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.45ACP FMJ for defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by DRMMR02, Nov 9, 2006.

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  1. DRMMR02

    DRMMR02 member

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    Are FMJ rounds in .45ACP good enough for personal defense, specifically in an apartment setting? Would JHP be a better choice? And in either case, what brand/type do you prefer in .45ACP for personal defense?
     
  2. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    First, there have previously been several discussions on this subject. What I am going to say will be countered in several different ways by other posters.

    It is often said that "a 9mm might expand, but a .45 will never shrink". If your particular .45 isn't 100% with hollow-point ammo, then you might be better off using FMJ Ball. However, there are plenty of quality .45 ACP hollow-point offerings, and if your pistol will digest one or more of them you will be better served using that.

    I wouldn't feel handicapped with .45 ACP Ball ammo, but I prefer a good hollow-point.

    Oh, since you asked, I like the Remington Golden Saber, the Winchester Ranger, and the Federal Hydra-Shok, all in 230 grain, in those weapons that are 100% with them. The one 1911 that isn't has magazines loaded with Winchester White Box ball ammo.
     
  3. Mooseman

    Mooseman Member

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    Certainly good enough but hollow points are even better. Bigger wound channel and they don't penetrate walls as much. If cost is a big concern check out some winchester white box at your local walmart.
     
  4. benelli12

    benelli12 Member

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    I've found that Winchester white box 45 FMJ is underpowered compaired to other cheap makers of ball, such as UMC, Magtech, american eagle etc.
     
  5. DRMMR02

    DRMMR02 member

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    Right now I'm using Remington 230gr FMJ out of a Ruger P345. It's cheap and good for practice. But I think it would go through a lot of walls if I ever shot it in my apartment.
     
  6. benelli12

    benelli12 Member

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    I also use FMJ in my 45 because of consistantpenetration, and it already starts out at .45, thats already big. If I were to go hollow point, I would use Double Tap Ammunition 230 grain Gold dots, at 1010 fps(5" barrel). These loads are not even +P, because of the perfect blend of powders. But if you can't afford them, I think FMJ would be just fine
     
  7. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Nope. FMJ's don't expand and are unreliable as fight stoppers. The JHP would be much better.
    "...apartment setting..." While most modern apartments are basically big, hollow, reinforced, concrete bricks, the internal walls are just drywall. Any bullet will zip through them like they not even there. Apartment doors are thin too.
     
  8. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    FMJ is fine for defense, but a good hollow point is better. I carry Remington's Golden Sabre 230 grains.
     
  9. slicknickns

    slicknickns Member

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    U.S. troops carried FMJ in the .45 for a long time, It killed Japanese soldiers, German soldiers, Chinese troops, NVA, Viet Cong, Terrorists from the Mark 3, plus the other little small engagements we've done.

    Hell it worked for our troops then, and they had to carry it with the safety on!
     
  10. DBR

    DBR Member

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    Actually they had to carry it with the chamber empty unless they were in an active combat zone.

    The Sellier and Belloit 45 ACP 230gr fmj ammo in my experience has been excellent. Velocity is milspec, bullet and primer is sealed and the price is reasonable. I have shot about 3000 rds with no problems. Natchez is a good source. Also, the brass is good - about the same as Winchester.
     
  11. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    FMJs are fine, hollowpoints better. WW white box is as good as any other. I don't know how the previous poster came to the conclusion about it being underpowered. I tested 230 FMJ from several makers and Wolf came out lowest velocity (810FPS) and all the others ran 830-850 fps thru the chrongraph and WW white box has the lowest extreme spread (14 fps).
     
  12. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Any bullet, be it JHP or FMJ is going to penetrate several walls of gyp board construction. The JHP's get the hollow filled with gypsum and essentially become a solid nosed bullet. For some interesting anecdotal penetration testing go the The Box of Truth

    There's really no argument that JHP's are more effective than solid nosed bullets most of the time when used against thin skinned game and humans. If the JHP fails to open it is no less effective than any solid bullet would be while the solid bullet will never be more effective than a failed to open JHP. Why wouldn't you want every advantage possible including the most potentially effective ammo if you ever find yourself needing it for self defense. If under certain circumstance all you have is FMJ ball ammo then use it but to make it a choice when reliable JHP's or other expanding type ammo is available doesn't make good sense.
     
  13. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    It's a good performer, but there are better.

    That being said I cant afford to buy enough .45 JHP's to do reliability testing.

    So my 1911 is stoked with FMJ and Im pretty sure it will still hurt to be on the receiving end.
     
  14. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    I use S&B FMJ in my .45. It seems pretty hot, it feeds reliably and will penetrate nicely. Hollowpoints are probably safer in an apartment building.
     
  15. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    a good jhp is potentially going to expand to twice-ish the diameter of the fmj round. I see no reason to handicap yourself with a less than optimal round any more than I would see a reason to load a magazine to half a capacity. handguns are poor weapons, take every advantage you can.
     
  16. P0832177

    P0832177 member

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    Federal makes two EFMJ = Expanding Full Metal Jacket Rounds
    PD45CSP2H in their personal defense line up
    P45CSP1 in their LE line up

    Might be worth a try if the hand gun is intended for self defense?
     
  17. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    While there’s no doubt that “ball” will work, quality HPs are just better.

    I use REM “bonded” Golden Sabers. They’re right at $1.00 per, so once a year I blow $60.00 shooting up and replacing my SD ammo. I reload the cheaper non-bonded versions to the same MV for reliability testing/practice.

    The only way I’d consider using hardball is if the pistol won’t cycle HPs, and if that’s the case I’d more likely have the pistol worked on before relying on it.

    Chuck
     
  18. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Member

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    Check out the Corbon DPX all-copper bullet. Penetrates further...expands consistently, will not break apart...and leaves a cleaner, lead free barrel for easier cleaning. Couple that with less recoil/muzzle flip and you have a winner in my opinion.
     
  19. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Anything can kill, so just because it's killed in the past is no reason to believe it was optimal then or now- especially when one isn't faced with the handicap of non-expanding ammo, and has liability considerations!

    Now, the typical .45 FMJ has 26-27" of penetration in gel. Chuck Taylor believes this isn't excessive, but it's double the penetration of many good HPs.

    John
     
  20. Nickodemus

    Nickodemus Member

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    The .45ACP has an advantage in that normal ball ammo will have excellent stopping power. People have confidently relied on .45 FMJ with their life for a very long time. Standard .45 ball ammo has the impact trauma of a smaller cartridge’s HP, and the reliability of feeding a FMJ.
    However defense loads are best, low flash, low recoil, and expanding projectile, match quality… but they have to feed in the gun every time. I would rather have a flawlessly functioning .45 with FMJ then a 9mm HP that becomes caught on the feed ramp from time to time.
    As with all defense ammo, buy enough to run at least a couple boxes through and make sure it will function well with your particular gun.

    Edit: If you are really worried about overpenetration then use glazer saftey slugs. Even an HP will still go right through.
     
  21. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    I won't touch the concept of stopping power and I'm sure you like .45 but lets not go crazy here. A fmj .45 is going to leave a permanent cavity most likely smaller then .45" diameter, even a 9mm jhp is going to leave one closer to .66", a fairly significant difference. Assuming a 10" deep wound path you'll be making a wound with the volume of 3.4" cubic inches with a 9mm jhp and probably less than 1.52" cubic inches with your .45 fmj round.
     
  22. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Or, it might only leave one 0.355", if the hollowpoint gets clogged up on clothing or fails to expand.

    I think it is unfair to assume that the 45 will leave a hole less than .45" and the 9mm will leave a hole 0.66"
     
  23. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I had a (helicopter) student that used 45 FMJ to kill many VC, for which he received the Silver Star.
    I don't recall him saying anything about the FMJ bullet not being up to the job.:)


    But since there is better ammo in the form of JHP available I use it.
     
  24. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    Well .45 may leave less than .45 just because the round nose fmj has a tendency to stretch tissue around it rather than crush. I just used .44 in the volume calculation for my own easy mental math but thats not really being penalized for it. Just a FYI, the best result can be this much, but I wouldn't bank on the permanent cavity potentially being less.

    The jhp may fail to expand but I don't think thats nearly as big of a problem for today's jhps. Looking at real world data like a 1991 paper by Eugene Wolberg from Wound Ballistics Review where shows the worst expansion about .53" and up from there on the old winchester 147gr bullet in 27 shooting victims. Today's bullets do even better.

    Maybe it'd be your unlucky day and one wouldn't expand but I say don't plan on making just one shot. Even half expanded rounds will be larger than .45 and .45 will never get bigger than .45" Ymmv but I think its unrealisitc and a justification mechanism if you think today's jhp's aren't likely to expand.
     
  25. Rotorflyr

    Rotorflyr Member

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    PO8 touched on what I was going to say,
    Federal makes an expanding FMJ if HP's won't feed in your 1911.

    Having said that, if your worried about over penetration in an apartment (or other dwelling) you could try "safety" slugs (glaser isn't the only brand) but I've read they don't cycle very well in (some) autos. I can't say as I've tried em in my 1911's but I do have some glasers in a speed loader for my .357 and they are quite expensive to test for relability so personaly I think they are better suited to revolvers.
    Anyway, a better choice might be to not use a .45 or other "big caliber" pistol, use a shotgun instead and keep the .45 for carry (if you can legaly do so where you live) or the range.
     
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