Defensive 9/45 FMJ recommendations?

This is a discussion on Defensive 9/45 FMJ recommendations? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I currently carry JHP defensive rounds in all my SD weapons. Since I typically carry 2 spare mags I have been considering loading one of ...

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Thread: Defensive 9/45 FMJ recommendations?

  1. #1
    Member Array John Wesley's Avatar
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    Defensive 9/45 FMJ recommendations?

    I currently carry JHP defensive rounds in all my SD weapons. Since I typically carry 2 spare mags I have been considering loading one of the spares with FMJ in case I ever need "added penetration" beyond what the JHPs will do. (Shooting through barrier, etc.)

    My problem is that all the FMJ I have seen says that its' intended use is for the range.

    I am looking for FMJ in 9mm and .45ACP that would be suited to defense. Is there such an animal? I have a lot of Speer Lawman in .45. Is it good for anything other than target practice?

    Is there ANY FMJ handgun ammo made for anything other than targets?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Got a question. What defensive scenario are you going to be in that will require you switch magazines to FMJ to shoot through a barrier? And if shooting through a barrier, how are you going to know what your shooting at?

    I might see some situation when your at your home, maybe, but can't really think of any when out in public carrying.

    As far as FMJ, if it works in your gun, why can't your use it for defensive purposes? Any of it should be fine. Your Speer should be fine if you choose to use it in one mag.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    FMJ is FMJ.

    If you feel you need to carry FMJ just alternate rounds in the same magazine. No need to chance changing a mag when in a stressful situation.


    The only other thought I have on this is that Speer Lawman ammo is said to be similar in ballistics character as Gold Dots so that officers can train with ammo that acts similarly. That is not my knowledge though, just what I read somewhere.
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    Member Array John Wesley's Avatar
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    I am not likely to need 3 mags of ammo in the first place. I was just thinking that if the first (or even the second) mag didn't stop the threat maybe I should try something different.

    Maybe his clothing is limiting penetration of the JHPs. Maybe it's a thick-skinned animal.

    In answer to your question, Farronwolf, if I am not sure about what's on the other side of the barricade I don't shoot. If a BG doesn't run he will likely take cover. That cover might be marginal (Park bench or something?) FMJ might make the difference.

    I know the need for FMJ is unlikely but if I decide to carry it, I want something effective.


    I guess my question is:

    Is there FMJ ammo that is specifically designed for "protection" or "hunting" and would perform better (more reliable - better weight retention, etc) than ammo marketed as target ammo.

    That being said, I don't feel the the .45 Speer Lawman would be useless. I am just looking for some of the same advantages in FMJ as others look for in JHP (except expansion).

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Expansion v. Penetration

    Quote Originally Posted by John Wesley View Post
    I guess my question is:

    Is there FMJ ammo that is specifically designed for "protection" or "hunting" and would perform better (more reliable - better weight retention, etc) than ammo marketed as target ammo.

    (except expansion).
    The terminal ballistics of FMJ/ball ammo v unhardened targets almost always results in 100% weight retention. Effective terminal ballistics require that the bullet expends its kinetic energy on the target. Ball ammo generally does not expand hence it tends to overpenetrate which results in diminished effectiveness or energy transfer. Summary, except for the military requirement of the Geneva Conventions, FMJ/ball ammo is best relegated to the target range.
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    Member Array rathos's Avatar
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    Although I would highly recommend against using ball ammo if you really must here is some in 9mm.

    Ammunition To Go : 500rds - 9mm Winchester NATO Mil-Spec 124gr. FMJ Ammo [RA9124N] - $154.95

    In .45 acp I would say this stuff, mainly because while lighter in 230 grain, its made for accuracy

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    Effective terminal ballistics require that the bullet expends its kinetic energy on the target. Ball ammo generally does not expand hence it tends to overpenetrate which results in diminished effectiveness or energy transfer. Summary, except for the military requirement of the Geneva Conventions, FMJ/ball ammo is best relegated to the target range.
    I'm going to have to disagree with you. Energy transfer means little in the case of ammunition performance in a self defense situation. We are dealing with handgun rounds, we're poking holes. The energy transfered to the target is equivelent to the energy you felt when you launced it minus a little due to the weight of the pistol. That isn't much.

    What matters is enough penetration in the right place on the target. Expansion is some gravey, sure, but without penetration it means nothing. Now, in the statistical studies I've seen overpenetration is a highly over rated risk. The projectile has expended a great deal of it's velocity (or energy if you prefer) passing through the target. Most police shootings result in a majority of misses and yet there have been very few problems with those rounds which are very much more dangerous than one which has already passed through a body. I agree that we are lowering, very slightly, an already small risk but we don't want to over state it.

    With all that said I still carry HP's in my weapons BUT I would have no qualms about carrying ball either.

    Try reading this as some food for thought:

    The Myth of Energy Transfer

    Now on the subject of ball I think you'll find most of the ball ammo is marketed as target but as long as it's a full power load then ball is, well, ball!
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    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    You may want to reconsider the wisdom of 9mm FMJ for defensive ammo. The .45ACP in FMJ will do the job,but a decent HP will do it better.

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    OK

    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    I'm going to have to disagree with you. Energy transfer means little in the case of ammunition performance in a self defense situation. We are dealing with handgun rounds, we're poking holes.
    We may have to agree to disagree but to the point of poking holes that is not entirely true we are using the energy of the projectile to destroy tissue, disrupt the function of vital organs and the central nervous system, cause blood loss which will induce shock. Yes, penetration is import but any major caliber defensive round will penetrate (assuming no body armor) to the vital organs causing the aformentioned effects, using ball ammo diminishes all of the above effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    What matters is enough penetration in the right place on the target. Expansion is some gravey, sure, but without penetration it means nothing. Now, in the statistical studies I've seen overpenetration is a highly over rated risk. The projectile has expended a great deal of it's velocity (or energy if you prefer) passing through the target. Most police shootings result in a majority of misses and yet there have been very few problems with those rounds which are very much more dangerous than one which has already passed through a body.
    I agree shot placement is a defining factor in the effectiveness of a firearm in any self defense encounter. But, the energy transfer I am refering to is not the Hollywood bowl the target over and knock them back 10 feet; it is the energy transfer that causes the tearing of internal organs and disruption to the central nervous system.

    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    I agree that we are lowering, very slightly, an already small risk but we don't want to over state it.

    With all that said I still carry HP's in my weapons BUT I would have no qualms about carrying ball either.
    As far as over penetration; I am refering to the lack of energy transfer (tearing of internal organs and disruption to the central nervous system) not the fear of the result of the projectile exiting the target.

    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    Try reading this as some food for thought:

    The Myth of Energy Transfer
    The comparison of how an edged weapon works versus how a bullet works is at best ridiculous. Edged weapons knives and broadhead arrows etc. kill only by causing blood loss by cutting not energy transfer and tearing. A discussion of body armor absorbing the energy transfer external to the body is like discusing the effectiveness of a knife versus a trauma plate; neither works to stop an attacker.
    Last edited by bbqgrill; January 12th, 2009 at 08:07 AM. Reason: typo
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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Yup, we'll agree to disagree! I don't see the evidence from forensics of the disruption of cns or organs in handgun caliber rounds. Now in rifle rounds there is the velocity and energy present but not with any handgun testing I've seen.

    At least they haven't yet talked about banning these forums!!
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    Member Array carver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wesley View Post
    I currently carry JHP defensive rounds in all my SD weapons. Since I typically carry 2 spare mags I have been considering loading one of the spares with FMJ in case I ever need "added penetration" beyond what the JHPs will do. (Shooting through barrier, etc.)

    My problem is that all the FMJ I have seen says that its' intended use is for the range.

    I am looking for FMJ in 9mm and .45ACP that would be suited to defense. Is there such an animal? I have a lot of Speer Lawman in .45. Is it good for anything other than target practice?

    Is there ANY FMJ handgun ammo made for anything other than targets?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    Any full powered ball ammo will work just fine. I carry a 1911A with two extra mags. One of these is loaded with ball. Not that I think that I might need the extra penetration, but you never know when the opportunity to get off a few practice rds. might pop up, and I'd rather be shooting some cheap ammo at this point, my own reloads. I just can't imagine a scenario where I would need "extra" penetration!
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    Member Array Darkwater's Avatar
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    Check out the reviews by ATK (LE - Wound Ballistics). They are sponsored/owned by Federal but the testing does seem very independent. Note the barrier testing they did with the LEOs.

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    Too many rounds down range without affect

    Quote Originally Posted by John Wesley View Post
    I am not likely to need 3 mags of ammo in the first place. I was just thinking that if the first (or even the second) mag didn't stop the threat maybe I should try something different.
    Hmmm. If it ain't done in 2 mags worth you'll be dead, so no need to worry.

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    Member Array Griblik's Avatar
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    How about Double Tap 230gr FMJ running at 1010FPS w/ 521 ft/lbs out of a 5" barrel?? They've got FMJ-FP too, with similar stats. Would certainly mess up a park bench's day. Double Tap is good stuff, Gold Dot bullets stoked way hot, inexpensive, very reliable, low flash, high quality, fast shipping.. I could rant for... a bit longer. Anyway, good stuff, check 'em out.

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    Try reading this as some food for thought:

    The Myth of Energy Transfer
    I think I am going to have to disagree with that one. From the linked article:

    When you shoot an attacker in the torso, the goal is to produce fatal hemorrhage by rupturing the heart or a major blood vessel so he will quickly collapse. This is why shot placement is so important. These vital structures lie deep within an average-sized person's torso, and you should choose a bullet that will not only penetrate deeply enough to reach them, but to go through them and crush a hole in them from any engagement angle.
    Bleeding out is only one way that a bullet stops a badguy. Given the very high percentage of people shot with handguns who survive, it would seem that fatal hemorrhage is not the major component of stopping a BG as this article would make one believe.

    Personally, I am fairly certain that the stopping power of a handgun bullet is some combination of penetration, energy transfer, hydrostatic shock, blood loss, and ballistic performance within the target's body.

    If I ever figure out exactly what that combination is, I will design the perfect gun/bullet and make a mint, then donate a chunk to DC.com.
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