FMJ for concealed carry?

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by icallshotgun88, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. icallshotgun88

    icallshotgun88 New Member

    Who carries FMJ for concealed carry self defense..?

    The argument AGAINST carrying FMJ is the same argument FOR carrying FMJ..


    Some fear over penetration with FMJ while others use FMJ to make up for the lack of penetration...

    .45 for example has fairly low penetration (compared to 9mm, .40, 10mm, .357, etc.)

    Did you know that 6 out of 7 people shot by a handgun survive?

    If course shot placement is of utmost importance, but penetration is key..

    Is it safe to say that FMJ is good to carry for cartridges that have lower penetration and JHP for speedier bullets?

    For example, carrying .45 FMJ but JHP for 10mm..

    Is this philosophy flawed?


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  2. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

    Most ballistic tests indicate that 45 ACP has the same or greater penetration as most other ammo types, and in addition has a larger wound cavity causing more tissue damage and a greater chance of stopping an attacker.

    This is only true of those shot with a single bullet, morbidity is 18%, but those shot with two or more bullets morbidity is 80%, it is not the bullet type or caliber but the amount of damage.

    Yes it is flawed!! First humans are not sacks of gelatin but bones, flesh and organs each having different densities, second faster bullets have a tendency to go through a humans doing less damage than slower bullets that expend all their energy within the human frame. Third larger holes mean bigger wounds and bleed out faster.

    I will stick with the 45 ACP hollow points for larger holes, more damage to tissue and the ability to break bones while traveling through different levels of clothing, bone and organs.

    Just my take on the issue.

  3. wittmeba

    wittmeba New Member

    I have read many of the posts regarding bullet types, weights, penetration and types.

    As bigjim suggests we are not gelatin. I'm not the smallest person in the world but I often wonder why we need 12" penetration. That would almost go all the way through me if not certainly deep enough to damage vital organs.

    Some of the diagrams I've seen show direction from the top of the shoulder which could happen but I visualize more likeliness of an upright criminal and aiming for the torso area should be the best shot.

    Of course we may not always get to pick and chose our situations.
  4. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter Active Member

    For 9mm and higher I'd go hollow points

    for .380 and smaller fmj for sure
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    12" of ballistic gel is about the same ammount of force needed to penetrate one arm and reach the vitals. Its done from a worse case aspect. Goblins arent going to stand straight up face to you arms to sides hanging loose...

    You need a round that will go 12+ inches in gel to ensure its got enough energy to penetrate an arm bone from the side pirce a rib and get into the heart lung area.

    Most hp will do this in 9mm on up. Exceptions being things like glaser safety slugs those ridiculous ripper rounds and other nonsense.

    In rounds smaller like 380 32 25 the hp offerings lack the ability to get to the vitals reliably. Thats why you use fmj for this. Its also why you dont use birdshot or shot less than 00buck in shotguns.
  6. KG7IL

    KG7IL Well-Known Member

    My EDC is a tool of many tasks. Usually have FMJ's. cheaper, feed nice.

    If I am on the property and pop a few rounds at a stump or a mole, FMJ's work fine. Same ECD goes to HomeDepot, SafeWay and the local feed store.
    If a bad guy needs to get shot, it'll probably be a FMJ.
  7. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    First, HPs don't feed well in many 45s, which makes FMJs pretty

    much the order of the day, for them.

    Second, my ballistics show the 45 with much less penetration

    than most faster, smaller rounds, or magnums, driven by 4 or

    5 times as much powder.

    Consider this, most SD scenarios are going to happen when you are

    alone and isolated. BGs don't want the extra attention a crowd brings.

    So Mrs. Inne O. Sent isn't going to be standing behind a bad guy,

    when he makes his move.

    As to "speed" and HPs, when you are talking FPS, speed is the HPs

    enemy. A HP expands much better at 45ACP speeds-@850 FPS, vs

    @1400FPS of faster, smaller calibers.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    I can see why you might think this way, but there are a number of factors to consider. The distance from sternum to heart is far less than 12", true. It is not just depth of penetration, but depth of penetration in ballistic gelatin. Gelatin does not have bone. Bone can be very difficult to penetrate. I have seen a sternum with a .357 Magnum bullet stuck IN it. I have seen the base of a .38 Special Silvertip visible ABOVE the skin between the upper lip and the nose.

    The magic 12" figure just equates to sufficient energy to penetrate to the vitals from ANY odd angle. Upper arm (including the humerous), rib cage, several inches of muscle and fat alone the way across the thoracic cavity to the heart AND penetrate it completely? Yup, 12" is about right.

    As far as speed being the enemy of a hollow point bullet? That kind of thinking is about 20 years behind the times. Modern bullets utilize "controlled expansion". The size and volume of the hollow cavity and the design of the serrations in the jacket are carefully thought out to allow for expansion AND penetration at expected impact velocities. I remember when the .45 ACP had a reputation for INSUFFICIENT velocity to expand at all. Now it is the only thing that will reliably expand?

    Any good bullet design like the Speer Gold Dot, Federal Hydra-shok, Winchester SXT or Hornaday XTP can be expected to give proper results nearly EVERY time.

    As for the smaller calibers, carry FMJ's, cast flat points, Speer God Dots, stagger HP/FMJ, but be prepared to shoot MULTIPLE shots INTO the target (not just AT the target). .380 and smaller should NEVER be expected to stop the threat from a single shot. On those rare occasions I carry a .380, I fully plan on emptying the magazine (12 rds) into the goblin and still have to beat his bloody azz down to fully stop the threat
  9. nosaj

    nosaj New Member

    I keep my magazines loaded alternating between JHP and FMJ.

    I feel that keeps me better prepared for whatever situation might present itself.

    What type of clothing will the BG be wearing: thick layers of sweatshirts, thin t-shirt, heavy leather jacket?

    Where will the round strike first: thick bone of upper arm or leg, soft tissue of stomach , skull, hand, ....

    If one doesn't do the job....hopefully the other will
  10. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter


    Robo:Which 380 has a 12 rd. Mag?? I only know About the Beretta(13) and the Bersa Thunder +(15).

    I don't carry 38 as an EDC anymore after a friend of mine was almost a hit and run victim of a drunk driver leaving the scene of an accident, while firing 5 Rds. From his off-Duty Smith 38, and only one went through the Auto Glass of the car.
    I alternate FMJ & HP in 3 Mags,..and one full mag of FMJ's and one of just HP's. Since my 2 Main EDC's are both Single Stack 9's, I never carry less the 4 spare Mags at any time unless carrying at home.
    My personal HP choices( and I spent 8+ months testing out whatever I could get my hands on in 9MM for an Article here I never finished!):
    Hornady Critical Defense & Critical Duty, MagTech, DRT's ( light power charge tho, jams up heavier spring guns), Fiocchi 115, 124, and 92Gr. Rounds, and just about all the Federals's. I found the Remington Golden Sabers, while a very good round, sometimes Jammed up Semi's in Rapid fire because of the wide-ness of the HP cavity, and was 2X the price of every other round. The GS's are good in Wheel Guns tho if that me and anything....
    The Liberty defense rounds deserve a mention here as well...

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  11. fa35jsf

    fa35jsf New Member

    Wow DocFootball, I believe you are the first person that I have seen on this forum that carries 4 extra mags. Nice.

    I for one carry only Winchester Ranger-T's in my 1911 with one extra mag. However, a friend who has worked with SpecOps and been deployed says he carries alternate HP and FMJ in order to defeat light barriers.
  12. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

    And for Ranger Duty(Volunteer Az. Ranger) or SHFT I carry 5 spare Double Stacks no matter which Gun I carry as a main, and four spares for The EDC which becomes the Back up in that situation..
    I have no plans to ever run out of Ammo...

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  13. fa35jsf

    fa35jsf New Member

    I want a picture of your belt :D:D:D
  14. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter


    Heh heh, Suspenders too? I usually wear a vest when I'm out in the desert, and sometimes in town unless it's stupidly Hot. I also have about 10 Belts for regular dress, a few web ones in different colors( Tan, Navy, Black) and a few stretch ones, besides a few leather ones. I carry the EDCC's in pocket holsters with extras in the Man bag or a pocket carrier or folding knife sheath. Have two that came with Maxam knifes I use on my Belt, for a std.7 shot, and one longer for the +1 of the ext. S&W or +2 for the LC9..
    If my hands hurt that day I stick my Handi-Racker in a pocket incase I have to cycle the action quickly...
    I also like cargoes, I have about 8 long pr. & a half doz. long cargo Shorts,..

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
  15. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Even our LEOs miss the target when under pressure.

    What is the difference of over penetration versus a miss? Both can hit a by stander.

    There are numerous stories that back up "ball" ammo being used to stop the threat.

    But I would use JHP. The round (in theory) expands to a larger caliber when it hits tissue. And I want the biggest hole possible if I am forced to discharge a firearm to stop the threat.
  16. Eagle1803

    Eagle1803 New Member

    I carry jhp and fmj with my .45 when I carry it which isn't to often. I believe the .45 does have considerable knock down power, however at center mass a 9mm can take a BG down just as well IMO.

    I do like to carry my FN 5.7x28 with three 20 rd mags on a shoulder holster during cooler weather, the gun can shoot 1600-1800 fps with 40 grain and 2500 fps and higher with lower grain bullets, it will swim it a torso making it a surgeons nightmare.

    I also wear a vest alot as Dr. football mentioned, they are great for ccw.:D
  17. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

    I carry the Winchester Ranger T series in my .45 . They feed well , never a issue .
    If I need to dress carry" something smaller " I use my Kahr CM9 because its unnoticeable even with fitted dress clothing, I prefer the Federal Hydra Shoks in the 9mm but Im not opposed to Ranger T's either .
  18. bbertram

    bbertram Member

    The key issue for 380 and 9mmm Mak is penetration to the 12" mark, at least. Tests show that hollow points with limited expansion do well in FBI denim/gel tests. Use HP ammo that uses the Hornady XTP bullet or Federal Hydrashoks, and you'll get good penetration and some expansion. About the best you can do with the smaller calibers.
  19. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    For 35 years I used 230 grain FMJ in my Colt 45ACP. It fed well, made a big hole and was proven in combat. (I did occasionally use Speer 200gr flying ashtrays as they fed well and were effective JHPs.) Moving to 40S&W over the last few years (and sometimes 9mm) I use good JHP. I suspect standard flat nose FMJ 40S&W would do the job like round nose 45ACP but use 135-180 grain JHP, usually 165gr. For 9mm you must have hot JHP and a pistol that will feed it. Never gave much thought to 380ACP and Makarov since I've never owned them but the arguments here for FMJ make sense.
  20. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    I mix both hollow points and FMJ ammo in a small caliber pistol (45 acp or smaller). I don't plan on missing. If I shoot the goblin twice with a hollow point and he is still standing my ammo is failing to get the job done for one reason or another. I have a couple FMJ rounds to penetrate to something vital or put an exit wound in the goblin if nothing else.