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Posted: 6/25/2003 5:29:44 PM EDT
I have read, & understand the ammo fact regarding .223/6.56 ammo. I understand the lethal qualities of ball ammo/fmj. What I am wondering is this, is .45 fmj ammo a reasonably good self defense round? & if it is why? I know that a lot of hp,st,ect are made that are preferred by most folks for the .45. So why does the military use fmj's for pistols, if we are not held to the NATO rules. I also know it functions better, or more reliably. I know this idea isn't put forth in an extremly concise manner, but I'm hoping you'll still understand my questions.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:13:37 PM EDT
The military is held to the Geneva and Hague conventions and we aren't allowed to use evil hollowpoint rounds that cause unecessary suffering and hardship upon the enemy. I actually had to sit through a JAG presentaion on this about a week ago... The JAG officer went on about how the 5.56 isn't really designed to kill anyway and that wounding an enemy will take 2-3 of them out because of caring for the wounded and demoralizing the enemy, etc, etc. I wanted to tell him that he was full of sh!t about the effectiveness of the 5.56 and ask him why we can use arty, grenades, claymores, mines, etc, but FMJ rounds are a no-no? Does this make a damn bit of sense to anyone??? but it would probably ended my career in its infancy... We also aren't allowed to shoot at hospitals, places of worship, institutions dedicated to science, arts, etc without giving the enemy warning first... There goes the element of suprise if they're holed up in there... Applying rules to warfare makes so much sense...
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:37:03 PM EDT
As things go, I'd say that the .45 is probably the most forgiving of ball ammo. By that, I mean that you'd rather have hollow points in anything, but if you HAD to have ball, I'd rather have .45 than 9mm, for sure. Bear in mind that the .45 was originally designed to use ball ammo and be a more effective stopper than the .38. Nevertheless, hollow points would be far better.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 7:13:26 PM EDT
Must not be Old Corp. Article the First - Chesty Puller can do no wrong. Article the Second - The 45 is my best friend. Article the Third - The M1 is my next best friend or really old Corp - The Springfield is my best friend , the 45 next. The 45 ACP in FMJ has the oomph to overcome the shortcomings of the FMJ round nose in a pistol cartridge Smaller rounds are significantly handicapped by the design. That's not to say that better bullets aren't good, they just add to more of a good thing. Remember the M1911 was really meant to be used as a point and shoot weapon at very short ranges, at targets that somehow got past the rifles and other arms. It's still about the best weapon devised for that job. It wasn't designed to be a 50 yard target pistol. Although it is pretty good there too. It isn't a hit any bone and they go down round but it's probably about as close as you get. You get a solid hit in the chest cavity and the target is gonna be real sick real quick. You hit a major skeletal bone and the target is gonna have problems.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 11:21:07 PM EDT
If one must use a pistol with FMJ ammo, then the .45 ACP is probably the gun to go with if you can't find a .50 AE. LOL. It would certainly be more forgiving than a 9mm FMJ round. But if that 9mm is a quality JHP such as a Winchester Ranger or a Speer Gold Dot, then that might be a different story. Outside of directly impacting the CNS, the next best means of stopping an attacker is by causing him to bleed out. Hitting major blood vessels or blood rich organs are two examples. The way you achieve this is through crushed tissue. Obviously, the bigger the bullet is, the more tissue is crushed and the more bleeding can occur. It has been said that a bullet that expands to twice it's original diameter will crush 4 times the tissue of a non expanding bullet. So if my life was on the line, I would much rather use a quality JHP load that expands to .70" than a load that I know will be no larger than .45" no matter what. I believe in getting every extra ounce of performance possible out of it. While the .45 ACP 230 gr ball is a decent round, I feel that it's potential for rapid incapacitation has been a little over-hyped through the years. Obviously it would be better than a non-expanding .38 special running at 700 fps or a 124 gr 9mm FMJ, so I can understand why the military liked it better. But if they were given some 9mm Speer Gold Dots or Winchester Rangers that can expand up to .65" or larger, they would likely favor that to .45 ACP Ball. So why not just take the .45 with quality JHP's and feel confident knowing you have a load generally as good as anything that can be fired from a handgun? FMJ's have their place. I use them for training and plinking. The military folks use them because that's what's issued to them. FWIW, Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch also uses FMJ's (not the cheap ones, but the name brand lines) because he feels they are more reliable. But I really think that for defensive purposes the JHP's are plenty reliable and more effective. Most modern guns are designed to feed JHP's and if a gun isn't capable of doing so, then I want a better gun. Some box stock 1911's have trouble feeding certain JHP's but $60 and a little work by a competent gunsmith will clear up this problem if it exists. I always test out every semi-auto handgun I buy with at least 200 rounds of the ammo I plan to carry in it. If the gun/ammo passes the test, I consider it reliable enough to go on my hip. But really, which would you rather have? A bullet that will be no bigger than .45"? Or a bullet capable of reaching .70" in diameter? To me that is significant enough in terms of improved wounding ability to justify the increased cost. And in regards to US military ammo, don't believe everything you hear. Right at this very moment we have special operations people somewhere in the world using hollow point ammunition. Many spec ops and other military units are currently using 77 gr Black Hills BTHP match or loads utilizing the 75 gr Hornady BTHP match. These rounds aren't in violation of the Geneva Convention or Hague accords, because it wasn't designed with the intent to expand like a hunting bullet. But due to the design of these bullets and the ammo they are loaded in, they fragment violently in soft tissue anyway, making them probably the two most effective anti-personnel loads to be had in 5.56mm! BTW, I don't think the US signed any of those agreements anyway. And to add to this, the SPECOPS folks were issued the 230 gr Black Talon back when the SOCOM was first introduced. These were clearly designed with the express purpose of expansion in mind. I am not sure what they carry now. But it just goes to show that even the military is getting farther away from FMJ in some cases. Also, terrorists aren't considered military and the Hague or Geneva conferences don't apply to them. So light their asses up with some high quality JHP's! Now this JAG officer was a total dumba$$ or either he was trying to make the intent look as if our rounds aren't designed purposely to increase wounding. Because obviously the M193, M855, 75 GR OTM and 77 gr OTM do just that, intent or not. To say that the 5.56mm was designed not to kill is about the stupidest thing I ever heard. It was designed because the ammo was lighter than the .308 in service before it and because much more 5.56mm could be carried. Perhaps the JAG officer should take a look at the ammo FAQ and tests [url]www.ammo-oracle.com[/url] and see if he still thinks the 55 gr M193 is only a wounding round! With that amount of penetration and dramatic fragmentation, I would think it would be very effective. Now back to searcherfortruth's question, if you are trying to decide between FMJ or JHP, JHP all the way. And two of the top performers are the Winchester Ranger and Speer Gold Dot, both in 230 gr. These two loads offer excellent expansion, optimal penetration, great accuracy and should perform well in a correctly functioning gun. The FMJ could also overpenetrate a perp and hit innocents on the other side. A good JHP will likely reduce this somewhat. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 8:30:54 AM EDT
Pa Daddy -- Knock out 50! Corp? It's the Marine Corp[b]s[/b]. -- Chuck
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 7:04:54 PM EDT
I have very little ideas to add to what Charging_Handle wrote (excellent post btw!). A superb book on this topic is 'Bullet Penetration: Modeling the Dynamics and the Incapacitation Resulting from Wound Trauma' by Duncan MacPherson, 1994, ISBN 0-9643577-0-4. If you're interested, I would order it through an interlibrary loan from your local library as it is long out of print. That's how I got the photocopy, I mean, copy, of my book. One of the important points from the book is that a JHP .45 (or other caliber) becomes very ineffective if the 'hollow' is filled with material before it connects with flesh. It will simply fail to expand properly. This is fact. If you're in the bedroom waiting for someone to pop in, the only thing between the bullet and soft skin is a T-shirt. The effectiveness of the bullet is not likely to be affected. If the 'hollow' is filled, then you essentially have ball ammo, with none of the potential benefits (? more reliable feeding). Also, if the JHP ammo has to pass through several barriers before entering flesh, it may get flattened enough to seriously affect depth of penetration which, as everyone should know by now, is absolutely critical. So, would ball ammo be better in a 'military' situation where there is more of a potential of the bullet having to pass through several barriers (gun magazine, flak jacket, etc.)? I don't know if this even comes up as a topic for those having to decide. I keep .45 JHP in my gun since it will be used either as someone is entering the bedroom (no barrier) or in a 'public' self-defense situation where I can't get away and where I would try to avoid overpenetration and hitting a bystander. If you do end up reading the book, you'll see that a lot of thought and experimentation has gone into this topic by intelligent and patient people. As a sidenote, I've heard (? urban legend) that DEA undercover agents load two .45 FMJ rounds as the first bullets to fire from their pistols in case they end up having to shoot through a car door for the reasons noted above. Anyone from the DEA here that can confirm or dispell this?
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 10:36:22 PM EDT
My friend & I were in a SHTF together. Our attacker shot my friend twice with 230 grain Winchester; one in the right thigh, one in the left calf. Both passed clean through. I would not use FMJ onder any circumstances if HP is available.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 10:54:45 PM EDT
.45 ACP FMJ. When you think of bullet failer concider the Hollow Point that didn't expand! In testing I have had a lot of bullets that failed to expand! When using balistic gel. no one puts a jacket or equipment in front of the gel. to help clog the HP. In a fire fight I would expect the perp to have a shirt of even a jacket on and maybe something in his pockets. That .45 FMJ will almost always without fail go in. If a HP fails what is the diamiter? A .45 FMJ will be the same diamiter no mater what and it will go through car doors and windshields with a lot more success. I am a .40 fan but that is a feel good thing. If you like and have confidance in the .45 use it. Every thing form the .17 to the .68 has been used in defence so what ever makes you feel good, you will be most effective with. The .45 will not fail you if you put the bullet where it needs to be FMJ or not. Semper Fi.
Link Posted: 6/27/2003 12:57:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By peeshooter:
.45 ACP FMJ. When you think of bullet failer concider the Hollow Point that didn't expand!
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So how exactly is a bullet that NEVER expands supposed to be superior? With a HP you at least have a chance of it expanding. If not it's still as big as an FMJ bullet and the shape of the HP's bullet tip (often a cookie cutter type edge) will still tear a more severe wound channel.
In testing I have had a lot of bullets that failed to expand! When using balistic gel.
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That's why you want to use a proven round that works well after passing through clothing. In .45 ACP the Winchester 230 gr Ranger and the Speer 230 gr Gold Dot do extremely well even after penetrating 4 layers of denim.
no one puts a jacket or equipment in front of the gel. to help clog the HP.
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You might want to check out some of these sites below. The people who operate them are extremely intelligent and know what they are doing. They always do testing in bare gel and with 4 layers of denim over the gel to represent the best case and worst case scenarios. Here's a look at the excellent Black Hills 230 gr using the Gold Dot JHP: [url]http://www.ammolab.com/bh_45acp.htm[/url] The middle row numbered 11-20 is the 230 gr version, and as you can see, there were no failures of any kind. In fact, the performance through denim was on par with performance in bare gel. All bullets are not the same. You just have to know which to choose and which to avoid. Take a look at the other types that failed to expand and see how much larger the expanded ones are. Absent a CNS hit, the best means of stopping an attacker's actions is blood loss and that's achieved through crushing tissue. The more damage done, the more bleeding.....and the faster the attacker is incapacitated. That's why a good HP is superior to an FMJ. Also, the increased diameter and sharp edges of an expanded bullet might be of help in ripping open a blood vessel as it passes by. Small chance but always possible. And a bullet such as the Ranger tends to gather and cut soft tissue as it passes through it, whereas an FMJ may simply push much of it aside, creating far less severe wound. Here are some other excellent sites dealing with terminal performance of ammunition and contain other useful gun related discussion as well: [url]www.tacticalforums.com[/url] [url]www.firearmstactical.com[/url]
In a fire fight I would expect the perp to have a shirt of even a jacket on and maybe something in his pockets.
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Yes, but as shown, a quality bullet will expand through clothing. A light shirt or jacket is not likely to make that much difference anyway. But The Ranger and Gold Dot have demonstrated good performance even through heavier clothing. And unless said perp has a Level IIA kevlar in his pocket, I doubt anything else he might be carrying would help him very much.
That .45 FMJ will almost always without fail go in.
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Are you saying a 230 gr JHP can't penetrate a shirt or jacket? Take a look at the ammolab test again and check out the penetration depths. The bullets that passed through the denim barrier actually penetrated slightly deeper than those shot into bare gel. This isn't a problem at all, so don't sweat it.
If a HP fails what is the diamiter? A .45 FMJ will be the same diamiter no mater what and it will go through car doors and windshields with a lot more success. I am a .40 fan but that is a feel good thing.
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Yes, it's always going to be .45 diameter no matter what. Even a poor performing JHP has a chance of expanding, which is why I have trouble understanding the argument that the ball is superior. FWIW, the Speer Gold Dot is a bonded bullet that penetrates well and retains it weight. The Ranger is also very good in this regard. Both of these rounds see lots of LEO use and their performance penetrating barriers is a result of the LEO's liklihood of having to engage bad guys in vehicles.
If you like and have confidance in the .45 use it. Every thing form the .17 to the .68 has been used in defence so what ever makes you feel good, you will be most effective with. The .45 will not fail you if you put the bullet where it needs to be FMJ or not.
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I agree that one should be confident in the caliber they carry. While some may find the .45 ACP or .40 S&W too powerful for them, nearly anyone can be trained to effectively employ the 9mm at least. While a .22 or even a BB can and will kill you, a .45 sure makes a better effort at doing so! Well, I hope someone finds something here interesting. Peeshooter, I didn't mean to pick on your post so don't be offended. But there was some info in there that wasn't completely accurate and needed clearing up. Take it easy and "Semper Fi" to you too. Thanks for serving our country. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/27/2003 11:12:03 AM EDT
If I could only have FMJ handgun ammo? Then I would go 230gr hard ball! Also you never know if you have to fire into Doors etc! I would feel well armed with my Colt combat elite with two mags of 230gr hard ball! even hollow points dont expand all the time! I think writers have nothing else to write about except 45 vs 9mm ? or wich hollow point is better! SHOT PLACEMENT!
Link Posted: 6/27/2003 3:11:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/27/2003 3:14:53 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
even hollow points dont expand all the time!
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This is a good reason to carry a .45 ACP handgun, to get the best performance if the bullets don't work as designed. But it is NOT a good reason to NOT use hollowpoints in your .45. Nor is the car door a excuse as Winchester RA45T and RA45TP 230gr JHP/SXT goes through them about as well as FMJ
Link Posted: 6/27/2003 9:26:45 PM EDT
Logical failures are funny.. Product 1 doesn't always work Product 2 never works Therefor, use product 2 exclusively because product 1 sometimes doesn't work. Substitute HPs for Product 1. Substitute FMJs for Product 2. Substitute "expand" for "always work" and "never works" Antoher thing is this; the Hague Accords work both ways... we can't use HPs to kill the enemy more, but they also can't use them to kill us more. Fewer people get killed overall, so it's not a bad thing.
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 7:34:37 AM EDT
Antoher thing is this; the Hague Accords work both ways... we can't use HPs to kill the enemy more, but they also can't use them to kill us more. Fewer people get killed overall, so it's not a bad thing.
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This is a mute point considering that the vast majority of kills today are not accomplished with small arms... It doesn't make a damn bit of sense that we use FMJ 5.56 that fragments and we know it fragments, but we send our guys out with 9mm FMJ that does not... Don't you want our guys to carry the best rounds availiable? Do you really think that the bad guys play by the rules? Seems to me that using civilian airliners to attack civilian targets under the guise of being civilians makes for many, many "war crimes"... I guess I'm just sick of us playing by "the rules" while no one else does... War is not meant to be some kind of damn sport where both sides play by rules. This limited warfare crap has cost many American lives. Hell, look at what happended in Vietnam. The politicains said you can't attack here, you can't do this, you can't do that. Our guys were fighting a defensive war with their hands tied behind their backs. Can you win anything playing defense the entire time and atificially binding yourself while your enemy does as he pleases? I know comparing ammunition to this is a stretch, but it is all part of the same mindset. American soldiers are not invincible. We're just better trained, better equiped, more intelligent, and highly motivated. We need every advantage to stay ahead, especially in this day and age...
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 7:37:54 AM EDT
I don't know why don't you ask all the Japs from WWII...............[:D]
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 9:11:49 AM EDT
ARMdLbrl Like I Said IF I CAN ONLY USE FMJ! NO where did I say that FMJ are better than HP! I know if I wanted PENETRATION I WOULD NEVER PICK A JHP! FMJ will penatrate better than JHP! Like I said just because its a JHP it doesnt mean it will expand or even stay in the body! Its more likely to rather than a FMJ
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 9:47:46 AM EDT
I can shed some outdated light on the "urban legend" concerning DEA carying 2FMJ's followed by one HP in .45 auto mags. I was not a DEA Agent, I was a Customs Agent. But I worked (and trained, come to think of it) extensively with DEA and I never heard of Agents engaging in that practice. I follow the theory, but in reality it's flawed. The biggest factor in my experience with respect to penetration of sheet metal and glass is the angle at which the bullet impacts the surface. Period. That could have been an Agent's Policy but I doubt it was ever an Agency Policy. And DEA, especially after it was usurped by FBI as their bastard step child, used to have very restrictive firearms policies, which generally are inclusive of prescribed duty ammunition. Inclusive of the interval of 1980 to 2000, I worked for Border Patrol and Customs, but with virtually every federal law enforcement in existence, in addition to countless state and local law enforcement agencies. Because FMJ ammo was available cheaply to our agencies (mostly via the military) FMJ ammo was intermittently permitted for training (firearms policies change daily and administrators don't know what they are anyway - which was irrelevant in that usually literally couldn't find their handguns anyway), but I don't recall anyone (agency) authorizing it for duty carry. In general, (#1) Personally I wouldn't take handgun to a gunfight (at least not as a primary weapon), (#2) EVERYTHING (excepting my shotgun) gets loaded with JHP's and (#3) ALWAYS train with, that with which you will fight. Amazingly enough my Agency's policy's generally evolved to reflect my personal philosophy. Of course, while no one was noticing this, Bill Clinton appointed Ray Kelly (of NYPD Fame) as Commisssioner of Customs, Tom Constantine (of NYSP fame) as Administrator of DEA. Just before Arkansas lawyer (of Rose Law Firm fame) also known then as the "First Lady" cast her bid to run for U.S. Senator from the State of NY. If the geopolitical dymnamics of that escape you, the political base of NYC dictates the politics of NYS (because that's where most of the people are located). NYS is not, and never has been represented in Washington. NYC elects damned near every one of its state and federal political (self) servants. That was just a coincidence that Hilari locked up the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from the State of NY. Kelly and Constintine were certainly the most qualified candidates to fill those slots (which earned them full Federal Retirement benefits for adminstering federal law enforcement agencies for the briefest of intervals, and in which neither had ever served - which is typical).
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 4:27:36 PM EDT
I can't imagine how you came up with that username.
Link Posted: 6/28/2003 11:45:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/28/2003 11:49:42 PM EDT by PaDanby]
Yer right Corp is a typo Corps is correct. The fmj rn is not a particularly efficient bullet design. It feeds reliably though. Unfortunately, that's what we gotta work with most of the time. We may or may not be limited by Geneva Convention rules, we do/did have interoperabilty concerns with NATO countries, and in any case when the M1911 was being developed the FMJ RN was the most reliable design. For whatever reason the milspec 45 isn't throated and may not feed other bullet shapes or designs reliably. Could we have used RN lead and not be in violation of the Conventions? Maybe, But FMJ lasts longer as is not as susceptible to damage as a lead bullet. In any case the Marines in my family include one who joined in 35 served in China, all over the Pacific, Korea and Vietnam. He was perfectly happy with the 45 and its performance, but he would rather not have to use one since it meant people were getting through and/or too close. I've had 2 45s, one throated and one stock, 2 9mms. All feed RN reliably, the throated 45 took almost everything, the stock 45 only the factory 185s, any SWC was iffy. The 9s both sometimes burp with other than RN, but I haven't used them a lot.
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 7:37:32 AM EDT
da-da-damn. With any caliber, when you can............... Mozambique their ass. Dave S What was the question? Oh yeah, Nu-Finish or Carnuba wax..................
Link Posted: 6/29/2003 6:41:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FED-up: I can shed some outdated light on the "urban legend" concerning DEA carying 2FMJ's followed by one HP in .45 auto mags. I was not a DEA Agent, I was a Customs Agent. But I worked (and trained, come to think of it) extensively with DEA and I never heard of Agents engaging in that practice. I follow the theory, but in reality it's flawed. The biggest factor in my experience with respect to penetration of sheet metal and glass is the angle at which the bullet impacts the surface. Period.
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Thanks for the answer!
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 11:01:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 12:24:09 PM EDT
This is a mute point considering that the vast majority of kills today are not accomplished with small arms...
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That is not true anymore. WWII and Korea skewed the data. Small arms killed more than half the GIs killed in Vietnam. Booby traps, mines, and grenades combined for almost 2/3rds of the GIs wounded in Vietnam. There has been nothing in our experience since the end of Vietnam to significantly change that.
Link Posted: 6/30/2003 3:22:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/5/2003 8:30:44 PM EDT
DUHHHHHH..............If you train and shoot straight 45, 40 or 9mm will work fine.
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 7:54:44 AM EDT
I carry 230 grain FMJ in my Colts, not because they're "the best", but because that's what my pistols work with the best and I can shoot it consistantly.
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 9:25:38 AM EDT
Back to the original question, 45 FMJ will kill. I wouldn't trust it to incapacitate quickly. But, I don't feel anything hand-held is 100% reliable. Another advantage of JHP over FMJ is that commercial JHP loads are usually of much higher quality-- less flash, nickled cases, premium bullets-- than cheap FMJ. Thirdly, we're talking FMJ roundnose. Maybe a nice FMJ SWC or flat-point would change the equation?
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 4:56:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Searcherfortruth: I have read, & understand the ammo fact regarding .223/6.56 ammo. I understand the lethal qualities of ball ammo/fmj. What I am wondering is this, is .45 fmj ammo a reasonably good self defense round? & if it is why? I know that a lot of hp,st,ect are made that are preferred by most folks for the .45. So why does the military use fmj's for pistols, if we are not held to the NATO rules. I also know it functions better, or more reliably. I know this idea isn't put forth in an extremly concise manner, but I'm hoping you'll still understand my questions.
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.45 = big, deep hole,expansion or not
Link Posted: 7/9/2003 1:04:53 AM EDT
i carry JHPs in .45acp. expand or not it doesn't really matter since if the first shot doesn't work, i'll just shootem again and again till it does work. it's having to ask the bad guys to wait while i reload every 10 rounds that sucks....
Link Posted: 7/9/2003 10:42:39 AM EDT
I had an interesting experience yesterday. I shot a milk jug of water with UMC 45ACP FMJ. It was a lot less explosive to the jug than both Barnaul JHP 9mm Mak and 22LR Hollow points. And, believe it or not, 380 ACP with the winclean bullet. It has a flat nose. Would this have anything to do with it? I mean, I could believe a 9mm mak HP and even a 22lr HP running at pretty Hi-Vel, but a flat nosed 380? Note, I do not promote this as saying that everyone should run out and get a 9mm mak or 22lr because they kill so effectively. Just that they make a lot more splash when you shoot milk jugs with HPs.
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