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FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use?
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:47 am    Post subject: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Another forum I visit is having a discussion on using/prefering FMJs for defensive carry use. Its been interesting to see what and why people prefer one or the other. Honestly I was surprised at the number of folks who prefer FMJs, and their reasoning. So I thought I'd bring the subject here and see what happens.

Personally I've been studying the physics of shooting for 40+ years. There were a couple of periods when I was armed on the job so I had a pretty selfish reason to make sure that I knew what might work and what might not. During this time bullet construction, as well as available cartridges and guns, have changed. I expect to keep studying, and learning about it, for a while longer. I recently read "Combat Shooting" by Ayoob, which has a section on choices for defensive ammo. By the way, he and the experts he cites recommend JHPs.

First I'll say that if someone thinks that physics doesn't matter they obviously have no understanding of how the real world works. Second, EVERY shooting, regarding terminal ballistics, is different because there are so many variables, most importantly the "target's" physical and mental states. There is no way to predict with 100% certainty what will happen in a given situation. That doesn’t mean that tests are invalid.

That said, all of the different tests done over the years do point to certain things that tend to give better terminal results. Based on all that I will always carry a good JHP for defensive use. I do make an exception, if I was worried about very large critters I'd carry a good, heavy, flat pointed bullet. If a particular gun wouldn't feed JHPs reliably I'd either fix it, sell it or just use it for plinking.

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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
Another forum I visit is having a discussion on using/prefering FMJs for defensive carry use. Its been interesting to see what and why people prefer one or the other. Honestly I was surprised at the number of folks who prefer FMJs, and their reasoning. So I thought I'd bring the subject here and see what happens.

Personally I've been studying the physics of shooting for 40+ years. There were a couple of periods when I was armed on the job so I had a pretty selfish reason to make sure that I knew what might work and what might not. During this time bullet construction, as well as available cartridges and guns, have changed. I expect to keep studying, and learning about it, for a while longer. I recently read "Combat Shooting" by Ayoob, which has a section on choices for defensive ammo. By the way, he and the experts he cites recommend JHPs.

First I'll say that if someone thinks that physics doesn't matter they obviously have no understanding of how the real world works. Second, EVERY shooting, regarding terminal ballistics, is different because there are so many variables, most importantly the "target's" physical and mental states. There is no way to predict with 100% certainty what will happen in a given situation. That doesn’t mean that tests are invalid.

That said, all of the different tests done over the years do point to certain things that tend to give better terminal results. Based on all that I will always carry a good JHP for defensive use. I do make an exception, if I was worried about very large critters I'd carry a good, heavy, flat pointed bullet. If a particular gun wouldn't feed JHPs reliably I'd either fix it, sell it or just use it for plinking.

Laughing DITTO!

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dhc4ever
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Defensive use against humans?
IMO JHP all the way.
More expended energy into the target, large wound channel, more shock and damage, less likely to have a projectile exit the target.

Defensive use against cape buffalo, something beginning with .5 and a solid bullet construction.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
Based on all that I will always carry a good JHP for defensive use.

+1

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Ozzians never need to defend themselves.
not with guns, knives, 4by2's or any other physical stuff..
We simply sick the greenies to the baddies..

Well id that didnt work, I guess JHP might..

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Donut Slayer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Very interesting subject PS. I've been involved with several shootings in my career, more than I care to have. I perfer JHP to FMJ, BUT I can tell you in a lot of instances, JHP's will act like FMJ. IE, no expansion what so ever. We, (my dept) tested a variety of bullets when we swotched to 40'a a few years back. We have changed rounds several times too. We started with Black Talons, then the name changed to Supreme Xpansive Talons, then we changed to Speer Gold Dots, Then to Remington Goldern sabre's. The Talons were the most lethal on people. Gold dots had the most penetration. I know for a fact ( dont ask) they will go thru: bedroom door, 2 layers of sheet rock, 5 heavy jackets of leather, and denum, thru another 2 layers of sheetrock, and then hit the wall on the otherside of the living room, with NO expansion. HP was filled with sheetrock making it a FMJ.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

DS, the subject of JHPs not expanding came up in the other forum too. My feeling there is that a hollow point MIGHT not expand, therefore acting like an FMJ, but an FMJ WILL not expand. IMO that's still a plus for the JHP.

A buddy of mine was involved in a lot of testing of ammo for a Federal agency a few years ago so I'll have to ask him what kind of results they got. It was all .40 S&W but I can't remember for sure what worked best for them.

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Donut Slayer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

PS, I'm a JHP fan. Only thing I reccommend a FMJ in is a 25acp. Smile
BTW, in my 380 "get off me" gun, I carry hornady critical defence, the ones with the red polimer in the HP. They seem to always expand, but I havent shot anybody with it yet.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

I particularly chose JHP for my 380 only because it seemed like the right thing to do. Not much of a pistol shooter myself but it just seems logical to me to choose an expanding boolit at close quarters. You don't want to just poke holes in someone, you want to dis-able them now. It's like the difference between using a long bladed knife or a hammer blow to the chest. You really have to mess up the insides bad to stop someone very fast. Poking holes is only going to make them bleed to death (slowly) but a nice wound channel or shock wave from a bullet that has expanded is going to at least make them stagger and know they were hit by something. The shock and distruction will take it's toll quicker than poking a hole will.

Queezzzyyy now
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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Confused On that subject of JHP's-I started using glaser safety slugs back when they came out in the( ?80's)only for the first mag or cylinder full,after that it's the std hollow points or the new ones with the "plastic"ball in the end.I used to make my own cast "dum-dums"and they really worked a charm on "things"-but the deputies and the lawyers decided that they were too effective and that I might get sued for not shooting politically correct ammo! Sad It's okay to kill a bad guy-Just don't do it too effectively! :(oop's did I say killed-I meant to say................................................stopped. Razz

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Most of the "defensive" ammo and components include a lightweight hp bullet. The "norm" for my 357 is a 125 grain JHP but since I use the same round for everything (accuracy is most important) I opted for the 140 JHP bullet in my loads. They may not be as fast as some of the commercial ammo but I can keep them grouped and shoot them instinctively very accurately too.

A shot to the head or neck with any caliber will stop an attacker quick. Even the puny 22RF will penetrate the skull at close range. The neck is not my favorite place to aim because the odds of actually hitting the spinal cord or even close enough to it to cause damage are arguably pretty low. My defensive shooting has always been to the middle of mass - until recently.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

I dont know alot about handgun rounds but from what I have read and from my own experience with rifle rounds on game over the years has led me to loose faith in a strict hollow point in favour of a nice juicy big exposed lead tip. the theory goes that a hollow may only open if the cavity is filled upon impact. I have 2 .223 52grn hollow points recovered from game that didnt open AT ALL and they have a great gaping hollow point and yet I havent ever recovered a spitzer or round nose that hadnt opened up. the norinco fmj .223 rounds tumble on impact and leave a huge wound cavity usually but that is different to a handgun round I believe. maybe the old guys with thier soft lead slugs had a good thing going??

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:36 am    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Elvis, I wouldn't compare a .224 HP matchbullet with a HP of a handgunbullet...
but I'm surprised nobody is mentioning the lead bullet. In my opinion at handgunspeeds, it's hard to beat a lead bullet when it comes to stopping energy. And here I realy don't need a lead HP, RN or FN will also perform as required.
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:06 am    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

The Hydroshock or whatchamacallit thingy, have a center pole within the HP, I guess the idea is to use the center pole to direct the material that may plug the hollow point to the sides of the HP, and thus giving it higher chance of expanding even if the HP is plugged.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Re: FMJs vs. JHPs for defensive handgun use? Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
My feeling there is that a hollow point MIGHT not expand, therefore acting like an FMJ, but an FMJ WILL not expand. IMO that's still a plus for the JHP.

My opinion too. An FMJ is more likely to poke through a target to endanger persons or property. A hollow point that works properly helps minimize this as well as cause more damage at the target. Not entirely trusting any bullet's ability to expand is why I carry .45s with hollow point bullets. If they work, fine if not I have mass and diameter on my side in the event of bullet failure. Nothing wrong with a properly designed SWC either. It will at least cut a full-caliber hole and most penetrate straight.

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