Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Hollow Points instead of FMJ or Soft Point Ammunition?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Master of Arms, Aug 7, 2008.

?

Do you use FMJ bullets or HP`s for your protection?

  1. Full Metal Jackets

    8 vote(s)
    5.8%
  2. Hollow points

    131 vote(s)
    94.2%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Master of Arms

    Master of Arms Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    336
    I was discussing this with my brother`n law who is currently a police officer and also who is on the tactical team.

    Why do people use hollow points instead of soft points or Full Metal Jackets for personal protection??

    He said that the police use them because they really don`t want to "kill" anyone. His police rounds that he`s required to use are the Federal Hydra-Shoks. They`re taught that this bullet will normally enter the body at a distance of about 4-6 inches.

    When a normal citizen has to use his or her weapon to protect themselves why would we worry about this matter?? If it comes to the point of having to use a gun the intention, I think, would be the opposite of my B`n Laws statements.

    I hope that I never have to use any of my firearms on another human but if I ever do, I`d like a quick result.....right??

    With all the talk about "stopping power" (please don`t get on this subject) and the knowledge of the effectiveness of a full metal jacket, why do people like the hollow points????

    If you vote on the poll please explain why.
     
  2. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    16,213
    Location:
    proud to be in AZ
    Hollow point bullets expand in soft tissue, transferring the energy of the bullet to the surrounding tissue. This has two effects, one of maximum shock to the target. This means, according to theory, the target ceases aggression faster, requiring fewer rounds to be used. This means the target actually has a higher probability of survival if ceasing aggression. Full metal jacket rounds tend to simply part tissue, and zip between, causing little terminal effect, but creating two holes for the target to bleed through. This means more rounds may be needed to stop the aggression, which can cause the target to bleed to death, after he or she has continued with thier aggressive behavior. This could be a baaaad thing, if the aggressive behavior is centered on you, and your defensive fire has little to no effect.
    The second point is the over penetration issue, where any round fired is ultimately the responsability of the shooter, and any other target it may impact, intended or not. A full metal jacket round is more likely to overpenetrate, and impact an unintended target on the far side.
     
  3. WAID

    WAID Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    72
    Are you sure you understood that right? Most of the time the reasoning is that the penetration is limited but it will still kill the first person shot, it just won't penetrate as many innocent bystanders. The 4-6" of penetration seems awfully short for any round more powerful than a .34 acp.
     
  4. Treo

    Treo member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    3,110
    Location:
    Co. Springs
    I like hollow points because I've been taught that they won't penetrate an outer wall of my home if I miss an intruder in my home
     
  5. Master of Arms

    Master of Arms Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    336
    What about the penetration? A FMJ would shatter bone structures and as you`ve staed, go completelt through the attacker. What`s "bad" about that?
    Just stating what I was told. He`s actually in the tactical training course now so all of this is fresh.. There are so many variables. Thickness of clothing, etc. I understand your concern.
     
  6. belus

    belus Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    289
    Location:
    Arizona
    Hollow point because it does more damage to soft tissue (bruises muscle, rupture blood vessels). The bad guy won't be standing in front of a back stop, so I don't want my bullets sailing off to who knows where.
     
  7. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,274
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    The balistics for hydrashoks consistantly state penetrations of 10"-12" depending on caliber. HydraShoks are designed to create a significant wount channel, resulting in the fastest possible solution to a threat. They are not less lethal. They are designed to be more lethal if anything. Officers and civilians shoot to stop a threat as quickly as possible, this is one of the few overlaps in training. If an officer goes so far as firing his gun, it isn't to wound the threat. So this statement makes no sense to me.

    Hollowpoints have a higher probability of stopping the threat quicker than FMJs. This is why they are accepted as the standard in defensive weapons.
     
  8. Master of Arms

    Master of Arms Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    336
    Is this stat on a naked person? wearing a t-shirt? in winter time with many cloths on? leather jacket?
    Point being, He`s the policeman and this is the training that he`s recieved. I have shot quite a few boxes of the Hydra-Shoks and they are weak in comparison to many other Jacketed hollow points that I`ve used.
    The majority of the time, it is absolutely to wound. This is a major part of their training. To stop a guy with a knife you don`t shoot him in the head. Deadly force with the firearm is used when all other attempts have been rendored fruitless.

    There were several robberys in my area and the guys were wearing bullet proof material. Not saying that if someone breaks into my home they`ll be wearing body armor but I carry mostly everywhere that I go so it`s not only the home that should be considered here.

    I agree with they "flyer" theory. I wouldn`t want to hit something that I wasn`t intending on shooting. This fact is the only one that I truly understand and agree with.

    I guess that the HP`s make about a 1/2" bigger hole. At least that what I`ve seen. But I wonder how all of the variables that I`ve listed along with impacting bone, distance, clothing, barriers and "True" penatration would hindor the effectivness of the HP`s?
     
  9. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    11,965
    Member JE223 has a great website, www.brassfetcher.com, where he's archived the results of his ballistic testing. He's one of the few professional folks who offer FBI protocol ballistic gelatin testing to the general public. He's been gracious enough to provide the results free of charge.

    I use JHPs because they provide a balance of enough penetration depth to generally incapacitate an aggressor and still reduce the risk of over penetration.
     
  10. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    11,965
    You don't attempt head shots because they're low hit probability shots. You don't shoot to wound; you shoot to stop a deadly threat. Using a firearm is using deadly force - Period. A knife is a lethal threat, and a firearm is the appropriate tool to stop such a threat. You shoot center mass because it's a high hit probability shot, and hitting an organ within the thoracic cavity is likely incapacitate the threat. These incapacitating wounds often do result in death, however.

    Again, there is no shooting to wound. A firearm is only used to stop a threat of deadly force or grievous bodily injury.

    Google "Use of force continuum" or "Use of force pyramid." Military and law enforcement are taught to escalate their force to match that of the aggressor. In other words, use the minimum amount or force needed to stop the hostile action.

    There are also three criteria which must be met for the use of deadly force; capability, opportunity, and intent.

    For example, a guy 21 feet away from you with a knife drawn seriously saying "I'm going to kill you" meets the criteria. He is close enough to have opportunity, the knife is a weapon making him capable, and his words and actions indicate he has intent.

    If this same guy with a knife is acting the same way, but he's across a football field from you, it doesn't meet the criteria. The knife is still a weapon capable of inflicting a deadly wound, but the distance has removed his opportunity.

    Replace the knife with a rifle or shotgun and it now meets the criteria again. The long gun is capable of inflicting a deadly wound, and its range has restored the opportunity.
     
  11. earthworm

    earthworm Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    middle Tennessee
    Hollow Points all the way!

    1.Harkening back to the '70's I was taught the flatter the point the more energy transferred on impact:that a round nose or pointy bullet just shoved tissue aside while a flat (hollow) point smashed its way in.
    2.The chances of an HP expanding thus transferring more energy is greater than that of a SP or FMJ.Every little bit helps so in this case I'll take "might" over "probably won't".
    3.That's what cops carry.
    4.In a revolver they look meaner:possible deterrant value.
     
  12. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,458
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    JHPs in a 10mm Auto or a .45 ACP--usually Gold Dots in the 180 gr or 230 gr variety, respectively.

    Why? Because they have a good chance of making a bigger hole than a FMJ. A bigger hole stands a good chance of being more effective. And being more effective just might save my life. And since that is the hole (pun intended) point of having a defensive firearm available, it makes sense to use JHPs rather than FMJs when the opportunity is available.

    I have carried 230 gr ball in a .45 before, and even 180 gr FMJFP in the G20 before, but it isn't ideal for me.

    O, and very good post, ugaarguy.
     
  13. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    2,322
    Location:
    California
    Maybe your brother-in-law’s tactical team has the training and the latitude to take wounding shots, but such shots are an unwise practice in general. However, I would buy armoredman’s explanation for why an engagement with hollow-point ammunition could be potentially less lethal.

    ~G. Fink
     
  14. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,458
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    Except for said explanation being obviously bogus due to the simple and blatantly apparent fact that the added tissue damage JHPs are known to cause due to their expansive properties, in addition to, or rather because of, increasing the amount of cardiovascular and respiratory tissue that is damage or destroyed, is more likely to put the victim, the shootee, if you will, into shock. And shock typically results in death without immediate application of proper medical response.

    It's really simple. JHPs do more damage in tissue. This damage is likely, but not certain, to cause the attacker to bleed out and go into shock quicker, thus causing him or her to be physically incapable of continuing his or her aggressive behavior. In some cases it may cause the attacker to simply not want to continue his or her aggressive behavior. But this is a psychological response caused by the brain registering a massive amount of damage being done and changing its response from "fight" to "flight." Either way, the simple fact that JHPs are more effective because they do more damage when they expand, and that this increase in damage is likely to lead to a corresponding decrease in survivability is inescapable.

    Also note that when I say "shock," I mean the medical term, which escapes me presently, for shock due to blood loss. Not so-called "hydrostatic shock," which though present in handguns is not likely to cause any permanent damage to tissues at handgun velocities. Most living tissue is elastic and resilient to shock enough to be relatively unaffected by the shock forces generated by typical defensive handguns. In fact, some credible sources (Fackler among them, IIRC) have shown permanent wound channels unlikely to be affected by shock forces generated by bullet impacts of less than 2000 fps. This is why rifles are rifles and handguns are handguns, and no one who has seen the effect of both on living organisms confuses the effectiveness of either for a nanosecond. If you're picking a fight, or preparing for a specific threat, you grab a rifle. A handgun is a defensive measure taking out of convenience due to its compactness and portability.

    The only thing that matters appreciably when discussing handgun effectiveness is permanent wound cavity--width and depth--how wide the bullet expands, and how deep it penetrates. More of both is good. Yes, this includes penetration.

    The FBI requires a minimum of 12 inches of penetration in callibrated ballistic gelatin after penetrating heavy clothing, angled windshield glass, or 20 gauge rolled steel for this reason. No load that penetrates 6 inches makes it into a duty sidearm carried by any federal agency, including the Federal Air Marshalls. Any such load would be of questionable effectiveness given it's unlikely such a load could penetrate to the vitals of an adult assailant given the oblique shot angles, clothing, and likely presence of skeletal mass and other obstacles present in a gun fight. Professionals who rely on weapons for a living know three things for certain; shot placement is key, under penetration gets you killed (over penetration might only get you sued and thrown in jail), and if it is worth shooting once, it is worth shooting thrice. This is why, to my knowledge anyways, Glasers and other frangibles have been tested by military and federal agencies, and universally abandoned for all but close range live fire drills on steel targets.

    A six inch wound in real life most likely means only a shallow, superficial wound that results in a pain response that is completely ignored due to the adrenaline and endorphins in the body. The only way to ensure a quick end to hostilities is either through destruction of vital cardio-respiratory structures like the heart, lungs, and large arteries and veins found in the upper thoratic cavity, and the corresponding blood loss produced leading to shock, unconsciousness, and eventually death, or through the destruction of the central nervous system such as a hit to the brain or upper spinal column, resulting in near instant paralysis and death. Because the CNS represents such a small target, rounds are usually directed at the larger targets in the upper chest cavity due to increased likelihood of achieving an effective hit(s).
     
  15. luft97

    luft97 Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    South East Texas
    ^^ This is why I use em.
     
  16. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    868
    Location:
    Maine, USA
    I use both depending on the weather.

    During summer I load HP's.

    In the winter it's FMJ. Up here it gets cold enough that the layers of clothing make me wonder about sufficient penetration.
     
  17. VetteVert

    VetteVert Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    26
    Read any hunting magazine written in the last 40 years. You need the proper combination of penetration AND expansion. You want to penetrate deep enough WITHOUT over penetration. You want the bullet to stop INSIDE your target. Like was mentioned, that gives you the most transfer of energy.

    Think about it like this: Would you rather get punched in the face when your head can move backwards and dissipate some of the blow or when your head was flat against concrete? Same concept. A bullet passing through a target still has energy that could have been utilized.

    Also, in a defensive situation, over penetration is a huge liability. Do you want to shoot an aggressor in your home and the bullet pass through them and into a child/sibling/spouse/neighbor? The liability only grows for an officer.

    I realize you think your brother-in-law should know well more than some random person on the Internet, but it sounds like you are extrapolating this theory based on what you heard (that very well may be correct), not that he was taught a FMJ was better for personal defense.

    Also, did he mention caliber? If I'm loading up a .380 or smaller pocket pistol then I may very well go with a FMJ for the under powered round....but not with a defensive loaded .45, 10mm, etc.

    VV
     
  18. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,967
    Location:
    Arizona
    Good point....
     
  19. Aka Zero

    Aka Zero Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    Missouri
    fmj = Stab wound, with a little shock because of the velocity of the bullet. (High velocity rounds will do alot of shock damage, see .233)

    HP = Internal "blunt" force trauma almost. Although not designed to "let people live" one big hole versus a lot of double holes usually means less blood loss. Usually a good hp puts all of the inertia of the bullet into whatever it hits. Like a baseball bat, it hits hard, but stops there.

    Maybe that helps.
     
  20. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,146
    Location:
    Wooster, Ohio
    Look at some of the ballistics testing of bullets like Golden Sabres and Hydra-shoks. Notice that the best ones retain almost all their mass and end up looking like a circular-saw blade. And they still get 10-12 inches penetration!!!

    Modern HP's are designed to do as much damage as inhumanly possible. And since you've already committed to lethal force when you pulled the trigger, doing the most damage per shot is better than doing less damage per shot.
     
  21. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,451
    Location:
    Utah
    The FBI tests call for a minimum of 12" penetration through ballistic gelatin. The Hydra-Shoks, though not a favorite of mine, usually meet the FBI's requirements.

    This is a false dilemma: "Do I shoot to wound, or shoot to kill?" NEITHER. You shoot to make them stop doing whatever it was that made you shoot them in the first place. We call that "shoot to stop."

    Wes
     
  22. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

    Happiness Is A Warm Gun Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Anyone who thinks JHP are not designed to kill or be less lethal than FMJ is crazy.

    Modern JHP (like my personal favorite Federal HST) have 10-12"+ of penetration even firing through multiple layers of demim. They have rapid and consistent expansion and are surely extremely lethal.

    Of course shot placement still matters. A 22 FMJ through the heart is a better shot than a .45 JHP in a non critical area.

    A JHP does one thing and one thing only; it makes a bigger hole.
    Same reason why people use .45 over a 9mm or 9mm over 22ACP.

    A 9mm FMJ will never be larger than 9mm. A 9mm JHP will expand to easily .50cal (12.5mm)+ so you get bigger hole in a smaller (more manageable round).
    A .45 FMJ will never be larger than .45. A .45 JHP will expand to easily .70 to .85+. You get a 50%-100% bigger hole in the BG.

    Larger hole = more trauma
    Larger hole = more blood loss
    Larger hole = higher chance of hitting critical area

    JHP isn't rocket science. It isn't designed to "only penetrate 6inches to be less lethal". It is simply designed to make a bigger hole.

    If most humans could handle the weight, recoil, and flash of a 18mm round there would be no need for JHP. Until then JHP make a bigger hole than a FMJ, Well even then someone crazy bullet engineer would design one so it can expand to 24mm. :)
     
  23. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,240
    99.9% of the time hollow points barely expand.

    Even when they do, they penetrate a heleva lot further than 4-6"

    Your brother is misinformed.
     
  24. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

    Happiness Is A Warm Gun Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    That is a misnomer. The JHP in 80s and early 90s generally did suck. Bullet science has come a LONG way though. Modern JHP expand very reliably even through heavy demin.

    http://shootingmessengers.blogspot.com/2006/05/wound-ballistic-workshop.html

    Note in this example "heavy clothing" is 4 layers of 13 pound denim. Which is likely substantially more than an BG is going to wear.

    The Federal HST penetrated 14" after expanding to 0.85caliber and retained 99%+ of its weight.

    Even the well known "Hydro shock" rounds are no match for the current top of the line bullets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,967
    Location:
    Arizona
    There are many documented incidents, especially in Gun rag ammo reviews, where they do not expand as advertised, but I think your stat is a little over-stated...My concern deals with reliability issues...Judging from my observations and personal experience with other shooters/CCW holders: not enough of this exotic ammo is fired on the range (expense factor) to be near 100% sure of pistol/ammo acceptance. If this requirement is met: go for it!:)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page