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FMJ vs JHP for carry ammo

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by radiotom, Nov 5, 2012.

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  1. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    YUP!!! I'll add that if a druggie hasn't ceased hostility after 3 JHPs, why would he be more likely to stop with a change up to FMJ?
    Oh, and the circumstances in which you would need to shoot through concealment/cover to shoot someone are so limited that I can't imagine changing the load for it.

    For civilian, non-LEO purposes, an FMJ is far from ideal. I do carry them in my Ruger LCP for increased penetration.
     
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    HP's just plain work better at putting down an assailant. FMJ works too but not as well. Its not like your unarmed if you carry FMJ's but its more likely you will have to fire more rounds and the assailant will have a better chance at continuing their attack after a good solid center mass hit if they're determined.

    Its up to the individual to make those decisions regarding risk and benefit.

    You can think up all sorts of scenarios where one type of ammo will be better than another but to prepare for a situation that has a small chance of occurrence while placing yourself at a disadvantage in the majority of likely situations is foolish to my mind.
     
  3. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    Meh.

    I tend to carry whatever I have. right now I am well stocked in some JHPs so I carry them, but when I was real low on ammo I had no problem carrying FMJ.

    I honestly think that the greatest determinant by very, very, very far is the amount of time, effort and thought you've put into your training.
     
  4. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Does anyone have a link to any single reliable source, that documents an incident in which a 9mm FMJ "zipped right through" a target [person] and struck something or someone behind the intended target with anything resembling enough energy to cause serious injury or death? I specify the energy bit because I've personally been hit in the face, on bare skin, with bullet fragmentation and ricochets, and never suffered so much as a welt or scratch.

    I understand the chance it can happen. I just want to hear from a reliable source that it ever has.

    Note that second-hand stories of military combat experiences are not reliable sources.
     
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    However much energy the bullet leaves the target with is only slightly greater than what it will have going into the next one. You're not getting hit with a fragment or ricochet, you're getting hit by something that's still moving pretty fast.
     
  6. 481

    481 Member

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    NYPD had quite a few instances when they were still issuing the Winchester 115 gr FMJ- my Google-Fu is somewhat lacking and I have yet to find NYPD Annual Firearms Discharge Reports that reflect it.

    So far this is the best that I can do-

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2012/08/25/20141221.html

    taken from the link above:
     
  7. radiotom

    radiotom Member

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    That was already happening, regardless of your snide comment.
     
  8. RBid

    RBid Member

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    JHP.

    With minimal effort, you can find great deals on them.
     
  9. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    There is no good reason to mix loads. You need EVERY shot coming out of that barrel to be your BEST shot.

    I disagree that hollow-points significantly reduce the likelihood of overpenetration and inadvertent third-party injury. All premium JHP ammo in service cartridges will fully traverse a human target under most circumstances. Rule number four still applies. And even if they DID, in real life you aren't going to hit all of your shots.

    If a bad guy is wearing body armor, FMJ is not much more likely to pierce it. If you are worried about armor, you should be using a rifle. (If at all possible, you should be using a rifle anyway.)

    If someone is behind COVER, FMJ won't penetrate it anyway.

    If someone on drugs takes repeated hits with JHP and keeps coming, what makes you think FMJ would be more effective?

    Seriously, if you REALLY think you can predict and prioritize what will happen in the order you loaded your favorite bullets, you are overthinking it. Pick a round your gun will cycle and stick with it.

    I carry 230 gr HSTs. But if for some reason, I was leaving the range, and I was loaded with JHPs, it wouldn't change how I fight one bit. The real world difference is limited.
     
  10. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I don't think it's invalid. Sometimes my carry guns have staggered FMJs and HPs.

    Heck the experts thougth the world was flat at one point too.

    Valid reasons include light concealment (car door, refrigerator, wood desk, windshield, etc.). Also, the skull of a pitbull is probably pretty tough.

    Nobody is suggesting "counting" rounds. But repeated rapid shots will deliver two rounds. One will be more effective. If the HP is the less effective and you only had HPs, then maybe you're unable to effect (penetrate, etc.) the target.

    People often gripe that "handguns are underpowered, don't penetrate enough, are only good for fighting your way to your rifle, etc.... Well, then a handgun FMJ that penetrades deeper may be more effective. Shots are not always straight on... a shot to the side may have to penetrate 18" of muscle and bone before being effective (through arm, etc.).

    I think it's a valid approach and sometimes do it myself, particularly in my 9x19 carry when I run (risk of dogs, with tough bodies/think muscles and bones, and they don't "know" they are shot), and winter due to heavier clothing.

    Any volunteers to stand in front of my "ineffective" FMJs? I didn't think so...

    There is no magic bullet, just placement. Some bullets penetrate better. Bullets behave weirdly... some HPs fill with drywall when shot through drywall and act like FMJs. Some HPs don't expand as advertised. Practice often, shoot bullets that your gun reliably feeds, and you'll be fine. As I said, I sometimes stagger mine simply to offer different rounds in the event my targets are varied. And I'm not counting!!!! Simply firing to stop a threat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  11. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    I don't think I can predetermine with any accuracy what kind of barriers I'll face in a gun fight. That being the case, I'm going with a heavier JHP for the round chosen and practice, practice practice with that same weight.

    Currently my choices are 9mm-124 grain, 10mm & 40 cal-180 grain and 45 ACP-230 grain. Specific choices are Golden Saber and Gold Dot weighting shot placement higher than bullet brand. Hence the practice, practice and more practice.

    I've always viewed a handgun as just a purchasing agent anyway. Buys me time to get my shotgun or battle rifle.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  12. olderguns

    olderguns Member

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    I use FMJ rounds but only in my auto-ordinance Thompson 1911, its the only thing so far thats 100% dependable, but everything else gets JHP , I trust both to do their job...
     
  13. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    On the subject of mixed loads in the same magazine, Massad Ayoob opines:
    I don't completely understand what he's talking about, but the dumbed down version I got says mixed loads may muddle forensic ballistics enough to make legal proceedings more complicated.
     
  14. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Lead, FMJ penetrates deeper, but it doesn't really penetrate barriers better. What barriers do to most hollowpoints is limit expansion. It's why JHPs will actually penetrate deeper on gel blocks with 4 layers of denim vs. bar gel blocks.
     
  15. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    If a search is done for articles regarding overpenetration from handguns, I suspect the results would yield an equal number of accounts from FMJs and JHPs.

    Though I understand ballistic gel is merely an analog to compare terminal ballistics in a medium that attempts to approximate human flesh, I have noticed that FMJs seem to consistently penetrate substantially deeper than JHPs while providing less in the way of crush cavity.

    As long as reliability isn't sacrificed, I can't perceive any logic in using FMJ in lieu of JHP for defensive of life or limb.
     
  16. sfed

    sfed Member

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    Drug Head and Bullet Proof Attire

    I would think the drug head would have most like spent money on drugs rather than BODY ARMOR, that`s my perspective on it anyway. A bank robbery maybe the possibility of body armor but not likely. I keep self defense rounds loaded in all my carry weapons and spend a good deal of time practicing with the same rounds I load for self defense. But that is my take on it.
     
  17. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Snowdog, that FMJ is going to have more energy coming out of a target than a JHP, and because the JHP is already expanded from the body tissue, it is going to lose energy faster.
     
  18. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    I would never mix FMJ & JHP in the same mag. Different OAL. Just one more gear in the cog. Stay with JHP with a Glock. One more thing to consider - different recoil/pressure between SD loads and FMJ range loads. It can throw off your game.

    If you MUST mix a mag cocktail, test, test, test, test...because mag cocktails have been known to cause feeding problems.
     
  19. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I carry 5 Hollow Point and the Rest is full metal jackets:what: I figure if I still need rounds after the first five everyone is going to be behind something and at that point I am not concerned about expansion only penetration.
     
  20. EBK

    EBK Member

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    I agree with the HP at all times for defense.
    However if killing is your goal air rushing in and blood rushing out is the best way and FMJ achieves that goal more often than a HP.

    For me its heavy for caliber HP in my CC guns
     
  21. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    [1] Killing isn't the goal. Stopping is. And physiologically that involves depriving the brain and muscles of blood supply so the body's ability to function is significantly impaired.

    [2] Do do that, the blood doesn't necessarily have to leave the body. It just needs to be removed from the circulatory system. Holes in organs with large blood supplies and in major blood vessels will effectively lower blood pressure and circulating blood volume whether the blood is draining into the body cavity or draining outside the body.

    [3] Bigger holes increase blood loss, and expanding JHPs will make bigger holes.
     
  22. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Oh, I absolutely agree. I am aware that some JHPs, especially those that fail to expand or expand completely, may over-penetrate and pose an increased threat of those behind the target (they are already in great danger to begin with). That said, a bullet designed not to provide any expansion seem to penetrate deeper and as you said, depart the intended target with greater energy/wounding potential.

    Over-penetration is not a great concern of mine, or at least not at much a concern as "stopping" potential. However, it's nice that the JHP can provide both greater blood loss and less penetration. I'm sticking with the JHP for all my (handgun) defensive needs.
     
  23. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    When I personally trained to fire through car windshields, we used FMJs because HPs would not reliably penetrate and allow you to still accurately hit your target. So there is one example of FMJs being better.

    As stated, HPs that fill with drywall act as FMJs, so what's the difference?

    I have seen testing online where FMJs penetrate mediums better than HPs. And vise versa. Who knows, really. Bullets do weird things.

    To each there own, but I don't see any disadvantages to having a variety. If my gun feeds HPs and FMJs, and my gun doesn't "remember" what was just up, then why would it suddenly stop feeding? I've tested my guns many times with staggered rounds and there is never a hiccup. It's not like my gun is going to panic or get confused...

    Again, people tend to think that their HP is a deathray and the FMJ is a needle prick. Anyone that want's to volunteer to stand in front of an FMJ, just raise your hand. Bullets, generally, are equally as effective or ineffective... I simply have decided to add some variety in my load to account for variables where one may be more effective than the other. And with double taps, or firing until you have stopped the threat, I'm getting the benefit (or detriment, however you want to look at it) of a variety. Some penetrate better, some expand better. Dump both into your target and it matters not which worked better. Conversely, maybe your tagert is behind light concealment and the HPs are expanding and not reaching him (heavy furniture for instance)...
     
  24. 481

    481 Member

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    If you choose a JHP that passes the FBI test protocols, you don't have to worry about stuff like this. :)
     
  25. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    Valid reasons to carry FMJ:

    1)Weapon will not function with JHP(many cannot afford a newer SD gun,its all they have)

    2)case for small caliber weapons(25,32,380),as fmj can penetrate a bit deeper

    3)Larger calibers like 45acp have a good track record.

    4)Civil unrest scenarios(Katrina,L.A. riots etc) where high cost SD/JHP ammo is prohibitive for mortals to stock pile. FMJ will make 'em leak.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
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