Review: Federal Syntech PCC 9mm 130-Grain

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posted on July 26, 2019
pcc-syntech3.jpg

In 2018, Federal introduced the Syntech Action Pistol ammunition line. Featuring polymer-coated bullets, it was geared towards competitive handgunners. The Match loads in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP were crafted to make the appropriate Power Factors with less recoil than standard factory loads. My previous tests showed that they accomplished that objective well.

Syntech PCC 9mm ammunition test
The 130-grain roundnose load was a reliable, and accurate, performer in carbine and handguns, while making a comfortable Power Factor from all.


In 2019, they expanded the Syntech line to include a 9mm match-specific load for the increasingly-popular Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) sports. Using the same polymer bullet-coating technology, the 130-grain round nose bullet is designed for reliable feeding in the various PCC operating actions in current use. The advertised velocity is 1130 fps, for a 146.9 Power Factor (PF).

Federal provided test loads and I started with my Ruger PC Carbine. This is a stock gun with a Trijicon RMR Type II Adjustable reflex sight, and I used the Ruger 17-round SR9 magazines. The initial testing was nothing more than a look at reliability, recoil level and ejection pattern consistency. For that, I tossed an empty soda can at the base of my berm, backed up to 25 yards and ran two full magazines through the PC from offhand.

The gun was shooting a few inches low and right, which let my “aiming point” and gun hold stay in one place for the 34 rounds fired. Recoil was less snappy than the 115- and 124-grain 9mm loads I have tested, and only slightly more than the softest-shooting 147- to 150-grain loads I’ve used. Functioning was flawless, and when I went to collect the fired brass there were 34 empty cases clustered into a 14-inch circle about eight feet right and 90 degrees from the ejection port. That’s very consistent.

Syntech 9mm PCC ammo by Federal
The new Syntech 130-grain PCC load showed exceptional accuracy from the author’s Ruger PC Carbine—while delivering very good accuracy in his handguns.


For accuracy testing, I used the CMP B-19 C 50-yard smallbore target. The 1.75-inch white center circle matches the 6.5 MOA dot on the RMR at 25 yards, which resulted in a very precise hold. I did not adjust the sights, in order to keep the group out of the aiming circle. The first five-round group from my 25-yard bench rest measured .86 inches, with four rounds touching. I had trouble believing that, so replaced the target and fired a second group. It was .88 inches, again with four rounds touching.

I was impressed. I was also curious. Although the new load is advertised as PCC, it’s still a 9mm. I wanted to see what it would do in handguns, so I broke out two.

From my five-inch S&W C.O.R.E with the RMR reflex sight, and a 1/16-inch twist barrel , two five-round groups from a 25-yard benchrest averaged 2.12-inches. From my M&P Standard 4.25-inch (1/10-inch twist) barrel with iron sights, a pair of groups averaged 2.74-inches. Those are good groups from these guns—better that average. Recoil was between the snap of a 124-grain 130 PF load and the softer push of a 147-grain 130 PF load. Ejection from both handguns was about five feet right and 45 degrees rear, with the brass landing in a compact group.

I then chronographed five rounds from each of the three guns over an Oehler Three-Screen chronograph with the start screen at 10 feet.

Velocities from the PC Carbine ran 1,151 to 1,162 fps, for an average of 1,156 (150 PF). Velocities from the C.O.R.E ran 1,034 to 1,053 fps, with an average of 1,043 (135 PF). The 4.25-inch standard velocities ran a very consistent 991 to 994 fps, for an average of 993 (129 PF).

Syntech 9mm PCC ammo


The performance from the carbine was outstanding, and the performance from the two pistols was very good. I don’t see any reason why Federal’s newest Syntech load wouldn’t be a solid choice for either. MSRP: $19.95 per 50-round box, FederalPremium.com.


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