View Full Version : Which bullet type?

June 30, 2002, 12:43 AM
Which bullet type would be best as all purpose combat; hollow point, or FMJ? ...for any caliber, but mostly handgun cartridges in carbines, subs, and of course pistols

Always use two hands with pistols...one in each

June 30, 2002, 09:05 AM
I've always gone with FMJ. I like the increased reliability, cheapness of the round.

I use ball in eeverything I have now and am happy with the results.

June 30, 2002, 04:34 PM
Like Gryphon I tend to use all FMJ in my weapons, with the exception of "duty guns," as they are all loaded with dept issued HP's, simply because it is so much cheaper to stockpile and or shoot. However, we are seeing talk that the military is not like the M4 rifle right now with FMJ ammo, as it is punching holes through the enemy without bringing them down. I like the HP's for lack of over-penetration, and significant stopping power. I don't think that you can say that one type of ammo will always do the job, unless of course you always take the head shot! ;)

July 1, 2002, 02:42 AM
Check here for some comparative JHP expansion tests.

WHile placement & penetration is key, I carry JHPs 'in case' they expand, since in a SD situation, you may as well give yourself more of an edge. If they don't expand, then you still aren[t worse off than FMJs.

The only caliber I carry exclusively FMJ in is .32ACP. For what I consider a sub-caliber, I depend on pure penetration potential of a FMJ to pierce skull and break bones.

Jack Carson
July 1, 2002, 08:47 AM
First, however, let me say I have almost no experience with carbines or SMGs in pistol calibers. My only carbine in a pistol caliber is a .45 Colt Winchester lever gun that I mostly shoot cast bullets through. The only time I used it on whitetail deer I used jacketed HPs with good results.

For self defense purposes, HPs are the hands down choice for pistols. If your pistol will not reliably function with HPs, get rid of it and get another one that will. Federal is currently making an expanding FMJ that may be just the ticket for finicky carbines, etc.

Thats my two cents,

July 1, 2002, 10:09 AM
HP for handguns
FMJ for rifles

July 2, 2002, 06:26 PM
Thanks.:D Good points from all. I tend to lean toward FMJ for general tactical reasons, like maybe having to shoot through doors, windshields, thin metal (car bodies, corragated steel walls, ect.) However, for home and close quarters defence, I use HP;)

Al Thompson
July 4, 2002, 05:07 AM
Bast, not many (if any) JHPs will expand in hard targets. The typical result is that the initial impact actually closes the hollow tip and the round performs like a FMJ. The ballistic tips may disrupt, I haven't tried any tests with them.

July 6, 2002, 12:08 AM
I prefer JHP's exclusively (with the infrequent exception for JSP's for hunting)in handguns...even in my P-32. I havent been able to get any real expansion from them, but the squared nose profile crushes tissue more effectively than the rounded ball ammo. I'll sacrifise an inch or so of penetration(as a general rule .32 ball penetates about 14 inches where as the Gold-Dots I tested produce about 13 inches with no expansion beyond caliber size) for a wound cavity that dosn't look like a long icepick stab.
In defence rifles, its a tossup. I alternate 2 SS-109 and 2 Winchester PowerPoint Plus JSP. Point of impact is the same for both round and I figure I have all the bases covers. But then the SS-109 dosn't exactly perform like a standard ball round. It yaws and breaks in half produceing some very HP like wounds...atleast in my gelatin testing. It also has excelent penetration on hard targets. It ain't gonna punch through a tank, but will tear hell out of a helmet (be it blue or otherwise;) :D ) or mild steel plate.

Dave R
July 6, 2002, 08:46 PM
I guess people's preferences are influenced by their experience.

I once tried comparing FMJ and soft point hunting loads in my .308. Shot each at lines of 5 water-filled plastic milk jugs (1 gal) at around 25 yards.

Thought I had missed with the FMJ (surplus ball). When I inspected, I found a .308 hole through each jug, leaking water slowly.

With the soft point hunting load (Remington Core-lokt 150 gr) the results were explosive (pun intended). The first jug was reduced to a sheet of plastic and thrown 4 feet. The second jug was ripped wide at both ends and thrown 2 feet. Jugs 3-4 had major damage, but stayed more or less in place.

That's the kind of terminal performance that makes my mind up.

I also did my own pistol expansion testing in wet phone book media. The load I use (plain vanilla Win Silvertips) expanded as advertised, even through 4 layers of denim. 6 layers of denim stopped expansion. Then it performed like an FMJ round would.

I also tried several .380acp rounds and found that the 102gr Rem Golden Sabre expanded reliably up to 4 layers of denim, and left "wound channels" much closer to 9mm than I would have thought.

"Wound channels" for rounds that expanded were much bigger than channels from FMJ, as you would expect.

The chosen loads also group well in my pistols and have proven 100% reliable to date.

So I'm sold on JHP's. Worst-case, they perform like FMJ. Best case is much better.

July 12, 2002, 10:29 PM
Generally, I use a hollowpoint of some type (JHP, LSWC-HP), but I'll load a carry gun with whatever I happen to have on hand; hit location is far more important than the size or shape of the bullet...

July 12, 2002, 11:31 PM
I guess it's different strokes for different folks. In my 8mm rifle I did a similar test with some surplus and S&B stuff as Dave R. But I only used one milk just. Total devastation. Both were FMJ.


July 15, 2002, 08:21 AM
I prefer soft points in rifles.
Hollow points in .22lr.
All my centerfire handguns are revolvers, I use soft points and wadcutters/semi-wadcutters, depends on specific caliber, gun, and use.
In general for handguns, I would choose soft-points, but in a choice between hollow points or FMJ , would choose hollow points for pistol cartridges.

George Hill
July 15, 2002, 12:55 PM
For all around use... 1 bullet for everything, eh.

Would have to be a jacketed soft point.
They have served hunters just fine for many moons until after a certain incident in Miami with the FBI changed the modern concepts of bullet construction. However, I don't think a jacketed soft point bullet was used there.