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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just thinking the other day... Hollowpoints are best used against unarmored targets, right? Big, fleshy things that cause the bullet to expand. However, they're much less effective against someone with body armor, or when trying to shoot through cover. There, FMJ is best. I was pondering ways to compromise between these two extremes, and I might have come up with something, though admittedly it wouldn't be possible for your average citizen.

What if you were to get a select-fire rifle with a 3-shot burst, and then load your magazines alternating between 2 FMJ (steel-core if possible) and one hollowpoint? In burst fire, you'd have 2 FMJ, hopefully one to fracture the ceramic plate of body armor and the second to penetrate, and on an unarmored target, you'd leave two small holes and one big, nasty one.

Not practical for your average guy, though you could just put several rounds downrange if you alternate your mags like this. That would kind of detract from "one shot kills," and I would hate to be like "now, is this one an FMJ or a hollowpoint...?" but it would be better than having only one kind, I would think.

Any thoughts? Any better ideas on a compromise?
 

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I was wondering awhile ago about taking a regular FMJ round (9mm blazer brass for example) and taking a flat file to the very tip of it and remove the jacketing.

I would be curious to see if there is any notable expansion changes.
 

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Center mass! Center mass! Center mass! Empty the damn thing and if your target still doesnt fall down, run like hell or pistol whip it.
What he said. When the SHTF you won't be switching mags, keeping count of what is what, etc. Shot placement will be key then and you won't really be thinking about what your sending down range.
 

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Another consideration is function reliability, FMJ is alot less likely to jam or misfeed than hollow points and soft points. I know there are some high end defensive ammo's out there that feed really well like Powerball and TAP but thats not really stock pile kinda stuff. I think staggered ammo types has always been a bad idea most of the time you hear it in shotguns and I dont like it there either.
 

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Removing the jacket from the tip of a 9mm with a file will produce a "soft point" and will provide minimal expansion at typical 9mm velocities. Better than FMJ, probably, but nowhere near a good hollowpoint.

In rifle calibers, even FMJ tends to cause much more damage than a typical handgun round. Due to the Hague restrictions on non-FMJ loads in warfare, many mil-spec rifle rounds are technically FMJ but are designed to break up or tumble once they hit tissue. Examples include the Yugoslavian surplus 7.62X39, Bulgarian and Russian surplus 5.45X39, and of course the US issued SS109 round in 5.56 for the M16/M4 rifles. All these will zip through most Kevlar vests and still do considerable damage.

For many years now, I've carried my Steyr GB with two spare mags, one of which is loaded with 124gr NATO spec FMJ. If I ever have to penetrate cover and there is time to switch mags I have the option. OTOH, if I have expended the 37 hollowpoints in the gun and other spare mag I doubt the next 18 being FMJ instead of HP will be much of a handicap......
 

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remember... modifying any round for self-defense makes YOU a target of a serious Felony... so i'm told.

if nuthin else you become a target for money sniffing relatives of the deceased carcass whose unworthy life you ended with your modified ammo.
 

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The old flack jacket was a vest with several plys of ballistic nylon and was designed to protect soldiers against fragments of grenades, artillery and mortar rounds, usually not intended to protect from aimed small arms fire. Ballistic nylon was a very tightly woven nylon material with a lot of give to it and would absorb a lot of impact. Back in the 80's Second Chance and Silent Partner started manufacturing body armor for law enforcement. Even then the stuff had limits. One company (I can't remember which one) started an ad campaign that their armor could defeat a .44 magnum. About 6 months later CCI ran an ad that their .22 mini mag would penetrate it. The FOP raised hell and now CCI only makes hollowpoint mini mag. The smaller diameter and higher velocity of the .22 allowed it to penetrate, a case of less being more. In recent years kevlar has replaced nylon as the material of choice but a kevlar vest still won't defeat rifle fire (smaller diameter higher velocity). So now we add trauma plates over the heart/lung area, metal for undergarment type vests and aluminum/ceramic for military applications. Funny when you think about it, a determined nutjob with a .22 rifle has the cop on the street with a .40 S&W outgunned.
 

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Long ago I read an evaluation of the Blitz Action Trauma (BAT) bullet. The bullets were turned on a lathe off a brass rod (solid brass, big hollowpoint, nylon "blow-off" tip). The tests seemed to show that they had good expansion and good penetration on armor. Anyone heard anything about them recently? They cost a bundle, I'm sure.

Barring that, use hollowpoints and if they don't work, grab your Louisville Slugger and beat the daylights out of the miscreant.
 

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PMC used to make a .38 special tubular bullet, used a teflon plug in the base to seal off the gases when fired, fell off in the air. Tests in gelatin revealed the hollow bullet cut a "plug" out of the gelatin the full length of the wound track but did not expand. Basically a little hole saw, the large surface area of cut tissue was supposed to make the perp bleed out rapidly. Never heard about any tests against armor but similar bullets (Cyclone?) would hole saw through 70+ layers of Kevlar. IIRC, PMC had to go to a different metal after the AP handgun ammo ban went into effect, but was eventually dropped due to poor sales. I think the velocity out of a snubbie was supposed to be around 1800 FPS.

The BAT bullet probably sufered the same fate, banned because of the metal it was made of. The bullet was essentially a solid copper hollowpoint with a nose plug to give it a FMJ profile for enhanced feeding in autos. There was a very tiny hole in the base leading to the cavity, when fired the gases blew the plug out of the bullet while it was in the bbl and the plug quickly fell out of the bullet path. Close range, you could have a weird entrance wound due to the cap or fragments of it (apparently sometimes they shattered instead of coming out in one piece) also entering the person being shot. Everything I have read about it suggests it is a very effective round, supposedly it was developed after the Munich Olympics incident as a counter-terrorist round that would reliably feed through an unmodified subgun. IIRC, it shot an 80-something grain bullet around 1400+ FPS. Velocity quickly drops off due to light bullet weight, so it is less dangerous to people down range in case of a miss. Dunno about Kevlar penetration, but being solid copper it would penetrate more layers than a similar conventional HP bullet. IIRC, they were about $3 a shot in 1980s dollars.

Remington Copper Solids are the Shotgun version, I keep 3 in my Sidesaddle on the 870 should the need arise. Being inside the shotshell, no need for a nose plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Center mass! Center mass! Center mass! Empty the damn thing and if your target still doesnt fall down, run like hell or pistol whip it.
That's the thing, with a gun that shoots 3-round-burst on select fire, you would do just that. The only difference is, every 3-round burst would now be packing a hollowpoint to damage soft targets, and 2 FMJ to defeat body armor.
 
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