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Old 08-22-2020, 12:27 AM
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Curious...under what circumstances would one want fmj in flat nose vs. round nose, or vica versa?

Thanks
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:46 AM
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IN THEORY...... a flat nosed round crushes tissue as it penetrates causing more damage, while a round nose tends to push tissue to the side, while causing less trauma.

I am not sure I buy into the whole thing, but that is the usual explanation.
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:51 AM
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IN THEORY...... a flat nosed round crushes tissue as it penetrates causing more damage, while a round nose tends to push tissue to the side, while causing less trauma.

I am not sure I buy into the whole thing, but that is the usual explanation.
Maybe I am thinking of this then in the wrong context....
Since neither are JHP, I just think of them as range ammo, thus wondering why the difference.

Do some use the flat nose as a self defense round?
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:54 AM
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You can save money on targets by using flat nose rounds, because you can get more shots into a paper target with them. Flat nose rounds will punch clean holes. Round nose rounds have more of a tendency to tear the paper, and the target will be ripped up sooner. Of course, if you put all your shots through the bullseye like I do , it doesn't matter much.

Handy hint: When I'm forced to use round nose rounds, I make the target last longer by taping a piece of cardboard to its backside. Doing that reduces the tearing action of the round nose bullet.
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:59 AM
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You can save money on targets by using flat nose rounds, because you can get more shots into a paper target with them. Flat nose rounds will punch clean holes. Round nose rounds have more of a tendency to tear the paper, and the target will be ripped up sooner. Of course, if you put all your shots through the bullseye like I do , it doesn't matter much.

Handy hint: When I'm forced to use round nose rounds, I make the target last longer by taping a piece of cardboard to its backside. Doing that reduces the tearing action of the round nose bullet.
Okay, that makes sense....then....why not just make all target ammo flat nose? Cost you think?

Thanks for round nose tip.
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Old 08-22-2020, 02:22 AM
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Some guns may also prefer a RN to a FN bullet when it comes to reliable feeding. I am somewhat concerned about the .380's ability to expand and penetrate in winter clothing with JHP's when fired out of my LCP. In that gun, I use FMJFN bullets. FN bullets with a decent meplat do hit harder than RN's, especially at higher velocities, the reason many handgun hunters use FN / SWC solid bullets when big game hunting.

Larry

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Old 08-22-2020, 04:56 AM
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I've carried 40 S&W FMJFP with complete satisfaction while in policing and more recently while contracting in varied post-conflict countries.
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Old 08-22-2020, 07:57 AM
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In 9mm I like 147 grain range ammo since it seems to knock over steel plates a little better. Most 147 is flat nose. Keeping the bullet wide as long as possible makes it easier to fit a heavy bullet in the same length.

On paper it punches a neater hole. Its not as good as a wadcutter out of a revolver but still much cleaner than RN bullet. If you have both FN and RN at the range you can shoot at the same target twice and tell which group was which by looking at the holes so you do not have to paste them up or replace the target as often.

I have heard some guns have a harder time feeding the FN bullets but if your gun chokes on any type of FMJ you bought the wrong pistol. For range ammo I pick the weight I want and don't worry about FN vs RN.

For self defense I carry HP. I have heard the theory that FMJFN does more damage but I doubt it makes much difference. It kind of seems like a FN that makes a nice clean hole in paper would do the same if it was used in self defense. You do not want a bullet for self defense that makes a clean hole. Hunters use hard case semiwaddcutters because they travel straighter if they hit a bone and penetrate better. But those rounds typically have a much sharper profile than a FMJFN that often causes feeding problems in a semiauto. And they are made of much harder lead that is less likely to deform if they hit a bone.

These days the best choice would be whichever type you can find.

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Old 08-22-2020, 08:01 AM
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Get both ammos and try them in your gun. Stick with what works best for you (reliable gun functioning, accuracy, point of impact vs. point of aim, etc.). Don't worry about clean or jagged holes in the target. A bullet hole is a bullet hole.
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Old 08-22-2020, 08:24 AM
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The only real reason I can think of, as far why someone would choose one over the other, is that some guns may feed rounded bullets better than flatpoints because there's a smoother transition from the magazine into the chamber.

I haven't been able to really tell a difference between FMJRN and FMJFN on targets. They both punch holes with jagged edges, unlike full-WC ammo, which does punch nice, clean holes. To be fair, though, I don't really pay all that much attention to bullet holes in targets, other than where they are and if there are any signs of keyholing.

I've read about jacketed flatpoints being recommended over jacketed roundnose because they're supposed to crush tissue, but I doubt there'd be any significant difference. If you look at both round types in the same weight and caliber, the flatpoint's meplat has a nice, smooth, rounded transition to the sides of the bullet. Compare that to the edges of the meplat on a revolver WC or SWC round, which typically have well-defined sharp edges. I just don't see FMJFN being any more effective at damaging tissue than FMJRN. A good HP is going to be much better than any solid bullet for self defense.

Just my opinion.
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:13 AM
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Flat-nosed ammo can supposedly do more tissue damage than a round-nosed bullet and is more likely to punch through hard objects than it is to deflect, so if you're in a jurisdiction in which JHPs are strictly prohibited, then it can be a better choice than round-nosed ammo.
However, round-nosed ammo tends to feed more reliably in semiautomatic pistols, particularly those of older design which were designed around round-nosed bullets.

Furthermore, I've heard a from a few hunters that flat-nosed FMJ is actually better for Bear Defense than unjacketed hardcast lead because supposedly it's less likely to break up when it strikes thick bone. Whether or not there is any truth to this or it's merely conjecture from certain hunters in attempt to justify skimping on the cost of proper hardcast lead ammunition I cannot say.

Lastly, certain cartridges come standard with flat-point bullets these days, particularly old Revolver cartridges which are popular in Lever Action Rifles for obvious reasons as well as some of the more modern semiautomatic pistol cartridges, ergo round-nosed bullets can be less common in said cartridges, tends to cost more money, and really has no benefit.

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Originally Posted by Fishinfool View Post
Some guns may also prefer a RN to a FN bullet when it comes to reliable feeding. I am somewhat concerned about the .380's ability to expand and penetrate in winter clothing with JHP's when fired out of my LCP. In that gun, I use FMJFN bullets. FN bullets with a decent meplat do hit harder than RN's, especially at higher velocities, the reason many handgun hunters use FN / SWC solid bullets when big game hunting.

Larry
You needn't worry about .380 ACP failing to penetrate deeply enough after passing through heavy Winter clothing. In short, the belief that heavy Winter clothing can stop or even prevent JHP bullets from penetrating deeply enough to reach vitals is nothing more than a persistent Urban Legend which dates back to the second World War in which Soldiers who faced off against Russian forces misinterpreted the fact that the Russians didn't go down quite as readily when shoot by handguns as some other soldiers did or merely that the bullets had completely missed their mark. In other words, it's another wartime Urban Legend like "They all fall to .45 ball." or "The sound of an M1 Garand ejecting an empty clip signals the enemy that you're out of ammo!"

There are plenty of videos on YouTube which test it out, and frankly no realistic amount of clothing can even stop a .22LR fired from a pistol, much less .380 ACP.

Lastly, even if the Winter clothing clogs up the cavity of a .380 ACP JHP, that would only make it penetrate deeper. So yeah, don't worry about it.
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Old 08-22-2020, 10:11 AM
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Hope I'm not taking this thread too far off track, but I got curious about the terminal ballistics of RN vs. flat nose. I found this video comparing two .380ACP 95gr FMJ rounds, one RN and the other flat nose, in a ballistics gel simulant.


It seems that there really isn't much difference at all in the gel, though the narrator did mention the possibility of bone making a difference. I'm still not convinced that flat nose is better than RN from a self defense perspecctive. I still think they're equally bad for self defense compared to JHP.

Though I will say that the meplat of the flat nose round he used seemed larger in comparison to bullet diameter than other flat nose rounds I've seen.

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Old 08-22-2020, 10:29 AM
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When the U.S. Army selected a replacement pistol for their aging Beretta M9's, they decided to stay with the 9x19mm caliber, but the new ammo for U.S. forces will be a 115 grain FMJFP bullet. They also selected a 147 grain JHP bullet for special uses. Both are being manufactured by Winchester. The flat point has more potential for crushing tissue, which may lead to a larger wound cavity. Flat point bullets are usually reliable feeders in modern design pistols, but they may be problematic in some older designs.
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Old 08-22-2020, 10:54 AM
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Any difference in wounding potential gained by usage of flat-point bullets isn't going to be substantially more visible in Ballistics Gel.
Furthermore, the difference is more appreciable from more powerful cartridges, ergo it isn't particularly surprising that the difference is difficult to see when comparing a less powerful cartridge like .380 ACP.

I presume that the bare minimum would be something along the lines of .40 S&W or .357 SIG if not a full-power 10mm Auto before the difference becomes readily visible to the naked eye.

Most of the sources I've seen regarding the superior wounding potential of flat-nosed bullets reference hunting with large diameter, heavyweight bullets traveling at over 1000fps. I'm talking magnum handgun cartridges like .44 Remington Magnum or a hot .45 Long Colt, fired from a 6.5"+ Barrel.

Lastly, you are correct that the biggest difference between round-nosed and flat-nosed bullets is how they behave when they strike bone. A round-nosed bullet is more likely to either deflect off of a bone or punch a clean hole through it, possibly cracking/snapping it in the process, whereas a flat-nosed bullet is more likely to punch right through a bone and shatter it in the process.
Once again, this mostly applies to more powerful cartridges, so .380 ACP and even standard pressure 9mm Luger most likely won't yield much of a dramatic effect in testing.
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:09 AM
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Back when the DOD was going to go to 9mm, the Air Force (go figure, maybe assigned as lead? IIRC, the object was to improve lethality.) did a study on 9 mm ammunition. Hornady made both bullets and ammo for the study. The finding was that the flat point/truncated cone bullet was substantially more accurate than the RN and did somewhat more tissue damage in gel tests. RN bullets tend to push tissue off to the side rather than shearing through it.

Hornady put the design into production for both 9 mm & .45 and only recently phased them out after producing the HAP line of bullets. The HAP has about the same profile but doesn't need a completely different set of forming dies to produce.

I've found I prefer the flat point as you can frequently skip changing seating die adjustments when you load JHPs instead of practice ammo. But that kinda depends upon JHP selection.

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Old 08-22-2020, 11:56 AM
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Lever action rifles with tube loading :
Winchester Model 1873 , 1866 , 1886 , 1892 , 1894
Marlin Lever actions model 336 and all the centerfire models they make .
Henry CF Lever actions
...I like flat nose in all of the above . Never did trust a RN in a Lever Gun with a tube fed magazine , not in center fire anyways .
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:19 PM
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I once had a 380. It had feeding problems with FP bullets so I got RN bullets, same weight. That didn't fix it. I did see that the FN are better and they seem just as accurate.
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:06 PM
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Today: Whichever type is in stock.
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:07 PM
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If I remember right.Back in the 70’s and 80’s bowling pin shooters claimed flat nosed did a better job of digging into the pin.Round nose might glance off if not a clean hit.
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:03 AM
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I would not have thought RN or FP in 9MM would make much difference, but apparently the Army did. According to the American Rifleman, one of the RFP requirements for a new ball ammo was "increased lethality". Further, that "The Ball cartridge is intended for use against enemy personnel, for training, and for force protection".

I don't know, the Army likely spent a lot of taxpayer money to have Winchester develop and supply the M1152 FP ammo. Could it actually perform significantly better than 124 grain RN NATO Ball?
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:20 AM
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My Kimber 9 mm 1911 will not feed FP bullets reliably so it is RN all the way. I have messed arouind with different seating depths but it simply will not improve.

My Tanfoglio P19 CZ75alike has minimal rifling lead. 124 gn RN can get stuck in the rifling with the RN unless set deeper into the case. FP bullets, which are shorter in length, feed reliably and always chamber properly.
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Old 08-24-2020, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
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I would not have thought RN or FP in 9MM would make much difference, but apparently the Army did. According to the American Rifleman, one of the RFP requirements for a new ball ammo was "increased lethality". Further, that "The Ball cartridge is intended for use against enemy personnel, for training, and for force protection".

I don't know, the Army likely spent a lot of taxpayer money to have Winchester develop and supply the M1152 FP ammo. Could it actually perform significantly better than 124 grain RN NATO Ball?

A lot of people don't know that when the 9mm Luger was first introduced in 1902, it was loaded with a 124 grain, flat point FMJ Truncated Cone bullet. That bullet proved very effective as a man stopper in WW1, but early in the war was changed to a less efective FMJ RN design. I have read that the reason for the change was that the British and French considered the TCFN bullet to be a "dum dum" bullet, and that German soldiers who used it were often executed when taken prisoner. I guess it was OK to drop an artillery shell on someones head, or gas them, but a flat nose pistol bullet wasn't "sporting"...

Larry

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Old 08-24-2020, 01:48 PM
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The only reason not to use FMJFN or the same bullet in HardCast is feeding issues or budget.

Those two on the left are 230gr Premium Cast, from Robert at Penn, and I'll be testing them in our 1911s and 460 Smiths.
Will get velocity limits of all leads in the pic asap.

We hunt with fishing rods in South Florida so I can't address the hunting characteristics.
I was advised by Cops on the water to use 308 for shark encounters around the boat... pre X Frame era.
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:18 PM
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I'm relatively new to the .40S&W. It seems the ammo I can find is all flat nosed. Is this the common loading for this cartridge? Not that's it's a problem. My ex-CHP 4006TSW eats 165gr and 180gr FMJFN without a hiccup.
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:26 PM
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quickdraw, Yes, the flat nosed bullet for the .40 is the type most commonly encountered.
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:50 PM
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quickdraw, Yes, the flat nosed bullet for the .40 is the type most commonly encountered.
.
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Old 08-24-2020, 04:28 PM
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Not only does the .40 S&W cartridge use flat-nosed bullets by design, (much like the .38-40 and 10mm Auto) but round-nosed bullets are uncommon for .40 S&W because use of round-nosed bullets requires the use of lighter weight bullets in order to maintain the proper OAL.

So on the occasion that you find .40cal bullets intended specifically for loading in the .40 S&W case as opposed to .38-40 or 10mm Auto, they will most often be 165gr rather than the standard 180gr because 180gr round-nosed bullets have a slightly longer OAL than flat-nosed bullets, and the standard flat-nosed 180gr bullets are already seated back in the case just about as far as they can be without causing excessive spikes in chamber pressure, hence why folks are often more concerned with bullet setback when it comes to .40 S&W pistols.

Furthermore, nowadays certain manufacturers of .40 S&W brass even include a little ring inside of the case to prevent bullet setback, which makes it difficult to even seat 180gr round-nose bullets far back enough in the case to maintain the proper OAL, although it will most likely still feed/chamber/headspace properly, provided the magazine provides adequate clearance for the bullet to fit.
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