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Old December 19, 2020, 01:57 PM   #26
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FMJ ammo in general will penetrate more than Hollow or Soft point ammo. I would suggest you buy 223 soft point hunting ammo and use that in the AR after testing for reliability which is even more important. I would suggest the lower penetration and bigger caliber size of the 45 is superior for home protection. When push comes to shove you use what you have and be selective with your shots.
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Old December 19, 2020, 04:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Erno86
Our outdoor range --- here in Maryland --- has banned the use of the M855 - 62 grain - armor piercing Green Tip on it's range; due to the chance of ricochets and rendering of steel targets and frames.
Their range, their rules. But M855 is not an "armor piercing" round. It does have a small, steel penetrator button at the tip, but that was designed to ensure penetration of a standard GI "steel pot" helmet at 600 meters -- when the impact occurs at precisely 90 degrees. M855 does not penetrate armor.
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Old December 22, 2020, 11:31 PM   #28
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Shot placement is key, but under stress, how many of us have nerves of steel, can channel Charlie Askins or Jim Cirillo ? Also I think we're too hungup on this
"Zapped by lightning" notion. I agree self defense training should be based on a worse case scenario-"a 6'6" giant on PCP" as one martial arts instructor put it.
But the idea that an assailant is going to laugh off a wound from an " inadequate" caliber....?
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Old December 24, 2020, 02:00 PM   #29
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FMJ effectiveness for home defense

Welcome to the forum and best wishes for a great holiday season.
Practically speaking I would not overthink this. I do not count on single shots putting down an aggressor. My self defense arm carries eight rounds. Mine and your AR, I suspect, is not particular about what you feed it, plus I thought you said you had multi round magazines. Shot placement is much more important than the bullets you are shooting. So, if you have a magazine with a few rounds in it, be careful where you put the first round....if it goes through a bony sternum and the spine, overpenetration will be a lesser concern...although still present. And then plan on a second round to COM if in a defensive setting.
No matter what you shoot in any configuration, shot placement is paramount right after seeing the front sight.
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Old December 27, 2020, 01:48 PM   #30
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Hiralaam wrote:
FMJ effectiveness for home defense
Hello all,

I know this question has been asked, debated and answered a thousand times. But perhaps not in this context.
I'm from Belgium and after jumping through many hoops, filing more than enough paperwork and waiting many months I finally got my first AR.

Now hollow points are illegal here no matter what, and I knew this. However when I went to pick up ammo at one of the largest gun stores in the country, which I'm sure you all would find laughably puny, all they had was 3 different brands of 55gr FMJ. Nothing else. Whilst I'm sure its obviously better than nothing, I just can't help wonder if that's actually enough. Many of the posts I see on this topic compare how effective better rounds are and why you should use them, but is 55gr FMJ really able to do the job? I could reload for some heavier bullets, but that's about it.

Same for pistol rounds. I've got a 1911 in .45 of course and a double stack 9mm. Having to stick purely to FMJ, could this reliably stop someone in their tracks? Not that I'd grab a pistol over my AR in the middle of the night, but I'd like to carry one on my property.
Oh and on that note, .45 vs 9mm? LOL.

Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
I would have no qualms relying on .45ACP hardball (230gr FMJ with round nose) for self/home defense. I use it in my short-bbl handguns in .45ACP and its record is about the best of the military FMJ cartridges our of service automatics.

I would be less sanguine with 9mm FMJ and instead rely on the .45ACP, given the choice.

If you can find FMJ-TC or FMJ-FN, that would be the best FMJ. TC= Truncated cone, FN=Flat Nose.

Something like this:

.45ACP (185gr) (hardcast lead, but no HP) (hardcast lead)


As far as 5.56mm, 55gr with a cannelure is likely the best bet if soft or hollow points not allowed.
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Old December 27, 2020, 05:00 PM   #31
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Hiralaam, is ballistic tip ammo legal in Belgium? If so, look into that. Less problem with over penetration, and devastating results in soft tissue.
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Old January 1, 2021, 05:50 PM   #32
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There were millions killed in Europe with ball ammo. Yeah, it works.
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Old January 23, 2021, 09:55 AM   #33
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I have always considered it a luxury to have JHP available. Its not like I am doing any handwringing over having to use FMJ. If JHP is not available, I aint mad.

Its just not that important to me.. really its not.
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Old February 14, 2021, 02:19 PM   #34
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Paul Harrell is a YouTube type guy and has a unique and informative kind of shade tree ballistics channel. He has done some videos on this topic. Google it up and watch him shoot some pork shoulders and what not.
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Old February 14, 2021, 03:40 PM   #35
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There are people on TFL that attest first hand to the effectiveness of an FMJ head shot in a combat environment.
If that’s not you a graphic example is available via google Zapruter frame 313, or look here:

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Old February 14, 2021, 04:20 PM   #36
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Don't military's use FMJ? Shot placement is the key!
It takes the military roughly 250,000 rounds expended to kill one enemy combatant.
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Old September 30, 2021, 08:29 AM   #37
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Here is a penetration test for the 9mm FMJ 115, 124 & 150 grain and the 100 grain soft point. Maybe you might get something out of it. I found also other tests on the same channel.
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Old September 30, 2021, 12:00 PM   #38
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It takes the military roughly 250,000 rounds expended to kill one enemy combatant.
Not exactly. Don't confuse number of rounds expended with number of rounds needed. Big difference there.

The problem is perception more than anything else. Hollow points and soft point expanding bullets do a slightly better, more effective job of incapacitating people than FMJ bullets, when the bullet does not strike a vital spot.

Because of that people act like (and some actually believe) that FMJ will not work. This is untrue. FMJ does work. It has, and it will, provided YOU put the bullet where it needs to go.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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