JHP and FMJ 9mm through 45mm? Do we know what we think we know?

This is a discussion on JHP and FMJ 9mm through 45mm? Do we know what we think we know? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Having been stuck at the house more than usual past few weeks Ive had the chance to research some things. One was ball vs hp ...

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Thread: JHP and FMJ 9mm through 45mm? Do we know what we think we know?

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Question JHP and FMJ 9mm through 45mm? Do we know what we think we know?

    Having been stuck at the house more than usual past few weeks Ive had the chance to research some things. One was ball vs hp ammo.
    Every testing Ive found along with MEs comments have got me to thinking.
    In 9mm thru 45 which is what I concerned myself with it seems that a Hp bullet with the exception of Cor Bon and Powerball fail to expand when tested with ballistic gell fronted with bone or a bone simulatnt.
    ME comments support that as far as I have been able to find stating that if a HP strikes bone before it expands, think rib cage etc it simply acts as a fmj bullet only a bit less effective than actual fmj. FMJ once in tissue tends to at least tumble. Hp that didnt expand because of being packed with bone or sometimes heavy clothing tends to just go straight thru no tumbling.

    Im no expert and I know about over penetration and all that. But with a much greater percentage of "center mass" our typical target being caged inside bone vs a small percent of soft tissue open to being hit without encountering bone I wonder if with the exception of Powerball ammo or perhaps Cor bon are we kidding ourselves believing that fmj is that inferior as a SD ammo than HP considering the likelihood of hitting bone in a SD shooting???
    Your thoughts???
    " It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    That was one of the sites I checked. I cant give a link for some of the others but some were medical examiners reports of recovered bullets. Just rolling it around in my head, a perfect center mass hit would put the bullet squarely thru the sternum.
    About any center mass hit it would seem the odds of hitting bone would be pretty high higher maybe than not.

    Not trying to start a war here just curious of others thinking given results of the tests and reports.
    " It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales

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    I don't have actual numbers to substantiate my beliefs, just 30 years or so of paying attention to bullet performance. I think if we were able to bring together the entire ensemble of data from real-world shootings, the major segregation of data would be between a round of "serious" caliber (let's say .380-.38 Spcl as a threshhold) and the lesser calibers (.32, .25, .22). My guess is that expanding vs non-expanding ammo would be a secondary factor as far as effectiveness is concerned.

    As responsible armed citizens and gun enthusiasts we tend to focus on developments in the field of defensive arms and ammunition - we want the best and most effective stuff. But the difference between the effectiveness of of non-expanding and expanding bullets in adequate calibers is probably not a needle-mover, i.e., most likely a second decimal place effect.
    Smitty
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    JHP and FMJ 9mm through 45mm? Do we know what we think we know?

    This is an interesting article.

    I have read and many tests of various rounds shot into water, wet pack, bare gelatin, and denim-covered gelatin as I'm sure many people have.

    Based on most all I've read, my first choice for personal defense has been Federal HST or Winchester Ranger (in my Colt 1911 and H&K USP) and Speer SBGD (in my S&W 360). But I have even questioned these choices myself, albeit is based on great marketing from Hornady and Barnes as well as great reviews of these bullets.

    I purchased, Hornady CD for my short barreled .45, due to their light recoil and excellent expansion. I am not sure I am sold on this round yet, although it is due to questionable feeding in my weapon, not questionable performance of the round. I have heard no bad reviews of the Barnes X, and have not ruled out switching to Corbon or DoubleTap's loading of it.

    I have already switched to DoubleTap in my .357 J-Frame (110grn Barnes X loaded to 1470fps in a 1 7/8" bbl).

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    Member Array R040607's Avatar
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    JHP and FMJ 9mm through 45mm? Do we know what we think we know?

    I'm interested in seeing if Ljutic has anything to say about this.

    ??

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    In all honesty after spending about a week off and on researching this to the best of my ability with the materials available to be seen, I am seriously considering going to FMJ in both 40 cals Im presently carrying. The odds of hitting bone are very good in a center mass shot. If a great percent of the time HP is going to behave like FMJ in that instance then the reliability and cost of FMJ vs HP may convince me to carry FMJ all the time in those calibers.
    Interestingly enough from what I can find the 357 sjhp does not fail to expand after hitting bone.
    " It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales

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    Member Array R040607's Avatar
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    JHP and FMJ 9mm through 45mm? Do we know what we think we know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost1958 View Post
    In all honesty after spending about a week off and on researching this to the best of my ability with the materials available to be seen, I am seriously considering going to FMJ in both 40 cals Im presently carrying. The odds of hitting bone are very good in a center mass shot. If a great percent of the time HP is going to behave like FMJ in that instance then the reliability and cost of FMJ vs HP may convince me to carry FMJ all the time in those calibers.
    Interestingly enough from what I can find the 357 sjhp does not fail to expand after hitting bone.
    If you're concerned with expansion after hitting bone, why not go with a Barnes X bullet loaded by any of the quality manufacturers? It reliably expands in mist all circumstances. Is it the money? This is your defense round right?? It only money.

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    Member Array gunfan's Avatar
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    Currently I am shooting Federal 115-grain JHP short-barreled loads in my 3.1" Kel-Tec P-11. For now, it works. On the whole, Im going for shot placement and penetration.

    Scott

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R040607 View Post
    If you're concerned with expansion after hitting bone, why not go with a Barnes X bullet loaded by any of the quality manufacturers? It reliably expands in mist all circumstances. Is it the money? This is your defense round right?? It only money.
    The only bullet I could find that expanded after hitting bone was Cor Bon. The others remained exactly as they were just as fmj would. I occasionally see Cor Bon here but not that often. I dont mind spending more if what I am buying is going to do what it is expected to do at least part the majority of the time. Im not rich by a long shot but the best SD ammo I can get I will allocate money for without hesitation.
    I take my SD rounds very seriously, having a real reason too not a what if reason too. That is part of my thinking if I do go fmj. FMJ will tumble inside the body as it passes thru where a non expanding Hp will not at least from the research ive done.
    A tumbling bullet will tear up more tissue than a bullet passing straight thru.
    Once this ammo supply thing is over I may go to Cor Bon for SD exclusively but for the present nothing I can get during this ammo buying panic in my area, at least according to my research will do much more if not less than fmj.

    I did not I think find Barnes on the lists anyplace. Do you have a link or info regarding its performance after striking bone as to its expansion in the calibers Ive mentioned? I would appriciate that info if you do. Thanks
    " It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales

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    I'm always open to new science, and in .40 cal, I can see FMJ.

    What nags the back of my mind is the 9mm fmj. In the early '70's when law enforcement was moving to semi auto's, the 9mm was the round of choice. However, FMJ's were the bullet of choice because the early guns had a lot of trouble feeding hollow points with any amount of reliability (unless you paid to have the guns worked on and that wasn't practical for an entire police dept).

    There's no dispute that in early '70's, the 9mm FMJ's were notorious for having bad guys soak up 12, 16, or 18 rounds before being stopped. With many of the bullets going right through. Now granted, there were a lot of BG's hopped up on hard drugs in the '70's... but that really hasn't changed much either with today's bad guys. Several police agencies who made the transition to semi-auto 9mm's either stepped up to .45 acp or went back to .357 mag wheel guns because of the failures with the 9mm FMJ's.

    I know the physiological aspects of the human structure hasn't changed any, and it's hard to think there's a lot of difference between FMJ round nose bullets. Yeah, new improved propellents and newer metal alloys in the bullets, but as to the shape of a FMJ round nose, I don't think they have changed a lot.

    So, for now, until I start seeing scores of police departments switching to FMJ's in 9mm, I think I'll stay with good HP ammo.
    -Bark'n
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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Barkn I can see that in 9mm as well with the history behind that round in FMJ. It does raise the question at least in my mind of what does this infer about 9mm unless one uses Cor Bon which did expand everytime while the other brands except the powerball failed to expand every time they encountered bone. Im assuming here that if 9mm strikes bone in a hp round and isnt stopped by the bone what you have is then in effect the same FMJ round that were 9mm weak point before would one not??

    I dont at the moment have 9mm so 40 and 45 are what I am concerned with. And I am not advocating anyone do anything in changing their chosen ammo caliber etc.
    It just seemed a valid question to bring to the table after I spent some time researching if for no other reason than to possibly bring it some folks attention to look for themselves as I was not aware of it and figure that at least some others were not also. Im not sure what changes I will make in my EDC ammo If any due to this info, so I definitely would not propose to advise anyone else.
    " It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales

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    Member Array Ljutic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R040607 View Post
    I'm interested in seeing if Ljutic has anything to say about this.

    ??
    Ljutic says that he wishes he had the funding to go do this type of testing. The plates are about $45 each before adding in shipping. I talked with my gel supplier and the plates can easily be inserted into a gel block during casting.

    It's a great idea. Just add money.
    Bark'n likes this.
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    Until police agencies start switching over to fmj due to supposed expansion failures of premium defensive hollow point rounds like HST, Ranger T, PDX1 and others ill stick to hollow points.

    Also how many agencies are still using hydra shok rounds and what agency let alone with how many civilians in the know use Aguila or starfire HP's?

    Its just hard to believe that only one brand of hollow point will expand when it encounters bone and the others will fail, considering that you have hundreds of shootings yearly with Gold dots, HST, etc by LE agencies and there hasn't been any complaining.
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    I think this is oversimplifying the issue.

    Ballistic gel is meant to simulate the average density and composition of the human body. This includes the skeletal system, so shooting through a bone simulant plate into 10 percent gel is actually harder on the bullet than shooting into an actual body, though I couldn't tell you by how much.

    Second, I don't see what you're gaining by using FMJ ammo for self defense carry. You say that because many JHP loads fail to expand when going through bone, you're not sure why they're superior to FMJ loads. Well, the answer to that question would be that an FMJ load will never expand, whereas a JHP will probably expand going through soft tissue and might expand going through bone. A bone simulant plate is a poor simulation for most of the bones in the human body because it is flat and of uniform thickness. Most bones in the human body are not perfectly flat or uniformly thick. Rounded bone structures will often deflect bullets, but I would expect to see some expansion (at least more than an FMJ) in a JHP that changes course after a glancing hit to a rib.

    FMJ pistol rounds are inferior for self-defense compared to JHP for their total inability to expand and also for the fact that the round-nose FMJ profile tends to produce self-sealing wounds similar to an ice pick. That is, it produces a very long, but very thin piercing injury that does relatively little permanent tissue damage. This is also part of the reason why they tend to overpenetrate.

    Now, that is not saying that FMJ is totally ineffective for self-defense, since plenty of people are shot and killed with them. But a better choice if you didn't want JHP ammo would be to use a bullet with a sharp-edged profile, such as a semi or full wadcutter. These rounds tend to cut tissue, not simply push it aside.
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