Discussion on FMJ effectiveness.


August 18, 2007, 08:52 PM
OK First of all this is not supposed to be a caliber war. Im talking about the different shapes of FMJ bullets out there. I originally thought this when I recently bought my Bersa .380. I havent been able to shoot it yet but I got a box of rounds for it. The WWB 95grn bullets have a flat point like a .40 SW does. My thinking is this type of round would do more damage than a bullet of the same caliber but of a more rounded profile. So say comparing it to a standard 115 grn 9mm, which would be more effective (hypothetically). The 9mm is quite a bit more powerfull, but I think the .380 would do more damage do to the shape of the projectile.

What do you guys think?

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Deer Hunter
August 18, 2007, 09:14 PM
I would tend to believe that each bullet would perform extremely close to eachother.

August 18, 2007, 09:58 PM
I don't have a copy of Duncan MacPherson's works but he had a little formula that showed how effective certain bullet shapes were at crushing tissue. There isn't much difference between a roundnose and flatpoint, IIRC. On the other hand, a wadcutter crushes the most tissue for its size.

Snapping Twig
August 19, 2007, 12:58 AM
The size of the metplat (flat point) makes a difference. A large metplat transmits shock, a round nose isn't so efficient.

This is one of the reasons a cast SWC works so well for hunting. There are of course many other variables involved, but given the choice you mentioned, I'd go with a flat point over ball any day.

August 19, 2007, 02:09 AM
All the talk about bullet shape is academic until after each type is known and tested to be reliable in your firearm. Nothing like having a magazine full of better bullets pull a double-feed on you right when you need to use one.

August 20, 2007, 02:17 AM
I read a report about a test shooting .380acp roundnose FMJ into pig skulls. Many or them just bounced off. They only entered when shot exactly perpendicular to the skull. The same test with hollowpoints yielded better results. The thinking was that the sharp edge helped cut into the bone rather than ricocheting off.

Otherwise, in soft tissue, the FMJ usually out-penetrates hollowpoints. Penetration is a concern with the .380acp anyway.

August 20, 2007, 11:10 PM
dont forget that way way back in the days of bolt action ar,y rifles the troops would file down the tips of fmj rounds to gt some exposed lead. That would give some expansin in soft tissue. But file to much nose away and you end up with a copper jacket stuck in a barrel with the lead core flying downrange/

August 21, 2007, 10:58 PM
In .380, I would use FMJ ball ammo for maximum penetration.

Accuracy is King, penetration is Queen, everything else is Angels dancing in the wind.

August 21, 2007, 11:45 PM
Massad Ayoob said quite a while back, "A .380 is a good gun to carry when you don't need a gun."

Meplat or no meplat, the .380 just doesn't offer much energy to transfer. At best, the .380 causes blood loss - which is better than harsh language.

I think you want whatever round functions best in your gun. I don't think you are going to get much bonus blood loss from the "hydrostatic shock" of a (probably non-expanding) hollowpoint .380 bullet. An in-and-out wound (two holes - and hopefully several of them) is probably the best-case scenario for a .380.

August 22, 2007, 07:46 AM
i feel that a flatter nosed bullet would do more crush damage then a similar bullet w/ a more rounded profile...
having said that, we are talking about .380, so i would have to think that penetration IS what you are looking for, so i would feel more inclined to carry ball over a flat nosed bullet. i feel a round profile bullet would have a better chance of penetrating deeper (hopefully into some vital organs). the fact of the matter is that .380 just doesnt have enough energy (in my mind) to warrant a different bullet profile to maximize crush damage.

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