Can FMJ Ammo be used for self defense?
I own two pistols a Beretta 92FS and a Kimber Custom Carry II 1911. I would like to understand about the regular FMJ round ball ammo that is normally used for target practice. Say I am facing a bad guy and all I have handy is a magazine loaded with that ammo, is it going to be infective? I normally use 9mm 124 grain FMJ or 230 grain FMJ .45 ACP ammunition for target practicing.
What are the drawbacks if such ammo is used for self defense?
- Anonymous3 years agoFavorite Answer
FMJ ammo (in military circles known as "Ball ammo") CAN be used in a self defense scenario, without qualms or hesitation. Militarily, according to the Geneva Convention, only "Ball" ammo, or ballistic hollow points (hollow point ammo that does NOT expand, like Sierra MatchKings as loaded into XM118) may only be used in combat.
The advantages to the use of FMJ/Ball ammo, is that is feeds with 100% reliability ... provided the recoil spring is healthy. The disadvantage to FMJ/Ball ammo in a self defense situation is that the ammo pushes a hole in flesh that can readily fill itself in, not leaving a "free bleeding" wound channel, unlike hollow point ammo, that creates a massive wound channel as the bullet penetrates, affording an open wound channel. The problem with using hollow point ammo, over FMJ, is that many of the early hollow point ammo that was available for handguns, would jam on feeding, reducing the reliability of the handgun. The common cure would be to "throat" the barrel ramp of the pistol, much like a target shooter would do with a "wad-cutter gun", shooting reduced load in a .45 with the semi-wadcutter bullet.
Now, looking at the caliber choices ... 9mm FMJ/Ball has a poor reputation as a man stopper ... typically the FMJ round would penetrate (or over penetrate) and NOT transfer "knock down" energy ... and the person being shot would not stay down ... often requiring 3 or more shots to do the job. This is due (in part) to the frontal area of the round. Meanwhile, .45 ACP Ball ammo has a very good reputation as a man stopper, because of the larger frontal area of the bullet, "transferring" the knockdown power of the round. Generally, the .45 Ball round had the reputation of putting a man down with one round, while the 9mm required multiple rounds. That is a MAJOR reason why the 9mm had a poor reputation for acceptance by many local police departments in the 1970s, and led to their adoption of the large capacity, "crew served" 9mm pistols, such as the Smith Model 59 and the early Glocks.
Good luck and good shooting!
- Big KahunaLv 73 years ago
9mm is hot and fast,goes through walls,etc.and penetrates.The .45 was developed for close in combat and its' heavy bullet has great knock-down power.I prefer the .45.