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Old 10-09-2018, 02:22 PM
ABPOS ABPOS is offline
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Some thoughts lately have me rethinking my carry loads..... Some thoughts lately have me rethinking my carry loads..... Some thoughts lately have me rethinking my carry loads..... Some thoughts lately have me rethinking my carry loads..... Some thoughts lately have me rethinking my carry loads.....  
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Default Some thoughts lately have me rethinking my carry loads.....

This is going to sound all over the place. But maybe you guys can help make sense of it.....

I was in line at the Pharmacy and there was a guy there that was just huge. But not in a only fat kind of way. Not a body builder either. But in a, used to be bad to the bone but getting older kind of way. He was may be 35-40 and just looked like had a hard life. And even a bit sketchy so my defense meter was up. He was probably harmless and such but I've been burned before in the past just assuming the best in everyone around me. So I've become more wary. Anyways.... Not that I was profiling or anything. I was just being cautious. But what struck me was his size. His upper torso was just really big. I'm guessing if he lifted up his arms, side to side would been more than 24" and with his shoulders / arms down, a heck of a lot more. All of a sudden it just got me thinking about penetration.

Furthermore, it struck me that all the "viable" tests are done with gel and sometimes denim but if you're shooting at a torso, the likelihood of you hitting bone right off the bat is very good. And head shots too obviously.

And then to add insult to injury, it's starting to look a lot like... Well this year has been a weird year but suffice to say, winter is coming. And up here, it gets real cold a lot. So people wear thick jackets.

And I'm just like... a little overwhelmed by in a real life scenario in winter, if my .38's out of a snubby would actually work.

I think the answer is yes. And it's not the first time I've had this perspective but honestly, I want a round that is going to penetrate. WELL. A lot more well than everybodie's insistence on 12-18" sweet spot. Heck, I'd rather it lean towards 24". Cuz if it hits a bone, it's going to slow it down and it's not going to penetrate as deeply as it does in the tests of just gel. At least that's what I think.

But then the caveat is, I don't shoot +p's well in my 442. Some day I'd like a steel J frame, but money is tight. And beyond that, most of the +p's are rounds that will open up and will just slow down penetration anyways..... If I was going to shoot +p, I'd almost rather have a FMJ +p.

But what I've come to the conclusion is that I think I'm just going to start carrying vanilla ole FMJ. All the time. And maybe try to find some of the hotter FMJ rounds. I'm not really sure what that would be, because usually the FMJ stuff is loaded for practice and range. So they're not usually all that hot. The PMC and Winchster I've shot seem to fall into a pretty mild felt recoiling round. On the other hand, if they penetrate a lot better than any of the HP rounds, than it's kind of a win win.

So, if any of you guys have chronographed FMJ rounds with the same intent, to see what might be the hotter of them, I'm all ears. I'm also open to hearing your opinions. I know I can be kind of neurotic about this stuff and my thinking is sometimes off. And I understand WHY rounds are designed to not penetrate too far. I realize one that goes through a person could harm someone else. And I get that. But I feel like an FMJ round isn't likely to go through two sets of ribs and still be sailing out. In fact, I just watched a Paul Herrel video where he uses a set up to simulate a torso with ribs and oranges and pigs ears for skin. Etc. And none of the standard pressure rounds went through the T shirt on the back side. Although he did not test FMJ's. Just Hornady 125 XTP, 110 Critical Defense and one other load......

Now, the converse to all of this is I'm thinking about setting my wife up with my Detective Special and low recoiling rounds. Because I feel like it's better than a .22..... LOL. And even with wadcutters she didn't like the recoil.... Although she must just be better off with a .22.

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Old 10-09-2018, 02:50 PM
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Finding the "perfect" carry round can be an endless search because there are so many factors to take into consideration.

Your reasoning with the large man you encountered is sound in his case. But remember that huge man is an outlier in the realm of the average everyday person.
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:59 PM
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There was a time when I carried a .380 when in a suit.......evenings and weekends...... 9mm 8 months a year and .45 from sometime in Dec to sometime in March.

In the past few years it's been basically 9mm ...... in cold, heavy clothing weather...... I go from a 7+1 3913 (spare 8rd mag.) to a 12+1 6906 (spare mag is a 15rd w/ a +2 grip adapter)
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:06 PM
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All I hear is over penetration. I worry about not enough penetration. Drugs and fat people. Seriously, how many videos do you see with bad guys soaking up bullets. People on drugs and the teaser doesn't stop them. 6-8 cops trying to put someone into custody.

Miami shootout. Lack of penetration.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:20 PM
Ziggy2525 Ziggy2525 is offline
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Since you opened this up for opinions, here's three...

1) In the winter, the JHP's likely will plug with clothing, won't expand, and penetrate further, not less.

2) My understanding is the FBI 12" to 18" penetration in gel isn't a an exact one to one equivalent to a human. It's a repeatable test to compare the performance of different rounds using a medium (from pigs) with a similar density kind of/sort of like human tissue. Rounds known to be effective against real people were tested. The penetration was 12" to 18" in the gel and expansion was to something like .6". From that they said said if a round penetrated 12" to 18" and expanded to .6" it likely would be effective also.

3) IIRC, there was a retired LEO (from Michigan I think) that used to post here that had an issue with .38 Special JHP penetration. He switched to .38 FMJ.

Just my opinions. YMMV.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:37 PM
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how often will you run into that large Fat Person? You should consider the most prominent scenario that you are likely to encounter and go with that. We can all what if it to death on what might happen with our chosen EDC but is that practical for most of us for EDC
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:10 PM
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Since they were first introcuded late in the last century, there is almost always a 357 Magnum J-frame with me and it is always stuffed with Hornady's 140JHPs . . . but I live in Florida.

We do not have a winter clothing issue down here


Image courtesy of SurfingSantas.Org

In a northern city like say Chicago, I would go to 158 JSPs in the winter time.

Much better penetration than the 125-140 JHPs but a little more expansion than the FMJs

All of that being said, the odds of a civilian getting into a firefight is probably a longer shot than winning the PowerBall while being struck by lightning and we are all just overthinking our scenarios

No matter what you finally end up carrying remember to practice, Practice, PRACTICE
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:16 PM
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IF your jhp of choice fails to open it is a likely more efficient fmj (flattened tip). Your fmj will NEVER expand or deform, so regardless of service caliber, I always carry a good JHP, 380 being the exception but I wont carry a 380. You will rarely get to pick your fight so I like planning for the worst case scenario in my attacker; the big, really intent on hurting me type, weapon or not. The one I know I can not fight off with my hands.
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammer Jammer View Post
Finding the "perfect" carry round can be an endless search because there are so many factors to take into consideration.

Your reasoning with the large man you encountered is sound in his case. But remember that huge man is an outlier in the realm of the average everyday person.
I realize not everyone is built like him. But once you start adding heavy clothing, bones and such, I think penetration could be lacking with some of the JHP's rounds.
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by zzclancy View Post
All I hear is over penetration. I worry about not enough penetration. Drugs and fat people. Seriously, how many videos do you see with bad guys soaking up bullets. People on drugs and the teaser doesn't stop them. 6-8 cops trying to put someone into custody.

Miami shootout. Lack of penetration.
Yeah, exactly.

There were many times I stoked my 9mm's with FMJ for the same reason. In the past.

I think I'm going to just use FMJ's for now. That being said, the XTP's don't have a reputation for opening much anyways. So I'm probably fine with those too.

Plus at present my carry out is 5 125 XTP's in the gun, 5 FMJ's on a speed strip and 5 Golden Sabers. I figure I covered the gamut. But I may just start using all FMJ's. LOL. Or at least have them as the first 5.

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Old 10-09-2018, 04:25 PM
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Close up with a large person might require learning skills to take out their knees with your long legs.
Timber!!!

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Old 10-09-2018, 04:57 PM
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Overpenetration is a real risk when using FMJ for self defense. NYPD switched to JHP after having several instances of FMJ passing through people and injuring bystanders and other officers. I can think of 2 instances just off the top of my head where .45ACP FMJ went through the intended target's body and injured the person behind.

Also, as was already mentioned, people keep misinterpreting the 12-18" gel penetration guideline. The FBI came up with that guideline because, based on their research and those of others, such as Dr. Martin Fackler, a round that penetrates that depth in gel will penetrate deep enough in people, even with bone and other tissue types, to damage vital organs/systems.

Another point: generally speaking, handgun FMJs don't cause much damage. They typically leave narrow wound channels. It stretches tissue before punching through, then afterwards the tissue springs back, almost sealing the wound back up. A JHP, even one that doesn't expand, is going to cause more tissue disruption due to a "cookie cutter" effect. Where a FMJ may glance off a bone if it doesn't get a direct, straight-on shot, a JHP is going to be more likely to "bite" and damage the bone.

Regarding heavy clothing: Police agencies in the northern US have been using modern JHP against heavily-clothed attackers with good success. St. Paul, Minnesota PD uses the 147gr HST. Chicago PD and NYPD have both used the .38 Special SB-GDHP.

If you want to carry FMJ, that's your business. I personally see no reason to, unless your restricted by law (I'm thinking of NJ). The risks far outweigh any perceived benefits.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:02 PM
Ziggy2525 Ziggy2525 is offline
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Quote:
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Yeah, exactly.

There were many times I stoked my 9mm's with FMJ for the same reason. In the past.

I think I'm going to just use FMJ's for now. That being said, the XTP's don't have a reputation for opening much anyways. So I'm probably fine with those too.

Plus at present my carry out is 5 125 XTP's in the gun, 5 FMJ's on a speed strip and 5 Golden Sabers. I figure I covered the gamut. But I may just start using all FMJ's. LOL. Or at least have them as the first 5.
Disclaimer - I AM NOT AN EXPERT, but I have thought about these same things for my J-Frame.

Instead of FMJ's, have you considered 148gr wadcutters for your first 5? Something like Federal or Fiocchi match grade rounds. Low recoil. Plenty of penetration from gel tests I've seen (the internet never lies, right). Flat front face. Then use something more "pointy" like FMJ or JHP for easier reloading.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:14 PM
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Just roll with a 158gr Lead SWC. That will do exactly what you are looking for and it is better than LRN.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:32 PM
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The only shot that truly counts in a gun fight is the last shot fired, usually the shot that causes sufficient tissue damage and blood loss to induce unconsciousness, or disrupting the central nervous system sufficiently to render your opponent incapable of continuing the fight.

Over-penetration can be a concern in heavily populated areas and urban environments, and that concern cannot be discounted in any way. However, the overriding concern in a gun fight is stopping the threat, and if that means creating both an entry wound and an exit wound, then so be it (two pathways for bleeding are more efficient in inducing unconsciousness than only one).

You are carrying a 1-7/8" barreled J-frame revolver. Nothing you load into it is likely to generate sufficient velocity or energy to create any significant expansion within any medium at normal self-defense ranges. Far more likely is the use of too light a bullet, or too fragile a bullet, to adequately penetrate and cause the sort of damage that ends the fight.

The world is not a perfect place. There is no such thing as the perfect handgun. There is no such thing as the perfect ammunition for every situation. When you are confronted with a life or death decision I suggest that you select YOUR LIFE first, and let the rest of the situation work itself out as it will. That is the essence of self-defense, i.e.: I am in fear for my life and I am forced to use deadly force in defense of my life.

Nothing I have written here should be taken as a criticism of those who genuinely care about other innocents within range of their weapon. All I am saying is that a self-defense situation is an extreme set of circumstances, otherwise the use of deadly force is not appropriate. Take care of the threat first, put the threat down, then worry about the extraneous parts of the situation. The first rule of self-defense is survival; everything else comes later.

It is easy to clutter your mind with extraneous detail, and that can lead to failure to survive. This may sound cold-hearted, and perhaps it is, but the only people who will ever have to worry about these things are the SURVIVORS.

Now I will sit back and let everyone pick me apart with endless details about ballistics testing and lawyers ready to pounce on anyone who dares to consider their own survival as a real high priority.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzclancy View Post
Miami shootout. Lack of penetration.
I am not, nor claim to be, an expert on this, but I do like to think of myself as a "student" of this event, among others.

I think you really need to go back and research the events, etc., surrounding the "Miami shootout".

I think you will find the failure was NOT of ammunition, but of tactics.

At least that is how I see it.

As to the OP, you certainly can carry what you please, but I would NOT be carrying FMJ, in anything other then a .380 (or smaller), for a concealed carry handgun.

Just my honest opinion.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:59 PM
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If you're worried sufficient penetration, as some have noted above, the Horanaday XTP seems to provide penetration on the higher end of the spectrum. The Critical Duty round is designed to provide similar performance even after passing through heavy clothing. I'd think they'd be better choices than FMJ. At least you'd have made a good faith effort to prevent over penetration.

Having noted that, I have to return to my own mantra that shot placement is more important than bullet diameter, velocity and design. Adequate penetration is assumed.

I recall testing the old Nyclad "Chiefs Special" round. I don't recall penetration but expansion was to about .42". You could regard that as pathetic or pretty darn good for a standard pressure .38 out of a 1 7/8" barrel. However, that was in a test medium which bears minimal resemblance to a human torso.

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Old 10-09-2018, 06:11 PM
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This is what happens when one thinks too much.

Defend your life. Shoot if you have to. Shoot again if needed. Keep shooting as required. Everything else is secondary to you surviving.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy2525 View Post
Disclaimer - I AM NOT AN EXPERT, but I have thought about these same things for my J-Frame.

Instead of FMJ's, have you considered 148gr wadcutters for your first 5? Something like Federal or Fiocchi match grade rounds. Low recoil. Plenty of penetration from gel tests I've seen (the internet never lies, right). Flat front face. Then use something more "pointy" like FMJ or JHP for easier reloading.
I'm trying to stay away from Lead. I just don't to clean it out of the barrels. But yes, I'm not opposed to them. They may wound a bit better than FMJ. I'm not sure HOW much better though. Plus there's no way I'm attempting a reload with them. But I guess they wouldn't be a bad choice for the first 5. If I didn't mind cleaning the lead out.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:21 PM
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I realize not everyone is built like him. But once you start adding heavy clothing, bones and such, I think penetration could be lacking with some of the JHP's rounds.
Unless your attacker is wearing Kevlar, his clothing wont limit penetration but may clog the JHP, possibly increasing penetration.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:23 PM
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Overpenetration is a real risk when using FMJ for self defense. NYPD switched to JHP after having several instances of FMJ passing through people and injuring bystanders and other officers. I can think of 2 instances just off the top of my head where .45ACP FMJ went through the intended target's body and injured the person behind.

Also, as was already mentioned, people keep misinterpreting the 12-18" gel penetration guideline. The FBI came up with that guideline because, based on their research and those of others, such as Dr. Martin Fackler, a round that penetrates that depth in gel will penetrate deep enough in people, even with bone and other tissue types, to damage vital organs/systems.

Another point: generally speaking, handgun FMJs don't cause much damage. They typically leave narrow wound channels. It stretches tissue before punching through, then afterwards the tissue springs back, almost sealing the wound back up. A JHP, even one that doesn't expand, is going to cause more tissue disruption due to a "cookie cutter" effect. Where a FMJ may glance off a bone if it doesn't get a direct, straight-on shot, a JHP is going to be more likely to "bite" and damage the bone.

Regarding heavy clothing: Police agencies in the northern US have been using modern JHP against heavily-clothed attackers with good success. St. Paul, Minnesota PD uses the 147gr HST. Chicago PD and NYPD have both used the .38 Special SB-GDHP.

If you want to carry FMJ, that's your business. I personally see no reason to, unless your restricted by law (I'm thinking of NJ). The risks far outweigh any perceived benefits.
We're going to have to agree to disagree on that one. The hole that the bullet goes in will leak. The blood vessels broken from the small wound track will not mend themselves back together after the bullet passes through. Yes, I understand a hollow point will do more tissue damage. And probably cause more bleeding. But as someone pointed out, a second hole wouldn't be a bad thing. If it had enough energy to make it out. And as someone mentioned, standard pressure HP's are not likely to do much, or expand much. And if they don't I'm skeptical that they would have sufficient penetration. Maybe in some cases. But I think they would lean towards under penetrating. Although it's all just talk until a certain set of circumstances actually presents itself. Which I pray it never does.

Plus, I know that this will probably get people in an uproar, but I'm not sure my main goal is to kill someone. I like the latest Lucky Gunner video posted with Claude Werner in it. He's talking about the goal for civilians is to break contact. Or basically stop the situation. That doesn't always mean, or hasn't always meant DRT. Military and Police may have different missions.

It may seem like I'm jumping on some kind of new wagon cuz of the internet, but it's something I agree with and have for a long time. I've carried FMJ's in my 9's before too. Because I was more interested in proper penetration because of all the things I cited. Size of person/ clothing/ bones. I've heard stories of some .38's and other guns actually not defeating a skull.

This guy just says a lot of good things better than I can. That I agree with.

https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/w...ocket-pistols/

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Old 10-09-2018, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwt1405 View Post
I am not, nor claim to be, an expert on this, but I do like to think of myself as a "student" of this event, among others.

I think you really need to go back and research the events, etc., surrounding the "Miami shootout".

I think you will find the failure was NOT of ammunition, but of tactics.

At least that is how I see it.

As to the OP, you certainly can carry what you please, but I would NOT be carrying FMJ, in anything other then a .380 (or smaller), for a concealed carry handgun.

Just my honest opinion.
Well it was both. Early in the fight Platt was hit with an eventual fatal rd but the 115gr WSTHP did not reach his heart, which would have ended the fight sooner.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:30 PM
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I'm trying to stay away from Lead. I just don't to clean it out of the barrels. But yes, I'm not opposed to them. They may wound a bit better than FMJ. I'm not sure HOW much better though. Plus there's no way I'm attempting a reload with them. But I guess they wouldn't be a bad choice for the first 5. If I didn't mind cleaning the lead out.
Lead bullets don't lead if they fit the gun properly. If you handload for practice ammo, easily done. If not then practice with what ever you like. I would never consider ball ammo in anything unless I was forced to & then it would be a 45acp because the biggest hole I can make without expansion. Too much penetration & ricochet risks with ball ammo.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
Since they were first introcuded late in the last century, there is almost always a 357 Magnum J-frame with me and it is always stuffed with Hornady's 140JHPs . . . but I live in Florida.

We do not have a winter clothing issue down here


Image courtesy of SurfingSantas.Org

In a northern city like say Chicago, I would go to 158 JSPs in the winter time.

Much better penetration than the 125-140 JHPs but a little more expansion than the FMJs

All of that being said, the odds of a civilian getting into a firefight is probably a longer shot than winning the PowerBall while being struck by lightning and we are all just overthinking our scenarios

No matter what you finally end up carrying remember to practice, Practice, PRACTICE
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:00 PM
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Well it was both. Early in the fight Platt was hit with an eventual fatal rd but the 115gr WSTHP did not reach his heart, which would have ended the fight sooner.
Again, I suggest a re-visit to the "shootout", the failure was tactics, plain and simple.

To blame one round of ammo, for the failures that day, IMHO is a major mistake.

But hey, if that's what you want to believe, that's on you.

Best of luck to you, in your search.

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Old 10-09-2018, 07:06 PM
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FMJs may penetrate but do not do much tissue damage
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:17 PM
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For years, in the Midwest, I would carry Soft Points in the cold months in my J Frame. Intent was extra penetration and avoiding plugged up holes.

In the wind-breaker or warmer weather months, I would carry hollow points. I switched up to Hornady Critical Defense a few years ago and stopped the practice.

Both shot close to aim.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:49 PM
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'modern JHP'

The old ones didn't have magic.

ABPOS, you are on the right track. The problem with handguns is adequate penetration, not over penetration.

I carry hardcast wadcutters in my .38s, with FMJ in backup speed loader. 130 gr flatnose. It's all about the meplat.

You need a big caliber, .40 or .45, to deal with bone. Smaller stuff will be deflected. But sometimes smaller stuff is all you can practically carry.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:06 PM
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'modern JHP'

The old ones didn't have magic.
No, but "modern JHP" are better designed and do a better job in balancing expansion and penetration than older rounds, and not just in gel.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:47 PM
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I'm trying to stay away from Lead. I just don't to clean it out of the barrels. But yes, I'm not opposed to them. They may wound a bit better than FMJ. I'm not sure HOW much better though. Plus there's no way I'm attempting a reload with them. But I guess they wouldn't be a bad choice for the first 5. If I didn't mind cleaning the lead out.


I would think having the stopping power you want is worth a little lead in your barrel or just try some coated bullets.

My winter coat has a .44spl with SWCs in the pocket.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:53 PM
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No, but "modern JHP" are better designed and do a better job in balancing expansion and penetration than older rounds, and not just in gel.
That is utterly meaningless.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:59 PM
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There seem to be multiple issues in the OP. First, the issue of too much or too little penetration. Second, rounds stopping ability. And third, wife's dislike for recoil.

The penetration argument through multiple layers of clothing using a short barrel firearm is handled excellently with these ballistic tests: https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...llistic-tests/

Most LEOs were trained to shoot more than one round at a suspect. I remember an FBI agent telling me in recruit school to fire at least two rounds at mass (torso).

I've learned through many shooting debriefings that we tend to shot where we have our eyes focused which is usually the other person's weapon.

I've always felt confident that a double tap to the chest will cause some serious hurt for the bad guy. Bone shards flying around the body cavity do as much damage as other pieces of matter introduced by the shooting.

I train with 6" paper plates and 3X5 cards to represent chest and head. 2 rounds to the plate and 1 to the 3X5. I also have a 1" black dot 2-inches off to the side and 4" down which I use as a focal point distraction in a P&A shoot sequence.

Lastly, to deal with dreaded recoil simply train with other guns or ammo and limit live fire with the CCW choice to only a handful of rounds to build confidence without a painful hand from firing a box of ammo.

I often carry a Walther PPS40 which is not a pleasant range gun, but I train with it everytime I go to the range. I may only fire one magazine of ammo, but I assure myself that I will hit what I am shooting at if forced to do so.

Experience has shown me that when we are defending ourselves, we are so pumped we don't feel the recoil.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:06 PM
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This is going to sound all over the place. But maybe you guys can help make sense of it.....

I was in line at the Pharmacy and there was a guy there that was just huge. But not in a only fat kind of way. Not a body builder either. But in a, used to be bad to the bone but getting older kind of way. He was may be 35-40 and just looked like had a hard life. And even a bit sketchy so my defense meter was up. He was probably harmless and such but I've been burned before in the past just assuming the best in everyone around me. So I've become more wary. Anyways.... Not that I was profiling or anything. I was just being cautious. But what struck me was his size. His upper torso was just really big. I'm guessing if he lifted up his arms, side to side would been more than 24" and with his shoulders / arms down, a heck of a lot more. All of a sudden it just got me thinking about penetration.

Furthermore, it struck me that all the "viable" tests are done with gel and sometimes denim but if you're shooting at a torso, the likelihood of you hitting bone right off the bat is very good. And head shots too obviously.

And then to add insult to injury, it's starting to look a lot like... Well this year has been a weird year but suffice to say, winter is coming. And up here, it gets real cold a lot. So people wear thick jackets.

And I'm just like... a little overwhelmed by in a real life scenario in winter, if my .38's out of a snubby would actually work.

I think the answer is yes. And it's not the first time I've had this perspective but honestly, I want a round that is going to penetrate. WELL. A lot more well than everybodie's insistence on 12-18" sweet spot. Heck, I'd rather it lean towards 24". Cuz if it hits a bone, it's going to slow it down and it's not going to penetrate as deeply as it does in the tests of just gel. At least that's what I think.

But then the caveat is, I don't shoot +p's well in my 442. Some day I'd like a steel J frame, but money is tight. And beyond that, most of the +p's are rounds that will open up and will just slow down penetration anyways..... If I was going to shoot +p, I'd almost rather have a FMJ +p.

But what I've come to the conclusion is that I think I'm just going to start carrying vanilla ole FMJ. All the time. And maybe try to find some of the hotter FMJ rounds. I'm not really sure what that would be, because usually the FMJ stuff is loaded for practice and range. So they're not usually all that hot. The PMC and Winchster I've shot seem to fall into a pretty mild felt recoiling round. On the other hand, if they penetrate a lot better than any of the HP rounds, than it's kind of a win win.

So, if any of you guys have chronographed FMJ rounds with the same intent, to see what might be the hotter of them, I'm all ears. I'm also open to hearing your opinions. I know I can be kind of neurotic about this stuff and my thinking is sometimes off. And I understand WHY rounds are designed to not penetrate too far. I realize one that goes through a person could harm someone else. And I get that. But I feel like an FMJ round isn't likely to go through two sets of ribs and still be sailing out. In fact, I just watched a Paul Herrel video where he uses a set up to simulate a torso with ribs and oranges and pigs ears for skin. Etc. And none of the standard pressure rounds went through the T shirt on the back side. Although he did not test FMJ's. Just Hornady 125 XTP, 110 Critical Defense and one other load......

Now, the converse to all of this is I'm thinking about setting my wife up with my Detective Special and low recoiling rounds. Because I feel like it's better than a .22..... LOL. And even with wadcutters she didn't like the recoil.... Although she must just be better off with a .22.
Our friend Mas Ayoob used to go from the 9mm +P+ in summer to a deeper penetrating .45 in the winter on the theory that the .45 could penetrate deeper during those times of year when the bad guy might be wearing heavy clothing including winter coats, etc. He had it right, and it bears looking into by anyone interested in personal defense.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:12 PM
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I too have occasionally run across a male so large that you would need a bulldozer to stop him. Yet, I'm not about to start carrying a .44 Magnum or larger handgun for the sheer discomfort of carrying a large handgun.

I would continue to use modern defense loads enjoying a good reputation. If you had to shoot someone, chances are he's in attack mode and squarely facing you. The bullet does not need to penetrate 12 or more inches to reach the vitals. Police have an entirely different need as, depending on circumstances, they may have to shoot from any angle and at far greater distances such as the 47-yard shot into the arm and chest of Mike Platt and which failed to stop him during the infamous Miami FBI shootout of 1986.. Thus, the FBI penetration protocol makes sense for LEOs but may not be as valid for the CCW.

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Old 10-09-2018, 09:14 PM
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As has already been states--use JHPs, and forget about the gel tests.

If you're concerned about the performance of .38 Spl JHPs, the solution isn't to switch to FMJs. Switch to a more potent cartridge, and/or a more capacious handgun.

Now, regarding some other stuff you said.

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Originally Posted by ABPOS
We're going to have to agree to disagree on that one. The hole that the bullet goes in will leak. The blood vessels broken from the small wound track will not mend themselves back together after the bullet passes through.
In my opinion, a "stop" through blood loss is the least-desirable mechanism:

--The attacker is still likely dead, whereas him living is preferable.
--Bleeding to death is slow enough that, even mortally-wounded, he'll have plenty of time to kill you.

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Originally Posted by ABPOS
Plus, I know that this will probably get people in an uproar, but I'm not sure my main goal is to kill someone.
By using a less-effective round, that is exactly the end result you're promoting. The more hits you must inflict to achieve a "stop", the lower the subject's chances of survival.

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Originally Posted by ABPOS
Military and Police may have different missions.
They don't. I'll assume you're just ill-informed, and not actively trying to be offensive.

Police have the same goal--achieving either a "stop", or compliance. Suggesting otherwise is rather offensive.
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:52 PM
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As has already been states--use JHPs, and forget about the gel tests.

If you're concerned about the performance of .38 Spl JHPs, the solution isn't to switch to FMJs. Switch to a more potent cartridge, and/or a more capacious handgun.

Now, regarding some other stuff you said.



In my opinion, a "stop" through blood loss is the least-desirable mechanism:

--The attacker is still likely dead, whereas him living is preferable.
--Bleeding to death is slow enough that, even mortally-wounded, he'll have plenty of time to kill you.



By using a less-effective round, that is exactly the end result you're promoting. The more hits you must inflict to achieve a "stop", the lower the subject's chances of survival.



They don't. I'll assume you're just ill-informed, and not actively trying to be offensive.

Police have the same goal--achieving either a "stop", or compliance. Suggesting otherwise is rather offensive.
Well, you can blame Claude Werner for the suggestion. I suggest you watch the video. Whether or not I'm responsible for repeating what he said as a viable way to think of things, I guess you can blame me for that.

We're just talking here. We all can make our minds up and carry what we want. Not sure why that would be offensive. I promise I'm not trying to be. But I realize the suggestion was probably controversial. I'm definitely no expert on self defense and I apologize for offending you. But again, I'm repeating a theory by a Ex Military trainer that may have some wisdom more than I.
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:52 PM
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From everything I read, I'll stick to JHPs. They tend to do more damage when they open properly, and even if they clog with clothing they are still pretty much the same as a FMJ, so just as effective. If I am forced to shoot someone, I want the bullet to do as much damage as I can get. A handgun isn't the best means to that end,but I feel that going to a FMJ is a step in the wrong direction.

I also believe that over penetration is a major issue that should be considered. You may have to shoot someone, and as long as they are stopped and you were in the right for doing it, you should be in relatively good shape. Have a couple rounds go through an assailant and into others, and you are liable. A civil court case in that situation would probably bankrupt most people. I'd prefer to be alive and not responsible for another persons injuries.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:30 PM
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Use a quality hollow point and practice targeting and hitting different areas of the body such as the pelvic area or high chest/low neck area.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:59 PM
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I am not, nor claim to be, an expert on this, but I do like to think of myself as a "student" of this event, among others.

I think you really need to go back and research the events, etc., surrounding the "Miami shootout".

I think you will find the failure was NOT of ammunition, but of tactics.
Except for the fact that Dove's bullet (the one that mortally wounded the bank robber but did not kill him fast enough) was on a b-line for the heart and stopped short. The fact is, Dove's ammunition choice DID get him killed that day. A better 9mm hollow point would have saved him, a 357 Magnum, a 45 ACP in hollow points would have saved him. Certainly the FBI agents that day made mistakes, but 9mm Luger fanbois work overtime to convince you that's all that was wrong and try to obscure the fact that the hollow point choice that day ended up with two dead FBI agents. That's a fact.

Its why the 12 inch minimum in gel tests is so important, and its good to see people concerned about it in their carry considerations. Bullets that can't hack it in a gel test aren't a smart choice, and when comparing apples to oranges in gel test results deeper is better. 18 inch is better than 12 inch, and the practice of some to judge everything by expansion and just sneaking over the 12 inch mark have potential holes in their theory and parameters. Especially the folks who "well, half the bullets made it to the 12 inch mark even if the other half didn't, and it expanded alright, let's go with it" or the far worse "well, even if 100% of the bullets failed the FBI penetration depth, I like the look of that gelly wound track". A handgun round that doesn't get deep enough to hit something of value is potentially worthless.

I made a video on the subject, and when you consider shot angles in human beings and various situations police and civilians defending themselves might find themselves in, 18 inches in some situations can be almost short. Put the attackers arms in the right place, and change how you stand or sit or are ont he ground after being knocked down, it might be a long way to the man's heart to change his mind.

Its one of the strongest points 45 ACP and 357 Magnum have with improvements in 9mm Luger. It isn't so much that 45 will expand larger with modern hollow points, its the fact it can penetrate deep with expanded bullets and do so very consistently. 357 Magnum wasn't always killing with magical high velocity damage that never existed, it succeeded because it consistently expanded (even back in the early days of hollow points where rates of bullets expanding as designed were sometimes very low) and punched deep. 10mm wasn't going to super outdamage 9mm, it was going to consistently out penetrate it, as well as have greater damage potential.

The guys carrying 148 grain wadcutters are a bit more on the ball than those carrying lightweight 38 hollow points that might actually expand and prevent proper penetration. Might be easy to criticize the men still carrying low power Keiths in their 44's and 45's, then again they have worked. Choose a good hollow point that has proof behind it, don't just buy magic beans, or buy hollow points that have poor performance just because 'hollow point", or buy hollow points for cartridges that can't use them properly, or light loads that can't use them.

Better safer than sorrier in these types of situations. Rare enough to use a firearm in self defense, it would be a shame to lose because you chose a poor load because of average odds.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:59 AM
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Damn, and I'm all out of popcorn.

And endurance.

I'll just carry what I've been carrying, and let you guys fight it out here. The chances of my needing to shoot anyone are minuscule. If I've chosen wrong, well, I've had a pretty good run.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:00 AM
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Again, I suggest a re-visit to the "shootout", the failure was tactics, plain and simple.

To blame one round of ammo, for the failures that day, IMHO is a major mistake.

But hey, if that's what you want to believe, that's on you.

Best of luck to you, in your search.
To not acknowledge it was both is missing a good part of the failure. Good hit on a target that presented itself & the bullet didnt quite make it to damage more vital organs. Why 12" is not even a decent minimum when talking big guys & odd angles. Yep, bringing handguns to a long gun fight is a tactical error to start. Also not being really good enough with ones choice of pistol is also a tactical error facing hardened criminal killers.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:15 AM
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Will be trying Penn 120g TCBB .355 Premium Cast for 380ACP as their 100g TCBB PC are great on paper targets at 20 yds ....offhand, leaning against a tree.
Save the copper funds for the bigbores..... but some 120s will be powdered with N320.
The rest..... Bullseye!
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:43 AM
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Well, you can blame Claude Werner for the suggestion. I suggest you watch the video. Whether or not I'm responsible for repeating what he said as a viable way to think of things, I guess you can blame me for that.

We're just talking here. We all can make our minds up and carry what we want. Not sure why that would be offensive. I promise I'm not trying to be. But I realize the suggestion was probably controversial. I'm definitely no expert on self defense and I apologize for offending you. But again, I'm repeating a theory by a Ex Military trainer that may have some wisdom more than I.
What Claude's doing is saying "something is better than nothing", and fluffing it out into a big thing to try and generate buzz and sell stuff. Which is what his job really is. You can be a great trainer and fail horribly if you can't generate publicity. I used to think Gabe Suarez was a literal retard, but the guy's a negative-publicity genius. He says crazy stuff, everyone starts raging about it, and then he goes back to pushing non-crazy stuff now that is name is back out there.

Anyway, CW isn't wrong...sort've. I think he's jumbling up his words a bit. Most incidents that require a pistol do require nothing more than being able to truthfully shout "Leave me alone, I have a gun!". And many beyond that are resolved because the subject decides that getting shot sucks (psychological stop). For that, having a pistol that actually fires is sufficient.

So, given concealment requirements or non-permissive environments, being armed with a itsy-bitsy gun will still handle a great many incidents. And if Werner is actually trying to say "small guns are okay because they can make bad guys run away"--well, then he is wrong and I am right.

But small pistols aren't acceptable self-defense tools because they can make bad guys run away. They're acceptable self-defense tools because they're still capable of physically stopping an attacker.

What I don't see is where this has anything to do with ammo selection.

Next, where you ran afoul was where you juxtaposed

Quote:
I'm not sure my main goal is to kill someone.
with

Quote:
That doesn't always mean, or hasn't always meant DRT. Military and Police may have different missions.
which implies that the police are trying to kill. That's the part that's offensive. I generally don't consider bad gear choices offensive, I use a color-coded silly/dumb/suicidal system. Applying lethal force =/= shooting to kill. And it's absolutely not what Claude Werner said.

Quote:
I've heard stories of some .38's and other guns actually not defeating a skull.
Pretty much every defensive cartridge has bounced off someone's skull, or burrowed under the skin and popped out the back without entering the cranial cavity. In fact, I know of a situation where a guy took a penetrating .357 Mag to the brain and kept fighting--with multiple hits to the torso already. Brain shot #2 dropped him.

---

Like I said, if I were in your shoes, I'd just keep carrying that 442. Evaluate whether you really shoot +P badly--are you inaccurate, do you lose your grip with +P, or do you just not like it--and carry whichever you decide on. I don't think carry a .38 m'self, but my objection is capacity, not terminal performance.

In other words, even if you believe JHPs won't expand and FMJs will penetrate deeper, I don't think that switching to FMJs will solve the 442's limitations. I further think that switching from standard pressure to +P ammunition won't solve the problem you perceive, either.

PS--I also don't think that gear is really that important compared to making good decisions leading up to the fight (i.e.--setting yourself up for success). One of the few things I think is a worthwhile lesson from the military line of reasoning is that if you find yourself in a fair fight, you're doing it wrong.

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Old 10-10-2018, 08:11 AM
Hapworth Hapworth is offline
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Yeehawww!!! Another one of these...

Valid questions and concerns from OP, but always devolves into caliber and bullet design back-and-forth long on deeply held opinions, short on nuance or definitives, and no end in sight.

OP, first rule of a gunfight:

1) Be somewhere else.

Second rule of a gunfight:

2) Have a gun.

After that, what really matters is said gun is reliable and accurate sending the rounds you stoke it with, whatever they may be.

We all can and should worry a little less about the hardware and more about the software: can we run the gun efficiently under duress, and in the types of scenarios we're likely to encounter? I'd argue that having a smart defensive plan in place for the home, or working drills with your actual carry piece using your actual carry rig wearing clothes you actually wear, or having at least a modicum of trained ability to fend off and wrestle with an attacker until you can successfully deploy your carry piece (much likelier than most of our quick-draw one shot fantasies) are the things to spend time pondering over.

Square that kind of stuff and as long as you're not carrying a known jam-o-matic loaded with Bubba from the carnival's reloads, you're ahead of the curve.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:05 AM
Dirty Harry Callahan Dirty Harry Callahan is offline
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Like so many others I see on the internet on the subject of self-defense, you worry too much. Be confident in what you've got and stop worrying about what-if scenarios in which your carry gun has to be used against a larger assailant in which the .38 Special just so happens to be less than adequate, based purely on assumption.

That being said, I have found that among lower velocity bullets such as .38 Special, .380 ACP, and .45 ACP, the Hornady's XTP bullets reign supreme, boasting the perfect balance of penetration and expansion with the utmost reliability. Brand doesn't seem to matter either, so anything that uses the XTP bullet ought to be an adequate performer.

Last but not least, the idea that heavy winter clothing can serve as a rudimentary ballistics vest is nothing more than an overstated urban legend. Seriously, it has been tested many times by a variety of shooters on YouTube, and it has been soundly debunked. In fact, when it comes to Jacketed Hollow Point bullets, the exact opposite can be true because if the cavity gets plugged up with clothing and doesn't expand it actually penetrates even deeper.
I actually saw one particular video in which a guy went out to a thrift store, bought hundreds of Tee Shirts, placed them all over a rubber dummy and shot them with a variety of cartridges. IIRC, it took over 200 layers to stop a .22LR and over 600 layers to stop a 9mm Luger. Needless to say, it would be physically impossible to wear that many layers of clothing and maintain mobility.
I also watched another video by ShootingtheBull410 on YouTube in which he shot a specific brand/style of heavy winter coat after a dubious report by NY Police that it was bulletproof. Regardless of what he did, .22LR fired from a pistol zipped right through it, he even tried wadding it up into a tight little ball then shooting it, yet the .22LR passed right through.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:11 AM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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Just remember GOLIATH.......A giant of a man was killed with a small, low velocity ROCK.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:13 AM
wnderr wnderr is offline
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MHO, you are way overthinking this. The round you plan on using on an ordinary person, will kill the big guy just as dead! Hitting bone is a good thing, as it causes more projectiles bouncing around in there. Fat and muscle, really are pretty easy to go thru, and the protected organs are what you really hope to damage. A good 9mm HP is always a good load for self defense.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:42 PM
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Wow. Just, wow. The last 7 years before I retired I carried a 4 inch .357 Magnum and a 2 inch .38 Special (standard pressure). I see no reason to change just because I retired and weather.

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Old 10-11-2018, 08:56 AM
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when the 110gr. critical defense hit the market, me and a couple friends (1 LEO, 1 Former security contractor, me gun salesman and nra instructor at the time) shot wet phone books, water jugs, drywall with 2x4s, and big bars of soap from Sedanos market with it, and several other defensive rounds. i still carry the 110gr. critical def. in my j frames to this day. penetrates really well, retains bullet weight, and reliably expands while producing moderate recoil. at 1010fps, it has +p velocity. my wife has the 90gr. lite in her airweight. its pushing 1200fps. i'd be to worried about over penetration on all but the biggest of bodies with fmj. drug fiends and muggers tend to be slimmer on avg. and i don't think fmj would be so good on a crack addled user, or heroin sponge... JMHO.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABPOS View Post
...

But then the caveat is, I don't shoot +p's well in my 442.

...

But what I've come to the conclusion is that I think I'm just going to start carrying vanilla ole FMJ. All the time. ...


Now, the converse to all of this is I'm thinking about setting my wife up with my Detective Special and low recoiling rounds. Because I feel like it's better than a .22..... LOL. And even with wadcutters she didn't like the recoil.... Although she must just be better off with a .22.
Well, like some other folks have opined, I'd think you were over-thinking things a mite.

Not that it's wrong to give careful consideration to matters potentially involving the use of deadly force, mind you, but more that just focusing too much on the gear might distract you from the really critical things. You know, things like a working lay person's awareness and knowledge of the applicable laws, your mindset, your health, your skillset background and practice regimen, etc.

Now, if it were any of the folks who I used to help train who came to me and brought this subject up, I'd be able to presume they'd already been exposed to, and learned, all of the relevant basics (since they were working cops). So, we'd get right to the gear and gear-user questions.

If they didn't shoot +P in their +P-rated Airweights, why not? Was it something we could correct with some remedial and/or extra training? We they interested in putting in the extra work to learn to better control their Airweight using +P?

If they weren't interested in extra work, then how might we make an adjustment to the gear, meaning the snub and the ammunition? Maybe a larger and/or softer set of grips? Changing to a standard pressure load?

If it was the increased recoil of the +P causing the problem, then what standard pressure load might offer them the best compromise?

Personally, I'd suggest a standard pressure JHP over a solid, and unless policy mandated the use of a JHP over a non-JHP, I'd suggest a flat-nosed semiwadcutter or a RNL or jacketed ball, or even a target wadcutter over a RNL or jacketed ball. Why? Because the nose cavity might create the potential for more effective wounding, even if it didn't expand, or at least the flat meplat (nose profile) of the semiwadcutter or target wadcutter might cut and crush more tissue.

Penetration? Coin toss whether some given amount will prove to be not enough or too much in any given set of circumstances. Misses, perforations (over-penetration) and even peripheral hits on anatomical areas (shallow and outside hits which result in wounding where the bullet punches through) are concerns, because those bullets are going to hit somewhere, or someone.

Obstructions caused by intervening limbs (like an arm)? I don't lose sleep worrying about those things. Neither do I lose sleep worrying about shooting at someone positioned at an angle, meaning having to make an oblique shot that has to defeat the greater distance and obstructing bones of the shoulder capsule, if someone is facing partially away from me.

I'm retired, so I'm no longer going to be putting myself into situations where I choose to invoke peace officer status and insert myself into someone's in-progress violent criminal attack against someone else. Maybe, like in an active shooter/terrorist event where I'm unwillingly caught up in the midst of it, but if that's the case I likely have bigger problems to overcome than worrying about a little more or less "penetration".

Anyway, some years ago I was speaking with a well known trainer who worked with LE. I won't name-drop here, but suffice to say that most gun enthusiasts who think about self defense and handgun ammunition would recognize the name.

So, he was asked by a large agency to participate in a pilot program where the agency was considering equipping its officers with 5-shot Airweight snubs for both on-duty secondary use ("backup), as well as off-duty use (since many cops don't want to carry a duty-size weapon on their own time). A representative group of people were used to test and assess guns and ammunition, and look at training methods that might be required.

He told me that one of the first things they'd observed was that even though there were some new JHP loads being offered specifically for use in short-barreled snubs, that the harsh recoil of the +P rounds was causing controllability and accuracy problems for most of the shooters. Hardly surprising, right?

The "solution" proposed was to adopt the use of the venerable target wadcutter. Granted, the already low velocity was reduced when fired from the sub-2" guns, but all of the shooters were able to make rapid and accurate hits suing that ammo. Ballistically, the WC target rounds were thought to offer plenty of usable penetration for the relatively close quarters defensive conditions anticipated as the likely role for the use of the little snub guns.

For personal reasons (distracted by a health issue of my own for more than a year), I lost touch with him after that, and never heard the eventual outcome and decision. Last time I spoke with him, he was of the strong opinion that good controllability and accuracy of the solid WC trumped the potential for expansion of one of the better JHP's that came at the cost of impaired controllability and reduced accuracy.

Now, while I don't mind using some +P loads in my all-steel and most of my Airweights (which are rated for +P), I have a pristine 37-2DAO Airweight that I don't want to abuse by using anything other than standard pressure loads. That being the case, I've typically used one or another 110gr JHP or a 125gr JHP, all of which are standard pressure and relatively mild shooting.

Last year I tried some of the Hornady FTX 110gr standard pressure loads. They felt even milder in recoil, and were nicely accurate in my 37-2DAO, in my hands. It became my standard load. Might expand, might not. Not a Round Nose or ball load, so it would seem to present a reduced risk of perforation of the threat. What's not to like? I ordered several boxes of it through a local store.

Now, if I couldn't get that load, I'd go back to the 110gr Hydra-Shok or STHP, or the American Gunner 125gr XTP. If they didn't expand, they might still do some cutting (nose cavity edges).

If I couldn't get those? I'd fall back on the old fashioned 158gr LSWC, or even the softer swaged lead Wadcutters (although I really dislike cleaning lead out of cylinder charge holes).

The bottom line is it's probably going to matter more where I put those rounds ... and possibly how quickly and how many ... versus what type of .38SPL bullets I put where.

To put it another way, one of routine drills is to practice to at least be able to shoot the old 5x5x5x5 drill, meaning shooting 2-handed and putting 5 rounds, in 5 seconds, into a 5" group from 5yds. I say at least, because I've spent enough practice time so i can usually run that drill, cold, in 2-3 seconds.

I also tighten up the distance to 3 or 4 yds (I vary it) and run the drill shooting 1-handed, low/center index (modified "hip"/point), and try to keep the shots clustered into a group no larger than can be covered with my tightened fist, and do it in 2-3 seconds.

I'm more interested into being able to run the little snubs fast, controllably and accurately, then losing sleep about the specific ammo I might be carrying on any particular day. The ammo might have to vary, for one reason or another over time, but it's always going to be me using the little guns.

I try to put my attention and emphasis where I think I can maintain some measure of control.

Just my thoughts, and I can't speak for anyone else.

Also, what your wife chooses for herself is something for her to decide, and hopefully her decision will be an informed one, based upon her perceived needs and abilities.

So, I'm off to the opening of my new, relocated and much larger private cigar club, and for the trip over the hill this afternoon I'm going to pocket(holster) one of my M&P 340's, which I think is presently loaded with Speer 135gr GDHP +P. The extra speedstrip I'll pocket with it is loaded with the Hornady CD 110gr FTX standard pressure load, though. YMMV.

As always ... TANSTAAFL.
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Last edited by Fastbolt; 10-11-2018 at 04:20 PM.
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