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Deadly Force: Hollowpoint or FMJ?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Dirty Dawg, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    To my way of thinking the obvious answer for SD would certainly have to be hollowpoint, however, I believe either round would be effective if well placed. My question-- based on comments I've seen here and on a court case I saw on television-- is which round would be the better choice from a legal standpoint? If I were to use deadly force in an otherwise righteous situation, would I be less certain of success in a Texas courtroom if my chosen round was hollowpoint?

    Talk amongst yourselves...
  2. What does that even mean?
  3. Eagles6

    Eagles6 Well-Known Member

    Your only concern should be what would be most effective in saving yours and your family's lives. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
  4. subknave

    subknave Well-Known Member

    Well, from what I have read you would be better off in a courtroom if you were not using hollowpoints or anything else that could be construed as extra deadly and if your pistol was stock and not altered or with any laser sights or other improvements. Anything that a lawyer could argue ahows that you were just waiting the opportunity to shoot someone. I guess the best weapon for a courtroom would be an older single shot 410 shotgun or .22 revolver. Be hard to argue you were just waiting to kill someone with those.

    On the other hand you have to get to the courtroom to be worried about it in the first place. In my opinion if you shoot targets or whatever just load up with the same ammo you use for that wether fmj, lead, wadcutter or whatever. If you normally shoot hollow points because you got a great deal on them then load up with those. I would stay away from the Glasers and Talon types etc. if you are worried about it.
  5. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Use the hollowpoint, unless you are in a place where it is illegal. The police use hollowpoints for the same reason you should- they offer more reliable stops.

  6. By that logic, one should ignore all laws that would impede effective defense. Might a well convert everything to full auto and set up some claymores in that case. I wish people would quite repeating this idiocy as a justification to ignore legal consequences. It's better to neither be judged by 12 nor carried by 6. If a little foresight can prevent both situations, then do it.

  7. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    I concur, Jorg, but in this case the idea of putting first things first- surviving the encounter- has more merit than handwringing about potential legal strategy for the wrongful death lawsuit.

  8. Coronach, you should know I'm no fan of needless handwringing. :) I also think that in the case of a good shoot, these things probably won't make much difference, at least where I live.

    But the "better judged by 12..." mentality is certainly a slippery slope, as they say. One might say that a 14" shotgun is more effective indoors than an 18" one. Therefore, in the spirit of the "Better judged than carried" idea, it would be "ok" to cut down that barrel illegally as it's better to be tried for making an SBS than to be dead. When it comes down to it, you'd probably really be better off using the 18" to help mitigate the potential of Problem 2.
  9. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Oh, I agree. I'm sick of the phrase, myself.

  10. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    A good shoot is a good shoot and I don't think it makes any difference if you use FMJ or hollowpoints. That's in regards to a criminal case.

    The plantiff (here you're talking about the other guy's lawyer not a asst DA, prosecutor, etc) in a civil case may likely bring up the hollowpoint issue. The defense (that's you and your attorney) can be prepared to squash any allegation your use of hollowpoints was premeditation to kill or seriously wound your attacker.

    If you use a FMJ, a plantiff's attorney can bring up your use of "military" ammunition.

    My attitude is use hollowpoints if you legally can wherever you are as any type of ammunition can be used against you in a civil suit.
  11. Japle

    Japle Well-Known Member

    Certainly you shouldn't carry anything that's actually illegal. That doesn't mean you shouldn't carry the most effective gun and ammo combination that you can handle well and is legal in your jusrisdiction.

    If you're carrying ammo that's less effective than what you could, legally, be carying and you get killed because the BG shoots back after being solidly hit, you're a Darwin Award candidate.

    Putting theoretcial, "what if" legal considerations ahead of your survival is just stupid. Would you rather be charged with a bogus "crime" or be dead?

    In the entire history of gunfighting, there has never been a case where one of the shooters wished he had a smaller gun that held fewer rounds of less powerful ammo.
  12. expvideo

    expvideo Well-Known Member

    Yep. There you go.

    Cops use hollow points. That's a pretty strong defense.
  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    There is an infinitesimal chance that you will be charged because you used a factory hollowpoint in a good shoot.

    There is a 100% chance that you will be sued (and possibly charged) and lose or settle if you get a through and through and hit an innocent person.
  14. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    If anyone EVER finds themselves being prosecuted because they use hollow points (under the guise that use of hollow points is prima facia evidence of intent to do more damage than necessary) then all your defense attorney has to do is drag a firearms expert on the stand to make the case that hollow points are SAFER for use in self defense because they don't over penetrate and harm others.

    IIRC when police departments started switching to JHPs there were cries from criminal rights organizations (like the ACLU) that the cops wanted to hurt people more and the over penetration issue is what was used to trump those claims.
  15. GEM

    GEM Well-Known Member

    Weapons type issues become relevant in ambiguous shoots. If you are charged then someone doesn't think it is a righteous shoot - by definition.

    Then you need a lawyer and experts who are knowledge about the emotional influences on juries and the specifics of weapons related to this kind of emotional priming.

    So don't shoot someone stupidly.
  16. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Well-Known Member

    This is a very old and well-beaten topic. The fact is that using expanding ammo will not get you into any "extra" trouble. If you are in a legitimate SD shooting, using JHP's will not make you "guilty" of a crime. Those accusations have been shot down in court many times with arguments like...

    1) Expanding ammo is safer; it doesn't penetrate as much.
    2) The police use expanding ammo, if its good enough for their stringent liability issues, its good enough for me.
    3) Expanding ammo is more humane; it delivers energy more effectively and requires less shots to be fired.
  17. expvideo

    expvideo Well-Known Member

    Never use hand loads for self defense. Hand loads are will get a lot of attention from the prosecutor. Defensive ammo is labelled that way. FMJ is labelled as target ammo. If it says "defensive ammo" on the box, you can hardly be held accountable for using it for that purpose.
  18. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    I'll use ammo marked "Personal Defense,"

    "Personal Protection" or something similar to that marking.

    I think all the talk about what will happen AFTER a shooting probably won't even come about if we are all careful and only shoot if absolutely necessary to save our life and/or someone else's life.

    If the shooting is at all questionable, DON'T DO IT!
  19. 22lr

    22lr Well-Known Member

    I use both. If im running around town I put FMJs in my gun incase I need the penetration. At home I keep loaded with some wicked hollowpoints (blacktalons). From view point, if someone is in my house then I want a bullet that can kill them faster than they can kill me. But if I ever have to shoot though anything I want FMJs. Legally if you use deadly force, use it well, otherwise maybe you should just use a baseball bat.
  20. GEM

    GEM Well-Known Member

    What if you shoot through the BG into to the baby carriage with cute twins in it? The shoot through is a major reason for HP in self-defense.

    Black Talons don't kill anybody faster than other quality loads.
    You don't want to kill folks, you aim to stop your attacker.

    Oh, well.

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