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  #1  
Old 03-14-2010, 11:06 PM
MickiC MickiC is offline
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FMJ vs Hollow Points




Any advise on if FMJ vs hollow points for defense. I have learned that my 1911 just does not digest hollow points well. I have not yet put enough rounds in it to really break her in (about 150 rounds so far) so maybe after a while it will shoot ok with the hollow points. So my question is this, if my 1911 really does not fire well with hollow points...are there round nose bulltes that are good for stopping power in the 1911...? I'm worried about not using a load that will expand when it hits its target, and that may pass through into an unintentional area...thoughts and advice is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2010, 01:13 AM
Tra Vinh Tra Vinh is offline
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You will get a load of response tomorrow on this one.

Welcome to the forum.

My 2 cents:
I carry only hardball. It will get the job done well. Over penetration, is way down the list of my concerns. Stopping the threat is number 1.

After studying ballistic charts and listening to forum discussions; I have yet to be convinced of hollow point superiority (in .45 caliber) over hard ball.

I have stood over dead bodies, waiting for the M.E., that were killed with hard ball; both .45 & 9mm.
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2010, 02:33 AM
bubbasan bubbasan is offline
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I too have a 1911 that does not reliably eat up hollow points, so I use pow'r ball in it. It loads like ball and hits like hollow points.
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2010, 07:29 AM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Carry FMJ with your head held high.

Joe
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2010, 09:10 AM
Locoweed Locoweed is offline
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Interesting read

Do a google search for fbi-hwfe.pdf
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2010, 09:20 AM
FirearmsEnthusiast FirearmsEnthusiast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbasan View Post
i too have a 1911 that does not reliably eat up hollow points, so i use pow'r ball in it. It loads like ball and hits like hollow points.
+1
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2010, 09:20 AM
FirearmsEnthusiast FirearmsEnthusiast is offline
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They're not cheap though, those pow'r balls.
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2010, 12:16 PM
DirtyRod DirtyRod is online now
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I'm surprised there hasn't been a lot of replies to the contrary and I will stay out of the debate as well. Of my five, only one does not feed JHPs well but it's exclusively a range gun. One other needed the feed ramp polished but the other three fed fine from the factory. Break in was important for my two carry guns as they didn't feed nearly as well until I got 500 rounds through them. My Kimber is alloy so I refrained some until I got the ramp smoothed out so I didn't gouge the ramp too badly.

I'd get at least 500 rounds through it to make sure it's properly broken in. I'd also try a couple of different kinds since bullet profiles differ and some guns feed certain brands better than others. You can then make a decision bases solely on personal preference and belief rather than any limitations of the gun.
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2010, 01:12 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Try a brand that has a truncated cone design. It will feed like ball ammo but has a meplat (flat nose) that will increase wound size over ball ammo.
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2010, 01:22 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NonPCnraRN View Post
Try a brand that has a truncated cone design. It will feed like ball ammo but has a meplat (flat nose) that will increase wound size over ball ammo.
Excellent advise!

Joe
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2010, 02:34 PM
JR47 JR47 is offline
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Remington's standard JHP is close to a FMJ profile, and has been recommended for just those conditions for decades.

Look at it this way, as long as the ammunition feeds reliably, why not take the chance that the round will expand as intended, increasing wounding potential? It certainly won't get smaller, no matter what.
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2010, 03:11 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Originally Posted by JR47 View Post
take the chance that the round will expand as intended, increasing wounding potential? It certainly won't get smaller, no matter what.
Because it will penetrate less. A shorter hole is not desirable. Weight
retention is desirable. Crashing through bones rather than being
deflected by them is desirable.

Joe
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2010, 03:19 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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Overpenetration with .45 acp hardball is not really an issue. (It is a bitch with 9mm.) If that's what works in your weapon, that's what you should use. At .45 velocity reliable expansion with hollowpoints can not be counted on.

Shot placement is #1. Adequate penetration is #2. Everything else is an almost academic #3.
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2010, 04:11 PM
N/Apower N/Apower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertrwalsh View Post
Overpenetration with .45 acp hardball is not really an issue. (It is a bitch with 9mm.) If that's what works in your weapon, that's what you should use. At .45 velocity reliable expansion with hollowpoints can not be counted on.

Shot placement is #1. Adequate penetration is #2. Everything else is an almost academic #3.
Eh, I have to get in on this somewhere. Might as well be this post.

Just how is over-penetration worse with a 9mm FMJ than a .45 FMJ? The .45 ACP 230gr FMJ will penetrate 26"+ in gel, and gel has been proven to correlate well with human bodies. I have seen very few ambulatory people (I have seen one, just today, actually. The individual weighed roughly 600#) that have more than 26" in their torso, even from an oblique.

Further, yes, at ".45 velocities", many rounds are reliable expanders. This isn't the 70's.
Quote:
Cartridge : 230 grain Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel (part #23975).

Firearm : Recoil-operated handgun with 3.8" barrel length.

Calibration : 10.0 0.05cm and 591 0.500 ft/sec impact velocity.

0.620 0.0005" average diameter, 14.3 0.031" penetration, 775 0.500 ft/sec impact velocity.
-From Brassfetcher.com

I do agree though, use what works with your weapon, but then again--I don't agree. The weapon is chosen around the bullet, not the other way. That pistol isn't the point of the excercise. Putting a bullet into the target is. The pistol is just the messenger--it's the message that we are concerned with. If your pistol won't run a good JHP, screw it. Buy a pistol that will. Too many people worship the platform to the point that they will run sub-par ammunition just to justify the use of that platform.

Another point. That .45 FMJ-RN isn't making a .45 size hole. It is making about a .3" hole. Tissue is elastic, RN ammo only creates a permanent cavity roughly 66% as large as the projectile. JHP's make a permanent cavity rough;y 80-90% as large, due to the sharper shoulder on the front of the expanded projectile. A truncated nose design is good, and will probably increase the permanent cavity size over that of ball, but it won't exceed original calbier, that is for sure, so you are still stuck with a wound track 50% or less the size made by a good JHP. So for every time you shoot the target with a JHP, it will take two shots from the FMJ (or more) to cause equivalent tissue damage...that's what you're thinking. Again, wrong. Using simple math and the area of a circle, etc. the difference is 3-400% or so with regards to tissue crushed. Find the area of a circle .3" across and compare it to that of a circle .6" across. So to destroy an equivalent amount of tissue equates to 3-4 trigger pulls. Lame.

Stop whining about "Oh I'm scared the JHP will underpenetrate". Plenty of premium JHP's will penetrate 14-16" in .45 caliber. If 14-16" isn't enough for you, then why not? Are you worried about intermediate hard barriers? Then you shouldn't have picked a .45. Again. Pick the caliber to suite the need, and the weapon to suit the caliber. So many people are doing it all backwards and they end up with opinions like "Hardball is best because it's the only thing that's reliable".

It may be best--in a pistol that won't run. But why own such a thing?

Last edited by N/Apower; 03-15-2010 at 04:23 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-15-2010, 06:06 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Quote:
Also, and I may be going out on a limb here, I'm not altogether certain that hardball is necessarily a bad choice for the reasons given above. Look, folks, you don't have to blow the heart into a million pieces; you've just got to hit it, and you don't have to make the liver look like it just spent 10 minutes in a Cuisinart. Again, you've just got to hit it. All things being equal, yes, I'd rather have a properly expanded hollowpoint reach the same location as a hardball round since, for the most part, the hollowpoint will infict more damage than hardball. But things aren't always equal. Unlike some hollowpoints, hardball generally has no problems feeding (as always, this is more a matter of knowing your gun and what it feeds reliably) and almost without exception it just plows along its merry way busting up whatever it comes into contact with. Hollowpoints, even the best of them, can do really strange things such as shedding the jacket, losing an inordinate amount of weight, or expanding so rapidly that they don't reach the vitals. I've seen it time and time again and many times I don't have an explanation for it. It's just empirical observation and something to think about.
From Deadmeat2's thread on smith-wessonforum, "Tales from the Morgue"
a few years ago.

The efficacy of hollowpoints at pistol velocities has never been proven.
Why are they so popular? Marketing.

Joe
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  #16  
Old 03-15-2010, 06:18 PM
N/Apower N/Apower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dcoe View Post
From Deadmeat2's thread on smith-wessonforum, "Tales from the Morgue"
a few years ago.

The efficacy of hollowpoints at pistol velocities has never been proven.
Why are they so popular? Marketing.

Joe
All JHP's reach maximum expansion within an inch or two of penetration, physics dictates that expansion must be reached immediately or not at all.

Bonded JHP's do not shed jackets.

A bigger hole is better than a smaller one. Even if they are both going to cause lots of blood loss. I will take every advantage I can get. Otherwise .22LR with a solid that didn't deform would be just as good as a .45, and I don't think that's the case.
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  #17  
Old 03-15-2010, 07:20 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N/Apower View Post
All JHP's reach maximum expansion within an inch or two of penetration, physics dictates that expansion must be reached immediately or not at all.

Bonded JHP's do not shed jackets.

A bigger hole is better than a smaller one. Even if they are both going to cause lots of blood loss. I will take every advantage I can get. Otherwise .22LR with a solid that didn't deform would be just as good as a .45, and I don't think that's the case.
.22 doesn't have the mass or energy to penetrate, nor to crash through
bone.

Joe
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  #18  
Old 03-15-2010, 07:51 PM
MickiC MickiC is offline
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OK so here's the next thought, I love my 1911, I have trained for home defense with it and I can handle it well. I have a small hand and even though I can hande a snubie 357 wheel gun I can double tap and move and pretty much hit the general center of the target every time with my 1911 and feel no recoil.

Yes I am worried about over penetration, I live in a suburb. I also want to stop my attacker if I'm ever in that position. So if 1911 cant handle a better defense load, than I have to ask myself if I can better handle a differnt gun.

I think I know the answer but has anybody had any luck or experience using extreme shock ammo in thier 1911, or is it all marketing hype.

Thanks everyone for the input, I havent yet put my gun in service for home defense yet because I am not comfortable with the ammo. I could use JHP's but I would be racking and droping the mag about every third shot...would a gun smith be able to make my 1911 work with hollow points...

OK that's at lot of questions so here they are:
1) has anybody had experience with extreme shock ammo
2) should I consider getting the gun "Smithed" to fit hollow points
3) If not a 1911 for my small hand what caliber and gun is recommended
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  #19  
Old 03-15-2010, 08:53 PM
N/Apower N/Apower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dcoe View Post
.22 doesn't have the mass or energy to penetrate, nor to crash through
bone.

Joe
The .22 will reach 12"+ in gel from a handgun with the right rounds. Bone? The .22 will punch as much pine 2x4 as a .45ACP FMJ will. However, a 2x4 isn't bone, so I digress. I don't know how it does on bone. Never shot a large bone with it.
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  #20  
Old 03-15-2010, 08:53 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Handgun rounds are poor penetrators. Their problem is they don't
penetrate enough, not overpenetration. But you must understand:
you have to hit the assailant! Passing through an assailant will take
most of the energy out of the round. In your environment, you must
control your shots so that you are sure of hits. It doesn't matter what
ammo you use, if you miss, it's going thru a wall.

Except:

Frangible bullets like extreme shock and glaser safety slugs are the
worst penetrators of all. If they won't penetrate a wall, they won't
penetrate a bad guy. Do not use them for self defense.

Bullets can't do magic. You can't ask it to know whether it's going
thru a bad guy or thru a wall.

You don't say what caliber your 1911 is. If it is a .45 ACP, go ahead and
use hollowpoint ammunition. It's big enough to get the job done, even if
the bullet does expand.

Joe
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  #21  
Old 03-15-2010, 08:56 PM
N/Apower N/Apower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickiC View Post
OK so here's the next thought, I love my 1911, I have trained for home defense with it and I can handle it well. I have a small hand and even though I can hande a snubie 357 wheel gun I can double tap and move and pretty much hit the general center of the target every time with my 1911 and feel no recoil.

Yes I am worried about over penetration, I live in a suburb. I also want to stop my attacker if I'm ever in that position. So if 1911 cant handle a better defense load, than I have to ask myself if I can better handle a differnt gun.

I think I know the answer but has anybody had any luck or experience using extreme shock ammo in thier 1911, or is it all marketing hype.

Thanks everyone for the input, I havent yet put my gun in service for home defense yet because I am not comfortable with the ammo. I could use JHP's but I would be racking and droping the mag about every third shot...would a gun smith be able to make my 1911 work with hollow points...

OK that's at lot of questions so here they are:
1) has anybody had experience with extreme shock ammo
2) should I consider getting the gun "Smithed" to fit hollow points
3) If not a 1911 for my small hand what caliber and gun is recommended
1) It's crap.
2)You can do this, or you can get a different handgun, or, if this is night-stand only, and you have the cash to do it, I would buy an AR-15 and load it with 75gr Hornady T2. The latter is the most terminally effective, and least-likely to continue through house walls of the options I listed.
3)This is really personal. Go to a gun-store and fondle a few, then go to a range and rent and shoot the ones that fondled the nicest for you. Buy what works best. 9mm,357SIG,.40S&W,.45ACP are all good choices with the right ammunition.
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  #22  
Old 03-15-2010, 08:57 PM
DirtyRod DirtyRod is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickiC View Post
2) should I consider getting the gun "Smithed" to fit hollow points
As suggested above, I would get at least 500 rounds through it before making any changes. MANY 1911s have problems feeding initially but come around after proper break in. The search button will give you tons of threads on this very subject. You also didn't state what kind of JHPs you use and those same threads will also provide all kinds of stories of guns preferring certain brands. After that, you can have the ramp polished to sure things up IF you are still having feeding problems but be careful if it's a non-ramped barrel in an alloy gun.

I have no experience with Extreme Shock and there are too many variables in the "What Caliber and Gun Should I get question".
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  #23  
Old 03-15-2010, 08:58 PM
N/Apower N/Apower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dcoe View Post
Handgun rounds are poor penetrators. Their problem is they don't
penetrate enough, not overpenetration. But you must understand:
you have to hit the assailant! Passing through an assailant will take
most of the energy out of the round. In your environment, you must
control your shots so that you are sure of hits. It doesn't matter what
ammo you use, if you miss, it's going thru a wall.

Except:

Frangible bullets like extreme shock and glaser safety slugs are the
worst penetrators of all. If they won't penetrate a wall, they won't
penetrate a bad guy. Do not use them for self defense.

Bullets can't do magic. You can't ask it to know whether it's going
thru a bad guy or thru a wall.

You don't say what caliber your 1911 is. If it is a .45 ACP, go ahead and
use hollowpoint ammunition. It's big enough to get the job done, even if
the bullet does expand.

Joe
The 9mm is big enough to get the job done if it expands also. Every major defence worthy handgun caliber has a loading available that will penetrate 12-16" or so while expanding to .6" or larger, caliber dependant.

Handgun rounds penetrate just fine on people. It's cars and the like that they struggle with. Or if you load it with a light for caliber bullet that fragments, etc, it will cause problems. I simply do not understand why people think they need non-expanding ammo to reach the vitals on a human being. Can anyone produce evidence of such?
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  #24  
Old 03-15-2010, 09:50 PM
Tra Vinh Tra Vinh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N/Apower View Post
The 9mm is big enough to get the job done if it expands also. Every major defence worthy handgun caliber has a loading available that will penetrate 12-16" or so while expanding to .6" or larger, caliber dependant.

Handgun rounds penetrate just fine on people. It's cars and the like that they struggle with. Or if you load it with a light for caliber bullet that fragments, etc, it will cause problems. I simply do not understand why people think they need non-expanding ammo to reach the vitals on a human being. Can anyone produce evidence of such?
Ah,
Here is where this thread has taken a turn from the OP.
MickiC infers that FMJ will not provide the stopping power needed in his 1911. He is worried about his hollow points jamming in his 1911. He asks for advice on FMJ bullets.
I have never felt that a hollow point in .45 caliber would not reach vital organs. Depending on circumstances, I'm sure there are hollow points in .45 caliber that will blow clean through some individuals.
The question of concern in my mind ( .45 HB vs .45 HP ) has always been "Feed Reliability".

MickiC, any commercial FMJ will do the job in your 1911. Don't assume that hollow point will stay inside the subject and not pass through, also. Just make sure you have loaded it with a "Feed Reliable" round.

Yes,
I feel like 40dcoe, marketing in .45 hollow points has surpassed much of the truth, in the dominance/effectiveness over hard ball.
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  #25  
Old 03-15-2010, 10:00 PM
N/Apower N/Apower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tra Vinh View Post
Ah,
Here is where this thread has taken a turn from the OP.
MickiC infers that FMJ will not provide the stopping power needed in his 1911. He is worried about his hollow points jamming in his 1911. He asks for advice on FMJ bullets.
I have never felt that a hollow point in .45 caliber would not reach vital organs. Depending on circumstances, I'm sure there are hollow points in .45 caliber that will blow clean through some individuals.
The question of concern in my mind ( .45 HB vs .45 HP ) has always been "Feed Reliability".

MickiC, any commercial FMJ will do the job in your 1911. Don't assume that hollow point will stay inside the subject and not pass through, also. Just make sure you have loaded it with a "Feed Reliable" round.

Yes,
I feel like 40dcoe, marketing in .45 hollow points has surpassed much of the truth, in the dominance/effectiveness over hard ball.
I agree. People should indeed keep this in mind!

I still say every advantage should be taken. That means (for me), a gun that will launch the bullet I view as best for the job--a JHP of optimal construction for the caliber I am using.
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