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Total BS both ways. Like anything else it depends on the gun and the bullet. With todays jacketed HPs the only difference from FMJ is the hole. Never had a problem with even GI guns functioning well with these. With the hundreds of 1911 clones of varying quality a blanket statement on anything is BS. I’ve seen some that won’t feed ball FMJ reliably, I’m sure they would do no better with HPs.
Browning designed the 1911 as a Military weapon. The simplest design that was operator friendly. The fact it was designed as Military weapon had the loose tolerances built in. The high end 1911s are the design taken to the absolute minimum tolerances with precision fit. A few other tweaks make them a better pistol than originals, especially for functioning with HPs.
 

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1911s generally do not like bullets that aren't round-nosed. Many of the early JHP bullets were a truncated cone shape, which made them expand easier in ballistic gel but often didn't agree with a 1911's feed ramp. The legendary Speer "Flying Ashtray" 200gr bullet had a rounded ogive, but the hollow point cavity was so large that it resulted in a shorter OAL and problems digging into the feed ramp. And they weren't just unreliable in 1911s... I used to have a W. German P220 that didn't like them either.

Most of the problems with feed reliability went away when ammo manufacturers came up with decent .45ACP bullet designs with a similar ogive to a FMJ ball round.
 

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1911s generally do not like bullets that aren't round-nosed. Many of the early JHP bullets were a truncated cone shape, which made them expand easier in ballistic gel but often didn't agree with a 1911's feed ramp. The legendary Speer "Flying Ashtray" 200gr bullet had a rounded ogive, but the hollow point cavity was so large that it resulted in a shorter OAL and problems digging into the feed ramp. And they weren't just unreliable in 1911s... I used to have a W. German P220 that didn't like them either.

Most of the problems with feed reliability went away when ammo manufacturers came up with decent .45ACP bullet designs with a similar ogive to a FMJ ball round.
Quick fix if Jim Cirillo's design is still in production somewhere.
 

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All my 1911's will shoot JHP or FNJ ammo but it doesn't matter to me, I use flat nose ammo for everything.
Bone crushing results and I don't waste my money on the overpriced hollow point ammo.
Yeah, I've heard all the stories about over penetration, but I know what flat point ammo does to animals so I'm sure it will stop a two-legged bad guy just fine.
 

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I’m in dsk’s club. I’ve only got 3 Colt 1911s from 1970s and. Couple GIs. Shoot 230fmj in all of them.
Commander LW for CCW with same ammo. It works every time with factory ammo. Once in a while they will cough up one of my cast bullet hand loads 185gr SWCs, they are for my 25-2 S&Ws but I shoot a few targets with them in 1911s.
Water Plumbing fixture Fluid Automotive tire Gas
 

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My Rock Island made in 2011 has never failed to feed hollow points and I tried several different brands. It gets a steady diet of home cast SWC's now along with the occasional box of steel cased. It even feeds empty cases. In all honesty though I trashed the ACT mag it came with and use CMC flush mount mags.
 

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Back in the day this ammo was notorious for jams. I had no stock 1911 that would feed it:

 

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Back in the day this ammo was notorious for jams. I had no stock 1911 that would feed it:

Funny enough, some 35 years or so ago my dad bought a couple boxes of this same load manufactured by Remington. I told my dad his stock 1966 Government Model probably wouldn't feed it. Turns out it ate up both boxes without a bobble.
 
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There is another consideration. What a jury will think of the ammo you fired to 'stop' an attacker. I have heard it said, I think here, that if you -are- ever in front of a jury you should never say your intent was to kill the person; only to "stop" them. Some ammo is so obviously intended to expand massively that very few juries would believe you weren't intending to kill. A prosecutor could make a lot out of this. While I'd "rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6" I think (with no self defense experience whatsoever) that I'd rather just keep shooting FMJs until my attacker was "stopped". Clearly YMMV.
 

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I have no problems with 230gr JHP's in either of my 1911's a Sig Emperor Scorpion Carry and a Colt Defender. but to save on cost I'll practice with the 230gr FMJ and save the JHP's for home defense
 

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I was on another forum and the topic was carrying JHP vs FMJ in a 1911. There were still a number of people that proclaim that "1911s don't function well with JHPs. You should carry FMJs for reliability."

My BS meter started going to 100%. Yeah, that may have been the case a long time ago before JHPs were so prevalent. But it seems like this position just doesn't pass the smell test anymore with modern manufacturing. Maybe the $400 third world guns still have the problem, but if U.S. manufacturers are still producing 1911s that can't handle JHPs, that seems like a manufacturer problem, not a design problem.

Your thoughts?
All of my 1911s run hollow points just like they run FMJ, flawlessly. And I've got mostly "cheap" 1911s.
I will admit however, that the cheapos took a bit of running before they were 100% (Under 300 rounds). My Springfield was 100% right out of the box. I expect my Ruger to be 100% right out of the box once I get it in my hands and to the range as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
There is another consideration. What a jury will think of the ammo you fired to 'stop' an attacker. I have heard it said, I think here, that if you -are- ever in front of a jury you should never say your intent was to kill the person; only to "stop" them. Some ammo is so obviously intended to expand massively that very few juries would believe you weren't intending to kill. A prosecutor could make a lot out of this. While I'd "rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6" I think (with no self defense experience whatsoever) that I'd rather just keep shooting FMJs until my attacker was "stopped". Clearly YMMV.
The thing about what a prosecutor will or won't do about your ammo choice, your customization of the gun you used, etc. has been pretty much put to bed as BS. Massad Ayoob started that stuff back in the '80s. A good shooting isn't about to be turned into a bad shooting because of the ammo you used or the fact that you customized your trigger pull. That's been proven out.
 

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There is another consideration. What a jury will think of the ammo you fired to 'stop' an attacker. I have heard it said, I think here, that if you -are- ever in front of a jury you should never say your intent was to kill the person; only to "stop" them. Some ammo is so obviously intended to expand massively that very few juries would believe you weren't intending to kill. A prosecutor could make a lot out of this.
A prosecutor could make a lot about you being negligent in researching ballistic information before arming yourself with a gun and choosing to carry ammo that has higher chances of overpenetrating and injuring innocent bystanders. Our soldiers carry FMJs, they don't care about overpenetration on the battlefield. Our police carry JHPs because they want their rounds to stay in bodies of criminals. Very few juries would believe that if you knew about wounding properties of FMJ vs JHP you didn't see the overpenetration risk data.


See how useless it is to engage in theoretical musings online when every possible thing can be justified or condemned?
 

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Bill Wilson has a good video series, “The Gun Guys”. In one, he discusses how the 1911 was designed first for and with the .45 230 grain hardball. The design worked great with that bullet length and angle until ammo manufacturers started producing bullets of different angles (read lighter weight/shorter). The initial one size fits all ramps/magazines had issues with this new variation. Rather than just accept some ammo is made out of spec for the design, he/they revised the feed ramp openings/polish design to handle better variations of bullets.
i suspect many gun platforms would have experienced this same issue had they been around for the ammo evolution. As we know, most platforms are JohnnyComeLately and benefit from the learning curve that our 1911’s had to endure.
 

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While I've seen some designs of JHP that occasionally fail in some 1911s they were usually loaded to a short OAL and not designed for the corner of the ogive to hit the feedway in the same place ball (loaded to 1.250:) did.

OTOH, I've tried Federal HST, Winchester Ranger and Federal Hydra Shok (the latest of 7 versions I've seen) as well as Hornady XTP and Critical duty in my bone stock 1911 (made in 1917) with my two tone G.I. magazines (from around 1917 as well - and I did not have a bobble - I have several stock old 1911s and 1911a1s - none of them have any problems with good JHP ammo.

OTOH, I've had Speer Gold dot fail to feed in both 1911s *usually modified" and my two Glock 17 9mms - not often but occasionally. Mind you I like the Gold Dot, but I usually use them in revolvers.

That said, while I carry expanding bullets in almost all calibers, since I retired from L.E. I've definitely considered going to the flat point 230 FMJ - I'm just not all that crazy about 14" of penetration in gel. - nor 18" for that matter.

Riposte
 

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There is another consideration. What a jury will think of the ammo you fired to 'stop' an attacker. I have heard it said, I think here, that if you -are- ever in front of a jury you should never say your intent was to kill the person; only to "stop" them. Some ammo is so obviously intended to expand massively that very few juries would believe you weren't intending to kill. A prosecutor could make a lot out of this. While I'd "rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6" I think (with no self defense experience whatsoever) that I'd rather just keep shooting FMJs until my attacker was "stopped". Clearly YMMV.
I'm pretty good friends with a retired criminal defense attorney, who was a prosecutor for years before going into private practice. IN THE MEMORY OF HIS CAREER, he's unaware of a case in which the type of ammo used was ruled as relevant to deciding the culpability of a defender/defendant. My NON-retired criminal attorney FRIEND says that, in 14 years of practice, HE'S unaware of such a case. In the ENTIRE case law of THE NATION, it appears that no prosecutor has felt it sufficiently necessary nor appropriate to "make a lot out of this". Neither attorney was aware of the ammo type even playing a role in civil cases resulting from the criminal cases, and their case law data bases were national in scope.
While it is USUALLY a good idea to minimize the emotional content in one's description of events to law enforcement (except perhaps the extent to which you were "in fear for your life"), it is ALWAYS an EXCELLENT idea to talk to law enforcement AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, until you are with your attorney. THEN, either let THEM tell you what to say, or better yet, LET THEM SAY IT FOR YOU.
For years, my practice/competition/defense/general purpose reload for .45 was a 225 - 230 gr. Lee 452-230-TC under a middlin' charge of Red Dot, which always made "major" with plenty to spare (on the ballistic pendulums). If challenged about my ammo after a shooting my planned response (subject to review by an attorney) was "This is the ammunition I use for everything. It is less expensive for me to make, shoots more accurately, and functions more reliably than anything else I have used. WHY would I switch from it to something that is more costly, that I may not shoot as accurately, and is more likely to jam my pistol, for the sake of more humanely trying to disable an attacker who is surely trying to kill me?"

The Indy Mall Shooter was hit 8 times from a 9x19mm, before he shut down. I dare suspect they were all expanding point rounds of some kind. I shudder to think of the number of rounds needed to put the creep down, had they been FMJRNs. In pistols that are .40 caliber and above, the difference between efficacy of FMJ vs. expanding point projectiles may be less dramatic, so perhaps nothing is lost in stoking these with FMJFPs or similar rounds.
But I'M loading my defensive sidearms with the ammunition that makes me most likely to score hits under time pressure and extreme stress. I'll deal with "snowflake perceptions", later if necessary, and IF I survive the crisis.
 

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I was on another forum and the topic was carrying JHP vs FMJ in a 1911. There were still a number of people that proclaim that "1911s don't function well with JHPs. You should carry FMJs for reliability."

My BS meter started going to 100%. Yeah, that may have been the case a long time ago before JHPs were so prevalent. But it seems like this position just doesn't pass the smell test anymore with modern manufacturing. Maybe the $400 third world guns still have the problem, but if U.S. manufacturers are still producing 1911s that can't handle JHPs, that seems like a manufacturer problem, not a design problem.

Your thoughts?
Somewhere , someone had a issue with the 1911 frame and a failure to feed . Unless I see and read a actual report of such failures, it is just another person opinion and experience that got turned into gospel. Having used the 1911 frame for over 40 years, the only time I had a failure to feed Ball, JHP or similar was when the frame was really dirty and dry (no oil), you work through those issues.
 

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i think that early on the first types of hollow point bullets were a problem with many 1911s. Such as the big hole flying ashtray hollow point bullets. But technology advances and that became a non issue today. way back then everyone had only round nose lead bullets or round nose jacketed bullets and the 1911's were designed to shoot those ok. if you wanted to shoot some other kind of bullet shape, you had to modify your 1911 to do so. But today most all of those modifications are already done to the 1911 pistols. So it is a non issue today unless you got a pure military spec grade 1911 that was made to the specs way back then.
 

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WRT military use of expanding bullets, that is forbidden by the 1899 Hague Conventions, not the Geneva Conventions. Furthermore, the United States has never signed the section that forbids the use of expanding bullets and is thus not restricted in their use. However, the US has so far abided by the restriction in spite of not being obligated to follow it.
Sorry, but what is "WRT military " (and thanks for the Hague information.)
 
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