Am I being irresponsible by carrying FMJ ammo ?
This is a discussion on Am I being irresponsible by carrying FMJ ammo ? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I carry an extra mag full of fmj's when I am on my bicycle, riding deserted country roads....
September 9th, 2012 07:48 PM
I carry an extra mag full of fmj's when I am on my bicycle, riding deserted country roads.
"For someone who is nearly as smart as I am, how can you be so wrong about this?"
September 9th, 2012 08:13 PM
If you live somewhere where hollow points aren't illegal, I would say yes, it's pretty irresponsible if you are carrying 9mm or better. I had a friend who thought I was horrible for loading up with cop killer hollow points while he decided to carry a high capacity 40 cal stoked with fmj bullets. He said he would just unload the whole thing into someone if they attacked him. Yikes.
You have the responsibility to pick the tools that will protect you the best with the least risk to others around you. So, unless you are hiking in an unpopulated area, I don't see how carrying fmj ammo is really justifiable.
Btw, I'm not saying it should be illegal, or it will bite you in a court of law, just that I consider it irresponsible.
September 9th, 2012 08:23 PM
IMHO, it's only irresponsible to make less than the most prudent, well-informed decision you can make. If you can honestly say your decisions are the most wise that you are capable of making. You are being completely responsible. As for me, I'm picking the ammo with most effective stop-statistics for the caliber I'm carrying.
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September 9th, 2012 08:27 PM
Responsibility centers around the person controlling the handgun rather than with what sort of ammunition is loaded in the handgun. The original poster is not being irresponsible for carrying FMJ if he is discerning in his application thereof. Same holds true for the person carrying expanding bullet designs.
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September 9th, 2012 09:00 PM
The idea is transferring more energy vs less energy, to get a greater effect. When you punch someone and don't follow through, it will cause less damage than the same punch you follow through on and deliver more energy with. An FMJ will go through leaving a relatively nice hole. A JHP will expand, if it it stops in the body, the full energy of the bullet has been transferred to the person, as opposed to the minimum required to pass through-and-through.
September 9th, 2012 09:50 PM
A red Herring debunked by the most basic understanding of physics.
Originally Posted by linuss
Handgun energy transfer does absolutely nothing save possibly hurt. A wearer of soft body armor for example experiences just as much energy transfer as someone shot with the same expanding bullet that fails to exit.
The former may continue to fight with complete function. The latter may end up dead or incapacitated.
What's the difference?
One person had a bullet hole put into their body and the other didn't.
The threat stopping potential of bullets at service handgun speeds is purely a function of them putting a hole in body parts that work best without holes. A JHP simply gives you a bigger hole albeit a shallower one. They simply do not have the necessary velocity for hydrostatic shock to come into play as it does with rifle rounds.
September 9th, 2012 10:38 PM
Irrersponsable to yourself maybe.
Most FMJ ammunition is target load and not held to the same manufacturing quality control checks as self defense ammunition. They also usually use a lesser powder that has a higher flash which can be very detrimental during low light confrontations. Also most target loads are not sealed so you are more susceptible to moisture issues. This is before you even get into the lethality of the projectile. If you're truly concerned with self defense issues why would you scrimp on ammunition? I've had numerous failures in major brand target ammunition so I would not carry it for self defense.
Now if you are carrying FMJ that was loaded as self defense ammunition then you can eliminate most of the worries I mentioned above but odds are you will not find many sources for this since most self defense ammunition is of the hollow point variety and is far more common. Just be sure of what ever you use for self defense.
Shooting paper is far more forgiving of the misfire compared to the real life threatening situation.
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September 9th, 2012 10:48 PM
For quite a while I had to carry FMJ as it was the only thing I could afford to shoot (and I won't carry something that I can't shoot and be sure of in my EDC). Fortunately that changed and I am now able to carry JHP. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, just to know that something is reliable. Is that being irresponsible? I'd say no.
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September 9th, 2012 11:15 PM
Actually, physics says exactly what I said. A bullet that keeps going through a target has not transferred all of its energy to the thing it hit (hence it still moving). A bullet that stops, HAS transferred all of its energy.
Originally Posted by R.W.Dale
September 9th, 2012 11:17 PM
Your mistake is the assumption that this energy transfer actually does anything
Originally Posted by linuss
September 10th, 2012 07:32 AM
Depends on the handgun you have. FMJ ammo is likely best in anything 9 mm Makarov or smaller, because JHP ammo in small calibers won't typically meet the FBI's 12-in minimum penetration criterion in bare ballistic gelatin. In fact, lightweight 9 mm Luger JHPs (less than 147 gr) often fall short of the criterion. FMJ ammo in these calibers will usually provide sifficient penetration, except for .25 Auto (.22 LR comes close).
The risk of overpenetration with FMJ in small calibers is likely not drastic, but one should keep universal gun safety rule #4 always in mind: Be aware of what is behind your target. If you are in an apartment and shoot a bad guy with ball ammo of small caliber (or lightweight 9 mm Luger), if it were to penetrate him completely then also penetrate the wall behind him, I doubt the bullet eould have enough energy to do much damage in most cases.
September 10th, 2012 07:56 AM
Irresponsible? No-- not even close. If so, the gov't would have put out their large and smelly hand to have all FMJ boxes printed with a "For range use only" warning.
Irresponsible would be running out in the street firing willy-nilly in hopes of keeping the bad guy from shooting at you.
Irresponsible would be leaving your EDC on your nightstand and not being a solution to the crime being committed.
Irresponsible would be going for a headshot instead of aiming COM.
Irresponsible would be firing a warning shot.
Either with JHP or FMJ, you're being part of the solution. You're trying to help out the other guy and yourself from this idiot who would rather steal than work. Doesn't matter what you're carrying as long as you're shooting for the right reason.
My $.02 worth.
September 10th, 2012 09:21 AM
the wound track from FMJ is like shooting something with a field point on a arrow... there is a reason why we have broad heads...
we had a local SD shooting, a shop ownder shot a guy point blank 3 times in the chest with 9mm.. the guy fell, got back up, the guy shoots him 4 more times... the guy runs out of the store and makes it 75y down the road before dieing..
i asked the guy what he shot him with.. he responded, "the Winchester range ammo in the white box,,,," WWB9mm FMJ's.... i stopped by the next day and gave him a box of HP's
September 10th, 2012 09:30 AM
I've been accused of being trapped in the late 1970s a time or two because of it, but I often load FMJ ammo for absolute feed reliability. Over the years I've simply developed the most confidence that "ball" ammo will cycle and feed with fewer possible problems. One of my frequent carry guns is a Bulgarian Makarov in 9X18 and I've never felt under-armed with a magazine of FMJ in that pistol.
September 10th, 2012 09:50 AM
If the bad guy has body armor, the head shot or pelvic girdle might be your only options. Also, they may take cover with the head being the only available target. CO availalable M is where one shoot train to shoot.
Originally Posted by pscipio03
You are right, COM torso hits are what we should train for. But it is not irresponsible to train for head shots, because sometimes it may be your only way to survive.
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