View Full Version : Hollow points vs. FMJ

April 1, 2010, 04:57 PM
Which is better? Hollow points or FMJ ( in yor opinion )

April 1, 2010, 05:09 PM
better for what use?

April 1, 2010, 05:10 PM
penetration in objects which do you prefer

April 1, 2010, 05:15 PM
Self defense= Hollow Point

Target shooting= FMJ

April 1, 2010, 05:16 PM
If that object is a human, then HP. If it's just about anything else, than FMJ

April 1, 2010, 05:20 PM
right now, all the revolvers I carry or would use at home for self defense
are loaded with modern hollow point ammunition.

I keep about 1500 round fmj on hand for plinking and target practice.

for self defense it's hollow point ammo for me.

April 1, 2010, 06:36 PM
I only shoot hard cast bullets and the meplat is the business end of the bullet. I don't rely on expansion so if I were to vote it would be FMJ. I like pre-expanded bullets and the 11.5 mm (.452) is a good place to start.

April 1, 2010, 08:05 PM
It depends on the caliber and intended use. For self-defense with .380 Auto/.38 Special or larger, I'll take a hollowpoint. With smaller calibers, I'd rather have FMJ to ensure adequate penetration.

April 1, 2010, 09:07 PM
Feds made me turn in my .600 Webley, . . . have to carry a puny .45 now, . . . gotta have them hollow points to get that expansion.;)

May God bless,


April 2, 2010, 03:32 AM
I like wadcutters :confused:.

Reloading is fun :D.

April 2, 2010, 03:17 PM
FMJ for me in all situations in the semi autos, SJSP in 357.

April 2, 2010, 03:51 PM
It depends. What are you shooting? Which hollowpoint? Summer or winter in North Dakota? I'd hate to rely on Silvertip HPs with a 380 to penetrate heavy winter clothing. I'd have no doubts whatsoever using a 45 ACP with 230 grn FMJ for SD. It has too good a track record.

If you're going to hunt deer or pigs not just any HP will do nor will any bullet weight. I'd always opt for penetration as the first, essential criteria. FMJs kill the largest, most dangerous game on earth. If you are using this primarily for SD, I'd only buy the best HP rounds I could find, the kind where the core and jacket will stay together. These would be the premium, law enforcement rounds that are ridiculously expensive!!

April 2, 2010, 05:46 PM
I have an easier time answering than most because I carry for self defense and shoot for practice. Even so, my answers depend on what I'm doing:

* For carry in town/SD against humans -- .38 +P JHP (Speer Gold Dot short barrel, by choice.)

* For carry in wild lands/SD against bears & cougars -- .357 JHP (Winchester by choice.)

* For carry in wild lands/SD against snakes -- .38 +P #9 "snake shot" cartridges. (Usually in 2 of 5 chambers, at the ready.)

* For practice at the range/on BLM land -- .38 sp FMJ and .357 FMJ.

I'm sure others will have even more complex answers. :-)

April 2, 2010, 05:52 PM
Different ammo for different purposes, depends upon what you plan to shoot with it.

April 2, 2010, 07:20 PM
For most SD situations I'm sure hollow points are better. But in some situations FMJ might actually be more appropriate. Like in 9mm, FMJ has quite a bit of penetrating power. If you had to return fire against an attacker firing from inside a vehicle, that extra penetration might win the fight.

9mm & .45 Fan
April 2, 2010, 09:42 PM
For self defense, hollow points. No question.

April 2, 2010, 09:43 PM
Depends on the caliber for me.

April 2, 2010, 09:55 PM
Too many variables. Target/plinking FMJ. SD, 9mm Luger & up HP. 9X18 & 380, toss up leaning toward some HP like Gold Dot, Golden Saber, and Critical Defence. Less than 380ACP FMJ for penetration.

April 3, 2010, 01:31 PM
I voted FMJ. However, I'd use hollow-points in any revolver. In a semi-auto, I've got to go with FMJ. I've seen too many jams.

April 3, 2010, 02:35 PM
Hollow points are designed to penetrate sufficiently at the right velocity but then fan out to prevent overpenetration (in theory) and produce cavitation. With all the +P++++ and such everybody uses nowadays, not so sure they're gonna stop in a human. Most humans aren't too thick. I have rarely seen FMJ perform as well as HP for real target shooting either, assuming a person is good enough to measure their accuracy to this level. HPs are all around higher performing bullets, but they also have a higher price. HPs shouldn't jam up a good semi (Glock, Sig, Beretta, S&W M&P, etc, etc).

April 4, 2010, 07:06 PM
If your talking for SD I agree with hoytinak. Depends on the cal.

April 4, 2010, 11:28 PM

penetration in objects which do you prefer

FMJ of the two choices. A FMJ bullet should give the greater penetration everything being equal. The non-deforming bullet has less frontal area to create resistance compared to a hollow point bullet that (I assume for the sake of comparison) deforms and has a larger frontal area.

April 5, 2010, 01:49 AM
Self defense= Hollow Point

Target shooting= FMJ

In general, this is the pat answer. And by hollow point, I'm talking modern design premium hollow points, tested for consistent operation in your particular firearm. There are exceptions to the rule. If using a "mouse gun", then it is FMJ all the way. Mouse gun HP's may not penetrate far enough to get the job done. If using .22lr for anything other than small game hunting/varmint shooting, then you use solids unless your firearm shoots hollow points better, and if you are small game hunting/varmint shooting then hollow points are called for. If you are needing protection against big, tough 4 legged opponents then you want big, heavy, wide flat meplat hard cast in a magnum revolver/10mm auto.

BTW -- since there is more nuance involved than just the either/or that the OP's poll provides for, I opted not to vote.

April 6, 2010, 11:38 PM
So many experts who seem to know just what caliber will penetrate someone "enough"; and which bullets will work in each combat scenario. Has anyone seen what FMJ's in 9mm do to targets with proper shot placement? Do you know that a .380 caliber "mouse gun" (whatever that is supposed to be) will penetrate your skull from any angle, and exit? Is that really a "mouse gun?" The arrogant demigogue who coined that phrase did not even have the real combat experience with handguns that his public relations inferred. So what did he know anyway?

For general self defense it could be assumed that hollow points in handguns, probably have an edge in assumed "stopping power", outside of head shots. But each case is unique and its results are entirely serendipitous to its outcome. So who actually knows enough to make such empirical statements? As it always has, stopping/killing power in handguns depends upon shot placement, adrenalin and luck.

April 7, 2010, 06:54 AM
All depends on the caliber and the intented result. A .25 or a .45? Self defense or range?

For SD, in any thing larger than a .32, I want HP. With a .25 or a .32, I would fell better with FMJ.

Range? Whatever is cheap.

April 7, 2010, 07:49 AM
Honestly, you could have just asked; Which is better: a screw driver or a hammer?

These two types of cartridges are different tools that are intended for different purposes. Hollow points are meant to transfer their kinetic energy into a stationary target with minimal penetration. Full metal jacket rounds are meant to retain their shape in flight and impact resulting in increased accuracy and penetraton.

Before you ask this question, you should decide what you intend to use these rounds for. Because while you can use them both for "whatever" trying to nail a birdhouse together with a screwdriver isn't exactly the most well-thought-out plan.

Just ask yourself: "What do I need these for?" and go from there.


April 7, 2010, 08:17 AM
Depends on caliber and what the use is. This is like saying "which is better, a car or a truck?" Well are you driving in Miami or Alaska.

For anything 380ACP or less, FMJ.

Practice? FMJ

SD for higher than 380ACP? HPs

Old Grump
April 7, 2010, 11:45 AM
Machine screw or machine bolt?

I said FMJ because I can use it for anything but HP for soft targets only. Good poll, next time specify a use or you might as well ask us if we have stopped beating our wife yet.

April 8, 2010, 04:01 AM
Not a very specific question but in 45acp I would use FMJ or HP in 230gr for defense.,380acp,32acp and 25acp I would use FMJ for defense.Everything else for defense would get a HP.