I’ve seen some bad history lately regarding the Hydra-Shok. Federal Cartridge’s PR department keeps stating its introduction date as one year later, and some folks don’t realize that the Hydra-Shok was marketed for roughly a decade before Federal licensed the patent.

Filing in February 1974, Tom Burczynski received US Patent #3,881,421 a little over a year later in May 1975. The original Hydra-Shok Scorpion UDL (Ultimate Defense Load) was introduced circa late 1977.

Early 1978 Ad

Their semi-jacketed Hydra-Shok SDL (Super Defense Load) appeared around early 1981, several years before Federal Cartridge licensed the patent in 1986.

Hydra-Shok Super Defense Load in .357 Magnum
The US State Department issued the SDL in .357 Magnum. Contracts values are rounded to the nearest $1,000
Sadly, I don’t have an introduction date or name for the full-profile, unjacketed variants.

Federal announced their new Hydra-Shok lineup in January 1988.

January 1988 Press Release
Note the Visible 1988 Copyright in this Ad
Another 1988 Ad

Does anyone remember Richard Rosenthal’s “Man Stopper Products” and their .44 caliber variant of the Hydra-Shok Scorpion? As you can see, the 192gr projectile was swaged by Alberts.



  1. Shawn says:

    I walked into a gun store last week and saw several boxes of 357 mah hydra shocks n the shelf. I was surprised they still make and sell them. They really fell out of favor some years ago, I thought


  2. Shawn says:

    got any history on the PMC el dorado starfire hooowpoint?


  3. John M. says:

    Interesting stuff. Hydra Shoks we’re still cutting edge when I got into guns in the late 90s. I didn’t realize the design was that old.

    For a bullet based on hocus-pocus (hydrostatic shock), they were an excellent choice in the old days and remain a pretty OK bullet in general.


  4. ptmn says:

    Those pics of that expanded 192gr .44 Cal man stopper products look wicked. I had never heard of that bullet before.


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