Hollow Point (HP) vs Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) - How to Choose Between T – Foundry Outdoors
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Hollow Point (HP) vs Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) - How to Choose Between These Popular Bullet Types

Buying ammunition for your gun can be overwhelming, there are so many options available it can be difficult to decide, or even know what ammo is best for you and your gun. Before you purchase ammunition you should consider what you want your ammo to achieve. Will you be hunting, target shooting, or are you thinking about self defense rounds? Being able to answer these questions will help guide you in the right direction in the decision buying process. Two of the more popular rounds that exist are Hollow Points (HP) and Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) rounds.


A popular opinion that exists in the ammo industry is to use hollow points for self-defense and full metal jacket rounds for practice. The primary reason for this belief is the simple fact that full metal jacket rounds are cheaper than hollow points. Which brings us to our first difference between the two rounds – price, price, and price. If you are on a budget, or like to shoot a lot of ammo full metal jacket rounds would be the smart choice as you typically get more rounds for your buck.

Bullet Construction

Besides price, the actual construction of the bullet has some differences. The reason people prefer not to use FMJ rounds for personal protection is the fact that they hold their structural integrity when they hit an object. A jacket covers the entire bullet in an FMJ round, keeping the bullet whole and jacket in tact when it hits the target. With so much energy it often times travels right through the target, leaving only a small entry and exit hole. For hunting or self defense purposes the FMJ may not be the best option as it has little energy transfer, however for target practicing it is an ideal round because it does less damage to the actual targets.

Now that we know the characteristics of the FMJ lets look at HP and jacketed hollow points. A jacketed hollow point is similar to the FMJ round except for at the tip of the bullet there is a hole thus giving it a hollow center. As one can imagine this hollow design slows the bullet and expands upon impact. The transfer of energy creates a much larger point of impact, many times leading to a large entry hole and no exit hole. This type of round is ideal for hunting or self-defense as it offers a greater deal of destruction on the target itself.

Depending on your application as discussed above FMJ rounds are better suited for target practicing while JHP rounds are well suited for hunting and self-defense. Now this is certainly not to say that a FMJ round cannot take down an intruder or animal, any bullet can be deadly. Going beyond your application it is important to also check with your local laws to ensure you understand any constraints there may be. Also ammo fires differently out of every gun, so find the right ammo that fires best out of your gun.

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