FMJ Vs JHP – Which Side Are You On?

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Which round do you carry?  Which round do you practice with?  Which round is better and why?

These are all questions that I have heard and discussed many times.  As with anything in the gun world, we all have different ideas and perspectives on things.  I will go over my way of thinking and why I feel the way I do.

The reason I shoot FMJ at the range is simple- PRICE.  A thousand rounds of 9mm FMJ is typically less than $200, while JHP are substantially more expensive.  The FMJ are arguably more readily available and are a very consistent round.

The FMJ does have quite a few drawbacks, especially when it is concerning your life that is on the line.  The main issue I have with carrying FMJ in my CCW is over penetration.  The FMJ ammo will not expand upon impact and will destroy less tissue, bone and vital organs.  Now, let’s keep it real and always remember shot placement FAR outweighs the type of ammunition you shoot.  God forbid you should have to utilize your weapon to defend yourself, and you will own that bullet even if it is a clean hit and it passes through your assailant and kills an innocent bystander.

Does the FMJ have less “stopping or knowdown power”?  Well, since neither of these are tactical terms whatsoever nor can they be measured, we will rely on simple physics.  A round shaped object that remains round upon impact will stay in the body for a shorter period of time and move at a faster rate of speed.

A round object that deforms upon impact will stay in the body for a longer period of time allowing for more damage to be done and move at a slower rate of speed.

Now, I am not saying that a FMJ can’t stop someone dead in their tracks, rather it is less likely to do so if shot in the same area as a JHP.  When you see a one shot stop it is because the round sent a shock wave through the central nervous system, such as the spine, neck, heart or brain.

Now, are JHP’s a magical round that will blow someone’s arm off even if you graze them?  Absolutely not.  The JHP is a round that will form that mushroom we all like to see and will tear and rip as it passes through a body.  A larger wound channel will create more blood loss and will incapacitate someone faster than a smaller wound channel.

I personally shoot FMJ at the range and carry JHP in my CCW.  I feel as though the JHP gives me a higher percentage to stop an aggressor and less chance to hurt someone that is not engaged in the fight.  Now, these are my opinions.  As I have stated, the words always and never very seldom ring true, so give what I am saying a shake and see if you agree or disagree.

When it comes to utilizing your CCW in a deadly use of force, there will be no mulligans or do overs.  So, pick what you feel the most comfortable with and have the most confidence in.  For me, I trust JHP to protect my family, my life and your family.

Fortuna Paratus Remunerat- Fortune Favors the Prepared

Story by Shane Smith


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