Am I being irresponsible by carrying FMJ ammo ?

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 have always shot and carried FMJ 9mm. I'm not sure why, I just always have. Recently I read something that reminded me that hollow ...

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Thread: Am I being irresponsible by carrying FMJ ammo ?

  1. #1
    Member Array SteveB2175's Avatar
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    Am I being irresponsible by carrying FMJ ammo ?

    I have always shot and carried FMJ 9mm. I'm not sure why, I just always have. Recently I read something that reminded me that hollow point ammo has less chance of going through the target and possibly hurting someone else.

    Of course I know that I should always be aware of what is behind the target I'm shooting at, but in a life or death self defense situation I can envision that a shot could be taken where and innocent bystander could be in danger of being shot if the round went though the target. Is the difference between FMJ and HP enough to warrant carrying HP for that reason alone ?
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    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    I think generally HP's are better for self defense. But I don't think it's irresponsible to carry FMJ at all.
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    Member Array R.W.Dale's Avatar
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    I think its irresponsible to shoot at anything with disregard for what's behind your intended target. Ammunition selection really has no bearing on this.

    Think of it like this if you shoot the proverbial "denim Dan" and your latest gelatin busting all cupronickel zombie slaying HP clogs with fabric and fails to expand penatrating as much as fmj were you irresponsible for not accounting for your targets poor fashion sense?

    All ammo choices are a balance between reliability, expansion, penatration, recoil, cost, proficiency and accuracy. NOBODY but you can say what you should use based on your own situation.

    Depending on the caliber and set of risks I have no problem resorting to non expanding ammunition if I feel the need and some times opt for it for example with 45 where I may desire much more penatration than FBI minimums. (Four legged creatures)

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    Member Array Fisher10's Avatar
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    You're just under-informed.

    With duty calibers or better, use expanding ammo.
    Yes, an expanding bullet will lead to less penetration and a lower chance of pass through but the main reason I carry a quality JHP is the expanded bullet makes a larger hole than a non-expanding bullet. Handgun bullets at handgun velocity wound by crushing or cutting tissue in it's path and the more organs and blood vessels that are crushed or cut, the faster the incapacitation will likely be.

    I recommend Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, Winchester Ranger-T or a load utilizing a Barnes DPX/Tac-X copper bullet.
    Here are some hi-speed videos illustrating the difference between an FMJ and a decent JHP self defense load.
    .45 ACP 230gr FMJ - 45ACP CCI Blazer 230gr FMJ impacting ballistic gelatin - YouTube
    .45 ACP 230gr+P JHP - 45ACP Hornady 230gr +P XTP slow motion ballistic gelatin - YouTube

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I carried FMJ ammo for self defense for a long time. The Geneva convention leveled the playing field, and that's all the government would issue me for carry. I pretty much had to trust in myself and FMJ ammo. Being irresponsible would be missing your intended target and hitting a non-combatant. Questioning your own decisions on what you carry can be detrimental in ways. Be confident in your methods. The answer to your question is no.
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    Member Array nazshooter's Avatar
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    IMHO there are way too many variables to try to pick a round that will penetrate just enough. If you have to shoot it's because you are about to die if you do not stop the threat NOW so pick the best stopper and be done with it.

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I'll just say that I'm glad I'm in Georgia and not Ohio in the event you need to shoot someone.



    I'm sure you know, but this seems like a good time to reiterate that, you are responsible for every round that leaves you gun. The 9mm FMJ has enough velocity to enter and exit a human body and still be extremely deadly to a innocent bystander. I'd load up with some hollow points and not take the risk of the consequences that follow a accidental shooting, but that just me.
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    I'll put it like this; an errant .45 FMJ shot from a 1911 actually caused the Grand Canyon...
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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I would carry ball ammo if that's all I had, or all I could get.

    I don't think that you're irresponsible, but why not carry JHP?

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    I would not use the word irresponsible. Your first concern with SD is to protect your self or your loved ones by making the correct decisions, putting rounds on target to stop the threat when needed.

    But, I feel that JHP would be a better ammo of choice. Like it has been said before-you are responsible for every bullet. It passes through the BG you are responsible. Most likely JHP or other choices should be sufficient.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Irresponsible for carrying either? I don't think so.

    Yes, there are some objective on-target performance differences between FJM and JHP. Basically, it'll be in areas of penetration, expansion, weight retention.

    But here's the thing ... A bullet's a relatively poor man-stopper anyway. According to some testing, JHP will create a somewhat uglier wound channel, though it tends to not penetrate quite as far. Whether that's of benefit or detriment will depend on what it is the bullet's going through, and whether your life depends on its doing so.

    For myself, I prefer the greater wounding results the JHP shows in most testing (FBI, my own, others), as compared to FMJ. With either, I accept the need to be as accurate (under stress) as possible, to minimize the risk of damage to bystanders. But I also accept that any defensive handgun caliber worth its salt is going to travel right through the average house wall, and nothing short of drastic power reduction will much affect that.

    A brief guide: train for reliable, repeatable accuracy; be aware of your target and what's beyond; if possible without unduly risking your life, adjust your firing line to avoid obvious risks to bystanders and/or don't take the shot at that moment; and consider the cartridge characteristics that'll provide you with the optimal blend of risk/reward, given the threats and barriers you're likely to encounter in a life-or-death situation.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    If you have to shoot thru a windshield because some guy is shooting at you from a car, or is behind glass ..... everyone else would be glad you had fmj ammo. If you had to shoot thru a door, everyone would be glad you had fmj ammo. If you are shooting someone thru a heavy coat in winter, etc.... you may be glad to have fmj ammo.

    My cousin was shot with 10 ft in the stomach by a .38, his cowboy belt bucket stopped the bullet and was found between the buckle and the leather of the belt. The ambulance was called , to take the shooter to the hospital after he beat the hell out of him for shooting him.

    There are so many "if's" .... and factors, it's your call and I would suggest taking into consideration the type of threat you think you have the most likelihood of encountering.

    However, straight out face to face self-defense... the HP is more likely to stop them (do more damage) and have less likelihood of over-penetration.
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    Am I being irresponsible by carrying FMJ ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveB2175 View Post
    I have always shot and carried FMJ 9mm. I'm not sure why, I just always have. Recently I read something that reminded me that hollow point ammo has less chance of going through the target and possibly hurting someone else.

    Of course I know that I should always be aware of what is behind the target I'm shooting at, but in a life or death self defense situation I can envision that a shot could be taken where and innocent bystander could be in danger of being shot if the round went though the target. Is the difference between FMJ and HP enough to warrant carrying HP for that reason alone ?
    I think it all depends upon the circumstances you find yourself in.

    If you are in a highly populated area and your FMJ exits your assailant, you might be.

    In an area where there are very few others around, perhaps not.
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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Irresponsible is too strong a word but all things considered, I choose to carry premium hollow points.

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Irresponsible no, but the fact you asked the question speaks volumes. There really aren't any concerns about feeding HP's with today's firearms (quality ones anyway) and there are so many advantages to HP.

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