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  • Post last modified:April 9, 2023

FMJ vs. Hollow Point ammunition. As gun enthusiasts, it's important for us to understand Hollow Point ammo is to minimize the risk of over-penetration and collateral damage for personal defense.

FMJ ammo may be a better choice due to its reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Full Metal Jacket Ammo

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Full Metal Jacket ammunition is essentially a bullet or cartridge that has a copper jacket or other metallic coating around a lead core.

The purpose of this jacket is to help with feeding and reliability, as well as reducing wear and tear on the barrel. 

FMJ ammo is most commonly used for target shooting or punching holes in paper, and is great for training and plinking without breaking the bank.

Hollow Point Ammo

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Hollow Point ammo has a cavity in the tip of the bullet, which allows it to expand upon impact. This expansion causes the bullet to mushroom, creating a larger wound channel and ultimately causing more damage to the target.

Hollow Points are generally considered to be a more effective option for self-defense situations, as they have a greater stopping power and are less likely to over-penetrate through the target and cause harm to bystanders.


Does FMJ Do More Damage Than Hollow Point?

ballistic gel test bullet tumble

FMJ ammunition has the advantage of being less expensive and potentially requiring less frequent gun cleaning.

However, its inability to expand in soft tissue means that it often penetrates through targets without delivering enough stopping power. As a result, he considers it a poor choice for self-defense situations.

Is it Ok to use FMJ For Self-Defense

While FMJ rounds are the standard for training with semi-automatics, they're not the best choice for self-defense.

FMJ ammo has few advantages, and some states like New Jersey even prohibit hollow-point ammunition. FMJ bullets can over-penetrate, which is like a pencil punching a hole in the target and just keeps going. It can be a problem later in court.

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If you choose to carry FMJ ammo in your firearm, you must be able to isolate your target perfectly and be aware of what's beyond it.

Find out what your local law enforcement officers carry and use the same ammo in your firearm. This will almost entirely eliminate the prosecution's ability to question your selection of rounds for self-defense.

Is 9mm FMJ OK for Self-Defense?

range day with hellcat

It's all about shot placement.

Everyone favors the 9mm Luger caliber as it is well-suited for personal defense, packing a powerful punch with 115 to 124-grain bullets that easily exceed 1,100 fps. Loadings of +P or higher-pressure can reach 1,300 fps.

Compact 9mm Luger handguns can be easily managed with practice, whereas compact .40 S&W handguns or .38 Special small-frame revolvers can be challenging to handle.

A great article to read is the 380 ACP vs 38 special, and that will show how much ammo technology has advanced since then.

Will A Hollow Point Go Through A Person?

Hollow-point ammunition penetrates impacted objects for shorter distances, and cannot break through some barriers, such as body armor and thick clothing. It also imparts more energy and damage to an object, ricochets less, and is highly effective at swiftly incapacitating a person.