Ammunition question from a newbie: HP "safer"?

Ammunition question from a newbie: HP "safer"?

This is a discussion on Ammunition question from a newbie: HP "safer"? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My background (first time I touched a gun was in the military) is such that I never spent much time on the ins and outs ...

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Thread: Ammunition question from a newbie: HP "safer"?

  1. #1
    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Ammunition question from a newbie: HP "safer"?

    My background (first time I touched a gun was in the military) is such that I never spent much time on the ins and outs of different kinds of ammunition. Now that I CC, I really want to make sure that I'm making every effort both to be safe and to keep bystanders (and, yes, even attackers) safe from needless injury.

    So I wanted to double check the sense I'm starting to form from my reading:

    Despite that armed forces supposedly use ball ammo because it's more "humane," it has a higher risk of exiting, causing (1) more holes in an attacker, increasing their chances of dying from blood loss, and (2) raising the odds of a round continuing on to strike a bystander. (Point 2 also applies to missed shots penetrating walls and other inanimate objects, I suppose.)

    And despite that hollow point ammo has this popular reputation of being designed to increase damage, it in fact (1) decreases the likely number of holes in anyone shot with it, therefore also decreasing that person's chances of dying from blood loss, and so (2) has little chance of passing through the attacker or some inanimate object to strike a bystander.

    Does this sound accurate? Specifically, do you think it's accurate to say, essentially, that one has a case for using HP ammo because it is in some way the "safest" or most "conscientious" style of round to use?

    Or is the "safety" that results from an HP round's decreased risk of exiting cancelled out or significantly reduced by the way an HP round behaves in tissue, etc? (While I could imagine the kind of person who would see increased "risk" to an attacker as a non-issue, we could of course still be talking about a bystander, here.)

    If it matters, the calibers available to me for CC are .38, .357 (not preferred, it's a snubbie), and .40.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Ishmael; November 10th, 2010 at 10:27 AM. Reason: I'm a tinkerer.


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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    My goal is to stop the threat, in my mind, the HP round is the most effective way to do that.
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Hollow points are less likely to over penetrate and cause additional damage down range. By staying in the body they maximize their energy transfer which may decrease the numbers shots you need to ultimately fire. They are more likely to cut blood vessels with less than perfect hits, causing a drop in pressure and volume and taking your attacker out of the fight quicker.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    There is usually a lesser chance of overpenetration from a properly-functioning hollow point, yes.

    As for the reduced lethality of the HP round, not so much. Internal bleed can be just as lethal as bleeding out through two holes; and the JHP's wide profile is designed to cut a wider wound channel with (hopefully!) a better chance of hitting something vital.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

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    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    So, maybe the more accurate statement would be: no appreciable decreased lethality if someone is struck by an HP, but decreased chance of bystanders being struck because a properly functioning HP is less likely to over-penetrate. (Aim, of course, would still be an issue either way.)

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    That, plus the fact that fewer shots may be required to stop the conflict, further decreasing the likelihood of shots going astray.
    Smitty
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    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Good point!

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