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  #1  
Old 12-07-2010, 08:00 PM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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FMJ vs JHP...Will FMJ get the job done for SD?

I've read pros and cons about these rounds, and some folks are comfortable with ball ammo every day while others insist on the latest and greatest in jhp. I shoot ball at the range but carry jhp.

My greatest concerns about CC ammo in any caliber are reliability, stopping power and over penetration. The ball ammo feeds most reliably but is generally considered problematic to persons behind the target or in another room. Failure to feed reliably is
a problem commonly ascribed to jhp.

I'd like to standardize with 9mm and .45acp in fmj if the over penetration issue can be overcome with reasonable facts and logic. The next best approach, in my view, would be to carry a HIGHLY reliable feeding round in jhp, regardless of cost.

This topic must have been discussed adnauseam in prior threads, but I haven't found solid arguments to settle this specific issue in my mind. Saying that fmj is cheaper and has killed lots of enemy combatants as a military round is not compelling to me. Arguing that jhp create effective wound characteristics in gel doesn't overcome my concern about feed reliability.

This is a real issue for me, and I would appreciate input to help me decide which ammo I want to carry for self defense.

Last edited by Trekker; 12-12-2010 at 11:10 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-07-2010, 08:36 PM
Brian1979 Brian1979 is offline
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Carry what the cops carry and be done with it. They use JHP's for a reason but if cost is an issue then go with FMJ if you have no choice. Most have settled on FMJ with a flat point as being a good alternative but why not choose a good JHP when there are so many available?

If your gun wont feed all factory JHP you have to start with fixing your gun not the ammo. Check mags and gun for function before going to FMJ because any quality ammo should feed through your carry gun.
  #3  
Old 12-07-2010, 09:06 PM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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Brian,

Cost is not an issue, period.

Is your position that my guns (Glocks, 1911 Colts) will perform just as reliably on JHPs as FMJ?

My primary handguns are fairly new and in top condition. I don't recall ever having a failure to feed or eject with FMJ. I have had occasional failures with Federal, Winchester and other JHPs. How many rounds without failure constitute acceptable performance by a JHP round for SD?

Do most police departments carry JHP? Why does the military still use fmj?

Is there a JHP that is reputed to feed more reliably than most, even if it has less desirable wound infliction characteristics?

Last edited by Trekker; 12-07-2010 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:10 PM
Douglas_knott Douglas_knott is offline
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they didnt use hp in WWI. fmj worked back then why not now? i use hp's though. just my preferance.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2010, 09:36 PM
Northern 1911 Northern 1911 is offline
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FMJ's

Reliability as previously stated is one of the reasons the military doesn't shoot HP's, most soldiers can't afford, don't carry or shoot a Wilson, Ed Brown, Les Baer etc in the line of duty. Most military are shooting box guns of various makes with little support in bad conditions so close tolerance guns are a ? Drop in parts Modifying your issued weapon for the better would get your butt chewed by some ignorant OCS type ( we did it anyway) Most importantly to the U.N or the signers of various accords caused some of our state of affairs. I believe the U.S Military is bound by Geneva Convention signing requiring us to be Nice to the Bad Guys ( i.e. No shooting at paratroopers in the Air, No torture No HP's, Minimal collateral damage ) It is a shame the Bad guys don't adhere to the same things they & the liberal media scream about.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2010, 09:44 PM
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A few thoughts Trekkler, First, a goggle search may turn up some studies and articles for you to read, you might try that.

If the military history of ball ammo does not convince you that it is up to the job, I don't know what to tell you that will I mean that in a nice way, the history of the round is the proof.

Isn't that really what you are asking? The history of overpenetration of ball and the feeding of JHP ?


I suggest that if you want to carry JHP, you create some history of your own, history that has direct meaning to you. Buy the brand you think you want to carry and shoot enough to learn if it is reliable in your gun. You cannot assume superduper brand x will feed in your gun. For that matter, you cannot assume ball will feed either I think this is the only way to have confidence in your choice.


Perhaps others will list some links of assorted testing.........that is all fine and good and interesting reading. Perhaps something will be posted that would help you along those lines.


But, consider this, what are the odds that you will actually ever need to fire a shot in self defense ? Very low. What are the odds that if you did have to shoot someone in self defense, that the ball round will overpenetrate and hit someone else?


If you do testing to find a reliable feeding JHP in your gun, then what are the odds that it will jam in a self defense shooting? What are the odds that you will need the second shot ? (pretty high if you practice double tap)


No matter how you figure the odds, no matter which you choose, should you need your gun, you will have no control over what you are presented with. The situation could be that the most penetration possible is what you need, it could be that you need less. You will only have what is in your gun. You can make you best guess as to the most likely situation you may find yourself, but you can't control it, should it happen.


At that point, what matters is that what ever you have works.


I only mention this to try to keep things in perspective as brand x vs brand y threads don't really tell you what they will do in your gun. No matter what you decide to carry, you have to test it in your gun. It's the only thing that will actually have meaning to your situation.
  #7  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:03 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Trekker: Here are some randon thoughts from a shameless gun nut. Over penetration with 45 ACP ball is over rated or causes over concern. Take any shootout involving LEOs and BGs and you will see that the ratio of hits to shots fired is very low. This is not to say that LEOs are bad shots but things get squirrelly when targets shoot back. The point is, a lot more rounds miss the target altogether rather than pass through the BG. So let's put the overpenetration concern on the back burner. Another thing I learned is you can increase the wound size dramatically by putting a flat nose on a fmj ball round. Hunters prove this all the time with flat pointed hardcast bullets. Now you can buy truncated cone 45 ammo or load your own. Will the truncated cone ammo create a wound diameter as big as a quality HP? No. But it will more likely penetrate through the sternum and into/through the spine better than any HP. Unless you plan on shooting anorexic supermodels you will want a bullet that will reach vital organs through layers of clothing, adipose, muscle and bone. Assume it is winter and Bubba spent the last 5 years at a government funded gym where the staff wears guard uniforms. A HP that opens up as designed may not reach anything vital considering Bubba's girth. Any bullet is a compromise. I have chosen to use the flat nosed version of ball ammo. .45 caliber ball ammo will leave a wound smaller than caliber. A .45 caliber bullet with a flat point will not leave a .45 caliber wound. It will be .60 to .70 cal depending on impact velocity. Again this has been proven by hunters using flat pointed non expanding hardcast lead bullets. Wounds are larger than caliber, usually through and through even after penetrating a shoulder bone to put the animal down. The whole point of this is that a flatnosed bullet will create a wound larger than the caliber of the bullet. Most of the members here will disagree with my rationale but I figured I'd give you the less popular view on the subject.
  #8  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:03 PM
den888 den888 is offline
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I would use FMJ for SD only in .45 ACP. For other calibers, I use JHP rounds.
  #9  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:12 PM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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As I said in my original post, I would like to get comfortable with carrying the same ammo as I shoot at the range (fmj).

I am comfortable that .45 is a stopper in fmj, but over-penetration is a concern. When I consider the odds against ever needing to draw for SD, over-penetration concern is somewhat diminished as a practical matter.

I am less comfortable with 9mm fmj for SD. Here, I'd really like to find a jhp that is shaped to feed like a fmj; if there is such a round, even if more expensive, the reliability would be enhanced. I carry 9mm most often for comfort and conceal ability.

Do the flat nosed .45 fmj rounds feed with the same reliability as ball or more like hp?

Last edited by Trekker; 12-07-2010 at 11:25 PM.
  #10  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:24 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker View Post
As I said in my original post, I would like to get comfortable with carrying the same ammo as I shoot at the range (fmj).

I am comfortable that .45 is a stopper in fmj, but over-penetration is a concern. When I consider the odds against ever needing to draw for SD, over-penetration concern is somewhat diminished as a practical matter.

I am less comfortable with 9mm fmj for SD. Here, I'd really like to find a jhp that is shaped to feed like a hp; if there is such a round, even if more expensive, the reliability would be enhanced. I carry 9mm most often for comfort and conceal ability.

Do the flat nosed .45 fmj rounds feed with the same reliability as ball or more like hp?
Penn Bullets makes a 120 gr truncated cone (flat nose) cast bullet for the 9mm and 357 Sig. here's the link: http://www.pennbullets.com/9mm/9mm-caliber.html
  #11  
Old 12-07-2010, 11:35 PM
Ben B. Ben B. is offline
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Unless you are choosing ancient pistols, I believe you are overestimating the "unreliable feeding" of JHP.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2010, 07:17 AM
rottman43055 rottman43055 is offline
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As others have pointed out, most rounds in a gun fight miss and those rounds are more dangerous than rounds that have already penetrated a BG.

When I was reading stats on this stuff IIRC (don't hold me to it, it's been a while back) a single officer gun fight was around 50/60 % on target for all rounds fired, but when more officers got involved the hit ratio got lower, I believe 6 officers equaled around 10% hits for all bullets fired. Somewhere in my files I have those links, they seemed from credible sources.

Also, while a few BG's go on shooting sprees in crowded places, I believe most BG's are are more likely to go after people who are alone or not with a group so that also would factor into the over penetration concern.

An FBI report that has been posted here many times also says overpenetration is an over blown concern.


Just my .02
  #13  
Old 12-08-2010, 07:47 AM
RandyP RandyP is online now
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While the Brand X vs Brand Y vs Brand Z debates and discussions are always fun, not unlike an 'oil thread' on a motorcycle forum, the answer always comes back to ...what functions in your handgun? Accuracy of the ammo in SD scenarios is not an issue. At 5-25 feet everything is accurate enough.

Police Departments often choose what ammo their officers will carry, and function is a prime concern for them too.

If you want to carry a hollow point, buy two boxes, make sure they work and then load up your carry mags. Same goes for FMJ ammo, try it and verify function, then load your mags and stop reading the ammo ads - lol

I often post that every animal in North America, two and four legged, has been made sufficiently dead for over a century by a wobbly lead ball fired from a flintlock musket, then a percussion rifle and now all kinds of whiz-bang bullets. I try not to overthink this issue. lol
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2010, 09:30 AM
BillD BillD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas_knott View Post
they didnt use hp in WWI. fmj worked back then why not now? i use hp's though. just my preferance.
We always seem to assume in these types of conversations that once a GI pulled out his FMJ stoked .45, he won every contest.

I'm sure there were dead GI's found with a 1911 in their hand.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2010, 09:53 AM
Oliver507 Oliver507 is offline
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This question seems to crop up fairly often. I believe that if your gun functions correctly with JHP's then they give you another ammunition option for CC. I personally do not feel uncomfortable carrying FMJ's. Is one type better than the other, it depends on the information you read and its source. This reminds me of the 9, 40, or 45 for SD question.
  #16  
Old 12-08-2010, 09:54 AM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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Thanks for your great responses. I have read and will re-read each one. Again, this is not an academic exercise for me; your points will be carefully considered.

I think part of my uneasiness with JHP can be attributed to what I've read and seen in pieces about combat training; clearing jammed auto loaders seems to be a favorite topic. Secondly, I can't remember a FMJ jamming one of my pistols.

Does flat-nosed ball ammo feed as reliably as regular ball? It seems like the truncation would cause this bullet to feed like a HP.

Based on your comments, I've gotten past the over penetration concern with .45 FMJ. I'll look into the Penn truncated cone ammo for 9mm. If the flat nose bullets feed as reliably as ball in .45 and 9mm, you will have solved my dilemma.

Which ammo brand sells .45 with a truncated cone?

Last edited by Trekker; 12-08-2010 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:56 AM
BillD BillD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker View Post
Thanks for your great responses. I have read and will re-read each one. Again, this is not an academic exercise for me; your points will be carefully considered.

I think part of my uneasiness with JHP can be attributed to what I've read and seen in pieces about combat training; clearing jammed auto loaders seems to be a favorite topic. Secondly, I can't remember a FMJ jamming one of my pistols.

Does flat-nosed ball ammo feed as reliably as regular ball? It seems like the truncation would cause this bullet to feed like a HP.

Based on your comments, I've gotten past the over penetration concern with .45 FMJ. I'll look into the Penn truncated cone ammo for 9mm. If the flat nose bullets feed as reliably as ball in .45 and 9mm, you will have solved my dilemma.

If you gun won't reliably feed JHP, take it to a gunsmith. It's not the ammo's fault.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:15 AM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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Just a point of clarification: my CC guns are relatively new and are fired at least monthly. My concern about JHP reliability comes mostly from what I see in training videos and read. I have formed an opinion that the design of JHPs makes them inherently less reliable than ball. In my mind, there is a greater probability of failure to feed with JHP than with ball in a 1,000 round test; this may be an unfair or untrue generalization, but that is the layman's understanding I have.

I have never heard an argument that the probability of failure to feed with ball ammo is the same as JHP. Can such an argument be made?

I know this topic has been kicked around a lot, so I'm sorry for dredging it up again. I just can't get past the notion that the physics of HP design take something away from ability to feed as reliably as ball. I think that's why every SD instructor invariably drills students on clearing procedures.

Last edited by Trekker; 12-08-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:26 AM
rottman43055 rottman43055 is offline
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I'm going to be getting some buffalo bore flat nosed fmj to try this summer, http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...sting-_-535234
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:49 AM
corvettezo6 corvettezo6 is offline
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What I wonder about and don't like is most of the hollow points have higher FPS and Ft lbs. I want the FMJ loaded to the same specs for the same weight bullitt.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:42 AM
BDA45 BDA45 is offline
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Having read all replies - my comments are that I have no problem running 180 grain flat nose FMJ in .40 S&W for SD. I have no problem with 200-230 grain flat nose FMJ in .45 either.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:49 AM
Ben B. Ben B. is offline
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Do the JHPs run in your gun?

Do you know the answer to that, or not?
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:59 PM
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I used to fire only JHP in 9mm for range practice and carried the same ammo. I learned somewhere that training should be with the same load as carry ammo. I carried Glock 9mm exclusively. I bought JHP opportunistically, based on price for various major brands.

My experience with JHP reliability was ALMOST perfect, but from time-to-time there would be a jam. I always attributed those hiccups to the ammo.

When I decided it was ok to practice with ball and carry JHP, I started buying and shooting a lot of Winchester and Remington ball ammo, and one range requires shooters to buy their ammo. Ammo purchased at the range is FMJ in brands I'm not so familiar with. I don't think I've had a ftf with the high number of FMJs I have put thru my Glocks, and more recently, Colt and Sig 1911s.

I've read a little about power ball ammo, but don't know about it's availability, bullet selection, etc. As I understand it, this was created to improve reliability in hollow point ammo?

Last edited by Trekker; 12-08-2010 at 01:28 PM.
  #24  
Old 12-08-2010, 01:42 PM
parallax parallax is offline
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You want whatever round you use for SD to dump all of it's energy into the target, create a massive wound channel, and not overpenetrate. That's what JHPs are designed to do. That's not saying that a FMJ is bad. It will work, but a JHP will work better IMHO. Unless you hit the BG in one of the central spots that will incapacitate instantly, (head, heart), the only way they are going down is by rapid and massive loss of blood pressure. The way to do that is to make BIG HOLES.
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  #25  
Old 12-08-2010, 02:06 PM
VietVet USMC 1968 VietVet USMC 1968 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker View Post
As I said in my original post, I would like to get comfortable with carrying the same ammo as I shoot at the range (fmj).

I am comfortable that .45 is a stopper in fmj, but over-penetration is a concern. When I consider the odds against ever needing to draw for SD, over-penetration concern is somewhat diminished as a practical matter.

I am less comfortable with 9mm fmj for SD. Here, I'd really like to find a jhp that is shaped to feed like a fmj; if there is such a round, even if more expensive, the reliability would be enhanced. I carry 9mm most often for comfort and conceal ability.

Do the flat nosed .45 fmj rounds feed with the same reliability as ball or more like hp?
Regarding your concern of over penetration of .45 ball ammo there is a product out there that addresses that very issue.
There are probably many versions out there but the one that I have is made by Remington and is called "SUB SONIC". It's a 230 gr JHP and is marketed for "home defense".

If you want a JHP that mimics a FMJ my latest find is "Winchester Ranger 45 Automatic 230 gr T-Series". Check it out, you'll like it.

The USA is bound by the Geneva agreement regarding ammunition, in Vietnam we were issued FMJ but the enemy used JHP's. I know from personal experience.
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Last edited by VietVet USMC 1968; 12-08-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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