There are a lot of different types of ammunition available on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which type is right for you. One option that you might want to consider is hollow points. Here we will discuss some of the benefits of using hollow points for self defense, and why they might be a good choice for you. First off, let’s take a closer look at the different choices you have available for you.
What is Full Metal Jacket ammunition?
Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammunition is a type of bullet that consists of a soft core, typically lead, surrounded by a harder metal jacket. This jacket helps to protect the soft lead from deforming when the bullet impacts a target. FMJ bullets are typically less expensive than hollow point or other types of ammunition, and they are also more likely to penetrate through barriers like walls. It is often used by shooters who are trying to improve their marksmanship, as it is inexpensive to use for practice.
What is Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition?
A hollow point bullet is one that has a hollowed out section in the tip of the bullet. This hollowing allows the bullet to expand upon impact with soft tissue, creating a larger wound channel. Jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets are typically more expensive than FMJ bullets, but they offer some key benefits. I will list some of them here:
- Less prone to overpenetration
- Larger wound channel
- Improved precision
Not all JHP ammunition is the same. Meaning, some are better at controlled expansion than others. There are many different brands and types of JHP. For the purposes of self defense you would be best advised to stick with brands and types that are commonly used by large police agencies. The FBI is usually a good measuring stick for which brand and type of JHP is good.
Avoid gimmicky ammo that makes bold claims and/or fragments. While expansion is good and you don’t want to have issues with overpenetration, there is a minimum standard of penetration you should seek. The FBI has developed a standard by which to judge jacketed hollow point ammunition. Simply put, the ideal amount of penetration is between 12-18″ in ballistic gelatin. You can find many of the various test results around the internet for various loads in your desired brand, HP design, and bullet weight.
What is +P ammunition?
+P ammunition is simply ammunition that has been loaded to a higher internal pressure than what is considered to be “standard” for that particular caliber. For example, +P .38 Special will have higher internal pressure than “regular” .38 Special ammunition. The result is increased velocity and energy, which can lead to increased penetration and expansion.
+P ammunition is not recommended for use in all firearms. You should only use +P ammunition in a firearm that is designed to handle the increased pressure. Check your owner’s manual or with the manufacturer of your firearm to see if it is rated for +P before using this type of ammunition.
Testing your chosen carry round
Once you select a round for carry, you will want to test it out in your firearm. While you probably don’t want to shoot much with an expensive round like that, you want to make sure it feeds reliably. In some cases, jacketed hollow points can be finicky about what they like to eat. I recommend shooting at least 50 rounds of your carry ammunition through your firearm before you feel comfortable trusting your life to it.