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-   -   hollow point really needed? (https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=1000578)

Alabama-Ohio 09-23-2019 08:34 AM

hollow point really needed?
 
in some calibers in some guns I wonder how much more effective a hollow point is over fmj or swc. not in ballistic gel but in real world street shootings, and not ones that are cherry picked to write a book.

here are some examples of what I'm thinking. compact .45acp (sub 4" bbl) 1911s, short bbl. big bores such as a C.A. Bulldog .44spl (or any other similar gun). of course all the various sub-calibers like .380acp and lower.

except for the sub-calibers this isn't a debate on would a hollow point be preferred in the larger calibers.... but in slow big rounds how much of a real world difference do they make?

bmcgilvray 09-23-2019 08:38 AM

Hollow points are gravy, nice to have, but they're vastly overrated in so many folks' minds. Hollow points don't make up for bad hits.

Striker2237 09-23-2019 08:41 AM

Well according to the FBI 9mm load a ball round of .45 is perfectly fine but may pen too far. Take that however you will

marlin39a 09-23-2019 09:10 AM

I have always favored the 230 gr Truncated bullet in 45. At app. 850 FPS. Hits hard.

robertrwalsh 09-23-2019 09:42 AM

No amount of tech will compensate for a bad hit. Even a mediocre round will USUALLY give decent results from a good hit. That's life in the big city. Go with what makes you feel comfortable and safe.

1saxman 09-23-2019 01:13 PM

What is the point to HP? To make the bullet expand so it stops within the body, achieving two goals; avoiding over-penetration which could endanger others, and thus transferring all of its energy to the body, creating a better shock effect. The side effect is also good, where the energy transfer and bullet expansion create more damaging wounds, possibly resulting in quicker stops with fewer shots.
BUT, this expansion requires velocity. With the smaller calibers like .25, .32, .380 and 9mm MAK, it may very well be true that the FMJ round provides enough penetration to disable the assailant with less fear of over-penetration. I know that in my own 9mm MAK that I sometimes carry, I have changed from imported typical HPs to Hornady Critical Defense, which in this caliber is a more pointed bullet with a very small hollow point which is filled with a soft polymer. I believe the concept is to give the needed penetration as well as expansion.
One thing you should not forget is the military has always rated ammunition by penetration, which to them is the main attribute, and it is of extreme importance in defense loads too. I believe the concept of 'over-penetration resulting in shoot-through' is heavily over played in smaller-caliber defensive pistol ammo. Some hollow points might expand too readily, limiting effectiveness, particularly where heavy clothing might be in use. I want a round that is designed to penetrate and be effective for that small, lightweight pistol that is very sweet to carry and accurate with its fixed barrel.

Rifter 09-23-2019 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alabama-Ohio (Post 12947090)
in some calibers in some guns I wonder how much more effective a hollow point is over fmj or swc. not in ballistic gel but in real world street shootings, and not ones that are cherry picked to write a book.

here are some examples of what I'm thinking. compact .45acp (sub 4" bbl) 1911s, short bbl. big bores such as a C.A. Bulldog .44spl (or any other similar gun). of course all the various sub-calibers like .380acp and lower.

except for the sub-calibers this isn't a debate on would a hollow point be preferred in the larger calibers.... but in slow big rounds how much of a real world difference do they make?


The manufacturers are always looking for the next 'big thing' to promote that will make them money. Hollow points fall into that category. People have tried various forms of hollow point all the way back to the days of the buffalo hunters. They never caught on, for whatever reason. When SuperVel came along in the 70s, they tried again with a full court press. The rest is history, even though it took 30 years to work out all the kinks.



I've never thought much of hollow points. I've not seen any evidence that they are to be preferred over a good soft point or solid, especially when you take performance in the game fields into account. Sadly, none of the major makers put out a premium grade self defense round with a proper soft point or solid, so we're pretty much forced into using one of the top four or five hollow point loads. The closest I can get is either a Golden Saber Bonded or Critical Duty 220 +P.


All my handloads use lead RNFP (in .44 and .45) in the 240/250 weight range at about 900-1000 fps. Golden Saber Bonded or CD 220s in the 1911. In my considered opinion (based on a couple decades of observation) there is no advantage to a hollow point over a proper soft point or solid.

vortec 09-23-2019 01:52 PM

Quote:

Sadly, none of the major makers put out a premium grade self defense round with a proper soft point or solid, so we're pretty much forced into using one of the top four or five hollow point loads. The closest I can get is either a Golden Saber Bonded or Critical Duty 220 +P.
Winchester and Browning both put out a flat nose 230 grain solid in 45 ACP. Velocities for both rounds are in the 900 fps range. I know that other rounds, such as 10mm, 9mm, and 380 ACP can be had with flat nose hard cast solids. 357 and 44 can be purchased with soft flat nose (semi-jacked) bullets.

Are those the types of rounds you would like to see?

Alabama-Ohio 09-23-2019 02:44 PM

speaking of shoot throughs since a lot of people are concerned with that..... I've used a handgun in self defense and know a few others who have done so as well. Adding to this I've worked quite a few shootings of various nature. hollow points were used in mine and my co-workers, and in all the shootings I worked fmj was used when rounds were recovered (non-recovered rounds were of unknown profile/configuration).

not once were there any innocents hit by shoot throughs. plenty of unintended targets got hit from complete misses from bad guys doing drive by shootings, but in all the others there just weren't any people down range of the other shootings. bad guys tend to attack when there are no witnesses, and in the few cases I've read about regarding shoot throughs the rounds were found close by on the ground behind the intended target. I am not saying that there isn't a risk of a shoot through with fmj particularly in a large slow moving caliber such as .44spl or .45acp, I am suggesting that missing the intended target poses a far greater risk down range than any shoot through. I think the odds are with you.

that said, I am not suggesting or advocating fmj for smaller and or higher velocity rounds such as 9mm or .357 et cetera.

pocketshaver 09-23-2019 02:45 PM

It depends really on what your trying to do.

A lot of the sub calibers such as .380 and 9mm have a hard time getting the proper velocity NEEDED for expansion in short barrels. Some don't expand at all in a 4" barrel. However, a lot of the bullets for 380 don't have enough oomph to penetrate IF they open up.

Same goes for 180 grain bullets in 45 acp according to articles I have seen, the 180 can expand into a very pretty diameter, but have shallow penetration. but if that 180 FAILS to expand it has excellent penetration.

Flat points create tissue damage, and bear tooth discovered through testing that a 180 grain swc in a 357 at 1300 fps with .25 meplat will create the same wound damage as a 240 grain swc in a 44 magnum moving at 1300 fps with a .25 meplat.

As one ex told me, its ALWAYS better to bring more sausage to the party then is needed.

Sistema1927 09-24-2019 02:01 PM

As I read some of these posts it is almost as if some folks are stuck in the 1970's.

If you can't find a load that will reliably expand in a short barrel 9mm you aren't looking hard enough.

Rifter 09-24-2019 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alabama-Ohio (Post 12947262)
speaking of shoot throughs since a lot of people are concerned with that..... I've used a handgun in self defense and know a few others who have done so as well. Adding to this I've worked quite a few shootings of various nature. hollow points were used in mine and my co-workers, and in all the shootings I worked fmj was used when rounds were recovered (non-recovered rounds were of unknown profile/configuration).

not once were there any innocents hit by shoot throughs. plenty of unintended targets got hit from complete misses from bad guys doing drive by shootings, but in all the others there just weren't any people down range of the other shootings. bad guys tend to attack when there are no witnesses, and in the few cases I've read about regarding shoot throughs the rounds were found close by on the ground behind the intended target. I am not saying that there isn't a risk of a shoot through with fmj particularly in a large slow moving caliber such as .44spl or .45acp, I am suggesting that missing the intended target poses a far greater risk down range than any shoot through. I think the odds are with you.

that said, I am not suggesting or advocating fmj for smaller and or higher velocity rounds such as 9mm or .357 et cetera.


That goes right along with the statement made by the FBI several years ago that people hit by shoot throughs is so small it is statistically nonexistant. Not something I worry about.

Rifter 09-24-2019 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sistema1927 (Post 12947972)
As I read some of these posts it is almost as if some folks are stuck in the 1970's.

If you can't find a load that will reliably expand in a short barrel 9mm you aren't looking hard enough.




Explain to me why you need a bullet to expand? All it does is slow down penetration in real world encounters.

pocketshaver 09-24-2019 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rifter (Post 12948074)
Explain to me why you need a bullet to expand? All it does is slow down penetration in real world encounters.

to make up for bad bullet placement? using bullets that are too small to begin with?

a lot of people mock the good old 38/200 load, but that bullet tumbles and does more permanent wound damage then a 9mm does.

Sistema1927 09-24-2019 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rifter (Post 12948074)
Explain to me why you need a bullet to expand? All it does is slow down penetration in real world encounters.

Bigger holes bleed more. If you can get 13"-16" of penetration, and expand from .356 to ~.55+, then why not?

Striker2237 09-24-2019 08:10 PM

Pistol rounds all suck.......so make them suck as little as possible any way possible.

MichaelE 09-24-2019 08:29 PM

In wintertime I carry FMJ in the 9mm's I have. Same with smaller calibers if I have to go smaller for concealment.

dsk 09-24-2019 11:15 PM

I don't see why people would poo-poo using .45 230-grain hollow points. If they expand then you get all the benefits of the increased terminal performance. If they don't, well it's STILL a 230-grain bullet!

jjfitch 09-25-2019 08:10 AM

Since I don't have the time or the laboratory to do adequate testing I defer to the experts or random test reports that make sense.

For now the most relevant for me is the "Lucky Gunner Ballistic Tests". In order to get the full benefit of the test results read the entire article.

So far the best comparison of calibers and bullet profiles I've seen.

I don't have a horse in this race it's just a resource for those wishing to compare data!

Smiles,

John Joseph 09-25-2019 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsk (Post 12948404)
I don't see why people would poo-poo using .45 230-grain hollow points. If they expand then you get all the benefits of the increased terminal performance. If they don't, well it's STILL a 230-grain bullet!

True that!:rock:

Rifter 09-25-2019 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsk (Post 12948404)
I don't see why people would poo-poo using .45 230-grain hollow points. If they expand then you get all the benefits of the increased terminal performance. If they don't, well it's STILL a 230-grain bullet!




A hollow point generally slows down a bullet a lot faster than it would were it a soft point or solid. It has already been shown that HPs don't penetrate as far as soft points or solids, and don't normally exit the target. So, that whiz bang HP may not make it deep enough to impact a vital area and end the fight soon enough. The perp may die, but he may also live long enough to shoot you. Since terminal ballistics is an inexact science at best, I want everything that helps to be there, and everything that doesn't to not be there. So, the more penetration there is, the more likely it is that damage is done to vital orders or nerve bundles. A truncated cone or flat point is going to do more damage than a round nose.


The 230 gr FMJ-FP that Jeff Cooper helped design for the Air Force and that was produced by Hornady was one such very effective bullet. The truncated cone design did massive damage and the FMJ design gave excellent penetration. I know how effective it is because I used it in one such incident. I also shot tens of thousands of them in combat pistol matches because they were extremely accurate and fed like ball. Hornady dropped them during the Obama shortages, but their 230 gr. HAP bullet is very similar.


I do agree though, that a 230 gr. is still a 230 gr.

Sistema1927 09-25-2019 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelE (Post 12948276)
In wintertime I carry FMJ in the 9mm's I have. Same with smaller calibers if I have to go smaller for concealment.

Grnt Cunningham's "hump day" reading list had this article today: http://www.activeresponsetraining.ne...colder-weather

Rifter 09-25-2019 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pocketshaver (Post 12948124)
to make up for bad bullet placement? using bullets that are too small to begin with?

a lot of people mock the good old 38/200 load, but that bullet tumbles and does more permanent wound damage then a 9mm does.




Nothing makes up for bad placement, or too small to begin with. That's like closing the stable door after the horse gets out. The Brits used the .38-200 in the Webley MkVI. But, it wasn't the RN version like Remington loaded over here. It was a stubby fat bullet with a flat point. Not as good as the .455 but it did OK at close range.

Alabama-Ohio 09-25-2019 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsk (Post 12948404)
I don't see why people would poo-poo using .45 230-grain hollow points. If they expand then you get all the benefits of the increased terminal performance. If they don't, well it's STILL a 230-grain bullet!

I don't think anyone is poo pooing 45 acp hollow points, but some 1911s are finicky with hollow points and only certain ones work for some. the FMJ round gives reliability in more guns and is easier to find. again I am not saying do not use a hollow point, but in the 825 fps and slower range a 230gr. FMJ .45acp or a 240gr. SWC .44spl seem to be as good as any hollow point due to erratic expansion. these are the velocities that short bbl 1911s give on a good day.

tjpaxton 09-25-2019 09:36 PM

No, hollow points aren't really needed. A lot of manufacturers' hollow points are not worth a darn.

But there are a few quality hollow points like Federal HST or Winchester Ranger T-Series that will have consistent expansion in all medias. As mentioned above, it would be ideal to have the bullet expend all it's energy into your target, instead of passing through.

Some guns are finicky with wide-mouth hollow points like Federal HST. But personally, I have run HST through all my pistols and never had a failure of any sort.

Winchester Ranger T-Series has a modest hollow point opening and should run fine in any decent pistol. It expands very well in 45 acp, but not so well in 9mm.

What counts the most is getting hits in a vital area. And if you can get a hit in a vital area with either of these two bullet types mentioned above, the more devastating the result will be.

A 45 acp 230 gr HST round averages between .800 - .925 expansion in most testing I've seen.

The 45 acp Winchester Ranger 230 gr round averages between .800 - .990 expansion in most testing I've seen. However I think the more consistent expansion between the two rounds is the HST bullet design.

But all testing will vary some. Also hits on human flesh will vary as well depending on clothing worn, hitting bone etc.

Shorter Barrel lengths will usually have less expansion in 45 acp due to lower velocity out of a short barrel (but may have slightly more penetration) {due to less expansion}.

Here's a few videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWW2Y-IZpyE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-K9krp7fnE


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