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FMJ for Self Defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Glock19Fan, Aug 6, 2012.

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  1. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    If you had to use FMJ and was forced to pick between 9mm and .45, what would you choose?

    Weapons and ammo- Glock 19 and full sized 1911. Ammo was WWB, and the direction of travel was from the right.

    The .45ACP is on top and 9mm is on bottom.

    [​IMG]

    I use Gold Dots, I just thought it would be interesting to show this test.
     
  2. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Between a G19 and a 1911, you can fit more than twice the ammo in the G19, so that's what I'd go with. Between a G17 and a G21...that's a harder call.
     
  3. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    The question was geared more towards caliber selection rather than platform/weapon.

    I just wanted to see what caliber people would prefer if stuck with FMJ.
     
  4. One_Jackal

    One_Jackal member

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    Both rounds have penetration issues with hollow point ammo. You have to ask yourself, "Do I want a large, slow moving chunk of lead? or Do I want a smaller, faster moving chunk of lead?" I would go with the 9mm. Ammo is cheaper and readily available.
     
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Yes, but you specified the G19 and 1911. I guess that was more for what the test was, I thought it was part of the question. If I were limited to FMJ, I'd definitely opt for a 5.7x28mm, since the wounding potential of that round is based around the velocity rather than expanded diameter. Between 9 and .45, I'd probably opt for 9 for the same reason I already do - the holes aren't that much different in the scheme of the human body, but the 9 will carry more rounds (even between the G17 and G21).
     
  6. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Given an equal amount of ammo overall, I would choose the 1911. In this scenario, I would prefer the slight advantage of .45 FMJ (granting that such an advantage may be marginal). Since you did not specify the mission, I default to self-defence. If you're talking about combat, either one will be fine as a backup to a rifle.
     
  7. 2wheels

    2wheels Member

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    I'd go for the bigger .45.
     
  8. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    With just this criteria, I'd go with a S&W Model 25 in 45 ACP loaded up with full wadcutters. Or 45 Colt (you didn't specify ACP :neener:)

    Between the 1911 and the Glock, I'd go 1911 simply because I shoot that platform better, but YMMV.
     
  9. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Dont wanna be at the receiving end of the two. But i do like the .45 acp bec i m familiar with the platform. The Winchester Ranger 124 gr FMJ plus P is a must have if you have to have for self defense like shtF.Got to have that extract juice to reach out and punch through.
     
  10. jon86

    jon86 Member

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    I'd pick a 45acp if FMJ was all that I could use. Reasons why:

    - I shoot a 1911 better than a glock.
    - Even if they were of the same platform, for example... xd45 vs xd9... I seem to tolerate the recoil impulse of the 45 better than the 9. I prefer the straight back recoil impulse more than the snappiness of the 9.
    -45 is simply bigger, and if limited by FMJ, I'll opt for a bigger cartridge.

    However, I would still feel pretty well armed if all I had was a glock 19 with 16 FMJ's.
     
  11. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    I would shoot each as much as possible, decide which works for me better, and then shoot/practice alot more with the one I picked.
     
  12. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    Does anyone else notice that it looks like the 9mm made a bigger hole?
     
  13. italy4nra

    italy4nra Member

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    Based only on the gel, I would go with the 9mm FMJ.
     
  14. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    I will take the bigger and slower moving round....and the one that has proven to be a better stopper in FMJ form. .45 ACP
     
  15. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Personally I don't think it matters that much which you choose as they're both pretty equal anecdotal stories aside.

    The NYC PD used 9mm FMJ's for many years and there are plenty of real world shootings to look at the data. If you look at the MS data shown at http://handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp you will see there's minimal difference between performance in the .45 acp 230gr FMJ and the 9mm 115gr FMJ and if you want to nit pick about a few % then the 9mm wins. Plenty of shooting to compare data with so the stat's should have high correlation to actual.
     
  16. M7

    M7 Member

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    Both 9mm and .45 FMJs will exit a human body from almost any imaginable angle of attack and the smooth, rounded nose profile of the FMJ guarantees that either will slip through soft tissue with a minimum of damage.

    According to the Schwartz bullet penetration model found in my favorite book, Quantitative Ammunition Selection, a 9mm 115 gr. JHP moving at 1155 fps will penetrate 26.3" of soft tissue and permanently crush about 1.1 ounces of soft tissue over that distance.

    Similarly, .45 230 gr. FMJ moving at 835 fps will penetrate 25.1" of soft tissue and permanently crush about 1.7 ounces of soft tissue over that distance, again, according to the Schwartz bullet penetration model.

    Shot placement aside, for it's slightly greater ability to do more damage, I'd prefer the .45

    .45 > 9mm
     
  17. Craig_VA

    Craig_VA Member

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    I am really curious as to the reason for the FMJ limitation. I know there is a reason for FMJ under international conventions for military use (Geneva Convention, etc.) but other than the New Jersey ban on hollow point ammunition, why this limit?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  18. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    56Hawk- I thought it would be more obvious that the 9mm seemed to outperform the .45ACP in this test. Either people are answering the Topic Title without looking at the actual post, or they assume by the photo the better of the two was the .45ACP?

    I just wanted to see if this test, along with a test I posted several weeks ago, would change any opinions within the community.
     
  19. M7

    M7 Member

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    The topic of ammo selection is a sensitive and often emotional one for lots of folks- even if that is not the case for you and me or someone else reading this thread. I doubt that you'll see much in the way of anyone making a huge change in their philosophy, but stranger things have happened. Most will remain firmly entrenched in the position that they held before reading this thread.

    The topic of FMJ for use as self-defense ammo comes up regularly here- some would probably say too often- and I find myself wondering what it is that so many find to be so fascinating or alluring about the concept of using FMJ for self-defense. Sometimes I think that some may "romanticize" its use, others may have guns that feed nothing else but FMJs reliably, and still others may distrust JHPs for all sorts of reasons.

    Eventually, the vast majority of these threads degenerate at some point, circle the drain and end up being locked down. Nature of the beast. :)
     
  20. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    If you want me to make my decision based on pictures of gelatin, I am going to need to see many more blocks of gelatin which have been shot with both calibers.

    While it does appear in your picture that the 9mm left a larger permanent cavity than the .45, it is only one incidence. It could easily be a mis-interpretation of the picture.

    If you had numerous examples which all showed pretty much the same situation, it might mean some thing, but a single example doesn't mean much.

    For example, it is not unknown for bullets to yaw. (Yaw is Latin for tumble:D).

    Suppose your 9mm bullet yawed in the vertical plane, and your .45 bullet yawed in the horizontal plane? From the side, it would look like the 9mm was tearing a much bigger hole. The .45 might actually be doing more damage, though.

    Not saying this is what happened. I am just saying that one example like this is not enough to base a decision on. I will also say that the superiority of one over the other is going to be minor.

    There really is no wrong choice, both will work.
     
  21. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    The 45 ACP vs 9 mm controversy predates the development of modern hollow point ammunition. With FMJ ammunition, history shows that the 45 is adequate while the 9 is marginal. However, unless you have a very good reason for limiting yourself to FMJ, you should carry hollow points. They are better at stopping the bad guy and less likely to overpenetrate and hurt innocent bystanders.
     
  22. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Member

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    GrendelBane- Early models of wound ballistics done by Fackler (?) show the exact same performance as shown in this block of gelatin. I have tested FMJ in both calibers before, and in every test, the 9mm yawed, while the .45ACP remained point forward. The shape and center of gravity of the .45 bullet is just too far to the front to allow yaw or tumbling, unless of course it glances off something.

    I know for a fact the .45 stayed nose forward, and while cutting up the block observing temporary and permanant cavities, the .45 remained consistant the entire path. Up until the 6 inch mark, both bullets showed similar permanant cavities. However, once the 9mm yawed, and penetrated base forward, the permanant cavity seemed slightly larger towards the end of the path.

    I am still an enlisted solider, and this arguement comes up many times on the power and capabilities of the two cartridges. As mentioned, in the civilian world I would always recommend the JHP but I thought I would show everyone how similar the two cartridges really are, in their best form (JHP) down to the simplest (FMJ).
     
  23. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    The most likely thing for it to glance off of would usually be bone. So the gelatin test tells us nothing about what happens in that case.

    I am not arguing for or against one specific cartridge. Just pointing out that there is indeed little difference between the two

    We could always change the shape of the .45 FMJ, and make it tumble also. Conventional JHP would still be superior though.

    The old 9mm FMJ was a truncated cone style bullet. The pointy tip round nose came along to make 9mm more reliable for sub-machine guns. Might be interesting to shoot some of the old style stuff into gelatin.
     
  24. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    Yeah, the more research I do the better the 9mm looks. I have always been a big 40 S&W fan and I think it still has a slight edge on the 9mm and at least I don't lose much magazine capacity.

    Sadly it does seem like there are a lot of 45 guys on this site who don't want to believe the truth that 9mm is as or more effective than the 45 ACP.
     
  25. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    How many things are there in the human body that can deflect a bullet or otherwise alter its trajectory?....

    I will stick with the bigger, slower moving bullet.
     
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