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Old 09-27-2010, 01:07 PM   #21
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"(50's) was rare to find jacketed hollow point handgun ammo. The current crop of Gold Dot, Ranger SXT, Golden Saber etc are NOT target cartridges. The current Russian 5.45 RIFLE cartridge is a hollow point for accuracy. Care to explain a bit?"

Sure.

The OP's question was about hollow point bullets, he did not specify handgun or rifle. I answered in broad terms, not as an absolute to cover every possible application. I think most reloaders realize that many things about bullets are generally true but there are exceptions to everything.

To start over, MOST - if not all - highly accurate rifle target bullets are hollow points and that's what I meant. Even your mention of the rifle ammo reflects that you may already understand that. Rifle hollow points are often capable of shooting into a single small hole at 100 yards or more. No handgun bullets of any kind are capable of that.

That said, handgun bullets are "accurate" only compared to each other, meaning the best of them are somewhat less inaccurate than the worst of them. (And, in an effort to prevent confusion, I do not include any bottle neck cases or bolt action 'handguns' in that category.)

I know of NO commonly available jacketed handgun bullets except FMJ in the 50s, but there were lots of poor shooting and poor performing hollow point lead bullets. The velocity of even the .357 'powerhouse' of that period was too low for hollow points to give reliable expansion if they were hard enough to take the speed. The most commonly accurate AND effective hunting handgun bullets in those days were hard cast SWC bullets. (IMHO, that's still true, a proper sized conventional revolver hunting bullet is still slow and they need to penetrate deeply so hollow points and expansion is a distant secondary concern to many of us.)

Lee Jurras introduced the first truly effective thin 3/4 jacketed, soft core handgun bullets (as SuperVel) in the late 60s. They were acceptably accurate and came in both hollow and flat point. Both performed about the same; at short ranges they often disintegrated in flesh and often would not exit chest hit fox at short ranges. SuperVel started the progression to all those you mention and they are still game/defense bullets, not "target" (bullseye), no matter the point configuration.
Okay, first of all any FMJ round will be more accurate than a hollow point due to it's aerodynamics. Second, Semi-Wadcutters are best for target shooting and Third, the original 357 load was at 1200 fps with a semi- wadcutter hollow point in 158 grain, {The Chicago Bullet} and was designed for the first 357 magnum the N-Frame Smith & Wesson model 27. This gun is a beast capable of handling 180 gr bullets. Elmer Keith pushed 200 grainers out of his !
Check it out, you'll understand.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:07 PM   #22
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Okay, first of all any FMJ round will be more accurate than a hollow point due to it's aerodynamics. Second, Semi-Wadcutters are best for target shooting and Third, the original 357 load was at 1200 fps with a semi- wadcutter hollow point in 158 grain, {The Chicago Bullet} and was designed for the first 357 magnum the N-Frame Smith & Wesson model 27. This gun is a beast capable of handling 180 gr bullets. Elmer Keith pushed 200 grainers out of his !
Check it out, you'll understand.
FF69, thank you for this post. I am new to guns and though I understand and know my gun, I am confused about all the different types of ammo out there. I use my gun for target shooting, though it does "sleep next to my bed". You answered several questions I had all in just a few sentences here. Thank you so much!!
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:10 PM   #23
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Thank you for taking the time/being willing to explain this all to me. So far I've come across nothing but nice, good people here.
Exactly my feelings, too. FTF is a great place to learn. Everyone is so kind and patient and willing to share info. Thank you everyone.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:58 PM   #24
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Okay, first of all any FMJ round will be more accurate than a hollow point due to it's aerodynamics. Second, Semi-Wadcutters are best for target shooting and Third, the original 357 load was at 1200 fps with a semi- wadcutter hollow point in 158 grain, {The Chicago Bullet} and was designed for the first 357 magnum the N-Frame Smith & Wesson model 27. This gun is a beast capable of handling 180 gr bullets. Elmer Keith pushed 200 grainers out of his !
Check it out, you'll understand.
I differ with the statement that "any" FMJ will be more accurate than a hollow point. Accuracy is a product of consistancy. Many FMJ bullets are made to be inexpensive and reasonably accurate. Slight variations in weight and coincentricity will be detrimental to accuracy.

Rifle and handgun bullets must be looked at differently. Most HP rifle bullets are "match" bullets and made for a high degree of accuracy. Terminal performance is not the issue with these bullets. A good hollow point handgun bullet is generally made to tighter tolerances than the run of the mill FMJ.

Many match shooters, especially action pistol competitors use HP bullets not for accuracy, but for a jacketed base so no airborne lead can contaminate the gun (especially true with compensated guns).

The original loading of the .357 Magnum was actually a 158 gr bullet at over 1500 fps. The soft, swaged lead hollow point expanded very well, but was notorious for leaving a significant amount of lead in the barrel.

If we are speaking of hndgun ammo, IMHO a good HP is far more humane as the target will be incapacitated with fewer shots than with a non-expanding bullet. Trauma surgeons are well versed in dealing with gun shot wounds. one or two bullet holes can be fixed easier than 6 -10 smaller holes from an FMJ. The chances of survival get cut in half with each successive bullet wound. Statistically, the person shot twice in the torso with a hollow point bullet has a 25% chance of survival. The person shot 6 times with a FMJ has a 1.5% chance of survival.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:55 PM   #25
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Robo, can you dumb this down for me, as i'm getting a bit cornfuzzled on one point here. If you take a Full Metal Jacket target round from say Remington's regular line of ammo that comes in the green and white boxes at Walleyworld and compare it to a Jacketed Hollow Point round from the same Remington ammo sold at WW in the green and white boxes AND you assume no manufacturing defects, won't the bullet with the round nose fly better than the bullet with the hole in the front? Generally and assuming 9mm or 45ACP or maybe .38spcl, some common handgun fodder.

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Old 09-27-2010, 07:34 PM   #26
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At the velocity expected through a handgun and the minimal ranges normally encountered, the hollow point has no discernable effect. Maximum range will likely be reduced because of wind drag, but it will go 900 yards instead of 1000.

The difference is the QC of the HP ammo. Ammo intended for "stake your life on it" self defense use is made with much more care than run of the mill target punching ammo. Consistancy of bullet weight, jacket thickness, coincentricity of jacket thickness, bullet "roundness" and loaded cartridge run out, powder quality, charge weight consistancy, primer consistancy, case coincentricity, etc will be much better with "Self Defense" ammo.

To the maker it is a quality vs. quantity issue.

There is highly accurate FMJ ammo to be sure. The big 3 ammo makers use their best, most precise machines to make Self Defense bullets, components and to assemble those components.

Have you noticed that many rifle cartridges are now loaded with bullets sub-contracted out to specialized bullet makers? Sierra, Hornaday, Swift, Barnes, etc are providing the bullets for even Remington, Winchester and Federal. These loaders understand their own machines have limitations.

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Old 09-27-2010, 09:25 PM   #27
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OK then how do you explain military-spec ammo ? I know all about the Geneva convention crap, but could you actually prove that a Mil-spec round in lets say
7.62 X 51 in FMJ vs. the same caliber in a hollow point is not going to be better aerodynamically ? Also Mil-Spec 45 acp ammo in FMJ vs JHP ammo in 45 acp ? The difference may not be much, but the law of physics says there will be a difference. I agree that hollow points are better than FMJ for concealed carry. They both have their ups and downs. FMJ ammo is better for shooting through doors and windows. I know people who carry guns with staggered rounds or both FMJ and JHP's. FMJ ammo shatters bone, JHP creates bigger cavities. I know the differences and advantages, disadvantages. All im saying is that scientifically and according to physics, a FMJ bullet will be more aerodynamic than a hollow point. The fact that there's a hole like you yourself said creates drag. The bigger the hole, the more drag. A soft point or full metal jacket boat tail rifle bullet in a light grain weight will be faster than just about anything, especially when loaded in a hot cartridge round.

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Old 09-28-2010, 08:57 PM   #28
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"Okay, first of all any FMJ round will be more accurate than a hollow point due to it's aerodynamics. Second, Semi-Wadcutters are best for target shooting and .... Check it out, you'll understand."

Okay, I'll take your suggestions under advisement. But, how in the world does "concealed carry" promote HP .45 ACP bullets?

Once again, notice that the OP didn't specify rifle vs. handgun,...he just asked about bullet accuracy, right? And handgun accuracy isn't all that great at its best, right? A hollow point bullet has no more drag than an identical flat point, simple laws of physics. So, point configeration alone means virtually nothing for those short fat bullets but flat points tend to do best on targets for purely technical production reasons. The resistance encountered by handgun bullets is primarily a function of the cross sectional area, not much added by the point except a full wad cutter.

The reason lead full wad cutters are THE most "accurate" revolver bullets is they are easy to make precisely and they stabliize well at lower velocites precision shooters prefer. They also tend to tumble at longer ranges so accuracy goes to he77 much passed 40 yards or so. They don't do very well at high speeds so no one makes a jacketed wad cutter.

Semi-wadcutters were developed to give better accuracy at higher speeds and longer ranges while still making clean holes in paper targets so most high speed pistol target bullets are of that configuration, with either hollow or flat point. Any small differences in the shape of a pistol bullet's hollow point is so small and so near the center line of the bullet, and the ranges are so short, it won't make much difference, if any at all, to accuracy. Intuition can be useful but in this instance the concern of possible jacketed hollowpoint variations just doesn't mean it's true. Nor has sharp pointed rifle bullets, FMJ or plastic tipped, been proven to achieve better long range velocities than the typically more accurate hollow points.

Of course bullet feeding damage in autoloading handguns can easily cut/score the critical outer portion of their bullets so a FMJ may be somewhat helpful there and round noses do tend to feed well in most autoloaders. But that's all due to the firearms they are used in, not an indicator of the accuracy potential of the bullets themselves. Seems most modern pistol competion is some variation of short range auto-loader high speed "spray and pray" event so it doesn't require the higher pure accuracy of the older "bullseye" pistol competions and RN-FMJ bullets do as well today as is needed.

Accuracy in any jacketed bullet starts in the uniformity of the jacket and how well the core is seated. Point shape is much less important. FMJ jackets of any type are quite hard to make with consistant high precision, thus, for pure acccuracy, hollow points tend to rule. Ask any serious competitive rifle or BR shooter if he or his friends use FMJ ammo, he'll help you understand.

So, you "know all about" the military using FMJ bullets because of the "Geneva Convention Crap" rules of war? Then you know the FMJ "spec" was about minimizing the wounding effects and had nothing to do with accuracy or penetration at all.

The muzzle velocity of a bullet has nothing at all to do with point shape or boat tail. It could be loaded backwards and would exit the muzzle at the same speed.

Robo knows what he's talking about, listen to him.

Check it all out, you may learn something.

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:29 PM   #29
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Using your example of the 7.62 X 51 mm FMJ vs. HP -

IF both were made with equal precision, accuracy would be almost exactly the same. Point shape does make a difference, but a rifle HP is a very small opening that does not adversely affect accuracy. In fact, it actually enhances accuracy. There is something about an air cushion formed by the HP that actually makes it more accurate. The primary purpose of the HP is to shift the center of balance to the rear. This is needed especially with a boat tail bullet as the BT shifts the weight forward. A bullet fired through a rifled barrel will be more accurate if the center of balance is slightly rearward.

The problem is the bullets are not made with equal precision. The FMJ is mass produced. The HP bullet is made for accuracy so additional care is used in the manufacture of the actual bullet. Jacket material is chosen that is very consistant. The tools used to make them are more precise. The weight is closely controlled so each one weighs exactly the same as the others. The FMJ is made using less costly jacket material that may of may not have inconsistancies in thickness and runout. The machines used sacrifice precision for speed. You can make precise bullets or you can make alot of bullets. It is extremely expensive to make a bunch of precise buillets. You an I could not afford these bullets and the Military is not THAT wasteful.

On a side note, Military doctrine with automatic weapons call for a "cone of fire" to increase hit probability. If a three shot burst from a machinegun impacted in the same 1" circle, there is a high probability all three will be misses. Milspec ammo has minimum accuracy standards rather than maximum accuracy standards. It cannot shoot groups LESS than "X" inch big. Machinegunnery uses a concept of a "beaten zone" or the elliptical area where the bullets impact.

Military FMJ match ammo or sniper ammo is the exception to this;

Cartridge, Caliber 7.62mm, NATO, Ball, Special, M118 (United States): 173-grain 7.62×51mm NATO Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail round specifically designed for match purposes. Produced by Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. This is an interim match round which utilized M80 ball brass with the 173-grain (11.2 g) FMJBT bullet. During this period in the early to late 1980s the performance of the round declined. Powder, primer, brass, bullets were no longer produced in matching lots.

The key to accuracy is consistancy. It does not matter where the bullet hits as long as all the bullets hit the same spot. You adjust your aiming to the ammo. Consistancy in jacket diameter, thickness, shape and runout. Core alloy and weight. Case thickness, volume, length. Propellant (powder) burn rate and weight. Priming compound, amount, flame temp and intensity. All these need to be the exact same to give accuracy. Snipers use ammo from one numbered lot to make everything as equal as possible. Even then they re-confirm their zero on a regular basis (ours do it weekly).

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:39 PM   #30
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Robo, I don't know much about bullets but what you are saying about weight/CM being rearward counters what I learned in Physics. Forward weight or CM is supposed to be more stable flying bullet, the reverse can produce one prone to tumbling. It is theoretical and won't hold as much water as real world "reality" application so I hope you are sure of your info.

I STRONGLY believe that all being equal (esp. production quality), FMJ should be more accurate than JHP due to it being more aerodynamic.

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