Skip to comments.Handguns and Hollow Points
Posted on 03/13/2011 10:25:08 PM PDT by neverdem
Blame Hollywood. Blame the evening news. Blame your Uncle Jim. There is a lot of incorrect information out there on firearms and ammunition.
For whatever reason, bullet design and performance seems to have the largest amount of myths and half-truths circling around it. Some of these false beliefs have led to bad movie scenes and even worse, bad laws.
When a handgun is loaded for self defense, most instructors advise to use quality hollow point ammunition. But why?
The Hollow Point Bullet
A hollow point bullet is a bullet that has some type of cavity scooped out of the center. Most hollow points do not have any actual point at all. A few like the CORBON PowRBall and the Hornady Critical Defense, use a polymer ball or filling in the cavity.
The idea of a hollow point it to cause the bullet to expand when striking the target.
A hollow point is not a Dum-Dum bullet. The Dum-Dum bullet was developed in the Dum-Dum arsenal in India in 1897. It was a rifle bullet with an exposed lead tip. The bullets were never fully developed and discontinued in 1899. Yet, to hear the media tell it, Dum-Dum bullets are the preferred ammo choice by gang bangers everywhere...
While precise measurements vary, under ideal conditions, a 9mm bullet can expand to nearly double its size (from .355 to nearly .7 in diameter.) Likewise, a .45 ACP bullet can expand to almost an inch in diameter...
Generally, I have found that the narrower the bullet face, the more velocity needed to cause reliable expansion. In other words, a wide mouth .45 bullet is more likely to expand at lower velocities than a narrow 9mm. Narrow, low-velocity cartridges, like the .25 ACP and .32 ACP, rarely expand...
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
My wife’s boss was mortified that she carried (gasp) “hollow points” in her CCW.
As my friend the late “Chief” used to tell me
load hp for the first three, then hardball after
that, cause if you don’t get him with the first
three, he’s gonna get under cover and you’ll need
that ball to penetrate to where he is.
Just go with EFMJ’s.
They don’t look like hollowpoints, but they act the same.
I saw a small 6 point buck a guy shot with a 30.06 hollow point. Ruined a whole shoulder roast. Actually, there wasn’t any shoulder left to roast.
They are safer for their reduced penetration of walls.
Speer Gold Dot or Hornady XTP is the way to go.
Federal Premium HST is good also, but not that easy to find.
Why do you (or anybody) use a name containing "ACP"? That designation was obsoleted prior to WWII. The correct designation for 25 Auto, 32 Auto, 38 Auto, 380 Auto and 45 Auto is as I just wrote.
It's the headstamp stupid! Same as the designation stamped on the firearm barrel.
It is no more appropriate to use an obsolete cartridge designation than to address a married woman by her maiden name.
Folks that use obsolete cartridge designations fall into the same category as those who describe a "cart ride" as a "bullet", or a "magazine" as a "clip" or a "bullet" as a "head", ad nauseam.
While I can't be sure, I'd think that the higher muzzle velocities involved with rifles versus handguns changes a lot of things. (Rifles typically do have a significantly higher muzzle velocity than handguns, don't they? I'm certainly open to being corrected on this point.)
The only factor of any consequence would be bullet weight.
A cart ride can be pretty dangerous if the horse panics or an axle breaks.
For pure self-defense rather than combat - most often happening at a distance of around 15 feet, the .22 Magnum is more than adequate and a small size carry. Check it out here
The deer was messed up so badly because the projectile from a 30.06 is scooting along at 2700-3200fps. As a result, there is a tremendous amount of energy distributed on impact, especially if it hits a bone.
Handgun slugs travel at less than half the speed of rifle slugs.
Surely you jest. I would never carry anything less than .40 caliber in the winter or less than .380 in the summer. And the only reason I carry .380 in the summer is due to concealment issues. But a .22 magnum, never. .22 is fine for plinking and target practice, but that's it.
Thank you, we’re thinking of a revolver purchase.
That’s a beautiful little hideaway backup weapon.
I have a double-barreled derringer in .22 magnum and I couldn’t hit a two foot square of cardboard with it at 15 feet. That’s a “stick it in the ribs” last chance defense weapon. It’s not even good for a mafia hit style execution ala in or behind the ear because it’s too high velocity. You need a regular .22 rimfire in short or sub-sonic for that.
Perhaps not the final word, but worth considering.
I carry T-Series in my 1911, but sometimes just load FMJs after I read that article. When SHTF, FMJs will be first line.
I took a look at my Ruger, manufactured in the '90s, and it is stamped .45 ACP. The cartridges are headstamped .45 auto though.
KISS as in Keep It Simple Stupid. That's how the article described it. I thought the article was useful as a primer, not a dissertation on current nomenclature for an overpriced and underperforming round, IMHO.
sometimes, it’s good to be able to shoot through walls. sometimes not. Had a buddy send a 7.62 FMJ round through about 6 walls and both sides of a bathtub incidentally. The bullet stayed in the house eventually lodging in an old record collection. went through maybe 20 0f them. aftwer the bathtub, it had fragmented into 2-3 smaller projectiles actually. That’s why you always carefully check to make sure a gun isn’t loaded as soon as you pick it up btw. lol
“It’s the headstamp stupid! Same as the designation stamped on the firearm barrel.”
Buffalo, relax man.
We know what he’s talking about, and when I load “.45 auto” cartridge’s into my “Magazine” and slam it into my 1911 with a Wilson Match Barrel stamped “45 ACP” on it I know what Mr. Wilson was referring to...Damn, better let him know too.
Take it up with the ammo manufacturers - they often designate what you consider to be obsolete right on the box!
I’ve said .45acp all my life, my father (1923-1997) said .45acp and I ain’t changin’.
We were using a piece of steel tubing 4” square with 1/4” walls as a post to balance targets on shooting awhile back and a few of the low shots with a fmj 7.62 round bored a perfect holes through both layers of 1/4” steel so I would expect that round to go completely through a large house with wood exterior and drywall interior walls, including a few wood studs too. Not sure how thick of solid concrete walls it would take to stop it.
And that’s why I shoot .45 hollow, through my Kimber.
I love her.
That thing is very hard to shoot!
Your wife’s boss shouldn’t know your wife carries a gun or what kind of ammo is in it.
Interesting link. Thanks for posting
>>”Folks that use obsolete cartridge designations fall into the same category as those who describe a “cart ride” as a “bullet”, or a “magazine” as a “clip” or a “bullet” as a “head”, ad nauseam.”<<
I understand your frustration.
Does it really warrant calling a good fellow-FReeper “stupid”?
Get some sleep, you old fart.
True but I couldn't resist telling that story.
I already knew that WWII era .30 caliber cartridges were overkill for eastern whitetail at typical eastern hunting distances. What I saw of the deer that day told me full power .30 caliber hollow points shouldn't be used for hunting whitetail sized game when the hunter intends to eat the kill. Way too much meat loss.
That is, hits.
In a class I recently took, advanced beginners shot (in rotation) 9mm, .38 +P, .357 magnum, .40S&W (very popular here), and .45ACP to about 300 rounds total (not 300 of each).
If the idea was to hit the bad guy, the ammo in order of preference was 9mm, .38 +P, .45 ACP, .357 magnum, and .40 S&W last.
The .40 S&W shooters could presumably argue with the bad guys after several misses about the superior terminal ballistics.
Make sure you can hit, consistently and under stress, with your round of choice.
yea, you might hurt somebody
So that means you are really "Bison Bullet"? (I'm just so confused :^) )
I’d say also that there’s just not that much of a market for hollow point rifle ammo. That’s why you don’t see a whole lot of it. It’s not great for hunting because it makes a mess of your game. The cavity is huge in the animal. NATO does not allow the military to use anything but FMJ so that’s out. That would only leave those people who use a rifle for home protection I guess. There’s not a lot of those out there.
I like to use 45acp to differentiate it from the GAP, LC etc... but i suppose the A in ACP means the same general auto designation.
The LC of course is no auto but the 357 magnum has been used in the DesertEagle and the 357 sig has no auto designation explicited.
I use auto for the rest of the callibers, of course.
There is a guy we call “bullet head” for a reason. Is that OK?
“ACP” is only “obsolete” as it pertains to being an official US Army designation. In the vernacular it is hard to say that “ACP” is obsolete, when it is in common usage and well understood.
There hasn't been an actual trunk on an auto's rear platform since my grandfather was a little boy, but everyone seems to know what “trunk” means in reference to a car.
Vice obsolete, I think you mean antiquated, but I collect antique firearms, so I'm OK with that. Much of our modern ammunition is misidentified by spurious diameters or names that were originally given to avoid confusion with what are now obsolete cartridges, yet we continue to use them.
How upset are you that .357 and .38 ammunition both fire in a .357 revolver? Why does “ACP” then set you off? Its not like its a safety issue.
A lot of people today just say “.303” vice .303 British, because the .303 Savage died out. In the opposite direction, the term ACP for Automatic Colt Pistol, got shortened to just Auto, as more pistols began to be chambered for the rounds and the general population (and Army) became less likely to confuse the auto cartridges for the older rimmed ones of like diameter.
So this is the the way of the world. Lighten up Francis. Save your fire for terminology that actually creates problems.
I keep lots of hollow point 5.56mm around. If there is a war the type of wounds it create will tax the conventional forces support structure. Armies are det up for Geneva approved type ammo.
Exactly why hollow points are the wrong choice for hunting. Plenty of soft point bullets out there to choose from, ‘specially for the ‘06.
Your screen name reminds me of an incident that occurred many years ago when I first met a co-worker's dog. Since he had always talked about having a dog named "Toyfull", I had assumed that he had a little poodle or some such dog. Much to my surprise, "Teuful" turned out to be a very large German Shepherd. Names can fool you if you don't check out the spelling. :=)
Ah, Freerepublic... Where bad advice on firearms is a way of life.
Seriously, if you took a class where people were getting better hits out of revolvers at speed in defensive scenarios than those shooting 40’s or 45’s then you should probably ask for your money back.
I just thought of one other thing hollow point rifle rounds would be good for. Assasinations. A properly expanded hollow point would be very hard to match forensicly (I would think) to an exact rifle (lans, grooves and twist) or rifle type.
Don’t get me wrong, not that I have any knowledge of this type of stuff. I don’t. Just going by my own knowledge of bullet ballistics and common sense...
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