Ammunition Question

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by wa4phy, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. wa4phy

    wa4phy New Member

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    Why is it, "target" ammo is FMJ, and what I consider "real" ammo is hollow point?, with the latter being more expensive to have I guess, less lead content, and maybe more copper or steel, or whatever the jacket is made of. I've never really looked close at the boxes, but do know both are 165 grain. Just seems to not make sense to me. I know a HP will expand or mushroom out more when striking an object, but does the use of fmj's in target practice have anything to do with the ballistics of the round?

    Curiosity just begs an answer :)

    Sam
     
  2. zxd9

    zxd9 Active Member

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    I think what they are trying to say is that FMJ makes good target ammo but not good self defense ammo. FMJ doesn't have the wounding characteristics of a good HP. Also, FMJ gives you a cheaper alternative for practice than using the HP you would normally carry. You should always practice with your carry ammo, but you don't need to use it all the time.
     

  3. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired Active Member

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    I would guess that the reason JHP ammo is more expensive than FMJ wouldn't be so much about material costs as it would production costs but that is just a guess. FMJ ammo is not always more accurate, my P85 shoots 115 grain JHP's better than any FMJ ammo I have tried but my Bersa shoots FMJ's a bit more accurate than JHP's, it's all about matching the ammo to the gun and the shooter. I think the reason they market FMJ as "target" ammo is because most folks like to use cheaper ammo for target shooting, but, when it comes to personal defense ammo they invest in something with known stopping power regardless of price. Personally I carry all COR-BON DPX ammo in my personal defense weapons no matter the caliber. At the ranges that I would expect to shoot in a self defense situation I am more concerned with stopping power than with group size. However, when target shooting I shoot with the ammo that groups best for what ever gun I am shooting that day.
     
  4. wa4phy

    wa4phy New Member

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    I suppose there is a bit more to producing a HP than a bullet shaped chunk of lead, and such. I've got winchester 165 gr. JHP's for "real" but use the cheapest stuff I can get for practice. I guess I need to shoot a few rounds of the JHP's thru the gun and see if any difference. I am very uneducated about guns and ammo, and not ashamed to admit it. After watching a video clip from a link here, I don't even consider myself a rank amateur.. more like a neophyte, but I know those professional shooters have put a lot of time and effort in becoming good at what they can do.

    Where can I read about matching rounds with a pistol ? Do the various ammunition manufacturers have any info on their websites, or are there other webs that might provide some good info?
     
  5. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired Active Member

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    It's more of a "trial by fire" thing. Just buy a different type of ammo each time you go to target practice and find what shoots best in your weapon. Make sure to keep notes. Ammo will even shoot different from lot to lot so when I am getting ready for hunting season I buy enough ammo of the same lot numbers, for my deer rifle to last the season and target practice and sight my rifle in with it at the start of the season.
     
  6. binderd22

    binderd22 New Member

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    I would thing the molding process for a JHP is more (just a little) labor intensive, thus the higher price. FMJ isn't a good choice for self defense because instead of mushrooming it has a tendancy to go thru & thru. More liability to innocent bystanders. Some agencies are going with Hydra-Shock type ammo that not only mushrooms, it shatters as well. No chance for passing thru a perp.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Hydrashock, the ammunition by Federal, does not disintegrate. In fact, it has good weight retention. Personally, I would not use any ammunition that disintegrates or otherwise sheds mass, as I believe you could certainly run into a problem of underpenetration, albeit with nasty-looking surface wounds! I choose Federal Hydrashock for my personal carry guns (230 gr. .45 ACP, mostly).
     
  8. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    FMJ has two advantages for target shooting. 1) Less lead in the grooves in the barrel, thus easier to clean properly. 2) Less exposure to lead for health concerns. Mostly an issue for indoor ranges.

    I have no idea why the cost is any different. Wadcutters are dirt cheap. 20 rounds of Hydrashok is ~ $1 per round, whereas you can get a box of 100 FMJ for < $10. Can't be that much difference in production costs.
     
  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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  10. wa4phy

    wa4phy New Member

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    Wow! I had no idea there had been so much study of the penetration capacity and all the other properties of the various types of bullets. Also did not know the Geneva convention had any part of what the millitary was allowed to shoot. They never told us that kind of stuff when I was in the service, but then again, I was not infantry or such.. belonged to the AF communications, yet we had to qualify with the M-16 and whatever handgun was issued back in the 60's. Live and learn!