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; Energy is just a calculation measuring mass and velocity. For handgun rounds at typical handgun velocities (say ~1,250 fps or less), energy numbers do not ...

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Thread: Am I being irresponsible by carrying FMJ ammo ?

  1. #46
    Member Array Fisher10's Avatar
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    Energy is just a calculation measuring mass and velocity.

    For handgun rounds at typical handgun velocities (say ~1,250 fps or less), energy numbers do not matter much. Handgun bullets crush the tissue in front of them. A flat nose or expanded hollow point is going to crush more tissue. It doesn't matter if the bullet is moving at 500 fps or 1,000 fps. The way the bullet damages tissue remains the same. "Transferring energy" isn't what stops people. Causing damage to vital organs or blood vessels does. Choose a load that will be most destructive to the insides of your attacker. I believe an FMJ or fragmenting round that penetrates <4" is not as effective as a good expanding JHP load that will penetrate between 10"-16".

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  3. #47
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    Here's a quick article on Discovery that helps explain the science behind a GSW and may help clear up some of the confusion.

    Discovery Health "Wound Ballistics"

  4. #48
    Senior Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    Which to use? The answer is: "It depends." There's countless scenerios and as you've seen, almost as many opinions. If you're concerned about over penetration and collateral damage, use HP.
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  5. #49
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    Well I just left a job that required, and issued officers FMJ 115 9mm ammo for Police duty work. And while I was concerned with its overall effectiveness, I was more concerned with flow through in crowed areas.

    Im back working at an agency that allows us to carry whatever ammo we like. So Im carrying Spear Gold Dot 115 JHP police only ammo.

  6. #50
    Member Array Nebraska12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Well that's not exactly correct. The vest dissipates the energy transfer as well as prevents the projectile from penetrating. The person wearing the vest receives some of the kinetic energy as it passes through the vest, but soft body armor is designed to spread that absorbed energy across a wide area, thereby reducing the amount of blunt force trauma to the point where it does not produce any internal damage. There is more than enough kinetic energy released in the average firearm to do serious, if not fatal, damage to an unprotected body.
    Precisely...if the alternative were true, I suppose supplying all of our armed forces and police with them would be what? An exercise in futility? "Here you go bro! Good luck!":)
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  7. #51
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    If you can run your gun, know it inside and out, it doesnt matter what bullet you are shooting.
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  8. #52
    Member Array linuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Here's a quick article on Discovery that helps explain the science behind a GSW and may help clear up some of the confusion.

    Discovery Health "Wound Ballistics"

    A bullet that passes through the body (creating an exit wound) generally will cause less damage than one which stays in the body, because a bullet that stays in the body transfers all of its kinetic energy (and ensures maximum damage to tissue).
    See? The Discovery Channel agrees with what I already stated through knowledge of science and medicine.
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  9. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by linuss View Post
    See? The Discovery Channel agrees with what I already stated through knowledge of science and medicine.
    Discovery is about as reliable as wikipedia...in short, not very. Watch some of their programs on firearms and you will be amazed at how many inaccuracies they claim, and how many myths they perpetuate, just because it makes "good" television.

    But, to make sure I understand your viewpoint--do you actually believe that if you have two bullets, both cutting an identical diameter channel, one stopping under the skin on the exiting side, the other exiting with just enough power to be found in the clothing (a not uncommon occurrence), that the one that stopped in the body has somehow done more damage?

    Please explain, in physiological terms, what that damage is and how it will help speed incapacitation.

    Just saying "it dumped all its energy" is not an explanation.
    bmcgilvray, R.W.Dale, OD* and 1 others like this.
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  10. #54
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    And then there's those pesky leaky holes on the opposite side to bedevil things.
    No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.

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  11. #55
    Member Array R.W.Dale's Avatar
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    That discovery article makes absolutely no distinction of the role velocity plays in what a bullet can and can't do. You can bet your onions that when they say the temporary cavities can be up to 30 times bullet diameter they're referencing a high velocity rifle


    Military body armor uses hardened rigid strike plates to dissipate energy differing from what police use where the body can absorb the energy of a handgun round provided the Kevlar traps the bullet and prevents penatration.

  12. #56
    Member Array Nebraska12's Avatar
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    This may help clear up some misunderstanding:

    http://ssf1910.dk/document/info/balistik.pdf

    Source is University of Helsinki, Finland

    Excerpt from another:

    http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNBLST.html

    The speed at which a projectile must travel to penetrate skin is 163 fps and to break bone is 213 fps, both of which are quite low, so other factors are more important in producing damage. (Belkin, 1978)

    Designing a bullet for efficient transfer of energy to a particular target is not straightforward, for targets differ. To penetrate the thick hide and tough bone of an elephant, the bullet must be pointed, of small diameter, and durable enough to resist disintegration. However, such a bullet would penetrate most human tissues like a spear, doing little more damage than a knife wound. A bullet designed to damage human tissues would need some sort of "brakes" so that all the KE was transmitted to the target.

    It is easier to design features that aid deceleration of a larger, slower moving bullet in tissues than a small, high velocity bullet. Such measures include shape modifications like round (round nose), flattened (wadcutter), or cupped (hollowpoint) bullet nose. Round nose bullets provide the least braking, are usually jacketed, and are useful mostly in low velocity handguns. The wadcutter design provides the most braking from shape alone, is not jacketed, and is used in low velocity handguns (often for target practice). A semi-wadcutter design is intermediate between the round nose and wadcutter and is useful at medium velocity. Hollowpoint bullet design facilitates turning the bullet "inside out" and flattening the front, referred to as "expansion." Expansion reliably occurs only at velocities exceeding 1200 fps, so is suited only to the highest velocity handguns.

    Both essentially say the same...pertinent info in bold.
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  13. #57
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    In your highlighted portion, it would seem that it would make a difference as far was bullet expansion; fair enough, wider wound track, more tissue damaged.

    Again, however--see my example above.

    Exactly what did total transfer of KE do, vis a vis wounding effectiveness.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  14. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    In your highlighted portion, it would seem that it would make a difference as far was bullet expansion; fair enough, wider wound track, more tissue damaged.

    Again, however--see my example above.

    Exactly what did total transfer of KE do, vis a vis wounding effectiveness.
    In their research, as outlined in the report, they indicate the thresholds necessary to cause damage to surrounding tissue based on the amount of energy transfered. Thus, the discussion of higher velocities vs wound effectiveness. The highlighted portion explains, at least in part, that projectile expansion not only plays the part of creating a wider wound channel, but is also necessary to stop the projectile within the target with the intended result of transferring more energy, thereby damaging more surrounding tissue. Again, from the report, "the energy must go somewhere" if not used to move the projectile through its target.
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  15. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce272 View Post
    I feel that the recent shooting in NYC in front of the Empire State building makes a great case for NOT carrying FMJ in an urban environment.
    The rush to blame the two officers for lousy aim was proven somewhat wrong, considering the perp was hit ten out of 14 rounds. So most of the wounded bystanders were hit by 9mms doing a total penetration through the BG. Ergo, they mostly by these through and through rounds.

    And I really wish that the news media would stop blaming the LEOs for bad shootings without being there or understanding the first thing about gunfights.
    While it is nice to see someone actually defend the police, The NYPD carry 124 gr +p Speer GD in 9mm. Even HPs can overpenetrate depending on the position of the perp when he is hit.
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  16. #60
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    I carry FMJ.... .45ACP.....I want accuracy first then penetration.

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