The problem with using FMJ as a personal protection, is that the FMJ does not expand like the hollow point does, on target. Then end result is complete penetration, in short, it goes through the bad guy with little damage. The idea in personal protection is to have the bullet stop inside the bad guy, with maximum damage, there by stopping the bad guy...
The second point is because of the FMJ complete penetration, the FMJ will continue after passing through the bad guy and may hit by-standers, go through walls, ect... Not a good thing...
The Hollow Point is designed to enter the target, expand fully, maximize damage and stop... Very good qualities for a personal defense bullet...
Right on, RNettles----safest and most effective is the hollowpoint. In .45, however, I believe that you are better armed than with any other semi-auto if ALL YOU CAN GET is FMJ-you're throwing a bigger punkin'ball slug out there and it'll hit harder... I say that because I don't reload and I can afford and do have much more FMJ stashed than HP...if you're only able to get FMJ-bigger is better, as the Armed Forces are finding out-many units have gone back to .45 as much as they could...not a wonder-round-still have to hit what you aim at. I was astonished to meet a guy who carries a .45 and won't buy anything but FMJ-he's missing a lot of stopping power...my choice is Speer Gold Dot 230 gr. HP.
Right now I'm carrying 230 gr Win Supreme SXTs in my P97 but have carried hardball in the past and would have no qualms using it again. One thing about the FMJ bullets is they will feed reliably in almost all guns and in the words of Colonel Jeff Cooper "Failure to stop is rare".[xx(]
+1 for rnettles. I highly recommend a very good quality hollow point, such as hydro-shok for personal protection. You want to stop the perp with as few rounds as possible, and as quick as possible.
I also want to stress on the point rnettles made about the difference between FMJ and HP feeds. Yes, FMJ ammo feeds better, and is more reliable than some HPs! So be SURE that you test and test again the hollow point you are packing to ensure that it feeds PERFECT in your firearm.
Well, everyone has their own opinion so I'll take the other side. Here's the basic requirements of self defence as related to bullets:
1. The bullet must be accurate enough to hit what you are aiming at.
2. The bullet must function and feed reliably in your gun.
3. The bullet must create a large wound channel.
4. The bullet must penetrate far enough to inflict great bodily harm.
5. The bullet should not overpenetrate.
Let's look at theses one at a time.
1. Most guns will be equally accurate with either a FMJ or JHP. Dead heat.
2. Most guns feed more reliably with FMJ than any other type of bullets. FMJ wins.
3. A FMJ will create a large wound channel, often more terminal than a JHP. Reason: Tests done by the Government and independent labs prove a JHP will not "open up" reliably until velocities of 1000 fps are achieved. That rules out all 45 ACP factory JHPs except 185 gr bullets. Typical velocities for a 230 gr is 850 fps. 925 fps for a 200 gr and 1000 fps for a 185 gr JHP. Actually, on human flesh, there is very little difference in wound channels between a FMJ or JHP. Yes, JHPs do open up nicely on a wet phone book but I've never seen a wet phone book attack. Dead heat.
4. A 230 gr FMJ rates at the top of the list for proper penetration. A 230 gr FMJ will penetrate through winter clothing, a JHP that opens up probably won't. Depth of a wound is just as important as diameter of a wound. the 230 gr FMJ wins, hands down.
5. A 230 gr FMJ seldom punches through a "center mass" hit and even if it did, the bullet would not have enough energy left to do much damage. If a JHP does open up, it will "under penetrate" and not make a deep enough wound channel. If it doesn't open up, it will be no different than a FMJ. Believe it or not, this is pretty much a dead heat with a slight edge to FMJ.
Guess which bullets are in my 45 ACP Commander?
Now if you are talking about a lighter 9mm bullet driven to 1200 fps, then the opposite is true in 2-5 above as RNettles posted. This is exactly why the military and law enforcement made such a big mistake going with the 9mm cartridge. The diameter, weight, and velocity of a 45 ACP FMJ bullet makes it one of the all time best self defense, police, and military cartridges ever designed. Maybe that's why a the 45 ACP has passed the test of time for 96 years. Granted, the 9mm has been around just as long but has a poor reputation for wound channel and over penetration. Some think the magazine capacity makes a 9mm better. The studies say different. A typical 45 ACP 230 gr FMJ has an 85% chance of a one shot center mass knock down. Two shots increase the odds to 95%. A 9mm 115gr FMJ has a 45% chance of a 1 shot knock down and only a 70% chance with two shots. If you do the math, the 45's 8 round capacity has a much higher odds of knocking down multiple "targets" than a 9mm with 16 round capacity. Now when you change to a JHP in a 9mm, the performance increases to a 60% chance with a one round center mass hit and 80% with two round hits. Now the odds would be about even with a 9mm high capacity magazine.
These numbers aren't mine or something I just made up. They are well documented by military and other Government agencies as a result of lengthy studies by the US Dept of Justice. I used to work there.
I have to agree with Iowegan on this one. I have no confidence in .45 ACP HP's expanding in real-world conditions. Even the 185 Gr performance is not very consistent and I would prefer the heavier weight. I believe that much the same can be said for the heavier weights in .40 S&W, but the flat point fmj's are pretty effective.
Thank you all for your input on the fmj vs. hollow point you all are on the right track i have researched the internet with doctor and coroner reports and they coincide with your input. Again thank you all for your input very enlightening. Coronel
If you really think JHPs won't expand, then go buy a fresh ham (pork hindquarter that has not been cured in any way) and shoot it with something like the SXTs or Hydro-Shocks. While earlier attempts to get good expansion were not entirely successful, the current production JHP are awesome!
obxned, I don't think anyone said 45 ACP HPs would not expand. As you probably know, there's a lot more to terminal ballistics than bullet expansion. In fact, with a large heavy bullet such as a 45 ACP, the wound channel is plenty big with a FMJ.
Expansion limits penetration. You will never find a "perfect bullet" where expansion and penetration are optimum under all conditions. When things like clothing, distance, body weight, angle of entry, and a host of other factors are considered, the 45 ACP loaded with a FMJ offers the best overall performance.
OK OK - I'll go take those 185gr HP's out of the 45, but I'm leaving them in the SP101. Guess I'll dig some of those 50's era military hard ball out of the ammo locker for now. That way the court won't say I had 'cop killer' bullets in my gun.
I'll stick with the JHPs from reliable manufacturers. It is true expansion reduces penetration, but the ammo companies have done a pretty fine job of giving great expansion with reasonable penetration.
Here in Michigan, I kinda like the idea of getting some good penetration in the winter when folks are wearing heavy clothes. So I Load FMJs. In the summer, when folks don’t wear as many clothes, I load some JHPs.
I may be totally wrong in my assumptions, I don’t know, it’s been a long time since I had to shoot anybody, but I figure even if I’m off a little in my calculations, it’s still pretty hard to go wrong with .45acp.
Regarding through and throughs or complete misses, be it walls or the BG, well, my first concern is MY safety when being attacked by the BG. I carry for personal protection, as that is statistically and realistically the most likely defense situation a person (non LEO) would be in. And I want the most reliable round loaded in my gun at the time I might need to use it. That's the 230 FMJ for me. It's what I practice most with, my .45s eat them consistently, and the damage caused by the FMJ vs. the hollow point is close enough for me. A double tap or triple tap of ANY bullet configuration should be sufficient, in my book. If not, and the BG keeps coming, well, does it really matter then? We can't be prepared for ALL possible situations, so I use what I'm most comfortable with. Having said all of this, I'd hate to be hit myself with ANY bullet, FMJ or hollow point.