There are several types of ammunition available on the market, but two of the most common for practice use, hunting, and self-defense are full metal jacket (FMJ) and hollow point. There are different pros and cons to each, and it often depends on how you are planning on using them. FMJ tends to be the favorite for target practice, but each type can be preferable according to your unique situation and requirements. Here is a quick guide to the main differences between FMJ and hollow point.
What is the difference between full metal jacket (FMJ) and hollow point?
Full metal jacket bullets, first of all, have a soft lead core encased in a harder alloy. They are designed not to expand much on impact and instead they are more likely to hold their trajectory. This is why they are often recommended for target practice. FMJ bullets are robust and can have greater penetration. Although this makes them effective for hitting targets, they could potentially be more dangerous in a self-defense scenario. This is because they have a longer range than other types of ammunition.
Hollow point bullets, on the other hand, have a hollow centre which means they will expand on impact. They won’t hold the trajectory like full metal jacket bullets for this reason. The way the bullet collapses on impact gives it more stopping power. Hollow point bullets are likely to cause more damage to the initial target, which is why they are often the choice for hunting and home defense. As you can see, the main difference between FMJ ammunition and hollow point is structural, and what happens to them on impact. This means they react differently and are each suited to various situations and uses.
How does FMJ compare to hollow point in different uses?
You should ideally choose your ammunition according to your requirements and how you’re planning on using it. If you’d like to practice target shooting, at a shooting range for example, full metal jacket bullets are probably more suitable. This is because they maintain a clear trajectory for longer. They are also stronger than hollow points meaning that they are best used in a controlled environment. FMJ bullets also feed more efficiently, making them quicker and easier to use for target practice.
If you are going to primarily use your ammo for hunting, then hollow points are usually recommended over FMJ. They are especially ideal for hunting larger game at a longer range because of the way they expand on impact. This should ensure you incapicitate your target enough in minimal shots. FMJ bullets are also used for hunting due to their accuracy and speed and quick feeding capabilities. It’s essential to ensure you choose the right bullets according to your target and the scenario.
FMJ ammunition poses more risk in a self-defense situation. This is because they can maintain their trajectory, even through harder materials. This increases the possibility of hitting an unintended target by accident. Both types of bullets are technically suitable for concealed handguns, but hollow points are better in a close-range self-defense scenario for this reason. If you’re looking for the right type of ammunition for your everyday carry (EDC) it’s perhaps better to opt for hollow point.
Another thing to bear in mind is also the difference in price. Hollow point rounds are more expensive than FMJ. If you’re planning on using your handgun regularly for target practice, this makes FMJ the more economical choice. You’ll be able to get more practice out of it without investing as much and you can spend more time honing your skills. The less budget-friendly hollow points are perhaps more suited to a home defense weapon. If you’re planning on hunting with these it’s worth investing a little more, however.
Both full metal jacket and hollow point are common types of ammunition and can be suitable for different uses, although each type has its pros and cons depending on the scenario. It’s also important to ensure you choose the right ammo according to the type of gun you use. You can ask your retailer for help and advice if you’re unsure as to which is more suitable. If you’re looking for a better option on a budget, FMJ could be ideal for you. The right ammunition depends largely on what you’re going to use it for, however. If you would like to learn more about hollow point bullets, FMJ, and other types of ammunition and their uses, check out our blog.