View Full Version : Why not EFMJ?

September 11, 2005, 11:22 PM
I've been looking at the data for Federal's Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ) (http://www.thegunzone.com/efmj.html) rounds and it looks fairly impressive. The round expands based on a collapsing jacket over a compressible tip, not hydraulic pressure, so it has no hollowpoint to clog. This design permits very regular, reliable expansion through barriers while preventing jacket separation with resultant loss of mass. Additionally, the full metal jacket is supposed to make feeding more reliable than hollowpoints.

I can think of few downsides. The collapsible tip requires the bullet to be longer than an FMJ bullet of equivalent mass, thus requiring +P pressure for standard velocity. The bullet expands reliably, but not spectacularly; most numbers I've seen on EFMJ bullets show expanded diameters 10-20% smaller than equivalent hollowpoints.

All of the drawbacks seem like no big deal in exchange for the pros, but the marketing boilerplate for the EFMJ rounds promotes them primarily for situations where hollowpoints cannot be used, which makes me wonder what disadvantage I'm missing. Why would anyone use a hollowpoint when EFMJs are available?

September 11, 2005, 11:32 PM
Hollowpoints have been popular for about 40 years now. Most folks don't know that the EFMJ cartridges even exist. Federal doesn't market them very much.

The EFMJ cartridges are popular here in New Jersey, where hollowpoints are banned. Glaser and MagSafe were popular prior to the EFMJ. Corbon PowerBall is legal as well, but isn't commonly found.

September 11, 2005, 11:56 PM
I agree with Kurt. I haven't seen too much marketing of these fairly new EFMJ's from Federal. From what I've seen, these bullets are still not readily available in many stores. I personally carry the Federal 105 gr. EFMJ's in my 9 mm. As a matter of fact, just shot some at the range today. You ask why not EFMJ? I ask the same question. Why not EFMJ? They expand reliably shown in test data, cannot "clog" up, are more reliable in terms of feeding, and they come from an established and well reputable company named Federal. Check out this link - www.tnrdgrnr.com/efmj/ Thinking of carrying EFMJ's from Federal in my 40 as well. I think Federal is on to something here, and I expect other companies to eventually follow suit. I'd personally like to have available and use higher grain EFMJ's. As of now, those are restricted to LEO's.

September 12, 2005, 12:41 AM
I carry the PowR'Ball in my USP.40 it's a little faster than the EFMJ.

September 12, 2005, 05:25 AM
From what I have heard most of the EFMJ goes overseas that' why you don't see them much here. They also work well on the street. They are the answer in areas where JHPs are not permitted or if you have a gun that doesn't like JHPs.

September 12, 2005, 08:13 AM
Had some up at the Buckeye Outdoors in Buckeye Lake Ohio awhile back. If memory serves me right, they were much more expensive than my Wichester Silvertips at about 17 dollars for 50(9 mm) I really like the idea of efmj, but untill prices come down, I'll stick with my silvertips.

Pietro Beretta
September 12, 2005, 12:42 PM
Get them from www.ammoman.com, Seen them there for the .40 and 9mm

September 12, 2005, 01:09 PM
As USP .40 pointed out, Cor-Bon Pow'r Ball does about the same thing. The only real disadvantage that I can see is that they're new and many will say that they haven't proven themselves yet. I personally think it's a great idea. Also, I've heard that filling the cavity in a conventional hollowpoint with vaseline can give it much the same effect and will prevent it from getting clogged up with clothing and such.

September 12, 2005, 01:26 PM
I second the Pow'rBall after seeing one shot into ballistic gel. I shot it personally and it expanded nicely, losing a little bit of the jacket.

Btw, I read up on the matter and Hollow Point Ammunition is NOT banned in NJ. From what I have gathered, and take this with a grain of salt, you may use hollow nosed ammunition in NJ in certain circumstances.

Hollow points are "illegal except if these conditions are met" like much of NJ's gun laws. If used in the commission of a crime, using HPs makes it that much more illegal. I also believe it is not permitted to simply use them if you happen to be carrying on your person legally or otherwise.

You may use them in your home or place of business or on the way to or from a firearms shooting range. You may purchase them, but you cannot use them "except" in some circumstances.

September 12, 2005, 01:57 PM
I tried some while hunting for a SD round for my Ltwt Commander. Shot fine, reliable - but saw no big advantage over standard HPs - would be a good choice for non-hp applications though.

September 12, 2005, 03:35 PM
I had an opportunity to try some Federal 230gr. EFMJ in the SIG P220ST I had at that time. It shot more accurately than any other 230gr. that I had shot in that gun. Then I started shooting it in my 1911's and the same was true for that style of gun. Then all of a sudden they were not available to the general public. Even my LEO buddy that runs my favorite gunstore could not get it. :mad: I was upset to say the least. I changed to the 230gr. HydraShoks and still use them today, but man I miss them EFMJ's. :(

C Philip
September 12, 2005, 06:21 PM
To be honest, I never tried any of the EFMJ rounds, but I think I'll stick to good ol' JHP. I see no need to change to a new round that hasn't been around for that long.

September 13, 2005, 12:38 AM
Below are typical examples of some popular 45ACP self defense loads fired through clothing and into wetpacks. They all penetrated at least 12 inches, but the Hydra-Shok and the Golden Sabre hollowpoints consistently plugged and failed to expand. That was very disappointing.

The 200gr +p EFMJ's consistently expanded and penetrated as advertised. They feed like ball and have a 1030 muzzle velocity.


EFMJ's easily expand through minimal gel.


The EFMJ's don't ricochet off a windshield when fired from 15 ft. at a 45 degree angle.
They punch through, expand and penetrate deep into the wetpack.


September 13, 2005, 06:39 AM
EFMJ do seem to be a nice round; As Skyguy showed, Hydrashoks and Golden Sabres have some failures expanding through cloth as a standard hollowpoint. Speer Gold Dots, though, are a standard hollowpoint that works extremely well, even after passing through cloth, glass, steel. I would feel just as comfortable with Gold Dots as with EFMJs.

September 13, 2005, 01:29 PM
:) In 9mm it is spooky accurate.Head shots at 100 yards were easy.I am using the 124gr.I noticed Federal moved the heaver weights into the LE ammunition section.The new lighter weights are under the civilian section.Cor-Bon did have some quality control problems for a while.Probally fixed by now.I will still take the EFMJ over it.Look closely at the expanded bullets.The edge looks kind if of like it would do some sawing as it penerated.


Para Bellum
September 18, 2005, 01:58 PM
The EMB (http://www.globalarms.net/topics/hp_emb/hp_emb0.htm) could be an alternative, but I have to see a test with clothing and wetpacks...