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in some calibers in some guns I wonder how much more effective a hollow point is over fmj or swc. not in ballistic gel but in real world street shootings, and not ones that are cherry picked to write a book.

here are some examples of what I'm thinking. compact .45acp (sub 4" bbl) 1911s, short bbl. big bores such as a C.A. Bulldog .44spl (or any other similar gun). of course all the various sub-calibers like .380acp and lower.

except for the sub-calibers this isn't a debate on would a hollow point be preferred in the larger calibers.... but in slow big rounds how much of a real world difference do they make?
 

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Hollow points are gravy, nice to have, but they're vastly overrated in so many folks' minds. Hollow points don't make up for bad hits.
 

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Well according to the FBI 9mm load a ball round of .45 is perfectly fine but may pen too far. Take that however you will
 

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No amount of tech will compensate for a bad hit. Even a mediocre round will USUALLY give decent results from a good hit. That's life in the big city. Go with what makes you feel comfortable and safe.
 

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What is the point to HP? To make the bullet expand so it stops within the body, achieving two goals; avoiding over-penetration which could endanger others, and thus transferring all of its energy to the body, creating a better shock effect. The side effect is also good, where the energy transfer and bullet expansion create more damaging wounds, possibly resulting in quicker stops with fewer shots.
BUT, this expansion requires velocity. With the smaller calibers like .25, .32, .380 and 9mm MAK, it may very well be true that the FMJ round provides enough penetration to disable the assailant with less fear of over-penetration. I know that in my own 9mm MAK that I sometimes carry, I have changed from imported typical HPs to Hornady Critical Defense, which in this caliber is a more pointed bullet with a very small hollow point which is filled with a soft polymer. I believe the concept is to give the needed penetration as well as expansion.
One thing you should not forget is the military has always rated ammunition by penetration, which to them is the main attribute, and it is of extreme importance in defense loads too. I believe the concept of 'over-penetration resulting in shoot-through' is heavily over played in smaller-caliber defensive pistol ammo. Some hollow points might expand too readily, limiting effectiveness, particularly where heavy clothing might be in use. I want a round that is designed to penetrate and be effective for that small, lightweight pistol that is very sweet to carry and accurate with its fixed barrel.
 

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in some calibers in some guns I wonder how much more effective a hollow point is over fmj or swc. not in ballistic gel but in real world street shootings, and not ones that are cherry picked to write a book.

here are some examples of what I'm thinking. compact .45acp (sub 4" bbl) 1911s, short bbl. big bores such as a C.A. Bulldog .44spl (or any other similar gun). of course all the various sub-calibers like .380acp and lower.

except for the sub-calibers this isn't a debate on would a hollow point be preferred in the larger calibers.... but in slow big rounds how much of a real world difference do they make?

The manufacturers are always looking for the next 'big thing' to promote that will make them money. Hollow points fall into that category. People have tried various forms of hollow point all the way back to the days of the buffalo hunters. They never caught on, for whatever reason. When SuperVel came along in the 70s, they tried again with a full court press. The rest is history, even though it took 30 years to work out all the kinks.



I've never thought much of hollow points. I've not seen any evidence that they are to be preferred over a good soft point or solid, especially when you take performance in the game fields into account. Sadly, none of the major makers put out a premium grade self defense round with a proper soft point or solid, so we're pretty much forced into using one of the top four or five hollow point loads. The closest I can get is either a Golden Saber Bonded or Critical Duty 220 +P.


All my handloads use lead RNFP (in .44 and .45) in the 240/250 weight range at about 900-1000 fps. Golden Saber Bonded or CD 220s in the 1911. In my considered opinion (based on a couple decades of observation) there is no advantage to a hollow point over a proper soft point or solid.
 

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Sadly, none of the major makers put out a premium grade self defense round with a proper soft point or solid, so we're pretty much forced into using one of the top four or five hollow point loads. The closest I can get is either a Golden Saber Bonded or Critical Duty 220 +P.
Winchester and Browning both put out a flat nose 230 grain solid in 45 ACP. Velocities for both rounds are in the 900 fps range. I know that other rounds, such as 10mm, 9mm, and 380 ACP can be had with flat nose hard cast solids. 357 and 44 can be purchased with soft flat nose (semi-jacked) bullets.

Are those the types of rounds you would like to see?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
speaking of shoot throughs since a lot of people are concerned with that..... I've used a handgun in self defense and know a few others who have done so as well. Adding to this I've worked quite a few shootings of various nature. hollow points were used in mine and my co-workers, and in all the shootings I worked fmj was used when rounds were recovered (non-recovered rounds were of unknown profile/configuration).

not once were there any innocents hit by shoot throughs. plenty of unintended targets got hit from complete misses from bad guys doing drive by shootings, but in all the others there just weren't any people down range of the other shootings. bad guys tend to attack when there are no witnesses, and in the few cases I've read about regarding shoot throughs the rounds were found close by on the ground behind the intended target. I am not saying that there isn't a risk of a shoot through with fmj particularly in a large slow moving caliber such as .44spl or .45acp, I am suggesting that missing the intended target poses a far greater risk down range than any shoot through. I think the odds are with you.

that said, I am not suggesting or advocating fmj for smaller and or higher velocity rounds such as 9mm or .357 et cetera.
 

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It depends really on what your trying to do.

A lot of the sub calibers such as .380 and 9mm have a hard time getting the proper velocity NEEDED for expansion in short barrels. Some don't expand at all in a 4" barrel. However, a lot of the bullets for 380 don't have enough oomph to penetrate IF they open up.

Same goes for 180 grain bullets in 45 acp according to articles I have seen, the 180 can expand into a very pretty diameter, but have shallow penetration. but if that 180 FAILS to expand it has excellent penetration.

Flat points create tissue damage, and bear tooth discovered through testing that a 180 grain swc in a 357 at 1300 fps with .25 meplat will create the same wound damage as a 240 grain swc in a 44 magnum moving at 1300 fps with a .25 meplat.

As one ex told me, its ALWAYS better to bring more sausage to the party then is needed.
 

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As I read some of these posts it is almost as if some folks are stuck in the 1970's.

If you can't find a load that will reliably expand in a short barrel 9mm you aren't looking hard enough.
 

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speaking of shoot throughs since a lot of people are concerned with that..... I've used a handgun in self defense and know a few others who have done so as well. Adding to this I've worked quite a few shootings of various nature. hollow points were used in mine and my co-workers, and in all the shootings I worked fmj was used when rounds were recovered (non-recovered rounds were of unknown profile/configuration).

not once were there any innocents hit by shoot throughs. plenty of unintended targets got hit from complete misses from bad guys doing drive by shootings, but in all the others there just weren't any people down range of the other shootings. bad guys tend to attack when there are no witnesses, and in the few cases I've read about regarding shoot throughs the rounds were found close by on the ground behind the intended target. I am not saying that there isn't a risk of a shoot through with fmj particularly in a large slow moving caliber such as .44spl or .45acp, I am suggesting that missing the intended target poses a far greater risk down range than any shoot through. I think the odds are with you.

that said, I am not suggesting or advocating fmj for smaller and or higher velocity rounds such as 9mm or .357 et cetera.

That goes right along with the statement made by the FBI several years ago that people hit by shoot throughs is so small it is statistically nonexistant. Not something I worry about.
 

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As I read some of these posts it is almost as if some folks are stuck in the 1970's.

If you can't find a load that will reliably expand in a short barrel 9mm you aren't looking hard enough.



Explain to me why you need a bullet to expand? All it does is slow down penetration in real world encounters.
 

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Explain to me why you need a bullet to expand? All it does is slow down penetration in real world encounters.
to make up for bad bullet placement? using bullets that are too small to begin with?

a lot of people mock the good old 38/200 load, but that bullet tumbles and does more permanent wound damage then a 9mm does.
 

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Explain to me why you need a bullet to expand? All it does is slow down penetration in real world encounters.
Bigger holes bleed more. If you can get 13"-16" of penetration, and expand from .356 to ~.55+, then why not?
 

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Pistol rounds all suck.......so make them suck as little as possible any way possible.
 

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In wintertime I carry FMJ in the 9mm's I have. Same with smaller calibers if I have to go smaller for concealment.
 

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I don't see why people would poo-poo using .45 230-grain hollow points. If they expand then you get all the benefits of the increased terminal performance. If they don't, well it's STILL a 230-grain bullet!
 

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Since I don't have the time or the laboratory to do adequate testing I defer to the experts or random test reports that make sense.

For now the most relevant for me is the "Lucky Gunner Ballistic Tests". In order to get the full benefit of the test results read the entire article.

So far the best comparison of calibers and bullet profiles I've seen.

I don't have a horse in this race it's just a resource for those wishing to compare data!

Smiles,
 
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