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Old 09-10-2020, 02:35 PM
Jon651 Jon651 is offline
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Default Hollow Point vs. Round-Nose Ammo

Greetings All,

Can anyone with more knowledge than I please lay down some info for me comparing round-nose full metal jacket ("ball"?) ammo vs. hollow point for self/home defense?

I realize that hollow point ammo (of varying types and prices) has always been the accepted choice for this, but I can't get a good reading as to why. After all, isn't round nose full metal jacket what the military uses? If it's good for them, then wouldn't it also be good for me?

Another benefit I can see to using it is the price, and that I can "practice with what I carry" instead of blowing a wad of money on shooting up expensive self-defense ammo at the range just so I can get used to how differently it shoots.

I would appreciate any educated info!
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:49 PM
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The military uses hollow points for gate guard duty since it is more effective and US gate guards are not covered by the ban on "expanding combat ammunition". So the comment about "good enough for the military" is misplaced.
I use some version of FMJ for range practice, but ball ammo is a poor choice for handgun defensive ammo basically because it does not expand and tends to zip through with minimal damage and expend its energy beyond. That said, I tend to wear my IDPA rig home from the range, and anyone dumb enough to try to rob me is going to be shot with the plated range ammo, probably as many times as I can until the threat is stopped.
In my usual carry revolver, I carry Gold Dot SB .38.

You don't have to use the expensive ammo for all your practice. I just load something similar for range use, so POA is the same.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:54 PM
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In my part of the world FMJ factory ammo is all that is available
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:00 PM
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In my part of the world FMJ factory ammo is all that is available
Well, I must admit my stash of defensive ammo was bought a year ago, along with 20K primers, bullets, and more than enough powder to load them for range use. I really hate these feast/famine ammo cycles, but they seem to be reality, and he who hesitates....you know..
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:10 PM
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The fundamental issue is how much damage the projectile does to the target.

The good old 45acp makes a much bigger hole (and wound canal) than a 9mm. The math works out that increases in diameter results in a three fold increase in the volume of the wound canal.

Expanding ammo is designed to get small caliber bullets ( eg 9mm, 38 or 357) up to the old 45 hardball in terms of the volume of the wound canal.

Lots of folks imagine that expanding ammo is less likely to pose a danger from over penetration than ball ammo. That may be true ASSUMING that the expanding bullet actually expands as hoped, although missing is much more likely than a hit that over-penetrates.

You’ll run into a lot of folks that will flash ballistic gel photos and ballistic tables in their arguments urging expanding ammo, but these folks haven’t shot big game or other critters and have no experience about bullet performance in flesh and blood targets.

Bigger holes create more tissue damage than smaller holes. Bullets that start off with larger diameter make bigger holes, and create more tissue damage than bullets that start off with smaller diameters.

One final issue: lots of folks are impressed by ballistic table energy figures expressed in foot pounds. The problem with that measure is that it uses the square of velocity which inflates the impact of velocity at pistol velocity. Momentum is much more important in evaluating bullet performance on living things at pistol velocities.

Mathematically, the formula for foot pounds of energy is velocity squared times weight while momentum is velocity times weight. If you incorporate a factor to account for diameter (eg 1 for 45 cal), you get much better predictions of actual bullet performance than if you focus only on energy.

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Old 09-10-2020, 03:17 PM
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When our PD switched from ball to hollow-point ammo we were told it was because hollow-point ammo didn't pass through the body like ball ammo.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:34 PM
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Couple of points.....

First the military doesnt have the same collateral damage issue you and I have firing a weapon in a crowded area. Thus over penetration is a concern more so in private life than in a war zone.

Second...Practice with what you carry.....if the round you carry works in your gun, most of us luckily can afford to fire a box of it every 3-6 months. You dont need to put thousands of hollow point ammo downrange to be good with it. Get self defense ammo that shoots similar to the ball ammo you use.. Eliminating that problem

Third, ballistics, ball ammo wastes a lot of energy as the bullet just keeps flying. Hollow point ammo dumps its energy into the target upon impact. Thus getting better results.

Im not saying you MUST use hollow point ammo in your guns, ball ammo works and Im not volunteering to stand in front of it....but if you can afford hollow point ammo and can find it....Id use it.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:57 PM
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This video is instructive.
Dr Andreas Grabinsky Lecture on Gunshot Wounds - YouTube

Based on it, 9 mm FMJ for me.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:21 PM
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Military ball ammo was designed to wound - which requires more support personnel to care for the injured vs caring for the dead.

ack in the day when you carried six in the gun and twelve on the belt, the LEO world hollow points were justified by stating they did not ricochet like ball ammo would. The topic of wound channels was never brought up as a consideration due to public perceptions.

Modern hollow points will expand and put the energy into the target without exiting and risking collateral casualties.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by shocker View Post
Great video. I use two kinds of bullets for edc, depending on where I'm going.

I see that a lot of people are worried about over-penetration, and I can't help myself but to refer to Tim Sundles and to one of his great articles;

CONCERNS OF BULLET OVER-PENETRATION IN CIVILIAN SHOOTINGS

Also this one;

AMMUNITION FOR "SELF DEFENSE"

Perhaps we do worry to much about it. Imagine having the "best" gun with the "best" sights, the gun is loaded with the "best" ammo and your projectiles still don't connect
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:57 PM
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Awesome video! Recommended...
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:57 PM
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One more time:

Hollow-point ammunition performs as designed some of the time, not every time, and those who count on it performing as the advertisements claim are at least somewhat likely to be disappointed.

Ball ammunition performs as designed nearly 100% of the time, including magazine fit, feeding, firing, extraction, ejection, and every other part of the life cycle of a cartridge.

If your defensive handgun will function reliably 100% of the time with ball ammo you are well ahead of the decision making process than if your handgun functions less than 100% of the time with something else.

Absolute reliability is the gold standard. Everything else is a secondary consideration.

Now, everybody pile on and tell me how wrong I am!
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:23 PM
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This is a topic that has been discussed many times, so I'd suggest doing a search if you haven't already.

In the meantime, I'll try and share my opinion, based on what I've been able to research regarding terminal ballistics.

TL;DR: HP has a higher probability of disrupting tissue and a lower probability of overpenetrating than RN, but nothing can replace shot placement as the most important factor.

For my reasoning...

Two main issues: Wounding and overpenetration.

Wounding

Simply put, HP has more potential to damage tissue than RN. Tissue is elastic. With RN, tissue is going to stretch until it hits its elastic limit before the bullet will penetrate. After the bullet passes through, the elastic nature of the punctured tissue will cause it to return to its normal state, which means the bullet hole will actually be smaller than the caliber of the bullet that caused it. In some cases, it may even close up, minimizing trauma and/or blood loss.

The rounded profile is also more likely to ricochet off bones instead of breaking them, unless the bullet hits the bone dead-on. Similarly, it may be more likely to push aside blood vessels rather than cut or tear them, further reducing its wounding ability.

With a HP, the expanding bullet will actually crush more tissue, and be more likely to cut a wound channel larger than its caliber. It is also more likely to dig into bone and damage it, even if the hit isn't perfectly centered. Similarly, it's more likely to cut or tear blood vessels, leading to more blood loss. Unless you get a CNS hit, blood loss is probably going to be the primary physiological cause of an attacker stopping after being shot (psychological stops are a factor, but not something I'd count on).

Even if a HP bullet doesn't expand, it still has a relatively sharp edge with a cookie-cutter effect, so it still has a better potential for disrupting tissue than RN bullets.

Some will argue that this doesn't happen, or that HP is no better than RN when it comes to effectiveness. Even if that is true, HP has a documented advantage over RN in one aspect...

Overpenetration

Despite what some say, overpenetration is a very real concern. There've been several documented instances of RN bullets exiting people and injuring others. NYPD changed from FMJ to JHP because of numerous instances of FMJ rounds exiting and injuring not only bystanders, but also other officers. Two instances of .45ACP FMJ overpenetrating and causing injuries comes to mind. In one, an officer fired at a suspect. The .45ACP FMJ bullet exited the suspect and struck a second officer, who was coming to the first officer's aid, in the abdomen below his vest, causing a life-threatening injury. In the other, a SWAT officer shot a hostage taker with .45ACP FMJ and the bullet exited, injuring one of the hostages.

Can HP exit? Sure, but 1) it's not as likely, and 2) it's not as dangerous because of the velocity loss caused by expansion and slowing down as it travels through the attacker's body. I've read about one shooting, I believe with 180gr .40S&W, in which the round exited a suspect's body, but was stopped by the suspect's T-shirt. Another one involved a NYPD officer firing a 124gr GDHP +P at a suspect. The round exited, with textbook expansion, and was stopped by the suspect's jacket. One incident involved .357Sig exiting, but falling on the ground about 10ft behind the suspect, indicating a significant loss of velocity and a much reduced likelihood of causing an injury.

Penetration is important. The deeper a bullet penetrates, the more tissue it can disrupt. But we also want to reduce the probability of overpenetration. Fortunately, there are plenty of HP options that strike a good balance between adequate penetration and expansion to minimize that risk.

Everything we do with regard to self defense, and, in a way, life in general, is all based on probabilities. Whatever hardware (guns, bullets, etc.) and software (shooting techniques, tactics, etc.) we choose to use, we make those choices on the basis that it will improve our odds in a self defense encounter. The way I see it, I want to maximize those odds in my favor, and choosing HP over RN is one factor we have control over. Obviously, people can choose what they want, for whatever reason they want, but the evidence I've seen suggests HP will usually be the better choice.

Unfortunately, with the ammo market being the way it is, good HP ammo may be difficult, if not impossible, to find, so we may just have to do the best we can with what we have or what we can get. Regardless of bullet type, shot placement is still the most important factor in stopping a violent attacker.

Just my opinion.

And sorry for the novel.
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:28 PM
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Jon651, back when I was in ROTC, my instructors focused on how FMJ was mandated by the Geneva Conventions (Accords?), then proceeded to explain how the objective of war was not to kill, but to injure as many of the enemy as possible. (A wounded soldier takes three or more soldiers out of the fight, but a dead soldier takes only one out of the fight.)

That said, in a civilian scenario, the key to any gunfight is making your shots count. Chances are good that a person may miss more than they connect with the threat. While over penetration is a concern, a miss with FMJ can ricochet and be a greater threat. HP ammo can have two benefits. First, if you hit the threat, the round could expand and increase the wound channel. Second, if you miss the threat, the HP stands a greater likelihood of flattening when it hits something hard, which reduces the risk of a ricochet.

If you reload, you can actually purchase bullets similar to your expensive carry ammo and replicate it for practice sessions. Warning: never load carry ammo in your EDC and start carrying it without thoroughly testing it for reliable functioning. Especially some of the earlier production 1911s won't reliably feed hollow points without "throating" the feed ramp.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:02 PM
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IIRC, the military's ban on fragmenting ammo results from Dum-Dum ammo. Dum-Dum ammo was designed to break in at least four sections, causing wounds that were much harder to treat. First World War.com - Encyclopedia - Dum-Dum Bullet Expanding bullet - Wikipedia As the articles state the Hague Convention of 1899 bans the use of them.

I tend to use hard ball ammo for greater penetration, I also tend to use a .45 caliber handgun as a defensive weapon around the house. If I am using a smaller caliber revolver in my pocket, I load three hardball and three hollow points of the +P variety.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:30 PM
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And we are off!. RBvs HP. Tjere is no real energy dump or Kinetic energy with a handgun bullet. Been over this a million times. Shot placement is what matters.



There really is no "ban" on the US military using HP ammo. We never signed the Hague Convention.


Declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body such as Bullets with a Hard Covering which does not Completely Cover the Core, or containing Indentations This declaration states that, in any war between signatory powers, the parties will abstain from using "bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body." This directly banned soft-point bullets (which had a partial metal jacket and an exposed tip) and "cross-tipped" bullets (which had a cross-shaped incision in their tip to aid in expansion, nicknamed "Dum Dums" from the Dum Dum Arsenal in India). It was ratified by all major powers, except the United States.[14]
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:36 PM
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Some guns and magazines function more reliably with round nose bullets than hollow points. It is important to have confidence in your gun/ammo combination.

Hollow points have to expand to have any advantage over round nose bullets. To expand they have to have enough velocity and proper construction.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:44 PM
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And we are off!. RBvs HP. Tjere is no real energy dump or Kinetic energy with a handgun bullet. Been over this a million times. Shot placement is what matters.
I have always said that shot placement is the key. The problem is that quite a few folks have a hard time hitting a target with no stress on them. When it is a high stress environment, their shooting gets even worse.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:58 PM
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I have always said that shot placement is the key. The problem is that quite a few folks have a hard time hitting a target with no stress on them. When it is a high stress environment, their shooting gets even worse.
I remember reading somewhere that one can expect marksmanship skill to degrade by 50% when stress is added.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:24 PM
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I don't doubt it. When I went to Battalion Schools to learn Combat Shooting, we did a lot of man on man competition. That is two shooters standing side by side and shooting a targets that were the same for each shooter, the first shooter finished was the winner. Also our instructors would try to distract us while we shot. Also they would rig our targets to fall with only head shots, and not tell you.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:41 PM
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I have always said that shot placement is the key. The problem is that quite a few folks have a hard time hitting a target with no stress on them. When it is a high stress environment, their shooting gets even worse.
As I was giving my initial response, I was listening to a news story out of Chicago. Earlier today, a Texas CHL holder was the victim of a carjacking. He took 4 rounds (2 to the chest, 2to the knee) while engaging the two carjackers. There was no indication that the victim connected with either carjacker.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:05 PM
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I don't doubt it. When I went to Battalion Schools to learn Combat Shooting, we did a lot of man on man competition. That is two shooters standing side by side and shooting a targets that were the same for each shooter, the first shooter finished was the winner. Also our instructors would try to distract us while we shot. Also they would rig our targets to fall with only head shots, and not tell you.
I remember taking a training course that incorporated not only shooting under stress, but also thinking under stress. The final exercise involved firing a 7-round string of fire at a target with numbers on it. The instructor would yell out which number(s) to hit. After the string, we'd have to run back to the bench, pick up a mag, run back to the firing position (a total of about 50ft), and repeat the cycle until 50 rounds had been fired. Exhausting, but made me glad to know I could think and shoot accurately under stress (well, simulated stress).
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:07 PM
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As I was giving my initial response, I was listening to a news story out of Chicago. Earlier today, a Texas CHL holder was the victim of a carjacking. He took 4 rounds (2 to the chest, 2to the knee) while engaging the two carjackers. There was no indication that the victim connected with either carjacker.
I've read stories of people shooting at each other from 6ft apart and missing with every shot. 6 feet.

As much as I would like to say the training and practice I've done would have me prepared to deal with a threat like that, I won't truly know unless I'm forced into that situation. I hope I never have to find out.

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Old 09-10-2020, 08:20 PM
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As much as I would like to say the training and practice I've done would have me prepared to deal with a threat like that, I won't truly know unless I'm forced into that situation. I hope I never have to find out.
Have been shot at in the past and know how I reacted then. Will I react the same way now if it was to happen again? Years ago we expected to be shot at, nowadays I do not expect to be shot at. So..........
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:34 PM
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Jon651, The FMJ is much better than nothing! However, a JHP If properly placed will shut down the assailant much quicker....unless the FMJ hits the CNS. The JHP, will do much greater tissue damage....organs, blood vessels, and bone fragmentation. The FMJ wound (basically a puncture wound) will quickly close, minimizing blood loss and help the assailant maintain his/her blood pressure longer. Think about stepping on a nail, the flesh closes over the nail entrance....minimizing blood loss!

As added benefit, the JHP will penetrate less through walls, furniture, etc.than will the FMJ, which may prevent someone else in your home from getting injured by a pass through....it may even exit your home endangering your next door neighbor! memtb

Have dug out a lot HP slugs that did not open up, in fact a lot of them closed down and still did not expand.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:52 PM
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FMJ 100% reliable.

Hollow points are fragile bullets. If they fail to expand now you have a fragile round nose bullet.

All bullets have the potential to over penetrate. I concerned about not getting enough penetration.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:25 PM
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FMJ 100% reliable.

Hollow points are fragile bullets. If they fail to expand now you have a fragile round nose bullet.

All bullets have the potential to over penetrate. I concerned about not getting enough penetration.
In the 1986 Miami FBI Shootout, the main bad guy (Platt) was shot by one of the agents (Dove), whom he later killed. Dove's shot penetrated to within an inch of Platt's heart. IIRC, the FBI was using HP rounds. Maybe if it had been a hardball or a .45 instead of a 9MM, that extra inch would have been covered and the shootout would have ended with two bad guys dead. Not two FBI agents and two bad guys dead. This is why the FBI tried to go to 10MM.
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:01 PM
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What type of material were they shot into? Also, even “if” a JHP occasionally fail to expand, the round nose FMJ....is guaranteed “not” to expand!

If I am hunting (game not people) I use wide metplat, hard cast bullets only. If I use the handgun for personal defense (humans).... I use JHP’s. That said, if the assailant were a 300+ pound individual wearing heavy denim clothing and a nice thick leather vest....the wide metplat, hard cast bullet would be quite desirable! Just not a round nose bullet! memtb
Some soft and some hard, Ballistic gelatin to the dirt of the butts, A solid may not expand, but it sure penetrates a lot better. Check to see what big game hunters in Africa use on true dangerous game.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:51 AM
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Jon651, back when I was in ROTC, my instructors focused on how FMJ was mandated by the Geneva Conventions (Accords?), then proceeded to explain how the objective of war was not to kill, but to injure as many of the enemy as possible. (A wounded soldier takes three or more soldiers out of the fight, but a dead soldier takes only one out of the fight.)

That said, in a civilian scenario, the key to any gunfight is making your shots count. Chances are good that a person may miss more than they connect with the threat. While over penetration is a concern, a miss with FMJ can ricochet and be a greater threat. HP ammo can have two benefits. First, if you hit the threat, the round could expand and increase the wound channel. Second, if you miss the threat, the HP stands a greater likelihood of flattening when it hits something hard, which reduces the risk of a ricochet.

If you reload, you can actually purchase bullets similar to your expensive carry ammo and replicate it for practice sessions. Warning: never load carry ammo in your EDC and start carrying it without thoroughly testing it for reliable functioning. Especially some of the earlier production 1911s won't reliably feed hollow points without "throating" the feed ramp.



One more time;


It was not and never was the Geneva Convention,


It was the Hague Convention and the USA did not sign it,
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:31 AM
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Have never shot any living thing except animals. Have never found a lack of penetration to be a good thing. Have not found expansion to be a bad thing. Long time ago, after not getting the results I wanted w/ lighter caliber rifle, I got myself a .30-06 and started using pointed soft-point bullets ... usually 150 grain. Now, 38 years later, Ive not ever had a single animal ever get up after I shot them with that load. I've used hand loaded 165 gr. bullets, 180 gr. bullets, and factory loaded 150 gr. bullets. All of them penetrated completely. Only one 165 gr. bullet was ever recovered ... under the skin on the opposite side of a buck killed by a raking shot from the right rear quarter. I've fired 150 gr. bullets in raking shots that punched in from in front of the left rear hip and exited the right shoulder. Penetration is never a bad thing.

Now, if the sad day ever comes when I must use a handgun in self-defense, knowing that it will be far more stressful than jump shooting bucks, etc., I will expect complete penetration regardless of the angle firing required simply because I've shot my various pistols enough to know that any of them ... .38/.357, 9mm, .45ACP ... any of them are sufficiently powerful to completely penetrate and exit when fired from the normal distances I might encounter in my home. How do I know this? I've shot a pile of ammo in my pistols. And, I've paid attention to the various tests conducted by Paul Harrell and Lucky Gunner. If ever I have to defend my self/family, I will have to act to stop the threat. No matter what gun or caliber or round being used, protecting myself/family by acting to stop that threat will have to be the first concern.

Disclaimer. The preceding has been brought to you courtesy of my first mug of Death Wish Coffee. After my second mug, I might see things differently. Sincerely. bruce. :-)
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by shocker View Post
This video is instructive.
Dr Andreas Grabinsky Lecture on Gunshot Wounds - YouTube

Based on it, 9 mm FMJ for me.
I'm assuming you are basing that on the inadequate penetration discussed around the 17 minute mark.

That isn't an argument for a 9mm FMJ - as he readily admitted that hollow points are far more effective earlier in the video.

It is however an argument for using an effective hollow point that will penetrate at least 12".

Back in the day when the 9mm Luger round first started being used in police service it had a horrible record in the field, with assailants being shot multiple times and not being stopped. Officers died because of it.

The over penetration also increases the potential for an innocent bystander to be shot. If that happens in an officer involved shoot, the city, state or federal government and their attorneys handle it all. HOwever, police departments still use hollow points to reduce the risk of over penetration for obvious reasons.

In contrast, if you as an armed citizen use an FMJ that passes through the assailant and wounds or kills an innocent bystander you will be both criminally and civilly liable.

You need to seriously rethink that really bad choice you've made.

----

*IF* your handgun won't fire a particular hollow point round with near 100% reliability (which I personally consider to be no malfunctions in 200 rounds, using all the magazines I intend to carry), and you can't find a hollow point that will feed reliably, then - and only then - does an FMJ make sense.

----

I agree that hollow points may not perform 100% as intended. However, when a well designed hollow point launched at it's proper velocity fails, it virtually always fails because the hollow cavity is plugged and it fails to expand. And when that happens it functions just like an FMJ.

In other words if a particular hollow point in your gun fails to expand (almost always due to inadequate velocity, and often in combination with heavy clothing that plugs the hollow cavity) 60% of the time, it's still going to give you superior performance 40% of the time, and the other 60% it will be no worse than an FMJ. There is literally no downside.

Way back in the day (1970s) there were issues with hollow points designed to rapidly expand and dump energy. Some of those would badly under penetrate, and officers died because of it.

They no longer design them that way but there are still some loads out there where the bullet it too soft and/or the velocity it too high where the hollow point will over expand or prematurely expand and then under penetrate. The solution is simple, just do some research and avoid those hollow point loads that under penetrate.

----

Similarly there are some marginal cartridges (.32 ACP, and .380 ACP in particular where there isn't much energy to get both expansion and sufficient penetration.

Velocity is also an issue as both those rounds are commonly found in short barreled handguns. The problem is that those cartridge also suffer far more velocity in a short barrel than occurs with the 9mm Luger in a short barrel.

If you shoot a .32 ACP or a .380 ACP, your bullet choices are basically the 60 grain XTP in .32 ACP or the 90 gr XTP in the .380 ACP in a load and in a barrel length that launches it at a minimum of 1000 fps, and 1050 fps is better. That generally means a minimum barrel length of 3.5" and 3.9" is better.

So if you are shooting a short barrel .380 ACP or .32 ACP, an FMJ *might* be a better choice. Personally, I'll still pick a hollow point that will expand at a lower velocity down around 950-975 fps and accept the slightly reduced penetration of around 10" over an FMJ at the same velocity.

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Old 09-11-2020, 09:17 AM
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There is NO good argument for round nose ammo for defense unless it's absolutely all you have. Unbelievable how many uninformed comments are floating around. Try watching a few videos on how ball ammo penetrates drywall walls and other barriers in homes. Not to mention how inferior punching small holes in a threat is compared to hollow points, not even starting the dangers of over penetration...
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:47 AM
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These days, you will probably have to use whatever you can find.

Under normal circumstances, I use ball ammo, either FMJ or hard cast lead (my reloaded ammo) for the majority of my practice as ball ammo is cheaper than hollow point. Factory hollow point loads for defense and a little practice for sight in and familiarization. My practice ammo is always the same bullet weight and velocity as my defense ammo.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:22 AM
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Doesn't anyone use the search feature? It's hard to find a fresh spot on the dead horse to whack, but here goes.

Our purpose in defensive shooting is to stop the felonious assault. Assuming equal shot placement, the JHP/HP will tend to stop the assault faster, requiring less rounds and also making the survival of the assailant somewhat more likely. Regardless of what's used, short of a CNS hit, the assailant is likely to be able to carry on for 10-15 seconds, even if they have an fatal wound. Be prepared.

BTW, on another thread on this same subject, there's a video of ball & JHP ammo being fired to demonstrate respective penetration.

While failures of modern bullet designs to function as designed are known, they're rare. The stuff made now is much better than the stuff made decades ago. However, old ammo may be more prone to failure than fresh stuff. IIRC, lead gets at least somewhat harder as it ages.

Finally, given quality ammo, whether it's factory or home brew, there's no practical difference in recoil, trajectory or point of impact between a JHP/HP bullet and a non-expanding bullet of the same weight and approximate velocity. Heck, some of the factories are making a big deal out of producing training ammo with the same bullet weight & velocity as their defensive/duty ammo.

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Old 09-13-2020, 12:49 AM
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The fundamental issue is how much damage the projectile does to the target.

The good old 45acp makes a much bigger hole (and wound canal) than a 9mm. The math works out that increases in diameter results in a three fold increase in the volume of the wound canal.
That's something I've never understood when people say a 9mm is as effective as a 40 S&W.

Heard many say that the 9mm defense ammo is better. On the local buy trade site, many ad's will have no 40's considered as trade. Seems everyone hates 40 S&W now.

I have Ranger T in both 9mm and 40.

9mm
147gr
Velocity 967 at 25 yards

40 S&W
180gr
Velocity 977 at 25 yards.

Wouldn't wanna get shot with either, but if I had a choice I think I'd pick the 9mm.

Ranger T 9mm on the left, 40 on the right.

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Old 09-13-2020, 03:05 AM
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Default Remington Golden Sabers...

..., Federal HSTs and Speer Gold Dots all have pretty substantial sized openings and I like that. They get penetration and very reliable expansion.

An FMJ bullet is almost certainly going to over penetrate and have enough energy to kill someone behind the target.

I just read about a guy who says he likes FMJ because all he has to do is hit them in the spine and it's a sure stop Apparently he was shot with HPs and survived because they DIDN'T hit his spine, but was able to make this shot to defend himself. I told him that if I could reliably hit a 2" wide stripe against their back from any angle, I'd do the same. I can reliably hit center of mass, but I'm not so sure about being able to reliably make a 'spine shot' under duress.

Oh, see Paul Harrell kill two meat targets at once with FMJs from both a .380 and a 9mm.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:23 AM
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The first year NYPD switched to 9mm they used 10 round magazines and Nato milspec ball. That year they had three shoot-thrus of bad guys that I know of resulting in one badly injured cop and one dead and one injured bystander. They then switched to JHP rounds (which their firearms unit told them they should have been using all along) and full standard capacity magazines.
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:13 AM
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Certain units in the US military that "don't exist" have been using hollow points for a long time.

And regular military units will be fielding hollow points with the new military P320 Sigs if I recall correctly.

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Old 09-13-2020, 08:30 AM
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And certain units in the US military that "don't exist" have been using hollow points for a long time too.
I can't remember the exact terminology, but terrorists weren't considered "legitimate combatants" based on the Hague Conventions (the US didn't sign it, but for the most part we followed the guidelines on ammo) since they didn't represent a recognized country, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:36 AM
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The good old 45acp makes a much bigger hole (and wound canal) than a 9mm. The math works out that increases in diameter results in a three fold increase in the volume of the wound canal.
Exactly how does that math work?

Area is proportional to diameter squared. A 9mm is .354 and a 45 is .452 so the 45 has 63% greater diameter. With both calibers a FMJ is probably going to a complete pass through so the length of the would canal is going to be 100% in both cases. So assuming no expansion the 45 wound canal would be 63% larger. A 40 wound canal would be 27% larger. Larger yes, but not 200% larger.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:40 AM
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That's something I've never understood when people say a 9mm is as effective as a 40 S&W.

Heard many say that the 9mm defense ammo is better.
The argument is based on actual shootings. Data I've seen shows no significant difference in effectiveness between the service calibers.

And when people say 9mm is better, I believe they're comparing current 9mm JHP, which balances expansion with good penetration, to older generations of 9mm JHP, which either expanded too much, limiting penetration, or didn't expand at all and penetrated too much.

While all calibers have benefited from modern technology, 9mm has benefited more than the others, which is why their performance is similar.

Another possible reason why people say 9mm is better is that, given the equivalent performance among all the calibers, 9mm is going to have less recoil, thus potentially faster follow-up shots, and higher capacity than the larger calibers.

The way I look at it, since their actual street performance is similar, people should pick a good HP in the caliber they prefer. 9mm is better for me, but other people may have different wants/needs.

Just my opinion.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lively View Post
Exactly how does that math work?

Area is proportional to diameter squared. A 9mm is .354 and a 45 is .452 so the 45 has 63% greater diameter. With both calibers a FMJ is probably going to a complete pass through so the length of the would canal is going to be 100% in both cases. So assuming no expansion the 45 wound canal would be 63% larger. A 40 wound canal would be 27% larger. Larger yes, but not 200% larger.
Volume is three dimensional, area is two dimensional, so you’re correct as to two dimensions.

A wound canal is three dimensional.
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:34 PM
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Some folks really need to watch this video, watch it again and actually listen to what the guys at Federal say.


Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb - YouTube


Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb - YouTube
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:00 PM
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Some folks really need to watch this video, watch it again and actually listen to what the guys at Federal say.


Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb - YouTube

Interesting video for sure, but there was one argument that I found a little contradictive though. When they talked about rifle ballistics they said the higher velocity was good and basically speed kills but they disregarded velocity it when it came to handgun ballistics.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:09 PM
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Volume is three dimensional, area is two dimensional, so you’re correct as to two dimensions.

A wound canal is three dimensional.
I got all three dimensions. Surface area is height and width. Penetration is length.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:10 PM
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Interesting video for sure, but there was one argument that I found a little contradictive though. When they talked about rifle ballistics they said the higher velocity was good and basically speed kills but they disregarded velocity it when it came to handgun ballistics.
You might need to re-watch it and pay closer attention. They said the reason was because higher velocity wasn't a factor until the bullet gets above 2200fps.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:18 PM
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You might need to re-watch it and pay closer attention. They said the reason was because higher velocity wasn't a factor until the bullet gets above 2200fps.
Just did, you are right, thank you.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpg View Post
Volume is three dimensional, area is two dimensional, so you’re correct as to two dimensions.

A wound canal is three dimensional.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lively View Post
I got all three dimensions. Surface area is height and width. Penetration is length.
So, I got curious and decided to do the math. Well, simplifed.

Volume of a cylinder is pi*(r^2)*L.

For a .35 caliber bullet traveling 15", the volume is 1.44in^3.

For a .45 caliber bullet traveling 15", the volume is 2.39in^3.

Someone please correct me if I'm missing something.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:22 PM
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Interesting video for sure, but there was one argument that I found a little contradictive though. When they talked about rifle ballistics they said the higher velocity was good and basically speed kills but they disregarded velocity it when it came to handgun ballistics.
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Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
You might need to re-watch it and pay closer attention. They said the reason was because higher velocity wasn't a factor until the bullet gets above 2200fps.

Yep that is when hydro static shock happens and the body tissue can not shrink back



Yes, speed does kill. What does more damage a 40 gr 22 lr at 1200 fps or a 40 gr 223 at 3200+ fps?
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:25 PM
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What does more damage a 40 gr 22 lr at 1200 fps or a 40 gr 223 at 3200+ fps?


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