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Hollow point for target shooting?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bisbee, Nov 5, 2012.

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  1. Bisbee

    Bisbee Member

    Nov 8, 2011
    Is there any advantage using (HP) hollow point boolits for paper target shooting?
  2. MrCountyCop

    MrCountyCop Member

    Sep 10, 2011
    Central, Kansas
    Not unless they are "really" cheap
  3. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

    May 23, 2009
    What cartridge? For handgun, no. For rifle, the hollowpoint is a byproduct of forming a match bullet. The most accurate bullets made are going to be hollowpoints and by that measure, yes, there is an advantage.
  4. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Georgia, Dixie
    If your carry load is an xtp, you can load HAP's the same for cheap.

    I've heard people say the same rule about bullet base applies to pistol bullets as it does for rifle bullets, but I don't shoot a pistol well enough to tell the difference between a 124gr Win FMJ and a 124gr HP.
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    In handguns, hollow points many times are used for less penetration as compared to FMJ, JSPs and hardcast. Even when using jacketed bullets for target shooting, I feel this is an safety advantage. Not necessarily because of less penetration, but because hollow points tend to not ricochet near as much if one hits a stone in the berm, the target holder or just grazes the side of the bowling pin. They also tend to not bounce back as much when used on steel gongs.
  6. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Northwest Coast

    When I switched my match caliber from 45ACP/9mm to 40S&W for USPSA, I shot Montana Gold 180/165/155 gr FMJ to meet major/minor power factors.

    Over the years, I have seen more and more match shooters switch to JHP over FMJ (including me) and here are reasons why:


    If you look at the comparison picture, note that due to the hollow cavity in the nose, 165 gr JHP bullets' lengths are comparable to 180 gr bullet. What this does is increase the length of the bearing surface of the bullet (that rides the rifling) and seat the bullet base deeper in the case neck.

    I use the same 1.125" OAL for above bullets and deeper seated bullet base translates to developing more consistent chamber pressures that will produce more consistent muzzle velocities for lower SD chrono numbers that represents more accurate/tighter shot groups. Deeper seated bullet base may also allow use of slightly less powder charge to generate the same velocities/power factor. Yes, many match shooters are "frugal/cheap" and will often use the lowest powder/charge/bullet combo they can meet PF with (if you shoot several thousand rounds a month, a little cost savings do add up over the years).

    Another reason why some match shooters use JHP bullet over FMJ with exposed lead base is to reduce exposure to lead (especially for indoor matches) and to produce cleaner match loads for their pistols.

    For me, accuracy is everything and holes on target speak volumes. Although I prefer FMJ with lead base that expands easier to seal with the barrel to produce more consistent chamber pressures, I found JHP bullet with longer bearing surface to produce comparable double-tap holes on my targets.

    Keep in mind that Montana Gold 165 gr JHP bullet shown above is for "match shooting" or range practice and has "rounded" nose profile for optimal feeding/chambering. It was not meant for SD/HD use that requires optimal bullet expansion. If you want JHP with more consistent bullet expansion performance, I would suggest bulk Remington Golden Saber or Speer Gold Dot HP bullets.
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