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Flat Point Bullet Question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bottom Gun, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I’ve heard people say that jacketed flat point bullets will create a much larger wound cavity than FMJ round nose. That sounds reasonable but has anyone had any real experience with them regarding terminal performance? Has anyone tested a round nose and flat nose side by side in ballistics gel or similar medium?
    I’m asking because I am trying to find a good non-expanding bullet for field carry in case I encounter a dangerous animal when I’m out and about.

    I was considering some of the solid copper bullets like the Lehigh Defense line but after examining the bearing surface of these bullets, I think accuracy may be questionable. Our local national forest is still closed to shooting due to fire danger so I can’t test the rounds I‘ve loaded with Lehigh bullets yet.
    My intended use is in .357 Sig or possibly a hot 9MM load. I don’t want to use lead SWC and would prefer to use a jacketed, plated or solid copper projectile. I’m not interested in 10MM. I have some nice 1911s and also have .40 barrels for my Sigs but would rather find a good non-expanding bullet in .355 or .356 dia.

    Around here I’m more likely to encounter a dangerous 4 legged critter than a 2 legged one so let’s not go there. Anything that will work on a bear or big cat will work fine on humans. Any suggestions?
     
  2. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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  3. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    Interesting article. Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Oh Goody, a Bear and Cat thread.

    OK, we will not go there.o_O You plan on defending yourself from a Black Bear or Mt Lion with a 357 Sig.?

    Good luck with that.
     
    JO JO likes this.
  5. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    "You plan on defending yourself from a Black Bear or Mt Lion with a 357 Sig.?
    Good luck with that."

    Thanks for the mockery. It was very helpful. I was afraid I might not get any input from east coast armchair know-it-alls.
     
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    An FMJ round nose isn't made to create any kind of wound channel that's bigger than the bullet diameter.
    "...encounter a dangerous animal..." That's when you want an expanding bullet not a solid. Shot placement with a solid is far more critical too. Ya gotta hit the vitals preferably the spine. However, no handgun round will stop anything in its tracks anyway. Absolutely not a SIG or 9mm. Mind you, Kitty is hunted with .357's or .44 Mag. The SIG or 9mm will do against Kitty, if you have the time to recognise the threat(that comes from above and behind.) and react. Said time being measured in seconds. Yogi not so much. Yogi is hunted with large bore handguns. .44's and up.
    Subject has been argued at length, here and on every other forum. https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/will-a-9mm-stop-a-mountain-lion.462482/
     
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  7. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Wound channels are most often simulated using blocks of gelatin. As a consistent media for comparison, it serves a purpose, but humans and animals are not amorphous blocks of gelatin. There are so many variables involved in the creation of a wound (velocity, stability, angle of impact, what the bullet encounters, etc.) that if anyone says, "Bullet A will always do this or that moreso than Bullet B", the one thing you can say is that they are wrong.

    In selecting a gun and ammunition for self-defense you have to decide what it is you are defending against and in what situation will the confrontation occur. And in close quarter combat with a large predator even if you manage to kill it, you are going to be seriously injured. If this the type of encounter you are arming yourself against then you need to plan for all phases of it including how you survive the aftermath.
     
  8. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    I don't think anyone here is trying to mock you. I think they're trying to give you some advice. Everyone seems to be in agreement that in an encounter with a Bear or Cougar you are going to face certain challenges with a 357 Sig or 9mm Luger. I think you need to carefully assess how a confrontation would occur and how you would respond. Several of the other posters seem to think you should just skip that and get a different cartridge if you want to survive such an encounter.
     
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  9. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Since, as I said in post #6, humans and animals are not amorphous blocks of gelatin, when you start thinking this through you need to realize that a flat point bullet may, upon striking bone, be more likely to shatter the bone than a round nose bullet. The round nose, on the other hand might be deflected by bone or cartilage and continue on an oblique course through the body of the animal. So, you could easily have a situation where the round nose bullet causes a longer, narrower wound channel by penetrating twelve, maybe fourteen inches whereas the flat nose bullet only penetrated two inches before striking the bone and stopping. This is why I said, the armchair experts you heard say that jacketed flat point bullets will create a much larger wound cavity than a round nose bullet, without additional qualification or explanation, were simply wrong.
     
  10. ants

    ants Member

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    If your choice is 357 Sig let's go with that. Thank the others for offering opinion but let's go with the original question.

    To fit the mag and chamber I have to use truncated cone in all three of my guns. No choice. 124 gn fits and works great, or go with 130 or 147 seated a little deeper into the case to get the OAL that works. This part of the puzzle differs slightly from standard protocol for straight wall handgun. 357 Sig needs the right bullet to plunk in the chamber while seating all the way to the shoulder for best neck tension. I use slower powders and work up to really high velocity, then back down a bit until controllability is maximized.

    At close range and extremely high velocity I guarantee penetration, which opens you up to hollow points made for that Sig cartridge. They penetrate as well as fmj without opening prematurely. Send me Private Message with your mailing address and I'll send you a couple handfuls of 124 grain made for 357 Sig. Freebie. Enjoy.

    You need to find a place to test and then practice practice practice. No substitute for testing, no substitute for practice.
     
  11. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I appreciate the responses, guys but I think we may be getting slightly off track here. I don’t plan to hunt with .357 Sig, but that’s what I carry now. I realize it isn’t the perfect sidearm for all situations but that’s what I carry now. I carried a 1911 and a 629 for over 40 yr but I really don’t want to carry anything as cumbersome as an N frame these days and the Sig round is flatter shooting and penetrates better than a .45 ACP. I’ve decided my P229 and P226 in .357 Sig suit me best these days. I don’t plan to carry anything else at this point.

    I’m trying to find the best non-expanding bullet for use against an animal if that need arises. I’m not sure a hollow point is such a good idea because I think penetration might be more important. I feel a FMJ round nose is pretty worthless except for plinking and I am trying to determine if a flat point would make that much difference. If not, then I may stick with my XTP and Gold Dot HP’s. I’m also strongly considering the fluid transfer type of bullet like the Lehigh Defense line and have some loaded up. Their website videos are pretty impressive.

    https://www.lehighdefense.com/pages/xtreme-penetrator

    If the Lehigh bullets are all they are hyped up to be, I’ll probably go with them provided I can get decent accuracy with them. I have no experience with flat point bullets though so I’m curious about them. My sense is that the flat points aren’t too much better than ball ammo but I guess you never know. That’s why I was trying to find someone with real experience using flat points. I would REALLY like to hear from someone who has used the Lehigh type bullets in real life as well.
    In any case, the Forest Service should be reopening our national forest to shooting any day now and I’ll be able to test some of the rounds I loaded using the Lehigh Xtreme Penetrator and Xtreme Defense bullets. If they work as well as they claim, I may have found my answer. I’ll let you guys know what I discover. Thanks again for all your help.

    Message to Ants:

    Thanks for your kind offer, Ants. I truly appreciate your kindness and your concern. I’ll send you a PM.

    I’ve only found two bullets so far that will stay together in the Sig round, the XTP and the Gold Dot bullets. Every other bullet I’ve tried in this cartridge either fragments, sheds the jacket or otherwise disintegrates. That includes Sierra, Zero, Montana Gold and every plated bullet I’ve tried. The Sig round needs a bonded bullet. Some guys are claiming the RMR in-house 124 gr JHP is suitable for .357 Sig but I haven’t had a chance to test them yet. I have some loaded up but haven’t been able to test them yet.

    I agree with your assessment of the cone shaped bullets. I get my best accuracy with that shape in both the Sig round and in 9MM. I haven’t had any trouble fitting other bullet shapes into the chambers of my Sigs but I did have to use Bullseye and Power Pistol instead of AA#9 in order to seat the 124 gr all copper bullets deeply enough due their longer profile.
    I just got some of the cone shaped RMR 124 gr in-house flat points in and they look promising but I haven’t been able to test them yet. If you’d like, I’ll be happy to send you some to try. We can exchange info by PM.
    I also agree with frequent practicing. I’m lucky to be surrounded by national forest here so it’s a simple matter to find a place to practice (usually) so I try to get out as often as I can.

    Seems like every time I mention using the .357 Sig, somebody tries to talk me out of using it. I have never understood why it gets such a bad rap but I suspect some are turned off by the price of factory ammo. Perhaps it’s the limited selection of bullet weights/styles in factory ammo as well. I suspect most of the criticism comes from those who have never used it. Frankly, I think it’s an impressive cartridge. I liked it the first time I used it and the more I use it, the better I like it.
     
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    For some people, being able to buy ammo over the counter at literally any store that sells ammunition is a big deal. For some people, it is not. People from the former group telling people in the latter group to avoid X round because it's "oddball" are like vegetarians telling omnivores to avoid the chili because it has meat in it.
     
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  13. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    We have Black Bears bigger than those in Arizona. We also Have Panthers (AKA Mt Lions)

    No, I do not think a 357 Sig is a good round for either Odds are you would never ever be able to draw a gun (any gun) if a Mt Lion /Panther/
    Cougar decided he/she wanted to nail you. They are much faster and can leap much further than you.

    Carry whatever the heck you want, the topic has been beat to death over and over on countless forums,

    The G2 RIP bullet seems to be right up your ally!

    http://g2rammo.com/hand-guns/r-i-p/
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  14. ants

    ants Member

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    ATL Dave, nice way to view it. :) To each his own.


    Bottom Gun, have you tried round nose in your 226 & 229? They don't fit my guns. By the time I seat deeply enough to avoid hitting the lands, they are so deep in the neck that the case mouth is exposed.

    In my own use, 357 Sig is like 9mm Luger but a LOT more case capacity, so I can use slower powder at much higher pressure for the same recoil but a LOT more velocity. The two problem areas are fewer rounds in the magazine, and bullet choice is a bit more limited, as you so rightly discover. I use it hotter than 9mm +P with controllable recoil. At least that's the way I use it. Each to his own.
     
  15. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    Yep, that's why I started reloading. I got tired of not being able to find what I wanted, especially when I shot a lot of .357 mag and .44 mag. Finding factory ammo that wasn't loaded to the max was almost impossible.These days I can make whatever I want and I've become rather spoiled.



    Yes, I know how large some of the Florida bears are. I lived in the panhandle (FT Walton Beach) for five years and used to see bears in the forest between FWB and Crestview and also in the forest on Jackson Guard. They are smaller here but numerous. They also trap some of the bears that annoy the campers in the Santa Catalina Mountains and relocate them here. I lost a good dog to one about ten years ago.

    I agree that if a lion wanted you, you would probably never see it coming. I’ve seen them run and they can jump incredible distances. Heck, deer are their main food source here. I really don’t expect to be able to offer much resistance to a determined lion. Also, the tree huggers sued the Game & Fish dept a while back and made them stop trapping lions so they are no longer controlled and are becoming bolder like the ones in California.
    The Game and Fish says they saw another Jaguar in the mountains here this year a few miles from my home. I don’t know much about them but I would suspect they are equally bad ass, maybe worse. They come up from Mexico occasionally along with the Mexican Grey Wolves. I’ve never seen a Jaguar here but I have seen grey wolves on several occasions.

    This used to be one of the last unspoiled areas in Arizona before we started getting so much traffic across the border.
    The reason I like this area is because I never know what I’ll see in the national forest. I enjoy that excitement and spend a lot of time in the forest.

    In any case, this thread was intended to discuss bullet styles rather than hunting. It’s not likely that I’ll ever have to shoot an animal in defense but you never know. I have had to shoot rabid skunks and coyotes on occasion.

    Thanks for the link to the G2 bullets. They appear to be similar to the Lehigh Defense bullets which I will probably end up carrying except the Lehigh bullets aren’t designed to fragment.
     
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  16. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    In the OP you mention 357 sig for a big cat and humans. I think that would work just fine. My first choice would be my 4570 with a nice expanding bullet, BUT that is a pain to carry and not always an option. As to the bears... that is a different ball game. I would want a big bore revolver, or if you need to go semi auto maybe a proper 460 Rowland.

    Why not take the 357 sig AND a good can of bear spray? I wager that will cover all the bases quite well.

    No caliber is going to guarantee anything. Ever. Simple as that, soo moving past that...

    If you have a 357 sig, I do too, load it up properly and carry it if you can shoot it well. I like the portability and ease of carry myself. Tough to argue on that point. It feels and points just like my g19, again a big positive in my book. Capacity is very good too.

    Underwood makes some interesting 125 gold dot loads. In fact, they are the only kind of loading that makes the 357 sig stand out at all to me. I have used about 200 of them in my G32. Recoil and flash are there, but they are manageable to me. My Oehler 35 chrono legit measures them a bit over 1500 FPS consistently out of my G32. Great velocity and actually beats the advertised claim.The gold dots hold together okay in my 10mm (180 at 1250), and seem to do the same in the 357 sig, though I have admittedly not had enough time with it yet. You can also get a cup and core 125 bullet that will be a lot more dynamic, probably similar to the classice 357 loadings everyone used to like. They offer the cavitator styles as well, which may indeed be worth a look. I think in this case the nod would go to the "semi dynamic" bonded bullet trucking along at 1500 fps or better.

    I would expect either the gold dot or the cup and core will do a number on people and cats if necessary. Both cats and people are thin skinned, pretty lightly structured, and not really that big compared to many animals we hunt, though the bears, especially the browns, are quite the opposite end of that spectrum.

    All that said, again, I would suggest carry your properly loaded sig AND a can of bear spray!
     
  17. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    pay your life insurence up and carry what you want, only a true life incounter will answer your question.the truth may be a .22 maybe enough or a 454 casell may not be enough to save your life. being armed with a firearm will up your chances to survive by leaps and bounds. eastbank.
     
  18. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    My experience is mostly with white tail deer and the .45 Colt. A semi-wadcutter (Keith style) bullet seems to me to do more damage than a round nose bullet -- the semi-wadcutter leaves a nice, round hole all the way through that doesn't close up.
     
  19. Klint Beastwood

    Klint Beastwood Member

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    Soft tips do similarly what hollow points do. They mushroom, transfer energy and create a temp and permanent wound cavity. If you are talking about jacketed flat tips like wad cutters...I always thought they were for paper lol
     
  20. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    The Lehigh defense bullets leave a respectable permanent wound channel in jello. No, not as good as the best expanders, but significantly better than standard round or flat nose ball. Just youtube lehigh defense.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  21. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

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    Have you tried Longshot? I have seen some good velocities using Longshot and the RMR JHP bullet out of my P229. The new RMR 124gr FMJFN has a shorter bearing surface, so you should be able to load max Longshot if necessary. JimKirk gets some good velocity using either HAP or XTP bullets, which probably are also some good bullets to use. He will probably add some information to the thread also. This is the last chrono test I did with Longshot and the accuracy was good.

    SIG P229 3.9"
    357sig
    COL: 1.125"
    RMR, 124gr, JHP, Longshot, 9.1gr, SBPRSP
    Average: 1425
    ES: 46
    SD: 20.1
    Force: 559
    PF: 176
    Velocities: 1435, 1406, 1403, 1449, 1435
     
  22. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

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    What testing medium did you use where only XTP and Gold Dot stayed together and at what velocity did you test them?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  23. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I used the Zero 115 and 124 gr JHP and the RMR JHP in the Sig. They have sort of a round nose configuration. I’ve not tried regular FMJ round nose though. I never use FMJ round nose. I would rather pay the few extra cents and load hollow points because even if it’s a bullet that fragments, it can still be used to blow up a water jug or to shoot something in an emergency. There’s nothing more frustrating than a bullet that drills through something like an ice pick. That’s one reason why I started this thread. I like the looks of the RMR flat points and was hoping they would give better performance than round nose.

    I like the cone shaped bullets because that shape gives me the best accuracy in this Sig round and especially in my 9mm pistols. I’ve not had an issue with bullets extending into the barrel lands.

    I don’t think it’s a big problem if your case mouth extends a bit past the ogive tangent point though since it’s a bottleneck case. Heck you can usually cycle a magazine of empty brass through most Sigs.
    Also, I’ve seated bullets out past the 1.14 overall length without problems. An extra .010 or .020 doesn’t make any difference in my guns even though I have Barsto barrels in two of my P229’s and one of my P239's. I guess bullet profile would be the determining factor.
    I don’t have any bullet retention or setback issues but I never bell the case mouths or crimp due to the short neck. I put a light chamfer on the case mouth instead.

    AA#9 is my powder of choice for the Sig round but I have had good luck with Bullseye too. I had to use Bullseye with 90 gr bullets to get a complete powder burn. 115 gr or heavier bullets work fine with AA#9 but I was getting incomplete combustion with the 90 gr when using AA#9. I recently had to use Power Pistol with some of the Lehigh bullets due to their length but have yet to test them. I’ve not used Power Pistol in the Sig round yet so the jury is still out on that. I haven’t had much luck with Power Pistol in 9MM. Bullseye and Win 231 work much better for me in 9MM.
    I’ve tried some max loads in my Lyman book in the Sig round but was getting flattened primers so I backed off a bit. With AA#9 powder, I’ve been using 13.2 gr for 115 gr bullets and 12.2 gr with 124/125 gr with no signs of high pressure.
     
  24. murf

    murf Member

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  25. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    There are others besides Lehigh...

    Don't overlook Cutting Edge Bullets... https://cuttingedgebullets.com/40-190gr-handgun-solid. a little pricey, but I'm using them for hunting bullets in my Glock 40 MOS...they do have some 9mm bullets in their HG Raptor line.

    The King of 2 Miles event was won by a guy shooting their bullets (albeit, not handgun bullets), 6 more of the top 10 shooters were also using their bullets...so they know how to make accurate bullets.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017

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