1911Forum - View Single Post - hollow point really needed?
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Razorback22 View Post
There is an old saying I came up with a few months back:
"A hit to a non-vital area with a hollowpoint is no more effective than a hit with a full metal jacket round. A hit to a vital area with a full metal jacket is no less effective than a hit with a hollowpoint round."
The problem with expanding bullets is reliable, repeatable performance and even today, despite all the marketing, expanding bullets are no more "reliable" than they were 30 years ago. Bear in mind the bullet that got ALL the blame for not stopping the Miami shooter in 1986 was a 9mm expanding bullet that failed to penetrate into the heart. Had that bullet been a FMJ 124gr. NATO round it would most likely have punched ALL the way through and exited. The one thing we KNOW for sure when a bullet exits is that it hit and damaged everything in the middle!
When you anticipate encountering bear you don't even consider JHP ammo, but when the topic turns to humans, which are easily likely to weigh as much as smaller bears and are every bit as dangerous, people think nothing of leaving the .500 S&W at home in favor of a super-sub-compact with JHP ammo. Unfortunately humans don't just stand there and wait for their shooting, nor do they "square up" for it so the bullet has only a few inches to penetrate before encountering something tasty. As soon as a large adult male starts presenting "angles" all bets are off when it comes to predicting what any expanding handgun bullet in the sub-500fpe range is going to do. Worse still is the fact that magnums can achieve higher velocities which makes expanding bullets open up faster and penetrate LESS! Unless of course the bullet is specifically made for that added speed which is not generally the case.
Over-penetration is also over-hyped. I've seen a person hit in the hip by a .45ACP "hardball" that stopped in the bladder - traversing a distance of maybe 8 inches to get there. It certainly didn't zoom clean through him, and it had no effect what-so-ever on his ability to walk into the ER and announce he "thought" he'd been shot.
I've also seen 9mm HP hits that went clean through the upper torso, tearing out ragged plugs because there is very little in the human chest cavity to slow a bullet down on a front-to-back hit. Hit seven times the "kid" was alert, talking, and could easily have gone home save for the chest tube we inserted to reinflate his lung. I remember another guy showed up by ambulance, shot clean THROUGH his FACE by a low-powered handgun. Based on the entrance hole and exit "slit" it was most likely a .38spl round nose. The bullet entered the bridge of his nose, traversed through his ethmoid sinus, glanced off the base of the cranial vault, deflected slightly sideways and exited just below the occipital lobe of the skull. "Treatment" consisted of two band-aids after imaging studies to determine the extent of internal injury. That patient went home the next day!

Now, everyone THINKS expanding bullets are more effective, and in certain situations I'd agree, but when dealing with what are essentially "large game animals" (humans), I'd take a FMJ over an expander, and I'd take a cartridge making supersonic velocity over one carrying more mass. The .38 hit to the face didn't kill the man, though it likely ended the altercation. Another shot probably would would have killed the man. The 9mm hits didn't kill that young man either, and they all went clean through (7 hits, 14 holes in this example), despite being JHP bullets, and yet, after the initial "surprise" he was in excellent condition and required very little medical care considering. Despite the number of hits, none passed through a vital zone - all were to the left side of the chest region.

I remember another young man who shot himself in the chest with a 'home-made" .22. He came in by ambulance and did not survive despite considerable efforts to save him. One shot dead center, directly over the heart.

And then we have the documented shootings we can all view or read about.

We also have a plethora of real-life video "data" where we can see people being shot and how they reacted - regardless of caliber and ammunition type used.

The bottom line is, if that bullet passes into or through a vital spot - the person is going down. If not, they will react in a variety of ways, generally toward self-preservation in the form of ducking, dodging, and running...which could equal a "one shot stop" or even a no shot stop, or full miss stop if the attacker leaves off the attack!

The lowly .22LR has as good of a "track record" as does the 9mm, .38 spl, and .45 auto. .22 bullets fired from short barrels have done complete pass-throughs on humans, and bullet design has little to do with it. Certainly all calibers will kill, and all are equally effective at "stopping" since that is a far more subjective concept.

I don't think the person carrying a 9mm loaded with "real" 9mm power ammo in FMJ is at a disadvantage to one carrying a down-loaded JHP "defensive" round.
So true sir. It's what I have witnessed in 30 years as an LEO.
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