SD ammo or FMJ, open discussion on carry guns and ammo.

SD ammo or FMJ, open discussion on carry guns and ammo.

This is a discussion on SD ammo or FMJ, open discussion on carry guns and ammo. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was listening to GunTalk and Dave Spaulding was on talking about training and self-defense shootings. Dave said something that got my attention average number ...

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Thread: SD ammo or FMJ, open discussion on carry guns and ammo.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    SD ammo or FMJ, open discussion on carry guns and ammo.

    I was listening to GunTalk and Dave Spaulding was on talking about training and self-defense shootings. Dave said something that got my attention average number of rounds to stop a attacker was 2.7 rounds and the average attack was by like 2.6 people. Dave said shots to the chest it takes 2.7 shots to stop the attack, however, one shot to the head is like hitting the switch and ends the fight immediately.

    I carry a 380 or 9mm single stack average 7-8 rounds, so if I take center mass shots I may run out of ammo.
    First point why do I practice two to the chest one to head? I could take head shots only when at SD distance 3-7 yards.

    Second I use good self-defense ammo and when taking that ammo and shooting through coats shirts I could end up with no more that a FMJ and no expansion. When using my 380 it is even more likely no expansion, so why not FMJ for self defense and concentrate on headshot.

    I am thinking out loud and not looking to change anyone’s way of thinking, however, I would like to hear comments on where this logic comes up short. Remember our military uses FMJ as well as all military around the world.

    Are we being marketed to by the ammo companies, fear of over penetration, FBI protocol or just have not thought our own needs through.

    What say YOU?

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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Well,OK. Here is my take and my effort to not have a caliber breakdown on the subject. First, yes, in a way we are being played by ammo makers but, its not all snake oil either. Some really good ammo has been developed for a variety of uses which brings me to the old JHP vs solid debate. Depends what the use is and also what works in a specific gun and/or caliber. We often look for the one answer on a gun or ammo and simply put, there isn't one. I personally carry many calibers with hardcast flat nosed lead bullets because its either in short barreled guns that don't make a lot of expansion velocity (snub 38/pocket 380) or its for woods carry where penetration is really my only goal. In something like a 9mm, 40 S&W, longer barelled 38, etc. I go HP all the way because they have the speed to get a HP up into a more reliable expansion and they are geared to defense from humans.
    Finally, head shots are extremely difficult while one or both people are moving while a persons core stays relatively stable even during movement which is why LEO are trained to go COM first to get some more likely hits. I should say at least I was trained that way but, that was a few gray hairs ago.

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    Distinguished Member Array Rabbit212's Avatar
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    Because your going to miss that head shot and more likely to make that center mass shot. Moving target, your moving, your full of adrenaline, your fumbling your draw, etc etc.
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    VIP Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    Carry a HP there a a couple in 380 that should expand after heavy clothing and penetrate adequately (12-18'').
    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...llistic-tests/
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    Below is what I wrote in a similar thread on 4/20. So if it sounds familiar to some that is why.


    I am not an expert but I have spent numerous hours researching 9mm and 380 ACP ammunition ballistics. I did not do my research on YouTube or forums. I read many forensic studies by ballistic experts, pathologists, and qualified ammo testers including the FBI testing specialists. So my remarks are based upon that research of expert writings.

    What follows applies to handguns only and to non-magnum loads but some is otherwise applicable to all ammo.

    There is no such thing as stopping power. A 22LR that hits the pierces an major blood vessel, a component of the central nervous system, or a major organ like the heart or brain will incapacitate a person. Obviously, a 45 ACP will do that too. He difference will be that the larger caliber will do more bone and tissue damage in the process.

    Traditional FMJ is not designed to expand although there are experiments ongoing to make an moderately expanding FMJ particularly form military use. Experts in the field of wound ballistics all report that they have not seen or cannot find a single reported incident of over penetration by handgun bullets.

    JHP expansion. The length of the barrel is the single most determining factor when it comes to expansion. A 4 inch barrel will almost assure expansion of any caliber bullet provided quality ammo is employed. Expansion becomes irregular once the barrel length gets under 3.5 inches, and under 3 inches expansion is irregular in 9mm and very unreliable in 380.

    Forensic pathologists report that the differences in wound cavity between FMJ and JHP in ballistic gel do not mostly resemble these in human tissue to the degree that they mostly cannot tell which type was used until they find the bullet. That said expanded JHP is recommended because it is capable of doing more damage than FMJ even though the permanent wound channel is hard to distinguish between the two.

    The most recent ballistic testing using pigs as the test medium are showing that the solid, fluted fluid transfer bullets do more tissue damage than JHP and a more barrier resistant. The exception being 45ACP traveling over 1000 FPS.

    To me that means JHP is better than FMJ for self defense when you have a highly likelihood of of expansion due to barrel length. Otherwise it might still be better. At worst it performs like FMJ, and FMJ can kill anyone if targeted well.

    Because of arthritis I carry a 380 with a 2.9 inch barrel. Reliable JHP expansion is unlikely. Many people believe that FMJ is better in 380 because it will penetrate deeper than JHP. I ageee with that. However, I switched to my 380 from a 9mm with a four inch barrel after the the 380 fluid transfer ammo had proven to create greater cavitation and penetration than JHP.

    Finally, I want to add that relying of the opinions of non-experts like me on forums like this is not reliable. Often people are simply reciting common ballistics myths. That is why I do my own research from authoritative sources.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I do believe in stopping power, just not the magic bullet type.

    Ive hit people in the head with a rock, or threw broke dirt clods to the face of people and had instantaneous stops.

    The only hard and fast rule when it comes to defense with a gun, regardless of platform or ammo type, is hit’em fast and often until you achieve what you need to. Accuracy and putting bullets in to the vital areas have been known to expedite the results.
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    Distinguished Member Array Gaius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichSteve View Post
    I was listening to GunTalk and Dave Spaulding was on talking about training and self-defense shootings. Dave said something that got my attention average number of rounds to stop a attacker was 2.7 rounds and the average attack was by like 2.6 people. Dave said shots to the chest it takes 2.7 shots to stop the attack,
    Does anyone have a source for these statistics?
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    Member Array gwmac's Avatar
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    Lucky Gunner has done extensive testing with .380 (and several others) and the comparative data are both interesting and surprising.
    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self...allistic-tests

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    In 380 I would invest in some Underwood Extreme Defender loads for carry.

    If you carry a small, short barreled single stack 9, I would opt for a lighter/faster load like the 9BPLE or XM9001 or a CorBon 115 +P. The bullet will still reach a velocity where expansion will occur, but penetration will still be adequate. And carry 1 to 2 spare mags. In my Nano I carry the 9BPLE and I use the 8 rd mags.

    In today's world, the low capacity handgun is almost a liability.

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    Dave said something that got my attention average number of rounds to stop a attacker was 2.7 rounds

    maybe moreand

    the average attack was by like 2.6 people.

    May be more or less Dave said

    shots to the chest it takes 2.7 shots to stop the attack


    Maybe more or maybe less

    It's a crap shoot, like GM said, hit em hard and fast [ or stop twitching ].

    OP, why are you practicing 2 to the body/one to the head?
    The mind is the limiting factor

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    My take: every time American military or LE has used non-expanding .36 caliber ammunition, they've asked (sometimes begged) for something better. The .38 Colt used in the Phillipines, .38 Special LRN by LE in the early 20th century, 9x19 FMJ in our desert wars, 9x19 by the NYPD - all were found lacking by the organizations using them. To me that means a lot more than anybody's limited data set. So for me, it's use expanding ammo or (if that's not an option for some reason) a larger caliber.

    I would make an exception for .380, as it lacks power for penetration if it expands more than a little.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    Dave said something that got my attention average number of rounds to stop a attacker was 2.7 rounds

    maybe moreand

    the average attack was by like 2.6 people.

    May be more or less Dave said

    shots to the chest it takes 2.7 shots to stop the attack


    Maybe more or maybe less

    It's a crap shoot, like GM said, hit em hard and fast [ or stop twitching ].

    OP, why are you practicing 2 to the body/one to the head?


    That's what Tom recommends! Language warning!

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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichSteve View Post
    I was listening to GunTalk and Dave Spaulding was on talking about training and self-defense shootings. Dave said something that got my attention average number of rounds to stop a attacker was 2.7 rounds and the average attack was by like 2.6 people. Dave said shots to the chest it takes 2.7 shots to stop the attack, however, one shot to the head is like hitting the switch and ends the fight immediately.

    I carry a 380 or 9mm single stack average 7-8 rounds, so if I take center mass shots I may run out of ammo.
    First point why do I practice two to the chest one to head? I could take head shots only when at SD distance 3-7 yards.

    Second I use good self-defense ammo and when taking that ammo and shooting through coats shirts I could end up with no more that a FMJ and no expansion. When using my 380 it is even more likely no expansion, so why not FMJ for self defense and concentrate on headshot.

    I am thinking out loud and not looking to change anyone’s way of thinking, however, I would like to hear comments on where this logic comes up short. Remember our military uses FMJ as well as all military around the world.

    Are we being marketed to by the ammo companies, fear of over penetration, FBI protocol or just have not thought our own needs through.

    What say YOU?
    I'm not going to bother writing again what I just wrote. Suffice to say, it seems a number of people have no clue about why the military use FMJ. To the OP...read here:

    https://www.defensivecarry.com/forum...carry-gun.html

    And a very good summary of 380 testing by a well-respected member of DC:

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  16. #15
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    While I have somewhat lower expectations of expanding bullet effectiveness than current conventional wisdom dictates, the choice of expanding self-defense ammunition, if reliable in one's handgun, could be looked at as gravy if it opens up as advertised in the event it is used for personal self-defense.

    Might as well load up with the hollow points.

    Wouldn't feel completely helpless with FMJ, especially if good hits could be attained. Extra points awarded in my mind if the FMJ is 230 grain .45 caliber.
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