Are hollow points really "deadlier" than FMJ?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by grampajack, May 9, 2017.

?

Is there any appreciable gain in the pressure wave generated by hollow points vs. FMJ?

  1. Yes

    65 vote(s)
    73.0%
  2. No

    24 vote(s)
    27.0%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,107
    Location:
    Brandon, Florida
    It takes some serious speed to make hydrostatic shock anything more than a negligible factor. This makes a different in rifles; a bullet that disrupts in some manner will cause larger cavitation.
    Handguns generally don't do that. Especially ones you can handle in quick succession, in close quarters, in the dark. Especially if you can't put at least one right where it needs to go.
    What a JHP does do is make a bigger hole. Or, at the least, not a smaller one.
    And while a .46" hole may not be that much bigger than a .355" hole (to use HST through gel as an example) it's .105" a problem's lung or liver is less happy about.
     
    GRIZ22, mljdeckard and Merle1 like this.
  2. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,714
    Fair enough. Not really sure on the sources of these but they match up with what I remember seeing in the army studies. I don't want to sidetrack this too much though, as my primary interest is in typical handgun calibers like 9mm, 40 S&W, .45 ACP, and the like.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    But why? Just stating something as if it's fact doesn't make it so.

    I've never seen any study that concluded HPs ended gunfights quicker than FMJs. I've also never seen any evidence that a person hit with an HP will stop being aggressive any quicker than if they had been hit in the same spot with an FMJ.
     
  3. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,714
    Due to the fluid nature of living tissue, a bigger bullet doesn't necessarily make a significantly bigger hole. We're talking millimeters according the medical reports I've been reading. I've seen at least two medical professionals on camera state that they can't tell the difference between calibers and bullet types by examining a wound channel, that they must recover the actual bullet to make that distinction. They can only say whether it was a high velocity or low velocity projectile simply by examining the wound. Or if they know the caliber and barrel length they can guess at the range from which it was fired. The idea though that they can look at the hole and say, "Oh that's a .45" is apparently an invention of Hollywood. Maybe they can tell the difference between a .22 and .45, but from what I'm gathering 9mm, .40, and .45 are pretty much too close to call. And this would go for HP vs FMJ as well.
     
  4. CopperFouling

    CopperFouling Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,136
    Location:
    Midwest
    Wow, Frank, that has to be one of the most thoroughly explained posts I've seen on THR.
     
    Demi-human likes this.
  5. Haxby

    Haxby Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    993
    What studies have you seen that concluded that FMJ's work as well as JHP's in those stuations?
     
  6. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,714
    I'll second that. I really did appreciate him taking that much time. If half the people put half that much thought into their responses then gun forums would be very different animals indeed.
     
    azrocks likes this.
  7. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,788
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm going to say your poll has nothing to do with the question in the name of the thread, at least with hand guns.

    But it seems to me you are saying that bigger holes are no more effective than smaller holes. Which seems wrong on the face of it. I really don't care that a doctor can't look at an entry wound and tell if a someone was shot with a hollow point or not because everything is happening under the skin and can not be seen.

    Back about 30 years ago there was the theory that energy dump was what stopped people. The trouble was that was not the case. Fast 9mm rounds dumped their energy to little effect and did not penetrate. Then followed the theory that penetration was everything and all the police departments went to heavy 9mm rounds and they worked poorly. They penetrated well but never expanded and tended to punch neat holes because they lacked the speed to force expansion and stopping power on the street became problematic. So 10mm and eventually .40 came along. It was heavy enough to penetrate and had enough power to force expansion. In the next 20 years the ammo companies went to work under FBI guidelines on what made a good round and 9mm made a big come back as a carry round. I will point out during all this time .45 kept plugging along, remaining popular and well known as a man stopper.

    I think you are completely wrong that there are no studies done on this. Statistics are compiled on police shootings and ammo companies are working away to make better bullets.

    I don't get people who puzzle over guns comparing this and that and pay no mind to bullets. Bullets are what do the work. A gun is simply a platform to launch bullets.

    Military studies are going to be about rifles and rifle bullets not hand guns. Hand guns are unimportant to the vast majority of miltaries. I will point out that it is illegal to hunt with ball ammo in most places, considered inhuman because they stop so poorly the poor animal will limp away and die a painful suffering death eventually.
     
  8. Demi-human
    • Contributing Member

    Demi-human maybe likes firearms a little bit…

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5,303
    Location:
    The Haymarsh, MI (Aka, Paradise.)
    Excellent. Literally, several thousand hours of study and experience in a single thread. Well done Gentlemen! MBC two hundered grain lead semi wadcutter are far more accurate than the hollow point jacketed bullets I have tried thus far. I think of them as Kieth style bullets for an auto loader. I feel hits score higher than misses. I am exceedingly fortunate to live in God's eden, where most threats are four legged and the trees don't mind a pass through. Although I do think that most humans hit unintentionally in a fire fight were done so with the 'misses'.
     
  9. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2,730
    Location:
    S/E Michigan
    Someone told me our military wants a new rifle with a larger bullet--anyone have anything on this?
     
  10. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2016
    Messages:
    1,465
    Nothing to add except, 'Thanks to Frank for an extraordinarily well thought out, well-researched and well-written post.'
     
    Demi-human likes this.
  11. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,714
    It has everything to do with it. As explained in the original post, bigger bullets do not necessarily a bigger hole make. That's the whole point here. Obviously a larger hole means more tissue damage, more bleeding, and greater trauma. If we were actually getting bigger holes from hollow points then this discussion would be moot. But according to medical professionals we're not, and that's where I'm having the problem with the conventional wisdom that hollow points are somehow deadlier or more effective at stopping a bad guy.

    So if we're not getting bigger holes from hollow points, as so many assume, then what's the advantage? As already explained, the only mechanism left is hydrostatic shock. But in my reading on this phenomenon, peak pressure is reached almost instantaneously, and it drops off sharply as the bullet slows down. So yes the bullet is expending energy while it expands, but in my estimation peak pressure has already been reached. Therefore I do not believe that this energy transfer is imparting anymore wounding effect. I even suspect that a lot of the energy we think is going into the target is actually being used up in the expansion itself, as if the bullet is absorbing its own energy.

    Also, it's not the entry wound that's in question here, but the actual wound channel itself. From what I've read, the entry wound is more useful in determining caliber than the wound channel itself. Again, that's the problem. Everyone assumes that hollow points do more damage because of what they see in gel tests, and from everything I'm seeing from medical professionals that is not the case.

    I never claimed they did. I'm simply asking a question. Forwarding a hypothesis at best.
     
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,382
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Studies? Anyone who has ever shot critters with FMJ and JHP knows there is a huge difference. No theories. No postulating. Undeniable fact. No question about it.
     
    Merle1 and bassjam like this.
  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    12,945
    Location:
    North Olmsted, Ohio
    My primary reason for ALWAYS carrying hollowpoints (JHP or LSWC-HP) is to minimize the risk of over penetration. In Ohio, if it's a good shoot, my assailant's not going to get anywhere suing me. The same doesn't apply to a bystander if a high velocity 9x19mm FMJ does a through and through.

    At normal pistol bullet velocities, "energy" difference between an FMJ and a hollowpoint isn't worth bothering with.

    Tissue damage, and especially blood loss ARE significant factors.

    I want my assailant to bleed out, and the faster the better.
     
  14. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,382
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Energy isn't worth bothering with at all. It's a meaningless number that tells us nothing useful and we'd all be better off if it were left out of the discussion. Including nonsense about "energy dump" and "energy transfer".
     
  15. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,714
    We're talking about 3000 fps in terms of shooting critters. If there's a case for hollow points being more effective then it's going to be at those velocities. With that said, numerous army studies have shown that FMJ is more than capable of producing the same kinds of remote effects seen with hollow points.

    But the takeaway here is that handgun rounds lack sufficient velocity (by about 1500 fps) to produce remote wounds from any expansion/fragmentation that may occur.
     
  16. vito

    vito Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    732
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    I don't have the technical expertise to answer the question, and maybe its just emotional, but I have a somewhat higher level of confidence when carrying HP in my carry gun. And as much as I keep hearing and reading about how poorly any handgun round is for ideal self defense, it sure beats getting into bad breath distance with the bad guy and relying on my skill or lack thereof with a knife or other non-firearm weapon. And while I have read of attackers still coming on after being hit with multiple handgun rounds, I also know of people killed with a single 22LR round fired from a small pistol. For me the decision of what to carry was fairly easy. I felt that the larger the round the better, generally. But capacity of small 45acp handguns was pretty low, and for whatever reason I just find the 40S&W round somewhat uncomfortable to fire. So I settled on 9mm, and after trying several easy to conceal handguns decided that for me the Ruger LC9s, with 8 rounds of Speer or Hornady HP rounds, a gun that I can fire fairly accurately (unlike my much lower skill with my little j-frame revolvers in 38 Special) is the best combination of caliber, reliability, small size and ease of concealment for me. Right or wrong, I don't feel under-gunned when out and about with that gun, in that caliber in my pocket holster.
     
  17. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,382
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    I'm talking about handguns. Decide what we're talking about, handguns or rifles. Two separate issues with separate factors, same answer.

    Be careful that you have not already made up your mind and are simply looking for validation.
     
    ATLDave likes this.
  18. bassjam

    bassjam Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,172
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    I was going to say the same thing. I stopped using hollow points when hunting with my .22's on small game because they make a bloody mess! I'm sure the difference is even more pronounce when you start using handgun rounds designed to open up, rather than a .22hp which is essentially a hole in the tip of a lead chunk.
     
    CraigC likes this.
  19. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,382
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Exactly, it's only a matter of scale. It's even more pronounced in small game because the bullets are larger relative to the critter.
     
  20. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,714
    I really think this is a matter of perception. Maybe you notice a difference in such small game, I don't know. I would respectfully ask that we keep this within the realm of human targets and common carry calibers though. I really don't want to hear about squirrels when there is loads of information being published by medical professionals who take bullets out of people for a living.
     
  21. edwardware

    edwardware Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    4,093
    No, but I don't want deadlier, because I'm not trying to kill my target. I'm trying to stop him, and minimize the chances of collateral hits at the same time.

    A good HP does equal or greater damage (assuming adequate penetration) as a FMJ, and reduces the chances of hitting a second person with the same slug. That makes it a better tool for my purpose as outlined above.
     
  22. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    13,140
    Location:
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    I clicked 'yes', them re-read the question, and changed my vote.

    Yes, they are better. But the real-world difference probably isn't as dramatic as many people believe it is. There may be no perceptible difference at all during the actual shooting. It's not like I have one fight plan for hollow-points, and a different plan should I be caught carrying FMJ for some reason. (When my wife started carrying 9mm, literally the only ammo I could get a regular supply of was my own handloads, loaded with Berry's plated 115 gr 9mm.) Yes, carry premium JHP ammunition, but if for some reason you can't get any, carry what you CAN get for now.

    No, it is not pressure wave or hydrostatic shock. (Rifle bullets have enough energy to use this, defensive pistol bullets do not.) Pistol bullets stop with cavity trauma. The bullet cuts a hole through tissue, bone, nerves, and blood vessels that the bad guy needs in order to keep moving. You want to make as many of the biggest holes you can, as fast as you can. Hollow-points make bigger holes.

    I avoid the statement that it's "all" about shot placement. Certainly some shots are better than others. All shots should be an effort to cause immediate incapacitation. But the only shot that guarantees immediate incapacitation, is a hit to the central nervous system, between the nose and the bottom of the sternum. If you think this is a reasonable goal, go to the range and try it at ten meters. Now, imagine doing it during a struggle, with someone shooting back at you. Of course we PREFER hits in the ten ring, but a lot of hits in the eight ring will do the job. I would rather get fast hits in the eight ring than slow hits in the ten ring. Practicing to be MORE accurate will help when you are actually fighting.
     
  23. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,927
    Location:
    wichita
    Agree and if you shoot enough critters of various size with various calibers you'll eventually figure out there ain't no absolutes.
     
    djont57, .308 Norma and mljdeckard like this.
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    13,140
    Location:
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    In Afghanistan, guys in my company called in an air strike against some bad guys spotting mortar rounds on an opposing hillside. An A-10 came in and hosed them. They observed a guy running from the site down to the nearest village. They went in and found him, and he had (yes, really) a 30mm hole through his shoulder. So no, no guarantees.
     
    jim in Anchorage likes this.
  25. bassjam

    bassjam Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,172
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    That's fine, it's your thread. But not many people here are going the have experience with shooting multiple people with both HP and FMJ ammo, so most of this discussion is opinion based. I only offered my experience with hunting because .22's have a similar velocity to many handgun rounds, animals are flesh and bone like humans, and I HAVE shot many different animals with both types of ammo and I think the information applies to self defense rounds and humans.

    And I don't really trust medical professionals on this topic, very few are the type of firearm enthusiasts that we are on this forum, most probably couldn't tell you the difference between a 5.56 NATO and .45 ACP if you asked them. Let alone the difference between a FMJ, HP, HPWC, JHP, LRN, or SJHP, even after pulling a mangled sample out of a patient. Their job is to save people, not determine what bullet injured them.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice