FMJ vs JHP for carry ammo


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radiotom
November 5, 2012, 10:09 AM
What do you guys carry in your pistols? I do 3JHP - 3FMJ - 3JHP - 4FMJ in a Glock 23.

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The Bushmaster
November 5, 2012, 10:17 AM
Why??

You should, only, carry JHPs because FMJ have way too much penetration and end up in someone else besides who you initually shot.

I hate to flame you (will not really), but that load theory is not rational...

56hawk
November 5, 2012, 10:30 AM
JHP in every gun in every situation. Can't see any reason to carry FMJs.

radiotom
November 5, 2012, 10:34 AM
Body armor.
Gun fight with cover.
Druggie who has already taken 3 JHPs.

mdauben
November 5, 2012, 10:49 AM
What do you guys carry in your pistols? I do 3JHP - 3FMJ - 3JHP - 4FMJ in a Glock
There can be a case for FMJ in marginal carry guns (.25, .38 and arguably .380) but I see no reason to carry anything but modern, well designed JHP in anything larger.

Body armor.
Mozambique Drill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozambique_Drill), although I have not really seen any evidence that this is a singificant problem in real life crimes faced by most civilians.

Gun fight with cover.
I believe this too is more an issues with police than civilians, but if it worries you about the only real advantage of the .40S&W over the 9mm or .45ACP is that test show it to be supperior at defeating barriers.

Druggie who has already taken 3 JHPs.
Better aim, rather than FMJ bullets seems the best way to address this. ;)

Deus Machina
November 5, 2012, 10:50 AM
A bank robbery involves an infinitesimally slim chance of someone wearing body armor unless you're in Hollywood. A home invasion has an even slimmer chance, but it seems to have happened once or twice if you listen to the internet jabber. Otherwise, there's essentially a zero percent chance, and it may stop an FMJ anyway, or not stop a hollowpoint. Criminals aren't likely to have new, functional armor. Mozambique drill.

Are you seriously going to shoot through cover? That's a good way of not knowing your target and what's behind it. You're pretty much guaranteed not to hit the threat itself. Besides, JHP almost universally falls into two groups now: ones that are trusted through cover via FBI tests, and ones that mash the nose and become FMJ.

What is FMJ going to do to a druggy with 3 expanded rounds in him already? Are smaller, mostly-sealed holes going to work any better?

Bottom line is, unless you're in New Jersey where it's illegal, you need a round that expands.
If you're facing body armor, you don't need solid .40. You need a rifle.
If they have cover, you need to find your own and run.
If someone attacks you full of PCP, six expanding rounds is ten times better than three that expand and three that don't.

Inebriated
November 5, 2012, 10:51 AM
I prefer FMJ... But I only carry JHP in any environment other than the woods. Why? Because if you ever had to use your gun, you would most likely be in a populated environment. FMJ's tend to pass completely through their targets, and I would hate to end up injuring somebody because of something like that.

If someone attacks you full of PCP, six expanding rounds is ten times better that three that expand and three that don't.

I think you're putting a lot more stock in expansion than you should be.

X-Rap
November 5, 2012, 10:58 AM
I believe in a real gunfight it would be so hard to keep track of what round was coming up next that any ammo variants used in the proposed scenario would be proved worthless. It's not like a card game in which your hand is wide open and visible.
A spare mag would be much more effective in my opinion and if it gets worse than that you better be fighting your way to a carbine or shotgun.

Deus Machina
November 5, 2012, 10:59 AM
I think you're putting a lot more stock in expansion than you should be.
Hyperbole, yes, but a .40 already penetrates plenty deep enough you don't need more than any JHP delivers.

2wheels
November 5, 2012, 11:06 AM
Body armor.
Gun fight with cover.
Druggie who has already taken 3 JHPs.
Body armor that will stop a .40S&W JHP will stop a .40S&W FMJ.

If it were that easy to beat armor, what would be the point of cops wearing it?

JHPs penetrate cover about as well as FMJ. Worst case scenario, they penetrate the cover but do not expand... But they still penetrate and hit the target. So there's no advantage to FMJ.

Well designed JHPs should penetrate more than enough, and do more damage than an FMJ, to any druggie threatening you.

Snowdog
November 5, 2012, 11:10 AM
What, no tracers? I like to have the first round a frangible, next a light hollowpoint followed by a heavy JHP, then a fmj and finally a tracer so I can see where I'm shooting.

Just joshing you. I keep it simple and choose an inexpensive-yet-effective JHP, which is XM40HC for me that I was fortunate enough to stock up on at $16/50 a few months ago. I don't think FMJ is going to do substantially better than JHP against body armor. However, I also think any scenario where you're going to encounter thugs in level 2 attire is quite unlikely unless you're a high profile target worth kidnapping or assassinating.

My understanding is that JHPs facilitate in a more rapid loss of blood and it's that blood loss that incapacitates in most cases. So, regardless if the thug is high, he's no robot and will collapse when the BP drops enough.

Some prefer FMJ but I'm solidly in the JHP camp as long as the handgun caliber is .35 or greater.

481
November 5, 2012, 11:13 AM
I just load up with a premium JHP and call it good.

Any situation where I run into someone intent on harming me while clad in soft armor is likely gonna require more than a pistol/one spare magazine to "solve" it.

In that event, I am running away if I can- otherwise I'll have to "make due" with what I have.

Frank Ettin
November 5, 2012, 11:16 AM
JHPs for self defense applications.

As stated in In Defense of Self and Others... (Patrick, Urey W. and Hall, John C., Carolina Academic Press, 2010, pp. 95-96, italicized emphasis in original, bold emphasis added): ...The bullet must pass through the large blood-bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding....Given durable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of the hole made by the bullet....

And for any given caliber, a bullet that expands makes a bigger hole than one that doesn't.

fatcat4620
November 5, 2012, 11:19 AM
Glock 23 has 13 JHP in it right now. I dont know of anything a fmj would do that a jhp won't in the real world. Now if your hub gun will not feed jhp rounds reliably and you want to load it with 1 jhp in the chamber and fmj in the mag thats fine and the only reson you mix ammo.

josephbw
November 5, 2012, 11:24 AM
I can only think of 1 instance where I would use FMJ for a defense load. That would be with a .32 acp pistol. There's not enough velocity or mass to get very much expansion with a JHP, so your only hope is a head shot, or to ventilate the perp with a FMJ. :eek:

BTW, I'm not advocating using a .32 acp round for self defense.

Fishbed77
November 5, 2012, 11:28 AM
Body armor.
Gun fight with cover.
Druggie who has already taken 3 JHPs.

None of these sound like valid reasons to me.

Body armor.
If you are shooting at someone with body armor, he's probably a cop and you shouldn't be doing that.

Gun fight with cover.
If you are trying to shoot through cover, you can not see your target or what's beyond. You are instantly breaking one of the four rules.

Also, if you are carrying firearm to defend yourself, you should not be engaging in running gun battles through any kind of cover. The purpose of the firearm should be to get yourself out of a life-threatening situation. Engaging the threat offensively begins to cross the line from self-defense into murder.

Druggie who has already taken 3 JHPs.
When shooting defensively, you shoot until the threat has ceased. I can't imagine that an extra round or two of .40S&W FMJ having any benefit over JHP in such a situation.

.

HDCamel
November 5, 2012, 11:42 AM
Depends on the caliber really.

I think that 9mm, .40 S&W, or .357 Sig pretty much HAVE to be JHP, otherwise they'll just zip right through your target and won't do that much damage.
Anything less powerful like .380 or maybe 9mm Makarov should probably be FMJ if you want to reach the vitals.
.45 ACP is a bit of an in-betweener. You can really go either way. I carry FMJ in my 1911 for a variety of reasons, but I would be just about as comfortable with JHPs.

Just remember, Shot placement > Penetration > Expansion

Skribs
November 5, 2012, 11:54 AM
A 9mm FMJ round isn't going to penetrate body armor any better than a 9mm JHP round.

If you want to use FMJs go for it, but I really have to suggest against alternating FMJ and JHP. If a druggie has already taken 3 JHPs, more JHPs will be better than switching to FMJs. The idea comes more from shotguns, in that some people want to load birdshot then buckshot then slugs. Problem is, by the time you get to the buckshot, if needed, your attacker could easily be on you already.

Pick a load and stick with it. Personally, for anything 9mm or bigger, I use JHP. Anything less (i.e. .380 ACP or .38 SPL) I'll be going for a FMJ.

Shawn Dodson
November 5, 2012, 12:39 PM
Gun fight with cover.

Cover? Cover stops bullets. I suspect you're thinking of light barrier materials (automotive sheetmetal, windshield glass, drywall, plywood, door, etc.). In this case FMJ isn't going to give you ANY advantage over JHP.

If you are trying to shoot through cover, you can not see your target or what's beyond. You are instantly breaking one of the four rules. Not necessarily. An armed adversary can be partially concealed behind an opaque barrier (drywall, residential door, car door, raised car hood/trunk) and shooting through the light barrier might be required to get a good, fight-stopping hit.

Skribs
November 5, 2012, 12:49 PM
If you are shooting at someone with body armor, he's probably a cop and you shouldn't be doing that.

Not necessarily. Anyone with $600 to spend and an Amazon.com account can have body armor.

One thing to keep in mind is that JHPs use the hydraulic pressure of the water in the body to expand. On light barriers such as drywall or heavy clothing, they will actually clog up and fail to expand. They're not really any less "armor piercing" than FMJs, especially if the FMJ has a high meplat.

chris in va
November 5, 2012, 12:54 PM
...except for the latest crop of defense ammo. The polymer inserts initiate expansion through most materials. Critical Duty is an example.

TarDevil
November 5, 2012, 12:59 PM
Here we go again....

smalls
November 5, 2012, 01:04 PM
Body armor

Your FMJ's aren't gonna go through that, either.

Do a search, this topic has been beaten to death 100000000000 times.

The Bushmaster
November 5, 2012, 01:16 PM
Well radiotom...I guess you are going to have to rethink your magazine loadings...

Skribs
November 5, 2012, 01:29 PM
...except for the latest crop of defense ammo. The polymer inserts initiate expansion through most materials. Critical Duty is an example.

I was under the impression that they assisted with expansion, but their primary role was to prevent the cavity from clogging with dry material. I could be wrong, though.

However, most of the premium ammo I see people selecting don't have these inserts (things like gold dot, hydra shok, etc).

19-3Ben
November 5, 2012, 01:49 PM
There can be a case for FMJ in marginal carry guns (.25, .38 and arguably .380) but I see no reason to carry anything but modern, well designed JHP in anything larger.

YUP!!! I'll add that if a druggie hasn't ceased hostility after 3 JHPs, why would he be more likely to stop with a change up to FMJ?
Oh, and the circumstances in which you would need to shoot through concealment/cover to shoot someone are so limited that I can't imagine changing the load for it.

For civilian, non-LEO purposes, an FMJ is far from ideal. I do carry them in my Ruger LCP for increased penetration.

Steve C
November 5, 2012, 02:48 PM
HP's just plain work better at putting down an assailant. FMJ works too but not as well. Its not like your unarmed if you carry FMJ's but its more likely you will have to fire more rounds and the assailant will have a better chance at continuing their attack after a good solid center mass hit if they're determined.

Its up to the individual to make those decisions regarding risk and benefit.

You can think up all sorts of scenarios where one type of ammo will be better than another but to prepare for a situation that has a small chance of occurrence while placing yourself at a disadvantage in the majority of likely situations is foolish to my mind.

Nushif
November 5, 2012, 03:06 PM
I tend to carry whatever I have. right now I am well stocked in some JHPs so I carry them, but when I was real low on ammo I had no problem carrying FMJ.

I honestly think that the greatest determinant by very, very, very far is the amount of time, effort and thought you've put into your training.

Bobson
November 5, 2012, 03:44 PM
Does anyone have a link to any single reliable source, that documents an incident in which a 9mm FMJ "zipped right through" a target [person] and struck something or someone behind the intended target with anything resembling enough energy to cause serious injury or death? I specify the energy bit because I've personally been hit in the face, on bare skin, with bullet fragmentation and ricochets, and never suffered so much as a welt or scratch.

I understand the chance it can happen. I just want to hear from a reliable source that it ever has.

Note that second-hand stories of military combat experiences are not reliable sources.

Skribs
November 5, 2012, 04:11 PM
However much energy the bullet leaves the target with is only slightly greater than what it will have going into the next one. You're not getting hit with a fragment or ricochet, you're getting hit by something that's still moving pretty fast.

481
November 5, 2012, 05:36 PM
Does anyone have a link to any single reliable source, that documents an incident in which a 9mm FMJ "zipped right through" a target [person] and struck something or someone behind the intended target with anything resembling enough energy to cause serious injury or death? I specify the energy bit because I've personally been hit in the face, on bare skin, with bullet fragmentation and ricochets, and never suffered so much as a welt or scratch.

I understand the chance it can happen. I just want to hear from a reliable source that it ever has.

Note that second-hand stories of military combat experiences are not reliable sources.

NYPD had quite a few instances when they were still issuing the Winchester 115 gr FMJ- my Google-Fu is somewhat lacking and I have yet to find NYPD Annual Firearms Discharge Reports that reflect it.

So far this is the best that I can do-

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2012/08/25/20141221.html

taken from the link above:
"Until 1998, the department had used what are known as full-metal-jacket bullets, which, enveloped in a thin layer of copper, often pass through a suspect and hit bystanders."

radiotom
November 6, 2012, 02:39 AM
Well radiotom...I guess you are going to have to rethink your magazine loadings...
That was already happening, regardless of your snide comment.

RBid
November 6, 2012, 02:43 AM
JHP.

With minimal effort, you can find great deals on them.

mljdeckard
November 6, 2012, 02:54 AM
There is no good reason to mix loads. You need EVERY shot coming out of that barrel to be your BEST shot.

I disagree that hollow-points significantly reduce the likelihood of overpenetration and inadvertent third-party injury. All premium JHP ammo in service cartridges will fully traverse a human target under most circumstances. Rule number four still applies. And even if they DID, in real life you aren't going to hit all of your shots.

If a bad guy is wearing body armor, FMJ is not much more likely to pierce it. If you are worried about armor, you should be using a rifle. (If at all possible, you should be using a rifle anyway.)

If someone is behind COVER, FMJ won't penetrate it anyway.

If someone on drugs takes repeated hits with JHP and keeps coming, what makes you think FMJ would be more effective?

Seriously, if you REALLY think you can predict and prioritize what will happen in the order you loaded your favorite bullets, you are overthinking it. Pick a round your gun will cycle and stick with it.

I carry 230 gr HSTs. But if for some reason, I was leaving the range, and I was loaded with JHPs, it wouldn't change how I fight one bit. The real world difference is limited.

leadcounsel
November 6, 2012, 02:58 AM
I don't think it's invalid. Sometimes my carry guns have staggered FMJs and HPs.

Heck the experts thougth the world was flat at one point too.

Valid reasons include light concealment (car door, refrigerator, wood desk, windshield, etc.). Also, the skull of a pitbull is probably pretty tough.

Nobody is suggesting "counting" rounds. But repeated rapid shots will deliver two rounds. One will be more effective. If the HP is the less effective and you only had HPs, then maybe you're unable to effect (penetrate, etc.) the target.

People often gripe that "handguns are underpowered, don't penetrate enough, are only good for fighting your way to your rifle, etc.... Well, then a handgun FMJ that penetrades deeper may be more effective. Shots are not always straight on... a shot to the side may have to penetrate 18" of muscle and bone before being effective (through arm, etc.).

I think it's a valid approach and sometimes do it myself, particularly in my 9x19 carry when I run (risk of dogs, with tough bodies/think muscles and bones, and they don't "know" they are shot), and winter due to heavier clothing.

Any volunteers to stand in front of my "ineffective" FMJs? I didn't think so...

There is no magic bullet, just placement. Some bullets penetrate better. Bullets behave weirdly... some HPs fill with drywall when shot through drywall and act like FMJs. Some HPs don't expand as advertised. Practice often, shoot bullets that your gun reliably feeds, and you'll be fine. As I said, I sometimes stagger mine simply to offer different rounds in the event my targets are varied. And I'm not counting!!!! Simply firing to stop a threat.

ku4hx
November 6, 2012, 06:44 AM
I don't think I can predetermine with any accuracy what kind of barriers I'll face in a gun fight. That being the case, I'm going with a heavier JHP for the round chosen and practice, practice practice with that same weight.

Currently my choices are 9mm-124 grain, 10mm & 40 cal-180 grain and 45 ACP-230 grain. Specific choices are Golden Saber and Gold Dot weighting shot placement higher than bullet brand. Hence the practice, practice and more practice.

I've always viewed a handgun as just a purchasing agent anyway. Buys me time to get my shotgun or battle rifle.

olderguns
November 6, 2012, 07:42 AM
I use FMJ rounds but only in my auto-ordinance Thompson 1911, its the only thing so far thats 100% dependable, but everything else gets JHP , I trust both to do their job...

TarDevil
November 6, 2012, 11:29 AM
On the subject of mixed loads in the same magazine, Massad Ayoob opines:
You definitely don't want mixed loads... If you've had to fire multiple shots, your bullet has gone through and through the guy, and gunshot residue tests are required to determine distance, if distance comes into dispute, we won't be able to show which round was the one in question and won't be able to determine the distance for you.
I don't completely understand what he's talking about, but the dumbed down version I got says mixed loads may muddle forensic ballistics enough to make legal proceedings more complicated.

Skribs
November 6, 2012, 01:40 PM
Lead, FMJ penetrates deeper, but it doesn't really penetrate barriers better. What barriers do to most hollowpoints is limit expansion. It's why JHPs will actually penetrate deeper on gel blocks with 4 layers of denim vs. bar gel blocks.

Snowdog
November 6, 2012, 02:07 PM
If a search is done for articles regarding overpenetration from handguns, I suspect the results would yield an equal number of accounts from FMJs and JHPs.

Though I understand ballistic gel is merely an analog to compare terminal ballistics in a medium that attempts to approximate human flesh, I have noticed that FMJs seem to consistently penetrate substantially deeper than JHPs while providing less in the way of crush cavity.

As long as reliability isn't sacrificed, I can't perceive any logic in using FMJ in lieu of JHP for defensive of life or limb.

sfed
November 6, 2012, 03:15 PM
I would think the drug head would have most like spent money on drugs rather than BODY ARMOR, that`s my perspective on it anyway. A bank robbery maybe the possibility of body armor but not likely. I keep self defense rounds loaded in all my carry weapons and spend a good deal of time practicing with the same rounds I load for self defense. But that is my take on it.

Skribs
November 6, 2012, 05:57 PM
Snowdog, that FMJ is going to have more energy coming out of a target than a JHP, and because the JHP is already expanded from the body tissue, it is going to lose energy faster.

Onward Allusion
November 6, 2012, 06:49 PM
I would never mix FMJ & JHP in the same mag. Different OAL. Just one more gear in the cog. Stay with JHP with a Glock. One more thing to consider - different recoil/pressure between SD loads and FMJ range loads. It can throw off your game.

If you MUST mix a mag cocktail, test, test, test, test...because mag cocktails have been known to cause feeding problems.

Thompsoncustom
November 6, 2012, 07:28 PM
I carry 5 Hollow Point and the Rest is full metal jackets:what: I figure if I still need rounds after the first five everyone is going to be behind something and at that point I am not concerned about expansion only penetration.

EBK
November 6, 2012, 08:23 PM
I agree with the HP at all times for defense.
However if killing is your goal air rushing in and blood rushing out is the best way and FMJ achieves that goal more often than a HP.

For me its heavy for caliber HP in my CC guns

Frank Ettin
November 6, 2012, 08:48 PM
...However if killing is your goal air rushing in and blood rushing out is the best way and FMJ achieves that goal more often than a HP...[1] Killing isn't the goal. Stopping is. And physiologically that involves depriving the brain and muscles of blood supply so the body's ability to function is significantly impaired.

[2] Do do that, the blood doesn't necessarily have to leave the body. It just needs to be removed from the circulatory system. Holes in organs with large blood supplies and in major blood vessels will effectively lower blood pressure and circulating blood volume whether the blood is draining into the body cavity or draining outside the body.

[3] Bigger holes increase blood loss, and expanding JHPs will make bigger holes.

Snowdog
November 6, 2012, 09:56 PM
Snowdog, that FMJ is going to have more energy coming out of a target than a JHP, and because the JHP is already expanded from the body tissue, it is going to lose energy faster.

Oh, I absolutely agree. I am aware that some JHPs, especially those that fail to expand or expand completely, may over-penetrate and pose an increased threat of those behind the target (they are already in great danger to begin with). That said, a bullet designed not to provide any expansion seem to penetrate deeper and as you said, depart the intended target with greater energy/wounding potential.

Over-penetration is not a great concern of mine, or at least not at much a concern as "stopping" potential. However, it's nice that the JHP can provide both greater blood loss and less penetration. I'm sticking with the JHP for all my (handgun) defensive needs.

leadcounsel
November 11, 2012, 01:29 PM
When I personally trained to fire through car windshields, we used FMJs because HPs would not reliably penetrate and allow you to still accurately hit your target. So there is one example of FMJs being better.

As stated, HPs that fill with drywall act as FMJs, so what's the difference?

I have seen testing online where FMJs penetrate mediums better than HPs. And vise versa. Who knows, really. Bullets do weird things.

To each there own, but I don't see any disadvantages to having a variety. If my gun feeds HPs and FMJs, and my gun doesn't "remember" what was just up, then why would it suddenly stop feeding? I've tested my guns many times with staggered rounds and there is never a hiccup. It's not like my gun is going to panic or get confused...

Again, people tend to think that their HP is a deathray and the FMJ is a needle prick. Anyone that want's to volunteer to stand in front of an FMJ, just raise your hand. Bullets, generally, are equally as effective or ineffective... I simply have decided to add some variety in my load to account for variables where one may be more effective than the other. And with double taps, or firing until you have stopped the threat, I'm getting the benefit (or detriment, however you want to look at it) of a variety. Some penetrate better, some expand better. Dump both into your target and it matters not which worked better. Conversely, maybe your tagert is behind light concealment and the HPs are expanding and not reaching him (heavy furniture for instance)...

481
November 11, 2012, 02:31 PM
When I personally trained to fire through car windshields, we used FMJs because HPs would not reliably penetrate and allow you to still accurately hit your target. So there is one example of FMJs being better.

If you choose a JHP that passes the FBI test protocols, you don't have to worry about stuff like this. :)

rodinal220
November 12, 2012, 08:51 AM
Valid reasons to carry FMJ:

1)Weapon will not function with JHP(many cannot afford a newer SD gun,its all they have)

2)case for small caliber weapons(25,32,380),as fmj can penetrate a bit deeper

3)Larger calibers like 45acp have a good track record.

4)Civil unrest scenarios(Katrina,L.A. riots etc) where high cost SD/JHP ammo is prohibitive for mortals to stock pile. FMJ will make 'em leak.

Kleanbore
November 12, 2012, 09:04 AM
Posted by Bobson: I understand the chance it [FMJ passes through and strikes someone else]can happen. I just want to hear from a reliable source that it ever has.Why?

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