FMJ - Pistol Defence Ammo?

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by TrueNorth, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

    236
    0
    0
    Perhaps an old topic, but I think that it's one that is worth revisiting.

    Putting aside the argument for a defense shotgun or rifle, for those who consider using a pistol/revolver for home/personal defense what would be a logical defense round?

    Feel free to discuss caliber, but I don't want a 9mm vs .45 fight. I'm looking for arguments on FMJ or HP/SP.

    While HP will expand as everyone knows, it can also get caught up in clothing and reduce penetration. Slashed up skin is painful but non-lethal, whereas a FMJ won't expand but it will cause deeper damage.

    - Consider that FMJ is cheaper and one could also practice with it more.
    - Also, consider situations, is FMJ better in the home, but not in a carry gun?

    I would consider FMJ as usable a defense round as HP. In a pinch I'd use either. But for low calibers, I'd say FMJ, if the round is more powerful like .45 maybe HP would be able to penetrate deep enough.

    and go!
     

  2. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    There's been a couple threads about this lately. The problem with HPs and clothing isn't lack of penetration. When they get clogged with clothing, they tend to not expand and therefore act like a FMJ and over penetrate.

    I've been firmly convinced the last few days that HP is the only way to go for a SD rd. That is unless you are worried that you attacker may be wedding kevlar :eek:
     
  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    Fmj makes a permanent wound channel of whatever caliner it is. Hp if it expands makes a larger channel than its caliber. If it doesn't expand it still makes one of its given caliber.

    So you definately want to use hp bullets if you gun cycles them reliabley on the chance they work as designex and give a larger wound channel to.stop.the attacker quicker.

    If a hp round doesn't expand it still works like a fmj. There is no reason to use fmj over hp all else equal
     
  4. loaf_fan

    loaf_fan New Member

    24
    0
    0
    You are exactly right. In smaller calibers you might consider the FMJ over the HP. For instance I have several 32 acp's and there is a good comparison on this page:

    FMJ vs. HP in 32acp

    According to the FBI (See: Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo)

    In Self Defense Ammo, you're looking for 2 things.
    1) at least 12" of penetration in properly prepared ballistic gelatin/soft tissue, and
    2) expand to the largest diameter possible in order to cause the largest possible wound.

    If you follow GoldenLoki's geletin/chronograph tests from the first link, you will notice that in every case the FMJ has better penetration. Only 2 of the 9 different hollow points penetrated adequately.

    This shows that FMJ meets Rule #1 over the HP. Also you're less likely to have rim lock with this round vs a HP. (see rim lock)

    However you will also see that there was no expansion with the FMJ, so it falls short of Rule #2, however you're still getting .306 to .308 inch holes.

    Myself I think a properly placed and properly penetrated shot (and lots of them) over an expanded shot that doesn't do much vital damage would be what I'd lean toward, better yet if you can account for rim lock, I'd say mix and match.
     
  5. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

    7,143
    1
    0
    If your gun will reliably feed quality JHP ammo - there's no reason not to use it. As has been stated, even if it doesn't expand you haven't really lost anything over using FMJ ammo. Also note that most defensive ammo is loaded much "hotter" than common "target" FMJ ammo so that is also a factor to consider. What's most important is to thoroughly test the ammo you intend to use in YOUR gun to be assured it cycles reliably. About the only gun I'll carry FMJ in is a 1911 - as it will always create a .45 hole...
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,358
    26
    48
    Under the Geneva convention, military cannot use the anything but FMJ in a declared war.

    One thought is if you wound one soldier, it take three soldiers out of the equation (1 wounded and 2 to help him/her). If the wounded soldier gets killed, then leave him/her there and continue fighting.
     
  7. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

    236
    0
    0
    Good link. An interesting read. I'm not totally convinced that the HP is the best as some have stated the feeding issues. Although I'm sure that can be solved by finding the right ammo.

    I'm trying to figure if FMJ is useful simply because where I live, HP pistol ammo is HUGELY expensive (like rifle ammo prices) and (especially 9mm) very hard to come by. It's not technically illegal, but the way laws are it has to jump through some legal hoops. Because of the laws, few people buy it, so the stores don't carry it. I could order it in, but it would attract attention, I'm not hiding anything, but why paint a target on my back right? What can I say, up here the police say that there is no reason for anyone to have HP, and so while it's not illegal, they do notice if people buy it.

    Strangely enough, I DO find HP .40 s&w around fairly commonly. but that's the only type.

    So, while I'll consider ordering HP, does anyone have a particular brand of FMJ that is thought to be useful?
     
  8. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

    14,922
    0
    0
    Hornady makes some ammunition that is designed to address the clothing problem and it may also address the feed issue in some guns (but that is a guess on my part) Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Ammunition :: Handgun :: Choose by Product Line :: Critical Defense®

    I suppose if you have somebody in the US who could buy it and send it to you that would address the problems of getting it in Canada (also known around here as "America's Hat"). I have done similar things to get items here in California that some companies will not ship here. Believe it or not I bought a BB gun (Roy Rogers edition) form my son a few years ago and they wouldn't ship it to CA! I had it sent to my sister in Washington State and then she sent it to me. Nothing illegal about it but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

    Personally I have revolvers loaded with HP's at the bedside (so to speak) and I use FMJ of the same weight for practice. Every six months or so I will burn up my HP's while practicing with the FMJ's to make sure they perform in a similar way and to keep the ammo fresh. I am probably going to cycle out my Federal Premium Personal Defense cartridges in favor of the Hornady Critical Defense ammo pretty soon.
     
  9. ballfan4141

    ballfan4141 New Member

    90
    0
    0
    one thing I always wondered was this. if you use a fmj it will penetrate deeper and maybe even go through. wouldnt a bullet that went the whole way though be better because it is a longer wound and the guy will bleed out faster. also with the fmj it could penetrate enough to hit and or go through an organ.
     
  10. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    the holy grail is the defensive round that penetrates and drops to the ground on the opposite side of the goblin inches from where he is standing.

    in hunting you want penetration thru the animal i would say same rule applies to goblins.
     
  11. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    FMJs leave small holes that tend to seal themseves up and not bleed out. Just like the reason you use a broadhead on a arrow instead of just a sharpened stick. As far as it going all the way thru, that's called "over penetrating" it's dangerous to people behind the bad guy, along with the fact that once a bullet exits the bad guy you're just wasting energy that should have been inflicted on the bad guys internals in the form of hydrostatic pressure/shock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,358
    26
    48
    A HP makes a bigger hole as it travels through media, resulting in a greater blood loss.

    All energy is stopped in the media if the bullet does not go through completely. The bigger the hole, the better the chances are of stopping the aggressor.

    Google stopping power of handguns. Most of the better ones are HP's of some sort.
     
  13. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

    7,143
    1
    0
    As far as the OP's question about FMJ that could serve as defensive ammo, Speer loads their Lawman series to roughly the same ballistics as their SD ammo. The idea is to have practice ammo with the same recoil characteristics as a JHP load you'd carry. When I'm carrying FMJ in a 1911 - I use Speer Lawman...
     
  14. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    12
    38
    ive seen hydrostatic shock in action last december. shot a doe at 125 yards with my 458SOCOM. the scope was way off from bouncing around in a four wheeler all day. the aimpoint was center of the ribcage in the heart lung area. bullet impacted in front of the rear legs under the spine. the shock from the bullet alone killed the deer. on cleaning the shot missed all bones and it was a clean 45cal hole through non-critical tissue no major vessels hit. the hydrostatic shockwave hitting the spinal cord is what killed it.

    i believe you need a bullet that will penetrate far enough into the goblin body for that shock to hit a vital central nervous juncture. soft tissue is only pushed around by 9mm 45acp 40sw bullet speeds it takes a VERY big bullet to see tissue destruction from hydrostatic shock.

    deer i have shot with a 308 in the heart lung area most internal organs are undamaged from the shock effect. blood loss and time brought the animal down. deer i have shot with a slower heavier bullet as in 458 winmag 350grn. most internal organs are turned into a soup with nothing recognizable left dropping the deer instantly. both kill deer effectively but the effects from a slower heavier bullet are magnitudes greater than a lighter faster bullet. when shooting deer in the heart/lung area. shoot a deer there with a 30cal your gonna be tracking. shoot same spot with a big slower bullet it drops.

    from years of deer hunting with 45 caliber heavy bullets compairing them to faster lighter 30cal rifle bullets convinced me that for SD the biggest diameter heaviest bullet i could get for SD is ideal.
     
  15. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

    236
    0
    0
    Good point. So would it be safe to say from your comment that I could buy some expensive HP for SD or other use, but practice with a FMJ that is cheaper but loaded to the same hotness and bullet weight?

    I've always figured I should "practice with what I plan to use". in which case HP is too hard for me to do due to laws. But if other people find that this is effective... it could be something.
     
  16. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    1,471
    0
    0
    I think that's what most people do even if they have easy access to HP, simply because of the cost factor.