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Who carries/uses FMJ or other solid rounds?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Cousin Mike, Jul 1, 2006.

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  1. Cousin Mike

    Cousin Mike Member

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    I've recently been considering switching from JHP's to FMJ/TMJ's for home defense. Frankly, I'm not worried about overpenetration in my apartment, and for that matter I'm inclined to say I'm not too concerned about it on the street in a carry situation. Everything I've read recently seems to be of the opinion that concerns of overpenetration and hitting an unintended target are more phobic than founded. Are we thinking more about PC than SD as shooters?

    Besides, I'd much rather my loads overpenetrate than underpenetrate (or not penetrate at all :what:! ) I also like the way FMJ performs against barriers, but my main reason for this consideration is that FMJ seems to perform a lot more reliably in human targets than JHP's. FMJ's do better against bone, which seems to me to be very important. We all know our favorite hollow-point loads do very well in ballistic gel, but the human body is a very different creature, and hollow points doing very strange things in the human body has been very well-documented. Hardball, on the other hand, almost always seems to perform the same.

    What I want to know from my fellow pistoleros here, is what do you carry and why? Can someone convince me to stay with JHP's? Does anyone here see things from my same perspective? Let me know what you think, I'd appreciate it!
     
  2. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

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    Take a look at Federal EFMJ and Pow-R-ball

    I carry Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ) in my .45 autos. The bullet is shaped like a flat point FMJ, but expands upon impact on the enemy.

    The FMJ solves a problem that hollowpoint ammo can have - getting the cavity plugged with jacket/clothing material, which can interfere with or prevent expansion.

    To be fair, I read one review of EFMJ that claimed the projectiles fail to expand about 20% of the time - but they did not say what test medium they were using. This is the first I have read anywhere regarding EFMJ failing to expand.

    Another good bullet design is the Pow-R-ball, made by Corbon. It is a hollowpoint design, with a polymer ball inserted into the cavity. This gives the nose of the bullet a profile like 230g. ball ammo. Upon target impact, the polymer ball is forced backwards, causing the bullet to expand.

    Prior to changing to EFMJ, I had carried Federal Hydrashok; these rounds are good performers as far as expansion, and the center post in the HP cavity keeps the cavity from becoming plugged before the bullet can expand.
     
  3. Krauser

    Krauser member

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    Quoted for truth.
     
  4. GTSteve03

    GTSteve03 Member

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    I see you've got 2 .45s, a .357 Sig and a 9mm. I wouldn't expect FMJ in .45 to do badly, it worked well in two World Wars. 9mm would probably be OK if you stick to non +P loads.

    The .357 SIG i would be worried about, because you're pushing it to 1400FPS anyways, and a FMJ is going to go in and out really fast and do little to stop the target. Might as well use that extra velocity to help guarantee a JHP will expand.
     
  5. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    I'd rather transfer the majority of the rounds energy into its target. That's what the JHP offers over the FMJ.

    Overpenetration is an issue in a dwelling especially if you have kids sleeping in the room to the left or right. That's why every family should have an evacuation/self defense plan in the house. An area where everyone can retreat to behind the defender of the house per sey. You might want to be worried about the neighbors to the left/right above/below you in the apartment since they most likely are not a part of your self defense plan.

    Besides, if my JHP gets clogged with material it pretty much becomes a FMJ anyway.;)

    Opinions vary a great deal on this subject for sure. If you can't tell, I prefer JHP's over FMJ for self defense. That is as long as its a caliber over .380. For .32 or .380 I'd rather have FMJ's for deeper penetration since they are on the lower end of the FPS/FPE scale.
     
  6. mcooper

    mcooper Member

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    It's not about energy transfer
    It's not about making sure your round penetrates enough
    It's not about making sure you don't overpenetrate


    Modern JHP ammunition, like that offered by Speer, Winchester (especially their ranger line), and Federal; are made to STOP your target as effectively as a pistol can (and pistols are not all that great at stopping people). Sure FMJ's perfrom more reliably, they performs reliably WORSE than well designed JHP's. And yes, you may not get as good of expansion or penetration when you use JHP's, but look at a human skeleton. You will see that the ribs don't even take up 1/3 of the upper torso area, so that concern is not very significant.

    These Modern JHP's reliably expand from 1.5 to 2 times initial bullet diameter. While reliably penetrating 12 inches or more in human flesh simulant. The reason for them is to Stop an aggressor as quickly as possible. While expanding and penetrating, JHP's significantly increase the amount of cut and damaged tissue. Which equates to quicker physiological stopping of your assailent(s)





    It's about stopping the badguy as fast as you can so you are less likely to get injured or killed. Of course...FMJ's are cheap, but is your life worth the price of a few boxes of ammo?





    Don't take this as a flame, but consider the facts I've said. Also, check out this link, it's a godsend as to carry ammo information http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=000964
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The Old Fuff ofen carried ball - especially in a big-bore pistol. Being unable to predict under what circumstances trouble might occur, overpenetration is better then not enough, and ball tends to feed better.

    Those in the medical profession often tell us that they can't tell from the wound channel if the bullet was big or medium sized, solid or hollow-point, until they recover it. A temporary cavity caused by a handgun bullet doesn't seem to make much difference, as it does in rifles. "Energy dump" doesn't match a big hole that goes both in and out. Ultimately it is bullet placement that makes the difference, but that requires marksmanship under stress.
     
  8. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    I carry fmj in .380 and lower, lswchp in .38spl, 9mm and up is all JHP. 9mm has sufficient penetration with an expanded jhp but the bullet expands nearly twice its normal size. I want that wide wound.
     
  9. critter

    critter Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, both Col. Jeff Cooper and Clint Smith both say that the 230 gr FMJ in the old .45 is the 'bee's knees'.
     
  10. Cousin Mike

    Cousin Mike Member

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    As for the .357Sig round...

    I can understand using a JHP round, being that these things can move anywhere from 1200-14something fps. or faster. I think that the velocity on that round alone will break a bone quite easily, JHP, FMJ or whatever.

    With the .45 or 9mm, I like the idea of a bullet that will plow straight through ribs or the chestplate and keep on going, rather than fragment or lose it's momentum, as JHP's have been noted to do occasionally. I'm basing this on material I've read, as most of us are, but my main concern in the human body is bone. I would think a hardball round would break through bone a helluva lot easier than a hollow point round. mcooper, I can appreciate your point of view, and I didn't take your post as a flame. If you could though, can you (or anyone else for thast matter) elaborate as to how FMJ performs consistantly worse than JHP in that regard?

    I appreciate everyones input and opinions. Thanks all.
     
  11. mcooper

    mcooper Member

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    http://www.handguninfo.com/Archive/www.Pete-357.com/one.shot.stops.htm


    there are some numbers for "one shot stops" using some JHP loads. One shot stops are a lie when trying to figure out what one bullet will do to one person. However, they shine when comparing different types of loads to another, which are in the same caliber. I'll try and get you some more info.


    Here is a link I turned up on a quick google search that compares fmj vs. jhp...for 45 at least: http://www.abaris.net/info/ballistics/handgun-stopping-power.htm
     
  12. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Very subjective topic.

    I remember carrying JHP .380 as a summer gun, until I had a very peculiar moment when I had to deal (non-violently, thankfully) with a guy that was 350+ lbs. Needles to say, I started to worry about underpenetration. Ball ammo in a .380 isn't a bad choice, IMO.

    For my 9mm, I carry one or two rounds of 115gr corbon followed by a few 124gr bonded jacket corbon, the rest are ball. The idea here is that in a close up confrontation the 115gr has great performance, but after the second shot people are probably taking cover. The 124gr bonded jacket was designed to go thorough auto glass - look around you on a typical day, autos are a prime candidate for cover.

    For .357 I carry JHP Hydrashock. Enough power to mitigate underpenetration worries and only 5 shots means no need to mix ammo.
     
  13. bakert

    bakert Member

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    I have no qualms at all about carrying hardball in .45ACP and very few with 9MM. Stops with a pistol is not guaranteed regardless of what rounds you use. Center mass is where the vital organs are, not in the arms, legs and other non vital places where many people seem to shoot other people.:(
     
  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I carry FMJ in my Makarov.
     
  15. Jkwas

    Jkwas Member

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    I think you have more to worry about with misses than overpenetration. But with modern JHP ammunition or FMJ, putting it on target is the most important thing. I even saw on the FBI Tactical website a test where the 9mm FMJ actually tumbles after entry. That's gotta do some damage.
     
  16. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    X 2. I usually carry the LVE/Big Bear 92 grain FMJ in my 9x18 Mak.
     
  17. Working Man

    Working Man Member

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    One mag of each. My CCW is loaded with JHP my extra mag has FMJ.
    In the event that I have to concern myself with better penetration its good
    to have the right tool for the job.
     
  18. Grunt

    Grunt Member

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    Had to carry FMJ in the military and seen how poor the 9mm M-882 round does in real life during the first Gulf war. I will not use it outside of range use for my personal uses or when I have no other choice when on duty. :barf:
     
  19. oops!

    oops! Member

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    In .45, 230 grn. swc, copper plated, not jacketed. I've seen what it does to a wild boar at 30-40yds.

    FWIW, I was shot in the right elbow about 30 years ago, .380 fmj. It hit on the front of the radius and followed the skin around to the point of the elbow and poked a perfectly round exit wound. Hurt a lot, not enough to stop me from returning fire.

    It doesn't pay to shoot a lefty in the right arm:D
     
  20. MAGNUMMAN

    MAGNUMMAN member

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    I am seriously thinking of switching from 9mm and 40 S&W to .45 ACP. If I do the switch, I am going to leave HP behind and only use FMJ. I am thinking exactly along your lines, I want to crush through bone and penetrate to a vital.
     
  21. DBR

    DBR Member

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    As much as I like 45ACP, I have a Glock 17 9MM loaded with 124gr+P Gold Dots (1250fps) as a bedside weapon and on the street I carry either a Glock 32 357 Sig loaded with 125gr Gold Dots (1400-1450fps) and/or a S&W J Frame 342 loaded with 110gr +P Corbon DPX (1100fps).

    I have become a believer in high velocity and sharp edged hollow points to insure bullets follow their intended path. I have read many reports of low velocity, heavy FMJ rounds following ribs, scalps etc around their intended path. This is more a problem with FMJ 45ACP than 9MM FMJ. The old fashioned slow, soft lead bullets have less tendency to do this. High velocity hollow point bullets seem more likely to penetrate through ribs, bones and other impediments and go where intended. JMHO

    Added: If you really want to "crush through bone and penetrate". You need something like a hard cast, flat nose bullet of maximum weight and velocity. Also expect an exit wound with significant remaining velocity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2006
  22. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    One of the few rounds that everybody seems to respect is the FBI load in 38 special, a +P lead hollowpoint semi wadcutter. Contrast that with the reputation of the RN lead 38 special, the "widow maker", the all lead equivelent of ball ammo.

    The universal use of hollowpoint ammo by police departments in this country must have a reason and it's more than marketing by the ammo companies. They produce ammo to a specification developed by the FBI.

    There is only one advantage to using ball ammo and that is feed reliability.
     
  23. Medusa

    Medusa Member

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    Well, I have either FMJ from Fiocchi or S&B, or S&B SP-s. Currently I'm carrying softpoints, as these are the best I can get (since the JHP-s are illegal). These should hurt a bit and same time penetrate pretty good.
     
  24. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect that if this thread was in the revolvers or general handguns section replies would be vastly different. I like 158 gr LSWCs in 38 & 357, but I also like cheap 124gr lead for handloading practice rounds in my Hi-Power. Heavier hard cast lead is nice for hunting with a wheelgun or heavy auto like a 10mm. If I were carrying hard cast lead in a Glock 20, with proper bbl, for hunting I wouldn't be worried about using it for SD.
     
  25. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

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    I'd rather have a 7 or 8 round 1911 magazine full of .45ACP hardball than I would a 9mm 100 round magazine full of hardball...

    But then, we have the option of a 1911 full of Hydrashok HP, Ranger HP, or Corbon HP, unlike our soldiers who have to carry ball ammo.

    How about a Glock 21 or a Springfield XD, both in .45ACP with 13+1 capacity, stuffed to the gills with high performance HP ammo? That seems like the best bet! (Apologies to all 1911 junkies, myself included).
     
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