attacks

Fighting Multiple Attackers

What does this Mean for 30SC?

The idea of a lone mugger with low motivation is starting to disappear in the face of those truly wishing to do you harm. More threats, with more motivation, and willingness to seriously injure or kill. Mindset and skills are what we most need to be successful in defending ourselves and our loved ones. That said, our pocket pistols may not be up to snuff in the coming years. I love my S&W 351C, it is what I have when nothing else is feasible. But seven rounds of 22WMR doesn't give me the warm fuzzy that it used to.

30 Super Carry Shield Plus
The Rangemaster Baseline Assessment Drill with 30SC

The additional capacity of 30SC allows for smaller pistols to be carried, increasing the likelihood you'll strap them on every day. This also provides you with more versatility; the ability to mitigate a wider variety of problems than what you may get with 9x19 or 380ACP. That's not to say we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. However, more rounds, with comparable performance, is an enticing proposition.

Product Development

If you look closely, you'll notice that the vast majority of pistols on the market are incredibly similar. Most 9mm pistols are Glock or P365 clones, and 380 pistols typically emulate the Ruger LCP. When it comes to 9x19 and 380ACP, there doesn't seem to be much room for innovation. You have to fit those rounds in the magazine and build everything around that. With 30 Super Carry, our options start to open up. Yes, the current offerings in 30SC are built around the bones of 9mm pistols, but that doesn't have to be the case. The svelte rounds could allow designs to take new forms, with less girth to work around.

Rim Lock conceal carry edc

This could also lead to even further developments. I'm a fan of 32ACP, but many are hesitant about the semi-rimmed cartridge. Cut a few millimeters off of 30SC and now you have a new pocket pistol round. 30 Super Pocket anyone? Now we can jam more rounds into our small guns without all the recoil of a service cartridge. The sky is the limit, but only if you can get off the ground. Without supporting 30 Super Carry, we may never get to this point.

Wrapping Up Reasons to Support 30 Super Carry

30 Super Carry offers a lot to the end user as it stands now. With a little bit of support, the possibilities are incredible for both law enforcement and the citizen defender. From improvements in capacity, to avenues for future load development, we're on the verge of greatness. Give 30 Super Carry a chance. That's what I'm doing, and it has been a worthwhile pursuit.

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About Daniel Reedy 395 Articles
Daniel holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has received training from Craig Douglas, Tom Givens, and Steve Fisher among others. He also has experience competing in USPSA, CAS, 3 Gun, and Steel Challenge. In his free time Daniel enjoys petting puppies and reading the Constitution. His work is also published by AmmoLand, Recoil Concealment, and Air Force Times. Daniel has also written and edited for The Kommando Blog.

1 Comment

  1. As a long-time shooter of .32 ACP, 32 S&W Long, and more recently the .32 H&R Magnum, I've always respected the .32 caliber. Recently I've become in interested in the .30 SC (what a stupid name, which I believe is partly to blame for its slowness to catch on --- .32 Supermag or something like that would have been better). I'm likely going to buy a Shield Plus in the caliber soon -- I already have all the reloading equipment I need except for brass.

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